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10 Mind-Boggling Facts About Canada

10 Mind-Boggling Facts About Canada

Posted by Juan Gavasa on February 19, 2014

If you've ever had to chisel your car out of a block of ice on your way to work or wear a thermal nose-warmer, you know Canada can get pretty cold in the winter. The average low for the month of January in Ottawa, Ont. is -14.4 C (6.1 F). That's pretty cold. However, a temperature recorded in 1947 in Snag, Yukon makes the rest of Canada's winter weather seem like a beach vacation. A temperature of -63 C (-81.4 F) was recorded in the small village of Snag on Feb. 3, 1947. That's roughly the same temperature as the surface of Mars.

Canada has a lot of great things in abundance, like hockey players, parkas and Tim Hortons franchises. But did you know we also have more lake area than every other country in the world? It's true. The Great White North has 563 lakes larger than 100 square kilometres. The Great Lakes alone contain about 18 per cent of the world's fresh lake water. That's a lot of water. Makes you wonder if all of our country's allies are actually just thirsty.

Ever had someone ask you if you know Joan from Vancouver or Paul from Toronto when you told them you were from St. John's? The vastness of our great country seems to be a little known secret to outsiders. Here are some facts to put Canada's size in perspective: It's bigger than the entire European Union (33 times bigger than Italy and 15 times bigger than France), more than 30 per cent larger than Australia, five times as big as Mexico, three times as big as India and about the same size as 81,975 Walt Disney Worlds put together. So, in other words, no, you don't know Joan or Paul.

At the northern tip of Ellesmere Island, just 817 kilometres from the North Pole, you'll find the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world: Alert, Nunavut. It might not have malls or movie theatres but Alert is the temporary home to military and scientific personnel working in the area. The temporary home part will make sense once you see how cold this place gets: the warmest month, July, has a balmy average temperature of 3.4 C (38.1 F). By January, the coldest month, the mean temperature has plunged to -32.19 C (-26 F). No wonder they named it Alert.

If you walked and walked and never stopped — not to eat, not to rest your feet, not to get some sleep— it would take you four and a half years to walk the length of Canada's coastline. While our country might not conjure up images of blue waters and white sandy beaches, Canada has the world's longest coastline, bordered on three sides by three different oceans: the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific. To put that in perspective, Canada has 202,080 of the world's total 356,000 kilometres of oceanfront property. The only other country that even comes close is Indonesia, which has 54,716 km of coastline.

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