At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks

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Canada is a magnificent country known for its unbeatable natural scenery, overly polite citizens, and snowy winters. But, there are a lot of things that many people don’t know about “the Great White North.”

Canada is one of the world’s best countries to visit. Whether you’ve been there before or it’s the next destination on your travel bucket list, you’re sure to learn something new in this list of 30 fun facts about Canada.

Canadian Currency

1. Canadian Banknotes Are Made of Plastic

Unlike the currency of most countries, Canada’s banknotes are made of a very thin polymer. This makes the 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar notes more durable and more environmentally friendly than the usual cotton-paper banknotes. These polymer bills were introduced in early 2011.

Of course, the colorful Canadian polymer banknotes can also withstand the country’s weather. So, whether your bills end up in the snow or the washing machine, they’ll be alright.

2. Canada’s National Drink Contains Clam Juice

Canada’s version of the classic Bloody Mary cocktail is interesting, to say the least. Known as the Bloody Caesar, the drink is made with tomato juice, vodka, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, a few spices, and clam juice. 

Although it may sound like an odd concoction, Canadians consume around 350 million Bloody Caesars every year… that’s a lot of clam juice. This uniquely Canadian drink is rarely found anywhere else around the world.

3. The Trans-Canada Highway Is The World’s Second Longest Highway

In second place to Highway 1 in Australia as the World’s longest highway, the Trans-Canada Highway spans an impressive 4 860 miles. The route crosses ten of Canada’s provinces from Victoria to Labrador. 

Building this highway was not an easy feat, especially in high snowfall and avalanche regions like British Columbia. While planning the cross-country route began in 1949; the Trans-Canada Highway was officially opened in 1962 but only completed in 1971.

Canadian Lake

4. Canada Has the Most Lakes in the World

In fact, Canada holds an incredible 60% of the world’s natural lakes. In total, there are about 32 313 natural lakes in Canada, and 561 of those are each around 40 square miles in surface area. 

Some of Canada’s largest lakes include Lake Huron, Great Bear Lake, Lake Superior, and Great Slave Lake. While Great Bear Lake is the largest lake that lies entirely within Canada’s borders, Lake Huron and Lake Superior are some of the largest lakes in the Great Lakes Basin and in North America.

18% of the world’s fresh lake water is held in the Great Lakes Basin.

Wood Bison in Canada's Outdoors

5. Canada Has Some Huge Wildlife 

Canada is one of the world’s largest countries and is appropriately home to some of the biggest wildlife, both on land and in the ocean.

Canada’s woodlands are home to animals such as Wood Bison – which are North America’s largest land animal, and other creatures like moose and bears. 

Off the shores of Canada, specifically around British Columbia, Newfoundland, Labrador, and Quebec, you might spot the ocean’s largest inhabitants. From smaller porpoises to gigantic blue whales, Canada’s wildlife is nothing short of impressive.

6. Canada Is One of the World’s Coldest Countries

Canada’s winter is no joke. Temperatures in certain parts of this northern country can drop to around -40°F. However, you are unlikely to experience such frigid temperatures in Canada’s large cities. Most of the country experiences temperatures of around 23°F to 5°F during winter.

In February 1947, in Canada’s Yukon territory, an all-time low of -81°F was recorded. Yukon is a notoriously cold region, along with Nunavut, Alberta, Quebec, and the Northwest Territories.

Quebec in Canada

7. Quebec Is the Only Walled City in Northern America

Quebec city is charming for many reasons. From its idyllic streets to its magnificent cathedrals and chateaus, there is an abundance of history and culture to explore. But most people don’t know that Quebec is North America’s only walled city.

The city of Quebec was founded in 1608 by Frenchman Samuel de Champlain; since then, it has faced many battles between British and French immigrants. So, in 1690 a wall was built around Quebec city to protect it from invasion. 

However, the original wall was replaced in 1745, and it still stands around Quebec city today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

8. The Largest Mass of Exposed Precambrian Rock Is in Canada

The Canadian Shield boasts the world’s largest mass of exposed Precambrian Rock. So, what does this mean for everyone who isn’t a geologist? Well, Precambrian rock comes from the earth’s first geological era, which is the earliest part of the history of the earth. 

Precambrian rock holds secrets and stories from more than 541 million years ago. The Canadian Shield spans around 3 million square miles, which is larger than most of the world’s countries. 

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9. Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park Is Larger Than Switzerland

Canada boasts an impressive 48 national parks from coast-to-coast. The largest of which is Wood Buffalo National Park, which crosses the border of Alberta and the Northwest territories. 

This national park spans about 17 364 square miles, which is more than 1 000 square miles larger than the country of Switzerland. As the name suggests, Wood Buffalo park is home to the world’s largest herd of (hybrid) wood bison.

Quttinirpaaq, Canada’s second-largest national park, is by no means less impressive. In fact, Quttinirpaaq is one of the most spectacular of Canada’s national parks. The polar desert landscape, with magnificent glaciers and ice caps, is the perfect escape for avid explorers.

Maple Syrup and Pancake

10. Eighty-Five Percent of the World’s Maple Syrup Comes From Canada

Canada’s climate offers the ideal conditions for the production of maple tree sap, which is used to make maple syrup. Maple trees store starch in order to survive the harsh winter temperatures. The starch is converted into sugar which is found in high concentrations in maple sap. 

Between the end of winter and early spring, the sap is harvested by drilling into the tree’s trunk and boiled to create maple syrup. Canada produces around 20 million gallons of maple syrup every year.

11. Canada Is Home to the Largest Inuit Population

About 70 000 Inuit people reside in Yukon, Quebec, Labrador, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories in Canada.  Other countries such as Greenland, Denmark, and the United States of America are also home to smaller populations of Inuit people. 

Ancestors of the Inuit people are said to have migrated from Alaska to northern Canada over 1000 years ago.  

Now, there are around 53 Inuit communities around Canada. Five main Inuit dialects are spoken in Canada, but there are many lesser-spoken dialects, such as Kivalliq, which is spoken in Hudson Bay.

12. Canada Has Nicknames for Their Coins

Canada’s one, and two-dollar coins are affectionately nicknamed “loonies” and “toonies,” not to be confused with the Warner Bros Looney Tunes.

A one Canadian dollar coin features a Loon, which is a type of waterfowl native to Northern America, hence the nickname “loonie,” and “toonie” because two “loonies” equal one “two-nie.”

The Canadian “toonie” features a Polar bear, which was introduced in the year 2000. 

Canadian coins in a purse

13. The Royal Canadian Mint Created the World’s First Glow-in-the-Dark Coin

In 2017, to commemorate the 150th birthday of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint released a glow-in-the-dark coin featuring a canoe on a lake with the Northern Lights shining above.

The colored bimetallic coin is charming in the daylight, but in the dark, the coin’s Northern Lights emit a lifelike glow.

About 3 million of these toonies, named “Dance of the Spirits,” were minted in 2017. And they now sell for a little second-largestAD on coin collector sites.

Northern Lights in Manitoba, Canada

14. Aurora Borealis Is Visible in Canada

If you aren’t lucky enough to live in the polar regions, witnessing this magnificent spectacle is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Many people don’t know that Canada is one of the best places in the world to spot the Northern Lights.

Although Canada’s geographical location means you might be able to spot the lights almost anywhere, generally, the most Northern parts of Canada offer the best conditions.

The best places to experience Aurora Borealis are in Canada’s Northwest Territories or the higher ground regions of British Columbia.

15. The Telephone Was Invented In Canada

While the telephone was built in the United States of America, world-renowned inventor Alexander Graham Bell claimed the revolutionary device was invented in Ontario, Canada. Bell was only 29 years old when he received the patent for the telephone in 1876. 

Interestingly, the first long-distance telephone call also took place in Ontario between the cities of Brantford and Paris. The call between Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Thomas Watson was brief. Mr. Bell’s exact words were, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” 

The event was attended by over 500 people, who all paid to witness a moment in history.

Ice Skating in the Canal in Canada

16. The World’s Largest Skating Rink Is in Canada

In a country with such chilling winter temperatures, one can expect plenty of ice-related activities. Naturally, Canada boasts a celebrated winter sports culture. The world’s largest and longest skating rink is located in Ottawa, Canada.

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Once the cool winter temperatures start to creep in, the Rideau Canal is transformed into the Rideau Canal Skateway. The 5-mile skateway was first opened in 1970.

If you can handle the cold, skating the Rideau Canal is a great way to see Ottawa. The 2-3 hour journey (on skates) passes Parliament Hill and Downtown Ottawa.

17. British Columbia’s Forest Land Is Larger Than France

Around two-thirds of British Columbia is covered by trees. That’s about 238 143 square miles of forest land, which is just over 25 000 square miles larger than the country of France

One of the more known facts about Canada is that the country has a massive logging and forestry industry. But few people know that British Columbia is where most of Canada’s logging business happens. 

BC’s forests are mostly populated by coniferous (softwood) species such as spruce and pine trees, which make up about 90% of BC’s forests.

18. Canada Is the World’s Most Educated Country

One of the perks of living in Canada is that education is available and accessible. Because of this, Canada boasts the title of the “most educated country in the world.” This means that out of all countries, the Canadian population has more university and college degrees per person.

University is far less expensive in Canada than in other developed countries, and acceptance to Canadian universities is heavily based on grades rather than extra-curricular activity, as opposed to systems in the United States. These factors encourage more individuals to pursue tertiary education.

Santa Claus Photo

19. Santa Claus Technically Lives in Canada

This has got to be one of the most fun facts about Canada. Although many northern countries have claimed to be home to Santa, if you were to send a letter to Santa Claus addressed 1 North Pole, it would technically be delivered to Canada. 

The closest inhabited territory to the North Pole is Nunavut, which is undoubtedly a part of Canada.

In fact, in 2008, Santa Claus was declared an official citizen of Canada by the Canadian Minister of Immigration. Santa Claus and his wife, Mrs. Claus, even have Canadian passports.

20. Canada’s Hudson Bay Has Less Gravity Than Anywhere Else on Earth

You won’t find yourself bouncing around and floating off the ground, but if you remember to bring your bathroom scale to Hudson Bay, you might find yourself a little lighter than usual. That’s because the gravitational force is very slightly weaker in this area. 

There are a few geophysics theories about why this is true, and you might want to brush up on your physics before diving in.

The bottom line is that a massive glacier called the Laurentide Ice Sheet once compressed the mass of earth beneath it, displacing some of the lands. This absence of mass has resulted in a lower gravitational force.

Outdoors Ice Hockey in Canada

21. Ice Hockey Is Canada’s National Sport

While this may be a well-known fact about Canada, only a few countries in the world put such emphasis on their national winter sport. Ice Hockey was declared Canada’s winter sport in 1994; however, it is played all year round throughout the country.

Although variations of stick and ball games, both on ice and off, can be traced back to early human communities, the contemporary version of ice hockey was born in Montreal. The city of Montreal, in Quebec, also hosted the first-ever game of indoor ice hockey in 1875.

22. Canada Is Home to a Supervolcano

There are only about 12 supervolcanos on earth, and Canada’s Blake River Megacaldera Complex is one of them. The complex spans the border of Quebec and Ontario and consists of many calderas, dikes, and vents.

Although the BRMCC is not considered to be dormant, supervolcanos very rarely erupt, and scientists have been closely monitoring the geological wonder for decades. The supervolcano is about 2.7 billion years old and last erupted 2.6 billion years ago.

T-rex Skeleton at a Museum

23. The World’s Largest T-Rex Skeleton Was Found in Saskatchewan

Scotty, the world’s largest T-Rex skeleton, was found in Saskatchewan in 1991. It took paleontologists 20 years to prepare and complete the fossil, which was revealed to the public in 2011. 

The 68 million-year-old fossil stands 13 feet tall and 39 feet long. Scotty is estimated to have weighed an incredible 6 tonnes. 

Many scientists disagree that Scotty can be named the largest T-Rex ever found because of a close competitor named Sue. The fossil of Sue the T-Rex is almost identical to Scotty, making it hard to confirm. 

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Poutine in Canada

24. Canada’s National Dish Is Poutine

Of course, a hearty and warming dish is the best way to beat Canada’s cold. The name “Poutine” says it all; it means “a mess” in Quebec slang. This Canadian food is made from french fries, gravy, and cheese curds. 

Traditionally the gravy is a simple combination of chicken or beef stock, ground pepper, cornstarch, butter, and water. But due to the multitude of cultures influencing Canadian food, you’ll find a few variations (none of which are suitable for the carb-conscious).

Poutine has been around since the 1950s and was made the official national dish of Canada due to its popularity.

25. Canada Has Two Official Languages

English and French are Canada’s two official languages. While English is the most widely spoken language in Canada, there are many communities in which French is spoken.

Quebec is the only primarily Francophone province, however, if you picked up French in Paris, it may not be enough to get you through.

Quebecois French and the accent that comes with it can be hard to follow; it is generally more informal than the standard form of the language, and speakers use many unique idioms and expressions.

Although there are a few bilingual provinces, New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province where both English and French are recognized equally.

The Canadian Flag

26. The National Colors of Canada Symbolize its History

The red and white colors of the Canadian Flag symbolize England (red) and France (white).

In 1921, these red and white were declared the national colors of Canada by King George V. Although this may be the official history, Canadians prefer to relate the colors to their country’s natural features – the red of autumn leaves and the white representing snow.

The design of the flag dates back to the 1800s but the modern flag, unofficially named the “Maple Leaf,” was only adopted on the 15th of February, 1965. This day is celebrated as the National Flag of Canada Day.

27. There Are Five Uniquely Canadian Dog Breeds

Many good things have come from Canada, and a few of them come with wet noses and wagging tails. Although Canada is home to about 187 breeds of dogs, five of those are uniquely Canadian breeds. 

While you can find them just about anywhere these days, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Landseers, the Nova Scotia duck-tolling dog, and the Canadian Inuit dog all originated from Canada. 

Newfoundlands are the national dog of Canada. They were bred as companions to fishermen and are fantastic swimmers despite their size.

Poop Emoji Sign

28. In 2015, Canada Earned a World Record for Using the Poop Emoji

Yes, you read that correctly. In 2015 the Guinness World Records recognized Canada as the leading user of the “poop emoji.” It’s unclear whether Canada still holds that record today, but one has to wonder what Canada was experiencing in 2015.

According to 2022 statistics, around 32 million Canadians each actively use an average of six social media networks, of which Facebook is the leading platform with approximately 26 million users.

29. Many of the World’s Chart-Topping Musicians Are Canadian

Canada might seem to live in the shadows of the USA when it comes to superstars, but it is home to a significant number of well-known celebrities and chart-topping artists.

Musical icons such as Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morissette, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and David Foster are all Canadian artists who have paved the way for the next generation of music.

If the 2000s are more your scene, you might recognize Canadian stars like Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado, Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber, the Weeknd, and Drake. Quite the lineup, eh? 

Longest Coast Line in Canada

30. Canada Boasts the World’s Longest Coastline

While Canada is the second largest country in the world, after Russia, its coastline spans 151 thousand miles.

This impressive distance includes the coastlines of the country’s 36 563 offshore islands, which form part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, as well as the mainland coast.

Canada’s coast supports offshore industries such as fishing, oil and gas extraction, tourism, and more, which make up about 12% of the country’s economy.

Wrapping Up Facts About Canada

Hopefully, these 30 fun facts about Canada have inspired you to pack your bags and head somewhere new. Whether you’d prefer to explore Canada’s Manitoba Province or dive into a hearty bowl of poutine, there’s something for everyone in this neck of North America.

30 Fun Facts About Canada That Will Blow Your Mind
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