Canada: An overview
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Canada. My home.
Also the home of 6 generations of my ancestors, although it was still only a colony when the first ones arrived here and met the natives that would form my relatives on my father's side of the gene pool.

It is the second largest (by overall area) country in the world; however, in terms of dry land area, it only ranks fourth.
In terms of freshwater area alone, Canada is the number 1 ranked country.
Otherwise only Russia is bigger, but we are nowhere even close to the top in World population rankings. There is a whole lot of empty space in this place (if you don't count rocks, trees, and tundra).

For most of my life, Canada consisted of ten provinces and two territories, but that officially changed in 1999 when it became ten provinces and three territories; The Northwest Territories were split almost in half (east and west) after a vote for autonomy and self-government, in 1993, thus creating Nunavut.

This geeklist will highlight the different provinces and territories of Canada, and perhaps teach you an interesting fact along the way.
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1. Board Game: Oh! Canada [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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So here it is (click on image symbol-- top left-- to enlarge). But it started out much smaller.



The southern/ southeastern area of Quebec, above and along the St. Lawrence river up to Montreal was a French colony while the northeastern part Ontario, above and along the Great Lakes, was an English colony. Eventually they got together to form "upper" and "lower" Canada.
All of Canada (much later) was part of the British Empire, for many decades, considered to be a British Colony but officially recognized as The Dominion of Canada.
Finally (more below, if you want to read it all) we gained independence and became our own country.

It was as late as 1965 before the first Canadian flag was unveiled:



Before this, our flag still had a Union Jack in the corner:



The Constitution Act officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, initially with just four provinces – Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

When Canada assumed control of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to form the Northwest Territories, the Métis Indians' grievances ignited the Red River Rebellion and the creation of the province of Manitoba in July 1870.

British Columbia and Vancouver Island (which had been united in 1866) joined the Confederation in 1871, while Prince Edward Island joined in 1873.
To open the West, the government sponsored the construction of three transcontinental railways, opened the prairies to settlement with the Dominion Lands Act, and established the North-West Mounted Police to assert its authority over this territory.

In 1898, during the Klondike Gold Rush in the Northwest Territories, the Canadian government created the Yukon Territory.

Under the Liberal Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, continental European immigrants settled the prairies, and Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces in 1905.

Finally, Newfoundland was admitted to the union in 1949.

Fun Fact: There are stories of people visiting Canada for the first time, thinking that they will arrive in Toronto and drive out to the Rocky Mountains or Vancouver for a quick visit.
If you call spending 3 to 4 days, of 12 to 14 straight hours of driving "quick", then yeah; knock yourself out.

The TransCanada Highway, from St. John's Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia (some travel on ferries, to get to these two island cities, is also required!) is 7,821 km (4,860 miles).
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2. Board Game: The Yukon Gold Rush [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
 
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Yukon (formerly The Yukon Territory) is snug up against Alaska, to the west side, in Canada's northwest, and it borders British Columbia on its southern side. It is the most westerly land in Canada.

It is, of course, most famous for the NW gold rush-- technically called The Klondike Gold Rush-- that sent people scurrying up to Alaska and the Yukon in 1896 trying to make their fortune.

Out of the approximately 30,000 residents, around 18,000 live in its capital city of Whitehorse, which is only about a 3-hour drive (north and slightly east) of Skagway, Alaska.
I know this to be true because I once took an Alaskan Cruise and, on an outing in Skagway, we climbed aboard a school bus and drove to the border of Alaska and the Yukon; there is an "international peace park" there.
It is fun to say that I've been to the Yukon, even if it only was about 2 miles over its border.

Fun Fact: Robert W. Service wrote this very famous poem about the area and the era:

Quote:
The Cremation of Sam McGee

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.


Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way that "he'd sooner live in hell."

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
"It's the cursèd cold, and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet 'tain't being dead—it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."

A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: "You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you to cremate those last remains."

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"; ... then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.
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3. Board Game: Northwest Passage! [Average Rating:4.57 Unranked]
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The Northwest Territories share a southern border with the northern sides of BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. As I mentioned in the main header, they used to also share the border with Manitoba, before the creation of Nunavut changed that. When it was all one "great white north", its square footage-- mostly because of the islands and the Arctic Ocean that go all the way to the North Pole-- was 34.5% of Candada's entire area.
After Nunavut, they fell to just 13.5% of the area, although still good for third amongst the rest.

Fun Fact: Charles Fipke is a geologist who was studying the formation and properties of kimberlite-- which is an igneous rock that often contains diamonds (named after the town of Kimberley, South Africa). In the late 1970s he went up to the Northwest Territories and found kimberlites, leading him to find diamonds and establish the Ekati Diamond Mine, in 1998. He is now a rich, rich man, even after the divorce!



Each diamond from his mine is numbered and registered, and contains an engraving of a polar bear on it.
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4. Board Game: Snow Tails [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:600]
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Nunavut is the largest of all of the Teritories and Provinces in Canada, but it also has the lowest population.
You've perhaps heard that Taiwan has a population density of 632 people per sq. km? Even that seems low when compared to Bangladesh, at 985 people per sq. km. Well Nunavut's population density is-- get this-- 0.015 people per sq. km!

Nunavut borders the NW Territories on its west side, and is situated over top of Manitoba at that point. It then goes east to include Baffin Island, where's its capital "city", Iqualuit, is located.

The mostly aboriginal population has extremely high levels of alcohol and drug addiction, and poor-diet-related medical problems-- not to mention the mental health issues (suicide rates are also high).
This is not a pleasant place to try to live a modern lifestyle. Trapping, hunting, and avoiding the citylife altogether is your best bet.

Fun (?) Fact: Because it is such a remote community, grocery shopping in Iqualuit can be a real eye-opener. Everything needs to be brought in by airplane, and you won't find any big jet planes landing anywhere.



Cloth diapers, as an alternative, anyone?
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5. Board Game: Ur: 1830 BC [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:4138]
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British Columbia (most often referred to simply by its initials, B.C.) is Canada's contact with the Pacific Ocean, and is the main point of entry for Asian immigrants to Canada.

In 1778, the British Royal Navy Captain James Cook arrived in the region, searching for the Northwest Passage, and successfully landed at what is now known as Vancouver Island. The name Vancouver is from the explorer, George Vancouver who was a contemporary of Cook's. In 1791/92 he explored the area around the inlet that would eventually become the main port of the city that bears his name.

This is a very large province, and it is full of natural resources. There is a huge Forestry presence, but also Fisheries and Mining. And, of course, tourism.

The 2010 Olympic WInter Games were held in Vancouver and the surrounding area. They were the third Olympic Games (2nd of the Winter Games) to be held in Canada. The province and its residents are still paying the bills for it.

The capital city of BC, Victoria, is a quaint, pedestrian-friendly, and much smaller city than Vancouver is. They have outstanding restaurants and microbreweries and it is my preferred choice to visit, between the two.
Vancouver was named the most expensive city in North America to live in (not sure if I believe that), but Victoria housing costs make it high amongst Canadian cities, as well: http://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/canada/10-most-expensive-...

Fun Fact: Since there are obvious close ties between Britain and British Columbia, I thought that it would be interesting to do that thing where you place one country inside of another's borders.
This should give you a general sense of the scale of Canada-- The British Isles (excluding Ireland) will fit inside the Provincial borders:

British Columbia outline

England & Scotland (at the same scale)

Both together; there's even plenty of room for Ireland, if you cut it up and put it in the empty spots.
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6. Board Game: Oil Power [Average Rating:6.06 Unranked]
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Alberta is Canada's 4th most populous province, slightly behind BC's. But even if you added the two populations together they would still be third, just behind Quebec, and still a long way behind Ontario.

Alberta is separated from BC by the Rocky Mountains (and the Continental Divide that runs, from Alaska to Mexico, within those mountains) on its western edge.
This, like BC, is a province rich in natural resources. One big discovery was an oilfield, in lower-middle of Alberta (at Leduc, just outside of Edmonton) in 1947, but the more infamous "discovery" was in 1719 when fur traders learned of the Athabasca Oil Sands (or, if you're an opponent of development, the "tar sands") at Fort McMurray. They did not become commercially viable until 1967, however.

For interest sake, which of these do you think is oil sands in Fort McMurray, and which is a coal mining operation in Minnesota?
This one? or This one?
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The first image is Minnesota.
The capital city of Alberta is Edmonton, which is a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive north (depends on how fast you go) of the province's largest, and most populous city, Calgary (a lot of cars will pass you if you only do 120 km/hr-- speed limit is 110!).

The rivalry between these two cities goes back to the early 1900s when the capital city was chosen; Fort Edmonton was an important fur trading center, and there was regular "traffic" between it and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where "the buffalo still roamed". Fort Calgary served more of a ranching community (livestock as well as crops).
Calgary's geographic location, closer to the US border, gave it an edge for modern-day development, especially when natural gas was discovered just south of it, in Turner Valley, in 1914.

Calgary has always suffered from being in Edmonton's shadow, but the very first Winter Olympics to be held in Canada, in 1988, brought Calgary an international reputation.
Those were really the end of the "amateur" aspect of the games.
They made household names out of England's "Eddie (the Eagle) Edwards" (ski-jumping- he came last; Finland's Matti Nykänen out jumped him by 47 meters) and "The Jamaican Bobsleigh Team" (they flipped their borrowed sled over, and crossed the finish line upside-down; last place/ "DNF").
Subsequent Olympics banned participants who didn't meet minimum requirements, and pro sports teams started sending players to their national teams.

Fun Fact: Canada's first National Park is in Alberta, centered around the natural Hot Springs in the town of Banff.
It is a mountainous forest reserve, quite beautiful and full of hiking and ski trails. Just a 1 1/2 hour drive (or less, Albertans are speed demons) from Calgary.
It is a funky little town, and a Japanese tourist magnet, for some reason. Keep that in mind when you get to PEI, later in this list.
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7. Board Game: Wheaties Sports Trivia Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Saskatchewan is the next province over, to Alberta's east, and it is the middle of the three so-called "prairie provinces".
Although well-recognized as an agricultural powerhouse (wheat), today's economy finds a mineral called "potash" at the center of their growth and success.


Potash can be turned into fertilizer, and the world's food producers are clamoring for all the help that they can get.
There are also recent discoveries of crude oil.

There's a fairly well-known joke about Saskatchewan, that goes something like this:
"My dog ran away"
"When did you lose him?"
"Three days ago-- if you squint you can still see him, over there..."

Yes, this is one very flat province. The glaciers from the last Ice Age will do that, given enough time.
The glaciers also left behind very fertile soil, and that is why Sakatchewan became a world leader in wheat exports at one point.

So there's a bit of ranching, plenty of farming, and fishing and hunting in the summer and fall. But what do you do in the winter?
Saskatoon, a city a few hours north of Saskatchewan's capital city of Regina is known for having the longest and coldest winters in the provinces; -30 C (-22 F) is fairly common, sometimes for weeks at a time. Well, there's always hockey and skating.

For a province with (until quite recently) a very low population, they have produced some amazing atheletes, particularly in the sport of hockey.
"Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe, was born in a "town" called Adanac. Take that town name and spell it backward.
There are other players too numerous to mention; only Ontario has more but because of their population that is to be expected.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the football team, which is based in Regina but is called "The Saskatchewan Roughriders". (Thanks Tommy Nomad!) They play in the Canadian Football League (CFL), and in any other Canadian city with a team, the Saskatchewan fans are either equal or outnumber the locals! Rabid, I tell you, for football!

Fun Fact: Al Capone, the Chicago mobster, had a secret hideout in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
What, do you think I could invent something like that? Check it out: http://www.tunnelsofmoosejaw.com/home/
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8. Board Game: A Cold Day In Hell [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Manitoba, the most easterly of the prairie provinces, is pretty much in the center of Canada (although most everyone in Canada refers to Toronto as the "center of the universe").

Particularly interesting to me is Manitoba's Métis history, mostly because of those past generations of ancestors that I mentioned in the header.
The main leader, Louis Riel, was a local man who took up the cause of the natives who were being taken advantage of, by the Canadian government, when they were losing their land to new settlers who were claiming the land that the natives were on.
Riel was elected to parliament and drafted a constitution document, that later allowed Manitoba to join Canada.



Winnipeg (alternately called Upper Fort Garry, St. Vital, or The Red River Colony in the early days) is located at the intersection of two important rivers-- the Red and the Assiniboine-- and it was a hub of transportation activity, since rivers were the one of the best ways to move and trade goods/ furs.
The Hudson Bay Company was the major player in those days. Fur trading back to Europe was their biggest source of income, but they also supplied goods for the new settlers to buy so they could live in these remote and dangerous conditions.
If you ever get a chance to read more about Winnipeg's history, it is amazing. Here is one link, but the tales of early settlers trying to survive a Canadian winter in uninsulated shacks and threadbare clothing will chill you. No pun intended.

Winnipeg's Portage & Main has been called the coldest street corner in the world, and they are darned proud of it.
Sadly, they had so many people taking pictures of themselves standing at the intersection that they built an underground pedestrian crossing (and a mall-- gotta shop!) so you'd have to stand in a concrete flower planter, with cars whizzing past you, to take a picture there now.

Winnipeg is also known for its big lake.
Remember, earlier, when I fit Britain into British Columbia's borders? Lake Winnipeg is 24,514 sq. km. (9,465 sq. mi.) and a country like Singapore would fit in there three times, with room left over.
What is really neat about Lake Winnipeg is that it is so shallow for a great percentage of it. It's deepest spot is 36 meters but its average depth is only 12 meters. I know from experience that in some spots you can walk off the beach into the lake and, after 50 paces, the water is barely up to your thighs.

Fun Fact: One of the best place to see a polar bear in the wild is in Manitoba!
Churchill is an extremely remote village on the shores of Hudson's Bay (named after the explorer Henry Hudson) that has companies who offer high-priced tours and excursions to see polar bears and other Arctic life (including baby seals) there.



Bonus Fun Fact: Despite the cold, Winnipeg 7-Eleven stores sell more slurpeesTM than anyone else in the world, and have for 14 straight years, although there is one US town that disputes their claim. It has been reported that on average, Winnipeg stores sell 188,833 per month (compared to the rest of Canada at 179,700 per month average).
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9. Board Game: Great Lakes Pursuit [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Ontario. Big. In many ways.

38% of the country's total population lives there. Almost 11% of the land area (only Quebec has more). More rocks and trees than you can shake a stick at, thanks to the "Canadian Shield": "a large area of exposed Precambrian igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks (geological shield) that forms the ancient geological core of the North American continent, covered by a thin layer of soil."
Oh, don't forget about the lakes. Many of them are even considered to be Great.
If you're looking for large bodies of fresh water, you're in the right province (in some places you'll have to ignore pollution in your definition of "fresh" water; let's say "non-saltwater", instead...).

Lake Superior, the westernmost of the Great Lakes, is the largest freshwater lake in the world (by surface area, and the 3rd largest by volume of water).

Even though the population is so large, there are still extremely remote locations in Ontario, mainly around James Bay (at the bottom of Hudson Bay) and across to the Manitoba border.
Singer Shania Twain was raised in Timmins, Ontario but the next nearest "big" cities are Sudbury (300 km south) or Thunder Bay (580 km west).
Speaking of Thunder Bay, one of its native sons is Paul Shaffer, musical sidekick of David Letterman since 1982.
Musically, however, you may know the Great Lake that it is upon-- Superior is known by the Ojibwe indians as gichigami-- by the lyrics of a Gordon Lightfoot (born: Orillia, Ontario) song, The Wreck of the Edmound Fitzgerald.

Ontario contains two capital cities; Toronto is the capital of the province, while Ottawa is the capital of the entire country.
The mayors of Toronto seem to have colorful and dubious past personal lives. The less said, the better.
Ottawa is a very nice place to visit, if you ever get the chance to.

Fun Fact: This is a very funny song and even I, born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, laugh at the final line (the singers, Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie hail from-- Edmonton, Alberta.):

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10. Board Game: Rocket Hockey [Average Rating:5.71 Unranked]
¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
Canada
Chestermere
Alberta
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Quebec (or Québec, if you prefer) is a province whose name means "where the river narrows".
It narrows along the St. Lawrence river near Québec City, its capital, so that's where that all comes from.

Home of tourtière (a meat pie--thanks for the spell check guys!), poutine, and the most rabid hockey fans (especially in Montreal) that you'll find anywhere on earth. Also reknowned for their bagels and their smoked meat, and the explicitness (and number) of their strip clubs.

There isn't enough room to fully give you a sense of Quebec and its relationship to the rest of the country. There are numerous troubling incidents, pitting "them" against "us" (the rest of the country), including separatists and even fringe-terrorist groups, going all the way back before Canada was even a country.

More Prime Ministers were born or had "home ridings" here (7) than any other province, although Ontario does have 6 (so far). Much like the Bushs (George HW and George W) in the USA, Pierre Trudeau's son Justin is positioning himself to become the 8th Quebec-born leader of the country.
He's got a good shot at it, since Quebec is second only to Ontario in terms of population, and thus has a number of seats in parliament that is greater than all of the rest of the provinces, excluding only Ontario.

Yes, there are plenty of French-only speakers in Quebec, but in my experience many of them are anxious to learn English as well. I spent two weeks in northern (well, central) Quebec as a 14-year old exchange student, and it was a great time.
Quebec City and Montreal are fabulous places to visit and, other than seing more French-first signage, there isn't much chance to get into trouble if you only speak English.
They also have very large and diverse ethnic immigrant communities.

Fun Fact: Montreal was home to Canada's first ever (and the only "Summer") Olympic Games, in 1976. A distinctively shaped stadium was built for the track & field events-- nick-named "The Big O" (or "The Big Owe" by pundits; the construction costs were debilitating) and another disctinctive building-- a Buckminster Fuller-designed USA pavillion (Geodesic Dome)-- was built for the World's Fair in 1967, also in Montreal.

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11. Board Game: McDonald's Flying French Fries Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
Canada
Chestermere
Alberta
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New Brunswick. The first of the so-called "Atlantic Provinces" on the east coast, lies west of Nova Scotia (although its shorelines are not exactly touching the Atlantic Ocean, you can certainly take a bay or an inlet out to it).
As mentioned in the first list item above, it was one of the original four provinces in confederation.

The capital city is Fredericton, but the largest city in the province is called St. John.

So why did I choose my game item image?
To start with, it has a large Francophone (French-speaking) population, second only to Quebec.
The best reason for the french fries game item, though? One of the country's largest privately owned companies (ranked 30th) is a food conglomerate called McCain Foods Ltd. They are the world's largest producer of french fries and other oven-ready frozen food products.
The company was founded by four brothers, and still has decendents named McCain amongst their ownership today.

Fun Fact: Magnetic Hill, in Moncton, NB, is one of the most eerie optical illusions that you can encounter.
You drive downhill, set the car in neutral, and get pulled uphill by magnetic force (gravity, really).

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12. Board Game: Terra Nova [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1974]
¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
Canada
Chestermere
Alberta
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Nova Scotia is a pennisula on the east coast of Canada, touching the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the four so-called (aptly named) "Atlantic provinces".
Located almost exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole (44º 39' N Latitude), its provincial capital is Halifax.

It has a lively music scene and its bars and pubs are very popular amongst tourists and natives alike.

The city of Halifax holds an extremely important place in Canadian history. It is the main port of entry into the country from Europe or Africa, mainly because it is one of the deepest ice-free natural harbours in the world. It also has a long and proud naval and military history.
One of the more infamous incidents, The Halifax Explosion in 1917, pretty much wiped out the city and they had to rebuild it from scratch.

Nova Scotians are proud of their fisheries, and claim to have the best salmon and lobster in North America-- a claim disputed by every state and from there down to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as all of the west-coast/ Pacific Ocean communities (for the salmon, at any rate)!

Fun Fact: Lobster was so plentiful back in the 1950s that it was considered to be a "poorman's" seafood. School children would get lobster sandwiches in their lunch boxes instead of balogna.
These days, it is often the highest priced piece of seafood on a menu, despite there being a glut of lobster available to retailers currently.
Speaking of which, there was a fascinating article in The New Yorker about how the price of lobster is now being kept artificially high, because people today are so used to it being a high-priced item.
The way that consumer behavior works, you put a really high-priced item on your menu, to shock the customer and set an expectation. Then, you put your most profitable items next, and at a more reasonable-looking price; especially compared to that lobster.
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13. Board Game: The Little Prince [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
Canada
Chestermere
Alberta
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Prince Edward Island, the third of the four Atlantic provinces, is an island province. wowlaugh
It has a big name, so it is almost always shortened to its initials--PEI. But the island itself is tiny, just 5,660 sq. km (2,185 sq. miles), and its capital of Charlottetown is home to over half of the island's residents.

Before 1997, the only way to get to the island was by plane or by boat (or passenger ferry). In May that year, the $1.3 billion dollar Confederation Bridge was completed, linking it by a 13 km (8 mile) highway structure to New Brunswick, on the mainland.
It is a toll bridge, costing $44.50 per car (more for large trucks, only $17.50 for motorcycles) for a same day round trip.



Although it has a strong maritime community (fishing/ trapping) and is admired for the quality of its produce (mainly potatoes), it relies heavily on tourism to prop up its economy.
Luckily for them, the book Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery, was set here and-- even more fortunately-- the Japanese are obsessed with the character (I think it is partly to do with the red hair, as well).
The souvenir shops and "Anne"-based merchandise is similar to what goes on in Pisa, Italy. You can get a doll, or chocolates, or pretty much anything in practically every shop.

Fun Fact: Beer and soda (pop) was not sold in cans on PEI until May 2008!
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14. Board Game: Founding Fathers [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1004]
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Canada
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Alberta
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Newfoundland-- officially Newfoundland and Labrador-- is the last of the Atlantic provinces, and the easternmost place in Canada. Like PEI, it is an island.

Newfoundland is paired with Labrador, politically, but there is a stretch of water between the physical borders of the two places. Labrador is actually on the mainland, and shares its entire west edge with Quebec.
Its capital city is St. John's, and that city is so far east, in fact, that it is closer to Galway, Ireland than it is to Alberta, Canada!
Also because of its location, Newfoundland has been given its own time zone-- one half hour closer to Greenwich Mean than the Atlantic time zone.
There isn't a Canadian alive who hasn't heard this phrase on the national television station, The CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation): "The show will air this evening at 8:00 pm local time, 1/2 hour later in Newfoundland".

And, speaking of Alberta; the home of the oil sands, Ft. McMurray, has an enormous displaced Newfoundland population, due to the lack of employment possiblities "back home".

Newfoundland was the first place that the Vikings landed in North America. It was also last province to join Canada. It only became an official province in 1949.

One of the many curious things about Newfoundland is the existence of what is known as "The Grand Banks", one of the most fertile fishing spots in the world.
At least it used to be. It was heavily over-fished, not just by Canada, but by Norwegians, Spaniards, and Portuguese (amongst others, I'm sure), and the number of cod to be found there is so low that they are considered to be a threatened species.

Oddly, the term "grand banks" doesn't conjure up a correct image in your eyes, probably.
These "banks" have nothing to do with the sides of a river or cliff walls; they are underwater plateaus (coastal shelves) that are considered to be shallow (only(!) 80 to 330 feet deep (24 to 100 meters), and they occur right where the warm water "Gulf Stream" meets the oncoming cold-water currents of the "Labrador Stream".
While all of that creates an ideal enviroment for sealife, it also causes immense banks of fog, which is often a bad thing. Just ask The Titanic.

Fun Fact: If you travel to Newfoundland, there is a good chance that you may be asked to be "Screeched-in" at an informal ceremony (often a pub or bar, but even in some homes!).
To start with, Screech is a type of rum (40% alcohol).
I'll let Wikipedia handle the ceremony description, since they do it so well:
Wikipedia wrote:
The general process of a screech-in varies from pub to pub and community to community, though it often begins with the leader of the ceremony introducing themselves and asking those present if they'd like to become a Newfoundlander.
The proper response, of course, would be a hearty "Yes b'y!"
Each participant is asked to introduce themselves and where they come from, often interrupted by commentary by the ceremony leader, jokingly poking fun at their accent or hometown. Each holding their shot of Screech, they are then asked "Are ye a screecher?" and are taught the proper response: "'Deed I is, me ol' cock! And long may yer big jib draw!" (Though with a Newfie accent, it often sounds like this: "'Deed Oi is, mee-all cahk! An' lahng may-yer big jib-jrah.") Translated, it means "Yes I am, my old friend, and may your sails always catch wind."

A cod fish – or any other fish ugly enough to suitably replace the cod – is then held up to lip-level of each participant who then bestows the fish with a kiss. Frozen fish are used most commonly in the screech-ins which take place on George St., though occasionally a more fresh specimen, if available, will be used. Some pubs will also award certificates to those who have become an honorary Newfie once the screech-in is complete.

Some screech-in traditions vary both in the order of events as well as the necessary requirements. Some ceremonies require that the screech-ee eat a piece of "Newfie steak" (a slice of baloney) or kiss a rubber puffin's rear end. Some are also asked to stand in a bucket of salt water throughout the ceremony or that they wear the Sou'wester during the recitation and the drinking of the shot. For group screech-ins, the shots and recitations are generally all done at once. In all cases, no matter what, only a native Newfoundlander can officiate a proper screech-in.
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