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Canadian April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Coin on the Pavement Gag. (1961)
A Vancouver Sun photographer welded a 50 cent piece to a spike and hammered it into the pavement. Many tried and failed to pick it up, until one man pried it up using a knife of the type used to dig stones from horses' hooves. [Vancouver Sunday Sun - Apr 1, 1961] More…
King Kong Climbs CN Tower. (1976)
The Toronto Star printed on its front page a picture of King Kong hanging from the top of the CN Tower, which at the time was nearing completion. (It opened to the public in June 1976.) In a nod to the original movie, Carmen Nigro, who claimed to have played King Kong in the 1933 film (although a rubber model was used in most shots) was inside the ape costume. More…
Naked Canoeists Missing. (1977)
The first edition of The Whistler Answer (of Whistler, British Columbia) was published, featuring a front-page story about three naked canoeists "Missing on Alta Lake." Alta Lake was frozen at the time. The Whistler Answer was a mostly hand-drawn, hand-lettered counterculture paper — "the expression of the ski bum population of Whistler in its early days as a ski resort. [Whistler Museum] More…
Bite-Size Budgerigars. (1979)
CBC Radio interviewed a Mrs. Fiona Curtis of Willowdale, Ontario who operated a wholesale food business from the basement of her house, supplying high-end gastronomical shops with frozen budgerigars. Before freezing them, she stuffed them with a mixture of chestnut, squid, onion, and bread, and then cooked them. She noted that one ate the entire budgie, including the bones, and insisted they were "quite delicious," although she conceded they needed "a lot of spice." She hoped eventually to expand her business to include gerbils as well. [listen to the broadcast] More…
Radiation Rouses Prehistoric Creatures. (1979)
Frank Jones, of the Toronto Star, reported that radiation leaking into Lake Ontario was causing prehistoric creatures to crawl up out of the lake and onto the shores of Ward’s Island. More…
Interview With President Carter. (2001)
Michael Enright, host of the Sunday Edition of the Canadian Broadcasting Corpation's radio program This Morning, interviewed former President Jimmy Carter on the air. The interview was about softwood lumber, since Carter had recently written an editorial piece in the New York Times criticizing Canada's heavily subsidized lumber industry. However, the interview took a turn for the worse when Enright began telling Carter to speed up his answers. Then Enright asked, "I think the question on everyone's mind is, how did a washed-up peanut farmer from Hicksville such as yourself get involved in such a sophisticated bilateral trade argument?" Carter seemed stunned by the insult. Finally he replied, "Excuse me? A washed-up pig farmer? You're one to talk, sir. Didn't you used to be on the air five times a week?" The tone of the interview did not improve from there. Carter ended up calling Enright a "rude person" before he hung up. Enright then revealed that the interview had been fake. The Toronto comedian Ray Landry had been impersonating Carter's voice. The interview generated a number of angry calls from listeners who did not find the joke funny. But the next day the controversy More…

Personalized Tires. (2003)
Dunlop Tires announced the introduction of personalized tire treads: "For hundreds of years people have been monogramming their clothes, and there's certainly no shortage of personalized license plates, so why shouldn't they be able to add a personal touch to their tires too?' said Ian McIntosh, General Manager of Advertising & Marketing Services, Dunlop Tires (Canada)... Dunlop Ident-a-Treds are the product of more than a decade of top-secret work at the company's remote Canadian research and development facility in Serit Polnud, NWT. Researchers at the Serit Polnud lab created the new, ultra malleable and highly adhesive tires by combining sticky sap from Canadian maple trees with More…
The Canadian Autobahn. (2004)
BMW Canada ran an ad urging Canadians to petition their local Member of Parliament to support the creation of a Canadian Autobahn. This roadway would be an "auxiliary highway system that links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in a manner that benefits high-performance automobiles." BMW Canada revealed that it had already surveyed the country to determine where such an Autobahn might best be placed. [This was one of four April Fool ads run by BMW Canada in 2004.] More…
Sleeper Cabins. (2008)
Canadian airline WestJet announced it would be converting overhead luggage compartments on its planes into sleeper cabins: "WestJet (TSX:WJA) today announced that on April 1, 2008, sleeper cabins will be introduced onboard its existing fleet of 73 Boeing 737 Next-Generation aircraft. These sleeper cabins can be booked on all of WestJet's existing flights for a nominal incremental fee of $12... "The overhead compartment has traditionally been a place where guests have placed their carry-on baggage. Given that the overhead bins on our fleet are among the most spacious of any airline, we made the decision to offer sleeper cabins in that space." More…
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