So you think you know Canada…

Would you score A+ for your expertise on all things Canadian, eh? Well check out our special Canada Day edition of the blog to pick up some new factoids on the greatest nation on Earth – yeah, we’re taking about you, Canada!

Top 10 Unknown Facts about Canada as shared by Historica Dominion Institute

 #10. I smell a… Alberta’s rat patrol’s efforts to keep the province rat-free commenced in the 1950s, and have saved an estimated $1 billion in lost livestock, food contamination and property damage.

#9. Move over Idaho! In 1962 research scientist Edward Asselbergs created dehydrated potato flakes while working for the Department of Agriculture in Ottawa. The powdered food technique he developed was applied widely in nutrient-deficient countries.

#8. The real estate pinch. The narrowest house in North America is 6 Donnacona Street in Quebec City, Que. It is only 3.7 m wide.

#7. A bright idea. The electric light bulb was first patented in 1875 by Canadian Henry Woodward of Toronto and fellow inventor Matthew Evans. The two entrepreneurs could not raise the financing to commercialize their invention, and they sold the patent to Thomas Edison.

#6. A silver lining. In 1939 Ruth Lowe wrote “I’ll Never Smile Again” after the death of her husband. The song was Frank Sinatra’s first hit, which put him on the road to fame and fortune.

#5. Sealed up success. While grieving the loss of his wife in 1913, Gideon Sundback of St Catharines designed the modern zipper.

#4. The end of the world? In 1848 when an ice jam stopped the flow of water over Niagara Falls on Easter Sunday, many saw it as a sign that the end of the world was near.

#3. A fishy idea. Who else but a Canadian would have invented fish sticks? In 1929 marine scientist Archibald Huntsman invented “Ice Fillets,” the first frozen food.

#2. All roads lead to… In 1930, John D. Millar, an engineer working for the Ontario Department of Transport thought up the idea of painting lines on roads. The world’s first lines were painted on a portion of highway near the Ontario/Quebec border.

#1. Now who has pie on their face? While performing his traveling medicine show through Newfoundland in 1889, Thomas “Doc” Kelley invented the “pie-in-the-face” gag. Kelley happened to catch sight of an irate cook chasing a stable boy with a piece of pie. When the pie wound up hitting the boy’s shirt, it made the onlookers laugh. Kelley quickly concluded that a pie in the face would be even funnier.

Thanks to James Marsh, Editor-in-Chief of The Canadian Encyclopedia, for this quirky list of facts. This is only a small selection from the 64-page insert compiled for the HarperCollins English Dictionary, Canadian Editions.

Happy 144th Canada! We’re proud to be living in such a wonderful country!
With Love, GGC staff, girl and adult Members, volunteers, parents and supporters.

Happy Canada Day everyone! 

P.S. Look out for one of our fall HarperCollins book club picks for adults: “100 Photos That Changed Canada.” If you’re interested in reviewing the book, send an email to marketing1 (at)


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