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Canada, Meandering thoughts

Proud to be Canadian

It is no secret – I am proud to be Canadian.  I have had the privilege of visiting many countries and lived in two – Australia and Canada, and I am still thrilled to come home to Canada!

Above – photo montage of my playground – Ottawa/Gatineau.  Clockwise from top – Govenor General’s Foot Guard at the Army Run, skiing in Gatineau Park, Fall Colours, cycling along the Rideau Canal during the Tulip Festival and kayaking on the Ottawa River with friends.

There is so much to love about Canada – the four seasons, the diversity from coast to coast and the people to name just a few!  I was not aware of the Country Brand Index before reading about it on Val City Gal’s blog.  There was stiff competition for the top spot, with great countries like Australia (my home away from home) rounding out the top 10 in 6th position, neighbouring New Zealand in third and Switzerland in 2nd.  And the top spot goes to……(drum roll please)…..Canada!

Here is what the Index (comprised of business and leisure travellers, research markets and experts in 16 countries) had to say:

“Canada has a stable political system, economy and market; an open and tolerant society; and policies that encourage immigration.”

We’re No. 1! For the second year in a row, travellers, market research groups and other experts agree that our country boasts a stellar reputation, the best in the world, in fact. But did we really need a third party to tell us that? In recent years, we’ve shown the world that we can throw a party like it’s nobody’s business. The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games put the country on a global platform that illustrated our warmth, our natural beauty, and our self-deprecating sense of Canuck humour that endears us to the world so. Moreover, who knew we were such great mimes? RE: miming mechanic who fixed the pillar that failed to rise in the opening ceremonies. According to the Country Brand Index, Canada’s tourism tagline “Keep Exploring” is a strong, successful marketing campaign, as is our iconic maple leaf, easily identifiable as distinctly Canadian. O, Canada, we like to think we speak for every proud Canuck when we say, we truly stand on guard for thee.

It got me thinking, what is it that I love about this fair land?  I have been coast to coast, from Vancouver to Newfoundland, living most of my life in Ontario and Quebec.  My interests are mostly outdoor activity based – as the photos show.  Here are some of my highlights as I have travelled across Canada….

British Columbia – kayak camping, island to island, starting at Salt Spring Island and skiing at Whistler.

Alberta – hiking in Banff and Lake Louise (photo above).  My father thought I was nuts – having started cycling in Vancouver, I took a rest day in Banff to climb in the mountains!  At least they had the gondola to bring me back down at Sulfur Mountain.  The Calgary Zoo was another great rest day before tackling the headwinds on the Prairies.

Saskatchewan – stunning sunsets over the fields of wheat.

Manitoba – more stunning sunsets as I pedalled along.  Had the chance to spend a few days recovering and relaxing in Winnipeg.  The hospitality of family and friends made it easier to be gone on my own for so long.

Ontario – a little biased here!  I have spent most of my life living in Ottawa and university in St Catharines (Niagara and Wine Country).  So much to see and do – I could do an entire post dedicated to Ontario.  If I had to give the short list – kayaking the Ottawa River, countless great bike routes, Niagara Falls and wine country (Niagara and Prince Edward County – see the PEC post here), and how can I forget the rugged beauty of Northern Ontario!

Quebec – by far, my favourite city in Canada – the incomparable Quebec City.  Gorgeous in all seasons – always worth the visit!  With many years of racing my bicycle on the road, I have enjoyed many regions of Quebec – the Beauce, Charlevoix and around Montreal.  All beautiful in their own right.  Montreal is another one of those great cities to visit with great restaurants, shopping and that European feel, especially in the older parts of town.  For pure natural beauty – you can’t go past the Gatineau/Wakefield area (my regular playground for cycling, skiing, hiking and kayaking).  Fall colours in the  Eastern Townships are so beautiful.  They attracts tourists from around the world – certainly worth the visit.

New Brunswick – I had the privilege of spending a summer during university working in Dalhousie, a small town on the Atlantic.  I have great memories of swimming in the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, of being introduced to eating lobster and meeting the friendly locals.  Cycled parts of the Trans Canada Trail and lived it up as a cycling nomad.  Summer in New Brunswick was great.

Nova Scotia – such a pretty province.  By the time I had reached Nova Scotia, the orchards were overflowing with apples and their was a cold nip in the air in the mornings.  My cycling trip across Canada came to an end here as I road into Halifax and put my front wheel into the water.

Prince Edward Island – home to Anne of Green Gables, Charlottetown and stretches of red sandy beaches.

Newfoundland – St John’s Newfoundland – a spectacular destination in its own right.  Check out my weekend in St John’s post here for more info.  Still on the list of my must do experiences – kayaking in amongst the icebergs and hiking in Gros Morne National Park.

I have yet to visit the territories in Canada, including the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Iqualuit – still on the Canadian bucketlist!

So much to see and do, I am so lucky to have lived and travelled across Canada…..you could say, I am proud to be Canadian.


About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!


32 thoughts on “Proud to be Canadian

  1. Fantastic pictures as always and it’s great to hear about how much someone loves their country. You don’t hear much of that south of your border. It seems like Americans only have bad to say about the place they live. I wish we could remind ourselves we still have it better than most (but maybe not Canada 🙂 )

    Posted by 96arley | February 7, 2012, 9:17 am
    • You are so right – we are luckier than many countries (the US also made the top 10). Have been doing a lot of reading lately about volunteer travel and the conditions in other places – so hard to imagine what it is like – and I feel the need to kick myself when I complain about something that really is rather trivial in comparison!

      Posted by Anita Mac | February 7, 2012, 11:49 am
  2. Eh!!! 😀

    Posted by andy1076 | February 7, 2012, 10:11 am
  3. Canada is so beautiful. I ve seen a lot of photos & travel docus about it. If I ever get the chance I want to visit it. But it s too expensive for me so far.

    I remember a twitter conversation between a good friend (canadian) & a young lady from USA..He: I m from Canada. She: Canada? Come on, that s no country, where are you really from?

    First I didn’t believe it but she really thought that Canada was a small place in the north of USA 😉

    Posted by wolke205 | February 7, 2012, 10:14 am
    • You are so right – Canada is really gorgeous! I am lucky to have seen so much, but there remains so much more to see! I could generate an entire bucket list just for Canada!
      Your twitter story doesn’t surprise me. I used to work front desk at a hotel in Niagara Falls. We used to get all sorts of crazy comments from our American friends. Oh well – we all have pre-conceived notions about places – the main thing is that we keep our minds open when we travel and explore – it is a vast world out there!

      Posted by Anita Mac | February 7, 2012, 11:54 am
  4. Fabulous pictures and I am envious of you in a country so beautiful. thanx for sharing.

    Posted by cobbies69 | February 7, 2012, 11:21 am
  5. Some beautiful country that I would like to explore one day:) Love the pics – thanks for sharing! Have a Great Day:)

    Posted by cravesadventure | February 7, 2012, 12:02 pm
  6. ME TOO! We are very lucky to live where we do.

    Posted by Dane Homenick | February 7, 2012, 12:46 pm
  7. Beautiful pictures!! Would love to see these sights for myself. Thanks 🙂

    Posted by faithrises | February 7, 2012, 12:58 pm
  8. I’m a first generation Canadian immigrant… its the best country in the world, gave us the greatest opportunity at life and I’m always grateful for that. Definitely proud of my maple leaf 🙂

    Posted by 2 Rivers Photos | February 7, 2012, 1:12 pm
  9. Great photos…boating Lake Louise must be breath taking.

    Posted by sonsothunder | February 7, 2012, 1:49 pm
  10. Well said and represented with the diversity of the land!

    Posted by PC PHOTO | February 7, 2012, 7:19 pm
  11. Looks like this was a life changing trip! Did you do a lot of camping or would you stop into hotels?

    Posted by Vegas | February 8, 2012, 2:44 pm
  12. Oops! That previous comment was actually for the bike trip post! >.<

    Posted by Vegas | February 8, 2012, 2:46 pm
  13. Proud to Canadian…me too!

    Posted by David Kanigan | February 9, 2012, 8:16 am
  14. So many great reasons to love Canada (and you say so very well here)–most and best of all, so many great Canadian people! I am very fortunate to have lots of dear Canadian friends and to have spent some really precious, joyful time in parts of Canada. And there’s so much more beckoning!

    Posted by kathryningrid | February 9, 2012, 7:52 pm
  15. Cycling across Canada which I haven’t done yet but my partner has done it twice, makes one realize how frickin’ huge it is.

    Seeing Canada from the bike is great to see and a tremendous reminder how much of land is…unoccupied…and how sparse the roads become when one only heads approx. 300 km. north of Canada’s biggest cities.

    I have cycled in various provinces or visited others except for Yukon, NW Territories and Newfoundland. (Yes, I’ve been to Nunavut. Iqualuit is its capital city.)

    And now having lived in a 3rd different Canadian province, I do feel I’m experiencing some distinctly different regions, mind sets and weather zones!

    Posted by Jean | February 11, 2012, 2:09 pm
    • Wow – I would love to visit Nunavut. But then, I would also like to complete all provinces and territories by also visiting NWT and the Yukon. I have heard so many amazing stories of their beauty! We do have a lot of space over here – and so much diversity! Like I say – I am so lucky and proud to call Canada home!

      Posted by Anita Mac | June 26, 2012, 10:07 pm
  16. I feel the passion, the great pride and love that you have for your beautiful country. Generous people with so much zest and joy in life. There was a time I thought of migrating to Canada but fate led me to the U.S. I wonder what my life could have been? Beautiful photos, make me say, “Oh, Wow!” Thank you.

    Posted by island traveler | February 13, 2012, 7:07 am
    • I am glad you love the photos – they really don’t do the natural landscapes justice! At least if you have moved to the US – you can always come to visit! There are so many great holiday options up here – so much to choose from!

      Posted by Anita Mac | June 26, 2012, 10:09 pm
  17. Now I know …

    Posted by Sony Fugaban | February 26, 2012, 11:23 pm


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