Let’s see how you do on this Canadian trivia quiz in honour of our nation’s 145th birthday. You’ll probably have no trouble with most of these questions, but maybe I can come up with a couple that will stump you (answers follow):
1. What explorer made the first recorded landing on Canada’s east coast?
2. During the Cariboo gold rush in British Columbia, they couldn't use mules on the mountain trails because of the dangerous conditions. What animal did they use instead?
3. What is Manitoba's floral emblem?
4. What is the origin of the name Canada?
5. What about the names Manitoba and Winnipeg? Where did they come from?
6. What’s a Slicklicker?
7. Canada is the second largest country in the world by area — second only to Russia — but how does our country rank in population?
8. True or false: Lake Winnipeg is one of the 10 largest lakes in the world?
9. What are the three main river systems that feed into Lake Winnipeg.
10. We all know that the name of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to America in 1621 was the Mayflower. But, what was the name of the ship that brought the first immigrants to Canada from Scotland?
11. Who was Skookum Jim?
12. How many parks are there in Winnipeg? If you’re like me, whatever number you guess will be too few.
13. What is a Kabloona?
1. Probably the Vikings landed on our east coast around the year AD 1000, but the first recorded landing was by John Cabot in 1497. Though he sailed for England, he was actually an Italian — Giovanni Caboto.
Sailing out of Bristol, England, and after 50 days at sea, Cabot landed at Cape Breton or possibly Newfoundland. Claiming the land for England, he was awarded by King Henry VII with the staggering sum of £10.
And now, equal time for the French. In 1534, Jacques Cartier landed at Gaspé and discovered the Gulf of St. Lawrence, claiming everything for France. Thus began the French-English rivalry that has continued for 250 years.
2. It's hard to believe it, but they used camels.
3. Manitoba’s floral emblem is the prairie crocus.
Extra trivia at no extra charge: the buffalo is our animal emblem and the great grey owl is our bird emblem, although I’m sure many would have guessed the latter was the mosquito.
4. The name Canada goes back to Cartier’s 1534 voyage when he picked up the aboriginal word for village (Kanata) and applied that name to all the lands he discovered. So, Kanata is thought to be the origin of Canada.
5. The name Manitoba is derived from two Cree words: Manitou, meaning “the Great Spirit,” and wapaw, referring to a crossing, a passage; Manito and waban in Ojibwa, meaning, “Spirit of the Narrow Waters.” Both meanings refer to the Lake Manitoba Narrows, according to an aboriginal legend. Winnipeg comes from another two aboriginal words: win, meaning “muddy,” and nipee, meaning “waters.”
6. A Slicklicker sounds like a new treat at Dairy Queen, but it’s actually a device designed to clean up oil slicks that was invented by Richard Sewell, a Canadian.
7. In terms of world population, with about 34-million people, Canada ranks about 35th. Our immense geographic size and comparatively small population gives us a population density among the lowest in the world.
8. False. Although it's close to making the top-10 list, Lake Winnipeg is the 13th largest lake in the world and the 11th largest freshwater lake.
For its large size, it’s extremely shallow with an average depth in the south basin of only about 12 metres (40 feet), and the deepest part of the north basin is about 60 metres (200 feet).
9. The three main river systems feeding into Lake Winnipeg are the Amazon, Thames and Danube. Sorry, just kidding.
The Winnipeg River accounts for about 40 per cent of the flow into the lake, followed by 30 per cent from the Saskatchewan River system and 24 per cent from smaller rivers such as Berens, Poplar, Pigeon, Bloodvein and Manigotogan rivers. And what about the Red, you say? Well, it might surprise you to know that only about six per cent enters Lake Winnipeg from the Red River.
10. The ship was the Hector. It landed at Pictou, Nova Scotia, in 1773.
11. Skookum Jim was the prospector who panned the first gold nugget that started the Klondike gold rush in 1896.
12. Incredibly, our city can boast of having about 880 parks. This green space amounts to over 8,100 acres. Bonus trivia: we also have about 500 playgrounds.
13. Kabloona sounds like it would be the sound of a musket going off, eh? Actually, Kabloona is the Inuit word for “white man.”