Oh Canada!

July 1 is Canada Day. Here are some fun facts from McClatchy Tribune that celebrate all things Canadian. Information was written and illustrated by Laurie McAdam, McClatchy Newspapers.

Did you know?

The name Canada dates back to the year 1535. The word “Kanata”, which is the Huron-Iroquois word for “village” or “settlement,” was used to describe what is now Quebec City. In 1557, French explorer Jacques Cartier, when claiming Kanata for France, simply repeated the word as Canada. The name stuck.

Canada’s birthday: On July 1, 1867, Canada’s provinces, territories and British colonies unified as one nation with a national government and law-making parliament.

Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada and head of state. The queen’s duties are carried out by the governor general.

The Canada goose has become the most common waterfowl species in North America.

The beaver is Canada’s national symbol and adorns the back of the Canadian nickel. It also is the largest rodent in North America and mates for life unless the mate dies.

A stetson worn by the Mounties is also called a campaign hat, drill sergeant hat, round brown, ranger hat, Scouts hat, Smokey Bear hat and lemon squeezer.

Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world, with about 151,600 miles, and is the second-largest country in the world.

The Loonie: When Canada wanted to issue a gold-colored dollar coin, it was designed with an image of fur-trappers on the back. The master dies were lost by the courier before minting, so a new design was necessary to thwart the possibility of counterfeiting. The new design was a common loon, and Canadians embraced it. They affectionately refer to it as “the loonie” just as U.S. bills are nicknamed “greenbacks.”

Lucky Loonie: A Canadian icemaker at the 2002 Olympics froze a loonie at center ice as a mark for the dropped puck. Both the men’s and women’s Canadian hockey teams won gold that year. The coin was recovered from the ice and given to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the legend of the lucky loonie began. Since then, players have gone to hiding the loonie on the opposing team’s nets or freezing the coins into the ice before games. This has led to teams checking the ice for coins before tournaments.

Names of actual places in Canada: Drumheller, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Squamish, Blow Me Down, Saint-Louis-Du-Ha-Ha

Curling is a popular team sport in Canada with similarities to lawn bowling and bocce ball, but is played on ice. With the limitless possibilites of stone placement and shot selection, it is sometimes referred to as “chess on ice.”

Happy Canada Day to our northern neighbors!

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