Happy 150th birthday, Canada — you don’t look a day over 149. To mark the sesquicentennial anniversary of Confederation, Ratehub.ca staffers spent months collecting 150 facts on all things finance — historic milestones, highs and lows, eyebrow-raising stats on wealth, and political decisions and policies that have shaped where we’re at now, and where we’re headed. We’ve curated all 150 facts on our money facts microsite, divided among 10 categories: banking, business, currency, economy, government, insurance, policy, real estate, stock market, and wealth.
On Twitter, @RateHub will share 150 money facts in 150 hours leading up to July 1.
Here’s a sneak peek of 10 of our favourite facts from each of the 10 categories:
- Banking Canada has only had two banks fail since 1923 — the U.S. has had more than 17,000.
- Insurance The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire is now officially Canada’s costliest disaster. The Insurance Bureau of Canada revealed the blaze caused $3.6 billion of damage.
- Currency 2004 was Canada’s year of peak counterfeiting: 553,000 phoney bank notes were passed. For every million in circulation that year, nearly 500 bills were fake.
- Policy 2001: Equal tax benefits are extended to same-sex couples, four years before gay marriage is legalized in Canada.
- Real estate What may be Canada’s most expensive home ever is currently on the market: for a cool $65 million, you can buy the 47,000-square ft. Chelster Hall mansion in Oakville, Ont.
- Wealth A 2016 study named Vancouver Canada’s first “city of millionaires,” with the average household net worth hitting $1,036,202. British Columbia is home to the country’s richest households, followed by Ontario.
- Stock market Here’s a dubious honour: In 2013, four Canadians were charged in what U.S. authorities called one of the largest international penny stock frauds ever. The scam bilked investors out of $140 million.
- Government The tradition’s origin is unknown, but Canadian ministers of finance must buy or wear new shoes the day the budget is delivered. The earliest mention of the tradition comes from a 1960s newspaper article.
- Business Retailers aren’t under any legal obligation to accept any particular coins or bank notes. Many refuse $50 or $100 bills due to counterfeiting, but technically, a business owner who has beef with Wilfrid Laurier could refuse to take $5 bills, for example.
- Economy Jan. 21, 2002: the Canadian dollar hit its all-time low against the greenback, dropping to US61.79 cents.
- Top 5 Destinations to Visit for Canada’s 150th Birthday
- Infographic: Our 15 Favourite Canada 150 Facts