Most Canadians (79%) Can Tell You We’re A Maple Syrup Power House, Only a Quarter (27%) Know We’re A UFO Destination

Majority (62%) Fail True-or-False Quiz, Average Canadian Gave 13 Correct Answers out of 30

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, June 27, 2018 — The majority (62%) of Canadians polled have failed a thirty-question true-or-false quiz administered by Ipsos and Historica Canada. The questions delved into quirky Canadian facts across several categories, and the average Canadian only gave 13 correct answers out of 30, showing significant room for improvement on Canadians’ knowledge of their own country. For each question, Canadians were asked to indicate if the answer was true, false, or admit that they did not know either way.

Those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba performed the best, with barely half (53%) failing the quiz. Women (67%) were considerably more likely to fail than men (56%), while those aged 35-54 (66%) were more likely to fail than those aged 55+ (60%) or 18-34 (59%).

Overall, 62% of Canadians failed the quiz (0-15 correct answers), 9% got a “D” (16-17 correct), 14% got a “C” (18-20 correct), 8% got a “B” (21-23 correct), and 8% got an “A” (24-30 correct), passing with flying colours. Even among those with a university degree, 54% failed while 46% passed, with an average score of 14 out of 30.

The quiz contained six questions on each of these five topics: arts and culture, geography, sports, history and general knowledge. The chart below shows how Canadians fared in each subject area, including the percentage who passed, failed, and the average number of questions that were answered correctly in each category.

Category

% Pass

% fail

Avg # of correct answers out of 30

Arts and culture

33%

67%

2.6/6

Geography

35%

65%

2.7/6

Sports

25%

75%

2.1/6

History

25%

75%

2.4/6

General knowledge

50%

50%

3.3/6

TOTAL

38%

62%

13/30

Canadians performed much better on the general knowledge questions than any of the more specific subject matter, most notably sports and history, where only 25% of Canadians managed a passing grade. Eight in ten Canadians (79%) knew that Canada does in fact produce approximately 80% of the world’s maple syrup and that in winter the Rideau Canal in Ottawa becomes the world's largest skating rink – the most correctly answered questions on the quiz.

The specific questions which were asked are listed below, with the percentage of Canadians who answered correctly

Statements about arts and culture

Correct Answer

% correct

X-Men's Wolverine has Canadian origins - according to his back story he was born in what is now Alberta

True

48%

Children's author Robert Munsch is Canadian - and considered the country's best selling-author

True

50%

Film actress Mary Pickford, known as "America's Sweetheart," was actually Canadian

True

47%

Action hero Superman was co-created by Canadian Joe Shuster

True

44%

Actor Kiefer Sutherland is the grandson of Tommy Douglas, the "Father of universal healthcare"

True

36%

The Beatles performed their first North American show at Crescentwood Community Club in Winnipeg

False

33%

 

Statements about geography 

Correct Answer

% correct

Churchill, Manitoba is known as the "Polar Bear capital of the world"

True

59%

Place names in Canada include Joe Batt's Arm, Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! and Vulcan

True

49%

Wood Buffalo National Park, which straddles the Alberta/Northwest Territories border, is larger than Switzerland

True

49%

St. Paul, Alberta, is home to the world's first UFO landing pad

True

27%

Canada's own version of the Loch Ness Monster, Ogopogo, lives in Lake Okanagan

True

61%

The Yukon is home to the world's highest unclimbed mountain, King Peak

False

21%

 

Statements about sports

Correct Answer

% correct

The first NBA game was played in Toronto in 1946 between the New York Knickerbockers and the Toronto Huskies

True

33%

Babe Ruth hit his first professional homerun in Toronto, while playing for the Providence Grays

True

32%

Montreal Canadiens players once lost the Stanley Cup after leaving it on the side of the road while changing a tire (and thankfully found it later)

True

45%

Montreal Expos mascot Youppi was the first mascot ever to be ejected from a Major League Baseball game

True

39%

Hockey player Paul Henderson, hero of the 1972 Summit Series, was born in a sleigh on Lake Huron

True

24%

Zamboni racing was included in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, as a demonstration sport

False

38%

 

Statements about history 

Correct Answer

% correct

Every year the Netherlands sends tulips to Canada as a thank you for hosting the royal family during the Second World War

True

61%

The first electric lightbulb was invented by Canadians Mathew Evans and Henry Woodward, who later sold the patent to Thomas Edison

True

33%

Despite the name, Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada

True

62%

While vacationing in Barbados in 1965, future Prime Minister John Turner saw former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker struggling in the ocean and pulled him safely to shore

True

19%

There are 60 distinct Indigenous languages spoken across Canada

True

53%

After her coronation, Queen Elizabeth's first international visit was to Canada, to attend the inaugural performance at the now world-renowned Stratford Festival

False

10%

 

Statements about general knowledge 

Correct Answer

% correct

Canada produces roughly 80% of the world's maple syrup

True

79%

The coldest recorded temperature in Canada was -62.8 degrees Celsius in Snag, Yukon

True

58%

The Wonderbra and the jockstrap are Canadian inventions

True

47%

In the winter the Rideau Canal in Ottawa becomes the world's largest skating rink

True

79%

Just 10 of the more than 125 species of maple trees found worldwide are native to Canada

True

47%

Moncton, N.B., has been named the world's snowiest city

False

19%

 

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 13 and 15, 2018, on behalf of Historica Canada. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources. Quota sampling and weighting were employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO
Historica Canada
+1 416 506 1867
info@historicacanada.ca

Sean Simpson, Vice President
Ipsos, Canada
+1 416 324 2002
Sean.Simpson@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of Canadian American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.
Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, Ipsos Public Affairs is the polling partner for Global News. Internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.
With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.
Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.
Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs

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