Most Canadians confident about our country’s maple syrup production, less sure about Canada as a UFO destination

June 27, 2018

Most Canadians confident about our country’s maple syrup production, less sure about Canada as a UFO destination

TORONTO – June 27, 2018 – True or false: Hockey player Paul Henderson, hero of the 1972 Summit Series, was born in a sleigh on Lake Huron.

If you said true, you’re right – and part of the quarter of Canadians (24%) who could correctly answer that question. With Canada Day approaching, a new Historica Canada poll conducted by Ipsos presented Canadians with 30 quirky stories about our country and asked if they could identify which were fact and which were fiction. Almost two thirds (62%) failed the quiz, with the average Canadian getting 13 out of 30 questions right.

Eight in ten Canadians (79%) recognized that Canada does in fact produce approximately 80% of the world’s maple syrup, and that in winter the Rideau Canal becomes the world’s largest skating rink – the most correctly answered questions on the quiz. Just a quarter (27%) correctly agreed that St. Paul, Alberta is home to the world’s first UFO landing pad.

Many Canadians were fooled by the false statements. Nearly half (45%) of Canadians falsely believed that after her coronation, Queen Elizabeth's first international visit was to Canada, to attend the inaugural performance at the now world-renowned Stratford Festival, while a third (31%) believed Moncton, N.B. was named the world’s snowiest city.

 “Unless you’re a Jeopardy superstar, we don’t expect Canadians to know all of these facts – by the way did you know Alex Trebek was born in Sudbury?” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO of Historica Canada. “But we hope Canadians realize there are so many great Canadian stories, big and small. Next time you play Trivial Pursuit (invented in Canada!) you’ll be ready.”

The online survey of more than 1,000 respondents found those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan performed the best, with a pass rate of 47%, compared to the 38% average.  

Other findings include:

  • One in ten Canadians (8%) really know their quirky Canadian facts, passing with an “A” grade (24-30 answers correct)


  • Canadians aged 18-34 performed the best with a 41% pass rate, compared with 34% of those 35-54 and 40% of those aged 55+


  • Just two in ten Canadians (19%) knew that while vacationing in Barbados in 1965, future Prime Minister John Turner saw former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker struggling in the ocean and pulled him safely to shore, the most poorly answered true statement


Historica Canada offers programs you can use to explore, learn, and reflect on our history and what it means to be Canadian.  

Full survey results available here.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 13 and 15, 2018, on behalf of Historica Canada. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources. Quota sampling and weighting were employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.


For more information:

Andrea Hall

Senior Communications Coordinator

1-866-701-1867 x 261