International Urban Legends: Canada

Oh, I’m sorry. You thought our little tour of the 50 states here in America was the end of our search for urban legends? Oh no, it was just the start. Today we head across the border into Canada in search of  urban legends in the Great White North.

And if none of them involve beer, I am going to be sorely disappointed.


No, that’s not the name of the new boy band from Toronto. But if you want to see a lake monster and you don’t want to travel all the way over to Scotland’s Loch Ness – or you weren’t impressed with the American versions – there is an alternative.

Ogopogo swims Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada

Unlike Cousin Nessie in Scotland, no one’s been able to snap a photo of Ogopogo. But here’s a neat looking statue of the critter.

British Columbia’s Lake Okanagan is long and narrow, and is on the same latitude, as Loch Ness. And like’s its Scottish cousin, this lake has a creature swimming within its depths.

Ogopogo’s first recorded sighting dates back to the 1870s and actually hit the newspapers before Nessie gained international fame. It is said to be a couple of feet in diameter and up to 20 feet in length. It has been described as similar to a log but also to a horse or a goat. (Depending on beer consumption, perhaps?)

One scientist theorizes that Ogopogo, and Nessie, are primitive whales. One thing is for sure, if you see them you’ll have a whale of a tale to tell your friends when you get back home.

 The White Lady

Seriously, this lady gets around. She showed up in several states during our tour of the U.S. and now here she is in Canada.

There is a forest in Eastern Canada called Parc des Laurentides. It takes about two hours to drive through it on Road 175 and all you will see is the road and the trees. There are no lights, no towns, no nothing. So when the sun dips below the horizon it gets dark. Real dark. The perfect setting for La Dame blanche (French for: The White Lady).

Somewhere along this road, legend says, a woman died in a car accident. Shortly after, drivers began reporting picking up a mysterious woman hitchhiker. She would hop in and hand over a paper with a street address and then disappear. A few drivers went on to the address and discovered it was where the White Lady’s parents still lived.

About the author

Richard Paolinelli