Blog by Chloe Cartwright, BSW, RSW, ABR

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100 Interesting facts

To get everyone in the Christmas mood here is some easy reading for the festivities.    100 Things you may not know about Canada and its wonderful people:

  1. Youtube megastar Justin Bieber was born and bred in Ontario.  He is the first artist to have an amazing seven songs from a debut album on the Billboard Hot 100 (US singles chart).
  2. The tallest peak in Canada is Mount Logan in the Yukon standing at 19,541ft and it is the 2nd highest in North America after Mount McKinley.
  3. The Canadian motto is “A Mari Usque Ad Mare” (Latin) which translated is “From Sea to Sea”.  Alberta’s provincial motto is ‘Fortis et Liber” which means “Strong and Free”.
  4. Aboriginal people are thought to have come to America 20,00 to 30,000 years ago when Alaska was still joined with Asia.  That’s why they call themselves First Nations, because they were the first people to settle the continent.
  5. Canada has a massive 125,567 miles of coastline.
  6. The world’s biggest indoor shopping mall up until 2004 was West Edmonton Mall.  It now ranks fifth but can still boast that it is the largest mall in North America.
  7. Believe it or not, Canada has it’s own desert.  Osoyoos in South Okanagan British Columbia regularly exceeds temperatures of  38˚C.
  8. Canada is the 2nd biggest country in the world with a whopping 3,854,085 sq miles of land.
  9. The 80s UK TV breakfast show the Wide Awake Club with Timmy Mallett, launched the career of Canadian Mike Myers.  He used to have a segment called the Sound Asleep Club.

10.  Canada exports more than $145 million worth of maple syrup every year.

11.  The first five seasons of 90s top sci-fi show X-Files were shot in Vancouver, British Columbia.

12.  Nickelback, who have sold over 50 million albums worldwide and rank in the top twenty best selling music acts of all time, come from Hanna, Alberta.

13.  The Canadians used the Union Jack (British flag) until 1965.

14.  There are 6 time zones in Canada – Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern, Atlantic, Newfoundland.

15.  Pet rats are illegal in Alberta!

16.  The Canadian dollar is widely known as the loonie and the two dollar coin as the toonie.  The former because it bears the image of the common loon, a bird which is well known in Canada.  The latter because it’s a combination of “two” and “loonie”.

17.  England very nearly fits into Alberta 5 times (England 50,436 square miles against Alberta’s 248,000 square miles).

18.  Kim Cattrall of Sex and the City fame moved from UK to Courtenay, British Columbia when she was just 3 months old.  She now holds dual citizenship for both countries.

19.  The Progressive Conservatives won control of the Alberta provincial government in 1971 and they’ve been there ever since.

20.  Calgary boasts the most sunshine hours in Canada.

21.  Although born in Scotland, Alexander Graham Bell emigrated to Canada at the age of 23.  Therefore, the telephone, was actually invented in Canada, albeit by a Scot!

22.   Vancouver has the biggest Chinatown in North America.

23.  Caesar Cocktail or Bloody Caeser is a drink created and mostly drunk in Canada.  It contains vodka, Clamato (a blend of tomato juice and clam broth), hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and is served with ice and celery in a salt-rimmed glass.

24.  The world’s largest pysanka is located in Vegreville, Alberta.  It is in fact a giant sculpture in the form of the Ukranian style Easter egg and is 31ft long and weighs 5,512lbs!

25.  Golden Globe Award winner Jim Carrey was born in New Market, Ontario and now has dual citizenship – Canadian/American.

26.  The world’s biggest cache of dinosaur remains was found at South Saskatchewan River.  Named the Hilda Archaeological Site, it is approximately 76 million years old.

27.  The word Canada comes from Kanata, a native word for village or town.

28.  Canada is the 6th largest oil producer in the world.

29.  Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta  the daughter of Victoria, the Queen of Canada until 1901, and Albert, Prince Consort.   Lake Louise, the Village of Caroline, and Mount Alberta were also named in honour of Princess Louise.

30.  Canada has it’s own Walk of Fame located in Toronto, Ontario, that acknowledges achievements and accomplishments of successful Canadians.  Some of the inductess are: Pamela Anderson, Dan Akroyd, Cirque du Soleil, Brendan Fraser, kd lang, Ryan Reynolds, Eric McCormack, Alanis Morissette, Leslie Nielsen, Christopher Plummer, Donald and Keifer Sutherland.

31.  The biggest ever Alberta meterorite fell near to the town of Abee in 1952.  It weighed a whooping 107 kilograms.  It was actually quite a rare one and the largest of its type – enstatite chondrite - ever found.

32.  The game of basketball was invented by a Canadian, James Naismith.

33.  Although his father was American and his mother English, Keanu Reeves decided Canada was the country for him and is a naturalized Canadian.

34.  The coldest temperature on record ever recorded was at Mount Logan in 1991 when a freezing temperature of -77.5˚C was reached.  COLD!!!!

35.  The 5 Great Lakes: Huron, Superior, Michigan Erie and Ontario hold 21% of the world’s surface fresh water.  They are all bordered by America and Canada except for Lake Michigan which is entirely in USA.

36.  Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards literally lept to fame at the Calgary Olympics in 1988 endearing him to people across the globe.  He set the British record for ski jumping at 73.5m.

37.  Brokeback Mountain and Legends of the Fall were filmed in various locations around Canada, but mainly Alberta.

38.  Calgary City skyline is used to represent downtown Metropolis in Superman 2.

39.  Michael J.  Fox, borm in Edmonton, Alberta, was inducted onto the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2000 and onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002.  He was inducted as an Officer of Canada in May 2011 for his outreach and fundraising work for Parkinson’s disease.

40.  Lacrosse is the national sport.

41.  The scientifically discounted Sasquatch, more commonly known as Bigfoot, has been sighted on a regular basis in Manitoba.

42.  The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation have contributed development money to several BBC programmes, the most successful being Doctor Who.

43.  The Canada/USA borderline is the longest border in the world at 5,525 miles long (including border with Alaska).

44.   Highest recorded temperature recorded for Canada was in Saskatchewan in 1937.  A balmy 45˚C was reached.  Although Gleichen in Alberta reached 46.1˚C in 1903 but it was not officially monitored by Environment Canada.

45.  Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister for Canada studied at University of Calgary and has his private residence in the City too.

46.   Cool Runnings the popular film from the 90s is true.  It is about the Jamaican bobsled team trying to make it in the 1988 Winter Olympics, and was mostly filmed at Canada Olympic Park, Calgary.

47.  Black bears are agile climbers and can climb up trees if they need to.  Grizzlies have also been known to climb a short way up trees too.

48.  The biggest temperature shift in Alberta was recorded at Pincher Creek in 1966.  I t started at -24.4˚C and rose to 21.7˚C in just two hours.  This was caused by a chinook wind.

49.  Sylvan Lake, Alberta, boasts the only inland lighthouse between the West Coast and the Great Lakes.

50.  Captain James T.Kirk, played by the youthful looking William Shatner, shared the first inter-racial kiss on TV in the USA with Lt. Uhura , way back in 1968.

51.  Spruce Meadows is ranked either first/second best show jumping venue in the world (depending on what review you read).  Its main rival is in Aachen, Germany.

52.  Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut is the fifth largest island in the world.  Vancouver Island is just 43rd on that same list!

53.  Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada as it is a member of the Commonwealth.

54.  “O Canada” the national anthem, was originally written in French and had to be translated into English in the early 1900s.

55.  Eilleen Regina Edwards, aka Shania Twain, born in Windsor, Ontario can lay claim to the best selling country album of all time.  “Come on Over” has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

56.  The last countrywide census that was taken was in 2006.  That year, 236,758 immigrants were recorded.  By state of origin, China was the biggest ‘sender’ closely followed by India and Phillipines.

57.  The estimated population of Canada in 2011 is over 34,500,000.

58.  Coronation Street is broadcast on CBC (a Canadian TV channel).  It was approximately 10 months behind with shows but has recently being showing two episodes every weekday in order to catch up with ITV (UK) showings.

59.  Hudson Bay is the 2nd largest bay in the world (Bay of Bengal is 1st).

60.  Trans Canada Highway is the Canadian highway system that joins ten provinces.  It is one of the world’s longest highways and it is a staggering 4,990 miles long.

61.  The longest river in Canada is the Mackenzie River with its source in Thutade Lake, and its mouth at Beaufort Sea, it is 2,635 miles long.

62.  Calgary has the affectionate nickname of CowTown but has been called the Sandstone City before now as it is very easily found in the area.

63.  Banff is the home of World TV Festival Awards every year.  Celebrity spotters in Banff may have seen Lisa Kudrow, Howie Mandel or Ed Asner getting to the venue this year.  Previous speakers have included:  Ricky Gervais, William Shatner and Nigel Lythgoe.

64.  Canadian musicians Joni Mitchell and Neil Young both contracted the polio virus at a young age.

65.  Canada is member of the G8.

66.  Alberta has a dinosaur named after it – the Albertosaurus sarcophagus.

67.  Celine Dion, born in Charlemagne, Quebec sang the title track to the Walt Disney animated classic “Beauty and the Beast”.

68.  Canola used to be a Canadian speciality crop although it is now grown in USA also.  It is still a popular cooking oil in Canada however, and the name Canola is derived from CANadian Oil Low Acid.

69.  As of October 2011, there are 572,411 registered hockey players in Canada, including male, female and juniors which is nearly 2% of the entire population.

70.  Ontario born Bryan Adams’ father was a British diplomat.

71.  Although not always the case, you know have to be a Canadian citizen to join the ranks of the RCMP.

72.  Many public Holidays in Canada, also known as statutory holidays, are observed nationwide but each province and territory has its own holidays as well.    Alberta currently has 5 nationwide holidays, 4 provincial holidays and 3 optional holidays (Easter Monday, Heritage Day and Boxing Day).

73.  Canadian Pacific Railway has its HQ in Alberta and owns approx. 14,000 miles of track all over Canada and into the USA.

74.  Driving through Alberta, and come to that, most parts of Canada, you might feel like you were touring Scotland.  There are well over a hundred places with Scottish names which have been applied by Scottish emigrants or explorers.  In Alberta you can find Airdrie, Clyde, Stirling, Strathcona County, Holyrood and further afield there is a St Andrews, Aberdeen, Loch Lomond, Argyle, Ayr, Glasgow and Perth.

75.  The Columbia Icefield, located in the Canadian Rockies, covers an area of 325km2 and is 365 metres thick in some places.

76.  The "World's Largest Dinosaur" is the name of a fiberglass model Tyrannosaurus rex located in the town of Drumheller, Alberta. It stands at 82 ft and is approximately 4 times bigger than a life sized T-Rex.

77.  Vulcan, Alberta has capitalised on its’ name and has built a Star Trek Starship Enterprise which is just under 10 metres tall.  It also hosts an annual convention which attracts hundreds of fans from around the world.  Vulcan, is also known as the “Wheat Capital of Canada”.

78.  Canada won the most golds in the 2010 Winter Olympics, with a total of 14.

79.  The highest restaurant in Canada, the Panoramic Summit, is at the top of Banff’s Sulphur Mountain.

80.  Icewine is a major export for Canadian wineries.  The two largest wine-producing regions are Okanagan Valley in BC and Niagara, Ontario.

81.  Brit and Grammy Award winners Arcade Fire are based in Quebec Canada and consist of a husband and wife duo along with the other members!

82.  Uncle Buck aka Ontario born John Candy, was a co-owner of Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts and along with the team took home the 1991 Grey Cup beating Calgary 36-21 in the final.

83.  Vancouver Island is the most seismically active region in Canada.  It is actually very close to the Pacific Ring of Fire.  In 1946 an earthquake there registered 7.3 on the Richter Scale, the strongest ever recorded on land in Canada.

84.  Although Ottawa is the capital city of Canada it is only the fourth largest city in the country.

85.  The Canadian Space Agency along with University of Calgary, the City of Yellowknife, and Astronomy North have created AuroraMAX.  This allows skywatchers to log on to a live broadcast to view the Aurora Borealis (more commonly known as the Northern Lights).  The most active period the Sun’s 11 year cycle is expected to peak in 2013 and will consequently produce the most active auroras.

86.  A recent survey suggests that over a half of all households in Canada own a dog or cat.

87.  More than half million people attend the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto every year.  The parade started over 100 years ago and can lay claim to being the oldest annual parade in the world.

88.  French Canadians, sometimes known as Francophone Canadians, constitute the second largest ethnic group in Canada after English Canadians and before Scottish Canadians.

89.  Canada comprises 10 provinces and 3 territories.

90.  Calgary Stampede roots are traced back to 1886 when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held its first fair.  It now lays claim to being the Largest Outdoor Show on Earth.

91.  Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump gets its name from a poor sole who got to close to the action.  The young man wanted to witness the bison being driven over the cliff to their death.  Unfortunately slightly more than he anticipated came along and he was pinned against the cliff wall and unfortunately crushed to death.  HSIB Jump is North America’s oldest and largest bison hunting jump site.

92.  The tallest totem pole stands 173 feet tall and is in Alert Bay, British Columbia.

93.  There are over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across in Canada.

94.  Whistler Blackcomb is a major ski resort in Vancouver.  It is the largest in North America and can boast the highest and longest unsupported cable car span in the world.

95.  All RCMP dogs from the whole of Canada are trained at a facility in Innisfail, near the City of Red Deer and public demonstrations are regularly offered.

96.   The woodland and barren ground caribou, ferruginous hawk, burrowing owl, peregrine falcon, trumpeter swan and northern leopard frog are on Alberta’s list of threatened species.

97.  England midfielder, Owen Hargreaves who has over 40 caps to his name, was actually born in Calgary, Alberta.

98.  The Roman Catholic ruled that the beaver, the national animal of Canada, was in fact a fish and therefore it could be eaten on Fridays during Lent.

99.  The Athabasca Oil Sands deposit is the largest known reservoir of crude bitumen in the world and the largest of three major oil sands deposits in Alberta, along with the nearby Peace River and Cold Lake deposits.

  1. It’s a great place to live!!!!!

Merry Christmas to one and all and a Happy New Year!


Written by Fran, December 2011

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