Monday, February 28, 2011

Vacation Destinations

Looking to start a series of articles about favourite places to visit in Canada. Email us YOUR favourite destination at or send us a link to your blog discussing the best Canadian Vacation you've had.

Quality of Living & Eco-City Rankings

Did you know Canada.. according to the 2010 Mercer Human Resource Consulting Quality of Living Survey - Vancouver is tied for 4th in the list of cities with Top Quality of Life. Ottawa comes in 14th and Toronto 16th.  This is based on many factors including safety, health, education, transportation and more.

While Calgary is the world's top in our Eco-city ranking 1st and Ottawa coming in 3rd.  This report is based on factors including water availability, water portability, air pollution and more.

Congrats Canada!



Did you know Canada..  Now that everything is melting outside my window today I was wondering what the worst flood in Canada has been.  There are a few reports including..

- The Saguenay Flood in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec in July 1996.  It rained for 2 straight days with flood waters were so powerful they swept away a whole shopping centre.
- The Red River Flood in Manitoba in 1950 - this was prior to a flood way being built in this area and flooded most of the Red River Valley.

And the worst flood occurred during Hurricane Hazel on October 15, 1954.  It struck Toronto killing 81 people, destroying 20 bridges, and leaving over 2000 people homeless with 285 millimetres of rain in Toronto region in just 48 hours.  Visit for more information on this tragedy.

Source: CBC Archives,, Environment Canada, Wikipedia

Cricket's World Cup

Did you know Canada.. Cricket's World Cup is happening now in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka and there's a Canadian team involved.  We're Associate Members and have been since 1968 - The World Cup runs from Feb 19 - Apr 2.  One of our men - Nitish Kumar - is the youngest player at the World Cup at 16.  Canada lost to Zimbabwe Feb 28 and has 4 more group matches to go against Pakistan, Kenya, Australia and New Zealand - Australia is the defending champion.  Our next game is against Pakistan March 3rd.

Our team has had a struggle with sponsorship and uniforms this year.  Let's hope they have a great next match!

Source: Wikipedia, Canadian Cricket, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Canadians at the Oscars

Did you know Canada.. there are a few Canadians who can bring home an Oscar tonight..

  • Makeup artist Adrien Morot for Barney's Version
  • Sound designer Craig Berkey for True Grit
  • DeBlois - co-wrote and co-directed How to Train Your Dragon
  • Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve for Incendies - nominated for best foreign-language film

Some Canadian Oscar winners in our past include..
  • James Cameron
  • Paul Haggis
  • Anna Paquin
  • Jason Reitman
  • Christopher Plummer

Look forward to seeing some Canadian's bring home an Oscar tonight!  Let us know if you're watching!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2011 BMO Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships

Did you know Canada.. today is the final day in the 2011 BMO Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships - being hosting in Brampton, ON at the Powerade Centre for the second straight year. The event runs February 24-26, 2011.

There are over 900 synchronized skaters and over 1,100 people including coaches and team staff.

In today's conclusion the Canadian titles will be given out in intermediate, junior and senior.

Check out Skate Canada for more information and results.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

Did you know Canada.. Canada has more lakes than any other country, containing much of the world's fresh water, including fresh-water glaciers. Unfortunately about 60% of Canada's fresh water drains to the north, while 85% of the population lives within 300 kilometres of the Canada-United States border.

The largest lake in Canada is Lake Huron (based on Canadian portion) and our longest river is the MacKenzie. The largest fresh water lake in the world is Lake Superior which we share with the US.

Source: Environment Canada, World Atlas

Canada Music Week

Did you know Canada.. we're coming up on Canada Music Week - March 9-13.  Canada Music Week began in 1981 and is now the single longest running multi-day Canadian music and media event. There will be more than 800 showcasing bands at 60 live music venues in downtown Toronto over the course of the 5 nights.

Canada Music Week also showcases "The Indies" - the 11th Annual Independent Music Awards. The Indies takes place Sat. March 12 in the Canadian Ballroom in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto. There are many awards and nominations, for Album of the Year the nominees are..

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Caribou – Swim
The New Pornographers – Together
The Sadies – Darker Circles
Tokyo Police Club – Champ

Look forward to this and many other events as a part of Canada Music Week!

Source: CMW, Wikipedia

A licence to Canoe?

Did you know Canada.. there's some controversy going on right now in the boating community because they are saying Transport Canada changed rules and requirements that will now demand forms filled out and fees paid for excursion groups - even those on canoe and kayaks. Now Transport Canada says there have been no new rule changes but there has been a requirement to have non-pleasure vessels registered since July 2007! These would be the boats/canoes/kayaks that are leading a group.

Read more in the Star article and let me know how you read the rules?

Source: TheStar, TheRecord

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fly Fishing

Did you know Canada.. Fly Fishing is a huge sport in Canada.  There is a Canadian Fly Fishing Championships that will be held this year on October 17-22, 2011 - the 9th year for this competition.  It will be held near Montebello, PQ at Fairmont Kenauk. I've read so many articles about how once you get into Fly Fishing you're an addict and I'm sure this long, white winter has been killing the dedicated Fly Fisher.

Labrador is listed as the top location in the world for fly fishing with largely clear, untouched bodies of water,  sparse population and unequivocal beauty - you can easily see why this would be the top spot.

And check this out, Heli Fishing at Nimmo Bay in BC - for the top adventurer this would be fantastic.

Source: FlyFishingCanada, Canada On The Fly, Canada Fishing

Volunteer Fire Fighters

Did you know Canada.. I saw a Duracell ad the other day that told me 70% of firefighters in Canada are volunteers!  I had no idea!  We live in a smaller town and I've seen multiple trucks with volunteer fire fighter stickers or licence plates on them, but had no idea that number was so high.

Not just anyone can be a volunteer fireman.  You need to apply, take written aptitude test and a physical agility test, go through an interview process, complete a medical evaluation and complete and training program.  Then there are often weekly practices or drills and helping maintain equipment.

Most volunteer fire fighters get no compensation for their time and effort.  They are looking at offering Volunteer fire fighters a tax break in Canada.

This is a surprising number to me and I am very grateful for these people willing to volunteer so much time and effort to save lives.

Source: Firehall, Fire Fighting in Canada, CVFSA

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Say What?

Did you know Canada.. our official languages are English and French of course but what might be surprising is that according to the 2006 census English accounts for only 59.7% of the nations first language.  French is 23.2% and 17.1% of people have neither of our official languages as their mother tongue.

The province with the largest concentration of those with English as their first language is Newfoundland & Labrador, second is Prince Edward Island.  The largest concentration of those with French is of course Quebec with New Brunswick coming in second.

Source: Statistics Canada

1 in 5 Canadians late for work at least once a week: Survey

Did you know Canada.. According to this article in the Vancouver Sun 1 in 5 Canadians late for work at least once a week: Survey

I know when I worked in the office full time I was NEVER late for work, even if that meant skipping my morning coffee and running in from the parking lot. Many co workers were often late for work though, coffee in hand, strolling along but that's just not in me to do. I am the one that always shows up early or on time, I hate to inconvenience people because I know I absolutely hate waiting around for people that say they will show up at a certain time. And this is your job! I feel like people that do this think their time is more important than yours and that is not okay.

Now that I have kids I can see the occasional late day because the bus didn't show up on time or someone wasn't feeling well, but there's a big difference between kiddos and some of the crazy excuses in the article.

Check it out and let me know what happens at your place of work!

Pink Shirt Day

Did you know Canada..  today is a VERY important day.  It's Pink Shirt day - the day we stop bullying - bullying in schools, on the playground, in the locker room, on the internet and more.

Visit to learn more, get your Pink Shirt on to let everyone know you are AGAINST Bullying and let's make it easier on our kids.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 Canada Games

Did you know Canada.. this is week 2 of the 2011 Canada Games, this year being hosted in Halifax, NS.

The Canada games run Feb 11-27 this year - a winter games event. Going by province as of today Quebec is in the lead with 78 metals, Ontario second with 49 and BC third with 48. Attendance at sporting events has been great, with many sold-out events (wish I was there!)

Events coming up in week 2 include archery, alpine skiing, badminton, boxing, cross-country ski, male curling, figure skating, female hockey, judo, snowboard, synchronized swimming, and table tennis.

The Canada Games is held every two years, alternating between summer and winter - they started in 1967 in Quebec City.

The next summer Canada Games will be in Sherbrooke, QC in 2013.

Source: Canada Games 2011, Canada Games

Higher Education

Did you know Canada..

More Woman than Men Enrol for College and University  57% to 43%

Also, Stats Canada’s is showing that students from a College or trade school are more likely to become employed following graduation than those graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from a University.

Source: AUCC, Stats Canada, Study Magazine

Oil Sands

Did you know Canada.. Canada produces more oil than it needs - Canada's proven crude oil reserves are only second to Saudi Arabia. Although CNN has reported via WikiLeaks that Saudi Arabia's estimates may have been exaggerated: view report on CNN here. Almost all of the surplus is exported to the USA at nearly 1.4 million barrels of oil per day.

The oil sands are located in three major areas in northeast Alberta. Beautiful Fort McMurray is the largest city serving the oil sands region.

Source: CNN, Gas and Oil, EIA,

Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Did you know Canada.. Scotties Tournament of Hearts is an annual Canadian Women's Curling Championship who's winner goes on to represent Canada at the Women's World Curling Championships. The tournament is sponsored by Kruger Products that sells Scotties brand facial tissues and a familiar name in Canada, this sponsorship is in it's 30th year.

This year the tournament is being held in Charlottetown, PEI at the Charlottetown Civic Center. It's a round robin of 12 teams - one team from each province, one from the territories along with the previous year's winning team know as "Team Canada".

Saskatchewan currently in the lead with 9 Wins, Team Canada in second with 8 wins.

Visit for the latest.

Source: STOH,

Monday, February 21, 2011


Did you know Canada.. West Edmonton Mall was the largest mall in the world until 2004 when a larger mall was built in Dubai. It's still the largest mall in North America! There are over 800 stores and services and employs over 23000 people.

Source: Wikipedia, WEM

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Public/Family Skates

Did you know Canada..  we had an ice rink we made in our backyard all winter, kids loved it.  We upgraded from bob-skates to real skates this year and have been having a love/hate relationship with skating since it got a bit harder.  Our poor ice rink melted this week with the sun shine and warmer weather so we tried a free public family skate today and it was fantastic!  The boys skated for a full hour, much longer than they did at home with so many distractions and we got free hot chocolate after for Family Day Weekend.

Am now loving public skates - I thought it would be too busy and overwhelming for the kids but everyone was (fairly) friendly and all the little ones were able to stay in the middle without getting caught up in the rush.

I found this website:  to find all the local arenas and look forward to heading to public skating again next weekend!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Farmers Market

Did you know Canada.. We went to the market in a larger town today (delicious by the way, we got some peameal bacon and smoked pork chops that's just not an option in any local grocery store) and I was wondering the best way to find out if there was a farmers market closer to home.

Well I found this website: and fabulous!  I found a couple May-October markets that are closer to home.  Can't wait to try them out this year!

Heritage Classic

Did you know Canada.. the Hertiage Classic is tomorrow - February 20th.  This is a scheduled, regular season outdoor game between Montreal Canadiens and the Calgary Flames at McMahon Stadium(University of Calgary) sponsored by Tim Hortons.

Freezing overnight temperatures earlier in the week (-25) were causing cracks in the ice and headaches for the ice crew but looks like things will be all ready for the game Sunday with a temp of -10 and partly sunny skies.

This is the first official outdoor game in Canada in 7 years when Edmonton Oilers hosted the Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium in 2003.

Look forward to an exciting game tomorrow!

Source: NHL

Olympic Gold

Did you know Canada.. we hold the record for the most gold medals won at a Winter Olympic game.  At the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics we won 14 gold medals in..
  • Short track speed skating - 2
  • Speed skating - 2
  • Freestyle skiing - 2
  • Snowboarding - 2
  • Ice hockey - 2
  • Bobsled - 1
  • Curling - 1
  • Figure skating - 1
  • Skeleton - 1

Friday, February 18, 2011

The National Home Show

Did you know Canada..  The National Home Show starts today running until February 28th at Exhibition Place in Toronto.

The National Home Show is Canada’s largest home show with over 700 retailers. Special guests include Debbie Travis, Mary Dobson (I loved watching her on City Line!), Wendy Russell, Dee Brun The Cocktail Deeva and more.

Lots to do for the kids as well with face painting, a Bob the Builder show and free daycare.

Another great event to check out on Family Day!

Rrrrrrroll up the Rim!

Did you know Canada.. Roll up the Rim starts again this coming Monday at Tim Hortons. Last year thanks to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook there was a lot of controversy about whether the chances really were 1 in 9 that you would roll up a winning rim. I know I got at least 1 coffee every day and so were other family members and we certainly weren't winning 1 in 9, I remember complaining that I only won once and it was a donut!  Let's hope for better results this year!

The prizes this year include Toyota Matrix cars, Panasonic 3-D televisions, Napoleon barbecues, Raleigh mountain bikes and Tim Cards with a value of $100.

Let us know what you're winning and how often!

2011 Canadian International Auto Show

Did you know Canada.. The 2011 Canadian International Auto Show started yesterday the 17th and runs until February 27th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The theme of the Auto Show: Discover. Connect. Experience.

If you're in the market for a new car or want to find out what the latest and greatest advances are this is the place to be. Many contests and events running there as well - would be a fun stop on Family Day.

If you stopped in let us know what impressed you the most!

Fishing in Ontario

Did you know Canada.. this weekend in Ontario you can fish without a licence February 19-21.  This happens twice a year so it's coming up again July 2-10.  Now is a great time to try fishing for the first time or plan to try in July.

Visit Family Fishing Weekend for more details.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fluoride in water supply

Did you know Canada..  right now many communities are in the decision making process of removing fluoride from the water supply.  Just this month Calgary city council voted 10-3 to remove fluoride from their city's drinking water.

There's multiple sides to this controversy - some are saying there is too much fluoride coming from too many sources and to reduce this it should be removed from the local water. It's claimed (citing many studies) that fluoride is a toxic chemical that is an unnecessary drug responsible for cancer, thyroid disease, and reducing IQ.

While others say fluoride in the water supply is a public health measure to achieve optimal oral health, reducing cavities and decay.

What we do know is that too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, it's said to be a cosmetic condition causing white spots on the teeth, and in severe cases the teeth have brown stains. Now some say maybe that's not all fluorosis is causing, it's just the only visible sign.

What's your take?

Source: the health unit, National Post, CBC

Eyes to the sky

Did you know Canada.. today we could get a show in the sky thanks to
the class X2 flare erupted from sun on Tuesday and will reach Earth today. It's being reported that the solar X-ray flare on Tuesday is the largest of its type since December 2006. While causing some radio disruption in southern China it's unlikely that it will completely take out any radio or power.

This flare can enhance the northern lights making them more visible today if conditions are right. Aurora borealis, or northern lights, is a luminous glow of the upper atmosphere which is caused by energetic particles and it's these particles that are to reach Earth today.

Let us know if you see anything!

Source: CBC, Space Weather Canada, NOAA

Family Day

Did you know Canada..  this coming Monday February 21 is Family Day.  This occurs on the 3rd Monday in February and corresponds with Presidents Day in the United States.

Not everyone gets the day off though, it's a regular working day in British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador (it is a school board holiday) and the territories. Also federal employees in ALL provinces still have to head to work - this includes Postal Workers.

This day is meant to have a fun day as a family enjoying local activities and events. Family Day was first started in Alberta in 1990 in order to "reflect the values of family and home that were important to the pioneers who founded Alberta". This holiday was then recognized in Saskatchewan in 2007 and in Ontario in 2008.

For many of us it's also a great and well deserved break between News Years and Easter.

Let us know what your plans are for Family Day?

Source: Wikipedia,,

Royal Visits

Did you know Canada.. as I noted on twitter yesterday Prince William and his bride to be Catherine Middleton will be visiting Canada in June and July of this year - about 2 months after their wedding.

Looking back our last Royal visit was in July of 2010 when Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex visited Alberta. Also in June and July of 2010 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited Winnipeg, Nova Scotia and Ontario celebrating the Canadian record of service. During this visit Her Majesty The Queen sat for a portrait photograph at Rideau Hall. The completed portrait is to be unveiled in 2012 for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

Looking way back the first visit to Canada by a member of the Royal Family took place in 1786.

Source: The British Monarchy, Government of Canada

Books, Books and More Books

Did you know Canada.. some of your favourite authors are Canadian! Here's just a few..
  • Kelley Armstrong - Women of the Otherworld
  • Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace, Surfacing
  • Guy Gavriel Kay - The Fionavar Tapestry
  • Margaret Laurence - The Stone Angel
  • Yann Martel - Life of Pi
  • Leslie McFarlane - The Hardy Boys
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables
  • Bryan Lee O'Malley - Scott Pilgrim
  • Michael Ondaatje - The English Patient
  • Robert J. Sawyer - FlashForward
  • Lesley Crewe - Her Mother's Daughter
I've read more than half these authors and own many of their books.  I would love to read the rest!

Source: Wikipedia, Canadian Authors, Can Authors, National Post

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Did you know Canada.. while many of us start watching the new season of Survivor tonight there are many Canadian's signing petitions to get Canadian's on the show! Currently only American citizens can apply for the show.

Especially one man is hankering to get on Survivor: Chris Ellison from London ON. The long time fan of the show is a skier, snowboarder, scuba diver and black-belt martial artist and it sounds like he's ready for anything. Chris has received over 600 signatures in support of getting him on the show. Check out his website here:

Source: CBC, Toronto Sun,


Did you know Canada.. JJ Abrams next big show since Lost "Alcatraz" is being filmed in Vancouver. Filming for the Pilot wrapped up last week.

I'm really looking forward to this one, Lost was my all time favourite show and I can't wait to see Jorge Garcia in another JJ show.

Source: Vancouver Sun,, Jorge Garcia's blog: Further Dispatches

Timmys Everywhere

Did you know Canada.. there is a Tim Hortons in Kandahar, Afghanistan for our troops. The President and CEO of Tim Hortons Don Schroeder traveled to Kandahar this past Christmas to visit the troops, hand out Tim Cards and serve coffee. Profits from this location are reinvested in "morale and welfare programs for Canadian Forces members".

Source: Tim Hortons, Newswire

Hit the books

Did you know Canada.. our literacy rate is 99% but that's actually 21st on the list. The top 3 countries are..

1 Georgia at 100.0%
2 Cuba at 99.8%
2 Estonia at 99.8%

Source: Wikipedia

KD tonight?

Did you know Canada..  Canadians consume more macaroni and cheese than any other nation!  mmm!

Canadian Geographic Kids

Canadian Content

Did you know Canada..
  • TV: 60% yearly and 50% of the prime time programming (6pm-midnight) must be Canadian content!
  • Radio: approx. 25-35% of music content must be by a Canadian artist using the MAPL system

Source: CRTC, Wikipedia for clarification of policies

Forest Land

Did you know Canada..
  • we have 10% of the world's forests - 4,020,000 square kilometres
  • there are 42 national parks in Canada
  • the largest park in Canada is Wood Buffalo National Park
  • the oldest National Park is Banff in Alberta

Source: Global Forest Watch, Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada

Crazy Weather

Did you know Canada.. 

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was −77.5 °C in Mount Logan on May 26, 1991 - May!!!  And the coldest windchill recorded was -78 °C in Kugaarruk, Nunavut.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada was 45.0 °C in Saskatchewan (really??) on July 5, 1937

Source: Wikipedia, The Weather Network

Are we the top drinkers?

Did you know Canada.. we don't even come close on per capita beer consumption.

1. Czech Republic
2. Ireland
3. Germany
21. Canada

21!  Can you believe it?

Source: Wikipedia

Double Double

Did you know Canada..  Tim Hortons is the largest food service franchise in Canada - surpassing McDonalds!!!

Source: Wikipedia
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