Tag Archives: Canada

O Canada: 7 Things I Love About Canada

Happy Canada Day (plus one) to all of you!

maple leaf

Copyright Siri Paulson, 2011

I’ll be the first to tell you that Canada isn’t perfect. In fact, we Canadians sometimes have an inferiority complex. But we also tend to forget how great a country we live in, or at least we forget to stop and celebrate it.

Here, then, are just a few of the things I love about Canada and Canadians…

7. The way we say “sorry” constantly. I bumped into you? Sorry. You bumped into me? Sorry. I swear we say it more often than “eh”.

6. The cleanliness of our cities and streetscapes. Having travelled widely, I can tell you…it’s unusual. Some places don’t have traffic lights, or clear sidewalks, or garbage-free streets. I’m grateful that we do.

5. Our quiet national pride and patriotism. We’re not much for flying flags and strutting our stuff, but if you ask us? We’ll tell you that we believe in this country of ours.

4. Our diversity, and our commitment to being an accepting nation. Here’s one very small anecdote: Yesterday there was a street party in my neighbourhood because Argentina won their match at the World Cup. Last week Mexico and Brazil both won matches the same afternoon, so we had TWO street parties, alternating, for blocks. Yes, multiculturalism is our thing. We’re also cool with different religions and different sexual orientations, and that makes me proud too.

3. Our health care. And our other social services. Again, these are far from perfect, but when we look at some of the alternatives…we’re grateful.

2. Our wide-open natural spaces, from the prairies to the forests to the mountains to the tundra…and the ways we have found to (mostly) use them without destroying them.

1. Our people. Canadians are known for being nice. We take pride in it. And hey, as a defining national characteristic, that’s not bad!

 

Your turn! What do you love about Canada? If you don’t live here, what’s your impression of Canada?

 

Celebrating Independent Bookstores in Western Canada

A good independent bookstore is still worth more than any online store or chain bookstore. The selection is far better than in a chain, knowledgeable staff still beat algorithms, and much as I enjoy online browsing, there’s nothing like standing in a room (or rooms!) full of books.

So this week I’m putting the spotlight on several indies I’ve recently had the privilege of visiting.

I’ve just finished a road trip through Western Canada. One of the best parts of the trip was looking out for independent bookstores everywhere I went, and buying a little something at each, in the hope they’ll still be there next time I come through.

Here’s what I found, from west to east…

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Book Nostalgia: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

In this week’s installment of our Nostalgia series, I’m tackling a book whose very language has inscribed itself in my heart and mind.Anne of Green Gables cover

A child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, very tight, very ugly dress of yellowish gray wincey. She wore a faded brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, extending down her back, were two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair. Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, that looked green in some lights and moods and gray in others.

Yes, it’s L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. If you love this book as I do — or even if you don’t — come on in and let’s talk about it…

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