Five things you (probably) didn’t know about Canada

  1. It took Canada almost 100 years to adopt a widely accepted national flag. The instantly recognisable Maple Leaf design was only introduced in 1965 after many years of debate – 98 years after Canada became an independent nation. Between 1841 and 1867, the United Province of Canada had been a British colony.
  2. Australia may be notorious for being home to all manner of lizards, reptiles, creepy crawlies and generally many other dangerous creatures, yet the Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba have more snakes in a concentrated area than anywhere else in the world, with tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes gathering there every year.
  3. According to worldClimate.com, Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, is the world’s seventh coldest capital, with the average annual temperature in the city being just 5.5oC. Ulaan-Baatar in Mongolia is recognised as being the world’s coldest capital with a freezing average annual temperature of -1.3oC.
  4. At 5,525 miles, including 1,538 miles between Canada and Alaska, the border between Canada and the United States is the longest border in the world between two nations.
  5. Bizarre as it may seem today, in 1844 Canada contested what is now recognised as the first official international cricket match ever played. Perhaps more bizarrely their opponents were the United States of America. Played over two days in front of an estimated 20,000 spectators, Canada (or the United Province of Canada as the country was then known; see point 2) won by 23 runs.

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