The first Europeans to discover Canada were probably Norsemen in about 1000 A.D. History remembers the Vikings as fierce warriors and skilled seamen who struck fear into the inhabitants of the lands they explored. Canadians remember them as pussies who couldn’t stand the cold and went running home with their hammers between their legs.
In 1497, King Henry VII of England, feeling peckish, sent his Italian courtier Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) — Italians being known to know a thing or two about good food — out to find a snack for him. Cabot got as far as Newfoundland, but said the only thing worth eating was codfish and the English never went inland and discovered the chains of Tim Hortons plaguing Canadian street corners every three blocks.
In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier, sent out by King Francis after the famed-but-elusive “double double” trumpetted by Marco Polo in his adventures to the Middle Kingdom, got as far as present-day Quebec City, where he had to settle for bringing Francis back some French Fries slathered in cheese curd and gravy.
In 1610, Henry Hudson attempted to establish a nudist colony on the shores of Hudson Bay, only to find the area below freezing eleven months of the year. His disgruntled crew mutinied and dumped him on the shores of James Bay, thereafter travelling to the Caribbean to establish Club Med resorts.