O, Canada! My home and native land… Alright, for those of you who know the anthem, that was pretty cheesy. But today is our National holiday, celebrated on July 1st because Canada became a country on July 1st 1867. For my fellow bloggers and loyal readers who may not be from the Great White North, here are some quick facts about Canada to help you understand what makes us awesome…
The common misconception is that Canada was first discovered in 1534 by French mariner Jacques Cartier. Although it is the accepted belief, the discover of an abandoned outpost in the Province of Newfoundland suggests that Vikings may have come to Canada as early as 500 years before Cartier.
Vikings aside, French and British settlers began colonizing in 1602. British colonies and territories joined together in 1867 through confederation to become a self-governing country that we know today as Canada.
Although self-governing, Canada continued to be ruled by the British Crown until as recently as 1982, when our Constitution was patriated. The British Monarchy is still considered our head of state.
Our the country has the second largest landmass of one country, in the world. Our borders touch three oceans (Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic) and our country has 10 Provinces and 3 Territories. As of today, Canada has a population of over 37 million people and we boast a unique multiculturalism unseen anywhere else in the world.
What else is Canadian? Well, I’m glad you asked… Five pin bowling, the wonder-bra, Trivial Pursuit, the vehicle Odometer, the egg carton, North American time zones, the electric wheelchair, the first plastic garbage bags, the paint roller, the first internet search engine, the first pacemaker, basketball, ringette and hockey, the world-renown Royal Canadian Mounted Police and of course, insulin! (You’re welcome world!)
We thoroughly enjoy our food. In fact, we’ve invented a mouthful of it (see what I did there?)… Poutine, Nanaimo bars, instant mashed potatoes, the California Roll, Chinese buffets, peanut butter and butter tarts, caesars (the drink), Hawaiian Pizza and Coffee Crisp bars!
Although contrary to popular belief, we didn’t invent donuts but Tim Horton’s donuts is Canadian and its coffee brand is world-renown. One of the fun and unique things about Canada is that you’ll find local cuisine and dialects specific to particular corners of our nation.
There’s so much more, but I’d need more than a blog post to cover it all. Suffice it to say that Canada has a lot more to it than beavers, moose and donuts. If you have the benefit of living here, hopefully you’re doing something to celebrate today.
If not, come pay us a visit! I’ll grab a two-four and some Timbits and I’ll tell you the rest of the story. Stop on in, eh? ☯