Like many of the world’s nations, Canada is often the subject of many labels. One of the most sparsely populated places on the globe, Canada is often labelled as a frozen wasteland of moose, Mountains, and maple syrup.
But what is life in Canada really like? Beyond the funny accent, there are few better places on earth to live, as Canada is consistently rated in the highest category for quality of life. Here are more interesting facts about life in Canada and the country's history.
|“O Canada,” originally named “Chant national,” was written by Adolphe-Basile Routhier (French lyrics) and Calixa Lavallée (music) and first performed in Quebec City in 1880. The song was approved by the Parliament of Canada in 1967 as the unofficial national anthem and adopted officially on July 1, 1980.|
|The border between Canada and the United States is officially known as the International Boundary. At 5,525 miles, including 1,538 miles between Canada and Alaska, it is the world's longest border between two nations.|
|The Canadian motto, A Mari Usque ad Mare, means "From sea to sea."|
|Although Nova Scotia was granted the British Empire's first flag by King Charles I in 1625, Canada did not have a national flag until February 15, 1965, when its maple leaf flag was adopted by its parliament. Before that, the red ensign, a British maritime flag, was in general use.|
|At 3,855,103 square miles, Canada is the second-largest country in the world, behind Russia.|
|While ice hockey is Canada's most prevalent sport, lacrosse is the country's official sport. The modern game of ice hockey was developed in Canada, based on games that have been played since the tenth century. The rules were first published in the Montreal Gazette in 1877.|
|The average life expectancy at birth for a Canadian is 81.16 years, the eighth highest in the world. The United States ranks 46th, at 78.14 years.|
|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.|
|Snorri, the first North American child to be born of European parents (Thorfin and Gudrid), was born in Vinland around A.D. 1000.|
|In 1642, a group of religious mystics from France was inspired by a vision to build a missionary city in the Canadian wilderness. Led by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and an Ursuline nun name Jeanne Mance, they founded Montreal.|
|Newfoundland was the first part of Canada to be explored by Europeans. Ironically, it was the last area to become a province, in 1949.|
|According to the 2001 census, 42.6% of Canadians are Roman Catholic, 23.3% are Protestant, and 16% claim to have no religion.|
|Alert, in Nunavut territory, is the northernmost permanent settlement in the world.|
|Canada became a country on July 1, 1867, when the British North America Act was passed by the British Parliament.|
|The Mounted Police were formed in 1873, with nine officers. In 1920, the Mounted Police merged with the Dominion Police to become the famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police, an organization that now has more than 28,000 members.|
|Canadian James Naismith invented basketball to give his physical education students at the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, an indoor team sport to play during the long winters.|
|The capital city, Ottawa, was originally named Bytown after Colonel John By, who headquartered there while building the Rideau Canal to connect the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario.|
|Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world at 151,600 miles.|
|The regent of England, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the Canadian head of state.|
|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.|
|Its population density is 8.6 people per square mile, making Canada the ninth-most sparsely populated nation in the world.|
|North America's lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-63 C) at Snag, Yukon Territory, on February 3, 1947.|
|Canada is known as the home of large animals like moose and grizzly bears, but it is also home to about 55,000 species of insects and about 11,000 species of mites and spiders.|
|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.|
|The official languages of Canada are English and French. Throughout Canada's history up to the current time, there have been conflicts between English and French-speaking Canadians.
For more information about life in Canada, from employment and culture to economy, health care, and more, visit this page.