Celebrate Canada's 150 Birthday

Polar bears to the oldest walled city in North America

Are you planning to join Canadians to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial — 150th birthday — in 2017? There are lots of events planned from coast to coast to share our excitement. So whether it’s your first visit, or your tenth, plan to come to the Great White North this summer.

And if you’re wondering where that nickname came from, it was introduced nearly 40 years ago by the pop culture phenomenon, Bob & Doug McKenzie (played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas). The beer-swilling pair starred in their own hour long comedy hour where they played on Canadian stereotypes and called each other hosers.

They also popularized the word, “eh,” which we Canadians apparently use more than any other country in the world. We use it so much, in fact, that there are 10 different meanings ranging from a question to a statement to an insult!

And while we might scrimp on language a bit using “eh” for 10 different things, the Inuktitut dialect of Nunavik (Arctic Qu├ębec) have 10 different words for snow and 93 for sea ice!

You won’t, however, see snow anywhere but in the far Northern areas of the country if you visit during the summer. In fact, where I live smack in the middle of the Canadian prairies, 100 miles north of the US border (like about 75% of all Canadians), we hold the record for the hottest day in Canada. It was set July 5, 1937, at 114 degrees Fahrenheit. Our average July temperature here in Saskatchewan during the day, though, is actually 80 degrees (it often hits in the 90s), with cooler evenings and nights.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

There are many things you’ve probably also heard about Canada that are true. The most startling thing for visitors is often the length of the days and nights. Cities like Edmonton and Whitehorse may not be dark at 11 pm, while here in Southern Saskatchewan we have dusk until 10 pm.

We also have northern lights, or aurora borealis, although they’re not common over the summer. But even if you don’t see dancing lights overhead, you may notice a lot more stars. Much of Canada has very little light pollution, plus we have many dark sky preserves, so the nights really sparkle.

If you’d like to know more about Canada, here’s an infographic from Coupon Hub with some more details, not all of which, unfortunately, are particularly well researched! (Note that Montreal is actually the fourth largest French speaking city in the world, though, not second, and we have two million lakes — so I presume this number refers to lakes over a certain size. Polar bears aren’t really kept penned up either — there’s just a “polar bear jail” for polar bears that keep wandering into town before they can be relocated.)

Fun Facts About Canada Infographic

Photo credit above to Travel Manitoba.

25 Fun Facts about Canada

From Visually.

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