150 Facts About Canada for Canada’s Sesquicentennial

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Can you believe 2017 marks Canada’s 150th birthday? You can bet there will be a lot of celebrations going on around the country. Even our friends at Disney Parks will be celebrating at Epcot’s Canada Pavilion. From now until July 1, 2017, Walt Disney World Resort Guests who answer a fun trivia question about Canada can receive a commemorative Celebrating Canada’s 150th button.

“What has been really fun is watching our Canadian Guests spotting each other in our Parks, talking about their hometowns and making that connection,” says Marlie Morrison, Managing Director, Disney Parks (Canada). She adds, “While the buttons are designed as an entertaining souvenir for our Canadian Guest, anyone can join in and receive one by answering a trivia question.”

We love the souvenir buttons from Disney Parks, including them in our list of free and inexpensive park souvenirs.

family travel 150 canada facts Epcot Disney World free pin image

Of course we don’t know what the random trivia questions will be but we wanted to share a few fun and interesting facts about Canada. 150 facts to be exact:

  1. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving the second Monday in October, earlier than our American counterparts.
  2. ‘Eh’ isn’t just placed anywhere in a sentence but at the end as a form of confirmation or agreement
  3. The Canada-US border is the longest international border in the world
  4. The Canadarm (a robotic arm used in space to repair, capture and deploy satellites as well as aiding in positioning astronauts) is names due to its development by Canadian scientists.
  5. Canada has its own version of the Loch Ness Monster, Ogopogo, a sea creature located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake.
  6. If you have comic fans in your home you’ve probably heard of Wolverine. Did you know he’s Canadian? Yup, from Alberta.
  7. Canada replaced it’s one-dollar bill in 1987 with a coin, it was called the loonie due to the image of the Loon on one side. The toonie coin appeared in 1996 to replace the two-dollar bill.
  8. Montreal (Quebec) is the fourth largest French speaking city in the world, after Paris, Kinshasa (DR), and Abidjan (Ivory Coast), though it is believed to be the most Eurpoean-looking
  9. The underground railroad, which wasn’t actually a railroad, did provide safe passage for enslaved African Americans into Canada.
  10. The game of basketball can trace its roots back to Canada and its inventor, Dr. James Naismith.
  11. Canadians love their hockey so much they are on record as having the largest hockey stick in the world.
  12. You can’t escape winter in Canada so might as well embrace it with the largest snow maze, created in 2015 in Thunder Bay. Sadly, this was created as a one-time project.
  13. You owe your IMAX movie experience to Canadian filmmakers and engineers.
  14. Pancakes are so much sweeter thanks to Canada’s contribution. The country produces over 70% of the world’s maple syrup (90% from Quebec).
  15. Canada has a direct line to Santa, enabling kids to send a note to the man in red at North Pole, Ho Ho Ho during the holiday season. No postage required.
  16. Lovable childhood character Winnie the Pooh is based on a real bear from Winnipeg (Manitoba)
  17. The Capilano Suspension Bridge (British Columbia) spans 450 feet across and 230 feet above the Capilano River and can hold the weight of 98 full grown elephants.
  18. Canada is known to have two different national sports depending on the season: winter is for Ice hockey and summer is for lacrosse
  19. The ice burgs that make their way down from the Arctic to Newfoundland and Labrador are used to make Iceberg Water and as well as spirits (vodka, gin, rum and beer)
  20. License plates in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are in the shape of polar bears
  21. Canada has more than lakes than all other countries combined, representing 60% of the world’s lakes
  22. Ottawa (Ontario) is one of the coldest capitals in the world
  23. Lloydminster (Alberta) is home to the world’s largest sundial
  24. Banff National Park (Alberta) is home to a natural bridge for bears only that runs over a highway
  25. Canada has two official languages, English and French
  26. Membership into of the Dawson City (Yukon) Sourtoe Cocktail Club is a simple as one cocktail drink away. A cocktail that consists of a dehydrated toe
  27. Vancouver (British Columbia) Stanley Park is bigger than New York, (New York)’s Central Park
  28. Magnetic Hill (New Brunswick) will enable will pull your car uphill
  29. Hawaiian Pizza, a favourite with my kids, was created by a restaurateur in Chatham (Ontario)
  30. Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick) has the world’s highest tides
  31. The Trans Canada Highway, running between Victoria (British Columbia) and St John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador), is reportedly the longest highway in the world
  32. West Edmonton Mall (Alberta) was once the world’s largest mall. It’s still the largest in the Americans though now it’s only the 6th largest in the world
  33. Beaver Tails are a favourite Canadian treat (at least in our family) consisting of a flat fried pastry drizzled with butter and cinnamon though you can get other toppings
  34. The annual Tulip Festival in Ottawa (Ontario) grew out of a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands sent every year as a thank you
  35. You can request one of the Canadian flags flown on Parliament Hill (for free) but you can expect a 54-year wait
  36. A toque is a Canadian word for a knit hat worn in winter
  37. In Churchill (Manitoba) the number of polar bears equals the number of residents
  38. Although Queen Elizabeth no longer reign’s over Canada, she is still the Canadian Head of State
  39. A Bluenoser is a term used for people, like myself, who are from Nova Scotia and is based on the famous schooner
  40. In Canada the bathroom is called the washroom
  41. Manitoulin (Ontario) is the largest fresh water island in the world
  42. Collingwood (Ontario) is home to the largest Elvis festival in the world, bring fans and impersonators together to celebrate the king. Thank you, thank you very much.
  43. The delicious treat of custard, chocolate and a coconut-graham crust is named after it’s city of origin, Nanaimo (British Columbia). One of my favourites.
  44. There’s an annual contest held to pay homage to the Canada’s best restroom, the 2016 winner was an ESSO gas station in Alberta.
  45. The Sudbury Basin, 130 km in diameter, is believed to have been created by the impact from a 10 km meteor.
  46. You can see the Northern Lights from Northern Ontario.
  47. Forget traveling to the Dead Sea for a float, the Little Manitou Lake’s salt content makes the water extremely buoyant.
  48. Comedian Leslie Neilson’s brother “Yukon Erik” was Deputy Prime Minister between 1984 to 1986.
  49. Alice Munro (Wingham, Ontario) won the Nobel Peace Prize for literature in 2013
  50. Enjoy an ice cream flavor based on the province you visit.
  51. In the summer Canadians like to enjoy Feezies, a frozen mixture of sugar and water in a clear plastic tube.
  52. The Canadian provide of PEI. only has two cities (Charlottetown and Summerside) but 33 golf courses.
  53. There is no official pledge to the Canadian flag.
  54. The first organized indoor hockey game was played at the Victoria Skating rink (Montreal, Quebec) in 1875.
  55. The province of Quebec is home to the world famous Cirque du Soleil.
  56. Comic superhero Superman was co-created by Canadian artist Joseph Schuster
  57. PEI (Prince Edward Island) is the country’s only province without a land boundary and offers up over 90 sandy beaches
  58. The Elgin Street theatre (Ottawa, Ontario) was the first to include two movie screens offering guests to option to choose between two films at one location. Closed in 1994.
  59. The Brock Commons Residence, part of the University of British Columbia’s student housing, is set to be the world’s tallest wood building. The initiative is said to aid in fighting climate change.
  60. It is estimated that about 75% of the Canadian population lives 161 kilometers (100 miles) from the U.S. border.
  61. Ketchup chips, Jos Lois, Coffee Crisp chocolate bars, and Maple Leaf cookies are a few snack foods you’ll find in Canadian grocery store aisles.
  62. The Chateau Frontenac (Quebec City, Quebec) is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the most photographed hotel in the world.
  63. Travel Canada from coast to coast and you cross 6 time zones.
  64. Ceremonial changing of the guard isn’t just reserved for the Queen. Every summer morning, June to August at 10 a.m., guests can witness the music and pageantry of the changing of the guard on Parliament Hill (Ottawa, Ontario).
  65. Gaelic language and culture have been part of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia since the 1700’s. You can learn to speak Gaelic online as part of a online video lesson series offered by the Gaelic College (Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia).
  66. Gros Morne National Park offers up one of the few places in the world where you can walk on the Earth’s mantle crust.
  67. Ride down Blue Mountain (Ontario) on the Ridge Runner outdoor sled coaster.
  68. Made from frozen grapes, southern Ontario is known for its Ice wine production.
  69. Skate one of the largest outdoor skating rinks in the world on the Rideau Canal Skateway.
  70. Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada that does not participate in Daylight Savings Time.
  71. Until 2012 the shape of the license plates in Nunuvat was in the shape of a polar bear.
  72. Winnipeg, Manitoba intersection Portage Avenue and Main Street is rumoured to be one of the windiest and coldest in Canada. Even Randy Bachman and Neil Young agree.
  73. Don’t like putting your fingers in those bowling ball holes? Try Canadian created 5-pin bowling with smaller pins and a smaller no-finger-hole bowling ball.
  74. The province of Newfoundland is affectionately known as “the rock” (no connection to the actor).
  75. Canada has 7 NHL teams, 3 in the Easter Conference and 4 in the Western Conference.
  76. Become an honorary Newfoundlander during a Screech-In ceremony.
  77. Victoria’s Chinatown (Vancouver Island, British Columbia) is the largest in Canada and the second largest in North America, after San Francisco.
  78. Colour not color. Neighbour not neighbor. Candour no candor. As Canadians we tend to follow the British way of spelling some words.
  79. Enjoy an Empress Cake while having high tea at Victoria’s famed Empress Tea Room, serving since 1908.
  80. Set your clock by the Old Clock Tower, telling time since 1803. (Halifax, Nova Scotia).
  81. Pekwachnamaykoskwaskwaypinwanik Lake, Manitoba holds the record for the longest place name in Canada.
  82. Visit the world’s first UFO landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta.
  83. Visit the tallest treehouse in British Columbia’s Enchanted Forest, standing at over 50 feet into the forest canopy.
  84. Some celebrity musicians who are Canadian: Avril Lavigne (Bellville, Ontario), Drake (Toronto, Ontario), the Guess Who (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Oscar Peterson (Montreal, Quebec), and Paul Shaffer (Fort William, Ontario).
  85. Visit Montreal (Quebec)’s large orange to sip some Orange Julep, a creamy orange drink (one of our favourite treats).
  86. Toronto, Ontario consists of many strong ethnic communities, giving people a taste, sight and splash of world culture in one place.
  87. From dinosaurs to Easter eggs, make a road trip to see some of Canada’s BIG roadside attractions.
  88. Dip your toes in PEI’s red sand beaches, coloured this way due to the sandstone cliffs on the edge of the island.
  89. Canada is thought of as the Great White North though it’s southern most city (Windsor, Ontario) is further south than Washington, Montana, North AND South Dakota to name a few.
  90. Vancouver, British Columbia is known for its Cherry Blossom Festival but a grand display of cherry blossoms can also be seen in Toronto, Ontario’s High Park.
  91. Spotted Lake (Osoyoos, British Columbia) gets its name during the hot, dry summer months when the natural pools evaporate, causing the water to change colour and leaving behind deposits of salt. The result looks like a polka dot landscape.
  92. Spend the night in jail, or rather the Jail Hostel in Ottawa, a 150-year old former jail converted into a one of a kind bed and breakfast experience.
  93. You can stand 280 metres over waterfalls and valleys formed by glaciers on the Glacier Skywalk glass-floored observation platform (Alberta).
  94. The Cliffwalk at Capilano suspension Bridge Park lets guests get a bird’s eye view of the Capilano River on a series of cantilevered and suspended walkways extended out from the granite cliff face.
  95. Discover the variety of totem poles in British Columbia.
  96. Environmental group, Greenpeace, originated in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1971 as a means to stop a US nuclear weapons test off of the coast of Alaska.
  97. Snowking’s Winter Festival in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories consists of a huge castle made entirely of snow and host, hosting anything from a children’s play or an arts exhibit to a viewing space for a film festival or a dance club.
  98. Canadians consume more Mac & Cheese then another other country in the world.
  99. When in season you can grab a taste of the Maritimes at your local McDonalds with a MacLobster sandwich.
  100. British Columbia is home many natural hot springs that you can enjoy.
  101. It may not be Hawaii but you can still find some great surfing spots in Canada.
  102. The Great Trail connects travelers across thirteen provinces and territories with over 21km of trail to ride, hike, cycle or other non-car way of movement.
  103. Walk the Halifax downtown boardwalk, one of the world’s longest.
  104. In 2007 the Royal Canadian Mint produced the world’s first million dollar coin weighing 100kg of 99 999 pure gold bullion.
  105. Ottawa, Ontario, the capital city of Canada was originally known as Bytown before it was renamed by Queen Victoria in 1855.
  106. Those chewy wine gums, Swedish Fish, are made in Hamilton, Ontario
  107. You won’t find a Bloody Mary in a Canadian bar. Instead you’ll have to settle for the often opulently garnished 1969 Calgary, Alberta creation of the Caesar.
  108. Although there were a number of flags used throughout Canada’s history, the current single maple leaf between two red borders was adopted as the country’s national flag in the 1965.
  109. Iceberg Alley along the coast of Newfoundland offers a parade of icebergs in the spring.
  110. The beaver played an important part of creating Canada due to the expanding fur trading expeditions sent deeper into the country to find beaver pelts. It wasn’t until a private member’s bill in 1975 that the beaver became the official animal of Canada.
  111. Amelia Earhart, when visiting her sister Muriel in Toronto, Ontario in 1917, took up a nursing job at the Spadina Military Hospital.
  112. Kim Campbell became the first female Prime Minister of Canada in 1993 but her tenure only lasted about 6 months.
  113. Some screen celebrities who are actually Canadian: Joshua Jackson (Vancouver, British Columbia), Ellen Page (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Nia Vardalos (Winnipeg, Manitoba), James Cameron (Kapuskasing, Ontario), and William Shatner (Cote Saint-Luc, Quebec)
  114. The Canadian flag is twice as long as it is wide.
  115. You may know caribou as an animal but it is also a drink consumed at the Quebec Winter Carnival consisting of red wine, whisky, cloves and maple syrup.
  116. Every province and territory in Canada has its own flag.
  117. Fredrick Banting (Alliston, Ontario) won a Nobel Peace Prize in medicine for his co-discovery of insulin and its therapeutic uses.
  118. Canada has been host to the Olympics 3 times: summer 1976 (Montreal, Quebec), winter 1988 (Calgary, Alberta), winter 2010 (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  119. The Stanley Cup was a trophy created in 1892 by Lord Stanley of Preston to award the champion hockey team in Canada.
  120. Before being named Toronto (Ontario) in 1834, the city was formally known as the City of York.
  121. Calgary, Alberta is noted as the sunniest city in Canada, receiving roughly 2,396 hours a year.
  122. Fish Creek Provincial Park (Calgary, Alberta) is listed as the largest urban park in Canada, three times the size of Vancouver (British Columbia)’s Stanley Park.
  123. Nahanni National Park (Northwest Territories) was Canada’s first UNESCO world heritage site with 80% of the area is unmapped or unexplored. You can also get your FREE Discover Pass in 2017 to visit this park.
  124. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories is home to the world’s largest new diamond mine.
  125. Canada is bigger than the European Union.
  126. Historic Quebec City, Quebec is the only city in North America surrounded by a fortified wall.
  127. Canadians take their poutine serious enough that it has its own food festival, Poutine Fest, in Ottawa (Ontario).
  128. Sorry Canadians are so apologetic.
  129. Canada offers drivers many scenic routes including the Cabot Trail (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia), Viking Trail (Newfoundland), and the Sea to Sky Highway (British Columbia).
  130. The Kootenay Lake Ferry between Balfour and Kootenay Bay is listed as the longest ferry ride in the world traveling 8 kilometers and taking 35 minutes.
  131. A unique Canadian winter spot is Skijoring, a cross between dog sledding and cross country skiing, where dogs pull you on your skis.
  132. Elder Ducks, the largest ducks in North America, can be found in Baffin Island, Nunavut.
  133. You can explore the nooks and crannies of caves not far from the city center of Toronto, Ontario.
  134. The Canadian Museum of History (Ottawa, Ontario) is the most visited museum in Canada.
  135. Although Canada communicates and provides services in both English and French, New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province.
  136. Canadian children can write letters to Santa simply addressed North Pole, Ho Ho Ho (no postage required) and they will be answered by Canada Post volunteers.
  137. Canadian distiller Iceberg Vodka (Newfoundland) harvests the water from icebergs that break off from glaciers up north.
  138. Famous Canadian artists include Emily Carr and the Group of Seven.
  139. Toronto (Ontario) and Vancouver (British Columbia) are nicknamed Hollywood North as they stand in as the background for US cities in many films.
  140. The Hotel de Glace (Quebec City, Quebec) is the only ice hotel in North America and takes about 30 thousand tons of snow to build.
  141. Roads made of ice are created in the winter months in the Northwest Territories as the only way to connect more remote communities.
  142. The High Level Bridge Streetcar (Edmonton, Alberta) build in 1912 is the highest in the world.
  143. Lake Superior represents about 10 per cent of the world’s freshwater.
  144. If the weather is cold enough you might be lucky enough to visit the Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands.
  145. Lake Erie may be home to the sea monster Bessie.
  146. Canada shares many of the Great Lakes with the US
  147. Kitsilano Pool (Vancouver, British Columbia) is the longest outdoor saltwater swimming pool, almost three times longer than an Olympic pool.
  148. Niagara Falls is a collection of three falls that straddle the border between US and Canada.
  149. Savour Canada’s sweet treat, the butter tart, at Ontario’s Butter Tart Festival.
  150. Although Canada is only slightly bigger than its southern neighbour the United States, the former has roughly 11 per cent more people.

So, any surprising facts for you in this list? Know a fact we didn’t include, leave it in the comments below. How will you be celebrating #Canada150 this year?

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