Since I’m in Canada this week, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at America’s northern neighbor. There’s a bit of sibling rivalry between these two countries. Canadians love to talk about how unlike America they are, and Americans love to point out how much Canada is like us and tease how it’s really our 51st state. But, really, we love each other. The countries share a huge border, do a lot of economic trade, and share a lot of culture—movies, music, theater, and sports. We’re connected even if we often try to pretend we aren’t. I often joke to my Canadian friends about how they’re “little America,” but I really love Canada. It’s a beautiful, nice, and fun country. Here are some interesting facts about this must-see but rarely visited country:
The 5,525 miles, including 1,538 miles between Canada and Alaska, between Canada and the United States is the world’s longest border.
Canada did not have a national flag until February 15, 1965, when its maple leaf flag was adopted by parliament.
At 3,855,103 square miles, Canada is the second largest country in the world, behind Russia.
Alert, in Nunavut territory, is the northernmost settlement in the world.
The modern game of ice hockey was developed in Canada with the rules first published in the Montreal Gazette in 1877.
The capital city, Ottawa (which is one of my favorites), was originally named Bytown and was the deadliest city in North America because of the violent nature of the loggers.
Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world at 151,600 miles.
Canada also contains 9% of the world’s water supply.
Tensions between French Canada and English Canada boiled over in October 1970, when the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ) kidnapped the UK Trade Commissioner. The army had to be called in to put an end to the revolt.
Charles Fenerty, a poet from Halifax, was the first person to use wood fibers to make paper.
Once upon a time, a black bear cub from Canada named Winnipeg was one of the most popular attractions at the London Zoo. Winnie, as she was called, became a favorite of Christopher Robin Milne and inspired his father, A.A. Milne, to write a book about a Pooh Bear named Winnie and his friend, Christopher Robin.
Manitou Lake on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron is the world’s largest lake within a lake.
Canada’s name comes from a St. Lawrence Iroquoian word, “kanata,” which means “village” or “settlement.”
Canada is the largest producer of a refreshingly sweet dessert wine called icewine.
William Shatner is Canadian.
So is Avril Lavigne.
As is Celine Dion, whose heart will always go on.
Canada is also home to the world’s smallest jail, located in Ontario. It’s only 270 square feet.
Toronto dwellers hold more university degrees than any other big city in the world.
Canada has just one desert, located in British Columbia. The desert is only 15 miles long.
In 1883, the baseball glove was invented in Canada.
In 1962, research scientist Edward Asselbergs created dehydrated potato flakes while working for the Department of Agriculture in Ottawa.
The narrowest house in North America is 6 Donnacona Street in Quebec City and is only 3.7 meters wide.
While grieving the loss of his wife in 1913, Gideon Sundback designed the modern zipper.
In 1929, marine scientist Archibald Huntsman invented “ice fillets,” the first quick-frozen food.
There are more doughnut shops per capita in Canada than any other country.
Canada has more inland waters and lakes than any other country in the world.
The literacy rate in Canada is over 99%.
The majority of Canadians live within 150 miles of the US border.
Justin Bieber is Canadian.
For more information on Canada, including places to go, things to do, and costs, visit my guide to Canadian travel and learn more now.