10. Canadian Attractions
Being the 2nd largest country in the world by area, there’s bound to be places for tourists to enjoy, ey? One of Canada’s greatest attractions is not a man-made structure, but rather a waterfall that it shares with the United States. The 50-meter or 167-foot high Niagara Falls is visible in Ontario and New York and curious visitors can get up close and personal with boating tours that skirt the fall’s wall of mist. Enjoying Canada’s natural beauty means visiting locations like the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park and Glacier National Park. Manmade attractions worth a visit include the National War Memorial, Olympic Stadium, Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Notre-Dame Basilica, and the CN tower, the tallest free standing structure in the world.
9. Canadian Cuisine
If you love potatoes slathered in gravy and served with cheese curds, Canada may be the culinary dream for you. Poutine originated in Quebec in the 1950’s, combining the fine flavors of French fries, gravy, cheese, and sometimes foie gras or a donut. Don’t enjoy gravy or fried food? You can thank Canada’s large polish population for an abundance of pierogis or just smother everything you eat in maple syrup. Canadians are also known for chowing down on salmon jerky, ketchup potato chips, Nanaimo bars, Jiggs dinner, Bannock, Pemmican, and garlic fingers. If you need a fine beverage to wash your meal down with, try a Sourtoe Cocktail – a drink as vile as it sounds. A Dawson City tradition, the cocktail combines hard liquor with a real, severed human toe.
8. Famous People of Canada
What do William Shatner, Ryan Reynolds, Michael J. Fox, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion, John Candy, and Donald Sutherland have in common? They’re all Canadian, as is explorer Louis Jolliet; entrepreneur Elizabeth Arden; poet, novelist, and environmentalist Margaret Atwood; hockey legend and coffe connoisseur Tim Horton; Wayne Gretzky; poet E.J. Pratt; and late professional wrestler Chris Benoit. On YouTube, be sure to check out Canadian-based channels such as Matthew Santoro, WatchMojo, VanossGaming, AsapScience and Superwoman. The list goes on; In fact, there are so many notable Canadian actors, singers, and athletes, that this may be easier.
7. Canadian Inventions
Beyond possibly being behind the combination of ketchup and potato chips, Canadians have proven their worth in the world of inventions and innovations. Among the many products that have been attributed to Canadian inventors include the anti-gravity suit by Wilbur Rounding Franks in 1940, the sport of basketball by Canadian-born James Naismith in 1891, and Wilson Markle’s film colorization process of the 1970s. Further advancements go on to improve the medical field, such as the electric wheelchair by George Klein, Dianne Croteau’s CPR mannequin, and the first process for insulin, developed in 1922 by Fredrick Banting, J. J. Macleod, and Charles Best.
6. Wildlife in Canada
Due to the range in climates that Canada is divided into, it’s not uncommon to find quite the range of critters in the wild. Amongst some of Canada’s more unique non-human inhabitants include the arctic fox, arctic hare, wolverines, walrus, tundra swan, prairie rattlesnake, moose, caribou, and polar bear. Scope out the country’s surrounding waters and you may come across some killer whale, Greenland shark, beluga whale, rainbow trout, and sea otter. Look to the sky and you may catch a bald eagle, Canada goose, blue jay, peregrine falcon, and the northern cardinal.
5. Canadian Superstitions
Travel the world, and you’ll come to find that most, if not all countries follow some truly strange superstitions and customs. In Canada, prairie etiquette claims you’ll want to be wary of returning a clean plate to someone that’s brought you food – it’s considered bad luck to wash the plate. Alberta residents may tell tale of blackberry picking after October 11th, an activity that is frowned upon because the Devil is sure to have claimed any remaining crops. To the country folk, fireflies, or fi-follets, are believed to be lost souls with lights that lead the gullible to destruction. Traditional French Canadians may speak of the loup garou, a shapeless, headless animal and their version of the werewolf. The loup garou is believed to be a person who did not partake in sacrament for seven years.
4. NHL, Lacrosse, and Canada
Even if you’re greatly removed from Canadian culture, chances are even you would know about the Canadian love for the National Hockey League. If you have any doubts over just how much the country is into hockey, remember the 2011 riots that broke out after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins. What is often overlooked is the country’s love for lacrosse, and considering the sport received its first set of official rules by Canadian William George Beers, there is a lot of love. Where hockey is considered the country’s “National Winter Sport,” lacrosse fills in the summertime gap as the “National Summer Sport.” Canada also produced Gary Gait, a lacrosse player considered one of the best with a win in every major lacrosse championship under his belt.
3. Wars of the Great White North
Think Canada is nothing but polite citizens and peace? While that could possibly be how things are today, the country and its military has seen its fair share of bloodshed. During the early 1700’s, Quebec City was a target for British forces, though was never reached; but Acadia, now modern day Nova Scotia, and its capital, Port Royal, was lost. Between 1866 and 1871, Canadian forces took on the Fenian Brotherhood during the Fenian Rades. Ten years after the Fenian raids ceased, Canada, the United Kingdom and Egypt fought against Sudan military, leading to the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan of the British Empire. Later conflicts include the North-West Rebellion of 1885, World War I, the Russian Civil War of 1918, World War II, the Persian Gulf War, the Libyan Civil War, and the continued war efforts against terrorism.
2. The Canadian Eskimo Dog
This fluffy ball of adorable fur has been an Arctic inhabitant for upwards of 4,000 years, initially bred by the ancestors of modern-day Inuit, the Thule. Not typically raised as a household pet, the Canadian Eskimo Dog has always been a work-dog, used throughout history to track seal holes, hunt polar bears, haul supplies, and carry people. Over the course of 20 years, between the 50’s and 70’s, Royal Canadian Mounted Police intentionally killed an estimated 1,000 to 20,000 dogs, allegedly to remove sick or dangerous pups. As of 2008, only 300 purebred Canadian Eskimo Dogs remain, putting this adorable working dog on the threatened species list. Considering its history and current status, this useful pup is often thought to be one of North America’s oldest and rarest purebred indigenous domestic canines. Other breeds of canine that originate from Canada include the Newfoundland, the Landseer and the Labrador Husky.
1. A World of Records
Taking the cake in one of Canada’s proudest moments is Suresh Joachim who, in 2008, set the record for longest non-stop Elvis Presley impersonation. Joachim’s impersonation marathon ended after 55 hours, beating out the standing record of 43 hours and 11 minutes. Equally as impressive were Donovan Bailey’s once world-record of running a 100 meters in 9.84 seconds; Cornel Dobrin’s 2009 record for the shortest time biking across Canada, coming in at 27 days, 5 hours, and 30 minutes; and the 2010 dodgeball game that topped the record for largest game at 1,200 participants; only to be reclaimed 2 years later by UC students with some 4,000+ participants. Additional records include longest street in the world, world’s largest man made non-nuclear wartime explosion, world’s largest maple leaf, and world’s largest tin soldier, standing at 9.8 meters or 32 feet.
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