Hi everyone :)
I'm from Canada, and would like to take this opportunity to present some interesting things about Canada that not everyone may know. Enjoy!
1. We have a lot of poutine, and it's amazing
For a long time, poutine was celebrated as a symbol of Quebecois pride, until it's rise in popularity that saw uptake in provinces outside Quebec, and in other parts of North America. It has since been considered a national Canadian dish that I would certainly recommend trying.
The traditional poutine consists of fries smothered in cheese curd and gravy (which helps melt the cheese). This is considered the "base" poutine, but since, there have been several variations with elements that get added in to this recipe. Some of these variations include pulled pork, sausage, perogy, and chicken, as well as stranger variants such as the "thanksgiving special" which has stuffing and turkey in it.
2. There's wild polar bears
In the northern territories of Canada (Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon), as well as northern Ontario, a tourist may be lucky enough to run into a wild polar bear. Unfortunately, the WHO lists these kingly mammals as endangered species, as they are being threatened by melting polar ice caps in the ocean that they use to hunt seals.
3. The CN Tower was once the largest freestanding building in the world
The CN Tower, located in Toronto Ontario, provides scenic panoramic views of lake Ontario and the city proper. 4 elevators carry visitors to the viewing level, where they may sit in a rotating restaurant and order food, or step onto a glass floor overlooking the ground below. For an extra fee, visitors may take a second elevator to the very tip of the tower. For 30 years, it was the tallest freestanding structure in the world, but has since been surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
4. Basketball was founded by a Canadian
Believe it or not, as popular as basketball is in the United States, the basketball program was actually developed by a Canadian. He studied physical education at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec before moving to Springfield Massachusetts, where he developed the game in 1891. He would go on to be one of the coaches for the University of Kansas Jayhawks, but had a losing record as a coach.
5. The Stereotypes
Canadians are known by several stereotypes around the world. Some examples of these stereotypes are listed below:
- we feel the need to apologize for everything
- we say "eh" a lot
- we're hockey fanatics
- apparently we ride polar bears
- plaid, plaid, plaid
- we put maple syrup on everything
6. We are the largest international producer of Maple Syrup
You know that stuff you pour over your waffles or pancakes, there is a good chance that it is maple syrup that was produced in Canada. Maple syrup is produced in a traditional process. As the temperature begins to warm in spring, starches in sugar maple trees are converted naturally into sugar. Sap is made as ground water mixes with the sugar in the tree. This sap is collected through tap holes into buckets that are hung around the tree. The buckets of sap are transported back to a sugarhouse, where the boiling process draws out the water from the sap, leading to caramelization of the sugar. When the pans reach a high temperature, the syrup is drawn out and collected, then tested for density and flavour. The maple products are then sold for retail. At least 80% of the world's maple syrup is exported from Canada.
7. Unyielding politeness
There is a general politeness surrounding people in Canada that is evident to others from around the world (I say this based on posts others have made and personal experience). We welcome tourists, and you will never need to feel embarrassed or worried to ask for help with directions. When two people walk into each other in a grocery store, both individuals usually apologize, even though neither were at fault.
I quote “Though there are polite people the world over, saying please and thank you is ingrained into every Canadian at a young age. It costs nothing to say yet it provides so much to those receiving it. You can say that Canada is rich in social pleasantries.”
8. Canada's lowest recorded temperature is as cold as Mars
Canada has long been known for having harsh winters that can reach frigid temperatures. In 1947, the lowest recorded temperature in Canada was -61C (-81.4F), with average temperatures today around -14 to -20 in Ontario (6.1F). The lowest temperature recorded is the same temperature a visitor to Mars would experience upon reaching the surface!
9. There is gorgeous scenery to be found everywhere
From historic lighthouses and Nordic-like scenery on the east coast, to scenic mountain ranges bordering lakes on the west coast, Canada has a multitude of different types of scenery to explore. I would recommend a trip starting at one side of Canada, then travel across each province to the other side, and you'll really notice how much is here. If you've ever thought about travelling here for a visit, I would definitely recommend it just for the scenery and vistas alone. For an added bonus, you may also get a chance to see the aurora borealis in the northern territories.
10. You can write a letter to the North Pole, and get a letter back from Santa
Learning about this fact even surprised me. A letter can be sent to Santa Clause at the North Pole in any language, and a letter will be sent back from the man himself. For the past 14 years, the program has averaged one million letters or more a year, and in total answered more than 24.7 million letters. All letters are sent to the postal code H0H 0H0 (or Ho Ho Ho). This is great for the kids!
Thanks for reading everyone, hopefully you learned something interesting.