The little Legion with a big heart!

Colonel Fitzgerald Branch 233, Orangeville

16 Fascinating facts about Canada

1. Canada used approximately 13 different flag designs since 1497 before the Maple Leaf was adopted by parliament and became official on February 15, 1965, almost 100 years after we became a country in 1867.  Prior to that, the British maritime flag, the red ensign, stood in for general use.

2. Canada’s name comes from a misunderstanding between Jacques Cartier and an Iroquois youth who was pointing out a village repeating the word “Kanata”. He was 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 in 1535. By 1547, maps were showing the name Canada applied to everything north of the St. Lawrence River.

3 Canada is the World's Most Educated Country.  It is the only country in which more than half of the adult population has completed university taking into account both undergraduate and graduate degrees. This represented an 11 per cent increase compared to 2000, when Canada dominated the ranking as well. 


1.   McIntosh apples 1811
2.   Foghorn 1854
3.   The Odometer 1854
4.   Luggage tags 1882
5.   Peanut Butter 1884
6.   Egg carton 1911
7.   Insulin 1922
8.   Walkie Talkie 1937
9.   Paint Roller  1940
10.   Wheelchair Accessible Bus 1947
11.   Plastic garbage bags 1950

12.   Electric wheelchair 1952

13.   Instant Replay 1955
14.   Wonder-bra 1961
15.   IMAX 1967
16.  Trivial Pursuit 1979

4. Canada has more than 60 percent of the world’s lakes The number of lakes larger than three square kilometres is estimated at close to 31,752 by the Atlas of Canada, with 561 lakes with a surface area larger than 100 km2 including four of the Great Lakes. All in all, a whopping 9% of Canada’s surface is covered in fresh water.

5. Residents of Churchill, Manitoba, leave their car doors unlocked in case someone needs to make a quick escape from the polar bears in the area who persistently loiter in or close to town.  From October to early November thousands of the bears wait on the vast peninsula until the water freezes on Hudson Bay so that they can return to hunt their primary food source, ringed seals.

6. Pekwachnamaykoskwaskwaypinwanik Lake is a lake in northeastern Manitoba near its border with Ontario. The name is Cree for "where the wild trout are caught by fishing with hooks." It is the longest place name in Canada at 31 letters long.

7. The United States invaded Canada twice, once in 1775 and again in 1812.  They lost both times and during the war of 1812, British/Canadian troops entered Washington, D.C. and burned down the White House in retaliation for the American attack on the city of York (Toronto) in June 1812. In that same year, Canadians/British/large force of First Nations participated in the seizure of Detroit under General Isaac Brock.

8. During WWII, Canada gave out badges to men who tried to enlist but were refused   because they didn’t meet the existing minimum medical requirements. This was to distinguish them from those who had not yet volunteered.

9. Canadians consume the most doughnuts and they have the most doughnut shops per capita of any country in the world.  Although the doughnut is often seen as an American icon, it has become Canada's unofficial national snack along with Canada's love affair with coffee.

10. Founded in Montreal in 1786, Molson Canada is the oldest brewery in North America and continues to produce beer on the site of the original brewery located on the Saint Lawrence River.  In 2005 Molson merged with US-based Coors to form Molson Coors Brewing Company, the world's seventh-largest brewing company at that time.

11. 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. Narcisse Snake Dens is 130 km north of Winnipeg. Mid-April to early May you can see tens of thousands of garter snakes slithering from their dens. Viewing platforms are available for people to watch them from a distance.

12. Although Canada is a huge country, it covers less than two percent of the Earth’s surface covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world's second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area.

13. Canada is home to the largest underground shopping complex in the world named PATH. Located in downtown Toronto, this underground walkway links 30 kilometres of shopping with approximately 1,200 shops and services that employ about 5,000 people. Once a year, businesses in PATH host the world's largest underground sidewalk sale.  More than 50 office towers, twenty parking garages, six subway stations, two major department stores, eight major hotels, and a railway terminal are all accessible through PATH. 

14. Canada’s only desert is in British Columbia.  It is only 15 miles long and it is the only desert in the world with a long boardwalk for visitors to walk along.  Temperatures range from up to 40 degrees Celsius in summer and down to -5 degrees in winter. 

15. O Canada, composed by Calixa Lavallée, was first performed in 1880 at a banquet attended by the governor general, the Marquis of Lorne, as part of Saint-Jean-Baptiste festivities in Quebec City. It was originally written in French by Adolphe-Basile Routhier, and known as the Chant National.  It was changed many times before O Canada became Canada’s national anthem in 1967 (officially in 1980).  We are soon going to adopt yet another version that is considered to be more gender neutral.

16. Sixteen things invented in Canada: