Interesting Facts About Canada’s Provinces

Canada is a large and diverse country, and its provinces and territories, from the Arctic stretches of Nunavut to the rain forests of British Columbia, contain many fascinating features. Begin your exploration of Canada with these interesting facts about Canada’s ten provinces and three territories.


Alberta is home to Canada’s oldest national park, Banff National Park, founded in 1885. Banff’s majestic mountain landscapes contain picture-perfect lakes, glaciers and untouched forests. More than three million people visit the park annually, enjoying activities such as hiking, skiing, biking, kayaking and spotting wildlife.

British Columbia

British Columbia is Canada’s third-most populous province, but it’s hardly crowded. With an area approximately four times as large as Great Britain, and most of the province’s inhabitants clustered in the Vancouver area, there is plenty of elbow room in British Columbia. Plus, much of the province is rugged and undeveloped, with an estimated two-thirds of it covered by forest. Of the province’s 6,000 islands, most are uninhabited.


Churchill, in Manitoba’s far north, has been dubbed the world’s “polar bear capital.” These bears venture inland from the shores of Hudson Bay and attract many tourists. However, because polar bears have been known to attack humans, many of Churchill’s residents regularly leave their car doors unlocked so that anyone who runs across an aggressive polar bear can have a safe place to escape to. Other forms of wildlife, such as beluga whales and birds, are also big draws in Churchill.

New Brunswick

While Canada and the United States generally have a peaceful relationship, a little island in the Gulf of Maine has been a sticking point for the two countries for more than 100 years. Machias Seal Island, a low-lying, 20-acre rock, is claimed by both countries. Canada has had a lighthouse on the island since 1832 and claims it as part of New Brunswick. But, the United States cites the fact that the island is closer to the coast of Maine than to Canada as the reason that the island should be part of the U.S. While the dispute hasn’t escalated into any real conflict between the two countries, the issue remains unresolved.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Labrador, the mainland part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, easily earns its nickname, “The Big Land.” With an area of more than 113,000 square miles, Labrador is larger than the entire United Kingdom. However, Labrador’s population numbers merely 27,000, as the lion’s share of the province’s residents live on the island of Newfoundland. Labrador comprises a single riding, or electoral district, and by population, the Labrador riding is the smallest in all of Canada.

Northwest Territories

Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, has a population of around 20,000 residents. However, this small city puts on a big show for visitors, as it’s one of the best places in the world for seeing the northern lights. However, since Yellowknife is reputed to have the coldest winters out of all of Canada’s cities, those who want to view the northern lights should pack plenty of warm clothing!

Nova Scotia

Many of Nova Scotia’s residents have ancestors from Ireland and Scotland, and these Nova Scotians have preserved important aspects of their Gaelic culture. For example, a unique dialect of Gaelic has developed in the province. This dialect has been spoken for more than 200 years. Many festivals, workshops and other events that are held throughout the year introduce visitors to Nova Scotia’s rich Gaelic heritage.


In this remote Arctic territory, the cost of imported supplies is pricey. So, many of Nunavut’s residents get a year’s worth of dry goods shipped in by “sea lift.” However, visitors who shop in the supermarkets in Iqaluit, the capital city, might experience sticker shock at the retail prices for food. On the other hand, all taxis in Iqaluit charge a flat fee for rides within the city, no matter how long the trip is, making the cost of intra-city transportation predictable.


Toronto, the largest city in Ontario and in all of Canada, is also home to Canada’s tallest structure, the Canadian National (CN) Tower. The CN Tower is the Western Hemisphere’s tallest land-based, free-standing structure and one of the tallest towers in the world, at 553.3 meters. Visitors can enjoy the views from the restaurant near the top of the tower, and thrill-seekers can walk around the roof of the main tower pod, more than 300 meters above the ground.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada by area, but it’s an agricultural powerhouse, producing about a quarter of the nation’s potatoes. Many island chefs incorporate this traditional staple into novel new recipes. In addition to farming, fishing also makes up an important part of the economy and local culture. The PEI International Shellfish Festival is an annual highlight for both visitors and island residents.


Quebec is known for its rich history and francophone culture, but Canada’s largest province has also been blessed with abundant natural resources, ranking as one of the world’s largest hydro-power producers. Additionally, Quebec leads the world in maple syrup production, with 159 million pounds harvested in 2019. Other natural resources in Quebec include iron, silver, gold, copper and timber.


Among Canada’s provinces, Saskatchewan comes in first place in several categories. For example, it enjoys the most hours of sunlight, on average, out of any province in Canada. It’s also home to the Athabasca sand dunes, some of the world’s northernmost sand dunes. Saskatchewan also has more than 250,000 kilometers of roads, more than any other province.


Visitors to the sub-Arctic southern Yukon Territory might be surprised to learn that this area contains a desert. The Carcross Desert, north of the town of Carcross, is often cited as the world’s smallest desert, as it has an area of only 640 acres. Although the Carcross is technically not a desert because it has a more humid climate than a true desert, its sand dunes help it to fit the role, at least visually. Both locals and visitors enjoy sandboarding down the dunes.

These are just a few facts about Canada’s provinces and territories. A visit to Canada will reward you with many more intriguing discoveries.