Canada–the Great White North, the second largest country in the world, and a place full of interesting facts. There are tons of facts about Canada that will make you interested in this country and wanting to start booking your next trip! With a history spanning pre-colonial times, there are so many Canadian fun facts that are incorporated into their daily lives.
Before planning your trip to Canada, learn about the more interesting facts about Canada and see how many of these quirks you can experience when you visit!
Fun Facts About Canada
“Canada” comes from an indigineous word
Facts about Canadians could take years to write. But, why do we call them Canadians? The word “Canada” comes from the St. Lawrence Iruquoians and their word “kanata” which translates to settlement or village.
These indigenous people do not exist anymore, as they were conquered in the 16th century during wars with the Mohawk people who wanted to be the only ones trading with the first Europeans coming over. But alas, the St. Lawrence Iroquis’ legacy exists every time you mention this great country in name.
There are two official languages of Canada
A couple of centuries ago, as North America was colonized by the Europeans, the French and the British stacked their claims in Canada. As such, today the two official languages of Canada are French and English.
There are parts of Canada where French is the most used language, or a dialect of it. And an interesting fact about Canada is that thanks to the high immigration and resettlement rates you see in Canada, you can also hear Chinese, German, Punjabi, and Arabic spoken across the country.
There are approximately 65 languages being commonly used throughout the country today.
It only became an independent country in 1982
It was only up until very recently that Canada’s Parliament was allowed to amend its own Constitution. Up until 1982, the British Parliament was able to wield an influence over Canada. But now, Canadians have full autonomy over the policies and practices.
A fact about Canada is that Canada is still a part of the British Commonwealth, so even though they have had some self-governance since 1867 , Queen Elizabeth II is still featured on Canadian money and they can participate in the Commonwealth.
The maple leaf has long been a national symbol
Just like beavers have long played a part in Canada’s history, so has the maple leaf. Indigineous people learned how to preserve meats using the sugar from maple syrup and they learned how to harvest the syrup from trees. They then taught the European settlers the same practice.
And thanks to this long and storied history, it now appears on the Canadian flag.
Canada is the world’s second largest country by size…
Its neighbors across the Pacific Ocean in Russia are the largest country by size. But Canada comes in second! Thanks to its large border and control over the northern half of North America, it is by far the second largest country in the world, at 9.98 million square miles.
If you took out the square footage the lakes add though, it would only be the fourth largest country.
…Which means Canada also has the longest coastline
And with that much country, you can probably expect that Canada would also have a lot of coastline. And thanks to bordering both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, there are more than 125,500 miles of Canadian coastline for you to explore if you travel here. This includes all of the small, some time inhabitable, islands that are off the coasts in both oceans as well. Just another fun fact about Canada!
The Beaver is the national animal of Canada
One of the furrier facts about Canada, beavers are the national animal of Canada and have played a major role in shaping Canada’s history. They were the main thing being traded between tribes and Europeans when the British and the French came to what is now Canada. Due to their popular fur, they were almost hunted to extinction.
Thankfully, the population bounced back and is not only the national animal, but also the face of the Canadian nickel.
The Beaver Wars were a scary time
Another thing about Canada is that they had a war motivated by animals! No, unlike the Emu Wars in Australia, this was not a war over beavers and their dams. It was actually over beaver furs and was between the different indigenous tribes that were trading with European settlers in the 17th century.
Tribes started alliances with the British or the French tradesmen and it resulted in complete bloodshed from all people involved.
Canada is home to the only walled city north of Mexico–Quebec
Canadian cities on the east coast of the country have a lot of European influences that you can still see today. One of those things is the city wall around Quebec. The city walls date back to the 17th century and were rebuilt once the British took the city from the French. They are a major tourist attraction and something everyone should visit when in the city.
The oldest pool of water known to man is in Timmins
One interesting fun fact about Canada’s nature is that the oldest pool of water ever discovered was found two miles down a mine in Timmins, Ontario. The pool does have minerals in it but scientists predict that the pool is more than two billion years old!
It gets cold in Canada
As you would probably expect, it get chilly up in Canada. How cold you may ask? The coldest temperature in Canada was recorded at -63 degrees C. Yes, negative. It was in the Yukon Territory, and it translates to -82 degrees F. In Eureka, Canada, the yearly average is -19.7 degrees C, or -3.5 degrees F.
So make sure you always pack accordingly when visiting the Great White North. This is one of the coolest things about Canada.
Fun facts about Canadians
You may have heard the stereotypical response “eh” when people start talking about Canadians. Because of how often “eh” is used in Canadian, Oxford Dictionary has actually recognized it as an official word!
Canada has one of the highest education level in the world
Canadians are also the most educated population in the world. Over 56% of Canadians have a higher education degree. This is more than any other developed nation worldwide. And of course, Canadians routinely are voted to be the nicest group of people in the world year after year.
Canada has the highest immigration rate
Maybe it is the stereotypical politeness, the poutine, or just the great outdoors that you can find in Canada, but a lot of people will turn to Canada to immigrate, and not just because of these facts about Canadians! In a 20 year period, Canada’s population grew by more than 5 million, in a large part due to immigrants.
Canada is also one of the most common places for refugees to resettle–about a tenth of those that need refuge will be directed to Canada.
Move over hockey–lacrosse is the official national sport
Toronto is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame, one of the famous landmarks of Canada.
Hockey is certainly one of the first images that come to mind when someone brings up Canada. But it is actually lacrosse that has the title of Canada’s first national sport.
The origin of lacrosse is sometimes debated by those that live in the mid-Atlantic part of the United States and Canada. Canadians claim that it was the First Nations people that invented the sport that used a stick with a basket at the end and a ball in the 17th century.
It became a sport widely played by Canada’s middle class in the 18th century, and was declared the official sport in 1994.
Visit to find more fun facts about Canada
Canada is one of the best places to visit in the world thanks to its location, metropolitan cities, and history. From exploring the capital city of Toronto to the breathtaking nature of the Canadian Rockies, you are bound to find more interesting facts about Canada.
Meanwhile these are just some Canadian fun facts that you can learn before heading up there to spend a well-deserved vacation–just make sure you pack warm!