Canada day! Blog by D S L FE 2 Custard King
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You stand in "line-ups" at the movie, not lines.


You understand the sentence, "Could you please pass me a serviette, I just spilled my poutine."

You eat chocolate bars instead of candy bars.

You drink pop, not soda.

You know what it means to be on pogey.

You know that a mickey and 2-4's mean "Party at the camp, eh!"

You can drink legally while still a teen.

You talk about the weather with strangers and friends alike.

You don't know or care about the fuss with Cuba, it's just a cheap place to travel with good cigars and no Americans.

When there is a social problem, you turn to your government to fix it instead of telling them to stay out of it.

You're not sure if the leader of your nation has EVER had sex and you really don't want to know if he has!

You get milk in bags as well as cartons and plastic jugs.

Pike is a type of fish, not some part of a highway.

You drive on a highway, not a freeway.

You know what a Robertson screwdriver is.

You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers.

You know that Thrills are something to chew and "taste like soap."

You know that Mounties "don't always look like that."

You dismiss all beers under 6% as "for children and the elderly."

You know that the Friendly Giant isn't a vegetable product line.

You know that Casey and Finnegan are not a Celtic musical group.

You participated in "Participaction."

You wonder why there isn't a 5 dollar coin yet.


You use a red pen on your non-Canadian textbooks and fill in the missing 'u's from labor, honor, and color.

You know the French equivalents of "free", "prize", and "no sugar added", thanks to your extensive education in bilingual cereal packaging.

You are excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.

You make a mental note to talk about it at work the next day.

You can do all the hand actions to Sharon, Lois and Bram's "Skin-a-ma-rinky-dinky-doo" opus.

You can eat more than one maple sugar candy without feeling nauseous.

You were mad when "The Beachcombers" were taken off the air.

You know what a toque is.

You have some memento of Doug and Bob.

You know Toronto is not a province.

You never miss "Coaches Corner."

Back bacon and Kraft Dinner are two of your favorites food groups.

  1. You know all the words to "If I had a million dollars" by The Barenaked Ladies, including the inter-stanza banter between Steven and Ed.

  2. You dismiss all beers under 6% as "for children and the elderly."

  3. You hum David Foster's '88 Calgary Olympics theme in the shower.

  4. You make up patriotic lyrics to go along with David Foster's '88 Calgary Olympics theme.

  5. You remember when Alanis Morrissette was "Too Hot To Hold".

    You can't do that on television...)

  6. You think there isn't enough of Peter Gzowski to go around.

  7. You think Ed the Sock is funny.

  8. You wonder why there isn't a 5 dollar coin, as you can only use more change.

  9. You spend hours in the dark making scale models of the Avro Arrow and cursing the Diefenbaker government.

    (My brother Brad... )

  10. You cried when Gus "drowned" on Road To Avonlea.

  11. You watch MuchMusic constantly, in the hopes of occasional fleeting glimpses of The Tragically Hip.

  12. You have an Inuit carving by your bedside with the rationale, "what's good enough protection for the Prime Minister, is good enough for me!"

  13. You have memorized the Heritage Foundation's Heritage Moments, including your favourites, "Burnt Toast!", "You know I canna read a word...", and "Kanata".

  14. You can sing "O' Canada" in French and actually know what the words mean!

    (As mentioned elsewhere, I prefer the words to the French version...)

  15. You advocate the abolition of responsible government, in favour of monarchist rule.

  16. You think there isn't enough Queen on our currency.

  17. You send angry letters to the CBC demanding the return of the Hinterland Who's Who spots so you can finally find out what happens to the arctic ptarmigan in winter.

  18. You participate in Participaction!

  19. You think Peter Mansbridge is sexy.

  20. You think Lloyd Robertson is sexy.

  21. You think Peter Kent is sexy.

  22. You think Brad Pitt is so-so.

  23. You stood in line for hours for Another Roadside Attraction tickets.

  24. You killed your best friend for Another Roadside Attraction tickets.

  25. You think Great Big Sea isn't Maritime-centric enough.

  26. Your graduation formal dress was made of flannel.

  27. Your backpack has more than one Canadian flag iron-on.

  28. You know the names of all the guys in Sloan.

  29. You have been on Speaker's Corner. Bonus points if The Devil's Advocates made fun of you.

  30. You use a red pen on your non-Canadian textbooks and fill in the missing 'u's from labor, honor, and color.

  31. You know the French equivalents of "free," "prize" and "no sugar added," thanks to your extensive education in bilingual cereal packaging.

  32. You still haven't taken down your "NON" posters from the 95 Referendum.

  33. You know more than 3 guys named Gordon.

  34. You think Ashley MacIssac isn't Celtic enough.

  35. You remember "Jodie" from Today's Special and wonder why you keep seeing her reading news on the CBC.

  36. You can do the hand actions to Sharon, Lois and Bram's "Skin-a-marinki-dinki-do."

  37. You know why "killerwhaletank" is funny.

  38. You can eat more than one maple sugar candy without feeling nauseous.

  39. You had a crush on Joey Jeremiah from Degrassi Junior High.

  40. You know that a "Premier" isn't a baby born a few months early.

  41. You actually watch The Gemini Awards, The Genie Awards, and The Juno Awards. You wonder why Stompin' Tom doesn't get his own category in all three. You scream passionately at the television when your favourite Canadian performers are overlooked by their respective academies.

  42. You are excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada. You make a mental note to talk about it at work the next day.

  43. You think -10 C (14F) is mild weather.

  44. You have twins named Donovan and Bailey.

  45. You have twins named Wayne and Gretzky (alternatively Gordie and Howe).

  46. Thinking of Johnny Wayne causes gales of laughter.

  47. You burst out laughing when someone says, "Hi! I'm Ed Broadbent!"

  48. Elvis lives!

  49. You're proud that Captain Kirk came from Montreal.

    (Evidently, I'm not all that Canadian. I'm not terribly proud of his acting abilities...)

  50. You wished that Relic's boat would get crushed to bits by one of those logs.

  51. You read rather than scanned this list.

65. Terry Fox "A true Canadian hero." Nicole Okano, Richmond, B.C.

66. Mr. Dressup "Although Ernie Coombs passed away a few years ago and Casey, Finnegan, Aunt Bird and Alligator Al are all tucked away in a special chest. Our children will always remember the many skills and information they learned from the show." Jo-Anne Page, Toronto

67. Pierre Elliott Trudeau "He was an inspirational leader." Shammy Singh, Toronto

68. A prime minister [Stephen Harper] who apologizes. "The prime minister's apology to the aboriginal peoples who attended residential schools is a wonderful accomplishment and a step in the right direction for the future." Eileen Lucas, Fort McMurray, Alta.

69. David Suzuki "He is fighting the most important fight there is save our place on this planet." Bernadette Hardaker, Orangeville, Ont.

70. "Mike Myers "Canada's greatest ambassador." Linda Lee, Moncton, N.B.

71. Musicians "Jann Arden, Bryan Adams, Sarah MacLachlan, Great Big Sea, Loreena McKennitt, Barenaked Ladies, Chantal Kreviazuk, Terri Clark, Nelly Furtado, Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Shania Twain, Tommy Hunter, Chilliwack, Loverboy, Nickelback, The Rankins, Diana Krall, Avril Lavigne, the list goes on and on and on!" Linda LaRochelle, Port Alberni, B.C.

72. "Proud artist Emily Carr." Lynmarie Hubley, Kingston, Ont.

73. "The talented artists and the people who support them." -- Jeanette Bearss
Canmore, Alta.

74. Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven "These artists really had it all together. Their paintings capture a true feeling of what Canada is and how vast and different its landscape can be, even in just one province." Katrien Reed, Belleville, Ont.

Peace, Order and Good Government: It's enshrined in our Constitution; it's something we're famous for worldwide -- and, in one way or another, it made the lists of dozens of our contributors.

75. Education "Even with budget cuts there are still many excellent English as a Second Language programs offered in many schools, community centres and religious institutions in cities and towns in our magnificent country." Jo-Anne Page, Toronto

76. Our military "Thank you for the fighting, the peacekeeping and the ultimate sacrifice of your lives to make this world a better place for my children and myself. " Barbara White, Barrie, Ont.

77. Order and citizenship "We don't assassinate our political leaders...we,"pie" them instead!" Christine Peters, Edmonton

78. Democracy "I love being able to vote in a democratic society." Linda Klages, Hanover, Ont.

79. "The economy and opportunity that Canada offers to her people. We can aspire to a sound future. Students can find vocational training at a reasonable fee and most could afford to take some type of post secondary training education." Sharon Thurston, St-Anicet, Que.

80. Pensions "How many countries take care of its older generation like we do? At some point we will enjoy the Old Age Security Pension and Canada Pension Plan." Susan Scriver

81. Transportation "Subways and buses, trains, ferries, cars, and planes to take us anywhere in our vast country within a matter of hours instead of weeks, like in pioneer times." Sharon Thurston, St-Anicet, Que.

82. Clean roads, cities "I love that our highways and streets are kept clean of litter. " Lasha MacLeod , Sherwood Park, Alta.

83. Safety/sense of security "I feel safe in my community and trust in my neighbours." Laurie MacNeil, Cleveland, N.S.

84. Peace "Our peace-loving nature, known throughout the world." Linda Chaput, North Bay, Ont.

85. Opportunities "It's the land of opportunity and the best place to live on Earth." Gloria Shields, Port Hope, Ont.

86. "The streets of old Quebec City." Ashlee Mackey, Houston, Tx originally from St. John's, N.L.

87. "We have 13 beautiful provinces and territories to explore. The beauty is incomparable to anything or anywhere else." Peggy McPherson, Windsor, N.S.

88. Ottawa's Rideau Canal "I never feel so Canadian as when I am skating on the Rideau during Winterlude." Katrien Reed, Belleville, Ont.

89. "I love the CN Tower lit up at night. Your eyes are drawn to it like a magnet." Susan Scriver

90. Toronto "This city is amazing! The galleries, the theater, the community, the Toronto Maple Leaf fans!" Suzanne Creighton, Toronto

91. Calgary Stampede "I lived in Alberta for 13 years and loved when the Stampede came to town. It brought the wild west to us for 10 days." Roxanne Zinck, Sussex, N.B.

92. "Free multicultural events at Harbourfront, Toronto." Patricia Lewis, Toronto

93. Prairies "Grain fields and grasses that look like waves as they change direction with the wind." Kathleen Alexander, Saskatoon

94. "Ottawa and the Tulip Festival." Cindy San Antonio, Whitby, Ont.

95. "Vancouver is one of my favourite cities. It is so diverse and has beautiful scenery right in town!" Lasha MacLeod, Sherwood Park, Alta.

96. Muskoka "Canada's area of magnificent lakes, rocks, flora and fauna. Boating, swimming, fishing, golfing and cottaging in the spring and summer. Walking the trails and viewing the changing of the leaves in the fall and skiing, skating and snowshoeing in the winter. Lucky us!" Jo-Anne Page, Toronto

97. "The beauty of British Columbia" Sheila Kawahara, Thunder Bay, Ont.

And finally -- drumroll, please -- unique entries we couldn't resist!

98. Pineapple Crush. "I think it might be a Newfie thing." Ashlee Mackey, Houston

99. "Elk jams in Banff National Park." Fiona Baxter, Ottawa

100. Ketchup chips -- "Not much to say except YUMMY!" Susan Paisley

Do you have a Canadian favourite that didn't make our list? Post it by clicking on the microphone icon.

35. "Our national and provincial parks" Sandra Kropinske, Kamloops, B.C.

36. Niagara Falls "It's spectacular at night. Canada is fortunate to have a wonder of the world." Tracey Ilnisky, Gilbert Plains, Man.

37. Oceans "The smell of the Atlantic Ocean (with icebergs and humpbacks in the background of course!)" Ashlee Mackey, Houston, originally from St. John's, N.L.

38. "Fresh air and blue skies -- you can truly appreciate it after you visit some dirty steel towns." Suzanne Michal, Ottawa

39. "Our caring about the environment." Chris Sherlock, LaSalle, Ont.

40. "Watching the Northern Lights dance across the winter sky." Sandi Larson, Cold Lake, Alta.

41. Highway 60 through Algonquin Park "Watching for wildlife, namely moose, hidden within the lush landscape is one of our family's favourite pastimes." Louise Aspden, Utopia, Ont.

42. "Red dunes on the beaches in P.E.I." Lisa Mallia, Toronto

43. The Trans Canada Highway "It allows us to discover all that our beautiful country has to offer. Take the ride!" Anne Shelton, Toronto

44. "Skiing in the morning and going to the beach in the afternoon." Fiona Baxter, Ottawa (formerly of Banff, Alta. and B.C.)

45. Canoeing "There's no better way to reconnect with the natural world and so many wonderful lakes and rivers on which to do it." Bernadette Hardaker, Orangeville, Ont.

46. "Cottage country -- i.e. beautiful Muskoka, lovely Tobermory, sizzling Sauble Beach." Vivian Lee, Toronto

47. Wildlife "We have everything -- moose, deer, rabbit, beaver, squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, etc." Joyce Poyton, Hamilton, Ont.

48. Polar bears "This bear is twice as big as a lion or tiger...OH MY!" Pat Greer, Aylmer, Ont.

49. Canada Geese "Each time I hear their calls soaring above and see the unmistakable "V" formation I remind myself how grateful I am to be Canadian." Louise Aspden, Utopia, Ont.

50. The loon "Hearing their eerie love song invokes a sense of peace and wonder within me." Louise Aspden, Utopia, Ont.

51. "Sideways snow." when you live with it, you never think you'll miss it." Ashlee Mackey, Houston, originally from St. John's, N.L.

52. Autumn "Love that crispy clean air and the crazy quilt of colour." Shairon Burton

Does Canada have a unique culture and heritage? You'd better believe it! And here are some of its hallmarks, identified by Homemakers readers as among their favourite things about Canada.

53. Diversity in history and heritage "Canadians have a diverse and rich heritage from our ancestors. It's instilled in us that we must leave a mark as Canadians on our planet." Connie Grant, Saint John, N.B.

54. Bilingualism "What an advantage to know another language -- especially good for solving crossword puzzles!" Mary Danieli, Burnaby, B.C.

55. "Our First Nations...a great heritage, a rich culture, a great people." Ruth Witt

56. Canadian spelling "The letter U -- I love sending e-mails to my U.S. friends with words like colour, favourite, and humour. A special mention for the letter Z (zed)." Jennifer Williatte-Battet, St. Joseph du Moine, NS

57. Family Whether you gather at your local Tim Hortons or during Canada Day or Victoria Day celebrations, you cited family as source of Canadian pride.

58. We actually say, "eh." Tammy Taylor, Oakville, Ont.

59. Canadian comedy and our sense of humour."Canada has some of the funniest quirky comedians from French Canadians, Newfoundlanders, Nova Scotians, First Nations...Russell Peters, Shaun Majumder." Barb Derick, Ottawa

60. Canadian literature Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables was a popular choice. "Robertson Davies, yes, and Alice Munro and Margaret Laurence and Margaret Atwood...we have so many wonderful writers in this country." Lily Gillespie

61. Local talent "Uniquely talented Canadian actors, directors, writers, artists representing!" Vivian Lee, Toronto

62. Canada Day fireworks "Unites wonderful people of all ages and cultures in this great country of ours." Danielle Vincent, Gatineau, Que.

63. "CBC radio and TV keep us in touch with our awesome country and with
the other nations of the world." Ruth Witt

64. "Homemakers magazine I can't wait for the next issue!" Brenda Critch, Lindsay, Ont. [Well, really, how could we resist including that one?!]

Your 100 favourite Canadian things

What's not to love about Canada? Not much, but when asked about what they DO love, our readers shared hundreds of favourite things about our home and native land. Did yours make the list?


*The balance of your top favourites are listed in no particular order

11. Culinary variety "The availability of food from around the world, including locally grown produce." Catherine Charnell, Victoria

12. Maple syrup "Dripping freshly brewed maple sap onto frozen snow for that wonderful taffy treat - awesome!" Louise Aspden, Utopia, Ont.

13. Poutine "Who would have thought fries + cheese curd + gravy could be an out-of-body experience?" Ashlee Mackey, Houston originally from St. John's, N.L.

14. Beef "Best beef in the world, from Alberta." Marybell Ritchie

15. "Canadian beer is the best, hands down!" Jennifer Rayment, Bolton, Ont.

16. Seafood including P.E.I. lobster, Atlantic salmon, Newfoundland chowder, "Atlantic Coast Lobster and BC salmon." Pat Greer, Aylmer, Ont.

17. "We have real bacon. Canadian back bacon." Patricia Fretz, Courtice, Ont.

18. Nanaimo bars "So traditional and so B.C.!" Alana LeSueur, Surrey, B.C.

19. Fresh produce "An abundance of homegrown fruits and vegetables." Karen Mitchell, White Rock, B.C.

20. Saskatoon berries "on ice cream, with fresh cream, on their own as you mow by the bush, mmhmm." Barb Beck, Wetaskiwin, Alta.

21. Wines "Yes, we have some of the best in the world and for many of us, right at our doorstep." Susan Fox, Thornhill, Ont.

22. Butter tarts "You can't find them anywhere else! It's the treat friends from the U.S., Britain and Australia want when they set foot on Canadian soil." Jo-Anne Page, Toronto

23. "Any farmer's market on a Saturday morning." Carrie Chenier, Etobicoke, Ont., (a transplanted Northerner)

24. Icewine "Mmmmm..." Kristi Briltz, Regina

25. Beavertails "Delicious and just part of being a Canadian." Katrien Reed, Belleville, Ont.

26. Fiddleheads "Nothing heralds spring as much as a steaming plate of freshly picked fiddleheads served with butter and a side order of pork." Anne Glazier, Bathurst, N.B.

27. Smarties (originated in the U.K., but made in Canada!) "Do you eat the red ones last?" Jaclyn Nelson, London, Ont.

Canadians may not be as flag-waving as citizens of some other countries...or are we? All of these distinctly Canadian icons and national symbols got lots of "votes."

28. "It does us no end of good here to see and have an excuse to salute the flag of Canada -- a hockey game (yes, on ice!) or a Maple Leaf Ball." Shairon Burton

29. The maple leaf "So unassuming, so clean and so elegantly simple -- so reflective of Canadians." Willy Wilkins, Richmond Hill, Ontario.

30. The beaver "Our national animal is hard-working and has a strong sense of family." Christine Peters, Edmonton

31. Money "Brightly coloured bills and unique coins" Lynda Colvey, Cold Lake, Alta.

32. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) "So proud, independent, brave...they make us feel safe." Erin Purdy, Ottawa

33. O Canada! "I feel pride in my heart each time I hear our national anthem." Sandi Larson, Cold Lake, Alta.

34. Parliament Hill "The grandeur of the place added to the lasting memory it created in my parents' visit to Canada. Their photograph in front of the parliament buildings will forever be present in my living room." Cynthia G. Garcia


Readers's top 10 Canadian favourites
10. Tim Hortons
"Coffee addicts unite! ... Who can resist rolling up the rim?" wrote Anne Shelton of Toronto. Yes, we love Tim's coffee, Timbits, Iced Capps frozen cappuccinos, sour cream cake and maple doughnuts -- spelled d-o-u-g-h-n-u-t-s, please, not d-o-n-u-t-s! (See item 56 on this list for more on Canadian spellings.)

9. The beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains, "...still mostly untouched. You can go hiking without running into crowds of people." (Lasha MacLeod, Sherwood Park, Alta.)

8. Fresh water
That includes our lakes to swim and fish in, clean drinking water, rivers, streams and ponds. "The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway are proud parts of our history in discovering the country," said Terri McBride of Hunstville, Ont.

7. Hockey
Included in "Our Game" are CBC's Hockey Night in Canada -- both the show and its former theme song -- as well as national teams: The Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, and Montreal Canadiens, Cheers to our women's teams too. In Canada, hockey is "the sport that brings friends and communities together," said Kim O'Reilly, Calgary, Alta.

6. Health care
Barbara White of Barrie, Ont. said it best: "Having a husband diagnosed with cancer at 33 and, 10 years later, still waking up beside him and watching our children grow together makes me thankful every day that I am a Canadian. I have not had to get a second or third job, still have a house without having to sell it all in order to pay medical bills!"

5. Freedom
We're overwhelmingly grateful for our freedom of speech and religion; for our nation's independence and democracy, and for our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Linda LaRochelle from Port Alberni, B.C. wrote in to say: "In Canada, a democratic country, we enjoy the freedom to live our lives pretty much as we choose."

4. Our changing seasons
"Canadians enjoy talking about the weather and are often disgruntled by the extreme heat and cold. But the changing of the seasons gives us not only something to talk about, but also to look forward to." (Cheryl Telford, Newmarket, Ont.)

3. The Canadian character
You described Canadians as friendly, polite, generous, warm, open-minded, forgiving, humble, welcoming, caring, curious and honest.

"It's the people that make a country great and we have a great country with outstanding people -- young and old." (Beth Corrigan Jenish, Oshawa, Ont.)

2. The landscape
Vast, clean, diverse and green -- those are some of the words you used to describe our home and native land. "Whether travelling east to west or west to east, we truly have a beautiful country to be proud of," said Cheryl Telford.

And...1. Multiculturalism
"From our people, our landscape, our culture(s), food, etc., the very fabric of Canada is a patchwork quilt, full of colours and textures and richness," says Linda LaRochelle, Port Alberni, B.C.

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