In honour of Canada Day - which was yesterday - here are some facts about Canada for all of my non-Canadian readers...
1. The electron microscope (1938), the snowblower (1925), the baby food, Pablum, (1930) and the zipper (1934) were all Canadian inventions.
2.Canada has the world's longest designated street. From its start in Toronto, Yonge Street runs 1,178.3 miles (1,900.5 km).
3. Canadians are long-lived. A baby girl born in Canada today can expect to reach, on average, 81 years while a baby boy will live to about 75 years. From Health Canada's website: http://www.hwc.ca/datahpsb/nhrdp/english/healthofcanadians/index-e.htm
4.Canadians are funny people. Comedians John Candy, Julie Byrne, Dan Ackroyd, Rick Moranis, Martin Short, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers and Leslie Nielsen are all Canadian-born.
5. Canada's quality of life is unmatched. The United Nations quality of life index which measures standard of living, education and life expectancy ranked Canada first of the 173 countries surveyed in 1992, 1994 and 1996. http://www.stentor.ca/scripts/dbml.exe?template=/stentor/body.dbm&page_id=landopp1.html
6.Canada's largest gum manufacturer, O-Pee-Chee Co., sells more than 7.5 million pounds of chewing gum annually - enough to blow a bubble twice the size of the earth!
7. Canada is home to about one-quarter of the world's fresh water. Almost 75 percent of the country's electrical power is produced through hydroelectricity.
8.Joseph Armand Bombardier invented the first successful snowmobile on June 29, 1937. Bombardier is now the world's fourth largest commercial aircraft manufacturer and creator of the Global Express, the world's first corporate jet designed for high speed, long-range travel.
9. The National Film Board of Canada is the world's largest government film unit. Since its inception in 1939, the NFB has won almost 3000 national and international awards.
10. If Canada was divided equally among Canadians, each person would receive a piece of land roughly the size of 27 baseball fields, or about 365,000 square metres. In the US, each American would get about three baseball fields, in Japan just one-quarter of a baseball field, and in Hong Kong, less than a quarter of a baseball diamond.
11.Canada has earned the reputation of "Disney North" due to Oakville, Ontario's Sheridan College. The school's animation program is considered the best in the world.
12.The Ice Hotel in Quebec, known as Hotel de Glace is created every year using 400 tons of ice and 12,000 tons of snow. It melts away every summer and is recreated every winter.
13. Canada has just one desert, located in British Columbia, towards the southernmost corner of the Okanagan Valley in Osoyoos. It is only 15 miles long, with over 100 rare plants, and over 300 rare animals. It is also the only desert in the world that has a long boardwalk, for people to walk on!