Understand Canada
Fresh Life Canada

7 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Canada

1. Canada is huge

Okay, this one you probably already knew.  By landmass, Canada is second only to Russia by landmass.  But with that comes the longest coastline of any country in the world, and the ten provinces and three territories span six different time zones.  Even though it is the second largest country, with a population of 36 million it only hosts .5% of the world’s population.

2. Canada looked very different when it became a country in 1867

Canada first became a country on July 1st, 1867, which is celebrated on Canada Day.  At that time, Canada was only made up of four modern day provinces: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.  Other provinces joined as the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was completed, and the last province of Newfoundland and Labrador joined in 1949.

Though Canada is fully independent and has complete sovereignty since 1982’s Canada Act, the Queen remains the Head of State in Canada.

3. Canada is covered by forests and water

About half of Canada is covered by forests, accounting for 28% of the world’s boreal zone. Though some of this forest is used for logging, Canadian law mandates that 100% of harvested areas must be regenerated.

An additional 10% of Canada is covered by lakes. Canada has 563 lakes that are 100 square kilometres or greater. It is home to the cleanest and deepest freshwater lakes on the planet.

4. Canada welcomes all immigrants

Canada accepts over 300,000 immigrants each year, and is on target to increase that number to 400,000.  In fact, over 20% of Canada’s current population is foreign born.

Immigration is generally done through the Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program.  The country has been dependent on immigrants since European colonizers first arrived, and this is true now more than ever with an aging population and a low birth rate.

Canada is so welcoming that it actually built the first UFO landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta, to ensure that even UFOs would feel comfortable in Canada!

5. Canada has its own Loch Ness Monster

Canadian folklore says that there is a lake monster, Ogopogo, which inhabits Okanagan Lake in British Columbia.  The lore has roots in the oral traditions of the First Nations people of the area, who would give sacrifices to a water god to safely cross the lake.

If you make a journey to the Okanagan valley, even if you don’t spot the lake monster, you won’t be disappointed in your trip.  The Okanagan area is stunningly beautiful, and boasts some of the best wineries in the country.

6. Canada is the most educated country in the world

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada ranks as the most educated country in the world based on the number of adult residents who have received a teriary education. 

With a total of 1.8 million students enrolled in 97 universities, Canada is on track to continue being one of the most educated countries globally.

7. The National Sport is… Lacrosse?

While most people (even Canadians!) believe that the only national sport of Canada is hockey, it’s actually dependent on season. The National Sports of Canada Act in 1994 made ice hockey Canada’s national winter sport, while lacrosse was named the national summer sport.

Lacrosse is a game that was played by First Nations peoples before European colonists arrived. They called it baggataway and tewaarathon and it involved two teams with up to 1,000 players. When European settlers began to arrive in large numbers, they adopted the game. The first known game between Europeans and First Nations took place in 1843.