As much as I enjoy seeing the rest of the world, I’m proud to call Canada my home. It is an incredible privilege to live in a country that is safe, beautiful, tolerant and free. Canada may not be perfect, but one of the great benefits of getting out and seeing the world is the fact that it also make you appreciate what you have back home.
My own parents were never able to travel outside of North America with us, but they did put a lot of effort into showing us our own country. When I was 12 and my brother was 13, we traveled in a tiny camper from British Columbia to Newfoundland, and so I can tell you from first hand experience; it’s a big country. A very big country with some very long roads. When speaking with Europeans about geography, I often got the feeling that they really didn’t get the full picture of what a large chunk of geography Canada encompassed. And to be honest, I don’t know if many Canadians fully grasp this as well. So to celebrate Canada Day, I thought I’d throw out a few fun facts that may come in handy if you ever decide to take your family and explore our great land.
1) Most people use the term “up north” or “Northern such and such” to describe any part of the country that isn’t in that thin band of land along the U.S. border. For example, most people who learned a little geography in school know that Calgary is Alberta’s southern city and Edmonton is the northern one. But actually, both those cities are in the southern half of Alberta. (The border is the 49th parallel, the North West Territory starts at the 60th, Edmonton is at approximately 53.5 degrees north)
2) According to Google Maps, it would take 85 hours of straight driving (plus the ferry time) to drive from Vancouver to St John’s Newfoundland if you stayed entirely in Canada. 23 hours of that would be spent crossing Ontario.
3) The longest stretch between Tim Hortons restaurants on this drive would be the 483 km between Thunder Bay and Wawa Ontario.
4) It would take 55 hours to drive from Vancouver to Inuvik NWT, the most northerly point on the Dempster Highway.
5) The longest stretch between Tim Hortons on the route would be considerably longer.
6) If you’re determined to see every province and territory, be prepared to shell out. It costs approximately $2200 to fly from Montreal to Iqaluit, Nunavut. And you have to fly, there are no roads. Well, it may be possible to get there between January and March if you had a lot of time on your hands, a snowmobile, some excellent survival gear and a death wish, but there is conflicting information about that option.
7) Canada consumes more packaged macaroni and cheese per capita than any other country in the world. Okay, so that last one has nothing to do with travel, I just thought it was interesting.
So, if you are from Canada, it’s always a good time to explore your own country, and if you’re not, come on over, you’re always welcome! Happy travels!