I have never been much impressed with the Canadian sense of fun. TV commercials leave one questioning the unfathomable humour. People are polite, courteous, friendly, but really, in my three years here, never have I heard the gurgle of helpless, uncontrollable laughter ringing from any corner, anywhere. Even the weather here is funnier than the people. Or that’s what I thought till I came upon some fun facts on Canada. Now I eat my words.
The country has a quirky sense of humour bubbling beneath the icy serious surface. You just need to know where to look, especially when you are plannig an unforgettable holiday in Canada. See what I found:
- Polar Bears in Churchill: In the tiny town of Churchill, Manitoba, visiting polar bears outnumber residents in the city. Hundreds of them pass through the town in search of food. People keep car doors unlocked to help neighbours dash in and drive away if they chance upon one. If a grouchy polar bear sneaks into a home, they are whisked away to the world’s only Polar Bear prison where 28 cells lock up the misbehaving teddies.
- Bathtub Race, Vancouver: Can you imagine hoards of people in bathtubs out in the open? In 1967, locals invented the Bathtub Race to commemorate Nanaimo’s Centennial Marine Festival. Nearly 200 tubbers raced down a 36 mile course in converted bathtubs. Today Nanaimo Marine Festival hosts a World Bathtub Championship end of every July.
- Sour-Toe Cocktail Club, Yukon: Membership at Sour-Toe Cocktail Club in Dawson City, Yukon comes with a deal: sip any drink with a real human-toe peering at you from its depths; dare to touch it with your lips and you are in the circle! If you swallow the toe you’re fined. Don’t laugh! There are 60,000 quirky members in the Sour Toe Cocktail Club to show you the finger.
4. Narcisse Snake Dens near Winnipeg, Manitoba: A holiday in Canada can really creep you out. North of Winnipeg is the Narcisse Snake Dens Conservation Area. There’s a viewing platform where you can watch tens and thousands of red garter snakes slither out of their rock-dens to date each other. From April to May, they are all out to mate.
5. Santa Claus is Canadian: According to The Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Santa Claus is Canadian. Santa’s address – North Pole: H0H0H0 falls within the country’s borders. Just don’t send Christmas gifts to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when you holiday in Canada. The Federal Accountability Act of 2006 and security taskmasters disallow the PM to receive cards or gifts.
6. Iceberg Harvesting in Labrador and Newfoundland: Businessmen in the “Iceberg Alley” off the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland have been cashing in the coolest ways. Through iceberg harvesting, pure, freshwater glacier ice is sold off as bottled water. Some of the iceberg harvested is almost 150,000 years old. Companies such as Iceberg Vodka Corp. buy it off them to distill their vodka into the smoothest vodka ever.
For an unforgettable holiday, check out more fun facts on Canada here.
For more on my Canadian journey and unique insights into Canada, follow my blog Oh Canada! Twitter: @joeyday20