Why I Love Canada

Spotted on recent trip through Canada: graffiti. The first line scrawled across an overpass was “Have a Good Day!” Can you believe that?  The second message was “Forgive and Forget”. Imagine someone writing that in a public place.  The third act of vandalism was “I <3 (Love) You” And that’s why I love Canada. It is a kinder, gentler place.

Now, I must add to my original blog post since two people were killed and several wounded in a shooting in Toronto on Monday, July 16. When I saw this on the news I was shocked in a way that shootings in the U.S. no longer shock me.  This was CANADA for goodness sake.  Sweet, kind Canada. At least, all of my experiences with my neighbors to the north (actually, to the east and south in some cases) have been positive, genteel and welcoming.

No, I am not Canadian, but I have always lived in states that border Canada: New York and Michigan. Many childhood vacations were spent in Gananoque, Ontario where we stayed in a rustic cottage with a “path to the bath” and a pump out front for water.  Bliss.  The owner of the cottages that perched along the northern shore of Lake Ontario also owned a dairy farm.  He allowed us kids to climb up the haystack in his barn and slide down it.  He taught us how to milk cows the old fashioned way and he took us on hayrides.  I’m sure his days were busier than my child’s mind could imagine, but he always carved out time for us.

As an adult, I have had the pleasure of visiting the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario for the past 15 years. Originally, we stayed in the town of Shakespeare with Calvin and Darlene who opened part of their Century farm as a bed & breakfast. Warm and welcoming, we soon shared family photos and memories on each visit.  After they discontinued the b&b, we started staying in Stratford at various other b&bs.  Each one was wonderful as was each host.

I remember my first visit to what would become one of our favorite eating establishments, Trattoria Fabrizio, and noticing a sign that said “Tell us if you have food allergies”.  Whoa!  I have suffered with food allergies since I was 10 years old, and no other restaurant ever cared. See, it’s the little things.  The owners of the restaurant were so accommodating and the food was delizioso! We never missed eating there during our visits until the owners retired and it closed.

The most direct route to visit family in upstate New York is through Canada. And I guess I have to say that, at the border, going into Canada is much easier than coming back into the United States.  Yes, I know we have been on alert since 9/11.  Yes, I know we have to check every car for terrorists. Yes, I know it is not easy to keep our country safe.  I just wonder if we were kinder and gentler if it might not be such an issue.

Now, some of you may be thinking Canada is not perfect…who is?  All I am saying is, Canada, I am smitten.  I am smitten with your hospitality, your kindness, your cleanliness…oh, yeah, and once there was this blue-eyed guy from Sarnia…I was smitten with him, too. (Not any longer, my Sweet Baboo.  I only have eyes for you)

10 thoughts on “Why I Love Canada

  1. As a Canadian, this was a very touching post to read. I live in the US now, but I go home every year to see family and friends. It's one thing to describe Canadian people and their friendliness, but it's another to live it… to experience it. Canadian's aren't friendly because they have to be. They're friendly because they WANT to be. And that, in my eyes, is the difference. I'm so happy to hear you've had awesome experiences in Canada! Of course it's not the perfect country, but it's not too shabby either. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thank you, Betty. I'm Canadian and I got tears in my eyes reading your kind words about our country. I'm proud to live here. We're often cricized about our politeness, but that just makes me smile. Sure, like everywhere, we're not perfect. But I'd like to think we're striving to make our part of the world a better place to live in. I've been to a few places in the United States, and I have to say I've found the people there very nice as well. It does unnerve me somewhat that your citizens can carry guns on them, but each country has its differences and I believe if you can't abide those differences then just don't go there. I know I'll be back in the USA for a holiday soon. And I love your musings, Betty. I'll be back here too.

    • I mean every word I say in this post. Canada has always had a spot in my heart. I got chills on July 4 when we were at the fireworks celebrating our Independence day and passed a young man singing "O Canada" I love your national anthem, too ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. How sweet, Betty!!! I'm with Carol, tears. I am Canadian and live just west of Toronto. I've rented cottages in the Gananoque area and have taken the Thousand Island cruise on the St. Lawrence. I love those islands. I know the Shakespeare festival and have stayed in Stratford as well. My favourite place in Ontario is Algonquin Park. I camped there for years. It's a bit of a drive for you, but it's carved from heaven.

    I've had wonderful visits to the states. My blog partner lives in South Carolina and I visit as often as I can. Another writing buddy is at this moment driving up here for a visit from Texas. Can't wait to see her! I visited the Grand Canyon a few years ago, and I'll never forget my first glimpse of it. I get tingles thinking of it now. Truly where the word awesome originated.
    So many wonderful people, so much to see on this beautiful continent!

    • You are so right, Sharon, we are blessed on this continent with many beautiful places. I grew up in Rochester, NY right across the lake from you. I am going to have to add Algonquin Park to my list of must-see places.

  4. So sweet! I have been to Canada many times–you are our neighbor after all. ๐Ÿ™‚ I noticed the hospitality right off and the flowers! Oh, the beautiful flowers!

    Canada will always hold a special place for me…it was my last adventure with my mother before she passed away. Bless you for sharing your love.

    All the Best,

  5. What a wonderful article, Betty. We used to live sixty miles south of the border and went back and forth so easily. So much fun. Canada reminds me of what Montana was before everyone found us, so rural and slower paced. Now I need a passport to go, so haven't been since some friends, our kids and I spent New Year's Eve 1999 in Kimberly, BC. We'll never forget it. Thank you for bringing back that sweet memory.

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