Scenic view of a sunny day and blue water at Moraine lake and mountain range Alberta Canada

With July 1st marking Canada’s 150th birthday, it seems like the perfect occasion to talk about what makes it so great. From great food and cool bars, to breathtaking natural wonders and some of the world’s rarest species, it’s not hard to see why Canada earned its place as Lonely Planet's 'Best in Travel 2017’. Here are just 150 of those reasons.

  1. It's the home of everyone's favorite Canadian delicacy, Poutine. Whoever thought of cheese curds with gravy was a genius.
  2. You can stay in a hotel that’s literally made out of ice in Québec City.
  3. The Canadian Government can be reached directly if you call this number 1-800-622-6232.
  4. You can see the world's largest collection of dinosaur fossils at Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta.
  5. Tim Hortons. Need we say more.
  6. Canada has more lakes than all other countries combined.
  7. Basketball was invented by a Canadian man, James Naismith.
  8. You can travel from Vancouver to the beautiful Rocky Mountains on Canada's very own luxury train, the Rocky Mountaineer.
  9. Canada invented the legendary Nanaimo Bar.
  10. Canada is the 6th freeist country in the world
  11. Texada Island, the largest island in the Strait of Georgia of British Columbia, is one of the best places to go scuba diving.
  12. You can visit a real, government-protected bat cave in Québec, sadly not home to Batman
  13. Canada loves its craft beer and is home to over 600 breweries.
  14. Hamilton is known as the Waterfall Capital of the world, boasting over 130 waterfalls.
  15. Canada is home to the polar bear capital of the world, Churchill, Manitoba.
  16. There are 27 wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, each beautifully unique in its own way.
  17. Canada holds the record for the most gold medals ever won at the Winter Olympics, in 2010 when Vancouver hosted.
  18. Winnipeg is considered as the ‘Chicago of the North’ and is one of North America’s fastest growing cities.
  19. The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is the oldest landmark in Toronto and is said to be haunted since its first lighthouse keeper mysteriously died in 1815. 
  20. Wasaga Beach in Ontario is the largest freshwater beach in the world.
  21. Ucluelet on Vancouver Island is home to the Wild Pacific Trail, a famous hike in the region.
  22. Canadians really are as polite as everyone says.
  23. Stanley Park in Vancouver is one-third bigger than Central Park and is considered to be one of the top 10 in the world.
  24. 80 percent of the world's maple syrup is produced in Canada. 
  25. The New York Times ranked Canada as the number one travel destination in 2017.
  26. L’anse aux Meadows is a National Historic Site in Newfoundland, once home to the Vikings.
  27. You can expect to see up to 4,000 moose, the largest amount per square kilometer, at The Matane Wildlife Reserve in Québec.
  28. Love it or hate it, Canada is the birth of the controversial Hawaiian pizza.
  29. The Old Town of Lunenburg in Nova Scotia is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  30. Drake, Justin Bieber, Rachel McAdams, Mike Myers, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds and Michael Buble are just a few of Canada's best-known celebs.
  31. Hit Netflix show Riverdale is filmed in Vancouver, alongside Once Upon A Time, Lucifer, Smallville and many more.
  32. Canada is the most educated country in the world with the highest number of college grads.
  33. You can find some of the world's most rare books and manuscripts at the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.
  34. The Corktown Bridge in Ottawa is Canada's very own Love Lock Bridge.
  35. You can kayak around icebergs in Newfoundland - one of the only places you can do so in the world.
  36. Algonquin Park in Ontario is home to the annual Wolf Howl.
  37. Malakwa is home to a magical Enchanted Forest to make all of your fairytale dreams come true.
  38. Canada is home to a potato museum. Because who doesn't love potatoes?
  39. Haida Gwaii, a World Heritage site, is known as Canadian Galápagos for its diverse wildlife.
  40. Canada is bigger than the whole of the European Union. No, we aren’t including the UK.
  41. You can literally dig for your dinner at Prince Edward Island, where you will find delicious clams all over the beach.
  42. Winnipeg, Manitoba is the Slurpee Capital of the World, selling an average of 188,833 Slurpee drinks each month.
  43. Canada is home to the world’s largest coin, the Big Nickel which is located in Sudbury, Ontario.
  44. The Monkey’s Paw is a bookstore in Toronto that’s home to the world’s first “Biblio-Mat”, a book-only vending machine.
  45. Canada’s bank notes have Braille-like markings on them for blind people.
  46. License plates in the Northwest Territories are shaped like polar bears.
  47. The Spotted Lake, which is located between the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys in British Columbia is one-of-a-kind.
  48. Canada has 10 percent of the world's forest.
  49. St.Paul, Alberta is home to the world’s first UFO landing pad.
  50. Alberta has been rat-free for over 50 years.
  51. Canada has a $1 million gold coin which weighs 100 kg and is .99999 percent pure.
  52. You can see goats on a roof at Coombs Old Country Market in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia.
  53. Canada is home to some incredible color-changing lakes, including Little Limestone Lake, in Manitoba.
  54. The Diefenbunker, Carp is a museum in Ontario originally built as a shelter for members of the Canadian government in case of a nuclear attack.
  55. Craigdarroch Castle, located in Victoria, British Columbia, is a National Historic Site and also said to be haunted. Go on, we dare you.
  56. Canada has the best clean drinking water in the world.
  57. The University of Victoria, British Columbia, offers a Batman course. Yep.
  58. Canada has fewer people than Tokyo’s metropolitan area.
  59. There are more artists than automotive manufacturers in Canada.
  60. A man was arrested in 2015 for tying over 100 balloons to a chair and flying over Calgary
  61. Canada has the world's longest coastline.
  62. Mac and Cheese is the most purchased packaged grocery item in Canada. In fact, Canadians consume more than any other nation in the world.
  63. You can snorkel with beluga whales at Western Hudson’s Bay, home to over 27,000. 
  64. Tofino, Vancouver Island, is one of the best places in the world to go storm watching.
  65. Vulcan, Alberta is a Star Trek lover's dream.
  66. After the Titanic sank, the bodies of those who died were brought to Halifax, Nova Scotia where many were buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery, available for public viewing.
  67. Canada and Denmark have been fighting over an uninhabited island since the 1930s, leaving each other bottles of alcohol and changing their flags each time they visit.
  68. Mount Thor, the Earth’s longest vertical drop is located in Auyuittuq National Park, Nunavut.
  69. Candied Salmon is a local specialty from Canada's west coast.
  70. Comic books depicting crime are illegal in Canada.
  71. The Manicouagan crater in Quebec is over 215 million years old and holds the title for largest visible impact crater on Earth. The Daniel-Johnson Dam turns the crater into an enormous reservoir which can be seen from space.
  72. The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick has the highest tidal range in the world.
  73. There is a town called Dildo in Newfoundland and it refuses to change its name.
  74. Okanagan Falls in British Columbia boasts some of the country's best vineyards, as well as offering some fantastic scenic views.
  75. There is a cave on Devon Island in Nunavut that’s actually a channel inside a melting glacier.
  76. A service called ‘Cleaning for a Reason’ operates in Canada that cleans the houses of women with cancer for free so they can focus on their health.
  77. The world’s largest moose statue is located in a place called Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan.
  78. Caesars are primarily made and consumed in Canada. Lucky us!
  79. Château Frontenac in Québec City, Québec, holds the Guinness World Record for being the most photographed hotel in the world.
  80. Gastown in Vancouver is home to one of the world’s only working steam clocks.
  81. Canada invented the egg carton. A fun fact for you.
  82. The Aquatic Bathtub Race is a legitimate event in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
  83. Medical Care is free for all Canadian residents.
  84. There is a Secret Swing in the infamous Graffiti Alley of Toronto which was placed there by artist Corwyn Lund.
  85. Canada has the number one ranked whiskey in the world, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye.
  86. You can write in any language to the North Pole, H0H 0H0, Canada, and get a letter back from Santa. Why? Because Santa Claus is Canadian, of course!
  87. Canada is home to the world's longest Beaver Dam at Wood Buffalo National Park, northeast of Fort McMurray.
  88. X-Men's Wolverine lives in Canada. And no, we don’t mean Hugh Jackman.
  89. Riverview Hospital is the most historic insane asylum and most filmed location in Canada, having acted as the backdrop for movies and TV shows including Saw, Watchmen, The X-Files, and Along Came A Spider.
  90. Old railways in Hope, British Columbia forged a quintet of tunnels, which are now open to hikers.
  91. Alberta is home to the largest shopping center in North America, West Edmonton Mall.
  92. Lay’s Potato Chips released a special ketchup flavor, specifically for Canadian consumers.
  93. Niagara Falls is considered to be the eighth natural wonder of the world.
  94. You won't find a more authentic deli sandwich than at Schwartz’s Deli in Montreal.
  95. We have a pretty hot Prime Minister. True story.
  96. The remains of a Canadian train crash which happened in 1956 can now be visited in Whistler, British Columbia.
  97. A bear cub from Winnipeg, aptly named Winnipeg, was the inspiration behind A.A. Milne's Winnie The Pooh.
  98. Canada has the third cleanest air of any other country.
  99. Vancouver Island is home to the world’s longest mammal migration, making it a perfect spot for whale watching.
  100. There are more bars per square feet than any other place in North America in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
  101. VanDusen Gardens in Vancouver, British Columbia, is home to one of only six Elizabethan style hedge mazes in the world
  102. The Marine Building in Vancouver has stood in for some of the most famous buildings in comic book history, including the Baxter Building in two Fantastic Four films.
  103. You can take a boat tour through Canada's 1000 islands that line the St. Lawrence River.
  104. Over 200,000 pancakes are served during the Calgary Stampede, one of the biggest events in the summertime.
  105. People from Canada can order a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and have it shipped to them for free.
  106. The Val-Jalbert Ghost Town is an abandoned town centered around a paper mill and powered by a large waterfall in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec.
  107. You can stay in The Free Spirit Spheres, spherical-shaped treehouses in the Vancouver Island Rainforest.
  108. If you fancy some gummy fish candy, you don’t need to fly all the way over to Sweden. There is a Swedish fish factory in Hamilton, Ontario.
  109. There is a lost subway station nestled beneath Toronto's busy commuter line.
  110. Manitoulin Island in Ontario it’s the world’s largest freshwater island.
  111. The province of Saskatchewan is home to over 100,000 lakes, perfect for fishing, camping, canoeing and watching the sunset go down.
  112. The Boswell Embalming Bottle House, located on the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake is built out of hundreds of thousands of discarded glass bottles.
  113. Shediac, New Brunswick hosts a popular lobster festival every July, and is home to the world’s largest lobster, measuring 3 ft. 6 in and weighing 20.15 kilograms.
  114. The dune fields along the southern shore of Lake Athabasca can only be accessed by float plane and are home to several species that you won’t find anywhere else. 
  115. Sable Island, located off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is home to less than 10 people and over 500 horses
  116. Of over 634 recognized First Nations governments, roughly half of are located in Ontario and British Columbia.
  117. The Hoodoos of Drumheller Valley in Alberta are naturally eroded land formations carved over millions of years that stand about 20 feet tall near Alberta, Canada. 
  118. Alert Bay, off the coast of Vancouver Island, is home to the world’s largest totem pole.
  119. You can visit an abandoned Victorian-era amusement park in Ontario that is rusting away amidst luxury houses.
  120. Canada has some of the longest summer days on the planet because it rests on such a Northerly latitude.
  121. A strictly Canadian treat, BeaverTails are made from fried dough, along with your choice of toppings, including chocolate/hazelnut, Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter.
  122. The Bruce Peninsula Grotto in Ontario is located inside a natural sea cave where the water is almost always a perfect turquoise blue. It is considered to be one of “Mother Nature’s crown jewels.”
  123. Canadian ice wine is made to take advantage of its freezing temperatures and is a delicious dessert.
  124. Miniature World, housed within the famous Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, is home to over 85 stunningly detailed scenes, including a Dickensian London, the Great Canadian Railway and a futuristic scene of the year 2201.
  125. Avonlea on Prince Edward Island inspired the Anne of Green Gables story. Now also a Netflix show.
  126. Pools of water in Timmins, Ontario, date back two billion years old, making them the world’s oldest.
  127. The Haughton Crater in Nunavut is said to be the closest thing to Mars on Earth.
  128. Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia hold fossils, including the earliest known reptile, dating back more than 300 million years. The site is so spectacular that it was featured in Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.”
  129. Mysterious wreckage of a small plane has been lodged in a tree in Mission, British Columbia, since at least 1971
  130. Québec City is the only place north of Mexico where city walls still exist.
  131. You weigh less in Canada than in the US because Canada has lower gravity.
  132. Whistler in British Columbia has one of the lengthiest ski seasons on the continent.
  133. Yukon is one of the best places in the world to watch the Northern Lights in the world.
  134. Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal is one of Canada's most stunning churches, with religious services including Celine Dion’s wedding and former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau’s funeral having taken place here.
  135. The Shoe Museum in Toronto is the resting place of Elvis Presley’s famous “blue suede shoes.”
  136. There is a giant perogy statue in Glendon, a village in Alberta which is considered one of the “Giants of the Prairies,” a collection of sculptures that can be found across North America.
  137. The Sasquatch caves in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia are home to Bigfoot himself. Yes, really.
  138. Canada is home to the world’s largest skating rink on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.
  139. You can visit the world’s largest dinosaur statue in Drumheller, Alberta, which is four times larger than a real T-Rex.
  140. George Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland, has more bars per square feet than any other place in North America.
  141. There are various places in Canada where you can drive your own dog sled pack.
  142. Vancouver has it’s very own Jimi Hendrix shrine.
  143. In true Banksy style, artist, Adam Lamb spruced up Toronto’s fading neighborhood watch signs with various pop culture references and cartoons.
  144. Canada has the most donut shops per capita.
  145. Stratford, Ontario is home to the Shakespearean theater, where the likes of Maggie Smith and William Shatner have performed.
  146. The CN Tower in Toronto holds the world’s tallest metal staircase.
  147. Mounties. Because nothing screams Canada quite like those iconic red suits.
  148. You can spot reindeer migrating in Canada.
  149. Hockey, of course. 
  150. And if that's not enough, to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, admission to Canada's parks is free for the entire year. Order your free Discovery Pass here.