For Canada's 151st birthday, here are 151 little-known facts
Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 11:43 AM - Despite the fact Canada is more than 150 years old, the country is much younger than many other nations.
Still, a lot can happen, and a lot can change, in a century and a half, and our country has metamorphosed many times over that period.
As Canada hits its 151st birthday, here are 151 things to know about Canada's weather, climate, land, history and people.
1. Canada’s coldest temperature: -63oC
Canada’s coldest day on record is also North America’s coldest day. And it was terrifyingly cold.
The small Yukon hamlet of Snag recorded a temperature -62.8° C on 3 February 1947. It was so cold, in fact, the joke was that the meteorologists couldn’t toast the new record because their alcohol was frozen at the bottom of their thermometers.
The frigid air was so still that exhaled breath made a hissing noise, and lingered in the air for several minutes. Dogs could be heard barking from kilometres away, and exposed skin froze in less than three minutes.
2. Hottest temperature: 45oC
Two communities share the dubious honour of once having been Canada’s hottest-ever places.
On July 5, 1937, at the height of the Great Depression, Midale and Yellowgrass each reached a daytime high of 45oC, almost 20 degrees above either town’s average July highs.
3. Greatest Single Day Temperature Change: 41 degrees
Alberta’s legendary Chinook winds hit the town of Pincher Creek particularly hard in the winter of 1962.
Over the course of one hour, the temperature rose from -19oC to +22oC, an increase of 41 degrees.
4. Record wind chill: -91
Even by the standards of the Canadian North, the extreme cold recorded in Pelly Bay, N.W.T., on January 28, 1989, was something else.
Core temperatures fell to an astounding -51oC, but with the wind chill, it would have “felt” like -91 to anyone unfortunate enough to be outside.
5. Highest humidex: Carman, Manitoba, 2007
Though Windsor, Ont., is Canada’s most humid city, and held the record for highest humidex value for many years, that crown passed to Carman, Man., in 2007.
On 25 July that year, the temperature reached 34oC, with a dew point of 30oC, which the Canadian Encyclopedia says made for a humidex rating “feeling” like 53.
6. Most precipitation in a year: Henderson Lake B.C. 1997, 9,479 mm
The west coast is famously rainy, but even among British Columbians used to gloomy days, Henderson Lake on Vancouver Island might be a bit much.
The place receives an average 6,655 mm of rainfall, but in 1997, instruments there measured a total precipitation of 9,479 mm, or about nine and a half metres.
7. Greatest single-day rainfall: 489.2 mm
This little tidbit should surprise no one: The greatest single-day rainfall event in recorded Canadian history was in B.C.
Ucluelet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, was drenched by a deluge of 489.2 mm on October 6, 1967.
8. Most snowfall in a season: 2,446.5 cm
Though the past few winters in Atlantic Canada have seemed like record-breaking for snowfall, it’s the West Coast where you’ll find the all-time record snowfall in a single season.
Mount Copeland, near Revelstoke, B.C., recorded an astonishing 2,446.5 cm of snow in the winter of 1971/1972. To put it another way: That’s about 24 METRES.
9. Greatest single-day snowfall Record: 145 cm
When people talk about British Columbia’s reputation for milder winters, they’re usually thinking of places like Vancouver and Victoria. Up in the mountains, it’s a completely different story.
Case in point: Canada’s largest single-day snowfall happened at Tahtsa Lake, well in the B.C. interior. That location received an astonishing 145 cm of snow, almost a metre and a half, on February 11, 1999.
10. Largest hailstone: 290 g, Cedoux, Saskatchewan
Hail is part and parcel of living in a thunderstorm-prone country, and the storm that rolled through Cedoux, Sask. on August 27, 1973 must have really been something.
One hailstone, the largest on record in Canada, was 114 mm long, and weighed about 290 g, or more than half a pound.
11. Highest wave height: September 11, 1995
The waters of the North Atlantic can be rough, producing waves several stories tall.
On September 11, 1995, the QE2 cruise liner was slammed by a 30-metre monster off the coast of Newfoundland during Hurricane Luis, the highest recorded wave height in Canadian waters. Environment Canada says the massive wave was at the time the largest wave height ever measured on record.
12. Foggiest place in Canada: Grand Banks
There are many places on Canada’s coasts where fog is just an inescapable fact of life, and the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland feature at the top of many lists of the foggiest places on Earth.
The fog is generated as the cold Labrador Current from the north meets the warmer Gulf Stream from the south.
13. Worst hurricane: 1775 Newfoundland Hurricane
In September 1775, a powerful hurricane swirled off the coast of Newfoundland, bringing powerful winds and intense storm surge of 10 metres.
Some 4,000 people on land and at sea lost their lives, in Canada’s deadliest natural disaster on record.
14. Deadliest tornado: Regina Cyclone, 1912
On June 30, 1912, this tornado, later rated F4, tore a path through the Saskatchewan capital Regina.
Popularly known as the ‘Regina Cyclone,’ this twister killed some 28 people, making it the deadliest on record in Canada. It also destroyed hundreds of buildings and left some 2,500 people homeless.
15. Strongest tornado: Elie, Manitoba, 2007
The F5 tornado that touched down in Elie, Manitoba, on June 22, 2007, remains Canada’s most powerful on record, with wind speeds in the 420-510 km/h range.
Though it destroyed several buildings, no one was killed, as most residents were away attending a high school graduation ceremony, and those that remained got into shelter quickly.
16. Canada is the world’s second most tornado-prone country
Canada sees the second largest number of recorded tornadoes per year: Around 80-100, according to Environment Canada. However, those are just the tornadoes that are confirmed by investigators, and doesn’t count tornadoes that may have gone undetected or uninvestigated in the more empty parts of Canada’s enormous geography.
Even so, that’s well behind the United States, which records 1,000 to 1,200 per year.
17. Canada’s strongest earthquake: West Coast, 1700
Canada’s strongest-known earthquake was an estimated Magnitude 9.0 monster that destroyed at least one village in what is now British Columbia, and caused numerous other deaths when it struck in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, just off the B.C. coast, in January 1700.
Aside from First Nations accounts, it also appears in records in Japan, where people marked a small “orphan tsunami” that had reached the island from all the way across the Pacific.
18. Deadliest volcano: Tseax Cone eruption, 1700
Canada isn’t known for volcanism, but it does have its occasional eruption, and in 1700, one eruption killed around 2,000 people in the B.C. interior.
The Tseax Cone eruption took place around 1700, prior to European contact with the region, and features in the lore of local First Nations.
19. Deadliest heat wave: Manitoba and Ontario, July 1936
Heat waves can kill, especially in the ages before air conditioning.
In July 1936, a heat wave marked by temperatures in excess of 44oC killed 1,180 people in Manitoba and Ontario, with most of the victims elderly and infants, according to Environment Canada. Four hundred of the victims drowned in rivers and lakes trying to escape the heat.
From Environment Canada: “The heat was so intense that steel rail lines and bridge girders twisted, sidewalks buckled, crops wilted and fruit baked on trees.”
20. Titanic: The Canadian connection
The most famous nautical disaster in history has a few links to Canada.
When the ship sank, the nearest land was Newfoundland, then a separate Dominion, 590 km away. Four of the ships dispatched to search for survivors were dispatched from ports in Atlantic Canada.
21. Lightning deaths in Canada: 9-10 per year
An average 9-10 people per year are killed by lightning in Canada, according to Environment Canada. An average 164 lightning injuries are reported annually as well.
Environment Canada says lightning deaths have declined in recent decades, from 2.4 deaths per million in 1931-1935, down to 0.11 deaths per million from 1999-2003.
22. Deadliest crash on Canadian soil: Gander, Nfld.
A total of 256 passengers and crew aboard a chartered DC-8 aircraft perished when the plane crashed after takeoff in Gander, Nfld, in 1985. Among the dead were 248 U.S. servicemen.
23. Canada’s flood disasters
Most provinces have grappled with major flood crises over the centuries, such that it’s difficult to pinpoint where the worst has been.
The Prairies are often cited as the most flood-prone part of the country. A 1950 flood in Manitoba forced the evacuation of 100,000 people, including a sixth of Winnipeg’s residents. Flood control infrastructure has since been built, but a 1997 flood still forced 30,000 Manitobans from their homes.
In 2013, the Calgary Flood forced 100,000 people to evacuate, killed at least four people and totaled approximately $6 billion in damages.
In terms of deaths, more than 80 people died when Hurricane Hazel slammed southern Ontario in 1954, and the 1996 Saguenay Floods in Quebec claimed at least 10 lives, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia.
24. Deadliest fire: The Great Miramichi Fire
Canada’s deadliest wildfire was also eastern North America’s largest.
Sparking in northern New Brunswick in early October 1825 after an uncommonly dry summer, the fire burned up to two million hectares of forest, and decimated communities along the Miramichi. At least 300 people lost their lives, though the number may be higher given how many thousands of lumbermen were working in the woods at the time.
25. There are seven climate zones in Canada
Canada occupies half a continent, so it stands to reason there would be a lot of variations in the climate. In fact, there are seven distinct climate zones identified in the country: Arctic, Subarctic, Atlantic, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Lowlands, Pacific, Cordillera, and Prairie.
The largest, the Subarctic, is also the most empty, while the two smallest zones by territory, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Lowlands, and Pacific, contain around three quarters of the country’s population, including Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal.
26. Canada’s most humid summers: Windsor, Ont.
No one who actually lives there will be surprised to hear this, but Windsor tops the list of Canadian cities with the most humid summers. It also experiences the most number of humidex days of 30 or more: 67.40 days per year on average.
Ontario in general is a VERY humid province, home to all of Canada’s top-10 most humid summer cities.
27. Hottest summer: Kamloops, B.C.
The B.C. interior gets pretty toasty in the summer, such that the city of Kamloops holds claim to having the hottest summers in Canada, with an average temperature of 26.94°C.
28. Coolest summer: Prince Rupert, B.C.
Conversely, B.C. is also home to the Canadian city with the coolest summers on average.
Prince Rupert, on the province’s north coast, has experiences average daytime highs of 15.67°C in the summer months.
29. Coldest winter nights: Yellowknife, N.W.T.
The capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories sees the coldest temperatures out of Canada’s major cities each winter, with average lows of -28.9°C
30. Mildest winter: Victoria, B.C.
If you’re looking for the least harsh winter, at least in terms of temperatures, Victoria, B.C., is a safe bet, with average daytime highs of 7.40°C in the winter months.
31. Stormiest city: Windsor, Ont.
High heat and humidity go a long way to explaining Windsor’s place atop this list.
The extreme southwestern Ontario city sees an average 33.24 days with a thunderstorm per year.
32. Least stormy city: Nanaimo, B.C.
If you prefer your summers without thunderstorms, Nanaimo, B.C., might be more your speed.
The Vancouver Island city gets an average 2.33 days with a thunderstorm each year. In fact, B.C. cities take up seven spots on the list of 10 Canadian cities with the fewest thunderstorm days (the remaining three include two in Newfoundland and one in the Northwest Territories).
33. Wettest year round: Prince Rupert, B.C.
Prince Rupert already boasts the coolest summers of any major Canadian city, and its inhabitants also have the soggiest weather year-round, when one totals up all the rain and snow the city receives.
Total average annual precipitation for the city is an astounding 2593.60 mm.
34. Driest year-round: Whitehorse, Yukon
Also in Canada’s western half, though somewhat further away, the Yukon capital of Whitehorse receives around 267.41 mm of annual precipitation.
That’s actually not far above the maximum 250 mm annual precipitation mark that technically qualifies desert climates.
35. Most sunshine hours: Medicine Hat, Alta.
It seems the Prairies are where you want to be if you want to soak up the most sun year-round.
Medicine Hat, Alta., tops the list of cities with the most number of hours of sun annually, with some 2512.85 hours. If you’re looking at the top 20, Prairie cities dominate.
36. Fewest sunshine hours: Prince Rupert, B.C.
Prince Rupert, on B.C.’s north coast, is the dark counterpart to Medicine Hat as far as sunshine hours are concerned, with 1229.05 hours annually.
On the list of Canadian cities with the fewest sunshine days, B.C., Quebec, and Atlantic Canada feature most prominently.
37. Humidex is a Canadian invention
Thermometer says 25oC, but it “feels like” 30? Meteorologists try to account for that using humidex.
Short for humidity index, it’s actually a Canadian invention, in use since 1965.
38. Canadians also invented the UV index
Another Canadian invention is the UV index, a measure of the strength of the sun’s rays on a given day (UV stands for Ultra-Violet).
First developed in 1992, it was adopted worldwide by the World Health Organization and U.N. Environmental Program.
39. Where the strongest winds have a name
Due to location, climate and geography, some parts of Canada are just more consistently windy than others, so much so that forecasters have special names to account for them.
Environment Canada has tailored warnings for Les Suêtes winds in western Cape Breton, and Wreckhouse winds in southwestern Newfoundland, where gusts regularly exceed 100 km/h.
40. Arctic air regularly invades Canada’s west coast
Though British Columbia’s south coast and Vancouver Island famously have some of the mildest winters in Canada, that’s just not the case everywhere in the province.
Arctic air can sink down from the north from time to time, such that Environment Canada has a specialized warning for northern coastal sections when wind and temperature combine to deliver wind chill values of -20 or colder for at least six hours.
41. Alberta’s chinook winds aren’t called “snow eater” for nothing
You have to live in Alberta to appreciate the abrupt power of the chinook winds that can come roaring down the Rockies into the western Prairies.
From an Indigenous word meaning “snow eater,” the winds can trigger massive temperature changes in the short term. They feel more severe in the winter, when temperatures can go from below zero up to the 20s within an hour.
42. Canada’s national animal: The mighty beaver
The beaver was declared a symbol of the nation in 1975, after centuries of playing an important role in Canada’s development.
Its pelt made it the target of fur traders and trappers, fuelling the growth of the Hudson’s Bay and North West companies, with some 100,000 pelts being exported per year, such that the animal was almost wiped out. Now in no danger of extinction, they’re found in every province and territory.
43. Wolverines are icons of Canada
When you say the word “wolverine” people are more likely to think of the tough-as-nails Marvel superhero than the hardy predator that is his namesake.
Though relatively small, wolverines are famously dangerous, able to take on prey many times their size, and perfectly adapted to life in the Canadian wilderness.
Their numbers are less than they once were, however. Though the western population is more or less stable, except for southern areas, wolverines in eastern Canada, specifically Quebec and Labrador, are considered endangered.
44. Moose habitat is expanding
Though larger than horses, moose are actually part of the deer family, and can weigh more than half a tonne.
They are found in every province except Prince Edward Island, and milder winters in the forests they call home have the potential for a surge in moose numbers and a southward expansion of their typical range.
45. There are three kinds of caribou
Large parts of Canada’s empty spaces are thronged with caribou, with three different identifiable subspecies.
Woodland caribou range across the northern parts of most of Canada’s provinces and Arctic forests, while barren ground caribou roam the tundra. Finally, Peary caribou live only on Canada’s Arctic islands.
Caribou in Canada face a number of challenges, among them habitat loss and climate change, with some herds in the far north declining by 90 per cent in recent years.
46. Lobster is a mainstay of the Atlantic coast
Fishing remains a way of life for many Canadians in Newfoundland and the Maritimes, with the lobster being the most iconic catch. In 2015, East Coast commercial fishermen landed around 90,000 tonnes of the crustaceans, valued at around $1.2 billion according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Now considered a delicacy, in centuries past, they were considered fare for lower income folks.
47. Most salmon caught in Canada is farmed
You might think of a lazy weekend on the river when you think of salmon fishing, but when it comes to your dinner plate, the delicious pink fish is more likely to come from a fish farm.
In 2015, commercially fished salmon only around came to around 20,000 tonnes, and all of that from British Columbia. In contrast, the same year saw a harvest of 121,000 tonnes of farmed salmon, and it is far and away the single most farmed fish in Canada.
48. Churchill, Man., is the polar bear capital of the world
The Manitoba port of Churchill has a good claim to being the capital of a polar bear kingdom that stretches across the Arctic region, with the bears a top tourist draw as they roam the shores of Hudson Bay waiting for the water to freeze.
The bears are found all across Canada’s northern coasts, though they are under pressure due to climate change, which is shrinking the sea ice on which they rely for hunting. They are considered a vulnerable species.
49. Canada’s proposed national bird: The gray jay
After a long search, in 2016, the Canadian Geographic Society proposed the unassuming gray jay to be Canada’s national bird.
The choice might raise a few eyebrows, but the society says the bird is the most fitting symbol of the country. Also known as the whiskey jack or Canada jay, gray jays are found year-round in every province and territory in Canada, which makes up the vast majority of its range.
50. Canada has four types of venomous snakes
Though not as famous for venomous wildlife as, say, Australia, Canada absolutely has venomous snakes, though only four species, according to the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
The Northern Pacific rattlesnake in the B.C. interior and Prairie rattlesnake in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta can grow up to 1.6 m, while the Massasauga, which lives mostly around Ontario’s Georgian Bay, gets up to around 75 cm. B.C.’s nocturnal and rarely seen Desert Nightsnake grows to a length of 25 cm.
51. Canada has its own national horse
This isn’t too widely known, but aside from the beaver, Canada has a second national animal: The Canadian horse.
A mixture of multiple breeds, the precursors of the Canadian horse were sent to colonial New France by the French king, and over time became distinct variety.
52. There are bumblebees as far north as the Arctic
Where there are flowering plants, there are pollinators, even in the desolate Arctic.
The Arctic bumblebee, bombus polaris, naturally has had to adapt to the hard winters, and has a thicker coat and lives in insulated nests.
53. Sable Island has more horses on it than people
Sable Island, a Nova Scotian possession out in the Atlantic, has no settlements or permanent population, but does host herds of horses.
Descended from survivors of the island’s numerous shipwrecks over the century, the horses number in the hundreds, and are protected by the government.
54. Second largest country by land area: 9,984,670 km2
We’ve got a lot of land! Canada owns the second-largest chunk of real estate on Earth, at around 9,984,670 km2.
That puts us slightly ahead of China and the United States, though still way behind Russia, which is around 17,000,000 km2 in area.
55. Longest coastline in the world: 202,080 km
Canada has the world’s single largest ocean coastline, at around 202,080 km according to the measure used by the CIA World Factbook.
If that sounds a little longer than it looks, keep in mind Canada owns numerous islands, including its sprawling Arctic archipelago. Those islands actually account for more than half of the total coastline, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia.
56. Canada owns a LOT of the Arctic
A large part of Canada’s territory is included in its Arctic archipelago, a collection of more than 36,500 islands, 94 of which are larger than 130 km2.
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, it’s also the largest collection of High Arctic territory held by any nation, with the exception of Greenland, which is mostly ice-covered.
57. Canada has a LOT of forest
Around 40 per cent of Canada’s enormous territory is covered in forest. In global terms, the Food and Agriculture Organization says Canada’s forests make up 10 per cent of the world total, third behind Russia and Brazil.
58. Devon Island is a NASA training ground
The fact that the Arctic region can resemble another planet isn’t lost on NASA.
Aside from being the world’s largest uninhabited island, Devon Island is home to a NASA research station that allows scientists to simulate living on Mars, as its dry, cold climate isn’t too far off from that of the Red Planet.
59. Northern-most woody plant: Arctic willow
Scattered across northern Canada is the Arctic willow, a shrub that is the world’s most northern woody plant.
Though small (rarely growing as high as the adult knee), it’s a valuable food source for the Arctic’s major denizens, including larger animals such as muskox and caribou.
60. Northern-most point in Canada: Cape Columbia, Nunavut
The northern tip of Nunavut’s Ellesmere Island, Cape Columbia, is Canada’s northern-most point, being less than 800 km from the geographic North Pole.
The site is uninhabited, though the outpost of Alert, Canada’s northern-most permanently occupied settlement, is nearby.
61. Southern-most point in Canada: Middle Island, Ont.
Middle Island in Lake Erie is the southern-most point of Canada, just 150 m away from the maritime border with Ohio.
Unlike the much larger Pelee Island just to its north, Middle Island is uninhabited, and forms part of Point Pelee National Park.
62. Closest European territory: St. Pierre and Miquelon
Though the continent of Europe itself is thousands of kilometres away, the closest European-governed territory to Canada is only 25 km away from Newfoundland.
The islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon, population 6,000, are the last remnant of France’s enormous colonial empire in North America.
The next closest European territory is Greenland, a self-ruled realm within the Kingdom of Denmark.
63. Largest river in Canada: Mackenzie River
By one measure, the largest river system in Canada is one few Canadians will ever see.
The Mackenzie River system in the Northwest Territories, at more than 4,200 km, is actually the second largest in North America after the Mississippi, and drains an area of 1.8 million m2.
However, the St. Lawrence River has the largest flow, with a discharge of 9,850 m3/s.
64. The Great Lakes contain a fifth of the world’s surface fresh water
The Great Lakes, which Canada shares with the United States, are an enormous source of fresh water, containing 21 per cent of all surface fresh water in the world, and 84 per cent of North America’s surface fresh water, according to the EPA.
Some 30 million people live in the Lakes’ basin, including almost a third of Canadians.
65. The Great Lakes are very diverse
The five Great Lakes are incredibly varied in size, depth and characteristics.
Lake Superior, North America’s largest lake (and the world's largest freshwater lake), is the largest, deepest and coldest of the five, with ice cover sometimes lingering into June, while Lake Erie is the warmest and shallowest, and is more often than not the most frozen in the winter. Lake Ontario is the smallest, while Lake Huron has the longest shoreline.
66. Largest lake entirely within Canada: Great Bear Lake
Far from the Great Lakes, the Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories is the largest lake entirely within Canadian territory, with a surface area of 31,153 km2. It is also the fourth largest in North America.
67. Deepest lake in Canada and North America: Great Slave Lake
Another extreme that is far from the more familiar Great Lakes, the Northwest Territories’ Great Slave Lake is the deepest lake in Canada and North America, with a maximum depth of 614 m. Its shores are home to the territorial capital Yellowknife.
68. Longest freshwater beach in the world: Wasaga Beach
Lining the shores of Lake Huron, Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world, boasting 14 km of white sand.
69. Largest lake island: Manitoulin
There are a lot of peculiarities around Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron.
For starters, it’s Canada’s largest freshwater island (and arguably the world’s largest), but Lake Manitou on the island is likely the largest lake-within-an-island-within-a-lake -- and Lake Manitou itself has islands within it!
70. The ‘Eye of Quebec’ can be seen from space
It’s a little hard to reach by car, and even then, the remarkably ring-like “Eye of Quebec” is hard to appreciate if it’s not viewed from space.
The massive lake, formed in the wake of a massive meteor strike hundreds of millions years ago, is actually the Manicougan Reservoir, its waters elevated by the Daniel Johnson Dam several kilometres south of it.
71. World’s highest tides: Bay of Fundy
The Bay of Fundy, separating Nova Scotia from New Brunswick, famously hosts the world’s highest tides.
Between low and high tides, the waters can rise more than 16 m.
72. The waterfall that flows both ways
Saint John, N.B., on the shores of the Bay of Fundy and at the mouth of the St. John River, is home to a rare natural phenomenon that is a product of its unique location.
The city’s Reversing Falls combine the large flow of the river with the legendary high tides of the bay, such that, depending on the tide, the rapids flow first to the sea, then again inland, over the course of several hours.
73. Canada’s largest mountain range: The Rockies
The spine of North America is actually the largest mountain range on the continent, let alone Canada.
Still, Canada owns a very respectable chunk of it, including some 1,200 km from the border with the continental U.S. up to Alaska.
74. Canada’s tallest peak: Mount Logan, Yukon.
Towering over southwestern Yukon is Canada’s tallest peak: Mount Logan, whose summit is 5,959 m above sea level.
It’s also the second highest peak in North America, barely surpassed by Alaska’s Denali, at 6,190 m.
75.Greatest vertical drop on Earth: Mount Thor, Nunavut
Towering over Baffin Island is Mount Thor, an imposing peak which boasts the world’s greatest vertical drop, at around 1,250 m.
It’s attractive to rock climbers and rappel enthusiasts, though at least one person has died at the site; a 26-year-old park ranger who died while rappelling down the cliff face in 2006.
76. Most populous island: Montreal
Though Canada’s territory includes countless thousands of islands, its most populous island is hardly a remote crag.
The island of Montreal, home to two million people, is Canada’s most populous.
77. Osoyoos: Canada’s desert
Not far from Osoyoos in the interior of British Columbia lies the Okanagan Desert, by some measures Canada’s only hot desert.
It is home to hundreds of rare plant and animal species, many unique to the region.
78. Largest ice field: Columbia icefield
Sprawling astride the border between Alberta and British Columbia in the Canadian Rockies, the Columbia icefield is the continent’s largest.
It is made up of 230 km2 of snow and ice, reaching depths of 365 m in some places.
79. The place where rivers flow into three oceans
The Columbia Icefield peaks at a feature called the Snow Dome, more than 3,000 m above sea level.
From there, the waters of the glacier feed numerous Canadian rivers, including the North Saskatchewan, Columbia, Athabasca and Fraser -- and technically reaching the three oceans around Canada once they’ve made their way through an extensive system rivers and lakes.
80. Tallest waterfall: Della Falls, B.C.
Della Falls, in Vancouver Island’s Strathcona Provincial Park, is the tallest waterfall in Canada, a towering 440 m.
The only way to reach the trail to this natural wonder is by boat, but the view is worth it.
81. Canada holds 20 per cent of the world’s total fresh water
Out of all the fresh water on Earth, Canada holds about a fifth.
However, though that sounds like an abundance, not all of it is readily available where Canadians live. For example, Environment Canada says more than half of Canada’s fresh water flows north into the Arctic and Hudson Bay, beyond the reach of thirsty Canadians.
82. National parks are abundant in Canada
Canadians love the outdoors, and Parks Canada has set aside more than 45 national parks and national parks reserves as our common patrimony.
They are found in every province and territory, and range from the sprawling Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories, to Ontario’s Georgian Bay Islands.
83. Northernmost sand dunes on Earth: Athabasca Sand Dunes
The far north of Saskatchewan is not where you’d expect to find rolling sand dunes, but they’re there, and they’re enormous.
Stretching for 100 km along Lake Athabasca and reaching heights of 30 m, the dunes of Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park the most northern example of their kind in the world.
84. Canada was rich in dinosaurs
Dozens of dinosaur species have been discovered in Canada, some named after Canadian locations, such as Albertosaurus and Edmontosaurus.
More than 40 species have been unearthed in what is now Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park, which is such an important trove that it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
85. Northernmost dinosaur fossil: Axel Heiberg Island
Researchers travelled to Axel Heiberg Island, just west of Ellesmere Island, to unearth the world’s most northern discovered dinosaur fossil.
The beast, a kind of hadrosaur, would have lived 83 to 72 million years ago, according to CBC.
86. Oldest ice in Canada: Nunavut
Nestled in the Barnes Ice Cap in central Baffin Island is Canada’s oldest ice.
Though the cap is now only about the size of Prince Edward Island, it is the last remnant of the Laurentide Ice Cap, which covered most of Canada some 20,000 years ago. Despite its advanced age, new research suggests global warming will finish it off for good within 300 years if the current rate of CO2 emissions continues.
87. Oldest rocks: Northern Quebec on Hudson Bay
The oldest-known rocks in Canada -- and possibly the world -- are found in a deposit in northern Quebec on the shores of Hudson Bay.
At around 4.28 billion years old, the rocks are only a couple hundred million years older than the Earth itself.
88. Oldest fossils: Mistaken Point, Newfoundland
The cliffs at Mistaken Point, on the south coast of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, are very old, dated to around 580-560 million year ago, are a treasure trove of fossils.
UNESCO, which inscribed it as Canada’s 18th World Heritage Site in 2016, says the cliffs contain the oldest known fossils in the world, an invaluable glimpse into some of the earliest life forms in prehistory.
89. The Windsor hum drives some people up the wall
One of Canada’s weirder features is known as the Windsor Hum, a low-level noise perceptible by certain people.
The federal government actually funded research into the source of the hum, and found it was coming from nearby Zug Island, and industrial site in neighbouring Michigan, though the exact cause remains unknown.
90. The Magnetic North Pole is always moving
Anyone with a compass knows the needle doesn’t point to the geographic North Pole, but rather the Magnetic North Pole. At that pole itself, a horizontal compass would be of no use, and a compass needle allowed to swing vertically would point straight down.
Arctic explorer Sir James Clark Ross was the first to find it, on the Boothia Peninsula in 1831, but since then, it’s gradually shifted north and slightly west. It left Canadian waters by around 2015 and it’s now moving toward Russia, according to Kyoto University.
91. Canada has the lion’s share of Niagara Falls
Known as Horseshoe Falls, the Canadian share of the waters that make up Niagara Falls is by far the largest.
Horseshoe Falls are 53 metres tall, and more than 800 metres wide. The whole of Niagara Falls sees a flow of 168,000 cubic metres per minute, the vast majority over Horseshoe Falls.
92. The day Niagara Falls stopped flowing
Niagara Falls is much too large to freeze over completely, but on March 30, 1848, the gargantuan flow stopped altogether for about a day and a half, allowing astonished onlookers to walk out onto the river bed.
It turned out the culprit was a large ice jam upriver, and once it had cleared, the falls roared back to life.
93. Two parts of the U.S. are entirely surrounded by Canada
When mapmakers decided to set the western border between Canada and the United States, they missed a couple of spots, such that the U.S. has two exclaves entirely surrounded by Canadian territory.
Though technically part of Minnesota, the Northwest Angle is surrounded on three sides by the Lake of the Woods, and to the west by the border with Manitoba. And in B.C., tiny Point Roberts lies south of the border with Delta, B.C.
94. Canada has a land dispute with Denmark
Despite being longtime NATO allies, Canada and Denmark have a longstanding territorial dispute over Hans Island, which lies between Nunavut’s Ellesmere Island and Greenland, a Danish territory with home rule.
The military of either country will sometimes conduct operations on the tiny, uninhabited and barren island, but generally are working to resolve the dispute peacefully.
95. Canada’s natural abundance makes it a global leader in mining
When you own half a continent, that’s a lot of room for mineral exploration.
Canada’s mining sector extracts more than 60 minerals for use in industry or for export, and is a top-five produce of 13 major minerals, including potash, diamonds and uranium.
96. Timmins’ Kidd Mine is the closest to the centre of the Earth
The Kidd Mine in Timmins, Ont., is where you’d want to go if you wanted to get as deep as possible into the Earth’s crust, at a depth of some 3,000 m.
Other mines have a deeper depth, but start at a higher altitude, so their deepest depths aren’t as far below sea level as Kidd.
97. Sudbury Basin: Second largest impact crater on Earth
The mineral abundance of Ontario’s Nickel Belt is in large part due to a massive impact, either from a meteor or comet, that happened around 1.8 billion years ago. It punched through the Earth’s crust to allow the mineral-rich mantle below to surge upward.
The resulting crater, the second largest on Earth, became the Sudbury Basin, and today is home to numerous mines.
98. Canada is a long-time farming nation
Canada’s land supports a wide variety of crops and husbandry, such that some 37 million hectares (93.4 million acres) of land was dedicated to crops 2016, spread out over 193,492 farms.
99. Canada is an unlikely wine producer
Though Canada’s wine production doesn’t come near its European and American wineries, there are still parts of the country where the climate is actually finely suited for viticulture.
The most famous wine regions of Canada are B.C.’s Okanagan Valley and Ontario’s Niagara Region, though Nova Scotia and Quebec also feature, and the country is a leading producer of icewine.
100. Canada makes 80 per cent of the world’s maple syrup
When it comes to maple syrup, Canada’s basically the only game in town, producing four fifths of the world’s supply.
And within Canada, it’s no contest either. The province of Quebec produces a full 90 per cent of Canadian maple syrup.
THE PEOPLE AND THE HISTORY
101. Earliest human habitation: 12,000 years ago
The first humans to reach Canada are believed to have arrived 12 millennia ago, crossing into North America from Asia via the Bering land bridge at a time when sea levels were much lower.
However, other theories abound over when the first Canadians arrive, with some postulating an origin thousands of years before the generally accepted timeframe.
102. The name of Canada
The name of what is now a massive, transcontinental nation has its roots in a Huron-Iroquois word meaning “village.”
French explorer Jacques Cartier heard two indigenous captives refer to the nearby town of Stadacona as “Kanata” -- the village -- on his second voyage to the region.
103. Indigenous people in Canada: 1.4 million
At last count, Indigenous people numbered 1.4 million in Canada, making up 4.3 per cent of the general population in 2011, up from 3.3 per cent ten years earlier.
Indigenous Canadians include First Nations people, Metis people and the Inuit.
104. Canada has 36.5 million inhabitants
Canada’s official population estimate stands at 36.5 million inhabitants. It’s the 38th most populous country in the world, slightly behind Iraq and slightly ahead of Morocco.
In global terms, the number of Canadians is tiny, making up around half of one per cent of the world’s population.
105. First Europeans to reach Canada: The Vikings
Long before Columbus, long before Cartier, the first Europeans known to have encountered Canada, and North America, were Viking explorers who reached Newfoundland around 1000 CE, and likely also Labrador and Baffin Island.
They established a short-lived settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows at the top of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, which is now a World Heritage Site. A second potential viking site was discovered at Point Rosee in southeastern Newfoundland in 2016.
106. First European settlement: Port-Royal, N.S.
Though Europeans returned to explore Canada centuries after the Vikings -- John Cabot reached it in the service of England in 1497 and Jacques Cartier for France in 1534 -- permanent settlement didn’t succeed until the early 1600s.
Port-Royal, in Nova Scotia, was the site of the first such settlement in 1605, after a previous attempt at St. Croix Island in Maine failed. Three years later, a fortress was established at Quebec City, which grew to become the capital of New France.
107. Quebec City: Oldest walled city in North America
After previous attempts at establishing a permanent settlement failed, Samuel de Champlain succeeded in founding what is now Quebec City in 1608, making it a fortified town.
The old part of the city is, in fact, the only walled city north of Mexico, and a World Heritage Site
108. The first European Thanksgiving in Canada: Martin Frobisher
First Nations people celebrated fall harvest festivals not unlike their European counterparts long before European explorers penetrated the region.
The first European known to have celebrated a version of thanksgiving in what is now Canada was English explorer Martin Frobisher, during one of his explorations of the Canadian Arctic in 1578.
The holiday was designated an official, annual event in Canada on November 6, 1879.
109. Alexander Mackenzie: First to reach the Pacific overland
Fur trader Alexander Mackenzie was the first European to reach the Pacific ocean overland north of Mexico.
Mackenzie reached the shores of the world’s largest ocean in July, 1793, at what is now Bella Coola, B.C.
110. Franklin expedition
Sir John Franklin’s name is a legend in Canadian history, after an 1845 attempt to find the Northwest Passage ended in the loss of his two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and the deaths of all 129 officers and crew.
Since then, there’s been a trickle of clues found scattered across the Canadian Arctic as to the expedition’s final fate, with the puzzle finally solved with the discovery of the wrecks of first Erebus in 2014 and Terror in 2016.
111. Northernmost shipwreck on Earth: Breadalbane
The search for the missing Franklin Expedition was a long and difficult undertaking that occasionally would claim additional ships.
The supply ship Breadalbane was steaming through the Northwest Passage in 1853 in support of one such search, when it was holed by ice. It sank not far off the coast of Beechey Island, and is the world’s northernmost known shipwreck. Its crew of 21 were all rescued.
112. Sable Island: Graveyard of the Atlantic
Barely more than a really long sandbar, Sable Island in the Atlantic has had an impact on world shipping far out of proportion to its size.
Some 350 shipwrecks have been recorded there over the centuries, such that it is often referred to as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
113. The Rideau Canal is a World Heritage Site
The Rideau Canal, a 202-kilometre manmade waterway linking Ottawa with Kingston, was completed in 1832, when the War of 1812 would have still been within living memory.
Though a rerun of the war never came, the canal remains in use, and UNESCO says it’s the only North American canal built in that era to still be running. It is a World Heritage Site and popular recreational spot.
114. Canada had lots of different capitals before settling on Ottawa
Though Ottawa is firmly etched in Canadians’ minds as the capital of our country, it took decades to decide.
The original capital of the United Province of Canada (Ontario and Quebec before Confederation) was Kingston, Ont. Considered to be a security risk, it was moved to Montreal, where it was burned down by rioters. Toronto and Quebec City swapped capital spots for awhile, before Queen Victoria chose the future Ottawa as a permanent capital. It is often said to be one of the world's coldest.
115. Canada Day had a different name
Though Canada Day is the much anticipated holiday of the summer, the anniversary of Confederation on July 1st, 1867, wasn’t actually a public holiday at first.
It took a couple of tries, but July 1st was finally formally proclaimed a public holiday in 1879 -- as “Dominion Day.”
The name stuck for more than a hundred years before it was formally changed to Canada Day in 1982.
116. Four of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories only joined in the 20th Century
Though Canada’s origins are in the 19th Century, four of its 13 provinces and territories did not take their place in Confederation until the 20th Century.
Alberta and Saskatchewan only became full provinces in 1905, and Newfoundland not until 1949. Rounding out the 13 is Nunavut, carved out of the Northwest Territories in 1999.
117. Canada’s motto refers to its transcontinental reach
The official motto of Canada, A Mari Usque Ad Mare, Latin for “from sea to sea,” would have seemed a little presumptuous at the time of Confederation in 1867.
Back then, Canada had only four provinces, occupying a tiny fraction of its current territory, though it would of course not only fulfill the motto’s aspiration by reaching the Pacific a few years later, but touch the shores of a third ocean, the Arctic, as well.
118. Canada’s official summer sport: Lacrosse
When the ice is just no good for hockey (i.e.: It’s summer), lacrosse steps in as Canada’s official summer sport, a designation it received in 1994.
Developed by First Nations long before Europeans arrived, lacrosse was actually the first sport in the new Dominion of Canada to have a national governing body, in 1867.
119. Before the RCMP, there was the NWMP
The first precursor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, known as the North West Mounted Police, was established in 1873, not long after Confederation, to defend Canadian sovereignty in the new country’s enormous hinterland.
The first real police force worth the name in the west, the first contingent of only 300 men arrived in 1874, braving the region’s harsh weather and difficult terrain, with an eye to suppressing the whiskey trade. It was merged with the Dominion Police in 1920 to create the RCMP.
120. Canada’s current flag was chosen less than a hundred years after Confederation
Though an instantly recognizable world icon, the red and white Maple Leaf was only adopted in 1965. Prior to that, Canada had flown the Union Flag of the U.K. and various versions of the Red Ensign.
121. Daylight Saving Time has been used in Canada for around a century
Daylight Saving Time -- the old “spring forward, fall back” that is a common part of our culture -- is only around 100 years old.
Though it was tried out by a few cities here and there in Canada, it was first enforced federally in 1918 as a wartime measure. It proved popular enough that the concept stuck, and it is now provincially administered.
122. Saskatchewan does not observe Daylight Saving Time
Though a few municipalities in Canada gave Daylight Saving Time a pass, Saskatchewan is the only province as a whole that does not observe it at all.
The one exception: The town of Lloydminster, straddling the border with Alberta. To avoid adding to the confusion that must already come from being shared by two provinces, the city changes its time to keep in sync with Alberta.
123. A Canadian had a hand in creating time zones
Canada has six time zones (NOT five and a half!), and the concept itself is partially attributed to a Canadian.
Sir Sandford Fleming worked extensively on Canada’s eventually trans-continental railway system, and used his knowledge of various companies' patchwork local time practices to argue for a better system of time zones. He convened an 1884 conference in Washington, D.C., where time zones were first adopted.
124. First Northwest Passage crossing: Roald Amundsen, 1903-06
Long before he became famous for being the first to reach the South Pole, you might say Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had had plenty of practice in the Canadian Arctic.
One of his many “firsts” was the first confirmed crossing of the Northwest Passage by a European, a feat that took three years from 1903 and 1906. The boat used by his six-man crew, Gjoa, is the namesake of the Nunavut hamlet of Gjoa Haven on King William Island.
125. Vimy Ridge was a defining moment for Canada
Of all of Canada’s achievements in the First World War, the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April, 1917, is remembered as one of the country’s most defining moments
After extensive preparations, Canadian troops stormed the ridge, with a cold wind blowing snow and sleet around the battlefield toward the German lines. Though the battle was a success, some 3,600 Canadians lost their lives, and another 7,000 were wounded.
126. The battle of Passchendaele took place in hellish conditions
The image of the First World War as a futile conflict marked by hellish conditions of trench warfare amid cold liquid mud and unending rain was cemented at Passchendaele in Flanders.
Canadian forces arrived in Flanders in late 1917 to relieve other Allied troops who had been attempting to dislodge the Germans from the area for months with little success. Though the Canadians did prevail, the cost, 15,654 killed or wounded, was much higher than at Vimy earlier that year.
127. The Halifax Explosion was the largest-ever at the time
The Halifax Explosion occurred on December 6, 1917 after two ships, one carrying munitions, collided offshore of the city.
The resulting blast killed almost 2,000 people, wounded 9,000 more and destroyed or damaged 13,500 buildings, with the survivors’ ordeal worsened by a blizzard that rolled in the next day. It was the largest man-made explosion prior to the Atomic Age.
128. Canada invaded Russia once
This little-known episode of Canadian history saw Canadian troops sent to Vladivostok, Russia, as part of an intervention into the Russian Civil War.
Some 4,000 troops were sent to the city, Russia’s largest Pacific port, in late 1918. The unit took some casualties, but generally saw little fighting before returning to Canada in mid 1919.
129. More than a million immigrants passed through Pier 21
As New York’s Ellis Island was to the United States, so was Halifax’s Pier 21 to Canada.
Working as an immigration centre from 1928 to 1971, more than a million newcomers to Canada passed through its doors. It is now the site of the Canadian Museum of Immigration.
130. Poutine: Canada’s most famous dish
You didn’t need us to tell you this, but this iconic dish of cheese curds and gravy atop fries is a Canadian delicacy.
The Canadian Encyclopedia says it was likely developed in stages in Quebec, though the popular name comes from one exasperated chef who, when asked by a regular to add in some curds to the fries, is said to have replied that it would make “une maudite poutine” -- a damned mess.
131. The 1,000-mile Yukon Quest is a major test of endurance
Echoing the days when the only way to get around in the North was by dogsled, the 1,000-mile (1,600 km) Yukon Quest is a gruelling sled race between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon.
Mushers have to contend with whatever the weather throws at them, carrying all their own supplies, with little support between checkpoints, with the best often finishing within 10 days despite all this.
132. Confederation Bridge: World’s longest over ice-covered water
One of Canada’s greatest feats of engineering, the Confederation Bridge links Prince Edward Island with the mainland.
With a length of 12.9 kilometres, it is the world’s longest bridge over ice-covered water, and took four years to build.
133. Record number of gold medals at a Winter Olympics: Vancouver, 2010
Canada has competed in every Winter Olympic Games since their inception, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the country entered the record books with the most number of gold medals in a single Games, with 14.
Canada has hosted the Winter games twice, in 2010 (Vancouver) and Calgary (1988). The Summer Olympics have come to Canada just once, in Montreal in 1976.
134. Goalie mask: Invented by Jacques Plante
It’s a given now that hockey goalies skate into battle with full protective gear, including a mask, but that wasn’t a given until Montreal Canadiens’ goalie Jacques Plante’s nose was shattered by a slapshot in 1959.
With 200 stitches in his face, he agreed to return to play the next game only if he was allowed to wear a mask Historica Canada says he’d designed himself. Within a few years, it had become standard gear.
135. Basketball: A Canadian invention
Though arguably more popular in the U.S. than in Canada, Basketball was invented by a Canadian in search of a skilled sport to play indoors during the winter.
James Naismith came up with the idea of tossing a ball into a peach basket while working in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891.
136. The Edmund Fitzgerald was the largest ship to sink on the Great Lakes
Aside from entering popular legend in Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” this storied ship was actually the largest to ply the Great Lakes water’s when it was first launched. And by the time it went down in November 1975, it was the largest to ever sink on the lakes.
137. Alert, Nunavut: Northern-most inhabited place
The northern tip of Ellesmere Island is the site of the outpost of Alert, Canada and the world’s, most northerly permanently inhabited place.
Its population of only a few dozen must endure months of darkness from October to February, and the famed midnight sun from April to September.
138. Grise Fiord: Canada’s most northern civilian settlement
Unlike Alert, which is essentially a working outpost, Grise Fiord, in southern Ellesmere Island, is Canada’s most northern civilian settlement.
With a population of 129, the community has its own RCMP detachment, and aside from an annual sealift, the only way in is by air.
139. Canada was the third nation in space
With the launch of the Alouette 1 satellite in September 1962, Canada became the third nation in space, behind the Soviet Union and United States. The satellite was launched on Canada’s behalf by NASA.
Though the U.K. had its own satellite launched by NASA a few months before, that satellite was built in the U.S., while Canada’s Alouette 1 was designed and built in Canada.
140. First Canadian in space: Marc Garneau
Marc Garneau, born in Quebec City, became the first Canadian in space when he flew aboard space shuttle Challenger in October 1984.
Roberta Bondar, born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., became the first Canadian woman in space in 1992, and the second Canadian in space.
141. First Canadian to walk in space: Chris Hadfield
Chris Hadfield of Sarnia, Ont., became the first Canadian astronaut to perform an extravehicular activity (EVA) in April 2001, when he performed two spacewalks.
Hadfield is also the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, which he did for several months in 2013.
142. Canada’s space invention: The Canadarm
Canada’s unique contribution to space travel is the Canadarm, a robotic arm used to capture, move or otherwise deploy satellites and other payloads in space.
It was used aboard space shuttles for 30 years, before the fleet was decommissioned in 2011. Its successor, Canadarm2, remains in use aboard the International Space Station.
143. Canada’s tallest building: CN Tower
With a height of 553 m, a little more than half a kilometre, Toronto’s CN Tower is Canada’s tallest building, and once the tallest in the world. It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the western hemisphere.
It’s also the country’s biggest lightning rod, and it gets struck around 80 times per year.
144. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is the most photographed in Canada
There is, shall we say, no shortage of lighthouses in Canada, but out of all of them, one in particular stands out as a symbol of the Atlantic region.
The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove, N.S., is not only iconic, it is also routinely the most photographed in all of Canada.
145. Canada hosts 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are 18 places in Canada that are considered so important to humanity by the United Nations, they’re named as part of our world’s patrimony.
Canada’s World Heritage Sites include eight cultural treasures, such as Old Quebec City and Lunenburg, N.S., and 10 natural sites, such as Newfoundland’s Mistaken Point (home to some of Earth’s oldest fossils) and Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park.
146. Canada is home to hundreds of ski hills
Appropriately for a nation with winters like ours, there are no shortage of places where the outdoor-minded can hit the slopes.
The Canadian Ski Council says there are an estimated 275 ski hills across the country, which receive more than 19 million visitors annually
147. Snowmobiles and ski-doos are Canadian inventions
This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but the icons of winter recreation, snowmobiles and ski-doos, were invented in Canada.
The Canadian Encyclopedia says Joseph-Armand Bombardier was just 15 when he built and tested a prototype snowmobile in 1922. He developed the first true snowmobile in 1935, transforming winter travel in Canada forever. A smaller, lightweight version, the ancestor of today’s ski-doos, was first delivered in 1959.
148. Canada has the world’s longest recreational trail
The Trans Canada Trail, rebranded in 2016 as the Great Trail, was scheduled to be completed last year in time for Canada’s 150th birthday.
Begun in 1992, it winds through 15,000 communities all 13 provinces and territories for a length of 24,000 km.
149. The Trans-Canada Highway is the longest in the world
Aside from its purpose of linking Canada’s massive territory from end to end, the Trans-Canada Highway is the longest single national highway in the world.
It runs from St. John’s, N.L., to Victoria, B.C. for a total distance of 7,821 km.
150. Northernmost golf course: Ulukhaktok, N.T.
The Arctic tundra isn’t the first place you think of when you’re up for a round of golf, but the people of the Northwest Territories community of Ulukhaktok have made it work.
The golf course features artificial greens and nine holes, and is the furthest north of the Americas’ golf courses.
151. Largest beaver dam in the world: Wood Buffalo National Park
We know beavers are industrious creatures, but apparently, when left to their own devices far away from prying human eyes, they can really take it to extreme levels.
Case in point: A beaver dam in Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta is more than 850 metres long. First detected by reviewing satellite photos, the structure is so remote that Parks Canada staff have only been able to conduct aerial surveys, and it has only been visited by a human being once since its discovery.
SOURCES: Canadian Encyclopedia | Weatherstats.ca | Environment Canada | Environmental Protection Agency | Canadian Geographic | Environment Canada | Canadian Wildlife Federation | Nunatsiaq News | Environment Canada | CBC News | Kyoto University | Canadian Mining Journal | Agriculture Canada | Historica Canada | The Great Trail | Trans-Canada Highway | Canadian War Museum | Species At Risk Registry | UNESCO | WWF-Canada | Canadian Geographic | Government of Canada