You thought you understood everything there was to know about the true north, the powerful and free? These fascinating facts about Canada will make you appreciate our lovely nation in a whole new light.
Canada has a larger population than the European Union.
Have you ever gone on a trip overseas and had someone inquire whether you knew Kimberly from Vancouver or Theo from Montreal after you informed them you were Canadian? For those who haven’t seen it personally, our country’s immense land size might be difficult to grasp. Here are some interesting facts about Canada to help you appreciate its vastness: It is larger than the whole European Union (33 times larger than Italy and 15 times larger than France), more than 30% larger than Australia, five times larger than Mexico, three times larger than India, and roughly the same size as 81,975 Walt Disney Worlds combined. To put it another way, you don’t know Kimberly or Theo!
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada is as cold as Mars.
One of the least shocking things about Canada is that it can become rather chilly in the winter (anyone who’s ever had to chisel their car out of a block of ice first thing in the morning knows this to be true). The average low temperature in Ottawa in January is -14.4 degrees Celsius (6.1 F). That’s a lot of cold! A temperature reported in 1947 in Snag, Yukon, on the other hand, makes the rest of Canada’s winter weather look like a nice beach vacation. On February 3, 1947, a temperature of -63 C (-81.4 F) was recorded in the little settlement of Snag. That’s almost the same as the temperature on Mars’ surface! Learn more about Canada’s coldest day in history.
There are more lakes in this area than anyplace else on the planet.
Canada offers a plethora of wonderful things, such as hockey players, parkas, and Tim Hortons franchisees. But one of the most amazing facts about Canada is that we have more lake surface area than any other country on the planet. That’s correct! There are 563 lakes greater than 100 square kilometers in the Great White North. The Great Lakes alone hold around 18% of the world’s fresh lake water. That’s a lot of water—and some stunning landscape.
Canada has the longest coastline in the world.
If you walked without stopping—not to eat, rest your feet, or sleep—it would take you four and a half years to walk the length of Canada’s coastline. While our nation may not conjure up pictures of turquoise waters and beautiful sandy beaches, it does have the world’s longest coastline, which is bounded on three sides by three separate oceans: the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific. To put that interesting number about Canada into context, it accounts for 202,080 of the world’s total 356,000 km of coastal land. Indonesia, with 54,716 kilometers of coastline, is the only other country that comes close.
Canada is home to 10% of the world’s woods.
One of the most well-known facts about Canada is that we have a lot of trees, but did you know that Canada has 30% of the world’s boreal forest and 10% of the world’s total forest cover? There are 396.9 million hectares of forest and other forested area in the nation, with coniferous forest accounting for 68% of the total. What’s the nicest thing of all? The majority of our forest property is controlled by the government, and much of it may be explored in these 50 stunning parks across Canada.
Canada is home to North America’s only walled city.
Quebec City has a trait that distinguishes it from other cities in Canada (and the United States): it has walls. Quebec City is the only city north of Mexico that still possesses defensive walls, which is one of the most remarkable facts about Canada. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, the French and then the English built up Quebec City’s defences. UNESCO has designated Quebec’s whole historic area, including the ramparts, as a World Heritage Site.
Canada has six times the amount of oil that Russia has.
It’s viscous and sticky, and Canada has an estimated 176.8 billion barrels of it recoverable. That’s true, crude bitumen—a semi-solid petroleum source—is abundant in Canada’s oil sands. There are an estimated 249.67 billion accessible barrels of the black stuff in the planet, with Canada possessing around 70.8 percent of it—four times more than Kazakhstan and six times more than Russia.
Canada’s national parks are larger than those of most other countries.
Because Canada is so big, even its national parks surpass those of other countries. Look at Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories: it’s not only beautiful with magnificent waterfalls, but it’s also enormous at 30,050 square kilometers—larger than Albania and Israel combined. Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta and the Northwest Territories is considerably larger, covering 44,807 square kilometers, larger than Denmark and Switzerland combined.
Canada has the most powerful current in North America.
For all you adrenaline enthusiasts out there, here’s an interesting fact about Canada. Check out the Seymour Narrows in British Columbia if you want to go for a swim of a lifetime (carry a life jacket). With flood speeds of 17 km/h and ebb speeds of 18 km/h, the Discovery Passage contains some of the highest tidal currents ever observed.
Of course, the Bay of Fundy’s spectacular 15-metre tides are found on the opposite coast. In this selection of amazing Canadian geography facts, you can learn more about that mind-boggling phenomena.
Alert, Nunavut is the world’s most northerly settlement.
Alert, Nunavut, is the world’s northernmost permanently inhabited settlement, located at the northern extremity of Ellesmere Island, approximately 817 kilometers from the North Pole. Although it lacks shopping malls and movie theaters, Alert serves as a temporary home for military and scientific workers stationed in the region. When you consider how chilly this region gets, the “temporary home” portion makes sense: the hottest month, July, has a pleasant average temperature of 3.4 C. (38.1 F). By January, the coldest month of the year, the average temperature had dropped to -32.19 C. (-26 F). It’s no surprise they dubbed it Alert.