Canada has often been rated one of the most loved countries in the world. People tend to feel this way because we are known to be friendly and funny (intentionally or not), we have an expansive and diverse nation with a lush natural environment, and we produce internationally recognized people and products. Here in Canada, we know that our country is pretty great, but here’s why other nations love us, too.
1. Our unbeatable cottage country
2. Our love of meat—especially bacon
Somehow, the subject of Canadian bacon always comes up with tourists, and we’re not just talking peameal. With a statistic that says Canada produces five strips of bacon for every person on the planet, it’s obvious outsiders just can’t get enough either. Beyond bacon, we’re also world-renowned for our game meats, Montreal smoked meat, and salmon production.
3. How seriously we take hockey
Canada and hockey have become synonymous with one another, but it’s for good reason. Though some hockey fans have recently suggested that ice hockey was created in Britain, not Canada, there is no question that Canadians have always been the most talented players. Gretzky, Orr, Lemieux, and Crosby are just a few names that come to mind. In fact, our Olympic team has a collection of nine Gold medals, and when we win, it’s a really big deal.
4. Our currency
Now that we’ve had our no-fold, plastic, rumoured-to-be-syrup-scented, rainbow-coloured bills in circulation for a while, it’s hard to remember what Canadian cash looked like before it. The Canadian Mint was made fun of when it unveiled the latest, “Monopoly money,” but our current bills are only the most recent example that our country enjoys making money fun. From an outsider’s perspective, it’s a bit comical that an entire nation legitimately accepts and uses the names “Loonie” and “Toonie” for their currency.
5. We’re really sorry, even if you run into us
It has happened to any true Canadian: you’re walking along, someone runs into you, and you find yourself saying “sorry”—even when you’re not sure why. The apologetic Canadian is a fairly accurate stereotype. But you’ve ever travelled to another country and experienced someone step on your foot, nudge you out of the way, or cut in line without batting an eye, you realize that the Canadian way is much more attractive than the alternative.
6. Our accents and distinct dialect
There are lots of fun words that you’ll only hear in Canada, like two-four, toque, and toboggan, and according to our neighbours from the south, we over-pronounce words like “about” and “roof.” But because of Canada’s sheer size, there are several accents within the country that generally depend on geographic location. In fact, Newfoundlanders have such a strong heritage that they have a language that’s all their own.
7. Our ability to get sick and still stay out of debt
Canadians are generally regarded as really nice people, which may have something to do with the fact that we take care of ourselves and one another. We have all heard arguments about how Canadian healthcare could be improved with privatized systems or super-inclusive social services like those in Northern Europe, but the bottom line is that in most situations, Canadians can walk into a healthcare facility, receive treatment, and not have to go into debilitating debt because of it. Regardless of the debate, Canada has one of the highest life expectancy rates and lowest infant mortality rates in the world, so we must be doing something right.
8. The West Coast’s winter climate and long ski season
Whistler, B.C., has a 7-month ski season, which is one of the longest in North America. Alongside international acclaim and professional endorsements for the quality of its facilities and terrain, Whistler also gets some amazing powder, which is why the resort often employs and hosts guests from around the world
This one might sound weird, but Degrassi is an extremely popular and influential television show worldwide. Whether you’re a fan of the teen-targetted show or not, Degrassi has been a long-standing show that has always been known for breaking boundaries and bringing sometimes uncomfortable real-life scenarios to the forefront. The show, which is filmed in Toronto, has featured tough teen topics including school shootings, sexual assault, drug use, mental illness, and sexual health. Most recently, seasons 10 through 13 showed the struggles of the first transgendered teen character to appear regularly on a series scripted show, ever.
10. Our humour (and the fact that we’re not afraid to laugh at ourselves)
A little self-deprecation can go a long way in how people perceive one another, and Canadian celebs don’t hold back from making fun of their heritage. A few who continuously mock their own Canadianness include Cobie Smulder (“Robin” on the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother), Drake, Mike Myers, Rick Moranis, and Rick Mercer. Plus, a quick glance at a list of famous Canadians shows just how many funny, awkward people make it to the big screen from the Great White North.
11. Our acceptance
More than a decade ago, Canada became the fourth country to legalize same-sex marriage, which has since allowed milestones like World Pride 2014 to take place in Toronto where a record-breaking 120 couples from less liberal countries were married in unison. We also boast multiculturalism. In 1971, Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. What does that mean? Officially, “multiculturalism ensures that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry, and have a sense of belonging.”
12. Our vast wilderness
A lot of foreigners are truly amazed when they discover just how large Canada is. “I’m coming to Toronto for a week in December—I’ll have time to see the Rockies, right?” is a question that actually gets asked. With 10 provinces and three territories, Canada is not only the second largest country by land mass, but it also features a wicked amount untouched nature. Canada is home to the most lakes in the world, which is 20 percent of the earth’s freshwater resources. Likewise, more than half of Canada is covered in trees, which amounts to about 10 percent of the world’s forests.
13. Our mouth-watering culinary inventions
Fried potatoes plus gravy plus cheese curds? Potato chips flavoured to taste like ketchup or dill pickles? Mini donuts made out of the holes of regular donuts? A drink that mixes clam juice, tomato juice, vodka, tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire sauce? Maple syrup on whaaaaat? Canadian delicacies might sound gross, but anyone who’s tasted them knows they’re absolutely delicious.