Have you ever wondered how Canada compares to the rest of the World? This page will give you a few of the achievements that most Canadians are not likely to mention (click here if you wonder why ..?) but, of which we are extremely proud!
Best of the World's Best
For 7 years in a row (1994-2000 inclusive) the United Nations voted Canada "the best COUNTRY in the world in which to live". In 2001 it was voted 2nd and in 2002 Canada was ranked 3rd. An 8th place ranking in 2003 was disappointing, but Canadians still feel that it is the best!.
In January 2000, Vancouver (BC) was voted "the best CITY in the world in which to live" (in a 3-way tie with Zurich & Bern, Switzerland and Vienna, Austria).
Natalie Glebova, a 23-year-old model from Toronto, ON was named Miss Universe 2005 at a pageant in Bangkok. She is the second Canadian to win this title, the first being Karen Baldwin in 1982.
Some Canada Firsts and Bests (in no particular order)
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Canada. In 1576 Martin Frobrisher and his English sailors gethered on a small island in what would later be the Canadian Arctic. They offered prayers and gave thanks for a hectic but safe voyage across the Atlantic. This was followed by a meal of salt beef, buscuits and peas. The very first Thanksgiving!
Canada's first Train Robbery happened on September 10, 1904. One of the robbers was Bill Miner, a well known U.S. stage-coach amd train robber. He was later captured and jailed.
On February 23, 1909 J.A.D. McCurdy flew the "Silver Dart" off the ice of Baddeck Bay in Cape Breton, NS to become the pilot of the first controlled-power flight in Canada (only 5 years after the Wright brothers first flight).
The world's first wireless message was received by G. Marconi in 1910 in St. John's (NF).
In 1916 the first trans-Canada telephone call was placed between Vancouver, BC and Montreal, QC on a circuit running 6,763Km through Buffalo, Chicago, Omaha, Salt Lake City and Portland.
Canada is the first country in the world to propose an international treaty to ban the use of land mines, a cause later taken up by Princes Diana.
With the launching of ANIK A1 in 1972, Canada became the first country in the world to have a commercial geostationary communications satellite network.
The world's first park north of the Arctic Circle is Auyuittuq (NT). It is also Canada's newest park.
In 1921 Agnes Campbell Macphail was the first woman elected to the House of commons.
In 1922 Winifred Blair of St.John, NB became the first 'Miss Canada'.
Manzo Nagano became the first official Japanese immigrant (1877) to Canada.
Prospector, trader and HBC employee Michael Phillips was the first person to traverse the Crowsnest Pass in 1873.
In September 1910, in Victoria, BC, William Wallace Gibson became the first person in Canada to design, build and fly his own aircraft
The world's first steam-driven Westminster clock is located in 'Gastown", a downtown Vancouver (BC) tourist shopping area.
Canada's first Christmas tree was erected December 25, 1781 in Sorel, Quebec by German Baroness Riedesel. It was a German tradition to have a tree at Yuletide events, and it soon became a Canadian one as well.
Canada's first Christmas Carol was written in 1643 by Father Saint Jean de Brebeuf (1593-1649). Fr. Brebeuf is the Patron Saint of Canada. It is called "The Huron Carol" and was translated from the Huron Language.
On December 9, 1775 the first Post Office in Canada opened in Halifax, NS
The Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents site is Canada's first marine protected area. The Endeavour vents occur where the Juan de Fuca and Pacific tectonic plates meet 270 Km west of the southern tip of Vancouver Island. They are about 2,250 metres below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
Quebec City (QC) is the first city in North America to be placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List - meaning it is designated as belonging to all humanity and to be preserved as such. It is also the only existing walled city in North America.
John (Jack) Gillis became the first man to walk across Canada when he arrived in Vancouver, BC in 1906.
|Kluane/Wrangell - St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini - Alsek|
(Yukon, British Columbia, Canada and Alaska, USA)
|Nahanni National Park |
|L'Anse aux Meadows Archeological Site |
|Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Provincial Historic Site |
|Dinosaur Provincial Park |
|Wood Buffalo National Park|
(Alberta and Northwest Territory)
|Canadian Rocky Mountain Park|
(British Columbia and Alberta)
|the Historic District of Quebec City|
|Gros Morne National Park|
|the OLd Town Lunenburg
|Waterton - Glacier International Peace Park
(Alberta, Canada and Montana, USA)
|The Rideau Canal, Fort Henry and the Martello Towers at Kingston
Canadian & World Records
(not in any date or topic order)
The world's largest piggy bank is located at the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa, ON. It is 13 feet tall and 18 feet long.
Canada's CL215 is the world's first (and best) forest fire water bomber. It drops 1,600 gallons of water in 1/2 a second and can pickup and drop 30 loads per hour. They fight every major forest fire in the world (there are 125 planes in service) and have recorded over 1 million fire-drops.
In 1935 the Dionne Quintuplets were born in Corbiel, ON. This was the world's first 'living quintuplet' birth.
Canadian Dr. Joseph MacInnis was the first person to dive under the North Pole and the first to dive to the wreck of the Titanic.
Sam Whittingham of Victoria, BC holds the men's world record for human-powered (bicycle) speed at 117 Km/hr (72.7 Mi/hr). His wife Andrea Blaseckie holds the women's record at a speed of 87.5 Km/hr (54.4 Mi/hr).
The Simon Fraser University Senior Pipe Band (BC) has won the title of the World Champion Pipe Band six times (1995,1996, 1999, 2001, 2008 & 2009). They have placed second 9 times, finishing in the top 2 in the world in 14 of its 25 year history.
The world's largest symphony orchestra, consisting of the Vancouver Symphony plus 6,452 student musicians, played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy) and O Canada, in Vancouver's BC-Place Stadium on May 15th 2000.
Canada is one of the few countries in the world to have hosted two World Fairs (Expos) - in Montreal (QC) in 1967 and in Vancouver (BC) in 1986.
The longest covered bridge in the world is located in Hartland (NB), northwest of Frederiction. The bridge is 390.8 meters (1,282 feet) in length.
World's longest un-interrupted span bridge is The Confederation Bridge, which spans Northumberland Strait, connecting Borden-Carleton (PE) and Journimain Island (NB). It consists of a main bridge span, with approach bridges for a total of 12.9 km long. The bridge was completed on Nov. 19, 1996.
The world's and Canada's largest park is the 27,700 sq.km. Wood Buffalo Park (AB). It contains the largest herd of Bison (Buffalo) in the world.
The World's Oldest Rocks have been found near Yellowknife, NT and are about 4 billion years old
World's Largest Lake in an Island in a Lake is Manitou Lake, located on the world's largest freshwater-lake island, Manitoulin Island , which is located on Lake Huron, ON.
Longest Coastline - Canada's coastline is the world's longest at 243,792 km or 151,485 miles (including the coastline of the country's 52,455 islands). Stretched out as a continuous line, it would circle the equator more than 6 times (25% of world's coastline).
Hudson Bay is the bay with the longest shoreline in the world.
Canada is the third largest producer of diamonds in the world.
Largest offshore economic zone (200 nautical miles) - 3.7 million square kilometres, it is equivalent to 37% of Canada's total landmass.
Largest freshwater system in the world - Canada's 2 million lakes and rivers cover 7.6% of our landmass or 755,000 square km.
The largest archipelago in the world is Canada's Arctic island chain, including 6 of the world's 30 largest islands, cover 1.4 million square km.
U.S. States North of Canadian Land - Twenty-seven of the fifty U.S. states have land north of Canada's southernmost point - Middle Island, ON.
There are 147+ Canada/USA land border crossings. There are also several border crossings into the country via the sea. The Canada/USA border is the longest unguarded border in the world.
The world's largest manufacturer of French Fries is McCain. They produce over 1 million fries per hour in their several potato processing plants across Canada.
Quesnel Lake (BC), at 530 metres, is the world's deepest glacier-carved lake.
The largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world (Canada's tallest tree) is in the Carmanah Valley (BC). It is 95 metres tall. The world's largest known red cedar tree is at Cheewaht Lake, Pacific Rim Narional Park. It is 59.2 metres tall and 18.98 metres in circumference.
Sparwood (BC) has the largest dump truck in the world at 350 tonnes. It was used for coal mining.
The world's largest zinc and copper smelter in the Cominco Mine in Trail (BC), processing 300,000 tonnes of zinc and 135,000 tonnes of lead.
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 3,790 km in length, from Anticosti Island to the head of Lake Superior.
Over 80 percent of the world's supply of maple syrup is produced in Canada. Much of it is harvested in the province of Quebec.
The snowiest national capitol in the world is Ottawa (ON). It is also one of the world's coldest national capitals (second only to Ulaanbataar, Mongolia.
The world's first completely-covered indoor Shopping Mall was the Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver (BC)
World's largest Pyrogy is in Glendon, AB.
Biggest Tomahawk and Teepee in the world is located in Cut knife, SK.
The largest operating cuckoo clock in the world in in Kimberly (BC).
The largest concentration of Bald Eagles in the world is located in the Squamish (BC) area. The year 2001 "eagle count" tallied 1,942 mature eagles and their offspring. The yearly average count is about 1,700 eagles.
Highest tides in the world are in the Bay of Fundy at Burntcoast Head (NS) at 14.25 metres mean spring range. Swells of equal magnitude also exist around the tiny Inuit community of Leaf Basin at the SW corner of Ungava Bay.
The Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy #1 and 401) between Victoria (BC) and St.John's (NF) is the world's longest national highway at 7,821km (4,860 mi.).
In November 1999 Canadian Joel Wapnick won the World Scrabble Championship. In 2005 Adam Logan became the second Canadian to win this title.
Biggest (and longest distance) pizza delivery took place on Nov 11, 2003 when 2,200 medium pizzas were delivered more than 10,000Km away, to Canadian Peacekeepers serving in Afghanistan.
The world's second tallest free-standing structure is the CN Tower in Toronto (ON), opened in 1976. It was the world's tallest for 31 years and lost that designation in September, 2007 (to the Burj Dubai). It stands at 553.34 metres (1,815 feet and 5 inches), including its TV/radio antenna and observation/restaurant levels.
The CN Tower is considered to be one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.
The tallest totem pole in the world is in Alert Bay (BC). It stands 52.7 metres tall.
Drumheller (AB) is home to the world's largest model (T-Rex) dinosaur. It is 24.5 metres high and has an internal stairway to the view port in the open mouth.
The world's longest street is Yonge Street, which runs north and west from Toronto (ON). It goes all the way to Rainy River at the Ontario-Minnesota border and is 1,900.5 km (1,178.3 mi) in length.
The world's thinnest commercial building is the 1.8-metre-wide Sam Kee building (built in 1913) located in Vancouver's (BC) Chinatown.
The second largest Chinatown in North America and the largest in Canada is in Toronto (ON). It is actually made up of 6 different Asian areas in throughout the city. Vancouver has the second largest Chinatown in Canada. Other Canadian cities having large Chinatown areas are Victoria (BC), Montreal (QC), Calgary (AB) and Richmond (BC).
One of the narrowest streets in the world (it is 5 feet wide) is Fan Tan Alley in Victoria (BC). It dates back to the 1800's when Chinatown was first established. Victoria's Chinatown is also the third largest in North America and one of the oldest.
The longest outdoor skating rink in the world - 7.8 Kilometres - is on the Rideau Canel, Ottawa (ON).
Ottawa (ON) is also home to the world's biggest Winter Festival. Called "Winterlude", it is held each February and one of the most popular features are the world-class ice carvings sculpted by artists from around the world.
CFS Alert (Nunavut), on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island (NT) is the most northerly inhabited community in the world. This Canadian Forces Station is populated by 75 military and civilian personnel.
The gigantic Hibernia Oil Platform, located 315 km. south-south-east of St.John's (NF) is the world's newest, largest and most advanced offshore oil producing facility. This engineering marvel cost $5.8 billion to build. It presently produces up to 150,000 barrels of crude oil daily. It has the most advanced safety features in the world.
Fort McMurray, AB has more oil than any other place on Earth. This petroleum deposit is the known as the Alberta Tar Sands, where more than 2.5 trillion barrels of bitumen, a black, gooey, tar-like form of oil, are soaked into the sand. It is also believed that there are another 800 billion barrels of this bitumen soaked into the porus dolomite layer, beneath the sand deposits.
The West Edmonton Mall (AB), covering 48 city blocks, is the world's largest retail shopping and entertainment complex. It consists of over 80 stores; contains the world's largest indoor amusement park and the highest indoor bungie jump in the world.
The Trans Canada Trail is the longest shared-use recreational trail in the world, measuring 16,100 kilometres. It coveras all 10 Provinces of Canada from ocean to ocean and includes all 3 Territories. It can accommodate walking, cycling, horseback riding, skiing and snowmobiling. The "Relay 2000", involving over 5000 official "carriers", marked the opening of the Trail.
Canadian Nobel Prize winners
The list of Canadian Nobel laureates since the prize was first awarded includes:
Donna Strickland, Physics, 2018
Arthur B. McDonald, Physics, 2015
Alice Munro, Literature, 2013
Ralph M. Steinman, Physiology or Medicine, 2011
Willard S. Boyle, Physics, 2009
Jack W. Szostak, born in the United Kingdom, Physiology or Medicine, 2009
Robert Mundell, Economics, 1999
Myron Scholes, Economics, 1997
William Vickrey, Economics, 1996
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Peace, 1995
Bertram Brockhouse, Physics, 1994
Michael Smith, born in the United Kingdom, Chemistry, 1993
Rudolph A. Marcus, Chemistry, 1992
Richard E. Taylor, Physics, 1990
Sidney Altman, Chemistry, 1989
John Polanyi, born in Germany, Chemistry, 1986
Henry Taube, Chemistry, 1983
David H. Hubel, Physiology or Medicine, 1981
Saul Bellow, Literature, 1976
Gerhard Herzberg, born in Germany, Chemistry, 1971
Charles B. Huggins, Physiology or Medicine, 1966
Lester B. Pearson, Peace, 1957
William Giauque, Chemistry, 1949
Frederick G. Banting, Physiology or Medicine, 1923
John James Rickard Macleod, born in Scotland, Physiology or Medicine, 1923
Ernest Rutherford, born in New Zealand, Chemistry, 1908
True Canadian Heroes
The Victoria Cross Recipients
Between 1854 and 1945, 94 Canadians have been recipients of the Victoria Cross - more VCs, per capita, than any other nationality.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them
Modern Day "Heroes"
The world's largest fund-raising event for cancer research is the Terry Fox Run. It is held annually throughout Canada (and in 60 countries worldwide) and more than 1 million people take part. The 1999 run raised over 17.5 million dollars (12.5 million in Canada alone). To date, over 360+ million dollars has been raised for cancer research. Terry Fox, born in 1958 in Port Coquitlam (BC), lost his right leg to cancer at age 19. In April 1980 he set out on his "marathon of Hope" to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He died in 1981 of lung cancer after running 5,373 kilometers (3,331 miles), but before completing his cross-Canada run. He will be long remembered through the annual Terry Fox Run, which continues to raise millions yearly.
Steve Fonyo, also a cancer patient and leg amputee, completed Terry Fox's route across Canada in 1985. It took him 14 months to complete his "Journey for Lives". He raised 13 million dollars during his run.
In 1985, Rick Hansen, a paralyzed wheelchair racer, wheeled around the world on his "Man in Motion" World Tour to raise money for spinal cord research. He raised many millions of dollars for that cause during his 2 year trip through 34 countries, across 4 continents and 5 mountain ranges. He averaged 80 kilometers (50 miles) 3 out of every 4 days during his World Tour.
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