Canada is the world’s second largest country by total area. Located between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, Canada is home to a variety of landscapes, economies, cultures and sports.
In some regions, snow covers the ground for almost half the year, and in some northern parts the frost never leaves the soil. No wonder most Canadians live south, within 150 miles of the USA border.
The country has two official languages – English and French. The latter is most spoken in the province of Quebec.
There are three different types of bear in Canada: the black bear, the grizzly bear, and the polar bear. Winnipeg, a black bear cub sent from Canada to London Zoo, inspired A.A. Milne to create his famous character, Winnie the Pooh.
Canada is home to the longest street in the world. Yonge Street in Ontario starts at Lake Ontario and runs north through Ontario to the Minnesota border, a distance of almost 2,000 km!
Niagara Falls is the name given to three waterfalls – the Horseshoe Falls which are located in Canada and the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls which are in the USA.
The official national sports are ice hockey and lacrosse. Canadians love many different sports, including football, rugby, tennis and baseball. In the winter they may go curling, skating and skiing.
In 1930, Hamilton in Ontario became the first host of the British Empire Games. The Canadian journalist M.M. ‘Bobby’ Robinson was the driving force behind the creation of this multi-sport event.
A year later the Commonwealth was formed, and the Games gained its current name – the Commonwealth Games.
In 1930, Canada secured a haul of 54 medals. The biggest yield came in 1994 with 128 medals. The Edinburgh 1986 Commonwealth Games produced Canada’s biggest tally of Gold, 51 in total. At Delhi 2010 Canadians won 76 medals, 26 of which were Gold.
Fun fact: Never mind the Loch Ness Monster, Canada has its own mysterious lake creature! The Ogopogo reportedly lives in Lake Okanagan.
Sport fact: Canada, where the first Commonwealth Games was held in 1930, is one of only six countries which have attended all of the Games since the event’s inception. Canada has hosted four Commonwealth Games in total.