We Canadians love our health care and hockey. And don’t keep us from our Tim Hortons coffee — preferably with beavertails and butter tarts. From the rolling Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains, we boast about our hearty multiculturalism and polite people.
When Kathy Ullyott, Homemakers Magazine‘s editor-in-chief, asked you to share your top 10 favourite Canadian things, our e-mail inboxes overflowed.
There are many things that make us proud to live in the Great White North, including our crazy Canadian weather. Sure, we complain about it, but we really cherish beautifully coloured leaves in the fall, snow-fort wars in winter, cherry blossoms in spring and lakeside vacations in the summer.
From the thousands of suggestions we got, we culled this list of 100 reasons to love Canada — beginning with the 10 that were named by the most readers:
Readers’s top 10 Canadian favourites
10. Tim Hortons
"Coffee addicts unite! … Who can resist rolling up the rim?" wrote Anne Shelton of Toronto. Yes, we love Tim’s coffee, Timbits, Iced Capps frozen cappuccinos, sour cream cake and maple doughnuts — spelled d-o-u-g-h-n-u-t-s, please, not d-o-n-u-t-s!
9. The beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains, "…still mostly untouched. You can go hiking without running into crowds of people." (Lasha MacLeod, Sherwood Park, Alta.)
8. Fresh water
That includes our lakes to swim and fish in, clean drinking water, rivers, streams and ponds. "The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway are proud parts of our history in discovering the country," said Terri McBride of Hunstville, Ont.
Included in "Our Game" are CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada — both the show and its former theme song — as well as national teams: The Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, and Montreal Canadiens, Cheers to our women’s teams too. In Canada, hockey is "the sport that brings friends and communities together," said Kim O’Reilly, Calgary, Alta.
6. Health care
Barbara White of Barrie, Ont. said it best: "Having a husband diagnosed with cancer at 33 and, 10 years later, still waking up beside him and watching our children grow together makes me thankful every day that I am a Canadian. I have not had to get a second or third job, still have a house without having to sell it all in order to pay medical bills!"
We’re overwhelmingly grateful for our freedom of speech and religion; for our nation’s independence and democracy, and for our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A reader named Linda wrote in to say: "In Canada, a democratic country, we enjoy the freedom to live our lives pretty much as we choose."
4. Our changing seasons
"Canadians enjoy talking about the weather and are often disgruntled by the extreme heat and cold. But the changing of the seasons gives us not only something to talk about, but also to look forward to." (Cheryl Telford, Newmarket, Ont.)
3. The Canadian character
You described Canadians as friendly, polite, generous, warm, open-minded, forgiving, humble, welcoming, caring, curious and honest.
"It’s the people that make a country great and we have a great country with outstanding people — young and old." (Beth Corrigan Jenish, Oshawa, Ont.)
2. The landscape
Vast, clean, diverse and green — those are some of the words you used to describe our home and native land. "Whether travelling east to west or west to east, we truly have a beautiful country to be proud of," said Cheryl Telford.
"From our people, our landscape, our culture(s), food, etc., the very fabric of Canada is a patchwork quilt, full of colours and textures and richness," says Linda.