The 7 Fun Facts about Canada you need to know

Have you done your homework on the cost of living or Montreal's neighbourhoods ? Now it's time for some fun facts about Canada. Without further ado, discover our 7 fun facts about Canada. But beware, even if you think you know everything about this fabulous country, we're sure you'll discover some new things!

Indeed, even if most of the fun facts are very well known, such as the fact that the Queen of England is the sovereign of Canada or that Canada is about 20 times bigger than France, we are going to focus today on some facts that are not well known to the general public, but that are just as fascinating.

We will show you, through 7 fun facts about Canada, that despite its relatively short existence, this country is full ofunusual stories.

1 - The name "Canada" comes from an Aboriginal word

The name "Canada" probably comes from the Huron-Iroquois word kanata, which means " village " or "settlement". In 1535, when two Aboriginal youths pointed out the way to kanata to the explorer Jacques Cartier, they were in fact referring to the village of Stadacona, the present-day site of Quebec City. For want of another name, Cartier named not only the village, but also the entire territory governed by its chief, Donnacona, " Canada.

Soon, explorers and fur traders ventured west and south, and the territory known as Canada grew. In the early eighteenthe century, the name referred to all the French lands that now make up the American mid-west and extend south to Louisiana.

The name Canada was first officially used in 1791, when the province of Quebec was divided into two colonies: Upper Canada and Lower Canada. In 1841, the two Canadas were united under the name of the Province of Canada.

In the same idea, the name "Quebec" comes from the Algonquin word "Kebec" which means "where the river narrows".

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2 - The Marvel character "Wolverine" is named after a very... special Canadian animal

Wolverine 's code name comes from the wolverine (wolverine a carnivorous mammal of the family mustelidae. The wolverine is a massive, stocky animal, no more than one metre long, with a dark brown, banded coat. It is very ferocious and does not hesitate to attack larger animals such as reindeer or elk.

Like the glutton, Wolverine is subject to uncontrollable rages that increase his already above-average agility and strength tenfold. He is very bold and takes on opponents whose powers often far exceed his own, such as Hulk.

His physical appearance also shows bestial characteristics, notably his canines pronounced canines.

But rest assured, it is very unlikely that you will come across one.

Admit it, this 7 fun facts about Canada is already starting to surprise you.

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3 - One of the biggest heists of the Canadian century is maple syrup

No doubt this fun fact is a big cliché, but at least true.

Between August 2011 and July 2012, no less than 9,500 barrels (or 2,000 tonnes) of maple syrup were stolen ( worth $18.7 million).

The theft took place in the warehouse operation belonging to the FPAQ (Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec) which alone represents 72% of world production and 90% of Canadian production.

To elaborate further, the criminals used trucks to transport the barrels to a remote sugar shack. From there, they would siphon off the maple syrup, fill the barrels with water, and send them back to the facility. As the operation grew, the maple syrup in the barrels was replaced by water, resulting in completely empty barrels.

In the fall of 2012, the FPAQ conducted an annual inventory of maple syrup barrels. The deception was discovered when an officer almost tripped while climbing on an empty barrel (which was supposed to weigh 600 pounds).

No less than 17 people have been charged in this case with prison sentences of up to 8 years.

If you want more information, the flight was featured in the documentary series Netflix Dirty Money in season 1, episode 5, "The Maple Syrup Heist".

When we said that this 7 fun facts about Canada would surprise you... it wasn't a joke.

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4 - The best camembert in the world is from Quebec

Hard blow for French cheese! The best Camembert does not come from Normandy, but from Saint-Hubert in Quebec. 

In 2018, an international cheese competition was held called the "World Championship Cheese Contest" where more than 3,400 cheeses from 26 countries competed.

As far as Camembert is concerned, there were cheeses from New Zealand, Denmark and the USA, some of which made it to the podium. It is important to know that Camembert is an unprotected designation of origin.

The Quebec company Agropur won the prize for the best camembert in the world. 

Its name? L'Extra, which won against 17 other competing camemberts, including the highly reputed Isigny Sainte-Mère de Normandie, which had sent its best. It had already won the title in 2010.

But rest assured, it was a French cheese that won the competition for the best cheese in the world and it was Esquirrou (a cheese made from sheep's milk).

As much as we love Canada, this anecdote from this 7 fun facts about Canada broke our hearts.

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5 - Quebec almost became an independent and sovereign country

In 1995, the province of Quebec held a referendum on its independence and departure from Canada.

It took a few thousand votes to tip the balance one way or the other.

In summary, the Quebec independence movement has always existed, but with variations in intensity. The first important movement took place in 1837 with an armed conflict which resulted in a defeat for the Quebec patriots.

In 1967, René Lévesque (author of the book Option Québec) gave a second wind to the independence movement by winning more and more seats in the Quebec parliament.

Throughout the second half of the 21st century, the movement continued to grow, culminating in a referendum in 1995 on whether Quebec should be independent.

On 30 October 1995, the referendum was counted, resulting in a victory for the "no" side with only 50,000 votes (50.58 for the "no" side and 49.42 for the "yes" side).

6 - Hockey is not the only national sport in Canada

How? Why? How?

And yes, hockey is the national sport in winter, but in summer, it is Lacrosse. With its French-sounding name, one might think that the sport of lacrosse has crossed the pond from Europe to Canada.

In fact, lacrosse was first played by First Nations people in the 1600s. The sport was then adopted by Canada's English-speaking middle classes in the 19th century and was officially declared Canada's national sport by an act of Parliament in 1994. 

This sport is played with a stick (a stick with a net at the end). The aim is to catch, pass and carry a rubber ball in order to score goals for the opposing team. There are different types of sticks:

  • Men's field lacrosse: is played outdoors on grass and consists of 2 teams of 10 players. A game lasts 80 minutes divided into 20-minute quarters. It is a contact sport requiring special equipment and protection (similar to hockey or American football).
  • Women's field lacrosse: This is played outdoors on grass and involves two teams of 12 players. It is played without contact, so the equipment is lighter. Each game lasts 60 minutes (2 halves of 30 minutes).

The game is particularly dynamic and scores rise quickly as teams are required to shoot at the goal every 30 seconds

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7 - The origins of poutine

If there's one thing we don't joke about in Quebec, it's the poutine.

And yes, this 7 fun facts about Canada could not end without mentioning the quintessential Quebecois dish.

But what is it? Poutine is a dish from the Quebecois cuisine in its classic form, consisting of three elements: French fries,cheese curds, and brown gravy..

Several places are vying for this unequalled merit... What is certain is that it was born in rural Quebec in the 1950s.

But the most common story is that it comes from a restaurant formerly called Le Lutin Qui Rit in Warwick, in the municipality of Arthbaska. In 1957, a customer named Eddy Lainesse asked the owner, Fernand Lachance, to mix the cheese case with fries.

So, don't fancy a nice hot poutine in the winter? That's not the only tip we have for you survive during this season. 

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