This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.


15 things that have happened in Canada since the last 'Christmas Moon'

  • Dec 21, 2015
  • 842 words
  • 4 minutes
A full moon shines above boats decked out with holiday lights in Port de Grave, Nfld. Expand Image

If you look up at the sky on Christmas morning this year, you’ll witness something you’ve quite possibly never seen on that particular day: a full moon.

The last full moon of 2015 will be at its fullest at 6:11 a.m. ET on December 25th.

The last time the moon’s peak coincided with Christmas was in 1977, meaning if you’re younger than 38 years old, you’ve never seen a full moon on Christmas.

Since that admittedly applies to most of our editors, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the momentous things that have happened in Canada since the last “Christmas Moon.”

1. We created a new territory

Expand Image
An Inukshuk in Iqaluit, NU. (Photo: Fiona Hunt/Can Geo Photo Club)

Nunavut, Canada’s newest and largest territory, was officially separated from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999.

2. Canadian Geographic put out 228 issues

That’s a lot of geography. Shameless plug: Become a subscriber and never miss an issue!

3. We’ve had nine different Prime Ministers

Justin Trudeau will be PM for this year’s ‘Christmas Moon.’ Coincidentally, his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was in office for the 1977 ‘Christmas Moon.’

4. We hosted the Olympics – twice

Expand Image
The Olympic rings permanently grace Canadian Olympic House, the Montreal headquarters of the Canadian Olympic Committee. (Photo: Falisha Karpati/CanGeo Photo Club)

The 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary kicked off a period of development for Canada as a winter sport nation, culminating in a record 14 gold medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

5. Canadian hockey teams won the Stanley Cup 10 times

The last time was in 1993 when the Montreal Canadiens beat the Los Angeles Kings in five games. We’d observe that the Canadiens are looking pretty good this season, but we don’t want to jinx it.

6. We went to space for the first time — and kept going

Expand Image
Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk on the International Space Station. (Photo: NASA/Wikimedia Commons.)

In 1984, Marc Garneau became the first Canadian to go to space, serving as a payload specialist on the Challenger shuttle. Since then, eight more Canadian astronauts have followed in his footsteps. Read about four who have lived aboard the International Space Station.

7. We introduced the Species At Risk Act

Expand Image
A pod of endangered orcas in the Johnstone Strait. (Photo: Steven Rose/CanGeo Photo Club.)

Adopted in 2002, the Species At Risk Act is a major piece of legislation aimed at preventing endangered and extirpated wildlife species in Canada from disappearing altogether. Here’s how it works.

8. We’ve grown by 11.4 million people

Expand Image
Canada Day crowds in downtown Ottawa. (Photo: Carolyn Janzen/CanGeo Photo Club)

The world needed more Canada.

9. Toronto overtook Chicago as the fourth-largest city in North America

Chicago still has worse traffic, though.

10. Canadian Geographic Travel launched

The first issue of Travel was published in summer 2007 and featured island getaways, the best rivers for canoeing and Newfoundland eco-art. Shameless plug #2: Watch for the next issue of Travel on newsstands March 28th, 2016.

11. We created 14 new national parks

Expand Image
Hiking in Grasslands National Park. (Photo: Matthew Perkins/CanGeo Photo Club)

Shameless plug #3: Our spring issue of Canadian Geographic Travel will highlight some of the best experiences you can have in Canada’s national parks and feature two of Canada’s newest and most remote parks, Torngat Mountains and Tuktut Nogait, founded in 2008 and 1996 respectively.

12. We found Erebus!

Expand Image
SONAR scan of the wreck of HMS Erebus. (Photo: Parks Canada)

169 years after Sir John Franklin departed on his last, ill-fated expedition to the Arctic, the Victoria Strait Expedition discovered the wreck of the HMS Erebus, one of Franklin’s ships, in the Queen Maud Gulf. Read all about it!

13. 17 Canadian places were named UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Expand Image
Red Bay, Nfld. Photo: John Chambers/CanGeo Photo Club

Red Bay Basque Whaling Station in Newfoundland became Canada’s newest UNESCO World Heritage site in June 2013. Three Basque whaling ships and four chalupas (small boats) have been discovered in the area, making it one of the most important underwater archaeology sites in the Americas.

14. We’ve been hit by 24 named hurricanes or tropical storms

The deadliest of these was Hurricane Juan, which blasted Nova Scotia in September 2003. The storm killed eight and caused $300 million in damages, making it the worst to hit the province in a century.

15. A Canadian baseball team won the World Series – twice

Blue Jays fans have just one thing to say this year:

Can you think of more momentous things that have happened since 1977? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content


Map: where Christmas trees are grown in Canada

The Canadian farmers who grow Christmas trees every year collectively sell their festive forests to Canadians, Americans and people much further away.Canada's Christmas…

  • 311 words
  • 2 minutes


What’s all the fuss about water on the Moon?

Western University professor takes a look at recent discoveries and their importance

  • 1022 words
  • 5 minutes

Science & Tech

Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen will be among the next humans to fly to the moon

Hansen will be part of the NASA crew for Artemis II, which will see the astronauts spending up to three weeks on a flyby trip to the moon in 2024

  • 1231 words
  • 5 minutes

Science & Tech

A ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’ will appear over Canada this Sunday

There is only one total lunar eclipse to be seen in 2019, and it’s set to colour the moon red tonight

  • 1053 words
  • 5 minutes