23 Reasons Canada (and Canadians) are awesome

Posted on
Jul 1, 2010

It’s Canada Day! I’m sure many of you have donned your favorite sweaters and maple-leaf long-underwear and are headed out to enjoy a summer’s day on one of Canada’s many beaches, possibly while listening to the musical stylings of Bryan Adams. For those of you unable to make it out to a chilly northern beach (seriously, it’s a whole country north of Minnesota – think about it) – I present my top reasons Canada (and Canadians) are awesome.

  1. Socialized medicine. I love how we’re at eachother’s throats about this issue, thoroughly convinced that if we pass socialized medicine in our country, it will instantly signal the end of days, and everyone will become bankrupt because they’ll have to pay for elective plastic surgery for illegal immigrants. Canadians, on the other hand, sit quietly on the other side of our shared border, wondering what all the fuss is about, breathing maple-syrup scented air into their healthy lungs.
  2. Poutine. For you those of you unfamiliar with this heavenly concept, it’s french fries, topped with cheese curds and veal demi-glace. It’s also proof that if there is a god, he might just live in Montreal.
     

    Mmm ... fries-cheese-gravy.

    Mmm ... fries-cheese-gravy.

    Photo courtesy of sashafatcat, via Flickr.com

  3. My friend Lindsay. She’s awesome, friendly, and I felt like we were friends after talking for 10 minutes. If she was the only good thing Canada had ever produced, it would still be a great country.
     

    Her husband is also adorable, but hes not Canadian.

    Her husband is also adorable, but he's not Canadian.

  4. Cuban cigars. Okay, so they’re not really Canadian, but you can by them there, and that’s pretty neat.
     

    These basically make anyone look badass.

    These basically make anyone look badass.

    Photo courtesy of alexbrn via Flickr.com

  5. Worldwide, everyone’s cool with Canada. Seriously – no one hates Canada. Find me one person who legitimately hates Canada, and you’ll find they probably hate puppies and birthday cake, too. Like vanilla ice cream, Canada might not be everyone’s favorite, but they won’t complain if they get it.
  6. Rick Moranis. I don’t like to think about what the world would be like without him. He’s given us such noble characters as Louis Tully, Wayne Szalinski, and Barney Coopersmith. And speaking of his artistic canon …
  7. Strange Brew. Seemingly a movie about two Canadian brothers and their adventures in a brewery, this comedy is based on Hamlet. Did you hear me? A COMEDY BASED ON HAMLET. Only Canadians can be that brilliant.
  8. Their flag. I know that the maple leaf gets metaphorically crapped on a lot of the time, but let’s be objective: from a design perspective, it’s actually quite well done. It’s also non-hostile, easy-on-the-eyes, and nature-loving – just like a lot of Canadians I know.
     

    Canadian Flag

    Canadian Flag

    Photo courtesy of TKOwned, via Flickr.com

  9. Cupcakes in Vancouver. Years before cupcake boutiques became mainstream, Rand and I stumbled onto this little shop in Vancouver during a long weekend trip. It happened to be their opening day. Rand and I had been dating for two months at the time. During that weekend, he kept suggesting we go back to the cupcake shop. After three consecutive days of eating cupcakes, I was approaching a diabetic coma. It was wonderful.
     

    I wish I was there right now.

    I wish I was there right now.

    Photo courtesy of rick via Flickr.com.

  10. Bryan Adams. Admit it: at some time in your life, you thought at least one of his songs was awesome. And you still know all the words to it. He may have funky teeth and look a little bit like Mark Hamill post-car-accident, but the man can deliver a catchy tune.
  11. The Jurinas: Ken and Kim. They’re friends of ours, and they just became parents. They’re just damn terrific.
     

    Theyre son is the luckiest kid in Canada.

    Their son is the luckiest kid in Canada.

  12. DeGrassi Junior High. Essentially Canada’s 90210 equivalent (but featuring actual teenagers, instead of 30-somethings), this show has tackled everything: self-mutilation, abortion, murder, bullying, sex, teen pregnancy – without flinching. Don’t let anyone tell you Canadians are bland.
  13. Jean-Talon Market. Located in Montreal, Rand and I wandered through this open-air farmers’ market in a daze. It was like Pike Place Market had gone to finishing school in France. Rows of sausages, cured meats, creamy cheeses, and maple-flavored desserts. I could live there.
     

    Why, hello there.

    Why, hello there.

    Photo courtesy of snow pea & bok choi via Flickr.com

  14. Pierre Elliott Trudeau – My favorite of Canada’s former prime ministers (Okay, fine, so it’s not like I can name that many or anything). He’s responsible for implementing bilingualism. And he once said, “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.” Right on, Pierre.
  15. Foie Gras – I concede that eating meat is barbarism – there is no question about it (yet I feel man can be both civilized and barbaric. That is our nature. Discuss.) But if you start trying to determine which meat eaters are worse than others, it gets a weensy bit Orwellian. So let’s just leave it at this: foie gras is tasty. It is also plentiful and affordable in Canada. If you don’t like it, then don’t order it. And if you do like it, then we should be friends.
  16. Kinder Eggs! Aero bars! And for that matter, lots of other European candies, all available at the corner market. For an American, finding this sort of thing just a few hours away from home (and not paying an arm and a leg for them) is a revelation.
     

    Anytime food has a toy inside of it, count me in.

    Any time food has a toy inside of it, count me in.

    Photo courtesy of cocoinzenl via Flickr.com

  17. Canadians are subjects of the Queen. I find this fascinating.
  18. Loonies and Toonies. Dollar coins and two-dollar coins are plentiful in Canada. For an American, this is tre awesome, because what you think is just a handful of change can actually equate to a lot of money.
  19. Sushi. In Vancouver it’s generally affordable, amazingly fresh, and often served in huge bamboo boats. ‘Nuff Said.
  20. These were not on a boat. Or even in Vancouver. But I really love this picture.

     

  21. The Canadian accent. For an American, it’s not that different than our own. It’s subtle and varied, and changes as you drift across the country, just like ours. Most of my European friends can’t differentiate a Canadian accent from an American one at all – and when they see me pick out Canadians by cadence or inflection, they’re absolutely floored. It’s an awesome linguistic superpower that binds us to our northern neighbors.
  22. It’s only three hours away! Okay, fine – this only applies to folks who live in Seattle (or cities close to the Canadian border) but this a big selling point for me – it’s a whole other country, three friggin hours away. It’s a weensy bit like Europe, except that you can drive there. Magic.
  23. My friend Laura. One of the most clever and lovely women I’ve ever met. She’s also darkly hilarious, edgy, and sarcastic.
    Laura - I totally stole this photo off of Facebook.

    Laura - I totally stole this photo off of Facebook.

  24. Eh? Come on, it’s just fun to say.

Okay, folks,  I know I haven’t covered everything, so help me out here. What are you favorite things about Canada?

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