Canada is a popular destination for expats with a number six world ranking in the Quality of Life Index in 2014. However, here are some surprising facts that are not so well known about this immense and diverse country.
1. Canada actually obtained its name through a misinterpretation! When the French explorer Jacques Cartier met with the local people in the New World, they invited him to their “Kanata”, meaning “village”. The explorer, however, thought that they were referring to the country, and so he labeled the country as “Canada”.
2. Canada was delayed in obtaining its national flag - it took nearly 100 years after having become an official country.
3. During summer months when lobster is in abundance, Canada puts its very own twist on the typical McDonald’s meal. A lobster sandwich which includes celery and dressing results in an appetizing McLobster!
4. The quality of Canadian tap water is usually better than the bottled water.
5. Even the likes of Winnie-the-Pooh originated from this impressive country. In 1915 London zoo received a baby bear, Winnipeg, from Canada. A young boy, Christopher Robin Milne, used to love visiting the bear at the zoo - inspiring his father to write stories about a bear called Winnie-the-Pooh.
6. If you’re looking for a good education, Canada is a perfect place to be, beating Japan to be the world’s most educated country. Apart from having more scholarly citizens than anywhere else on the planet, the majority of Canadian universities do not come with a hefty price tag as they are predominantly public rather than private.
7. In the North West of Canada car number plates are in the shape of polar bears.
8. In the small town of Churchill in Manitoba, there is a bear for every resident in the area. Although this has become an attraction for tourists, for those living with the bears life can be complicated at times! In fact officers exist who are trained to deal with any bear problems.
9. On the theme of animals, in Winnipeg you can see more snakes in one place than anywhere else - thousands upon thousands of red-sided garter snakes can be observed (from a distance for those with a snake phobia) during the mating season in spring.
10. And finally, it turns out that Santa does exist. If you write to: North Pole, HOH OHO, Canada - you will receive a letter back from Santa himself.
Canada is an exciting country to explore, and there are most definitely great benefits to living out there for an expat; from the high quality of life to the incredible diversity of landscapes. Now you can share some of these unusual Canada facts at the next pub quiz.