OOOOOOOH CANADA! How we love our big, beautiful country. Land of the Caesar, the 2-4, a giant nickel. There are endless things to love about the true north, and this Canada Day, we’ve collected up some of our favourites. From bizarre Canadian trivia to reasons we’re proud to call this place home, we’ve put together some Canada Facts, so whether you feel the need to amuse passengers on a long car ride to the cottage, share some wisdom with the table next to you on a patio, or kick ass at your Canada Day BBQ Drinking Game, you’ll be patriotically prepared.
1. We rule at Festivals: The CONTACT Photography Festival is the largest in the world, TIFF is seen as the true start of the Oscar race, and Caribana is North America’s largest street festival.
2. If you were at Concordia in 2001, you should have dropped by the MFA Faculty Christmas Party-it was one of the Arcade Fire’s first gigs.
3. Alert, in Nunavut, is the northernmost permanent settlement in the world. It’s 817 km from the North Pole. According to the 2006 census, it had five permanent inhabitants. It snows ten months a year, and the warmest it gets, in July, is 3 degrees. THREE. DEGREES. So stop whining with it’s only 22 in June. In the summer, you can see the sun at midnight.
4. William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk, is scared of space. We all have our things.
5. Kardinal Offishall took his name from 17th century French politician Cardinal Richelieu. Also, dude likes frozen yogurt.
6. Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world, 243 042 km.
7. The Yellow Bird Project, a Montreal-based charity that partners with indie bands to create cool t-shirts and raise money for charity, has been goin’ strong since 2006 with the help of everyone from Andrew Bird to Wolfmother. They’re also responsible for one of our favourite pieces of kitsch, The Indie Rock Colouring Book.
8. Winnie the Pooh was Canadian, and named after Winnipeg. Fact. Y’know who else is Canadian? Franklin the Turtle.
9. Canadian Coco Rocha is one of the most outspoken anti-anorexia advocates in the fashion world. You go, Coco!
10. The Moosehead Brewery in Saint John, New Brunswick, turns out 1,642 bottles of beer PER MINUTE! Imagine that to the tune of 1, 642 Celtic fiddles.
11. Cryptozoologists (who study hidden animals. HIDDEN ANIMALS!) cite many “cryptids” who call Canada their home and native land, including Sasquatch, also known as the beaver-eater (heh), a cannibalistic wildman named Windigo, and lake monster Ogopogo in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.c
12. Toronto’s Second City has been running for 50+ years and is still as beloved as ever.
13. Canada invented standard time. We’re still more proud of Caesars, though.
14. There’s a prehistoric supervillian from Alberta who preys on the weak! (Albertosaurus, not Stephen Harper).
15. Canadian model Daria Werbowy, famous for being discovered in a Tim Hortons, has sailed across the Atlantic Ocean.
16. Ontario is bigger than Texas.
17. Back when Ottawa was a logging town, it was known as the most dangerous city in North America, because the loggers had such angry demeanours.
18. Shania Twain used to work for her father’s reforestation business, lugging trees through the wilderness and not showering for days.
19. North America’s smallest jail is in Creemore, Ontario in the valley of the Mad River.
20. They don’t have daylight savings time in Saskatchewan. Like, what?
21. The TransCanada Highway is the longest highway in the world.
22. Lois Maxwell, the original Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond films, was born in Kitchener, Ontario.
23. Leslie Neilsen’s brother, Erik, was deputy Prime Minister of Canada from 1984-86.
24. The CBC began broadcasting on Canada Day in 1958. Happy birthday Ceebs!
25. Canada Day is also Moving Day in Montreal: since so many year-long leases begin and end this weekend, it seems like the whole city is migrating.
26. The narrowest house in North America is 6 Donnacona St. in Quebec City. It’s 3.7 m wide.
27. Canadian designers like Jeremy Laing, Erdem, Calla, and Mark Fast are kicking ass on the international fashion scene.
28. Founded in Montreal, Cirque du Soleil makes over $810 billion US a year
29. TorStar publishing group also owns Harlequin (that’s right, the romance novels).
30. They’ve been filming the remake of Total Recall around Kensington Market, which means Kate Beckinsale is wandering around in well-appointed dog walking outfits.
31. You can wander down Dundas West and find the Cadbury secret. (277 Gladstone Avenue, just follow your nose!)
32. Woody’s, the drag bar on Church St., is rumoured to have the highest beer sales of any bar in Canada.