Happy Birthday, Canada!
We may not be able to get together this Canada Day as we have in previous years but please be sure to take a few minutes to celebrate Canada’s upcoming 153rd birthday. While we’ll all miss the parades and the fireworks, we thought we’d pass on some interesting and fun facts about Canada that you can share with friends and family to help mark this special occasion.
Canada – the early years
The name “Canada” is derived from the Iroquois word “Kanata” and is loosely translated as “village”. Canada’s motto is A Mare Usque Ad Mare which is Latin for From sea to sea.
The Italian explorer John Cabot was long credited as being the first European to come to Canada arriving here in 1497. History was re-written in the 1960s, when the discovery of a small bronze cloak pin led to the unearthing of a Viking camp in Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula. We now know that Norse expeditions sailing from Greenland preceded Cabot by several hundred years and established a small settlement in what is now L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site.
While Canada became an independent and sovereign nation in 1867, the British Union Jack remained our official flag until 1965 when it was replaced with the red and white Maple Leaf.
Cool Canadian Inventions
Perhaps it’s because we are a vast, sparsely populated nation with long harsh winters that gives us time to tinker about, but over the years, Canadians have been credited with some very important inventions and discoveries. Here are just some of the more interesting innovations that found their origins in Canada.
• The walkie-talkie was developed by Canadian communications specialists in 1942 for use by allied troops in World War II.
• Arthur Sicard, a milkman from Quebec, built the first snowblower way back in 1925.
• In 1962, Edward Asselbergs, a chemist with Agriculture Canada, devised a way to produce dehydrated potato flakes which led to the development of instant mashed potatoes.
• Harry Wasylyk invented the disposable garbage bag in Winnipeg in 1950. Originally the polyethylene bags were designed for commercial applications with the Winnipeg General Hospital being the first to use the bags.
• Norman Breaky, a house painter in Toronto is credited with inventing the paint roller in the 1950s – sadly, he did not patent his invention so he never profited from his inspiration.
• The Caesar cocktail was created by Calgary restaurant manager Walter Chell in 1969.
• We’re also a sporty bunch. The indigenous peoples in Canada played lacrosse long before the arrival of the Europeans; hockey was first played as early as 1800 in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and Canadian James Naismith invented basketball in 1891 while teaching physical education in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Important Medical Discoveries
Canadians have been at the forefront of some of the most important medical discoveries on record, including the following:
• Considered one of the most critical medical discoveries in history, Sir Frederick Banting led the way with developing insulin for Type 1 diabetes patients in the early 1920s. The discovery of insulin is credited with saving the lives of millions of people around the world.
• In the 1930s, 3 doctors from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children developed a ready-to-use vitamin and mineral-enriched baby cereal. Known as Pablum, this formulation set standards for infant nutrition still used today.
• The invention of child-resistant pill and medicine containers proves that even something that seems relatively simple on the surface, can have tremendous benefits. In the late 1950s, in an attempt to reduce the rate of accidental poisoning amongst small children, Dr. Henry Breault developed a “child-proof” lid. It is estimated that by the 1970s Breault’s invention had reduced accidental poisoning in children by over 90%.
Canada Fun Facts
• This may not come as much of a surprise, but there are more donut shops per capita in Canada than any other country.
• We’re a big country and our coastline, at 202,080 kilometers, is the world’s longest. The Trans-Canada Highway is the longest in the world at just over 7,600 kilometers long.
• Canada is home to 48 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and 4 marine conservation areas.
• Wasaga Beach, located about two hours north of Toronto, has the longest freshwater beach in the world clocking in at nearly ten miles in length.
• Ottawa’s Rideau Canal becomes the world’s longest skating rink each winter and to cover the rink from one end to the other requires you to skate almost 8 kilometers.
Tips for online shopping
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many stores to close or limit their premises to customers, online shopping in Canada has increased dramatically. Here are some tips to help keep your personal information safe from prying eyes when shopping online.
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7 germ-killing tips for your kitchen
The kitchen is not only where you prepare food for your family, it’s also the place where families tend to gather. That’s why you should check out these 7 germ-killing tips for your kitchen.
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Walk your way to better health
Walking is a form of exercise that can be enjoyed by all age groups but the low impact nature of walking is especially beneficial to seniors. Here are 5 reasons why walking should be part of your daily routine.
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