Summer is everyone’s favourite season. We all take advantage of the great weather to have fun and explore the outdoors. Summer days mean road trips, weekends in a cabin by the lake or camping under the stars.
Speaking of summer, here are some fantastic facts you might enjoy:
Manitoba is one of the sunniest provinces in Canada
Despite being known for having legendary winters, Manitoba has the sunniest winter season in Canada with around 358 hours of sunshine. In total, the province enjoys more than 2,300 hours of bright sunshine per year. Meanwhile, Southern Manitoba enjoys up to 16 hours of daylight during peak summer weeks.
Hottest summer in Canada
For the longest time, Manitoba has held the record for experiencing the second hottest summer at 44.4 °C. This was on July 11, 1936 at St. Albans and Emerson, Manitoba. The highest temperature recorded according to Environment Canada was in 1937 in Midale and Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan (45 °C) until it was topped recently. Lytton, B.C. experienced three record-breaking days of heat, with the highest reaching 49.6°C on June 29, 2021.
A year without summer
Did you know that summer did not come in 1816? Countries in the Northern Hemisphere, not only Canada, experienced an extended winter that year. Because of this, people were worried about food shortage as crops needed warmth to grow. This anomaly was caused by the powerful eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies in 1815. It caused volcanic ash and gas to blanket the atmosphere, partially blotting out the sun and causing a climate change that affected many cities around the world for several years.
Dog days of summer
The dog days of summer refer to weeks between July 3 and August 11. These are the hottest days of summer. It’s called dog days not because the temperature can make you pant like a dog. The days were named after the Dog Star Sirius, which rises around this time. People during ancient times blamed the star as the cause of wars, diseases and disasters.
Summer is mosquito season
It’s the insect’s peak because warm temperatures make them go through their life cycle faster. More mosquitoes are laying eggs and more eggs are hatching around this time. Incidentally, did you know that there are more than 3500 species of mosquitoes worldwide? Only a handful of places, like Antarctica and Iceland have little to no traces of mosquitoes.
Watermelon: Fruit or vegetable?
Those in the “it’s a vegetable” camp say that watermelons belong to the cucumber family (also the pumpkin and squash family) therefore it’s a vegetable. However, botanists say that it’s a fruit because it grows from a seed. But whether fruit or vegetable, what’s certain is that it’s good for you. Watermelons are not only refreshing (because they are made up of 92% water), they are also full of the antioxidant lycopene, as well as vitamins A and C and potassium. Plus, the fruit/vegetable is low in calories and has no fat, sodium or cholesterol!
The Eiffel Tower grows in summer
Did you know that the Eiffel Tower grows by more than six inches in summer? The tower is composed of 7,000 metric tons iron which expands with the heat. Conversely, it shrinks by about six inches in winter. The Eiffel Tower located in Champs de Mars in Paris, France is one of the most visited attractions in the world. It welcomes about seven million visitors each year.
July is Ice Cream Month
Former US President Ronald Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984. Being a good neighbour, Canada joins in every year and celebrates National Ice Cream Day on the third Sunday of July. Isn’t it wonderful how ice cream brings people together?
If you want to see ice cream concoctions inspired by traits of each Canadian province, click here: Ice cream by Canadian province.
The popsicle was invented by accident
In 1905, Frank Epperson, an 11 year old boy in San Francisco accidentally left a cup of soda and a stirring stick outside his porch. The next morning, he found the drink frozen. Seeing that it was a new way to enjoy the cold beverage, he began selling the frozen pop at an amusement park in New Jersey. In 1923, he launched “Epsicles” until his children persuaded him to change them to “Pop’s sicles.” Today, this summer favourite is made in various flavours, colours and shapes. Around two billion popsicles are sold every year.
Winnipeg is the “Slurpee Capital of the World”
Winnipeggers prefer a different kind of frozen treat. Records show that Winnipeggers gulp around 400,000 cups of Slurpees per month even in -45°C weather (in case you didn’t know, Slurpees are colourful, multi-flavoured cold drinks sold at 7/11 convenience stores). Because of this, the city has been declared the Slurpee Capital of the World, a title that it has kept for 20 consecutive years now. In 2018, a street in Winnipeg was given the honourary name of ‘Slurpee Way’ to celebrate this distinction.
Article updated June 30, 2021.
Sources: 20 fun facts about summer, Vitalcheck blogs; 50 interesting facts about summer, Karin Lehnart, Fact Retriever; 1816: The Year Without Summer, Peter McGuigan, Canada’s History; Mosquito season: Time to be prepared, Elizabeth Miller, Mosquito Reviews; 5 facts about mosquitoes, The Tick and Mosquito Project; 40 fascinating facts about the Eiffel Tower, Oliver Smith, The Telegraph; 41 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind, Travel Manitoba; Top 10 reasons to live in Manitoba; Manitoba named Slurpee Capital of the World for the 19th year in a row, Access Winnipeg; and The History of Popsicles, Country Living. All retrieved July 12, 2018.
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