This weekend we celebrate our 150th birthday, and most of us would agree now is a great time to be Canadian. By any definition we’re a young country (albeit to our native people it’s an ancient land). We have a long way to go in many regards, but let's face it: we’re proud of who we are, proud to sport the maple leaf when we travel, happy to chat with curious strangers about our wilderness, our polite nature, and yes, our super cute prime minister.
It seemed an apt time to wear my heart on my sleeve and embark on a very un-Canadian activity: showing off a little nationalistic pride. I do so love this country. Here are a few reasons why.
We are big. Number two in the world, in fact. With a population of 36 million, this amounts to lots of personal space. 4 people per square kilometre, in fact.
Most of this is wilderness. We have 79 million hectares of protected wilderness and untold kilometres of Crown land. Oh, about that crown thing…
Queen Elizabeth remains our head of state. And she rocks.
We are tolerant.
We are welcoming.
There is enormous cultural diversity from coast to coast to coast. No two provinces or territories are alike. They’re all worth visiting.
We have safe cities.
The Mounties. I love, I mean really love, that you can occasionally still see a Mountie gadding about in full red regalia.
Our universities are inexpensive and excellent.
We have lots of water; three coasts on three oceans, and three million lakes - more than the rest of the world combined.
Our money is cool. The bills are like psychedelic Monopoly money and the toonie is just plain fabulous.
The Trans-Canada Trail. Still a work in progress, this epic trail has no equal in the world. It currently comprises 22,000 kilometres and covers 13 provinces and territories.
We sing our national anthem in two languages.
Hockey is our national religion.
One can just happen upon Sidney Crosby walking down the street holding the Stanley Cup. Because he’s Canadian, he’s happy to pose for a picture.