Photo: Lopolo/Shutterstock

11 Things I'm Grateful for Living in Canada

by Rosalyn Estoque Dec 3, 2015

1. We’re polite to each other to a fault

Canadians are the type of people to unintentionally cause a traffic jam at the door. We’ll both go for the handle, and then say sorry for almost butting hands. After apologizing for about a minute, we’ll say, “no after you,” for about the next two minutes. After these small moments of deciding who to let ahead, we’ll probably apologize once more before either proceeds. While all of this happening, everyone in our radius is doing the same thing, and thus, a traffic jam of politeness. We will say sorry when it isn’t even our fault. Oh, you just accidentally ran your shoulder into mine? “I’m sorry for being in the way.” Next time you’re around a Canadian, just count how many times they say the word “sorry” or apologize for small silly things – you’ll find it entertainingly ridiculous.

2. Fresh air

Canadian air is fresh and crisp, and though chilly at times, it’s comforting. There’s a certain scent and feeling in the air that you can’t get anywhere else. You can walk around and not feel like you’re swimming your body through a sauna of smog. The day that I touched down back in Canada after being gone for almost half a year, it was as if my nose and lungs were going through an all-natural detox of all the strange things I unintentionally inhaled on my travels.

3. We keep it clean

Even our outhouses are clean! I never truly appreciated that until I went to North Africa, where an outhouse may not even be an option. On average we all tend to keep the garbage in the garbage. Not to bash our lovely American neighbours, but we don’t pile up heaps and heaps of large garbage bags on the sidewalk. Here in Canada, we don’t want to obstruct or ruin your lovely midnight walk with piles of unwanted trash from the day. There’s a place for that.

4. Poutine

So think about it… you have French fries and fresh cheese curds, all topped off with hot brown gravy. One word: DELICIOUS. Nowhere else can you find such a treat that will literally melt with you and leave absolutely satisfied.

5. The landscape

All the 10 provinces and all three territories are different from one another. You want mountains? We have that. You want vast open spaces that go on for days? We have that. You want the Arctic? Hell yeah, we definitely have that. America may claim the Great Lakes, but we’ve got those too. If you ever get bored of the topography of where you are, chances are there’ll be something entirely different just a few hours drive in any direction.

6. Peace and safety

You could accidentally leave your garage door open or unlocked and nothing would be taken. If this were to happen anywhere else in the world, it would be a screaming invitation of, “I’m not home, come inside and steal everything!” No one would even make it up the driveway. We mean no harm, and more importantly, we don’t want to take things from you. Your neighbor isn’t planning on stealing your beer pong table from out of your garage. He’s probably guarding it himself.

7. Canadian bacon

One time on a road trip down to the States, we made a stop at a café for breakfast. With the meal I chose the waitress asked if I wanted to add “Canadian Bacon” to it. It was more expensive than regular bacon. Even down in the States, the Americans were acknowledging we do it better — that’s when I knew our nation has finally made it.

8. Tim Hortons

The words “Can I get a large double double” will only make sense to a Canadian who avidly drinks Tim’s. No, it doesn’t mean double cupped or double your order. It simply means a coffee with two creams and two sugars. It’s a nice feeling knowing that only Canadians use such lingo with a restaurant chain that is directly associated with their country. The first thing many Canadians do after being away for so long — other than cracking open a can of domestic beer — is to get a box of Timbits with an ice cap or double-double or single-single on the side. Only a Canadian will understand how that in itself is the perfect welcome home.

9. Caesers

When some people hear the word “Caeser,” they may think of a salad or a dead Roman guy. A Canadian thinks about the drink. Caesers are almost like the official cocktail of Canada. Don’t let anyone fool you, though. Caesers are not a knock-off or copy-cat of a Bloody Mary, even though they are fairly similar. This cocktail has everything you may think off; a little spice, a little saltiness, and you can’t forget the array of garnishes you can possibly have depending on how creative you get.

10. We get all the seasons

Sometimes we Canadians dream about what it may be like to have summer year round — nothing but sunshine, beach babes and sunburns at all times. But when I actually think about it, I’m quite grateful for having fall, winter and spring; it makes every part of the year so different. Different seasons only mean a much wider variety of entertainment and activities. Sun burns in the summer and frost bite in the winter. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

11. Melting pot

But here is what I’m most grateful for: we don’t have one specific homogeneous culture. We’re so diverse. There’s so many cultures to sample at once “Oh, I don’t feel like having sushi tonight?” That’s not a problem! If you continue to go down a block or two, you may just find Middle Eastern or Indian cuisine, or maybe even just your classic North American restaurant. Many big cities have this, but so does all of Canada. We embrace all the cultures that come into our country and we aren’t afraid to show it off.

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