Check Out Canada’s Biggest Roadside Attractions (Literally!)
Canada is a big country, after all. Is it any wonder we like our roadside attractions super-sized?
Hey, big spender! Hopefully you have deep pockets because the Big Nickel in Greater Sudbury is the world’s largest coin. Built in 1964 by Ted Szliva, this five-cent coin celebrates the region’s status as a world leader in the mining industry. Weighing in at almost 12,000 kilograms, the Big Nickel is 64-million times larger than the humble Canadian coin that inspired it. Visitors can marvel at the world’s largest piece of spare change year round at Science North’s Dynamic Earth attraction.
Canada’s Largest Loonie
Echo Bay, Ontario
Not to be outdone, the Village of Echo Bay—a three hour drive west of Sudbury—upped the ante by installing Canada’s largest loonie in 1992. Formally known as the Loon Dollar Monument, the colossal coin makes a fun stop along Highway 17—even if it doesn’t change size relative to inflation.
Discover more hidden gems across Ontario.
Larger-Than-Life Lawn Mower
Enderby, British Columbia
Sad to discover that the World’s Biggest Hoe as seen in Corner Gas was a work of fiction? Take heart: Enderby, B.C. offers a gargantuan gardening implement that’s very, very real.
“My wife, Linda, asked me to build ’something big’ for our tool museum,” writes Enderby’s Herb Higgin-Bottom. “I said yes—that was my first mistake! A little more than a year later, we had an 18-foot-high, 11-foot-wide, 1,458-pound steel lawn mower. We get so many smiles and laughs, it was well worth the effort.”
You’ll also have a laugh at this list of the funniest town names across Canada.
World’s Largest Dinosaur
Drumheller is world-famous for its rich deposits of dinosaur bones and fossils. Stood in the heart of Alberta’s Badlands, the town bills itself as the dinosaur capital of the world. To celebrate its prehistoric notoriety, Drumheller has welcomed the world’s largest dinosaur into its midst. Not content to be the same height as a real Tyrannosaurus Rex, Drumheller’s starlet is four and a half times the size of the real deal. For an admission price, visitors can climb high into her mouth for an unparalleled view of the Badlands.
World’s Largest Hockey Stick
Duncan, British Columbia
A slap shot sent flying from this hockey stick would be a goalie’s worst nightmare. Inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, the city of Duncan nets a winner with this monstrous hockey stick. Crafted from rugged Douglas Fir and reinforced with steel, this game-changer has a reach of 62 metres and tips the scales at 28,000 kilograms. Originally created for Vancouver’s Expo ’86 celebrations, the world’s largest hockey stick (and puck) now resides outside the Cowichan Community Centre—a rink that locals now affectionately call ‘The Stick.’ You can’t get more Canadian than that.
New to the game? These stock hockey phrases will have you sounding like an expert in no time.
The Big Apple
Sorry, New York City, but it looks like you have some fruity competition. Colborne, Ontario’s Big Apple is said to be the world’s largest apple-shaped structure. It’s so huge that this red beauty could hold 653,800 real apples. Opened in 1987, the Big Apple attracts fruit lovers from around the globe. Visitors are encouraged to scramble to the top of the core—10 metres up—to take in sweeping panoramic views. Hungry after your climb? The Big Apple sells a tasty menu of its famed homemade apple pies, breads, cookies, muffins as well as candy apples. Be sure to bring a huge appetite. The Big Apple’s oven can bake 450 pies at a time!
Here are 10 iconic Canadian dishes everyone needs to try at least once (and the best places to find them).
World’s Largest Canada Goose
Beloved around the world as a symbol of our great nation (unless you happen to be walking along a waterfront trail, that is), the Canada Goose is lovingly feted in Wawa, Ontario. The world’s largest Canada Goose first came to nest here beside the Trans-Canada Highway in 1960. Rather fittingly, Wawa means “Wild Goose” or “Land of the Big Goose” in Ojibway. Visitors flocking to see Wawa’s much photographed big bird will find her standing guard outside the township’s Tourist Information Centre.
Don’t miss this gorgeous gallery showcasing Canada’s most beautiful birds.
Canada and the humble beaver have a long, illustrious relationship. The trade of beaver pelts is what put Canada on the explorers’ maps in the 1600s. Since that time, the beaver has been featured on stamps, coins and the shield of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Granted status in 1975 as an official emblem of Canada, it’s hardly surprising that a giant beaver statue gazes over one of the country’s most charming communities. In July 2004, the northwestern Alberta town of Beaverlodge unveiled a three-metre high beaver to mark its 75th anniversary. A favourite of tourists, the giant beaver is a bona fide Canadian icon.
Find out the real story of how Canada got its name.
World’s Largest Axe
Nackawic, New Brunswick
Imagine the size of the lumberjack who misplaced this axe! Wedged in the earth of the riverside town of Nackawic, New Brunswick, the world’s largest axe is an imposing symbol of the region’s forestry industry. Chosen as the Forestry Capital of Canada in 1991, Nackawic’s gargantuan woodchopper powerfully drives this point home. Rising 15 metres above the shores of the Saint John River, the world’s largest axe is one of Canada’s most unique super-size tourist attractions.
Here are 10 experiences on the east coast of Canada worth adding to your itinerary.
Mac the Moose
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Mac the Moose takes his job as Moose Jaw’s most famous tourism ambassador seriously. Standing watch over the city’s visitor centre since 1984, Mac is 10 metres tall and weighs in at a whopping 9,000 kilograms.
Here are the 10 places in Canada every Canadian needs to visit.
World’s Largest Fiddle
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Many Canadians enjoy music, but Nova Scotia folk go to extremes when it comes to their favourite ear candy. On the forecourt of the Sydney Marine Terminal overlooking the harbour stands the world’s largest fiddle. Traditional Celtic fiddle music is in the blood of Cape Bretoners. During the 18th century, thousands of Scottish immigrants escaped the turmoil of the Highland Clearances and travelled to Nova Scotia for a more peaceful existence. Packed for the journey: their love of traditional fiddle music. Today, Nova Scotia’s Celtic musical roots are deeply entrenched in its culture and as a result, music is one of the province’s biggest exports. Nova Scotia musicians Ashley MacIsaac, Natalie MacMaster and the Rankin Family have taken their brand of Celtic music around the globe to international acclaim.
These stunning Nova Scotia pictures will have you packing your bags for Halifax.
The World’s Largest Painting on an Easel
Did you know that famed artist Vincent van Gogh has a unique connection to Manitoba? Reaching for the clouds high above Altona’s Millenium Park is one of the world’s largest tributes to the Dutch painter. Leaning atop one of the world’s largest easels is a 23 metre high reproduction of a van Gogh sunflower painting. Local artist Cameron Cross lovingly created this uncanny copy of the floral masterpiece in 1998. The ambitious project took two and a half years, 17 gallons of paint and 24 sheets of plywood to complete. Why Altona? The town is renowned as the sunflower capital of Canada.
These cheery sunflower photos are sure to brighten your day.
Glovers Harbour, Newfoundland
In 1878, a 22-ton giant squid beached near Glovers Harbour, Newfoundland. Its body was six metres long; the longest tentacle was more than 10 metres long; and its eye is said to be the largest ever recorded. “It must have been quite a sight,” says Tony Scott Collins of Labrador, who took this photo of the replica that stands near the discovery.
Come from away? Here are some common Newfoundland sayings, decoded.
Tignish, Prince Edward Island
Looks like someone’s got mail! Leo MacDonald of Stratford, Prince Edward Island, snapped this photo of his wife, Marilyn, during a tour of the western end of the island.
Check out the best Canadian attractions you’ve never heard of.
Cow Bay Moose
Cow Bay, Nova Scotia
“This friendly giant stands guard over Silver Sands Beach, in nearby Cow Bay, a popular destination for surfers,” says Bob Upham of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Designed by Winston Bronnun, the 12-foot moose was built in 1959 and is made of concrete.
For a close encounter of another kind, check out the best wildlife experiences across Canada.
Giant Rocking Horse
Some years ago, Jill Munro of Munro’s Furnishings in Innisfil, Ontario, sent along this photo of a huge wooden rocking horse built by the craftsmen at her family’s store. It took almost a month to construct and measures an impressive 23 feet in length, 9 feet wide and 20 feet high. The horse was assembled over a three-day weekend in October 2009 during a block party sponsored by Munro’s.
As well as furniture made of pine, maple and oak, Munro’s had been building rocking horses for years, so when they decided to build a “giant something” to draw attention to the store, a rocking horse seemed like a natural choice. At one point, the humongous horse was a Guinness Book of World Records holder, and has since rocked its way through several different locations in the community.
Discover 10 of Canada’s quirkiest museums.
New Liskeard, Ontario
Miss Claybelt is a five-metre-tall fibreglass cow that stands in New Liskeard, Ontario, at the junction of Highway 11 and Highway 11B, north of town. Sue Desjardins of London, Ontario, sent along this photo of her daughter, Cyndy, getting ready for milking. Their road trip was a homecoming of sorts, as Sue and her husband, Fern, are originally from New Liskeard.
Here are 25 cow jokes that Miss Claybelt would appreciate.
The Mammoth Mosquito
Caribou Crossing Trading Post, Yukon
“My wife, Nicole, and I love taking Sunday drives and road trips,” says David Diamond of Bathurst, New Brunswick. “While touring in the Yukon, we came upon this giant mosquito in a field next to the Caribou Crossing Trading Post and Yukon Wildlife Museum. I wouldn’t be so quick as to call it a friendly giant, because they really like to stick it to you! I’m just glad I’m not at the receiving end of this one!” We’re itching just looking at it!
We asked, you answered: apparently, these are the worst places for mosquitoes across Canada.
Clinton, British Columbia
“My friend Sophie and I were on vacation and heard about a place in Clinton, B.C., where there are more than 100 objects made of scrap metal,” says David Pinhey of Surrey, B.C. “This motorcycle is made of spare car and truck parts,” says David, who snapped Sophie and her dog, Misia, with the super-sized ‘cycle.
Here are more hidden gems of B.C. that are worth exploring.
Steveston, British Columbia
“This photo was taken by my father, Dave Kemp,” writes Shannon Turner of Richmond, B.C. “It’s a monument to the fishermen lost at sea off the west coast.” The towering aluminum memorial is modeled after the needle traditionally used to repair damaged fishing nets.
Discover to unforgettable day trips from Vancouver.
A Majestic Crown
Eunice Campion of Coronation, Alberta, sent along this photo snapped by her friend Tony Selzer. This huge crown measures six metres high and five metres wide. Made of polished aluminum and containing more than 3,000 purple lights, ”It’s a welcoming beacon shining out on the dusty prairie,” writes Eunice.
Take a look back at the most memorable royal tours of Canada.
The World’s Largest Paperclip
Ready for a backstory that’s larger-than-life? It begins with deal-maker extraordinaire Kyle McDonald, who bartered his way up from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of 14 online trades over the course of a year. One of the conditions of that final transaction was the construction of a momument to the asset that kicked off the unlikely chain of events. Made of solid steel, measuring 15-feet-two-inches tall and three-feet-two-inches wide, and weighing more than 3,000 pounds, the World’s Largest Paperclip now serves as a popular tourist attraction in Kipling, Saskatchewan.
Check out more hilarious news headlines that could only happen in Canada.
A Great Big Bison
St. Louis, Saskatchewan
Elsie Fast of Saskatoon poses with this “Bison Antiquus” in her hometown of St. Louis, Saskatchewan. According to Elsie’s brother, Larry Hodgson, this life-size fibreglass replica (based on 9,120-year-old bones found just a couple of kilometres east of St. Louis) was the last creation of artist Ralph Berg of Cabri, Saskatchewan.
Here are 10 historical landmarks every Canadian should visit.
The Volkswagen Spider
Tracy Lajeunesse of Kenora, Ontario, sent in this photo of her niece and nephew, Jordan (right) and Jamie, taken during a family visit. The bug-eyed spider is an attention-grabber for Godbout Auto Services, a local towing company.
Start the car! We’re counting down the 10 best Canadian road trips.
Shep the Sandpiper
Dorchester, New Brunswick
Dorchester, New Brunswick, is close to the Shepody mudflats where thousands of sandpipers gather each year to feed before flying south for winter. Normally weighing about 30 grams, the bird can double its weight in days during the feeding frenzy! It would take a lot longer than that for this 4-1/2-metre sculpture, created by Monty MacMillan of Oromocto to double its weight!
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The Saamis Tepee
Medicine Hat, Alberta
The Saamis (Blackfoot for medicine) tepee stands 20 storeys high and weights nearly 1,000 tons. Located close to the Trans-Canada Highway as it passes through Medicine Hat, this steel structure is lit up at night and was originally built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
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Canada’s Largest Baseball Glove
Every year, Linda Ronsko and her sister-in-law take their two granddaughters on a day trip. “For our second annual day trip, we decided to take the girls to Big Knife Provincial Park near Forestburg, Alberta,” writes Ronsko. “On the way there, we stopped in the town of Heisler, where both girls were able to sit in the palm of Canada’s Largest Baseball Glove. In 2007, a local artist built the glove next to the town’s baseball diamond.”
Next, they may not be the biggest, but these are certainly the quirkiest roadside attractions across Canada!