Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Let's Get To Know Each Other

So far there are people from 30 different countries who have visited this site, and the list keeps growing. In an effort to know each other better, I'm going to dedicate a post to each of these countries. Before we bring the world together, let's find out more about who's in it. Think of it as an opportunity for us to travel and learn together. First stop -- Canada!

The Dominion of Canada came into being on July 1, 1867. On this day, the four founding provinces were formed. Further provinces and territories were added over the years, with the most recent territory – Nanavut – forming in 1999.

The largest Island in Canada is Baffin Island -- the 5th biggest island on Earth. Only two US states are bigger than Baffin Island – Alaska and Texas. Baffin Island is more than double the size of the UK and is slightly smaller than France.

Canada sources approximately 20 to 30% of the world’s annual uranium output. As such, Canada is the largest producer of natural uranium in the world.

Canada is home to the largest freshwater island in the world. Manitoulin Island, in Lake Huron, is the world’s largest island surrounded by freshwater.

Canada’s highest mountain is Mount Logan, 5,959 metres (19,551 ft) high. Due to tectonic activity, Mount Logan continues to gain height by an average of a few millimeters each year. Mount Logan is possibly the world’s largest mountain because its overall footprint covers a greater area than any other known mountain massif on Earth.

The USA is by far the biggest source of visitors to Canada, followed by the UK.

Canada is home to 15 million cattle. Most of these cattle live on the prairies, with almost 6 million in the rodeo province of Alberta and more than 3 million in Saskatchewan. Nearly 60 percent of Canada’s beef is produced in Alberta – beef is Alberta’s number one agricultural commodity.

Detached, stand-alone, houses are the most common type of property in Canada, followed by apartments. Over one-half of Canadian households live in detached houses while almost one-third of Canadian households live in an apartment.

Each Canadian eats an average of about 190 eggs a year. In total, Canada has about 20 million egg-laying hens laying about 7 billion eggs each year.

Basketball was invented by a Canadian – Dr. James Naismith - his class of secretaries played the first ever game of basketball. The ball was a soccer ball and the goals were two peach baskets.

Of Canada’s 34 million people, over 6 million are immigrants -- the largest numbers from China, India and the Philippines. 18% of Canada’s population are immigrants. 3 million immigrants live in Ontario, 1 million in British Columbia and 700,000 in Quebec.

Canada produces more oil than it needs for domestic consumption. Nearly all of the surplus is exported to the USA. The USA buys more oil from Canada than from any other country, including Saudi Arabia. The Canada Oil & Gas Report forecasts that by 2013 Canada will consume 10.5 percent of the oil used by North America, while providing 34 percent of the supply.

Canadians call their currency The Loonie. This has less to do with insanity than the picture of the common loon – a Canadian bird – on the back of the coin. The Royal Canadian Mint is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At full production, 15 million coins can be produced there each day.

"Kanata" is the St. Lawrence-Iroquoian word for "village" or "settlement."

The border between Canada and the United States is officially known as the International Boundary -- the world's longest border between two nations.

The Canadian motto, A Mari Usque ad Mare, means "From sea to sea."

Canada is the second largest country in the world, behind Russia.

The east coast of Canada was settled by Vikings around the year A.D. 1000. Archaeological evidence of a settlement has been found at L'anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland.

Newfoundland was the first part of Canada to be explored by Europeans. Ironically, it was the last area to become a province, in 1949.

Alert, in Nunavut territory, is the northernmost permanent settlement in the world.

Ice hockey is Canada's official national game. The modern game of ice hockey was developed in Canada, based on games that have been played since the 10th century. The rules were first published in the Montreal Gazette in 1877.

Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world.

The official languages of Canada are English and French.

Canadians have made many important inventions, including Kerosene, the electron microscope, the electronic organ, insulin, the IMAX film system, the snowmobile, and the electric cooking range.

Canada is a major producer and consumer of cheese. In 1997, Canadians produced 350,000 tons of at least 32 varieties of cheese and ate an average of 23.4 pounds per person, with cheddar being the most popular.

The Moosehead Brewery in Saint John, New Brunswick, turns out 1,642 bottles of beer per minute.

North America's earliest undisputed evidence of human activity, 20,000-year-old stone tools and animal bones have been found in caves on the Bluefish River in northern Yukon.

Canada is known as the home of large animals like the moose and grizzly bear, but it is also home to about 55,000 species of insects and about 11,000 species of mites and spiders.

The Trans-Canada Highway is over 7604 kilometers in length and is the longest national highway in the entire world.

The largest city in Canada is Toronto. This city is home to over 5 million people, and Toronto residents hold more university educations than any other country in the world.

According to Mercer's Quality of Living Index, Vancouver, British Columbia ranks 4th in quality of life compared to 221 other cities around the world.

Mercer's #1 "eco-ranking," based on water availability, drink-ability, waste removal, quality of sewage systems, air pollution and traffic congestion goes to Calgary, in Alberta.

According to the 2009 United Nations Human Development Index, Canada has the 4th highest quality of life rating in the world, making it an ideal place to live and raise a family.

One of my favorite exports from Canada was this song, back in 1981...