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150 Little Known Canada Facts #7

March, 2017

Here’s this week’s installment of your Canadian facts.

37. Peteborough, Ontario, claims itself to be the Canoe Capital of the World, and they have good evidence for making such a claim. It has a museum that holds the world’s largest collection of canoes and kayaks, approximately 600 canoes and kayaks in its archives, and more than 100 of them on display at any one time. Also, the wooden plank canoe was invented and produced in the area. There are two other places that claim to be the Canoe Capital: one is Atikokan, Ontario, though it claims to be the Canoeing Capital of the world; and two is Eminence, Missouri, saying it has approximately 710 rental canoes.

38. IMAX began its life in Canada, though it was sold to the American WGIM Acquisition Corporation in 1994. It was developed by Roman Kroiter (past employee of National Film Board), Robert Kerr, Graeme Ferguson and William Shaw, with the last three all having gone to school together in Galt, Ontario. IMAX was unveiled at the 1967 Montréal Expo, and the first permanent IMAX theatre opened in Toronto in 1971. IMAX headquarters still remains in Toronto.

39. Did you know that just 25 kms off the southwest coast of Newfoundland are a few little islands that belong to the country of France? Saint Pierre and Miquelon have around 6,500 inhabitants, its main industry is cod fishing (though tourism is gaining momentum) and it has zero atmospheric pollution. It claims to have the climate of the Shetland Islands, the architecture of Iceland, the landscape of Scotland and the culture of France. Recent archaeological finds reveal that the islands have been used for over 8,000 years as a seasonal base for native people such as the Beothuk and the Paleo Eskimo. The islands have been given back to France many times over the past 600 years, and its inhabitants have been deported from the islands twice (once to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia).

40. When Canada first became a country in 1867, there were an estimated 13 Muslim citizens in the entire country. That number grew slowly at first, but eventually, out on the Canadian prairies that number grew to the point where a house of worship was needed in order for the community to gather and practice their faith. That first mosque, called the Al-Rashid Mosque, was built in Edmonton in 1938 and is preserved in Fort Edmonton Park. Today, Canada is home to over one million Muslim citizens.

41. Canada is home to many interesting geographical features, but on Victoria Island, a large land mass that is split between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, there is one that is as unique as it is confusing. On the Victoria island, located at the coordinates 69.793° N and 108.241° W, there is an unnamed lake, which is home to a large number of smaller islands. On one of these islands exists a second lake, which is home to one more island. This obscure central island is celebrated by geography enthusiasts as being the largest island in a lake, on an island in a lake, on an island in the world.

42. The Bank of Canada was first established in 1934. Since then there have been six distinct series of banknotes circulated around the country, each sporting a unique design. 1935’s series depicted the many industries of Canada, as represented in a classical Roman style. The 1954 series was the first to include the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and changed the back design to depict scenes of iconic Canadian landscapes. In 1970, the Bank of Canada chose again to depict Canadian scenes, but this time focused on the cultural element of Canada instead of its natural beauty. In 1986, we made the move to using images of Canadian birds on our currency, and in 2001, we changed over once again to celebrate images of Canadian heritage and history. In 2011 we made the switch to using polymer notes instead of paper, and the images on the back were changed to depict scenes of Canadian innovation.


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