Everything you have always wanted to know about: CANADA

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OK, there are things in here that you probably couldn’t care less about, and other things that you did want to know that are nowhere to be found in this post.  However, you are here, so you may as well read the rest. Maybe you’ll learn something.

The name Canada comes from the word ‘Kanata’ which means ‘settlement or village’ in the Iroquoian language.

The border between Canada and the US is the world’s longest international border.

Vikings settled the east coast of Canada around A.D. 1000

The first known child born to European parents in North America was Snorri, born in Vinland around 1000 AD to parents Thorfin and Gudrid.

The northernmost permanent settlement in the world is located at Alert, Nunavut.

Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world.

The lowest temperature recorded in Canada was in the Yukon at -63 degrees Celsius!

Insulin, the IMAX film system, the snowmobile, the electric cooking range, basketball and the telephone- all Canadian inventions. Oh, and peanut butter!

I bet you didn’t know that Winnie the Poo was Canadian. A black bear cub from Winnipeg was sent to England and donated to the London Zoo. Called “Winnie,” for short, it was one of the most popular attractions at the zoo and in particular was a favorite of a little boy by the name of Christopher Robin Milne. His dad, A.A. Milne, later wrote a series of books about a bear called ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’.

Canada is home to several cryptids ( creatures whose existence have been suggested but not completely proven or recognized by scientific consensus). These include the Sasquatch (a half man, half bear looking creature similar to Yeti), Windigo ( a cannibalistic spirit monster) , and the Ogopogo (think Loch Ness Monster) in Lake Okanagan, BC.

The oolichan or candlefish was used by early pioneers in B.C as a light source. Because of its high fat content, the small fish can actually be dried, strung on a wick and lit like a candle.

While our money is often compared to Monopoly currency by our neighbours to the south, it might be interesting to know that the green dye used in US money was invented in Canada. (At McGill University in Montreal, in 1857, by Thomas Sterry Hunt, to be exact.)

Looking for a place to park your spaceship? We have a UFO landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta.  

We have highways for animals. Special overpasses in Banff National Park are used by grizzly and black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars, moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, wolverine and lynx, to help keep them safe.

Around 30% of Canada’s landmass is covered in forests.

Santa (who is Canadian obviously) answers over a million letters every year around Christmas time.  Wishlists sent in over 30 languages from all over the world are answered by current and retired postal employees who volunteer their time Santa and Mrs.Claus. 

Large parts of Canada have less gravity than the rest of Earth-a phenomenon discovered in the 1960s.

The Canadian Royal Mint created a coin with the face value of $1 Million. The coin itself is made of 99.99% gold and weighs over 220 lbs.

Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world. The first is Paris.

Canada was a main destination on the underground railroad -a network that helped slaves from the US reach freedom in the mid 1800s.

Same sex marriage in Canada has been legal since July 20, 2005.

Canada has more lakes than any other country.

One out of every five Canadians were not actually born in Canada.

Superman was created by comic artist Joseph “Joe” Shuster-a Canadian.

Canada’s motto is: A Mari Usque ad Mare, meaning from sea to sea.

Canada has the world’s smallest jail – in Rodney, Ontario; it’s only 24.3 square meters (270 square feet).

The Canadian Head of State is still Queen Elizabeth II, the British monarch, although her role is mostly symbolic.

It is illegal to lock your car doors in downtown Churchill, Manitoba in case someone needs to escape from a polar bear.

And that’s all folks.  Hope you learned a thing or two about Maple-Landia! If you know of any other interesting tidbits (I said tidbits, not timbits), add them to the list!

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