Anyone who says everything’s bigger in Texas clearly hasn’t been to Canada. And we’re not just talking about land mass. Take a cross-country road trip and you’ll notice a trend that crosses provincial borders: Canadians have a big thing for, um… big things. Here’s a coast-to-coast glimpse at some of the most interesting roadside attractions in Canada.
1. Giant Squid — Glovers Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador
In 1878, fishermen working near Glovers Harbour (then called Thimble Tickle Bay) pulled in a massive 55-foot long giant squid. Since then, the catch has been recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest squid, earned a 2011 Canada Post stamp and a life-sized steel and concrete statue.
2. Fidheal Mhor A’ Ceilidh (Big Fiddle of the Ceilidh) — Sydney, Nova Scotia
Visit the Port of Sydney and you can’t miss the 60-foot fiddle and bow sitting just outside the building. And since Cape Breton is known for its longstanding Celtic culture, a fiddle is the perfect icon to feature. It also plays songs by Kinnon Beaton, a local musician.
3. Giant Potato — O’Leary, P.E.I.
Although Prince Edward Island’s export industries now include aerospace and bioscience, they simply can’t beat the good, old-fashioned potato business. With more than 88,000 acres of potatoes being farmed every year, it just makes sense to honour the bounty with a giant potato statue. Check it out at the Canadian Potato Museum in O’Leary.
4. World’s Largest Axe — Nackawic, New Brunswick
In 1991, the Canadian Forestry Association bestowed the title of “Forestry Capital of Canada” upon Nackawic. Although the town only got to keep the title for a year before they had to hand it over to Chetwynd, B.C., it decided to celebrate the honour by building a 50-foot stainless steel axe. Fun fact: there’s a time capsule inside the axe head.
5. Le Proliferateur — Montreal, Q.C.
Visit Montreal’s Parc Lafontaine and you may stumble across a 50-foot high slingshot carved from a dead poplar. The statue was created in honour of the 1987 film, L’homme qui plantait les arbres (The Man Who Planted Trees), by animator and environmental activist Frédéric Back.
6. World’s Largest Photo Mosaic — Port Carling, Ontario
If you need a break from larger-than-life objects and animals, check out the Port Carling Wall. While the wall’s primary image is huge (the RMS Sagamo), it’s made up of more than 9000 smaller images of Port Carling from 1860 to 1960.
7. World’s Largest Freestanding Banana — Melita, Manitoba
Melita is considered Manitoba’s “banana belt,” a term given to any area that’s generally warmer than other parts of the same region. So of course, when the town decided to build a sculpture to attract tourists, a massive cartoon banana was the obvious choice.
8. World’s Largest Coffee Pot — Davidson, Saskatchewan
Davidson has a relatively small population of a little more than 1000 residents, but its central location makes it the perfect meeting place for people from all over Saskatchewan. The 7.3-metre coffee pot and matching mug set up at the town’s entrance celebrate the idea of hospitality.
9. World’s Largest Oil Lamp Replica — Donalda, Alberta
In 1979, two local residents, Don and Beth Lawson, donated 500 lamps to the Donalda & District Museum. The collection now includes almost 900 lamps dating from 1850 to 1950. The collection’s crown jewel? The 42-foot high steel and fibreglass lamp that sits outside (and really lights up!)
10. Digital Orca — Vancouver, British Columbia
The Digital Orca positioned next to the Vancouver Convention Centre is the brainchild of author and visual artist Douglas Coupland. Made out of aluminum and stainless steel, the blocks that form the orca sculpture give it a pixelated appearance that makes it hard to look away.