Canada is renowned worldwide for its fabulous, pure nature and for its warm, generous people. It’s on the bucket list for most travelers and many people from less fortunate parts of the world would love to build a new life in this North American country. Actually, in 2018, Canadian city Vancouver ranked fifth best city in the world for quality of living from 231 cities all over the planet.

 

Canada was named Canada by accident

This isn’t, of course, the first case of a misunderstanding leading to naming a country or a city, and it’s not even the most famous. The story, however, is quite interesting: when the French explorer Jacques Cartier got to what is nowadays Canada, he met local natives who were pointing out to a village using the word ‘kanata’.

They were actually pointing to the nowadays city of Quebec, but Cartier wrongly assumed they were referring to the entire land. He then started to use the word ‘Canada’ himself – which sounds very similar to ‘kanata’ – and this is how we got to the modern name of this North American country.

Saying ‘sorry’ is not admissible in court

Everyone knows how polite, helpful and non-belligerent Canadians are. No wonder their border with the USA is the largest demilitarized border in the world, Canadians are no threat and have no desire for conflict.

In 2009 The Apology Act was passed, and that made the word ‘sorry’ inadmissible in court. Because Canadians are so polite, they say ‘sorry’ way too frequently, and that means they use this word as an expression of sympathy or regret, but not to admit guilt.

 

Canada has the longest coastline in the world

Not only is Canada the second biggest country in the world after Russia, but it also has the longest coastline. If you were to walk the length of Canada’s coastline without stopping at all (that means no eating, no sleeping, no resting), it would take you about four and a half years.

Canada is also in the unique position of being bordered by three different oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans. To throw some numbers in, over 200,000 kilometers of the world’s 356,000 kilometers oceanfront property is in Canada.

 

10 percent of the world’s total forest cover is in Canada

People knew how amazing the nature in Canada is even before seeing the breathtaking scenery in the film The Revenant, starring Leonardo di Caprio. Mountains, lakes, forests, Canada has it all and in abundance.

No wonder one of Canada’s nicknames is Lumberjack Country – up to 30 percent of the Great White North is covered in trees or thick forest, and most of it is publicly owned. Even though the majority of Canada’s forests are coniferous, there is also a high percentage of boreal forests which can only add to the beautiful nature of this country.

 

Canada invented basketball

Well, to be exact, it was invented by a Canadian working as an instructor in an American school in Springfield, Massachusetts. James Naismith invented the game in 1891 as a response to the need for an indoor winter activity that can be played in teams and wasn’t difficult to learn.

Naismith was interested in developing a game that emphasized skill, not force. He came up with what we call basketball, and this sport was so popular that by the 1930s it was played all over the world. This prompted its acceptance as an official Olympic competition in 1936.

 

Santa is a Canadian citizen

Whether he wants to or not, Santa was declared a Canadian citizen by the Canadian government. No wonder, with the multitude of reindeers in Canada (about two and a half million of them), he can get all the help he needs to deliver the presents.

You can actually write Santa in any language possible (maybe even ask him for that cool skateboard you wanted when you were a child) and mail the letter to his Canadian ho-ho-home. Apparently, his workshop is tax exempt, or at least everyone hopes it is.

Queen Elizabeth II is Canada’s official Head of State

In case you frequently use Canadian money – now you know why Queen Elizabeth II appears on the Canadian bills.

The Queen’s full Canadian title is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

All Canadian Government officials and citizens have to swear allegiance to the British monarch. Does that mean Santa has to do that too?

 

Canada has six time zones

Maybe not so surprising given its size, but still an interesting fact: Canada encompasses six different time zones. From east to west these are: Newfoundland Time Zone, Atlantic Time Zone, Eastern Time, Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone, and the Pacific Time Zone.

 

Canada is bigger than the European Union

Let’s get things straight: there are 28 states (there will be 27 soon, as the United Kingdom will leave in 2019) in the European Union and Canada is bigger than that entire lot.

Canada is huge and to really grasp how huge we are talking about, let’s see some facts: it’s 33 times bigger than Italy and 15 times larger than France. It’s about three times the size of India and Mexico is five times smaller. Canada is even 30 percent larger than Australia.

 

 In Canada, there is the largest concentration of snakes in the world

Canada is the home of Narcisse Snake Pits of Manitoba, where about 70 000 snakes emerge out of hibernation every year in May. They are mostly red-sided gartered snakes, and luckily they are not poisonous. Their saliva is slightly venomous, and it can easily kill frogs and other small animals, but it only induces itching and skin swelling in humans. Still, not a pretty sight for anyone suffering from ophidiophobia (fear of snakes).