Business Facts From Canada
Canada has a rich history when it comes to business, that sometimes is forgotten.
For fun, here are some little-known facts about business in Canada for you to share at your next get together:
- Income Tax – Income tax in Canada has only been around since 1917. Prior to that, no one paid taxes, not even businesses. Around the time of the first world war, the government brought in temporary tax measures, that were later made permanent as the government increased spending on infrastructure and veteran benefits.
- Pennies – While these have gone by the wayside in Canada, did you know that legally you could only use up to a maximum of 25 pennies when paying for your goods. If we were still producing pennies today, it would cost 1.76 cents to make just one penny.
- Silver – The world’s richest silver vein was found in Cobalt Ontario in 1903. Until around 1965, the silver mines in the area produced a total of almost 1.2 million tonnes of silver ore or 11,921 million grams of silver. In today’s value, that would be $90 trillion dollars or approximately $1.5 trillion / year.
- Oil – When you hear oil, you might think about Alberta, but the first oil company in the world was actually founded in Oil Springs, Ontario. Charles Tripp received approval for his commercial oil company, International Mining and Manufacturing Company, on December 18, 1954.
- Tidal Power – The only tidal power plant in North America was built near Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia in 1984. It has the world’s largest straight-flow turbine generator, capable of producing more than 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power some 4,500 homes.
- Banks – Canada’s first bank was The New Bank of Montreal which opened by John Richardson and eight merchants on November 3, 1817 in a rented house at 32 Paul Street in Montreal. It underwent a name change to its current one in 1822. Today the bank boasts over 900 branches and 7 million customers.
- Breweries – Canada is home to the oldest brewery in North America. Molson was established in Montreal in 1786 by John Molson in Montreal by the Molson family. In 2005, Molson merges with the Coors Company to become Molson Coors. John Molson and his sons also founded the Molson Bank, which later merged with the Bank of Montreal.
- Speaking of Beer – Canada, with an average tax rate of 50% on beer, is the second highest taxed suds-drinking country in the world. The combination of municipal, provincial/territorial and federal taxes draw $4.3 Billion annually.
- Salt – Canada’s largest salt mine is located in Goderich, Ontario and is owned by Sifto Canada. It produces 7,250,000 tonnes of salt every year. Primary products are table salt, fine evaporated salt, water conditioning salt, agricultural salt and highway deicing salt.
- Movies – Famous Player Canadian Corporation is one of the oldest film companies, with ties to the early days of Famous Players Film Company (later Paramount Pictures), founded in 1912. The company bought the Nathan Nathanson’s Paramount Theatre chain in 1920 and have been a presence in Canada ever since.
- Mustard – Canada is the world’s largest producer with a majority of the crop being grown in Saskatchewan. There are over 154 thousand tonnes of mustard seed produced every year and this is expected to grow by over 10% annually to 2026.
- French Fries – McCain Foods Limited is the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato products. The company was established in 1957 and continues to have it’s head office in Florenceville, New Brunswick. In their first year the company hired 30 employees and grossed $150,000 and today they boast over 20,000 employees and gross $8.5 billion annually.
There is much to be proud of…go Canada!
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