Most people are aware that Canada is the second largest country in the world, in terms of total area (it’s often a talking point of pride for a lot of Canadians when discussing our home country while abroad!). But did you know that over 80% of Canada’s land is actually uninhabited? The untouched wilderness lends itself to some incredible landscapes, contributes to amazing and varied climates and ecozones, and an abundance of wildlife. In fact, it’s that wildlife that Canada is often known for and even defined by! Below are 5 of some of Canada’s most iconic animals – have you seen all five up close?
Ahh, beaver tails… a warm, sweet, delicious treat any time of the year. The fried dough pastry, that is. It was invented in Killaloe, Ontario, in 1978! Actual beavers – the second-largest living rodents, after Capybaras, apparently – are the adorable national symbol of Canada. In fact, they’ve been considered Canada’s national icon for 300 years – back to the time of the Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade! While the iconic department store thankfully no longer makes actual beaver hats, beavers are still going strong in representing Canada. Beavers have been the face of the reverse side of the five cent nickel since 1937! The estimated population today is between 6 to 12 million. Beavers that is, not nickels – I probably have about half that amount of nickels stuffed in random change jars somewhere in my house. Looking to show off how Canadian you are? Grab a pair of our many beaver-themed socks!
Just the other day I heard someone gripe about there being no “proper” plural for moose. It’s just moose, no matter the number! As someone who has lived their whole life in Southern Ontario, I have never actually seen a moose in person. You can imagine my shock when I found out that the average length of a moose is 8 feet to 10 feet – with their antlers often being six feet from end to end! They are absolutely massive, and I imagine quite shocking – though beautiful – to see in the wild. And despite the fact that moose can weigh up to 1,800 lbs, they are actually complete herbivores. They need to eat all day long to maintain their size. I’m quite jealous of that, actually. Moose, as a “northern” animal, are often considered a symbol of Canada and are featured on the Ontario coat of arms. Display some nature loving patriotism by donning one of our Moose-themed socks!
This animal has another famous moniker: trash panda. Seen as a symbol of Toronto for many years now, raccoons are pretty ubiquitously found on touristy merchandise throughout the city. Allegedly, raccoons started to populate the city after Toronto launched its organic bin program in 2002 – raccoons apparently found them easy to tip over and rummage through! I’ve definitely woken up to the sound of the furry bandits rifling through my organic waste… and recycling, and garbage, and scuttling across my roof. One even wanted to follow me home and come in through my backyard door once. Raccoons even came up in relation to Toronto on an episode of Jeopardy in 2017, the question being “Built on ravines, Toronto is full up & fed up with these trash can menaces the mayor called ‘a huge nuisance’”. Show your Toronto pride with one of our many raccoon themed socks!
Though this species of geese is native to North America, they have been introduced to many countries around the world – now we can “joke” (complain) about their territorial aggression and constant honking internationally! The Canada goose is an inescapable feature of cities at this point, where the birds find themselves relatively unthreatened by predators, have access to sources of water and shelter, and lots of people and tourists to beg for food from. They might be a nuisance, and perhaps a bit scary (I definitely tend to avoid walking too close to them if I can – they have so many teeth!) but they are still one of the unofficial symbols of Canada, and for some reason we take quite a bit of pride in that. Check out this pair of Canadian-themed socks, which features the Canada Goose prominently!
Two-thirds of the world’s population of these beautiful and terrifyingly large creatures are found in Canada. They are found in ice covered regions, from the Yukon to Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, the town of Churchill, Manitoba, which is relatively close to the province’s border with Nunavut, is the polar bear capital of the world! Polar bears migrate to the shore from inland every autumn and can often be seen near the town. It’s a tourist hotspot, where those hoping to spot the world’s largest species of bear can be taken down designated wildlife trails in special vehicles equipped to handle the tundra terrain. Not quite as simple as the “riding my polar bear to school” Canadian stereotype! The polar bear also appears on the reverse side of our toonies, cementing it as a symbol of Canada. Want to showcase your love for the extremely-cute-but-definitely-quite-dangerous arctic animal? Grab a pair of our Canadian themed polar bear socks!