Canada Day History
If you’re Canadian, on July 1 your mind is probably on BBQs, fireworks, warm weather and having the ‘rents home in the middle of the week. Maybe a few of you are thinking about visiting relatives or have no plans at all. But if you think Canada Day is just about food, sparklers and a great big birthday party – think again. There’s a lot more to it than that.
Canada Day has been called a few names in the past. It used to be known as Dominion Day, the First of July, Confederation Day and July the First. Canada wasn’t REALLY “born” on July 1, but the holiday celebrates the events that took place on this day. On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act created the Canadian federal government. This act stated that Canada would become an independant dominion (territory) of England, which is why Canada Day was originally called Dominion Day.
In 1982, Dominion Day changed to Canada Day after a vote in Parliament. Not everyone was happy about this change. Some people felt that a 115-year-old part of Canadian heritage was lost. But, the new name stuck and every July 1, Canadians celebrate Canada Day with parades, fireworks, picnics and food.
Interesting Canadian Facts
- Canada was named from the Huron and Iroquois word kanata, which means village.
- Canada has approximately three million lakes across the country. More than 30,000 of those lakes are larger than three square kilometers!
- Princess Juliana of the Netherlands gave Ottawa 100,000 tulip bulbs as a thank-you gift in 1945 for keeping the Dutch Royal Family safe during World War II. The Netherlands was occupied by the Nazis until Canadian soldiers liberated the country in 1944-45.
- The Bank of Canada issued the last $1 bill in 1989. It was replaced by the one-dollar coin, known as the loonie, which came out in 1987.
- The world’s only flying saucer launching pad is in St. Paul, Alberta. It was built in 1967.
- The largest mall in the world is West Edmonton Mall in Alberta. It has over 800 stores and restaurants, an amusement park, the world’s largest indoor lake with four working submarines, 26 movie theaters and a hockey-sized ice rink.
- More than 75% of the world’s maple syrup comes from Canada.