July 1, 2011

Canada Day Fun Facts

In keeping with the multitude of celebrations today, here are some items you may not know.

The Dominion of Canada was established on July 1st, 1867 and officialy became a country April 17, 1882. So today is Canada’s birthday and she’s 144 years young. Like our American pals’ Independence Day we spend at BBQs and parades or just enjoying the extra long weekend.

The average life expectancy is 8th in the world at 81.16 years while the United States is 46th at 78.14. Butter tarts, poutine and ketchup chips are among the long list of snacks native to Canada. Our national anthem, originally entitled “Chant National” was first performed in 1880 and Canadian Parliament approved it as the unofficial anthem and renamed it O Canada in 1967 and it became the official anthem on July 1, 1980.

Over 18 million Canadians on Facebook

Though delicious, maple syrup is not our official beverage. 22% of Canadians name French as their first language. The longest border between two countries in the world is between Canada and the U.S. stretching 5,525 miles or 8,891 kilometres and known as the International Boundary. Three quarters of Canadians are online which ranks the country 4th in the world.

Canada is 3,855,103 square miles which makes it the second largest nation by land mass on earth. Remarks such as “please”, “thank-you” and “you’re welcome” are alive and well in Canada. Ice hockey is the country’s official sport. There is evidence of hockey being played in this part of the world dating back to the 10th century. The rules of the game were first published in 1877 in the newspaper The Montreal Gazette.

Loonies and Twoonies

Canada is the 9th in population density and has the 14th largest Gross National Product in the world. Besides being home to animals such as moose and grizzly bears, Canada has over 50,000 species of insects and more than 10,000 species of spiders and mites. Newfoundland was the first area of the country visited by European explorers but the last to become an official province.

23% of Canadians search LinkedIn for job opportunities. We say a-bout not a-boot. Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world at 151,600 miles or 243,976 kilometers. The population of Canada just over 34 million.

Beer and Basketball

Although symbolic, the regent of England, Queen Elizabeth II, is the Canadian head of state. The Moosehead Brewery of Saint John, New Brunswick produces over 1,600 bottles a minute. James Naismith, born in Almonte, Ontario just outside of the capital city of Ottawa invented basketball to give his YMCA students more exercise in 1892. At 74, Naismith attended the 1936 Olympic Games to witness the first time basketball was in the competition.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were formed in 1873. Today there are over 28,000 members. We eat more than 350,000 tons of cheese every year. That’s close to 24 pounds each. Canada has universal health care. From its opening in 1976 until being eclipsed in 2007, the CN Tower in Toronto was the worlds largest free standing structure. Canada is the most multi-cultural country on earth.

Happy Canada Day!

Kneale Mann

image credit: lancasteronline
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