Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thursday 13: 13 things I love about Canada

Seth and I are headed to Canada for a week of visiting relatives; first a family reunion of mostly my mom's cousins and their offspring, and then for some time with my parents on Mayne Island.

Given that I spent most of my childhood in Canada, I thought it might be a nice Thursday 13 to ponder 13 things I love about Canada. This should be  pretty easy!

1. Some of my favorite people are Canadians: my family.

 No, Alex Trebek is not in my family!

And then aside from people I actually love, there are some cool exports like Michael J. Fox, Keifer Sutherland, Mike Meyers, William Shatner, Mr. Dressup (well, I'm not sure he was ever exported, he's just a cool Canadian, along with The Friendly Giant), Michael Cera, Wayne Gretzky,  and of course, Pamela Anderson! And Alex Trebek!

2. There are some great Canadian musicians: Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, k.d. lang, Neil Young, Sarah McLachlan, Leonard Cohen, Barenaked Ladies, Rush, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright, Shania Twain, Diana Krall, Gordon Lightfoot... and many more. Whatever your musical taste, there's bound to be a Canadian representing!

3. They have some great candy bars in Canada. Coffee Crisp, oh yes. Even the Big Turk, for which I have endured great mocking. And Smarties (do you eat the red ones last?). And, most recently for me, the hazelnut nectar of the gods, the Kinder Bueno bar. What a discovery that was! I look forward to stocking up again in a few days!

4. Monarchy proximity. The monarch thing appeals to me; I still have all my Lady Di memorabilia from when she married Prince Charles... (I was a very impressionable 11 when they got married. I thought it was really quite the fairy tale.) and I am quite convinced I should be on British soil when Prince William marries Kate... I know the monarchy seems like quite an outdated way of looking at things, but from the far-off perspective of the Commonwealth (and especially as a neighbor to the south), why not? Come over, Queen, and open Parliament! Let's sing "God Save the Queen!" I don't know why exactly, but it's all rather interesting to me.

5. Thanksgiving is at a more harvest-appropriate time in Canada. Don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving in the U.S., I really do. I don't remember every really "doing up" Thanksgiving quite so much until I came to the states to go to school. But, the second Monday of October is just better than the fourth Thursday in November from a scheduling perspective. And, it's further from Christmas, so you have time to work up a turkey appetite again!

6. Salt and vinegar potato chips. Others may mention exotic creations like ketchup chips or dill pickle chips, but for me it's about the salt and vinegar. Very strong on flavor!

7. I love the accent! And the "eh!"

8. Canadian radio is awesome. "As It Happens" airs down here on public radio, and when I cross the border I enjoy finding CBC radio too.

9. Tim Hortons. Yum. Best doughnuts ever.

10. Great authors, including one of my favorites, Margaret Atwood (of course, who you can follow on Twitter. How cool is that?). But Saul Bellow, Robertson Davies, Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables!), Farley Mowat, Alice Munroe, Robert Service (The Cremation of Sam McGee!) are all Canadian authors too.

11. How multicultural it feels. I am always surprised how much closer Canadians seem to be to "the old country." Americans seem to have a vague sense of how many generations ago their ancestors came to the U.S., but in Canada it seems (to me) like a lot more can say it was their grandparents generation. I enjoy that. This is just anecdotal, my observation. If it's way off base, I'm sure the Canadians in my readership will let me know!

12. Colorful money. I used to mock this, but now I love it. And the $1 and $2 coins!

13. Royal Canadian Mounted Police. What's not to love about that uniform?

And for good measure, here's a little extra Canada love. Enjoy. It is truly a beautiful country.

If you've been to Canada, what did you like about it? If you ARE Canadian, what's your favorite part of being Canadian? My list might grow...

For more Thursday 13s, go here.

Sources: here and here


  1. A lot of that Brit thing is still alive and kicking here in Oz too.

  2. Love your list! My favorite Canada thing is Niagara Falls and Clifton Hill! So beautiful and fun! :)

    happy Thursday!

  3. "My life is a graveyard of buried hopes" :) PEI is on my bucket list. Here's hoping the hope doesn't get buried. Canada rocks!

  4. You listed some great musicians; I had no idea some of them were Canadian!

    I would love to have Thanksgiving in October; seems like there is no time to breathe from Thanksgiving until New Year's here in the States.

  5. I am proud to be a Canadian and love so many things about it. I'd have to say, especially the breathtaking array of Maple trees changing color in Autumn. Great list. Happy T13!

  6. Seems like Di was such a long time ago.

    Have a great day!

  7. Coffee Crisps!!! My favorite Canadian snack was ketchup chips :-)

  8. You make me want to go to Canada.

  9. I will be singing "O Canada" for the rest of the day!

    Oh yah, you left off hockey!! :)

  10. I spent a month in Canada after I graduated from high school. I loved it. The vinegar and salt potato chips hold very fond memories for me :)

  11. What a great T13 post idea! It is all the more meaningful since you married an American and live in the States. Love the list! Especially the Coffee Crisps! don't forget the Hawkins Cheezies!


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