Earth Day... by the numbers


April 22 is Earth Day! Here are some interesting facts compiled to mark this special day.

(Last updated: April 18, 2018)


Our country is rich in freshwater resources! It has the third largest renewable freshwater supply worldwide and the second largest amount per capita among developed countries, at 103,899 m3 per person.

  • 1,169,561 km2 – The area of freshwater in Canada, accounting for 11.7% of the country's total area.

Source: Freshwater in Canada, Human Activity and the Environment, 2016.

  • 244,160 km2 – The total area of the Great Lakes, of which just over one third (35.8%) is on the Canadian side of the border.

Source: Summary tables: The Great Lakes, dimensions.

  • 31,328 km2 – The area of Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, the largest lake wholly within Canada.
  • 614 metres – The depth of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories, the deepest lake in Canada.
  • 4,241 km – The length of Mackenzie River, Northwest Territories, from its furthest source to its ultimate outflow, the longest river in Canada.
  • 440 metres – The height of Della Falls, British Columbia, the highest waterfall in Canada.
  • 2,765 km2 – The area of Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, Ontario, which holds the title of the world's largest island in a freshwater lake.

Source: Canada Year Book, 2012.

  • 3, 497 km3 – The average of renewable freshwater per year produced by Canada. That's more than twice the volume of Lake Ontario!

Source: Ecosystem accounting: Thematic accounts, 1971 to 2014.

Parks and green spaces

Parks and green spaces are more than simply a way to beautify neighbourhoods and cities. They provide places for Canadians to relax and play outdoors, interact with nature, and are habitats for plants and animals!

  • 87% – The proportion of households that reported they had a park or green space close to home in 2015. Among these, 87% visited one of these nearby parks or green spaces in 2015.

Source: CANSIM, table 153-0148.


In addition to enhancing the aesthetics of a property, the presence of trees and bushes provide a variety of benefits! For example, they clean the air and produce oxygen, they help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion, and they provide habitat and food for wildlife.

  • 87% – The proportion of Canadian households who reported the presence of trees, bushes or hedges on their property in 2015.

Source: CANSIM, table 153-0159.


Canada's diverse landscapes support a great abundance and variety of birds, one of the most common types of wild animals Canadians see on a regular basis!

  • 25% – The proportion of Canadian households that had bird feeders and bird houses in their yards in 2015.
  • 8% – The proportion of Canadian households that had bought products such as bird identification books or binoculars, or took trips to watch birds in 2015.

Source: CANSIM, table 153-0130.

  • 319,303 – The number of binoculars imported to Canada in 2017.
  • $23,404,920 – The value of binoculars imported to Canada in 2017.

Source: Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database.

Outdoor activities

Canadians often use natural areas in their neighbourhood for outdoor activities!

  • 72% – The proportion of Canadian households who reported that someone in the household had participated in outdoor activities close to home in 2015.

Source: CANSIM, table 153-0153.

  • 59% – The proportion of Canadian households who reported, in 2015, that they grew fruits, herbs, vegetables or flowers for personal use in the previous 12 months.

Source: CANSIM, table 153-0156.

Protecting wildlife and our natural environment

There are many ways Canadians can become involved in the conservation and protection of the environment. They can, for example, donate money to an environmental conservation organization or volunteer to help clean up a park, or join an environmental group.

  • 17% – The proportion of Canadian households that engaged in unpaid activities aimed at conservation or protection of the environment or wildlife in 2015. Among these, 4 out of 10 households helped clean up shorelines, beaches, rivers, lakes or roadsides.

Source: CANSIM, table 153-0151.

Electricity consumption

  • 1.3 million terajoules (TJ) – The amount of electricity used by Canadian households in 2015, or 92.5 gigajoules (GJ) per household.

Source: "Households and the Environment Survey: Energy use, 2015",The Daily, Friday, December 1, 2017.

  • $1,421 – The average household spending on electricity for principal accommodation in 2016.

Source: CANSIM, table 203-0021.


  • 93% – The proportion of Canadian households reporting having a thermostat in their dwelling in 2015. Among these, 57% of households reported they lowered the temperature when the household was asleep during the winter.

Source: CANSIM, table 153-0060.

Perfect places to connect with nature

Here is a list of places across Canada for which their founders may have been inspired by nature.

  • Bel-Aire, Alberta
  • Big Salmon, Yukon
  • Cardinal, Ontario
  • Campania, Ontario
  • Camper, Manitoba
  • Cariboo Meadows, British Columbia
  • Clearwater, British Columbia
  • Cottage Cove, Nova Scotia
  • Dufrost, Manitoba
  • Eau Claire, Alberta
  • Fauna, Saskatchewan
  • Floral, Saskatchewan
  • Gooseberry Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Green Bush, New Brunswick
  • Hunters Home, New Brunswick
  • Jumbo Glacier, British Columbia
  • Latulipe, Quebec
  • Le Petit-Rainbow, Quebec
  • Little Salmonier, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Oyster Bed, Prince Edward Island
  • Picnic Grove, Ontario
  • Polaris, Nunavut
  • Robinhood, Saskatchewan
  • Rock in the Woods, Quebec
  • Sailors Hope, Prince Edward Island
  • Snowflake, Manitoba
  • Sweet Grass, Alberta
  • The Beaver Lodge, Northwest Territories
  • Twentymile Cabin, Yukon
  • Whispering Pines, Nova Scotia

Source: 2016 Census Profile

See also Environment Fact Sheets.

For more information about this page or for help finding more data, contact Media Relations.

See features on many other subjects in By the numbers.

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