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10 Random, Yet Interesting, Facts about Canada

Canada Day is just around the corner. If you’re looking to impress family and friends with interesting, sometimes odd, facts about our great country, check out this post.

Canada’s birthday is around the corner. And while you may know how old Canada will be turning (quick – what’s the answer?), or the birthplace of Canadian Confederation (you gotta know this one), how much do you really know about Canada? Truly. After all, each year Canada’s birthday lands you a day off (hopefully) and gives you an excuse to ignite explosives in plain sight of small children. So given this, maybe you should know more about Canada than its national tree (please, just stop reading if you don’t know it), or being able to sing half of its national anthem. (Go ahead—sing it by yourself, right now. The whole thing. Without anyone else singing. You can’t sing it by yourself, can you?)

With this in mind, here are 10 random, yet interesting, facts about Canada to help you feel a little closer to the birthday nation. You can also show off your knowledge of our great country while spending time with family and friends this weekend.

So here goes, 10 random, yet interesting, facts about Canada:

  1. Canada actually has two animals that are national symbols. The beaver we all know and love, and the Canadian Horse, a distinct breed that was recognized as a national symbol by Parliament in 2002.
  2. Canada boasts the world’s longest coastline, measuring 265,523 km.
  3. We can thank the Huron and Iroquois for our country’s name. “Canada” comes from the word "Kanata," which means "village".
  4. The world's highest tides occur in the Bay of Fundy. In Nova Scotia's Minas Basin - located in the Bay of Fundy - the water level at high tide can be as much as 16 metres (52 feet) higher than at low tide.

The bay of Fundy has the world's highest tides. This photo - talken in New Brunswick - shows water level differences between low and high tide. (Photo by Samuel Wantman / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GFDL)

  1. Canada’s motto is A Mari Usque ad Mare, which means "From sea to sea”.
  2. Canada is home to what some think is the world's smallest jail. Located in Rodney, Ontario, it’s only 24.3 square meters (about 270 square feet).
  3. Tommy Ryan invented five-pin bowling in 1909 after hearing complaints from members of his Toronto bowling club that 10-pin took too long and the bowling balls were too heavy.

The next time you're five-pin bowling at a kid's birthday party, thank (curse?) Tommy Ryan. The Guelph-born entrepreneur invented five-pin in Toronto in 1909. (Photo by D'Arcy Norman [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons).

  1. Canada’s largest river is the Mackenzie, spanning 4,241 km. It’s the second largest river in North America after the Mississippi.
  2. The world's largest lake within a lake (41.1 square miles) can be found in Manitou Lake on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron.
  3. GIS was invented in Canada by Roger Tomlinson in the early 1960’s. More on that in this article (that would be a shameless plug of my own article).

Have a safe and happy Canada Day. By the way, if you’re heading to the nation’s capital to join the party this weekend, check out an interactive map the City of Ottawa has created called “In My Neighbourhood”. This Web-based, bilingual map is packed with lots of information to help you get around and keep you informed on things like events, parks, arts and culture and emergency services.

The City of Ottawa's "In My Neighbourhood" interactive map will help you get around this Canada Day long weekend in the nation's capital.

And, in case you were stumped earlier, Canada turns 147 this Tuesday and the birthplace of Confederation took place in Charlottetown, PEI. If you have your own random, yet interesting facts about Canada, share them with us by leaving a comment below. We always love to hear from you.