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Canadian-Fall-VanDusen-Gardens-Vancouver-British-ColumbiaToday is Canada Day. It’s the day we mark our 1867 Confederation, and the day we celebrate Canada’s uniqueness. Because we share North America with the United States, it’s easy to think our countries are the same, but that’s not the case.

I have many friends and relatives living in the States and I love to visit, but it feels a bit different there, especially when I go blind trying to figure out exactly how much of that plain green money I have in my wallet!

When I return home — the moment I cross the bridge from New York into Ontario — I feel the different-ness more acutely. And in a good way. No, we’re not as big, or as bold as our neighbours, and we’re not as flashy, but we have a great country too. We have two official languages, our money is drop-dead gorgeous, and we can spell words with an extra “u” like nobody’s business. Did you notice, favourite neighbours?

In honour (<– see??) of Canada Day, I wrote the following list to celebrate things I love about my country.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


POUTINE! French fries, cheese curd, and gravy, oh my!!


CANADIAN TIRE. I mean, what other store is equally appealing to men, women, and children. And it’s entirely Canadian. No one crosses the border to get better deals at the Canadian Tire outlet mall.


BUTTER TARTS!   Need I say more? Not unless it’s to give you the recipe.
RED AND WHITE. Great colours, although I’ll admit they don’t lend themselves to kitschy home décor in the same way red/white/blue/stars/stripes do.
MOOSE(S) and BEAVERS. What’s not to love about such noble animals representing your country? And you can make a deep-fried fair food that resembles the tail of one of them. Great, eh?

Even President Obama eats Beavertails!
Even President Obama eats Beavertails!

EH. Suitable for all conversational situations. “How ‘bout them Maple Leafs, eh?” “That’s a nasty cut you’ve got there. You’re going to need stitches, eh.” “Yes, I’m a lawyer, and I specialize in mergers and acquisitions, eh.”

Try to imagine life without it.

Although it’s gone digital, there has always been CANADIAN TIRE MONEY. What’s better than paying cash, and then getting cash back? Sure, it only works in their store, but I love buying stuff with (digital) Canadian Tire Money.


And speaking of Canadian Tire Money, don’t you just love our real CANADIAN MONEY? Loonies and toonies add up with the rest of your pocket change at a great rate, a beautiful discovery, especially when you stop at Timmy’s for coffee. And the paper bills! Or even better, the vinyl ones. Every colour of the rainbow and now virtually indestructible. Yay for Canadian money.


DEMOCRACY. We get to choose our leaders, and then we get to complain about them for the next four years without fear of retribution.

THE QUEEN. Even though we’re free of Britain, we can still lay claim to the Queen and all of the goings-on over there. Kind of like a rich distant relative you can name-drop when it’s convenient.


And again: POUTINE AND BUTTER TARTS. Love, love, love poutine and butter tarts, both distinctly Canadian. I think I’ll harness up the huskies and dog sled it out to the nearest fast food igloo to see if they’re serving poutine today. If not, I’ll strap on my snowshoes and head to the trading post to pick up butter tart ingredients. What a way to celebrate, eh?



Phyllis writes words: words for stories, and words for books. Phyllis writes words for blogs too.


  1. Oh Canada, our home and native land. Ours truly is a wonderful country and so beautiful from coast to coast to coast. I have special memories of driving from the Sunshine Coast of Vancouver, home to Kitchener in 2008, by myself in my little grey Toyota Echo, and over a period of six weeks. How I wished I’d have had more time, to visit more people and see more sights. Hopefully some day we can do the same from here to the eastern tip of Newfoundland.

  2. One of the great things about having a Dad who was a geography teacher was summer vacations travelling our beautiful country and being instructed on the natural wonders of kettle lakes, metamorphic rock formations and old vs. young mountain ranges! I have been fortunate enough to travel to every province a few times and even two of our territories. I am so thankful to have had my life enriched by being taught an appreciation for my homeland in such an enjoyable way!

  3. Excellent!
    Thanks for the smiles… Think I’ll read this again later, sitting on my deck in a red (or white) Muskoka chair, looking over our small piece of Alberta prairie, while having a nice cold Ontario beer.
    Happy Canada Day!

  4. Phyllis…you forgot maple syrup. I love that too. But really, it is the best country in the world. It has great natural beauty that we sometimes take for granted. Host a foreign visitor to appreciate what we have. Most friends that have visited with me from other countries are astounded by the natural beauty of Canada. Thousands upon thousands of people have found refuge here in our democratic and safe country. Many have purposely chosen Canada over other democratic countries because we are perceived to be the best.

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