Supersize me, eh? 10 of Canada's biggest things
Supersize me, eh? 10 of Canada's biggest things
Formed in 1967 by the construction of a pair of dams across the South Saskatchewan and Qu'Appelle rivers, the Lake Diefenbaker reservoir provides the province with one of its scarcest resources: water. It's also the home of some absolutely monstrous fish, including a world-record 19.8-kilogram rainbow trout reeled in by Adam Konrad in June 2007.
Tallest mountain: Mount Logan, Yukon Territory
Standing 5,959 metres high at its peak, Mount Logan is second only to Alaska's Mount McKinley as the tallest mountain in North America. But maybe not for long; due to tectonic shifts, the mountain is on the rise. Situated inside the scenic Kluane National Park and Reserve, it's a breathtaking sight to behold. But if you go to see it in person, bring mittens: temperatures have dipped as low as -77.5 C, the coldest recorded temperature in the world outside Antarctica.
Tallest trees: Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, British Columbia
It's easy to feel small and insignificant in the Carmanah Valley, home of some of the oldest and tallest trees in the country. Famous for its mammoth trees, Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park is home to the 95-metre "Carmanah Giant" a 400-year-old Sitka spruce, the tallest known tree in Canada. For the best view of this old-growth forest, seek out the elevated Three Sisters viewing platform.
Tallest structure: CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario
Built in 1976 to showcase Canada's engineering might, Toronto's 553-metre CN Tower until recently ranked as the World's Tallest Freestanding Structure. Naturally, it's been the site of many strange feats and publicity stunts, including the highest stunt fall in film history (performed by stuntman Dar Robinson for the aptly titled 1982 movie Highpoint) and one of the highest rock concerts (performed by British space-rockers Spiritualized in November 1997).
Tallest waterfall: Della Falls, British Columbia
B.C.'s Strathcona Provincial Park holds a special treat for outdoors types hardy enough to tackle the 16-kilometre Della Falls Trail. At an estimated 440 metres high, Della Falls makes Niagara Falls' 53-metre-high Horseshoe Falls look positively puny in comparison. Nestled amid the snow-capped peaks of the Vancouver Island Ranges and surrounded with lush forest, the stunning view looks like a scene out of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Page 1 of 2 – Want to know more about the longest freshwater beach or the largest national park? Discover these giant Canadian treasure on page 2.
Largest national park: Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta/Northwest Territories
So massive that it can't be contained within a single province, the 44,807-square-kilometre Wood Buffalo National Park was established on the border between Alberta and the Northwest Territories in 1922 to protect the endangered wood bison from extinction. It seems to have worked, as the park now boasts one of the largest free-roaming, self-regulated bison herd in the world (about 5,400 at last count), a growing population of peregrine falcons and the world's only natural nesting area for the whooping crane.
Longest bridge: Confederation Bridge, New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island
Completed in 1997, the 12.9 kilometre Confederation Bridge connects Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., to Cape Jourimain, N.B. Making good on a promise the federal government made to the Islanders when they joined Confederation in 1873 to provide continuous transport to the mainland, the longest fixed-link bridge in Canada turned the sometimes arduous Northumberland Strait crossing into a quick, convenient and flat-out gorgeous 12-minute drive.
Largest island: Baffin Island, Nunavut
Encompassing approximately 476,070 square kilometres, Baffin Island ranks as the fifth-largest island in the world and it features one of the Earth's harshest climates. The island's unforgiving arctic tundra is home to only about 11,000 people, but it's far from being unpopulated: polar bears, caribou, ringed seals, arctic foxes and other resilient beasties make it one of the richest wildlife regions in the country.
Longest river: Mackenzie River, Northwest Territories
More than just a pretty stretch of water in an otherwise rugged region, the mighty Mackenzie River is also a vital supply route for the isolated communities that dot its almost 1,800-kilometre-long shores. Named for polar explorer Alexander Mackenzie, the river is only navigable for about five months of the year. To the native Dene peoples, it's known as Deh Cho ("big river"), more appropriate than its first English name, the River of Disappointment.
Longest freshwater beach: Wasaga Beach, Ontario
One of Ontario's premier vacation spots, the clean water and 14 kilometres of pristine white sand along the shore of Nottawasaga Bay aren't Wasaga's only attractions. The surrounding countryside offers plenty of outdoor adventure, including hiking and cycling trails in the summer, and snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter, in case you can't find a spot on the beach.
For more travel tips, visit caamagazine.ca. [www.caamagazine.ca]