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306303.  Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:54 pm Reply with quote

What really surprised me there was the ratio between the length of Canada's coastline and the length of its land borders.

The Canada/USA land border is more than 5,000 miles long, and is the longest land border in the world. (And I think the second most frequently crossed land border in the world, after that of the USA and Mexico.) All the same, Canada's coastline is 23 times as long as this border.

306642.  Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:45 am Reply with quote

The late Dennis Thatcher was accompanying his wife (then Prime Minister) on an official visit to Canada. They were flying in an aeroplane full of journalists and hangers-on. He spent some time staring out of the window, then turned to one of the journalists and said "Do you know what Canada's full of? Fuck all, that's what. fuck all!"

307207.  Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:15 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Hmmm. The length of the Trans-Canada Highway seems to be cited differently in different places - I've found both 7604km and 7821km. I think the difference may be to do with water - the TCH goes to Vancouver Island and Newfoundland, and the different lengths quoted may exclude and include that part of the route which must be crossed by boat. If we just include the continuous part of the route - from West Vancouver BC to North Sydney NS - I make the length 6501 km (although I had to construct that figure by adding up a load of others, and I could well be wrong).

Have a look on google maps.

I got a bit confused, as there's another road that branches off just west of Winnipeg and goes through Edmonton, but still claims to the the TCH. Google maps puts the length of that one at 6,587 km.

The one that goes through Calgary is a mere 6,213 km (according to google maps).

307424.  Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:23 am Reply with quote

Yea, this is a special Canadian trick.

The TCH - i.e. Highway 1, as it's numbered in the western provinces - is the one that runs from West Vancouver to North Sydney, plus excursions to Vancouver Island and Newfoundland.

There's also Highway 16, which was so numbered because the section of it that runs through Calgary is Sixteenth Avenue. That road runs east from Prince Rupert BC (plus an excursion to Graham Island) until it meets Highway 1 at Portage and Main in Winnipeg MB, and is commonly known as the Yellowhead Highway. It is a Trans-Canada Highway, but not the Trans-Canada Highway.

There are multiple TCHs in Ontario as well, and Ontario doesn't use the Highway 1 designation (or indeed, the TCH name very much). A through traveler would be likely to take the northernmost of these routes - the southerly route goes closer to the major cities of Ontario, and traffic can be slow.

Which of the routes through Ontario is the TCH is not as clear cut as in the west and six months on I can't be certain, but it's probably the northern one whose length I attempted to determine before.

310848.  Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:56 pm Reply with quote

At the longest land border mentioned above, which used to be free and open in both directions, traveling north one meets pleasant border guards, who set the tone for the entire country.

311049.  Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:12 am Reply with quote

To be read with Kinderszenen playing in background.

From the age of 5 until my teens, every summer I was taken down to the train station in Portland, ME with a bag lunch in my hand and introduced to the train conductor. He was given instruction to have me get off in St. Lambert, PQ (QC) - near Montreal. I rode the train across the Canadian border with no memory of being 'inspected'. I think the conductor must have 'taken care of things'. At St. Lambert, I was deposited on the platform into the hands of my uncle, who took me to my grandparents house for a holiday.

Ah, how times have changed.

311109.  Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:41 pm Reply with quote

Those were the days!

Time was when one could travel by train from New Brunswick to Québec through a lump of Maine. Passengers who were both starting and ending their journeys in Canada traveled in locked compartments and didn't have to carry any documentation. (Which in those days was just driver's license in any case; no longer, and it wasn't Canada which insisted on the change.)

That railroad is no more, and passengers from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick must go the long way around now. Which is perhaps just as well, because I don't suppose the US would allow passport free travel across Maine these days.

311224.  Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:59 pm Reply with quote

That railroad is no more,

The railway is still there, transiting bonded (locked) freight cars from Canada to Canada.

I was on the Atlantic Ltd, the train refered to, many years ago, returning from NS, when it was stopped at the US border. The story was that when one person was asked where he was coming from and where he was going, he replied Dorchester, NB home to Montreal. He was booted off the train into the NB wilderness. Dorchester is home to Dorchester Penitentiary and we weren't going to risk having an ex-con loose in our territory.

Hans Mof
536373.  Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:16 pm Reply with quote

Just a little Canadian titbit I found. Let's call it: "How to misplace a river"

1868: The Rivière La Roncière-le Noury is discovered by Émile Petitot.
1899: Naturalist Andrew J. Stone investigates the shores of Franklin Bay and Darnley Bay, discovering the mouth of a large river entering Darnley Bay, but he did not travel up the river. Stone names it Hornaday River.
1909-12: Arctic explorers Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Rudolph Anderson explore Franklin and Darnley Bays. In 1913 they conclude that the River la Ronciere is represented to be on the chart, however, it is in fact non-existent.
1949: Aerial photography by the Royal Canadian Air Force produces a topographical survey showing the 190 mi (310 km) Hornaday.
1951: After studying maps and aerial photographs J. Keith Fraser of the Geographical Branch, Department of Mines and Technical Surveys ascertains that the Roncière does in fact exist; it only happens to be the same river as the Hornaday.

560115.  Tue May 26, 2009 1:32 pm Reply with quote

Spinoza wrote:
The late Dennis Thatcher was accompanying his wife (then Prime Minister) on an official visit to Canada. They were flying in an aeroplane full of journalists and hangers-on. He spent some time staring out of the window, then turned to one of the journalists and said "Do you know what Canada's full of? Fuck all, that's what. fuck all!"

Neil Innes tells a story about criss-crossing Canada by air during a Monty Python tour in the early 70s. Apparently they were flying into Edmonton, Alberta, and his seatmate, Graham Chapman, was gazing intently out of the window as they approached the city. And then Graham apparently said, "Why there? They could just as easily have built it 100 yards to the left!"

Sadurian Mike
560179.  Tue May 26, 2009 4:12 pm Reply with quote

During WW2, the Canadians produced their own version of the famous M4 Sherman tank which was known as the "Grizzly". After a production run of over a thousand, it was discontinued because it was realised that the US could manage to produce enough M4 Shermans to meet the needs of the Allies.

The Canadians, however, had their own homegrown tank, the Ram.

The Ram was a major modification of the US M3 Medium tank (which the British called the "Lee" or "Grant", depending on whether it had been built to US or British specifications). It removed the latter's hull gun (a 75mm gun awkwardly mounted in the a sponson on the hull itself) and improved the armour, lowered the height of the tank, and changed the turret to carry the British 6-pounder (although early models had the 2-pounder).

The tank did not enter combat because it was decided to use the US M4 Sherman instead, but it was invaluable in training Canadian tank crews and the hull formed the basis for numerous conversion such as the "Sexton" self-propelled 25-pounder, the "Badger" flame-throwing tank, and (most significantly) the first really successful APC (armoured personnel carrier), the Ram Kangaroo.

Some US sources claim that the Ram was a copy of the US M4 Sherman, but the production dates suggest otherwise; the prototype Ram was completed in June 1941, the prototype M4 Sherman in September 1941.

Ram I (2-pounder version)

Sexton self-propelled 25-pounder

Ram Kangaroo APC
Wiki page

694942.  Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:06 pm Reply with quote

I'm not sure how interesting this is but since I moved to Canada from Scotland last year I thought I would share some of the things I've since found out about Canada I found quite interesting.

1. The money is nice and colourful but unlike GBP the canadian dollars are all the same size. Also the 5c is bigger than the 10c (or nickle and dime.) and quarters should be kept for laundry and not spent.

2. Tax is added on at the cash register so the price you see isn't the price you pay.

3. Coke and other drinks have an enviromental tax which you can get back by taking the empty can or bottle to the recyling place.

4. Regina is pronounced funny

5. while in Vancouver it rained for the entire week but that was nice (like Scotland) In Saskachewan it snows alot, there doesn't seem to be much autumn or spring it seems to go from winter to summer in a day. it's also very, very cold in winter and very hot in summer

6. could be a local teasing me but I was told they sometimes find dead bodies in the street after a thaw because old drunks fall sleep in the snow drifts.

7. Perogies are yummy

8. the pancakes are savoury unlike what I would expect in the UK. It's also common to see pancakes with eggs and bacon, but still with maple syrup.

9. chips (crisps) come in huge bags rather than mutipacks.

10. celery is in everything.

11. although heathcare is free, prescriptions can cost an awful lot.

12. Canadians are really friendly and will often start up conversations with complete strangers while waiting at a crossing.

I could think of more but I feel I've taken alot of space.

695227.  Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:20 pm Reply with quote

You are right on the button there Scrappydoo - even number 6. Although rare, it does happen, sadly.

I am very partial to number 8.

695234.  Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:14 pm Reply with quote

Woodsman wrote:
At the longest land border mentioned above, which used to be free and open in both directions, traveling north one meets pleasant border guards, who set the tone for the entire country.

I met some rather pleasant ones as I entered New Brunswick this morning--though one of them laughed at me for driving to Cape Breton for a concert. Tomorrow I expect to be searched and have my car stripped down when I try to return to the US, because, as a single person having driven to Canada and back in 24 hours, I will obviously be a very suspicious character. I will keep you posted.

695239.  Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:55 pm Reply with quote

The real mystery is - why would the US be worried about attacks? I mean - why bother? It's ideology is bankrupt; it's finance is bankrupt; it spends so much of its GDP on maintaining its "world power status" that its own infrastructure is bankrupt.

It is unable to even mount a rescue operation for its own citizens (Katrina anyone?).

All the rest of the world has to do is to mount the occasional attacks on the US (once every couple of years) to keep its armed forces on mass alert and let it implode in its own version of Mr Creosote.


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