Tuesday, June 30, 2009
As some of you may know July 1st is Canada's birthday known as what else: Canada Day. We became a sovereign country in 1867. Although I wasn't born here, I grew up & lived here most of my life but I'm a proud Canadian.
Here are a few facts about Canada:
Canada is the world's second largest country after Russia. France could fit 18 times and the United Kingdom 40 times into Canada.
Canada has the longest coastline in the world: 243 792 kilometres, including the coastlines of 52 455 islands. Hudson Bay is the bay with the longest shoreline in the world.
The biggest island in Canada is Baffin Island, which has an area of 507 451 km2.
Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, with an area of 82 100 km2.
The world's longest inland waterway open to ocean shipping is the St. Lawrence Seaway-Great Lakes Waterway, which was opened in 1959. It is 3790 km in length, from Anticosti Island to the head of Lake Superior.
Niagara Falls is the largest waterfall in the world by volume, averaging 2583 metres3 of water per second on the Canadian side (Horseshoe Falls) and 233 metres3 per second on the American side.
The oldest rock in Canada is thought to be Acasta gneiss, found east of Great Bear Lake (NT). It is 3.96 billion years old and part of a large fragment of the Earth's earliest crust.
The largest bay in the world measured by shoreline length is Hudson Bay. The Hudson's Bay Company once owned over 10% of the earth's surface and is still around as the world's oldest continuously operating company in North America established on May 2, 1670.
Canada leads the world with 755 165 km2 of fresh water convering 8% of its total land area and has more than half of the world's lakes within its border.
Temperatures in Canada have ranged from 45°C (113°F) in Midale, Saskatchewan to -63°C (-81°F) in Snag, Yukon.
The greatest one-day snowfall - 118.1 centimetres - occurred at Lakelse Lake, British Columbia, on January 14, 1974.
Medicine Hat, Alberta, holds the record among Canadian cities for the most days without measurable precipitation: 271 per year.
The driest region on record in Canada is around Arctic Bay, Northwest Territories, where only 12.7 mm of precipitation fell in 1949.
The world's richest area of dinosaur fossils is in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta.
The largest aquatic animal in Canada is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), which can reach up to 27 metres in length and weigh 132 tons.
The smallest mammal is the pygmy shrew (Microsorex hoyi), whose total length is 9 centimetres (of which one third is tail). It lives throughout Canada except for the Far North.
The longest and largest insect migration in North America is that of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). Millions travel every fall from southern Canada to central Mexico, a total distance of 8000 kilometres, and a few even travel back again in the spring.
The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is the biggest of Canadian carnivores. Adult males average between 400 kilograms and 600 kilograms, with some individuals exceeding 800 kilograms, making them the world's largest non-aquatic carnivore.
The oldest continuously played sport in North America is lacrosse, which was widely played in pre-European times. Modern lacrosse rules were drawn up by Dr W.G. Beers in Montreal in 1860.
Basketball was invented by James Naismith of Almonte, Ontario, and first played at Springfield, Massachusetts, where Naismith was a physical education instructor, in 1892.
Five-pin bowling was invented by T.E. Ryan of Toronto in 1909.
The first football game was played in Montreal, with Montreal beating Harvard.
The first baseball game was played in Beachville, Ontario, more than a year before Abner Doubleday "invented" the game in Cooperstown, New York. I realize that this issue may be controversial, so read the whole story on this issue.
The first radio telegraphic message was received by Guglielmo Marconi on Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1901.
The first long-distance telephone calls were made by Alexander Graham Bell between the Ontario communities of Mount Pleasant and Brantford, and between Brantford and Paris, in 1876.
The Canadian satellite Alouette 1, which was launched in 1962, was the first non-American, non-Soviet satellite to orbit the Earth.
Canadians enjoy the longest uninterrupted corridor of cellular telephone service in the world - from Windsor, Ontario to Sydney Nova Scotia.
The world's largest publicly attended film festival is the Festival of Festivals in Toronto, which began in 1976.
The world's tallest totem pole from a single log (38.28 metres) was carved by Mungo Martin in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1958.
Canada is the only country to have participated in all United Nations peacekeeping operations.
North America's first known dwelling is the 20 000-year-old Bluefish Caves in the Yukon.
The oldest continuously operating outdoor market in Canada is the Byward Market in Ottawa, in business since 1848.
The oldest continuously operating brewery in North America is Molson, in Montreal since 1786.
There are more grain elevators in Thunder Bay, Ontario, than in any other place in the world.
Canada has ranked first in world production of zinc, second in nickel, potash, and asbestos, and third in gold and silver - all in a single year (1979).
The antigravity suit, a pressurized flying suit and forerunner of the space suit, was invented by W.R. Franks at the University of Toronto in 1940.
Henry Woodward of Toronto invented the first electric light bulb in 1874. He later sold a share in his patent to Thomas Edison, who designed a more practical bulb in 1879.
Arthur Sicard of Saint-LMonard, Quebec, made the first snowblower.
The green plastic garbage bag was invented by Harry Wasyluk of Winnipeg, and by Larry Hanson at the Union Carbide plant in Lindsay, Ontario, in the 1950s.
Dr. Lorne Elias of the National Research Council invented the explosives vapour detector, capable of sniffing out hidden bombs, in 1990.
The cobalt "bomb" for cancer treatment was developed by scientists from Eldorado Nuclear in London, Ontario, and by Dr Harold E. Johns of the University of Saskatchewan in 1951.
Norman Bethune of Gravenhurst, Ontario, devised the first mobile blood transfusion service (in Spain in 1936) and the first mobile medical unit (in China in 1938).
The paintroller was invented by Norman Breakey of Toronto in 1940.
The world's first electronic organ was invented by Morse Robb of Belleville, Ontario in 1927.
Doctors Frederick Banting and Charles Best, both of Ontario, discovered insulin in 1921.
In 1964, Dr. Gustave Gingras perfected the workings of the artificial hand activated by the body's own electrical impluses.
LESSER KNOWN INVENTIONS:
carbide and acetylene
cardiac intensive care unit (first)
commercial radio station (first)
electric cooking range
electrical car (North America's first)
film developing tank
heart valve operation (first)
helicopter trap (for landing on ships)
instant potato flakes
machine gun tracer bullet
MacPherson gas mask
measure for footwear
Phi (position homing indicator for aircraft)
pizza pizza telephone computer delivery services
portable high chair
retractable beer carton handle
submarine telegraph cable