Between Thessalon and Chapleau, Ontario
Photo by Michael Hill

Why Canada has the best autumn in the world

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We know autumn happens in lots of different places, but there are many reasons why fall in Canada is amazing. Hey—if you’re in Vermont, awesome. But you can’t beat the glow of red, orange, and yellow leaves during an afternoon in cottage country.

Here are 10 reasons why this season is Canada’s time to shine:

1. All the seasonal produce

So many delicious things are in season during the fall—apples and pumpkins, pears and squash, leeks and parsnips, brussels sprouts and kale (which actually gets even better after a frost). You could spend months just cooking with apples, and you wouldn’t run out of varieties or recipes.

2. The fun outdoor activities

Fall fairs! Corn mazes! Hay rides! Pumpkin walks! Apple picking! There’s no better way to take advantage of fall’s amazing weather than to spend as much time as possible outside. Plus, many fall activities are a great opportunity to get out and explore farms, small towns and rural areas you may not know very well. Even exercising outside is much more enjoyable when it’s not stinkin’ hot out, so abandon the treadmill in favour of the trails.

3. Early Thanksgiving

Because who wants to worry about cooking a turkey when they’re also stressing about buying holiday presents? Thanksgiving in October means we can relax and actually enjoy ourselves, and all the delicious bounty fall has to offer—and it means that dinner and travel plans are a lot less likely to get derailed by a snowstorm.

4. Changing leaves

Canadians obviously love changing leaves—we’ve got a red maple leaf on our flag, after all. But really, isn’t it amazing to watch the hills slowly blaze up with red, gold, and orange every year? As Anne of Green Gables famously said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

5. The crunchy sound of leaves underfoot

Is there anything better than crunching and shuffling your way through dry, fallen leaves? The sounds brings many folks right back to childhood—so they’d be forgiven if that pile of leaves suddenly got jumped in…

6. Cozy everything

You pull out your sweaters, your boots, and your blankets—and rediscover what a delicious feeling it is to be cozied up on a crisp, cool day. Cuddling stops being a sweat-fest, too—and you no longer have to feel self-conscious about buying your favourite hot chocolate creation.

7. The anticipation of winter

While winter can definitely drag on too long, anticipating the return of clear, cold nights and gently falling snow is one of the nice things about fall—especially following on the heels of a hot, sticky summer. Plus, holidays are coming—and in the fall, those still sound like a lot of fun.

8. No more bugs

Mosquitoes are gone, blackflies are gone, midges are almost gone—fall is blessedly irritant-free, insect-wise. Isn’t it nice to sit outside without whacking at something buzzing every 30 seconds?

9. The return of comfort food

Break out your soups, your dumplings, your stews, and your roasts—fall is a time to start enjoying rib-sticking food once again. Simply turning on the oven without having to crank the air conditioner is a wonderful feeling. Indulge in dense, wonderful puddings and pies to help chase the impending chill away.

10. The awesome smells

Maybe it’s something about the lower temperatures, but everything seems to smell better in autumn. That evocative smell of fallen leaves, the aroma of burning wood, the warm coziness of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, the hint in the air that winter’s on its way—fall just smells good. Go outside and breathe it in—although maybe take an antihistamine first if you’ve got seasonal allergies.

More from Cottage Life:

DIY Fall Leaves Mason Jar Candle Holder

Here are some tips for closing up the cottage this fall

Bored of S'mores? Here's how to put a fall twist on the classic dessert