Canada is a captivating country not only because of its picture-perfect natural beauty but also because of its intriguing culture. The country proudly hosts various cultures from around the globe, making it one of the most diverse countries in the world. Red and white may be the official colors of Canada, but the country’s colorful history reflects Canadian customs and traditions even today. From funny Canadian laws to celebrities and tv shows you might not know were based in Canada, here are 38 interesting facts about Canada culture.
1. Geographical Facts About Canada
1.1. Basic Information
Canada ranks second regarding the country’s largest area in terms of land. Canada has provinces instead of States, namely, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia. Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon are territories rather than provinces of Canada.
Canada’s capital city is Ottawa in Ontario, near the border of the United States of America and Montreal on the Ottawa River.
Canada has the most lakes in the world, with Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories being two of the largest lakes in the world.
Canada’s most famous mountain ranges include the Rocky Mountains, the Coast Mountains, the Torngat Mountains, the Laurentians, St. Elias Mountains, and Mackenzie Mountains.
1.2. Canada’s Name
The country name Canada is derived from the word Kanata from Huron-Iroquois Indian language, meaning ‘settlement’ or ‘village.’ The French explorer Jacques Cartier was the first to refer to the country as Canada in 1535. Canada as a country started appearing on maps in 1547.
1.3. Population of Canada
Canada may be the second largest country in the world, followed by Russia, but like Russia, most of its land (about 90%) is uninhabited. Compared to America, the country’s entire population comes to just 11%.
The majority of the population in Canada lives within a 200 km radius of the United States of America. The most populated provinces of Canada are Toronto in Ontario, Montreal in Quebec, Vancouver in British Columbia, and Calgary in Alberta. The least populated region is Nunavut in Canada. The largest island in the world that is uninhabited is in Nunavut, Devon Island, Buffin Bay.
1.4. Languages in Canada
The French and the British are well-known colonizers of Canada. Both cultures have had a heavy influence on the country. The two most popularly spoken languages in Canada are English and French. Quebec has a better concentration of French-speaking people, followed by New Brunswick. Signposts in Canada are in the two official languages of English and French.
Since Canada is a multicultural country, other widely spoken languages here are Chinese languages, Punjabi, Italian, German, Arabic, Spanish, and Tagalog.
Also, Indigenous peoples speak many indigenous cultural languages, such as Inuktitut, Cree, Inuvialuktun, Gwich’in, Dené or Chipewyan, and more.
1.5. Canada’s Coastline
Canada’s coastline is the most far-reaching in the world. The coastline spans about 125,500 miles. The oceans surrounding the country are the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific oceans. It would take about five years to complete a full-round walk along the Canadian coastline border. This excludes the time for resting and eating.
Between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia lies the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy is well-known for the world’s highest tides. These tides can rise to 40 feet or 12 meters in height.
1.6. Largest Freshwater Island and Beach
The world’s largest freshwater island is in Canada. Manitoulin Island in Ontario is located near Lake Huron in the Georgian Bay area. The place is a popular tourist spot. People can explore the indigenous ways of life of the First Nations people in the Great Spirit Circle Trails.
Besides having the largest freshwater island, Canada also has the widest freshwater beach in the world, located at Lake Huron. It is Wasaga Beach in Ontario. Sauble Beach is the second widest freshwater beach in the world and is also located in Ontario.
Canada also houses three out of the list of largest islands in the world. These are Victoria Island, Ellesmere Island, and Baffin island.
1.7. National Parks
Canada has many national parks, out of which over 30 are bigger than many countries worldwide.
In 1885, the Banff National Park was the first established in the country. The Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada’s largest national park and the second-largest worldwide. The national park is bigger than the countries of Switzerland, Netherlands, and Denmark. It spans from northeast Alberta to the southern parts of the Northwest Territories. The park is home to wood bison and other animals.
1.8. National Animal
The beaver is the national animal of Canada. They are featured on the Canadian nickel. Beavers almost became extinct because of the hunt for their furs for the fur trade. Their pelts were traded and were a symbol of power. Then they were declared the national animal in 1975.
The Beaver Wars were fought in Canada by the Iroquois and their rivals in the 1600s. They wanted to be at the top of the fur trading game and asked England for help, whereas the rivals turned to France for aid. The brutal war ended in a draw.
1.9. National Sport
Canada has two national sports, Ice Hockey and Lacrosse. Lacrosse originated with the First Nations people who played it in the 1600s. The sport was declared the national sport of Canada in 1994. Lacrosse is mostly played during summer, whereas Ice Hockey is a pure winter sport.
1.10. Canadian Border with the United States of America
The Canada-U.S.A border is the longest unprotected border in the world at 5,525 miles. Canada bordering Alaska is at 1,538 miles itself. The Haskell Free Library and Opera House is built between the borders of Derby Line in Vermont and Stanstead in Quebec.
1.11. Longest Highway
Canada has the longest highway in the world. The Trans-Canada Highway spans from Atlantic Canada to Pacific Canada through all ten country provinces.
1.12. Walled City of Quebec
In 1608, Samuel de Chaplain founded Quebec City, one of the oldest cities in Canada. Quebec City is the only walled city north of Mexico in Canada. It is also known for being among the first cities in North America to be titled a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most French Canadians live in this city. Lunenburg in Nova Scotia is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
1.13. Polar Bears
More than 50% of the world’s population of polar bears reside in Churchill, northern Manitoba, and hence is known as the polar bear capital of the world. During winter, the polar bear is found roaming along Hudson Bay, frozen at that time. It has a polar bear prison. The place sometimes records more numbers of polar bears than the population of people. People staying in Churchill leave their homes and cars unlocked to escape in the face of a surprise visit by a polar bear.
The areas surrounding Churchill in Manitoba have less gravity than other parts of the world. So you might feel light on your feet if you visit Hudson Bay.
2. Food-related Facts About Canada
2.1. Maple Production
Canada’s massive maple syrup production is no mystery to the world, but did you know that 71% of all the world’s maple syrup comes from Quebec? Even more surprising is that out of 71% of the world’s maple syrup, 91% of the production occurs in Quebec itself. No wonder the Maple Leaf is the prime symbol of Canada.
2.2. Kraft Dinner
Canadian society loves eating mac n cheese, especially the one packaged in Kraft Dinner. It is peak Canadian culture. Canadians eat so much mac n cheese that out of the 7 million packages of Kraft Dinner sold each year around the globe, Canadians buy about 1.7 million. They beat their neighbors in the USA by 55% for consuming more mac n cheese than any other place in the world.
2.3. National Drink
The Caesar, also called the Bloody Caesar, is the national drink of Canada. It is a cocktail containing clam juice, tomato juice, spices, Worcestershire sauce, and vodka. It is served with lime, olives, or celery stalks garnished on the rim of highball glasses.
2.4. Sour Toe Cocktail
Dawson City in Yukon is known for a special drink called the Sour Toe Cocktail. The cocktail is made up of whiskey and, as the name suggests, a human toe. The toes are generously given by people who have lost their toes due to frostbite or other accidents. If you swallow the toe, you will get fined $2500, but you will also get a brand new toe to keep enjoying the drink.
3. Entertainment Facts About Canada
3.1. Santa Claus
Santa Claus is Canadian! The immigration minister of Canada stated in 2012 that Santa Claus was a Canadian citizen. That is also why the suit worn by Santa is red and white, the colors of the Canadian flag.
3.2. The sitcom Schitt’s Creek
The sitcom Schitt’s Creek follows the life of the Rose family as they go bankrupt and end up living in a town called Schitt’s Creek they bought as a joke. The multi-award-winning sitcom was created by Eugene Levy and Dan Levy and starred the creators and Catherine O’Hara, all famous Canadians. The sitcom was based and filmed in Canada.
3.3. Winnie The Pooh
Winnie The Pooh was created by the English author A. A. Milne. But the name of the iconic character was inspired by his son, Christopher. While on an excursion to the London Zoo, Christopher came across a black bear called Winnie because it was from Winnipeg. He named his bear based on it. Winnie The Pooh was named by Milne after his son’s bear.
3.4. Famous Canadian Actors and Actresses
Some famous actors and actresses you may not know are Canadian, namely Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Elliot Page, Keanu Reeves, Pamela Anderson, and Sandra Oh.
3.5. Famous Canadian Musicians
When recalling Canadian musicians, Justin Beiber, Shawn Mendes, and Drake are the names on the tip of our tongues. Some other musicians from Canada are Michael Buble, Celine Dion, Avril Lavine, Shania Twain, The Weeknd, and Neil Young.
3.6. Famous Canadian Comedians
Jim Carey, Seth Rogan, Howie Mendel, Mike Meyers, Martin Short, and Catherine O’Hara are famous comedians from Canada.
4. Exciting Canada Facts
4.1. Underground Shopping Mall
PATH Underground Shopping Mall holds the Guinness World Record for being the longest underground shopping complex. It is located in Toronto in, Canada. It connects metros and company towers through shopping areas, elevated walkways, and pedestrian tunnels. The pathways parallel Yonge Street and Bay Street in Toronto.
4.2. Canadian Money
Loonie is the name given to one Canadia Dollar coin. This comes from printing a loon, also known as waterfowl, on the side of the coin. There is also a toonie. The two-dollar coin is known as a toonie in Canada. This comes from the coin being two dollars, hence two-nie as in two loonies.
Canadian cash notes have braille prints to make them easier to manage for the visually impaired.
4.3. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls lies between Canada and the United States of America. It comprises three falls, and the best one, the Horseshoe Falls, is in Canada. Over 90% of the Niagara river flows through Horseshoe Falls. The other 10% flows through the two waterfalls in America, the Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls.
4.4. Oldest Water Pool
The oldest pool of water to be recorded in the world is present in a mine in Timmins, Ontario. It is located about two miles deep underground. Scientists have discovered that the pool has been around for over two billion years. The pool comprises water rich in minerals.
4.5. Constitutional Monarchy
Canada is a constitutional monarchy. Canada was a part of the British commonwealth country. It was under the rule of British colonizers for many years. Though at present, the British monarchy is still recognized in the Country of Canada.
Till 1982, Canada was legally obligated toward the British. This means that the British Parliament could make new or amend existing Canadian laws per their wishes. But in 1982, Canada requested and was given full power to overlook its laws and regulations.
Canada celebrates Canada Day or Dominion Day on 1 July every year to mark Canada being declared as a federal dominion with a federal government. The day is celebrated with fireworks, drinks, special foods, parties, and parades.
4.6. The Coldest Day in Canada
On the coldest day in Canada, record temperatures went below-63°C. It occurred in Snag in the northwest region of Yukon in Canada. The lowest average cold temperature in Canada is observed in Eureka in Nunavut. Here the temperature stays at, on average, approximately -19.7 °C throughout the year.
4.7. Viking History
Vikings came even before the French and the British could colonize Canada. Leif Erikson was the grandson of a Viking from Norwegia. He led the mission in 1000 AD. The rule was set up in Newfoundland, earlier known as Vinland, because of its great vineyards for wine production. It didn’t go on for long but shaped the culture of the native Inuit during that time.
4.8. Britain vs. United States of America
Canada was colonized by the British for a long time, but the United States of America is its neighbor. Both countries influence their culture.
Canada uses both the imperial system and metric systems for measurements. Their speed limits and lengths of everything are measured in meters, but their heights are declared in feet. Food and groceries are bought in kilograms, but individual weights are measured in pounds. The weather is measured in Celsius, but the cooking temperature is measured in Fahrenheit.
The same difference occurs when it comes to spelling. Canadians mostly use the British spelling with –ou- instead of just –o- and –re instead of –er. But for some words, the American spelling prevails.
Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian educator, invented basketball. In 1891, he explained the 13 rules of basketball for the first time to a YMCA in Springfield. This was when he had been teaching in Massachusetts.
4.10. Other Inventions originating from Canada
IMAX came about through the genius minds of three filmmakers from Canada in 1967, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and Graeme Ferguson.
The Superman comics originated in Canada by the Canadian Joe Shuster, who created it together with Jerry Siegel. Toronto Star was the inspiration behind The Daily Planet, and Toronto was the setting that inspired Metropolis.
In 1992, at the University of Toronto, insulin was discovered by Dr. Frederick Banting. Insulin was further researched and refined for commercial use by Bertram Collip, John Mcleod, Charles Best, and Fredrick Banting himself.
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. He wasn’t Canadian, but his workstation was based in Canada. His work often shifted between Baddeck in Nova Scotia, Brantford in Ontario, and Boston in Massachusetts.
4.11. Oil Resources
Canada is ranked fifth among all the oil producers in the world, particularly for crude oil. Canada contains about 176 million barrels of this black gold which is about 70% of all of Earth’s resources. This is six times more than what is available in Russia and four times more than what is available in Kazakhstan.
5. Bizarre Canada Facts
5.1. Welcome to Aliens
Canada is among the first countries to build a landing pad exclusively for UFOs. It was established in 1967 in St. Paul, Alberta. The Canadian Minister of National Defence of the same year was present for the launch. Another interesting fact is that a time capsule is buried in the structure, which is to be opened in 2067.
5.2. Apology Act of Canada
Canadians are known for their good natures and their excessive ways of apologizing. They apologize so much that in 2009 Canada passed a law known as the Apology Act. The law states that apologies are not to be accepted as confessions of guilt in court. In Canada, an apology is an expression uttered out of regret or sympathy rather than “an admission of fault or liability in connection with the matter related to words or actions,” as written in Canadian law.
5.3. Unique Laws of Canada
Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, is protected by the law in Canada in British Columbia. It is illegal to hunt for and kill the urban legend.
Comic books that are too violent or glorify crime are illegal in Canada. This is odd because Superman was created by a Canadian, and Wolverine is a Canuck. Wolverine was born in Alberta in Cold Lake.
Stinking is illegal in Canada. People who cause public disturbance by smelling bad can face up to 2 years of jail time.
The legal drinking age in Canada is 19 in most provinces, whereas 18 is in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec.
Cannabis is legal in a few states of America and all the provinces in Canada.
Prostitution is legal in Canada but receiving the service is not.
Eh is a slang commonly used in Canadian vocabulary. The expression is used to greet people from a distance or added at the end of questions. What’s truly bizarre is the slang features in the Oxford Dictionary of Canada.
Canada is a big nation full of wonderful surprises. Which facts among the ones mentioned above amazed you the most? It is said that traveling is the best method of learning. The best way to learn about a country is to visit it. If you decide to visit Canada, immerse yourself in its eccentric culture. Try the Sour Toe Cocktail and visit the record-breaking natural beauties and man-made structures. Find out more fun facts about Canada if you can.