It's not very often unless we look for it do we get news from Canada. Right now the big story is about Rob Ford the Toronto mayor who from all accounts has smoked crack. In fact he's so much of a story SNL dedicated their cold-open last night to lampooning him. We all hear that Canadians, love hockey, speak French and live in a cold climate. True maybe in some cases but not all.  There are certain things about Canada you may or may not know.

Generally speaking most of the French in Canada is spoken from eastern Ontario to New Brunswick and even in New Brunswick it's really just the west and north of the province and the Moncton area. Saint John and Fredericton are predominately English as is the rest of the Country. That being said there are many different cultures and there are many different languages spoken. I say generally speaking because there are small pockets of Nova Scotia and I'm sure the same is for other provinces as well where French is spoken first.

Do all Canadians love hockey? To each their own I suppose? Hockey is held in a higher regard in the sporting landscape nationally than it is here in the US. I can only really speak for what I saw growing up. Nova Scotia didn't back in the day and today still doesn't have an NHL team so everyone who likes hockey finds their team to cheer on either by influence or a moment that hooks them in. I defaulted to the Bruins because the Montreal Canadiens annoyed me. Like the Yankees of baseball annoy most here in New England, I saw Montreal that way in hockey. I grew up with mostly Montreal fans but there were a number of Bruins and Maple Leaf fans as well.

Is it cold in Canada? Depends on where you live. Halifax is very temperate because of the gulf stream. Much like Portland or any other coastal town or city in the north east it is warmer than inland cities and communities. Obviously if you live in the Yukon or Northwest Territories it is colder but along the US border, not much colder if any.

Now for some random facts about Canada that don't include Rob Ford:

1. Canada became a nation in 1867

2. The Trans Canada Highway is the equivalent to our Interstates, however it is just one very long road that goes from coast to coast, British Columbia to Newfoundland.

3. The nation's capitol city is Ottawa, Ontario.

4. The current Prime Minister is Stephen Harper.

5. Canada's birthday, 'Canada Day' is July 1

6. Canada geographically the second largest country next to Russia.

7. The West Edmonton Mall is the is the largest shopping center in North America.

8. Newfoundland's time zone is 1.5 hours later than ours. Yes, when we here in Maine are at 8 pm, Newfoundland's time is 9:30 pm. I never understood it either.

9. The national animal is the beaver

10. Unless things have changed, Canada's lottery winnings are tax free. (until you use them)