Canada and World Records
By Elli Davis, May 16, 2012
Most people, in the developed world at least, have heard of the Guinness Book of Records. It is the dream of thousands to be mentioned in this annually updated collection of world records, thereby proving that they are exceptionally good at something. Athletes, for instance, are often trying their hardest to not only win the race, but actually break records. It is no different for Canada and some of its citizens. Do you know what are we THE BEST at?
The Book of Records
The Guiness Book of World Records is something akin to The Encyclopedia Britanica in the world of records. It was more than six decades ago, in 1951, when the then managing director of the Guinness Brewery (the name of the book of records is not a coincidence, as you can see) Sir Hugh Beaver realized he could not refer to any current publication to answer the questions that he curious about. To be more specific, he was wondering what Europe’s fastest game bird was, and he was unable to get a satisfying response.
Since he was distressed by the fact that an informative book containing superlative facts was missing, Sir Hugh took the initiative in his own hands. Thanks to his activity and immense help of the fact-finding twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, the very first Guinness Book of Records or Guinness World Records, as it has been called since 2000, was published on 27 August 1955. Needless to say, it was amazingly successful; by Christmas of the same year, it became the number-one bestseller in Britain. What I find quite fascinating is the fact that book itself actually holds a world record, as is it the best-selling copyrighted book series of all time.
Guinness World Records Day
The annual Guinness World Records Day was celebrated for the first time on November 9th, 2005. Are you wondering why it started more than half a century after publishing the first edition of the World Record’s Book? The answer is indeed very simple. It was in November 2004 when the World Records became the world’s bestselling copyright book and the event was created to regularly commemorate this fact. What is the point of this day? As you may have guessed, the aim of this event is to encourage people to break world records. The celebrations every year are huge: more than 300,000 enthusiasts eager to break a record participated the last annual celebration in November 2011. That certainly is a great success!
4943 Clifton Hill
Niagara Falls, Ontario
If you are interested in learning some of the amazing record-breaking facts but reading a book just does not seem exciting enough, you do not have to go too far from Toronto to find exactly what you are looking for. Explore “sports, animal, and structures sections,” see life-sized models of remarkable human beings, and much more. I am positive that a visit to the museum that “brings the Guinness Book of Records to life” will make for a fun-filled family afternoon. Take your children and discover who/what is the best, fastest, the tallest — or simply the most extraordinary.
World Records Set in Canada
Do you know some, or any, of the world records held by Canada and its citizens? I only knew a few, but after a little research, I feel relatively well informed and eager to share my newly found knowledge with you! Here are some of Canada’s (and Toronto’s) greatest past and present world records.
Why not try to break a record and please hundreds of people at the same time? Mixing a large smoothie is a fantastic way to achieve both. Smoothies are easy to make, they are delicious, and at the same time good for your health. In July 2010, the Dairy Farmers of Canada successfully mixed a 1,000-litre blueberry smoothie in Toronto and earned a mention in the Guinness World Records.
The 100 per cent Canadian smoothie was made up of up of 550 litres of Canadian milk, 300 kilograms of frozen Canadian blueberries, 150 litres of Canadian vanilla yogurt, and 35 litres of Canadian honey. A huge number of people participated in the event and tasted the record-breaking blueberry goodness. Who knows? It might have inspired them to mix their own smoothies at home. Canada is certainly great at that — interestingly, the previous largest smoothie was made in our country as well. Yummy!
Largest Gold Coin
For more than three years, Canada was the home of the most remarkable coin in the world. In spring 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the then largest gold coin, the face value of which was a fantastic $1 million. This precious piece was 99.999 per cent pure gold and its weight was about 100 kilograms (220 pounds). Queen Elizabeth II was depicted on the front side of the coin — it was actually the largest official portrait of Her Majesty in gold — and on the reverse side was a typical Canadian image: three maple leaves.
Unfortunately, this coin is no longer the largest in the world. In October of last year, the new largest gold coin was unveiled in Perth, Australia. It is actually quite similar to our coin: Queen Elizabeth II is depicted on one side, and a typical Australian feature, a kangaroo, is on the other. The coin is, like the Canadian one, 99.999 per cent pure gold, but it is A LOT heavier. Its weight is an unbelievable 1,000 kilograms.
Longest Street in the World
Yonge Street by Wikimedia Commons
Those who have ever lived in, or at least visited, Toronto are certainly familiar with Yonge Street. Not only is it a national historic site and well known for offering great fun and food, but it is also very, very long. While there is controversy about whether it actually is the longest street in the world, patriotic Torontonians certainly believe there is no longer street anywhere, so I just have to mention it.
Years before it was paved, Yonge Street was a trail used by the Huron First Nation and colonial explorers. The founder of Toronto, John Graves Simcoe, named the street after the British secretary Sir George Yonge. Until 1998, the amazing 1,178 mile long street was listed in the Guinness Book of Records. However, without the inclusion of Highway 11, which apparently is not really a part of this street, it loses this precious recognition. Many people, including myself, still believe there is no longer street in the world.
World’s Longest Freshwater Beach
Wasaga Beach by Wikimedia Commons
Take a trip about two hours north of downtown Toronto and you will find a record-breaking location. The 8.5 mile long Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world. Wasaga Beach is one of the best and most popular beaches that is accessible and close toToronto.
In the white sands, right on the waters of Nottawasaga Bay, you will find entertainment all year long. The weather is moderate during both summer and winter, thanks to which you can enjoy sunbathing as well snowmobiling and skiing in the most pleasant way possible — without unbearable heat and frequent snowstorms. Now, while the weather is not hot enough for swimming just yet, you can take your kids and have a lovely family picnic on the beach. There are tables available for you. Besides all of this, you can shop, play minigolf, hike, or take part in one of the many events that take place on the popular beach over the year.
World’s Biggest Beaver Dam
Would you believe there is a beaver dam that can be seen from space? As strange as it might sound, there indeed is one here in our country. The world’s largest beaver dam is located in a national park in Alberta and in 2010, it spread over unbelievable 850 metres.
The ecologist who discovered the record-breaking dam in 2007 thanks to modern technology (Google Earth) claims it has been in the making for approximately 40 years and generations of beavers participated in creating the structure. Nevertheless, it would most likely never have been discovered without Google Earth. That is pretty funny: it can be seen from space yet it took decades to be found.