25 Surprising Facts About Canada You Probably Didn’t Know

Posted by , Updated on November 8, 2017


What do you think of when you think of Canada? Deserts? Beaches? Palm trees? Vineyards? Probably not, but today we’re going to change your view of the Great White North. It’s not all tundra and polar bears (all though it does have plenty of those!). These are 25 surprising facts about Canada you probably didn’t know!


According to the OECD, Canada is the most educated country in the world (more than half of adults have a college degree).

Diploma and Canadian flagSource: time.com

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Canada was -63 C (-81.4 F). It was measured at Snag in the Yukon Territory in 1947.

iceSource: factretreiver.com

Canada has the most lakes out of any country in the world.

BanffSource: cbc.ca

Residents in Churchill, Manitoba leave their cars and houses unlocked. This provides a quick escape from hungry polar bears.

polar bearSource: outsideonline.com

Canada gets its name from the Iroquoian word “Kanata”. It means “village”.

CanadaSource: canada.pch.gc.ca


The Canada-US border is the world’s longest border between two countries. It’s official name is the International Boundary.

The international boundarySource: worldatlas.com

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Canada actually declared war on Japan before the United States did (within a few hours).

Pearl HarborSource: publications.gc.ca

Canada’s official phone number is 1 800 O-Canada.

phoneSource: canada.ca

Large parts of the Hudson Bay actually experience slightly less gravity than the rest of the world. Scientists have a few theories as to why, but they mostly have to do with shifts in the Earth’s mass.

Hudson BaySource: howstuffworks.com

Some police in Canada hand out positive tickets. And yes, it’s a ticket for doing something postive.

thumbs upSource: positivetickets.com

After the USSR and the United States, Canada was the third country to reach space

Canadian astronautSource: asc-csa.gc.ca

There are less people in Canada than there are in the Tokyo metropolitan area. As of this writing, Canada has 35.6 million. The Tokyo area has 37 million.

TokyoSource: nationamaster.com

Canadians lead the world in illegal visa overstays in the United States. An estimated 93,000 Canadians are living south of the border with expired visas.

Welcome to the United StatesSource: latintimes.com

The Okanagan Valley is a breathtaking wine growing region in British Columbia.

Okanagan wine valleySource: okanaganwines.ca

Alert, Nunavut is the northernmost inhabited place on Earth.

Alert, NunavutSource: mentalfloss.com

The inventor of basketball, James Naismith, was Canadian.

basketballSource: kansasheritage.org

Canadians are famous for giving the world kerosene, insulin, IMAX, electron microscopes, and snowmobiles.

snowmobileSource: thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/

Once, $30 million worth of maple syrup were stolen from a reserve in Quebec.

syrupSource: cbc.ca

Canada has more donut shops per capita than any other country.

donutsSource: cbc.ca

The Okanagan Desert is a semi-arid area located in British Columbia. That’s right, Canada has a desert...and cacti!

Okanagan desertSource: torontosun.com

There are non-indigenous palm trees that grow along the coast in and around Vancouver.

Vancouver palmsSource: vancouversun.com

The Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia is part of the Pacific temperate rainforest region that stretches across the US and Canada. It is the largest area of temperate rainforest in the world.

Great Bear rainforestSource: nationalgeographic.com

75% of Canadians live within 160 km (100 miles) of the US border

Canadian population densitySource: nationalgeographic.com

One major road connects eastern and western Canada (through Ontario). It is called Highway 17 (Trans-Canada Highway) and in the most remote regions it's only one lane in each direction.

Trans CanadaSource: thestar.com

Note: most Canadians fly across the continent and if they do drive, they tend to drive through the US. Furthermore, if they do fly, many Canadians use airlines in the US because they are cheaper.


Alberta has badlands, like wild west style badlands.

Alberta badlandsSource: nationalgeographic.com

Image Credits: 1. Public Domain, 2. Shutterstock, 3. derivative work: Yug (talk) Canada_(geolocalisation).svg: STyx via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 2.5 | work was edited to include text and red line. 4. Bradley Davis via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0, 5. keepitsurreal via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 2.0, 6. jace48 via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 7. lucianvenutian via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 2.0, 8. M. Rehemtulla via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 9-11. Public Domain, 12. Kelowna09 via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 2.0, 13. Dennis Yang via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 14-16. Public Domain, 17. Globe Master 3D via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 3.0, 18-19. Public Domain, 20. Phizzy at English Wikipedia via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 21. Public Domain, 22. Arturo de Frias Marques via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0, 23. Tobias Alt, Tobi 87 via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0, 24. Public Domain, 25. Shutterstock.

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