22 Fun Facts to Know Before Visiting Canada

Canada is a beautiful country with great food, friendly people and the perfect place to call home. You won’t need to be in Canada long to realize how diversified this country is in comparison to most other countries. There is a large, and I mean large amount of diversity in Canada with respect to our landscape and our people. Let’s explore some fun facts you will need to know before visiting Canada.

Where Did the Name Canada Originate?

It is thought that the name “Canada” originated from the Huron/Iroquois word “kanata” which means village or settlement.

What is Canada’s National Symbol?

The maple leaf symbolizes a promise of love, longevity, balance and abundance. In the 18th Century, the maple leaf emerged as Canada’s symbol and it’s still displayed prominently on the Canadian flag.

Canada is Large

Before arriving in Canada it is important to know that Canada is LARGE and you won’t be able to get anywhere quickly.

Canada is the second largest Country in the world, having a landmass of 9.1 million square kilometers. Canada is bordered by the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Artic Oceans, which also makes it the Country with the longest coastline in the world. Flying across Canada takes approximately 5 hours, and for those who want to drive, plan on being 23 days on the road.

Canada consists of ten Provinces and three Territories:

Canada’s Territories are:

  1. Northwest Territories
  2. Yukon
  3. Nunavut

Canada’s Province’s from east to west are:

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador
  2. Prince Edward Island
  3. Nova Scotia
  4. New Brunswick
  5. Quebec
  6. Ontario
  7. Manitoba
  8. Saskatchewan
  9. Alberta
  10. British Columbia
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Two Official Languages

Canada has two official languages, English and French. That’s not to say that everybody is fluent in both. The vast majority of the French speaking population can be found in the Province of Quebec and New Brunswick. The rest of us, well let’s just say that we don’t speak a lot of French.

Canada Has 4 Distinct Seasons

We are lucky in Canada to have four distinct seasons which range in temperatures to -30 degrees Celsius to +40 degrees Celsius. It is important to note that even though Canada is referred to “the north” that we don’t live in igloos for the entire year. It does get extremely hot and humid during the summer months.

Winter: Heavy snow is common during the months of November, December and January with temperatures dipping as low as -30 Celsius and as high as -5 Celsius.

Spring: It is not unusual to see rain or light snow until May in Canada, with temperatures ranging from a low of 10 and high of 20 degrees Celsius.

JUST ONE TIP: Consider visiting Canada in the Spring as this is the off-season for tourists

Summer: During the months of July and August, and sometimes June, it gets really hot in Canada, with temperatures soaring to over 40 degrees Celsius. Summer is the busiest time for tourists.

Fall/Autumn: In my opinion Fall is the most beautiful season of the year with temperatures hoovering around 20 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, Fall usually only lasts for September and October and then it quickly turns cold and Winter arrives.

Winter in Canada
Spring in Canada
Summer in Canada
Fall in Canada

Vast Amount of Green Space and Wildlife

Canada has a very diverse landscape from the quaint fishing villages in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Regardless of which part of Canada you are in, there is a vast amount of green space and animals of varying species.

A fun fact that you need to know about Canada before visiting is that 80% of Canada is uninhabited
80% of Canada is uninhabited and is mostly green space

Yes… Canada has Bears!

Lions and tigers and bears….oh my! Bears are prevalent across Western and Central Canada and it is possible to have a bear encounter while on a trail or walking in a city (although much less common). For the most part, bears are afraid of humans and there have been very few bear attacks in Canada.

Depending where in Canada you are you can expect to see black bears, grizzly bears and even polar bears.

  • the grizzly bear is most popular in British Columbia
  • Churchill, Manitoba is widely known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. There are 19 different species of polar bears and 13 of them can be found in Canada
  • Canada is home to 500,000 of the 900,000 black bears in the world and this type of bear can be found in every Canadian Province with the exception of Prince Edward Island
Black Bear found throughout Canada
The Polar Bear is prominant in Manitoba, the “Polar Bear Capital of the World
The Grizzley Bear is mostly found in British Columbia

Snakes Found in Canada

There are a variety of species of snakes that have their habitat in Canada, the majority of which aren’t poisonous:

  • Blue Racer: the blue racer snake can only be found on Pelee Island, the most southerly point of Canada
  • Eastern Milksnake
  • Red-back Salamanders
  • Eastern Hog-Nose
  • Greensnake
  • Eastern Foxsnake
  • Gartersnake
  • Gray Ratsnake
  • Queen Snake
  • Eastern Ribbonsnake
  • Sullsnake
  • British Columbia’s Northern Rubber Boa
There are many different species of snakes in Canada, but only the Rattlesnake is venomous
Canada has many different species of snakes, only the Rattler is venomous

Rattlesnakes: Canada is home to 3 species of rattlesnakes, and it is our only venomous snake:
Western Rattlesnake: lives in the grasslands of British Columbia
Prairie Rattlesnake: lives in similar habitat in Saskatchewan and Alberta
Eastern Rattlesnake: can mainly be found along the shores of Georgian Bay, in the Bruce Peninsula in the Province of Ontario

Canada’s National Animal

In 1975, the beaver was officially recognized as Canada’s National symbol. The use of the beaver as Canada’s symbol dates back to 1621 when the beaver was prevalent in Canada’s fur trade.

In addition to the beaver, Canada is also home to many other animals, including:

  • moose
  • elk
  • bison
  • fox, wolf, coyote
  • bears
  • cougar
  • whales
  • walrus
  • many species of birds
The beaver is the official animal of Canada
The beaver is the official animal of Canada

Driving in Canada

In Canada, we drive on the right hand side of the road, and the left hand side of the car.

There are a few things that are important to know about driving laws in Canada:

  • you have to be 16 years old to obtain a driver’s license
  • speed limit ranges from 80 km to 100 km (49.71 miles per hour to 62.14 miles per hour)
  • seatbelts are mandatory
  • laws relating to car seats and booster seats vary from Province to Province, but suffice it to say that a child has to be in a booster until he or she is a minimum of 9 years old.

Drinking Age in Canada

The legal drinking age in most of Canada is 19, with the exception of Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta, where the legal drinking age is 18.

Medicinal and Recreational Marijuana

Both medicinal and recreational marijuana is legal throughout Canada. Marijuana has been widely used throughout Canada for medicinal purposes for many years, but was legalized for recreational use in 2018. A person must be 18 to legally consumer marijuana. It is important to keep in mind that when entering Canada, the possession of marijuana in any form must be declared. Failing to do so is considered a serious crime.

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Canada in 2018.  Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes in Canada for many years.
Medicinal and recreational marijuana is legal in Canada

Home of Loonies and Toonies

In 1987 Canada did away with the $1.00 bill and rolled out what is known as the Loonie in it’s place. The Loonie was widely accepted among Canadians so the Toonie (2 loonies) was developed to replace $2.00 bills. In 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint ceased production of pennies.

Same Sex Marriage is Legal

Yes, same sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005 when it became legal right across Canada.

Canada’s National Sport

Many people (including some Canadians) would be surprised to learn that lacrosse was Canada’s original national sport until 1964 when hockey was named Canada’s National Winter sport, and lacrosse was named Canada’s National Summer sport.

Hockey is Canada’s Winter sport
Lacrosse is Canada’s Summer sport

Canadians Love Their Coffee

Tim Hortons loving referred to is Timmies has become a staple in Canada, especially in the Eastern provinces. Many of our western counterparts prefer Starbucks. Whatever part of Canada you’re visiting it will be rare to see a Canuk going anywhere without a coffee in hand.

A fun fact about Canada is that Canadians love their coffee
Canadians love their coffee and Tim Hortons

Food Only Canadians Have

Canadians love there food! With these Canadian treats, it’s no wonder that Canadians are junk food junkies. These are some treats that you can only find in Canada and they’re not be be missed:

  1. Backbacon (referred to by other Countries as Canadian bacon)
  2. Canadian Maple Syrup
  3. Butter Tarts
  4. Poutine! The ultimate Canadian treat!
  5. Tourtiere
  6. Caesar Cocktail
  7. Kraft Peanut Butter
  8. Coffee Crisp
  9. Ketchup Chips
  10. Bagged Milk
  11. Montreal Bagels
  12. Joe Louis
  13. Beavertails
  14. Nanaimo Bar
Poutine is Canada's signature food and is loved by all
Poutine is Canada’s signature food

Canadian’s Are Nice

Yes, it’s a true story that Canadians are considered to be some of the nicest people in the world. We are sorry for everything even when it’s not our fault. You will hear thank you, excuse me, and I’m sorry so often that it will become nauseating.

More Fun Facts About Canada You Should Know

  1. Canada boasts the longest highway in the world. The Trans-Canada Highway covers an impressive 4,860 miles.
  2. Quebec City is the only walled city outside of Mexico in North America
  3. Canada is ranked the most educated Country in the world with more than 50% of its population having a post-secondary education.
  4. Quebec manufactures 77% of the world’s maple syrup.
  5. Canadians consumer more macaroni and cheese than any other nation.
  6. Canada is the leading Country in the world for mining uranium, which is used in nuclear plants to produce electricity.
  7. Hawaiian pizza was invented by an Ontario man.
  8. It took the Canadian Government 40 years to decide on Canada’s flag.
  9. Basketball, blackberry, IMAX, and the pacemaker were all developed by Canadians.
  10. The coldest ever recorded temperature in Canada was -63 degrees Celsius. This was recorded in 1947, in the Yukon.

Canadian Slang You Should Know Before Visiting Canada

Every Country has its own slang words and Canada is no different These are some words that you should know before visiting Canada:

“eh” – do you think? It wouldn’t be unusual to hear a Canadian tack this slang word onto the each of each sentence.

“Canuk” – a nick name for Canadians

“clicks” – kilometer

“hoser” – an unsophisticated person (note that it is widely considered inpolite among Canadians to refer to another as a hoser)

“kerfuffle” – a flurry of activity. Chaos.

“Molson Muscle” – pot belly/beer belly

“mickey” – a small (13 oz.) bottle of liquor

“two-four” – a 24 pack of beer

“muskoka chair” – also known as a large wooden outdoor chair

“hat or toque” – bonnett

“the bill” – also known as the check to other nationalities. This is what we ask for in a restaurant.

I hope you learned a few fun facts about Canada in this post. Canada is considered to be one of the safest Countries in the world. If you’re looking for a safe destination to travel, then Canada’s your answer….and it’s a ton of fun, with so many fun things to do!

Welcome to Canada, Eh 🙂

Kelly xoxo

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Before travelling to Canada it is important to know what documents will be required for entry into the Country. It is also important to ensure that you’ve met Canada’s COVID requirements.

SAVE FOR FUN FACTS ABOUT CANADA

50 thoughts on “22 Fun Facts to Know Before Visiting Canada

  1. Barry

    What a fun list of Canadian exclusives. I had heard of many of them but there were also many that were new and revelatory.
    I totally understand how big the country is – I misjudged the distances (and time involved) in going between many cities in Canada, so it doesn’t surprise me one should allocate 23 days to drive across the country!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jennifer

    I love this post! My family is from Canada, so many of the terms you posted are spoken quite often in my house, and it’s funny when people, not familiar with the lingo, come over and go what? I also enjoyed the in-depth content you have here, which is very useful for first-time travelers to the area.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      Autumn by far is the best time to visit. It’s the most beautiful time of the year, tourists have left and things are a bit cheaper. I hope you are able to see Canada at some point. It’s truly a beautiful Country. And the people are pretty awesome as well lol.

      Like

  3. Jazmin Marie

    I spent some time near Toronto, Canada, but it wasn’t nearly enough time up north! This is definitely a great resource and I can’t wait to use it while planning an upcoming Canadian adventure. Thanks for the share.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Jazmin Marie

        Toronto seems to have that impression on a lot of people, lol; I’m always told I should’ve explored somewhere else. I had such a lovely time though, I would love to go back and explore some more places.

        I definitely appreciate this guide! I’ll be following it a bit more closely as I plan for next year.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Renee

    Well, I just had to read this to see if there wasn’t anything I didn’t know about my home country! I think you covered it all! Love all the fun facts and it’s perfect for first-timers visiting Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thedctraveler9b7e4f7d4d

    I love Canada and while I knew most of these – what is Tourtiere?!?! Poutine is my go to, but whatever that is it sounds appealing haha. I also had no idea about hockey becoming the official sport in the 1960’s though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Linda (LD Holland)

    As a Canadian, it was fun to see what things you thought that people should know about Canada before visiting. Warning people about how big the country is helps people to set their expectations. They won’t do it all in one week. I might add that public transit may not be great – in more rural areas and between provinces. Not like train and bus service in Europe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      It’s always fun to a learn trivial things about other Countries. I’m always intrigued that Americans don’t know much about their northern neighbors, but I get it, Canada doesn’t have near the history that the US does.

      Like

  7. Emma

    Love reading all this fun stuff about Canada. I had to learn a lot of this for the citizenship test, and it was really interesting to find it all out. I still can’t get behind ketchup chips and I didn’t know that mac and cheese was so popular but luckily the ones I did need to know for my test helped me pass

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Josy A

    Great post! I sort of wish I had known all this before we moved here! It is such a massive country…Canada made us more used to longer road trips (so we go further when we head back to visit in Europe. 🙂

    Word wise, the one that made us giggle was “growler” as a size of beer. That means something quite different in the UK. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fatima

    Great post I would love to visit Canada one day and it’s great to know that it has 4 seasons I always thought that Canada is a freezing place to place to be in. I will be reading more of your posts about Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: A Complete Guide to Visiting Canada in the Winter – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  11. JoJo’s Cup of Mocha

    I just loved learning these cool facts about Canada. The only place I’ve visited in Canada was Niagara Falls back in 2018 but I’m itching to visit more provinces! Making me want to plan a road trip throughout parts of Canada so I can see and hear these cool facts for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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