Ice Hockey is NOT the official sport of Canada and other things I learned writing a Canadian fact book

Canada Fact Book
Bike against wall with Canadian flag

Canada's Fun Facts

I LOVED writing a fun fact and trivia book about Canada. There were so many fascinating things that it was hard to limit the book to only 126 pages. 

 

While I’m not Canadian, I know several Canadians, have lived with Canadians, and have visited Canada many times and loved learning more about them and their country.

 

Here are just a handful of the facts that stood out to me as I researched and wrote “So You Think You Know, CANADA, Eh?”

This is just a taste of what you’ll find in the book.

Lacrosse not Hockey

Lacrosse Canada's Official Sport

Lacrosse is the official sport and for good reason. And once you learn the history of the game of lacrosse and how it’s a First Nation game and is the oldest game in Northern America, it makes sense.

Santa is officially Canadian

Santa is Canadian and has special postal code - Ho Ho Ho

Santa Claus was officially declared a Canadian citizen in 2008. His one-of-a-kind Canadian address has his very own postal code that spells out “Ho ho ho.”

 

For those who need to get your letters to Santa, send your letters to:

Santa Claus
North Pole, H0H 0H0
Canada

 

Santa speaks all the languages

Santa answers letters in any language

This was one thing that really stuck out as I was writing the book.

 

It doesn’t matter what language you send your letters in, Santa answers the letters in the same language in which they are sent.

 

This means that some years, it’s close to 200 different languages.

 

Totem Poles are official symbols

Totem Pole - Canadian National Symbol

The totem pole is among Canada’s national symbols.

 

At one time, “The World’s Largest Totem Pole” was found in Alert Bay, British Columbia.

 

It was built from two sections, the main one being 163 feet or 49.6 meters tall and the spire, being 10 feet or 3 meters.

 

It stood 173 feet or 53 meters tall and included symbolic figures of the Sun Man, a whale, an old man, a wolf, the Thunderbird and its cousin, the Kulusl, a two-headed serpent, a bear holding a salmon, and a raven holding copper.

 

The title of “The World’s Largest Totem Pole” is greatly disputed and has been claimed by several different Pacific Northwest towns.

 

Disagreements are based on whether or not the pole was carved from one or multiple wood pieces and whether or not it was carved by an indigenous artisan.

 

Invented in Canada

Invented by Canadians

So many things we use every day were invented in Canada and I loved learning about them. Here are just a few of my favorite inventions that came from Canada and Canadians:

And that’s just a small list of the remarkable things invented in Canada that have changed the world. You’ll find a more comprehensive list in the book

 

POWS requested to stay in Canada

Prisoners look out from behind barbed wire at Sherbrooke, Que., in 1945.
Group of German, Italian and Japanese prisoners of war in prison camp look out from behind barbed wire at Sherbrooke, Que., in 1945.

Photo: Library and Archives Canada—PA163788

During World War II, there were more than 35,000 prisoners of war held in 27 “prison camps” across Canada. While they were called prison camps, they weren’t run anything like the average prison camp.

Prisoners were given nice clothing, stayed in dormitories, were well fed in dining halls, and had access to recreation centers where they could play football, handball, wrestle, or skate. They had access to books and education, organized their own band and orchestra, and held paid jobs.

After the war ended, more than 6,000 prisoners were so pleased with how they were treated that they asked to stay in Canada rather than Europe.

*More information can be found in the Canadian Encyclopedia and an article called “The Happiest Prisoners” in the Legion Magazine.

 

Hidden Symbols in Canadian Passports

The newest Canadian passports have hidden symbols and graphics on the inside pages that only appear under black light. 

What looks like a normal passport page transforms into technicolor designs with fireworks, colorful maple leaves, and Niagara Falls. 

The video above shows what each page looks like with and without the blacklight.

 

Don’t Lock Your Car Doors

Polar Bears

If you’re in Churchill, Manitoba in northern Canada and run into a polar bear, you can escape by finding the closest car and getting in. It’s normal for residents to leave their cars unlocked to offer an escape for this exact situation.

 

100% Rat-Free

Roof Rat

Hate rats? Alberta, Canada has been rat-free for more than 50 years. Rats, especially brown Norway rats, are one of the most destructive creatures known to man. They contaminate food, weaken buildings and carry diseases. 

 

Rats are not native to North America but were brought in around the time of the American Revolution in 1775. The rats made their way north and crossed into Alberta in 1950. 

 

The Alberta government had a plan in place in case this ever happened and were able to quickly and effectively halt the infestation. Their rat control program has proved to be the most successful in the world.

 

Did You Know About These?

Were these new to anyone else?

 

Find facts just like these and so much more in the book “So You Think You Know CANADA, Eh?”

 

You’ll even find a fun short quiz in the back to quiz yourself and your friends to see how well you really know Canada.

 

Learn more and get your copy now – Available as an e-book and paperback.