From giant beavers to UFO landing pads, from naturally occurring formations to manmade objects of whimsy, here are 12 BIG things or quirky landmarks in Canada that will tickle your funny bone.
1-The World’s Largest Fiddle (Sydney, Nova Scotia)
Sydney’s world’s largest violin overlooks the Port of Sydney in Nova Scotia.
This beacon has become a symbol for the many cruise liners that dock at the new pier and serves as a warm welcome mat to the cruise goers who disembark for their day excursions.
The big fiddle also serves as a fabulous example of Nova Scotia’s strong musical roots, which of course stems from the thousands of fiddlers who have called this province home.
2-Canada’s version of Nessie (Kelowna, British Columbia)
Canada’s version of the Lochness monster harbours in the deep Okanagan Lake in British Columbia.
Known as Ogopogo, you will be hard-pressed to ever see this magical, mysterious lake monster. But you can be guaranteed a fun photo-op with the green sea dragon statue in Kelowna’s City Park.
3-The Big Apple (Colborne, Ontario)
Canada’s Big Apple reigns proud outside the small, sleepy hamlet of Colborne, Ontario. As far as big things go, this one well and truly qualifies.
4-Jumbo the ‘King of Elephants’ (St Thomas, Ontario)
The life-size statue of Jumbo the Elephant in St Thomas, Ontario is stands as a tribute to Jumbo the elephant, the most famous elephant in the world.
In the circus world, Jumbo was one of the big things in more ways than one. Jumbo was the main attraction of P.T. Barnum’s Circus.
Jumbo died tragically after being hit by a train in the small town of St. Thomas in 1995.
So it should be no surprise the name Jumbo has come to mean anything that is extra-large.
5-UFO Landing Pad (St Paul, Alberta)
Who needs to fly to Mars to see if there’s life when there’s a UFO Landing Pad … in Canada. No kidding!!
This structure located in the small town of St. Paul Alberta, was built as a Centennial project in 1967 to commemorate Canada’s 100th birthday.
Incidentally that year St. Paul, Alberta was also declared the Centennial Capital of Canada.
The pad – billed as the world’s first UFO Landing Pad – was erected to attract local and extraterrestrial tourists. None of the latter have ever showed up.
The town further expanded the attraction in the 1990s by adding a UFO tourist info centre, where visitors can see photos and documents of UFO sightings.
Watch this rare UFO sighting at the St. Paul landing pad caught on amateur video
6-Starship USS Enterprise (Vulcan, Alberta)
You won’t find any humanoid looking Vulcans as immortalised by the actor Leonard Nimoy in his iconic role of Spock in the hit TV series and film franchise Star Trek.
You will find a replica of the famous Star Trek rocket ship known as the Starship USS Enterprise standing proudly in this wee Prairie town.
Locals are now preparing for next year’s big 50th Star Trek anniversary bash.
7-World’s Largest Perogy (Glendon, Alberta)
The World’s Largest Perogy can’t be eaten but is greatly admired.
The foodie symbol represents the thousands of Ukrainian settlers who arrived to plant roots in this largely rural farming area.
Head to Glendon, Alberta, the province’s Perogy Capital, to view the massive boiled dumpling objet d’art. You can’t miss it.
The perogy sculpture stands eight meters tall and weighs 2700kg.
Head to the gift shop and Pyrogy Park Cafe right next door to purchase some real perogies to take home. The large dumpling-like structure is located in Pyrogy Park on Pyrogy Drive.
8-The Big Nickel (Sudbury, Ontario)
Coin collectors will want to spend some coin to venture to see the world’s largest coin … which looms high in Canada.
It’s called the Big Nickel. This replica of the 1951 Canadian nickel coin is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest coin.
The Big Nickel is a landmark in the mining city of Sudbury in northern Ontario which was once home to the largest nickel mine in the world.
In 2014 locals celebrated the roadside attraction’s 50th anniversary with a big Technicolor fireworks show. Watch the video.
9-The Wawa Goose Monument (Wawa, Ontario)
Canada’s goose gets top billing as one of Canada’s big things. Canada Goose parka apparel is known for its thick, warm down insulation; and cinephiles love to watch the sweet documentary starring Canadian inventor Bill Lishman whose life project of the Canadian Geese was depicted in the movie classic, Fly Away Home.
So it’s no wonder there’s a roadside attraction dedicated to this bird. Head to Wawa, Ontario to see the Wawa Goose Statue.
“Wawa” is a native Ojibwe word for wild goose. The statue is 8.5m tall and was erected in 1960.
The Wawa Goose has also been immortalized in a Stompin’ Tom Connors folk song. Listen here
10-The World’s Largest Bee (Falher, Alberta)
It doesn’t sting but it sure is sweet. Of course the huge roadside monument, about the size of a compact car, represents the town which is known as the “Honey Capital of Canada.”
Its creator, a local Richard Ethier built it entirely from steel in 1990 to commemorate the town’s first honey festival.
In Falher, more than 48,000 bee colonies are busy producing over 4.5 million kilograms of clover honey every year. The big bee is located downtown on Main Street in Bee Park.
11-The Giant Beaver (Beaverlodge, Alberta)
It gets pretty fascinating watching busy beavers but it also gets pretty surreal spotting the world’s largest beaver, and no, it’s not a monster in a horror flick either.
The Giant Beaver located in Beaverlodge Alberta was carved to celebrate the town’s 75th anniversary.
The beloved sculpture of Canada’s national animal is 4.5m high and 8.5m long. Now that’s one big beaver!
12-World’s Largest Axe (Nackawic, New Brunswick)
You might think this monumentally huge tool was a weird prop from a B-grade horror movie.
This solid piece of shiny steel is actually a monument to the lumber and forestry industry.
Located in Nackawic, New Brunswick and built in 1991, the huge woodsman’s axe is a symbol to hardworking Canadian lumberjacks.
In the year the axe was installed, Nackawic was named the “Forestry Capital of Canada.”
The shining, chromed-axe head is seven metres long and made of a solid piece of steel that was planted into a concrete stump 10m in diameter.
The axe handle extends 15m into the air and there’s a time capsule embedded in the axe head for future generations.
Ilona Kauremszky is an award-winning travel writer who lives in Ontario