Most Canadians stumped by 30 question quiz testing knowledge of quirky Canadian facts

June 27, 2019

Most Canadians stumped by 30 question quiz testing knowledge of quirky Canadian facts

TORONTO – June 27, 2019 – Did you know Canada has a national horse, appropriately named the Canadian Horse? If you said no, you’re not alone – just one fifth of Canadians (19%) were confident this fact is indeed true.

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. Two thirds (67%) failed the quiz, with the average Canadian getting 12.3 out of 30 questions right.

Questions fell into five categories: geography, science & innovation, animals, culture & sports. Canadians performed best in the geography section, with nearly half (48%) scoring a passing grade. However two thirds of Canadians (68%) recognized that Winnie the Pooh is based on a real bear from Ontario, the most correctly answered question on the quiz. 

Many Canadians were fooled by the false statements included. Nearly half (48%) believed that Canada is one of just three countries worldwide where the northern lights can be seen, while a third (34%) thought it was true that North America’s first hot air balloon flight was for the purposes of observation during the War of 1812.

“Make no mistake: these are tough questions,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO of Historica Canada. “This just shows that there are always more compelling Canadian stories to learn – and in many cases truth really is stranger than fiction.”

The online survey of more than 1,000 respondents found those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan performed the best, with a pass rate of 37%, compared to the 33% average.  

Other findings include:

  • Just 3% of Canadians really know their quirky Canadian facts, passing with an “A” grade (24-30 answers correct)
  • Despite Raptors fever sweeping across the country, many Canadians aren’t familiar with our basketball past – less than half (40%) knew it is in fact true that Dr. James Naismith, the Canadian inventor of basketball, presented the Canadian men’s team with their silver medal at the 1936 Olympics, the first Olympic Games to feature basketball.
  • One third of Canadians (35%) cried false on the fact that the Royal Canadian Mint produced the world’s first million dollar coin – but it’s true!
  • Canadians are confident in their Anne of Green Gables knowledge, with two thirds (62%) recognizing it has been translated into 20+ languages, and is especially popular in Japan where it became part of the public school curriculum in 1952.

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 11 and 14 2019 on behalf of Historica Canada. For this survey, a sample of 1,002 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.