Can You Answer These Canadian History Questions From Primary School?


By: Kale Havervold

6 Min Quiz

Image: manoa / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

While Canada has only been around for a little over 150 years, it already has a very rich history. This spans from its culture, to its politics, to sports and so much more. The country has had a major impact on the world in only a short time. But just how much do you know about the history of the great nation of Canada?

If you went to primary or elementary school in Canada, you were certainly taught a decent amount about Canadian history over the years. However, just how much of that do you remember? For many of us, it has been years and years since we were taught about Canadian history and we might be a little bit rusty. 

For example, do you know why it is called Canada? Or how about why the national animal is the beaver? Many of us were taught about these questions and many like them, but few remember the answers. So whether you want to relive those days and see if you've still got it, or you simply want to brush up on your Canadian history knowledge, this is the quiz for you. Without any further ado, read on and see if you can answer these Canadian history questions from primary school.

In what year did Canada officially become a country?

For the longest time, the areas that would soon become Canada were under the control of other nations. Canada officially became a country back in 1867. As a result, the country recently celebrated its 150-year anniversary.


How many provinces are there across Canada?

In total, there are 10 provinces in Canada. They range from British Columbia on the west coast all the way to Newfoundland on the far east coast. In addition to the 10 provinces, Canada also has three territories as well.


Of all the major cities in Canada, which is the capital?

Ever since Canada has officially been its own country, Ottawa has served as the capital of Canada. It has remained this way for well over 100 years, and we don't see that changing. It was chosen because of its relatively central location between Toronto and Montreal.


In terms of size by landmass, where does Canada rank in the largest countries on the planet?

Despite the population of Canada being relatively small compared to many other countries, it is actually the second largest country on the planet by landmass. It only trails the country of Russia in that regard.


Where did the country of Canada get its name?

It is believed that Canada got its name from the word "Kanata". The word means village or settlement. It was believed that an early explorer was told by two Aboriginal children about the road to kanata, which could have been the origination of the name.


Which bird is on the Canadian $1 coin?

The $1 Canadian coin is called a loonie, so the bird that is featured on it is a loon. The coin was introduced in 1987, and loons were chosen as they are a bird that can be found throughout Canada.


What is the national anthem of Canada called?

The national anthem for Canada is "O Canada." The song was originally produced way back in 1880, but didn't become the national anthem for the country until 1980. However, it was treated as the anthem from as early as 1939.


Canada has the world's longest coastline. How many oceans come in contact with the country?

In the world, the general consensus is that there are four main oceans. These are the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic. Canada touches three of the four oceans, with the Indian Ocean being the only one it doesn't contact.


There are many large and impressive mountains in Canada, but which is the tallest?

Canada is home to many tall mountain peaks, especially in the Yukon. However, none are taller than Mount Logan. Mount Logan is over 5956 m tall, which makes it the tallest by around 500 m or so.


Every year, which date is celebrated as "Canada Day"?

Every year, Canada Day is celebrated on July 1st. It involves parades, barbecues, fireworks and more. It is on this day because it is the effective date of the Constitution Act, way back in 1867.


Who was the very first Canadian Prime Minister?

The first ever Prime Minister of Canada was Sir John A. Macdonald. He began his career as a high-profile lawyer, before eventually getting into politics. He was the Prime Mnister from 1867 to 1873, and again from 1878 to 1891.


Which city in Canada is home to the largest population?

Toronto is the largest city in the country in terms of population, as it is home to over 2.7 million people. If you count the metropolitan area of the city, the population jumps to almost 6 million people.


Canada is home to a variety of different vegetation, but which plant is a major symbol of the country?

The maple leaf is a symbol for Canada and has been on the flag for the country since 1965. However, it has been a symbol for much longer than that. In fact, by the early 1700s, the maple leaf was adopted as a symbol for French Canadians.


What made Terry Fox a national hero to Canadians everywhere?

Terry Fox is one of the greatest Canadians of all time. Despite having a leg amputated, Fox had the mission to run across the country to raise awareness for cancer research. He passed away at the age of 22, but his legacy lives on as the annual Terry Fox run has raised millions of dollars for cancer research.


Canada has two national languages. One is English, but what is the other?

While the majority of Canada are English speakers, French is also a national language of the country. Millions of Canadians speak French primarily, with most of them living in Quebec.


Universal healthcare exists across the country today, but which province was the first to implement it?

While Medicare exists across all of Canada's provinces in the modern day, Saskatchewan was the first province to implement it. This was back in 1962, and soon after, more provinces began to do the same before the government expanded the policy.


Which war did the famous "Battle of Vimy Ridge" take place?

World War I was full of important battles, but none more important to Canadians than Vimy Ridge. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a battle in which Canadian troops defeated German troops and is still, to this day, a symbol of national sacrifice and achievement.


Once the tallest structure on the planet, in which city does the CN Tower reside?

In addition to having the most people in Canada, Toronto is also home to the tallest structure in Canada, the CN Tower. The 553 m tall structure was also once the tallest on the planet, but has since been surpassed by numerous buildings and structures.


Who was Samuel de Champlain?

Samuel de Champlain is a Canadian legend and was the person who founded New France and Quebec City. In addition to his fame as an explorer, de Champlain was also known for his cartography, as he created the first accurate coastal map.


Which incredibly important hormone was discovered by a Canadian?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the body, and it regulates the body and can help your blood sugar level from getting too low or high. It was co-discovered by Canadian Frederick Banting, who also discovered its potential in medicine and therapy.


Why is the beaver the national animal of Canada?

Beavers were incredibly important in the development of Canada as they were a major part of the fur trade. Because of this giant role that the beaver played in Canada's history, it quickly became a national symbol and officially became the national animal in 1975.


Which world-famous sport was invented by a Canadian?

While there is currently only one NBA team in Canada, the sport of basketball was actually invented by a Canadian, James Naismith. He was a gym teacher and was tasked with creating a game for a rowdy class. In 1891, he came up with the sport of basketball, and it has grown and matured into one of the most popular sports ever.


After the Viking ages, who was the first person to reach and explore Canada and North America?

The first European to reach and explore coastal Canada after the Viking Age was John Cabot. He reached North America (likely somewhere in present-day Newfoundland or Nova Scotia) in 1497.


Before being named Ottawa, what was the current Canadian capital city known as?

Before it was named Ottawa, the city went by the name Bytown. It was first founded back in 1826 and existed as Bytown until the name was changed over to Ottawa at the start of 1855.


How many original provinces were there in Canada?

While Canada is now home to 10 provinces, only four of them are original. When Canada became its own nation in 1867, the four provinces, official provinces, it included were: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


Which Canadian province or territory is the newest?

While most provinces and territories entered confederation in the 1800s or the early 1900s, this isn't the case for all of them. In fact, Nunavut didn't officially join Confederation and become a territory until April 1st, 1999.


The Great Lakes are among the largest freshwater lakes on the planet. How many of them are there?

The Great Lakes are the largest group of fresh lakes on the planet, as they hold 21% of the fresh water on the planet. In total, there are 5 Great Lakes: Huron, Michigan, Erie, Superior and Ontario.


Which large and picturesque waterfall is on the Canada/USA border?

The Niagra Falls is the name given to three large and powerful waterfalls that exist on the Ontario/New York border. They are not only very beautiful to look at, but also are a source of power thanks to hydroelectricity.


Who was the explorer who claimed Canada for the country of France?

Cartier was an explorer and was the first to map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. He was also the first person to travel inland into North America. While he was not the first person to reach Canada, he claimed it for France.


How did the very first people ever to inhabit Canada arrive in the country?

Thousands and thousands of years ago, the space between Asia and North America was linked together by a land bridge called Beringia. It is believed that this is how the first inhabitants came to Canada from Asia.


Which world-famous superhero did a Canadian have a hand in creating?

There were two people who came together to create Superman. One was Canadian comic book artist named Joe Shuster. The other was an American writer named Jerry Siegel. Superman first appeared in a comic way back in 1938 and would go on to become one of the biggest superheroes ever.


A current retail company controlled most of the fur trade throughout Canada and the rest of North America. Which company was it?

While the Hudson's Bay Company is a large retail group today, it was once in charge of most of the fur trade throughout Canada. In addition to that, the Hudson's Bay Company is also the oldest surviving corporation in the country, as it was started way back in 1670, before Canada was even a country.


What was the official population of Canada at the time of Confederation?

The population in Canada is currently well over 35 million, but back in 1867, it was much smaller. The official population of the country at Confederation was 3.4 million, but it is important to remember that only the original four provinces were included in this.


When did women in Canada get the right to vote?

Since nearly the start of Canada as a country, women fought for the right to vote. In 1916, a few provinces granted suffrage and by 1918, only Quebec was holding out. By 1940, the women in Quebec were given full suffrage.


Which Canadian city was the first to host the Olympics?

The Olympics have been held in Canada on three separate occasions. The first was in Montreal for the 1976 Summer Olympics. The Winter Olympics were later held in Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010.


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