Unique Facts That Define Canada

Canada, one of the world’s largest and most beautiful countries, has some unique facts that define the country from maple syrup to hockey and beyond. 

Canada is home to 38 million people, has ten provinces and three territories and has a very rich history & heritage. It is one of the top happiest countries in the world and ranked in the list of world’s best countries for quality of life.

In this article, we will discuss what defines Canada—a list of unique facts. These are the first things that come to mind whenever one thinks of Canada. 

1. Ice Hockey

Men in jerseys playing ice hockey.

Ice Hockey is definitely one of the many things that would pop up in one’s mind when hearing about Canada. This is because Canada is considered the birthplace of the Ice Hockey; however, according to history, the true origins of hockey belong to England. In the 18th and 19th century, this sport evolved from a simple stick-and-ball game.

Although the Ice Hockey’s origins lie in England, the initial development and formal organization of the sport were conducted in Montreal, Canada. And, in 1875, the first organized indoor game of Ice Hockey was held in Montreal. 

As such, Ice Hockey is Canada’s national winter sport, and the country has produced some of the best Ice Hockey players in the world. In fact, the country has won 15 Olympic medals in the World Championship in Ice Hockey, making it the country with the most medals in Ice Hockey including 9 gold medals.

2. Maple Syrup

A maple leaf shaped bottle containing Maple Syrup.

The Maple Syrup is an integral part of Canada’s culture. It is a source of great pride for the Canadians as the country produces the majority of maple syrup in the world, approximately up to 85% of the global production. It is also known as the liquid gold of Canada. The fact that the maple leaf is emblazoned on Canada’s flag symbolizes the importance of the maple syrup to Canadians. 

Maple syrup has a rich history. It was produced initially by the Indigenous peoples of Canada where it was shown—by archeological evidence—that the maple tree sap was being processed into maple syrup. However, when the Europeans came in to colonize, only then was the maple syrup processed at a mass scale and sold commercially as a source of concentrated sugar in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

3. Natural Beauty

A beautiful view of the Moraine Lake in Canada.

Canada has one of the most incredible and stunning landscapes. It is home to natural wonders that would take away one’s breath. With it’s glistening and deep blue lakes, ragged icy mountains, dense national parks, and the alpine meadows, it is sure to blow any one away with its beauty. The Canadian Rockies offer some of the best natural attractions in the world.

Out of the most visited natural attractions of Canada, one of them are the colossal Niagara Falls flowing from the melting glaciers and a natural flaw in the riverbed forms a U-shaped waterfall that flows over 3,160 tons of water every second. Truly a sight to see and with better views from the Canadian side.

Another defining feature of Canada is the rugged valley of Ten Peaks and the contrasting Moraine Lake in Alberta. The duo form such an unreal site that it would surely make one feel like they are in heaven. The shade of blue in the Moraine Lake because of the rock flour makes it even more unreal.

4. Poutine

Poutine dish in a red & white 

Poutine is a dish that is renowned all around the world and one of the many things that Canada is famous for. It emerged in Quebec, Canada in the mid-20th century and is made up of French fries, cheese curd, and topped with a brown gravy. Poutine is a specialty and is the national dish of Canada, it has now spread all around the world as the ultimate comfort food. Although it looks messy, it is indeed very delicious.

5. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Mounties)

A RCMP officer wearing ceremonial uniform riding a horse during the Sunset Ceremony, 2012.

Another unique fact about Canada is their very cool-looking police force called the Mounties. They are traditionally known for their bright red uniforms, brimmed hats, and their horses. It is actually the national police agency of Canada which provides national security. The agency provides law enforcement at federal and some provincial levels. 

However, the RCMP can no longer be called mounted as the agency only uses horses for ceremonial purposes. The same goes for the bright red uniforms also known as the Red Serge tunic, officers wear regular everyday police uniforms and rarely use their Red Serge tunic uniforms and are reserved for ceremonial purposes as well.

6. The Canadian Flag

The flag of Canada against an ocean background.

The national flag of Canada is another unique fact that defines Canada. It is famous all around the world for its simplicity and ability to incorporate the nation’s values. It may come as a surprise, but the flag was recently invented and officially adopted in the year 1965. 

Before 1965, Canada used the Red Ensign as the national flag and hung over the official buildings. It signified Canada’s association with the Great Britain. However, Canada decided to reduce this dependence and move further as a more independent country. The flag’s design was developed by George Stanley and the primary aim was to incorporate a symbol that showed the unity of the people of Canada.

Accordingly, the maple leaf was added to the flag’s design. As we have mentioned above, the maple tree and leaf have played an important role in the culture of Canada and Canadians hold this symbol dear to their heart.

7. Universal Health Care

A black stethoscope sitting on a table.

Canada is also known and defined by its universal healthcare system. The universal healthcare system began when the Canada Health Act was passed in 1984 and is funded publicly through the taxation system. A survey showed that Canadians believe that universal access to healthcare is a fundamental value.

The healthcare system covers approximately 70 percent of the healthcare needs of Canada whereas 30 percent are fulfilled by the private sector, an area which is partially or fully not covered by the public sector such as cosmetics, dentistry, and prescription drugs. However, some provinces especially Quebec also provides coverage for prescription drugs where residents must pay for an annual prescription drug plan costing between $0 to $660.

All essential healthcare is provided through the province’s health cards issued to the residents. Moreover, there are no changes in health coverage due to any job losses or job changes, and provision cannot be denied for any outstanding premiums to be paid. 

However, not everything is for free as mentioned above. Mental health, oral health, home care, and infertility costs are usually not covered or partially covered. Nevertheless, Canada is still famous for its generous universal healthcare unlike its neighbor’s healthcare system.

Conclusion

There are many unique facts that define and set apart Canada from stunning landscapes to poutine. It is a country that has its own personality, its own specialty, and its own presence that no other country parallels. A great country, indeed.