15 Weird Facts About Canada You Probably Didn’t Know

Canada, the second-largest country in the world by land area, is well-known for its stunning landscapes, the politeness of its people, and its syrupy maple goodness. However, beyond these well-trodden facts lies a treasure trove of peculiarities many may find surprising.

In this unveiling of 15 weird facts about Canada, prepare to have your perceptions challenged and your curiosity piqued as we explore the quirky and astonishing aspects of this vast and varied nation.

Polar Bears Are Considered Marine Mammals in Canada

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In most countries, polar bears are seen as land animals due to their habitat on Arctic ice. However, they are classified as marine mammals in Canada because they spend significant time hunting and living on sea ice. This classification also means that Canada has jurisdiction over these bears regarding conservation and management.

Get Screeched in Newfoundland

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One intriguing aspect of Canadian culture is the distinctive tradition in Newfoundland of kissing a dead cod. This unique custom entails pressing one’s lips to a codfish, typically followed by a shot of rum known as Skreech. Visitors can partake in the culture if they want to try it.

Canadians Put Milk in Bags

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Indeed, you read that correctly. Canada boasts a truly unique tradition: the use of milk bags. While it might seem odd to some, this practice is genuinely widespread. This preference is so prevalent that even major retailers, including Costco, stock bagged milk. This distinctive choice is just one of the many quirky and charming characteristics that make Canada an intriguing country.

Canada Has National Parks That Are Bigger Than Many Countries

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Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta boasts a vast expanse of over 44,000 square kilometers, dwarfing the combined territories of Denmark and Switzerland. Similarly, the Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories stretches over more than 30,000 square kilometers, surpassing the size of Israel. These parks showcase the immense and diverse landscapes that Canada has to offer.

Canada Is Home to North America’s Oldest and Smallest Jail

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Located in Ontario, Rodney is home to an 8-by-10-foot jail cell. This tiny prison was used by local police officers from 1956 until it closed down in 1960 due to prisoner complaints about its cramped space. Today, it serves as a tourist attraction.

The Nation’s Capital Has a Secret Underground City

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Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, has an intricate underground network of tunnels that connects various buildings. This hidden city was initially built to allow government workers to travel between offices during the cold winter months without having to go outside. Today, these tunnels house various shops and restaurants. 

Kanata Was the Original Name of Canada

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Before the name Canada, it was called Kanata an Indigenous word by St. Lawrence Iroquoian that means “village” or “settlement.” “Canada” came from French explorers and traders mispronouncing “Kanata.” Originally used to refer to the land they were exploring, this term eventually represented the entire territory.

There Is a Polar Bear Jail in Canada

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Canada takes animal conservation seriously, and this includes dealing with the problem of polar bears. Churchill, Manitoba, has a unique “polar bear jail” as a temporary holding facility for bears that wander too close to human settlements. The bears are kept until they can safely relocate back into the wild.

Canada Eats More Doughnuts Than Any Other Country in the World

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Indeed, when it comes to food, an intriguing fact about Canada is its unparalleled number of doughnut shops per capita compared to other countries. Astonishingly, 30 million Canadians consume over 1 billion doughnuts each year, a phenomenon primarily attributed to the popularity of Tim Hortons!

In Churchill, Canada, Residents Leave Their Cars Unlocked

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Churchill, Manitoba, has a large percentage of polar bears, so it is customary for residents and visitors to leave their car doors unlocked in case someone needs to escape from a polar bear. This practice stems from the occasional visits of polar bears into town during the summer months when there is no sea ice for them to hunt on.

You Will Probably Weigh Less in Canada

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Canada exhibits notably lower gravity compared to many other parts of the world. Gravity on Earth varies, primarily due to differences in land mass. The melting of the Laurentide Ice Sheet has left Canada in a state of gradual recovery. Consequently, visiting Hudson Bay could make you about a tenth of an ounce lighter than usual.

It Is Illegal to Smell Bad in Canada

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You might not have heard of this, but it is illegal to stink in Canada. The country has a law that states people must be “appropriately clean and neatly dressed” when appearing in public. If you are in a public area with an offensive odor, you risk spending two years in prison.

The World’s Longest Street Is in Canada

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Younge Street in Ontario, Canada, holds the Guinness World Record for being the longest street in the world. The road stretches over 1,896 kilometers and runs from Toronto to Lake Simcoe. It is also home to Canada’s largest shopping mall, Vaughan Mills.

Canadian Police Give “Positive Tickets” to Reward Good Behavior

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In Canada, police officers carry “positive tickets” to reward people for exhibiting good behavior, like crossing the street safely or wearing a helmet while biking. The aim is to reinforce positive behavior in young children and create a bond between law enforcement and the community. 

“EH” Is an Actual Word in the Canadian Dictionary

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“Eh” is a popular slang word Canadians use and has been officially recognized as an interjection in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. It can be added to any sentence and has various meanings, from seeking agreement or confirmation to expressing surprise or disbelief.

More From Inspired by Insiders

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Canada has incredible natural landscapes, diverse cultures, and friendly people. It is a safe and welcoming place to visit, but be aware that there are some significant cultural nuances and laws you should abide by. Here are some things to never do to help you make the most of your Canadian adventure.

15 Things to Never Do in Canada

25 Things to Never Do in the United States

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Visiting the United States can be an incredible experience. You get to immerse yourself in a new culture, explore unique places, and try delicious food. But did you know that there are certain things you should never do while in the US? Read on to find out what these 25 things are.

25 Things to Never Do in the United States

This article was produced on Inspired by Insiders.

Confidence Anadi

Confidence enjoys writing content that informs, educates, and helps readers discover new and enjoyable experiences. He is passionate about writing to share knowledge and insights, hoping to inspire readers to pursue their passions and interests. Besides writing, he plays the bass guitar and loves to explore different genres of music.

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