polar bear

10 Amazing Things You Never Knew About Canada

Most people who don’t actually live in Canada know two things to be true about The Great White North: it’s always cold, and the people are always polite. As it turns out, there’s a lot more to Canada than Arctic winds and kind dispositions, though. To prove it, here are ten amazing things you never about Canada.

 

  • Canada is the second most educated country in the world. More than half of Canadian adults have received some form of tertiary education (like college), and there is a 99% literacy rate. That means that the majority of Canadians are well-learned, and they have the degrees to prove it. By contrast, the US has a tertiary education rate of 43.1%.
  • Polar bears are such a problem in the far north Manitoba town of Churchill that residents leave their cars and sometimes even their homes in case their neighbors need a quick escape from a hungry bear.
  • Nessy isn’t the only lake monster out there. Okanagan Lake in British Columbia is said to be home of Ogopogo (also called Naitaka). This cryptid has been reported by First Nations people since the early nineteenth century, and is commonly described as a twelve to fifteen meter long, serpent-like creature. The mythical creature is locally celebrated in varying capacities, and one cryptozoologist even thinks it could be a Basilosaurus.
  • While it’s pretty well known that Columbus’ voyages didn’t go exactly the way elementary history books would have us believe, there were some early European settlers in Canada. By around 1000 AD, Vikings from Scandinavia had settled in the maritime provinces. Archaeological evidence has been found on Baffin Island, Newfoundland, and others. According to the Sagas of Icelanders, Leif Erikson even founded a Norse settlement along the Canadian coast.
  • Despite all the snow, Canada actually has a stretch of desert. the Osoyoos Desert isn’t an Arctic desert, it’s a god’s honest stretch of sand, stone, dry air, cacti, and tarantulas. The arid stretch in southeastern British Columbia is the northernmost point in a series of deserts that stretch from the Sonoran Desert in Mexico all the way up in between the Sierra Nevada and the Rockies to this southern point in Canada.
  • In 1943, Ottawa declared one room in a hospital international territory so that Princess Margriet Francisca of the Netherlands could be born a full Dutch citizen, which was a requirement in her native country to keep her Princess title. Every year since then, the Dutch have sent thousands of tulips to Canada as a gift of gratitude.
  • Canadians outdo Americans when it comes to macaroni – in a big way. Kraft Dinner, the pantry staple item consisting of elbow noodles and artificially orange cheese powder, is the most popular grocery item in Canada. Canadians consume 55% more of it than Americans, and it holds a special place in many Canadian hearts and pantries.
  • One in five Canadians are foreign-born. That means around 6.8 million people there were born somewhere else, the highest rate of foreign-born residents of any G8 nation.
  • Quebec holds a monopoly on maple syrup. The francophonic province supplies nearly 80% of the world’s maple syrup, and even has criminal syndicates connected to the maple syrup trade.
  • The longest border between two nations is the border between Canada and the US.