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20 Facts about Canada You Probably Haven’t Heard of Before
Canada is the second largest country in the world, and that alone tells us that there’s more to uncover than just maple syrup and freezing winters. From immigration rates to the Beaver wars, Canada has more interesting facts than you would normally hear.
So let’s get right to it!
1. It has the longest coastline in the world.
Where land meets the sea for approximately 243,042 km, Canada sits at the top for the longest coastline in the world. To emphasize its impressive length, the coastline from the second to the eighth longest won’t even add up to Canada’s coastline.
And if you’re lucky, you might create footprints on the sand during a relaxing stroll somewhere within the coastline.
2. It has the longest street in the world, Yonge Street.
The last thing you want to do is chase pavements at Yonge Street in Toronto because you’ll have to cover a whopping 56 kilometres of cement and asphalt. It’s the longest street in the world, and you can enjoy a great time exploring its entire stretch.
It has all sorts of attractions, shopping malls, restaurants, cafes and specialty shops on both sides of the street. One can even say that it has become the cultural hallway of Toronto.
3. It has the longest skating rink in the world.
Every winter in Ontario, Canada, a seemingly normal-looking canal transforms into the 7.8-kilometre Rideau Canal Skateway a.k.a. the longest naturally frozen skating rink in the world.
The skating rink stretches to a length where 90 Olympic-sized hockey rinks can easily fit. On that note, it can comfortably accommodate 20,000 people every day in the winter.
Besides the complete amenities available and safety measures placed, you can skate on this long strip of ice for free!
4. The longest national highway, well, a close second.
The longest national highway is not in Canada, but the second longest is. It’s called the Trans-Canada Highway, and it runs a length of 7,821 km across the country, which is only 6,679km shy of the Australia Highway 1 — second is still long.
It passes through ten of Canada’s provinces, from Victoria, British Columbia, and St. John’s to Newfoundland and Labrador. And if you attempt to drive the entire highway, it would take you 106 hours of pure driving — petrol stops included.
5. Not only the longest, but also the largest underground shopping complex.
Looking like it was straight out of a highly advanced post-apocalyptic society or a really developed version of Ember City, PATH Underground Shopping Mall is the largest underground shopping complex in the world.
With roughly 4,000,000 square feet of retail space, it’s basically an underground network that connects about 1,200 shops and 50 offices and large buildings.
Get lost in a maze of walkways, explore restaurants, cafes, and fashion stores, or plan out the best possible itinerary by going to PATH’s official website.
6. Hudson Bay has less gravity.
Decades after decades, the Hudson Bay has left scientists and people with jaws on the floor and has intensified head-scratching. Nobody could figure out why Hudson Bay has less gravity than the rest of the world.
Yes, you read that right, Hudson Bay has less gravity, and you’ll probably weigh the lightest if you visit this area.
40 years later, scientists stated that during the ice age, a massive glacier known as the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered the entire country of Canada. When the ice finally melted, the earth bounced back.
Gravity decreased as the mass of the rock decreased. And presto! We got ourselves an anomaly.
7. It is one of the largest producer of uranium.
Uranium is a naturally occurring radioactive element that is used to fuel nuclear reactors. Canada is a major uranium producer in the world.
For many years, Canada was the world’s largest uranium producer, accounting for about 22% of global output, but it was dethroned in 2009 by Kazakhstan. Now, Canada produces roughly around 13% of the total global output.
At the moment, all active uranium mines and mills in Canada are in northern Saskatchewan. So don’t worry if you happen to see a gaping crater during a drive around Saskatchewan.
8. It is the largest producer of a rare element called cesium.
Cesium is a rare mineral that can only be found in extremely fractionated lithium pegmatites. It is a relatively unknown alkali element with enormous potential for new applications, particularly aerospace advancements.
It’s so scarce that world consumption is estimated to be less than 50,000 kilograms per year, with nearly half consumed in the United States. And the United States relies on Canada for all of its cesium.
So don’t feel bad if you don’t get to walk into a store and buy a gram of cesium since it’s mostly used for technological advancements.
9. It has one of the highest immigration rates in the world
Canada is known to be one of the countries to welcome immigrants with open arms and a variety of opportunities. It’s a win-win situation for both parties; one gets a new home and life, and the other benefits from economic and population growth.
The Canadian federal government announced a plan to admit 500,000 new immigrants per year by 2025, with nearly 1.5 million new arrivals expected over the next three years.
10. It holds 20% of the world’s freshwater.
As big as the earth is, Canada has 20% of the world’s freshwater reserves. The majority of freshwater exists as fossil water in glaciers, underground aquifers, and lakes.
This has pushed the federal government to establish a Canadian agency dedicated to water management across the country since 2020.
With climate, politics, and the general public’s opinion coming into play, this fact leads to controversial matters.
11. Canada has a 99% literacy rate.
Being able to read and write plays a critical role in one’s life, especially as an adult determining a career path.
Recent data for 2022 shows that Canada has a high literacy rate of 99.00%. It also helps that Canada reigns superior as the most educated country in the world.
Many adults or out-of-school individuals can also apply for continuing education to further develop and grow.
12. 77% of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Quebec.
We did mention not to limit your knowledge of Canada to just maple syrup, but when Quebec basically monopolizes 77% of the world’s maple syrup production, recognition is a must.
And, under Canadian law, the province’s 7,300 syrup producers have formed a quasi-cartel called the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ), which has tightly regulated syrup production and marketing since 1989 — a maple syrup pact.
13. Beaver Wars
Yes, it’s called Beaver Wars, and no, it’s not a war between beavers.
Also called the Iroquois Wars, the Beaver Wars were a series of 17th-century conflicts involving the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, numerous other First Nations, and French colonial forces. The competitive fur trade — Beaver felts — was at the root of the wars.
A tragic history for Canadians and beavers, too, since it’s the country’s national animal.
14. Quebec Wall
In North America’s entirety, Quebec is the only walled city that spans about 4.6 kilometres. It was built in the 17th century to defend against attacks from British Forces.
Throughout the years, they improved the walls even more. They have been well preserved and are now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
15. Loonie Toonie
Loonie and toonies are fun-sounding names for the Canadian dollar and two-dollar coins. It’s dubbed “Loonies” because the standard design features the bird known as a Loon, and toonies because there are two (two-nie).
16. Ogopogo Mythology
Ogopogo’s legend dates back long before European settlers arrived in the Okanagan Valley. Early settlers reported sightings in the mid-to-late 1800s.
Ogopogo is to Kelowna what Nessie is to Loch Ness. Myth or not, both have reports of sightings.
It’s been described as a multi-humped serpentine beast with green or black skin and a horse, snake, or sheep’s head. A 15-foot creature lurks in Okanagan Lake’s depths.
Icewine has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Ontario, Canada is known for producing some of the world’s best icewine. Grapes for Icewine are left on the vine until it freezes and pressed before it thaws.
As a result, the juice is high in sugar and acid, and it’s concentrated with rich, delicious flavours.
18. Hawaiian Pizza is from Canada.
Believe it or not, the famous and controversial Hawaiian pizza wasn’t invented in Hawaii or Italy. In fact, this pizza variant was actually created in Canada in 1962 by a Greek immigrant called Sam Panopoulos.
The ham and pineapple topping combo has had a fair share of haters and supporters because of the “offensive” combination.
19. Canadian Hollywood Stars
There are a lot of famous Hollywood stars that just happen to be Canadian, too — a lot of A-listers at that.
They’ve got both Ryans, Reynolds and Gosling, the Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, The Time Traveler’s Wife Rachel McAdams, the star of The Truman Show Jim Carey, and many more.
Most of them play American roles, so it’s not easy to spot them based on their movies or shows. But behind the screen, they might utter the famous “eh” during casual conversations.
20. Famous Canadian Musicians
Your Hotline Bling operator Drake is, in fact, Canadian, along with many famous musicians.
The one and only Celine Dion; the billion-view Baby singer Justin Bieber; the pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne; the man who can’t feel his face, The Weeknd, the guy who can treat you better, Shawn Mendes, and many more!
Canada doesn’t seem to fall short of its share of famous and talented celebrities.