As we have just spent Canada Day in Toronto and I am struck by what’s missing here. It’s just a little quieter, a little calmer. This is the first time that we are not in Ottawa on July first for as long as I remember. I know that we had a great day and spent it as a family, I feel a little like I am missing out. I love the hustle and bustle of my city, the rampant patriotism, and overall happiness of the day. Our day was filled with fun; strawberry picking, community party, naps, time in the park, and a family dinner. All were perfect, but it’s just not quite the same here.
When we lived in the Market (aka ground zero on Canada Day), Willy and I used to love to go for a walk early in the morning. The city was gleaming and quiet. You could feel a vibe that was not there on any other day, the anticipation of a celebration about to erupt! I was always ready too. We used to throw huge parties, where people came and went over the day, stopping for some food, a pint, or a bit of cake as they moved from one activity to another, others staying from the moment we cracked the keg at noon until we returned from the fireworks and fired up the bar-b-cue one more time. One of my favourite Canada Day memories is of our first Canada Day together, when wandering through the Market, we stumbled onto the Black Tomato. It’s our favourite restaurant, and I always remember that first lunch when we are there.
I’ve had time to think this week about what it is that I love about my country, and why Canada Day is a fabulous day to celebrate those things, not just an excuse to have a party. It is a pretty good excuse to have a party though! There are so many good reasons to love this place, these are but some of my biggest …
- It’s vast. HUGE. ENORMOUS. We have cities and the country, the mountains and the prairies, the cold and the warm(ish).
- I’m free. Really, there are very few limits and restrictions on my life, and I am so grateful for this every day.
- We have healthcare. It’s not perfect, but it’s there when we need it.
- A diversity of people and cultures. We are so fortunate to have this and to embrace the difference.
- It’s really a beautiful country, and the photographer in me continues to be inspired by all the large and small beauties it offers.
- We also have a diversity of climate, which suits me just fine, I could never handle a climate that rarely or barely changed, I love that there are four distinct seasons here, seasons that do go to extremes and make you appreciate the next season all the more.
- Hockey. We play it, we watch it, we love it, but most of all we created it!
- The people. The nicest people that I know are Canadian, but even the people that I don’t know prove to be awesome time and time again.
- Our talent. There are some ridiculously talented authors, musicians, athletes, artists… around here.
- The beer. We don’t have the best beer in the world, but what we’ve got is better than most get and pretty tasty 🙂
- Timmies. I know it’s not great, not fancy and not super special, but I love my Timmies.
- We spell things our way.
- Eh. ’nuff said
Scenes from our Canada day…