Canada’s 150th Birthday – Fascinating Facts!

Almost a century and a half ago, Canada was born eh? In 2017, Canada celebrates 150 years as a nation and Canadians will gather in their communities from coast to coast to coast to celebrate this milestone.

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Did you know?

Canada has a lot of quirky and fascinating facts! Here, Beyond the Classroom shares our favourite little-known bits of information about our beloved country. Thanks to Today’s Parent and LifeBuzz for supplying the fun facts.

  1. Did you know that the word ‘Eh’ is a strictly Canadian creation? And it is not placed just anywhere in a sentence. You will find it only at the end used as a confirmation, agreement or question.
  2. The Stanley Cup has its own bodyguard, but that doesn’t mean Canadian hockey champions haven’t put all kinds of different foods and drinks in it (everything from chocolate milk to popcorn and cereal in fact).
  3. British Columbian pioneers made use of the oolichan, also called candlefish, at nighttime. The small fish is so fatty that it can be dried, strung on a wick and burned like a candle! Those pioneers were super resourceful.
  4. Canada’s name actually comes from a misunderstanding between Jacques Cartier and some Iroquois youth who were pointing out a village (for which they used the word “Kanata”). They were actually trying to identify the small area which is present day Quebec City, but Cartier used the similar-sounding word “Canada” to refer to the whole area. Oops!canada-goose-1563147_1920
  5. The Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba have more snakes in a concentrated area than anywhere else in the world. Tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes gather there every year. On the other hand, there are nosnakes on the island of Newfoundland. So if you have a snake-phobia, Newfoundland is where to go!
  6. Canada officially got its own national flag on February 15, 1965 — almost 100 years after it became a country (in 1867)! True story.
  7. Canada’s official languages may be French and English, but our geese have their own language. Some scientists believe that Canada geese have as many as 13 different calls for everything from greetings and warnings to happiness. Multilingual creatures indeed!
  8. If you ever visit Dawson City, Yukon, you can join the “Sourtoe Cocktail Club”. All you have to do is finish a drink (of anything!) with a real human toe in the bottom, literally. The club’s motto says, “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow — but the lips have got to touch the toe.” Um, no thanks!
  9. In 1962, Pincher Creek, Alberta experienced the fastest, biggest temperature change ever recorded in Canada as a result of a Chinook (a warm, dry wind that comes off the Rocky Mountains). The temperature rose from -19C to 22C in just one hour! From snow pants to shorts in sixty minutes!
  10. Between 1984 and 2008, it was illegal to sell pop in cans in PEI. All carbonated drinks had to be purchased in refillable glass bottles. PEI was the only place in North America to have a “can ban.” Make sure you recycle those cans!
  11. Forget the Loch Ness Monster: Canada has its own mysterious lake creature, Ogopogo, who reportedly lives in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia. Head to BC and try to snap a pic of the mysterious beast!

Looking for some fun ideas and events to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with your family this summer? Stay tuned to part 2 about Canada’s 150th birthday, for some inspirational ideas!

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