5 Fun Facts about Canada
Canada is a wondrous country, filled with beautiful landscapes, innovative people, a wide array of animal wildlife, and a solidified sense of pride. There’s much to say about this great place we call home, but let’s check out just a few fun facts about Canada.
1. The biggest climate jump in Canadian history went from -19 to 22 ºC within only one hour
On January 10, 1962, a southwestern Alberta town called Pincher Creek experienced the biggest contrasting temperature change in recorded Canadian history. In the span of an hour, it went from a chilly -19 ºC all the way up to 22 ºC! This crazy warm weather was brought on by Chinook winds - strong, moist Pacific winds that dry out and gather speed as they climb and then descend down mountain ranges, raising temperatures drastically and often evaporating snow.
Pincher Creek is right next to the Rockies, placing it directly in the path of these high winds. This area of Alberta experiences around 30-35 Chinooks a year!
2. Canada’s forest regions make up 10% of the entire world’s forests
Out of the whole world’s forests, 10 percent can be found in Canada. Canada has 347 million hectares of forest area, 77 percent of which are Boreal forests. In fact, Canada makes up a whopping quarter of all the world’s Boreal forests.
Boreal forests are made up of trees that flourish in cold climates, such as spruce, pine, and fir. Canada’s Boreal forests do not typically fall victim to deforestation. In 1990, 64,000 hectares of forest area were deforested, compared to an incredible decrease to 37,000 hectares in 2016. Canada has one of the lowest deforestation rates by country.
3. Canada is known for many great inventions, including the snow blower, I-max, and poutine
Poutine was created in rural Quebec in the 1950s, consisting of the familiar ingredients we know so well: fries, cheese curds, and gravy. There have been different contributions to the invention of poutine, and several people have claimed to be the original creator.
In 1957, a man from Warwick named Fernand Lachance owned a restaurant called Le Lutin qui rit (translated to The Laughing Elf) and had a customer request cheese curds mixed in with his fries. Later, he allegedly added gravy as a way to keep the dish warm. Word spread quickly, especially from cheese curd manufacturers as a way to increase business. And the Québecois dish poutine was born!
4. Canada is the most educated country by percentage of population
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which indicates the levels of adult education in residents between the ages of 25-64, Canada has the highest percentage of people with a certain level of education. The levels include a two-year degree, four-year degree or vocational program.
56% of adult Canadians meet the criteria set by the OECD. In 2017, the average across all 36 eligible countries was just 37%.
5. The Northwest Territories license plates are shaped like polar bears
The polar bear-shaped license plate was introduced in 1970, to celebrate 100 years of the Northwest Territories. When Nunavut was developed from the eastern part of the Northwest Territories in 1999, they also adopted this special plate shape - until 2012, when they held a contest to implement a new design.
There are approximately 16,000 polar bears in Canada, 90% of which live in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Canada’s population of polar bears makes up 2-thirds of the world’s population.