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10 Facts About Canada You Probably Didn't Know

The Vancouver skyline

Posted by on 01 Nov 2019 , in North America

There are many things to discover about Canada – from its most amazing natural wonders to its diverse heritage. But before you go on exploring its vast lands, take the time to get to know some facts about the Great White North. We guarantee that you don’t know half of the things we’ve listed below.

1. Canada is the second-largest country in the world.

Measuring a total of 9.984 million square kilometres in area, Canada is only bested by Russia as the largest land area in the world. In comparison, Russia covers more than 17 million square kilometres, while the United States comes in third with 9.826 million square kilometres, and China in fourth with 9.596 square kilometres.

2. It has the “smallest desert” in the world.

Tucked away in the Yukon Territories, the Carcross Desert occupies an area of about 2.59 square kilometres of sand dunes – making it the “world’s smallest desert.” Because Canada is universally known for its epic slopes and mountain ranges, the Carcross Desert is a natural wonder that baffles many. It was formed during the last glacial period when the lakes that used to deposit silt in the area dried up. Today, the sandy slopes are a beloved spot for sandboarding.

3. Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined.

Covering an almost 9% of their total area, Canada has more than 3 million lakes (including the smaller lakes). More than 50% of the lakes in the entire world are in Canada, giving it 20% of the world’s freshwater. Some of the more notable ones are Lake Superior, the largest in North America, Lake Huron, encompassing an area of almost 60,000 square kilometres, Great Bear Lake, located on the Arctic Circle, and the Great Slave Lake, the deepest lake in North America with a depth of 614 metres.

4. It’s the polar bear capital of the world.

Of the recorded 25,000 polar bears in the world, 15,500 of them are found in the region near Churchill, Manitoba. The town is situated on the west shore of Hudson Bay, where the polar bears migrate to hibernate during the winter. Sometimes, there are more polar bears than human residents in the town. The ones that do live nearby have developed the practice of leaving their cars unlocked in case a pedestrian needs a quick escape from a roaming polar bear. The town is also known as a great spot for beluga whales and bird watching.

5. It’s the best place to see the aurora borealis.

Because of its altitude and northern position, Canada is one of the best countries to watch the Northern Lights. In particular, the town of Churchill is one of the most ideal sites to wait for nature’s most impressive and iconic light show. Home to one of the heaviest concentrations of the aurora, the natural phenomenon even appears on occasion outside of winter. To learn more about the best places and time in Canada to see the Northern Lights, read what our experts have to say here.

6. It has national parks bigger than countries.

Wood Buffalo National Park, in the Northwest Territories, is Canada’s largest national part at 44,807 square kilometres (almost 4x the land area of Sydney). Founded in 1999 to protect the remaining bison in northern Canada, it’s also one of the biggest national parks – larger than countries like Denmark, Switzerland, and Netherlands. At 37,775 square kilometres, the Quttinirpaaq National Park is the second largest – still bigger than Belgium.

7. The Canadian dollar is great value for money.

With an almost 1:1 exchange rate with the Australian dollar, price conversion is a bit easier – saving you the time of calculating everything to Australian currency. Additionally, the expenses in Canada can be relatively lower in some cases.

8. Vancouver has the mildest climate in Canada.

Located close to the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is one of the warmer cities in Canada. It only experiences snow an average of 11 days per year and around 1589 mm of rain per year. Even though winters are milder in Vancouver, its mountains like Cypress, Grouse, and Mount Seymour are great places to hit the slopes or indulge in other outdoor activities like snowboarding, tobogganing, and sledding.

9. Whistler, Canada is known locally as “Whistralia.”

Over the years, there has been a mass migration of skiers and snowboarders from Australia, making it the most densely populated area of Australian nationals in the world. Whistler Blackcomb, home to some of the best snow terrain in the world, has become such a popular destination for Australians that you’ll hear the Aussie accent as much as its local’s.

10. Santa Claus is Canadian.

Every year, an approximate of 1 million letters from kids all over the world are sent to Santa Claus’ address: H0H 0H0, North Pole, Canada. In 2008, Santa Claus was officially awarded Canadian citizenship by then Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenny – declaring Santa a legitimate citizen of the country.

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