The True North

Happy Canada Day! As has become my tradition I use Canada’s Birthday for an opportunity to provide a little education on the nature of this place.  I feel lucky to be a Canadian and extraordinarily privileged to have been born in a country with such wicked wealth and extreme charm.  In past years I’ve done quotes about Canada, lists about Canada, random stuff about Canada – and this year – this year is about what Canadians are.

Canadians are living in a a very peaceful place.  We rank 14th in the world.  (New Zealand is #1.  Iraq is last. It’s a really interesting map.)  I think most Canadians would agree both that they are very proud of being at peace, and that the number would be super different if we hadn’t won a gold medal in women’s and men’s hockey at the Olympics this year.  Interestingly, Canada invented Peacekeeping (which is sort of like an international version of standing between two people who are having a fight and not letting them hurt each other.) You can read about it here.

Canadians are living in an extraordinarily developed country. The Human Development Index (from which we get the term "developing countries") ranks Canada as the 4th most developed place in the world, coming only after Norway, Australia and Iceland. (Frankly, I think it’s the wool and knitting that’s doing it.)

Canadians are the worlds largest consumers (per capita) of Kraft Dinner. (Same stuff as Kraft mac and cheese in the US.) We can’t explain this at all, but there you have it.

Canadians live in a country where the universities don’t award any entrance scholarships for athletics. 

Canadians are all about the water.  We have the worlds longest coastline 243,977 kilometres (151,600 miles), 1/4 of the worlds fresh water,  and two million lakes. We’ve got the worlds largest lake within a lake, the worlds highest tides. It’s no wonder that Canada is the birthplace of the kayak and the canoe. It has been said that this country was built from a canoe.  (For the record, National Canoe day is June 26th.)  All this water might explain how we feel about skating, hockey and our exceptional navy, which marks it’s 100th anniversary this year.   The Canadian Coast guard is a really big deal and responsible for operating over ocean and inland waters of over 8 million square kilometers. (That’s almost 5 million miles.)

Canadians are not weirded out very easily: Canada’s longest serving Prime Minister (and actually, the longest serving leader of any English-speaking country) was William Lyon Mackenzie King. (He should not be confused with his grandfather, William Lyon Mackenzie, who led revolts in the 1830’s.) He was a brilliant leader, giving us the Old Age Pension, Family Allowance and Unemployment insurance.   This may be because he was a bright guy, but may be because he regularly communicated with former Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier.  While having an advisor isn’t at all odd, the fact that Laurier was dead at the time and Mackenzie King communicated with him though his pet dog is sort of out there.  Still, he really got the job done and even knowing he was odd as fish, we kept him around for a long time. (22 years.)  Further to that, Canadians are living in a country where the "civil war" (if you can even call it that) was essentially a barfight led by the definitely drunken and likely insane aforementioned William Lyon Mackenzie.  According to legend, it took about an hour.)

Canadians are unaware that  labelling "homo milk" (homogenized milk) is unique. (Tip for Canadians. If you’re in the US, homo milk is called "whole milk". If you ask for homo milk they’ll giggle.)

Canadians are: loving their health care.  90% of Canadians support universal health care. “There are very few, if any, pillars of Canadian public policy of which Canadians approve as strongly as the principle of universal health care, which has been with us since it was first adopted by the Pearson government in the 1960s.” – Nic Nanos.  Personally, I can tell you that after a year in this family marked by three members experiencing serious, life threatening accidents and illnesses that required extensive and prolonged expert care… I’m so grateful none of us had to pay a dime for it.

Canadians are: living a long time.  Canada’s life expectancy is third in the world after Switzerland and Japan.

Canadians are: Not very worried about same sex marriage. We’ve had it for a good long while now.  Nothing bad has happened.

Canadians are: believing in aliens.  78% of us believe in the existence of life elsewhere, and almost one in ten of us have seen a UFO.  (I haven’t.)

Canadians are: speaking our own language. We say washroom (not bathroom)   eat chocolate bars (not candy bars) someone who’s too eager is a “keener”, a small bottle of liquor is a mickey. A two-four is a case of beer, a double-double is a coffee and we all know what a hoser is, and it’s really hard to explain- but you know it when you see it. We sit on the chesterfield, Elvis is a skater and hydro is electricity.  Pissed means drunk (or angry, depending on the context only) we use loonies and toonies to pay for things. We wear touques, carry knapsacks and are delighted when a chinook blows.

Canadians are: Obsessed with mosquitoes, and for good reasons.  There’s a town in Manitoba called Komarno (Ukrainian for mosquito) that boasts the worlds largest (and perhaps only) statue of the beast – It’s sculpted out of steel and has a wingspan of about 4.5 metres.  (15 feet) Anyone who has been to Manitoba during mosquito season will tell you that is just about life-sized.  Canadians say that the best mosquito repellant is a shotgun, and we have no end of jokes about them, which is really just a way of trying to survive – and in parts of Canada, we’re not even kidding.  Canadian researchers in the Arctic reported as many as 9000 bites per minute, which at that rate could drain half a full grown man’s  blood in 2 hours. We have all manner of describing their size here, from "mosquitoes so big they have landing lights" to "mosquitoes so big they carry off babies" to my all time favourite.  "Au chalet de ma grand-mère, les maringouins sont tellement gros qu’ils doivent se mettre à genoux pour nous piquer dans le front!" (This translates roughly to "at my grandmothers cottage the mosquitoes are so big they have to get down on their knees to bite you on the forehead".)

Canadians are: Proud of the diversity of their country.  Canada is the most diverse country in the world, and a recent poll showed that 97% of us are proud of the way this country mixes cultures, ideas and faiths and lives peacefully together, and Canada leads the world with reported tolerance for ethnic minorities and immigrants. 

Canadians are:   really educated. Canada is second only to Finland in high school student performance among OECD data.   Unicef ranks education systems and says that Canadian 15 year olds score 4th among the worlds richest countries.  Interestingly, only 8% of Canadian students attend private school, and 62% of us go on to college or university.

Canadians are online: More of us own a personal computer than anywhere else in the world.

Canadians are living in a Constitutional Monarchy.  That means that there’s a Queen of Canada. Mostly, we like that.

Canadians are the hosts of the oldest continuously-run  horserace on the Continent.  It’s called the Queens Plate, and the Queen will attend it on Monday.

Canadians are funny. In fact, it is often said that our biggest export to the rest of the world is humour. Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, Samantha Bee, Tommy Chong, John Candy, Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, Eugene Levy, Rich Little, Howie
Mandel, Lorne Michaels, Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster, Leslie Nielsen, Cathrine O’hara, Caroline Rhea, Seth Rogen, Martin Short – all Canadian. In fact, if we were to ever invade another Country (which we wouldn’t, we’re totally not like that) then an army of Comedians is what we would send to disarm them first. (You might want to note how many of those names live in the US now. I’m sure it’s a coincidence.)

Canadians are not paying outrageous taxes. (No matter how it feels.) We like to complain, but among OECD countries, we’re 20th.

Canadians are proud today.

Canadians are spending today drinking beer, knitting and reflecting on their great good fortune.   (The majority, I think. I have no stats.)

425 thoughts on “The True North

  1. I love your Canada Day posts – remind me not to go to Manitoba EVER since I am already mosquito bait for all of Eastern Iowa (I must taste really good or something).
    Happy Canada Day! 🙂

  2. Happy Canada Day! I admit to being jealous because the US can claim so little these days but at least I have the consolation that I can come visit Canada at least a couple times a year. Have a good one!

  3. Yay Canada!
    Sometimes, because you and several of my Canadian friends speak so highly of it, I think about emigrating. Especially when something has happened (like that one Arizona law, the political situation, evangelical religious shrieking/protesting, how insane some US citizens seem) that makes me depressed about the US.
    Still, I like the US anyway. Especially since we’re starting to get a health care plan in place.

  4. Happy Canada Day!
    Back in the day (at least in the upper-midwest of the US) our whole milk was labeled “homo” milk as well, until a few rotten apples spoiled it.

  5. This is very good for us Americans to read, because we’re told so often throughout our childhood that ours is the best and only great country.
    But our country didn’t spawn “Great Big Sea”, my favorite band, and if I lived in Canada, I’d get to see them more often!

  6. Happy Canada Day! I’m thinking of all my friends partying today in Canada and wishing I were there. So homesick! Thanks for a rockin’ Canada Day post.

  7. Yay, the Canada Day post! Hooray! I’ve been waiting for it all day. I have become attractive to mosquitoes post-menopause (don’t ask why or how ‘cuz I don’t know) so thanks for the tip about Manitoba. Lovely yarn.

  8. Happy Canada Day! And thanks for another interesting column on life in the Great North. Wish we were there.
    BTW my coworker says she understands the Mac and Cheese thing. You have Northern Lights. The cheese glows. Nuff said.

  9. Enjoyed your post competely. please add yourself to the list of funny canadians. died laughing at the Civil war story. I was totally born in the wrong country.

  10. I didn’t know National Canoe day was on my birthday! My dad will love that. He’s from vermont and LOVES his canoes.

  11. Happy Canada Day!
    I’ve been waiting for this post all day 🙂

  12. Sadly, we’re mostly out of beer at the moment, but I will be knitting. I may substitute Bailey’s for the beer, because that’s good for celebrating, too.

  13. Enjoy your day. If *I* lived in Canada, I’d probably celebrate it the same way you do. So that’s two …

  14. I love your Canada Day posts! I’m sad for you all about the Kraft Dinners though…. You seem so civilized in other ways….

  15. Happy Canada Day! I love this post! Through the years I have learned more about Canada and Canadian History on your blog than any of my classes in HS or college. And since I live in Michigan only about 45 minutes from Windsor; that is really disappointing. (I just read this comment like 8 times to make sure I wrote it so that it is a compliment to you… cuz that’s how I meant it.)

  16. Happy Canada Day! I always look forward to this post.
    P.S. You left out the part about Canadians living in such natural beauty!

  17. I’m missing home and fireworks a little bit less now, thanks for the laughs and celebration 🙂
    Happy Canada Day!

  18. Happy Canada Day! Thanks for the very interesting post on Canada – always fun to read!

  19. Go Canada! Thanks for yet another awesome Canada Day Post. I learn something every year about this great country of ours.

  20. Well, 2 out of 3…I have no beer. I’ve been looking forward to reading what you had to say about our great country today, and I’m not disappointed. We are very lucky here, and have so much to be thankful for.

  21. Yea Canada!
    I’ve always wanted to be Canadian. (Especially when Dubya was in charge here) Maybe someday I will be.

  22. My wish for you for Canada Day is that you won’t get any blog comments that say “OMG WHY R U H8TING ON THE USA?”

  23. The U.S. of A. could learn a lot from Canada, if only they’d open their eyes and their minds. If it weren’t for your bitterly cold winters, I might consider emigrating. Alas, I’m a child of the Deep South and I wouldn’t trade our gnats for your mosquitoes for anything.

  24. Steph, you make me want to move home. We’re on our way up for a two week visit tomorrow!

  25. Happy Canada Day to you!
    And what yarn is that you’re knitting with – it’s gorgeous!

  26. since i apparently have a five star rating from the guide mosquito… i better NEVER go to Manitoba.
    as to the rest of it, i think we need to do a study… i believe you are correct that exposure to wool and knitting raises IQ and accounts for both peaceful ratings and school studies…..
    someone needs to apply for a grant

  27. Happy Canada Day. I love this post so much I am going to see if I can post it on my FaceBook page, and share it there.
    My happy consolation for not being Canadian is that my daughter is a permanent resident living with a real live citizen.

  28. Happy Canada Day! You have a squirrel on your beer, I find that strange somehow but I embrace combined beer and knitting activity and hope you enjoy it to the full! I’ll be participating in the same activities most of the coming 4th of July holiday weekend far, far to the south and west of you. And I want to knit Summer in Kansas too. It’s stunning in it’s blocking state and I’m sure will be gorgeous when worn.

  29. Happy Canada Day! I just showed your post to a guy in my office who is Canadian. He liked it & responded by shoing me the Youtube videos of the I am Canadian Beer rant commercials.
    Have a great day!

  30. As usual, you have enlightened those of us south of your borders who should really know more about your country but usually don’t. I’m proud to be a neighbor in NY!

  31. I love your country too, and I don’t live there, although I have thought about it many times. Oh, the cold, though. My hope for continued blessings, and thank you for a wonderful blog.

  32. Happy Canada Day! I love your Canada posts – I learn so many new things each year about (aboot?) my Northern Neighbors.

  33. Happy Canada Day! I have been knitting, boating, avoiding mosquitoes, and thinking today. It’s a little too early for a beer for me, but I will raise my Loyalist Lager (brewed in Prince Edward County!) to you a little later tonight. Cheers, eh?

  34. I eat chocolate bars and pissed means drunk for me as well (sometimes angry, mostly drunk) in the UK. Canada does seem like such an awesome place, you are very right to be absolutely proud of it. I’d love to visit some day! Also your special day is exactly a month before mine, 1st August is Yorkshire day and I’ll be celebrating that with Yorkshire beers!

  35. Happy Canada Day! Mine is a perfect one too, knitting my FleeceArtist Trail socks in the sunshine, drinking my Red Baron Lime, and loving the fact that I live in the far reaches of Northern Ontario (in that other time zone!), where not only can the mosquitoes carry you away, we battle blackflies as big as bison, dodge moose wandering the roads, and chase bears off the back deck while tending the Barbeque. Great post Stephanie, you have summed us up perfectly!

  36. I love your Canada Day posts, so informative. (And funny for an American reading homo milk.) I wish our country could be as accepting and tolerant as yours … maybe someday.

  37. William Lyon Mackenzie King
    Sat in the middle and played with string
    Loved his mother like anything
    William Lyon Mackenzie King
    – Dennis Lee

  38. I love your Canada Day posts! I do have one question though…how can you have a lake inside another lake?
    Always glad to learn something new and will share with my son who also loves all kinds of Canadians like Paul Gross, Steve Yzerman (how he is going to survive in Tampa, Florida, I just don’t know) and just about everyone on your entertainers list!
    Keep up the great work! Glad to have you as a neighbor to the north!

  39. Happy Canada Day!
    Stephanie, not only are you teaching us a lot about the whole art and process of knitting, you are teaching us (speaking for Americans here) about our lovely neighbor to the north! 🙂
    And I think I can explain the Kraft Dinner thing: I think it’s so popular just because it’s a quick antidote to bitter cold winter weather! I’m not a huge fan of the stuff myself, but I have been known to eat it during blizzards and other such weather.

  40. I always look forward to your Canada Day blogs. Thanks for the warning about Manitoba! And have another beer for me – Happy Canada Day.

  41. Happy Canada dayfrom Norway! You make me want to visit Canada, together with all the wonderful Canadian yarn I find on the internet 🙂

  42. Thanks for the facts! Fun to read:) I love that there are no sport scholarships for college-it should be about the brain!!! Happy Canada Day.

  43. Happy Canada Day! A Proud Canadian, who is willing to pay taxes to keep this country great, is spending today figuring out how to do the HST upgrade on her computer!
    Thanks, Stephanie!
    Enjoy Our Day!

  44. Happy Canada Day, Stephanie! This Canuck, for one, is hugely grateful to be all of those things.

  45. Happy Canada Day…
    Missed William Shatner on your list – I thought you were a Trekkie?!! ;))

  46. Oh, and that comment came from a similarly rated country – Switzerland! Our day isn’t till 1st August, tho’.

  47. Happy Canada Day!
    That was a great post! Every year I learn something new from you on July 1st.
    Here in California, Canada barely gets mentioned in history or geography classes. You would think it was a small and insignificant country on the other side of the world!
    Thanks, and drink a sip of beer for me!

  48. Thank you for sharing the Global Peace Index! Very enlightening.
    In reading through the list, I realized that the least peaceful countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel) get way more news coverage than their pacifistic counterparts (New Zealand, Austria, Iceland). If only news about peace were as gripping and lucrative as war stories.

  49. Happy Canada Day Stephanie! from ‘the #1 most peaceful nation in the world’ – though most days after listening to my children fighting I find that hard to believe. However today, being 2 July here already because of the International Date Line, it is the eldest’s birthday, and ‘peace reigns’, at least for morning-present-time.

  50. Kraft Dinner is probably my best dish. My kids grew up loving it when I paired it with hot dogs and canned peas. (Go ahead and say it–“Eeew!”)

  51. Thanks for another great lesson on Canada. I always look forward to your Canada Day posts.
    Happy Canada Day!

  52. If I celebrate Canada Day with you will you celebrate the 4th of July with me? May peace fill the world with friendship and nice knitted projects.

  53. I’m now totally craving Kraft Mac and Cheese–the kind with the goo for cheese.
    Happy Canada Day, and thank you for another dose of Learning about Canada. The more I hear, the more I want to learn of it.

  54. i always look forward to your canada day posts. i love canada and for someone who has never lived there, i always feel homesick for it. happy canada day!

  55. Thanks for doing your Canada Day posts! I enjoy them every year. And every year, I have to smother the seed of envy that sprouts in my heart. Please keep being a good example for your neighbors to the south. We’re working on growing up, I swear!
    On a side note, I suspect that a large percentage of the Kraft Dinner that is sold in Canada is purchased by tourists, especially US tourists. Every time we visit (we’ll be up again in September, for Danny Michel’s BC tour), we buy a couple of dozen to hand out to our friends and family as omiyagi; we also receive it ourselves, when aforementioned friends and family visit Canada. It never fails to make people laugh. I don’t know why “Kraft Dinner” is so funny, but it is. Also, ketchup chips are very amusing.
    So at least a few million boxes of Kraft Dinner are not actually being consumed by Canadians, each year, but rather taken across the border for comedic purposes.
    Happy Canada Day!

  56. Happy Canada Day, Stephanie! As always, I enjoy your yearly post on this day. I learn so much from the links you put in. I also enjoy and admire your, obvious, love of your country. Good on you. Enjoy the day and have a cold one for those of us who are celebrating with you (in spirit).

  57. That was lovely.
    Question: what do you call a candy bar that contains no chocolate (besides irrelevant)? Such as a Payday bar, or Pearson’s Nut Roll.

  58. Thanks for this post Stephanie! A great reminder of all the blessings we can count as Canadians – especially as it’s so easy to be bitter about the HST today (we just got lumbered with it in BC too). As you’ve pointed out over and over, the good far outweighs the bad. That yarn is stupendous by the way – on your next post can you tell us what it is?

  59. Happy Canada Day! My favorite mosquito descriptor was one I heard in Wisconsin. “The mosquitos around here aren’t even bothered by screen doors. They just open the door and come right in without knocking.”

  60. loved x 1,354 the story about William MacKenzie Lyon King. Thanks for another great Canada Day post!

  61. What a great article. I’m from the UK, now married and living in Colorado and I keep telling my husband we need to move to Canada. Everything I have ever seen or read, just makes me want to move there……….except for those mosquitoes of course. I live at 7000ft and we don’t have them at this elevation and I like that a lot!

  62. Happy Canada Day! After reading your list, I’m now convinced that I’m really Canadian, no matter how long I’ve lived in the US. Really, you guys want another knitter dont you???

  63. Dude!, You forgot that Canada also has The Arrogant Worms! (one of my favorite bands)
    I love Canada! (wish I was Canadian…)

  64. And interestingly, Canada has a city (the one I live in, Chilliwack, BC) with the second cleanest water in North America, and it ranks in the top 5 in the world. 😀
    Definitely knitting today (with Canadian yarn too! Fleece Artist Handmaiden Sea Three in Woodland), but since I’m 5 months pregnant, I’ll skip the beer (though I wouldn’t mind a Sleeman’s Honey Brown (also Candadian) if I weren’t!) and go for some good old fashioned Canadian milk – which is free of antibiotics and growth hormones commonly found in milk in the US.
    Proud to be Canadian!

  65. Hurrah for Canada! Long may you prosper, enjoy your peace, beer, lovely wool shops, fantastic country (and fellow citizens). I would be happy to be an immigrant. Much as I love the USA, it seems we have sadly lost our way and are dragging far too much of the world down with us.
    Now, about mosquitoes. You know February 2nd, Groundhog Day? Punxsutawney Phil and all that? Well, Punxsutawney is supposedly a Mahoning Indian word for Mosquito Swamp. Which it is. Bring yours on!

  66. I always like to read your post on this day. So much we get here in the US media is junk. The health care system is one of them. Every time I have talked to a Canadian, they love the system. All we get is the exception in the media not the overall picture.
    Since I live in Michigan, I get to Canada more often than most and have always had a great time. Up until lately, it was a quick trip across the border and away you went to your destination.
    There is much to admire about Canada.

  67. Happy Canada Day! I grew up on the Vermont/Quebec border and I still love Montreal.
    Vive La Canada!
    And since I am the mosquito’s equivalent of the Las Vegas buffet, I am NEVER going to Manitoba.

  68. Happy Canada Day! You forgot to include yourself among the humourists. And although I wouldn’t give up my family, I sort of wish I’d been born Canadian.

  69. Now my Canada Day is perfect–I’ve read the traditional Yarn Harlot Canada Day post. Hoping I can stay awake for the local fireworks display to finish off a beautiful day. Thanks,and cheers,eh?
    Elly in NS

  70. Happy Canada Day to you Stephanie, a fellow Canadian knitter! I’m enjoying some Canadian wine instead of the beer, but still celebrating this great nation. As a teacher, thank you for the fact on our education system actually turning out very smart and well-educated kids, yours and mine especially, no doubt!
    Check out the Youtube song and video “You want to be Canadian” for some more Canadian facts and a song that won’t get out of your head. Cheers!

  71. I think I should have been Canadian. But, from the sound of this post, it’s never to late to immigrate.

  72. Lish and I are wondering the same thing… what do you call a candy bar without chocolate? Is it still a chocolate bar?
    Happy Canada Day!

  73. Hydro means electricity? I went with the obvious and thought it was referring to water….huh.
    I love Canadians.

  74. Happy Canada Day! What could be better than a day to drink beer and knit?

  75. I now love Canada … I’ve loved this blog and its author for a long while, but today I’m seriously considering moving!
    ps love all the informative tweets today too!
    Good one Steph!

  76. Ahh… my favorite post of the summer. I waited for it all day. 🙂 I have distant relatives in Canada, of whom my grandparents are descended from, so I feel a loving fondness towards you all as a people, and the country in general. Thanks for sharing your country with us, I learn so much from you. Cheers!

  77. Happy Canada Day! Maybe some day, if we’re really lucky, the US will mature enough to develop some of those qualities Canadians have (acceptance of same-sex marriage, comprehensive universal health care, the novel concept that college scholarships should be given for *academic* performance and not for sports talent).
    As an aside, when I lived in Alaska, we used to joke that the mosquito was the unofficial state bird. Seems like the further north you get, the bigger and nastier those things grow.

  78. Happy Canada Day from a descendant of one of those drunks at the bar fight with William Lyon Mackenzie! Which, honestly, explains quite a bit. 😉

  79. Happy Canada Day! Sometimes I wish my father had moved us back to Canada.(His father came to the U.S. in 1932.) Oh well,someday we may have the money to move up to Canada. At least we can always visit!!

  80. Well said – but be careful – we don’t want to give up all our wide open spaces with TOO many people crashing the border after reading your post… !! 😉 Happy Canada Day all!

  81. I’d heard that the mosquito is the provincial bird of Manitoba, hence the statue.
    Yay for Canada! Glad you have you as neighbors.

  82. Hydro means electricity because of all that water – Canadians have lots of clean HYDROELECTRIC power.
    The Kraft Dinner thing – my kids make a huge contribution to that statistic, even though I can’t stand the stuff. Nice to know they are doing their patriotic duty.
    Love the post, thanks! Happy Canada Day!

  83. Happy Canada Day! But where’s the finished shawl???! I’m trying not to whine here, but losing the battle.

  84. In Manitoba we’re fond of all sorts of giant statues- my favourites being the Happy Rock in the town of Gladstone (geddit? geddit?) and Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin in Flin Flon.
    Also, Winnipeg: where the city’s chief entomologist is a local celebrity.
    Happy Canada day!

  85. My very favourite TV programme of all time is Due South, which was Canadian. I’m from the UK, by the way, Scotland to be precise.

  86. Ah, now that line “We wouldn’t have to eat Kraft Dinners” from “If I had $1,000,000” by Barenaked Ladies makes a heck of a lot more sense.
    And it warms my heart to know that my birthday is on National Canoe Day in Canada.
    Happy Canada Day!

  87. I read your post ‘with glowing heart.’ I miss it.
    And for Deb at 4:55–Hydro is also water in this case; it’s power generated by water. From Wikipedia: Canada is the world’s second largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world (after China), and one of few countries to generate the majority of its electricity from hydroelectricity (59% in 2006).

  88. ah- perhaps LoriAngela has the key- the Kraft Dinner is so popular because of its hangover-ameliorating properties?

  89. We can buy Kraft Dinner by the case at Costco – the food staple of our university students in residences across Canada!

  90. I’ve visited Canada only once, but it’s a lovely country and I enjoyed every minute of my visit. I love the U.S., but the political situation here sometimes gets me down and makes me want to move there.
    Happy Canada Day!

  91. You, Missy, are a lovely educator. Thanks for the information and Happy Canada Day to you! Note to self- carry a shotgun if ever visiting Manitoba . I barely survived the mosquitos from campfire camp in junior high, they thought I was a fine snack,maybe my tougher old skin might change their mind if not I will have that gun.

  92. Dear Stephanie,
    You have many, many reasons to be proud of your country. Many of my friends are from there (and/or live there)- and my sweetie is attending school in the vibrant city of Vancouver. I have been to Montréal and throughout most of southern B.C. (which is substantial!)
    If, you know, you could change something, what might it be?
    As a foreigner, if I might say, the one thing I would like to change is the policy towards foreigners with HIV. Visiting my sweetie while he completes graduate school is a stressful affair- I have been turned away at the border for not having just the right paperwork for a one week visit. I appreciate the need to curb the costs of universal health care by not admitting folks with expensive illnesses (not that I necessarily agree with it, but yeah, I get it). However, being subjected to a half-hour interview with a border guard who makes no bones about his or her animosity has been a repeatedly dehumanizing experience. It isn’t, say, as awful as an attempted visit to Sudan might be, but Sudan doesn’t advertise itself as a tolerant country.
    It is awfully hard to maintain our long-distance relationship over multiple years when a supposedly very friendly country is not welcoming at all to my visits (and of course, I’m certainly not permitted a work or study permit despite a nationwide shortage of workers with my skill set.)
    I don’t mean to badmouth Canada as whole- there are so many good things about this nation (Stephen Harper is not one of them! Poutine is!) As a citizen of the United States, it is only recently that I feel I can say anything about Canada’s policies. We only started letting HIV+ folks visit this last year! Canada has been well ahead of the curve on many issues…I hope you guys can get up to speed on this one soon.
    Thanks for all diversity, friends, music, comedy and good (mosquitos notwithstanding) camping.

  93. Happy Canada Day! I’ll both drink a beer and knit in honor of all Canadians tonight! (And also add that in Michigan we also get caught in shorts and parkas at times – probably because we are close to Canada…)
    Colleen – Born in Michigan,now in Kansas

  94. Love these posts & your pride in your country. Makes me want to move there. : ) Happy Canada Day from one of your neighbors to the south.

  95. Happy Canada Day! Blessings to you and yours on your National Holiday, from a knitter in the US capital.

  96. P.S. Please, please, please, please tell me that is NOT a picture of “198 Yards of Heaven” in progress. Dear God, no……

  97. Happy Canada Day everyone! I live in Texas but will always be Canadian! It’s the one day I can fly my Canadian flag outside my home! As my American husband always says, “Canadians are some of the nicest people on earth!”

  98. Happy Canada Day to you too, Harlot! (I was going to call you by your right name but I’ve come to call you {fondly} by the name of Harlot) I’m glad you pointed out about the taxes. I get tired of trying to tell people that we are not taxed to death and that I would rather pay our “high” taxes to get the services we take for granted.
    May you have a wonderful year and drink lots of Canadian beer! (A toast my dad would always say on Canada Day)

  99. Happy Canada Day! I’m also giving thanks for Joni Mitchell and, of course, you. x

  100. Happy Birthday Canada! I look forward to your Canada Day posts every year. Happy to have you guys as our northern neighbors!

  101. Wow great information. I never knew Canadians were so educated and happy. Congratulations!

  102. Happy Canada Day! Enjoy your beer! I’m convinced that there’s a link between being a well-developed country and knitting, and peacefulness and yarn. New Zealand, many sheep. Ditto Australia. Iceland, not so many sheep, but the ones they have are great for lopi. Norway, home of amazing colourwork. Denmark, home of a yarn shop (Somerfuglen) I wanted to move into. I could go on, but I fear I’ve gone tedious already! Canada, of course, has the Harlot, and it’s practically the only country in the world that I feel would be worth a long-haul flight. It just sounds so cool (and yarny, of course…)

  103. Great Post. I claim a French Canadian Heritage on my father’s side, so I have always felt Canadian in some small way. And the most beautiful place on earth I’ve ever seen in Europe or the Americas is Alberta in the Banff/Lake Louise areas. I would so love to live there. Happy Canada Day!

  104. But what we really want to know is, what is that pretty red/orange thing you’re knitting?
    What’s a lake within a lake? I’m guessing it’s a lake on an island in a lake, but I have no experience of these things. I live in California, where we have a pretty nice coastline, but virtually none of the world’s fresh water.
    Happy Canada Day. Red Green was in California last week, doing a benefit for a local public television station. He was great.
    Whole milk used to be labeled “homo milk” here, too, but the labels changed when the word picked up a different meaning. Verbally, I think we always called it “whole milk,” whatever the labels said.

  105. AMEN, Sister! I am spending my very first “I live in Canada” Canada Day here in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I was outside for hours today and got very few mosquito bites. I am grateful for this wonderful country, a day with very nice sunny weather and for Taz Stewart, the famous entomologist who keeps us safe from the mammoth mosquitoes. He is indeed a celebrity. Thanks for the post! (I had sparkling wine from Nova Scotia instead of beer, but otherwise, it’s all about the same over here in the ‘Peg.)

  106. happy Canada day !!! Canadians rock ! We are here in the U.S. for Canada Day (being citizens of this portion of North America), but will be in Canada for the 4th of July! Looking forward to our visit to the lovely people and place up north.

  107. happy Canada Day! Your Canada Day post always brings back happy memories of a Canada Day I spent on PEI. So lovely in so many ways. And I revel in how proud you are of your home country, just as I am of mine. As it should be. Also, it’s always good to learn something about our Neighbor to the North.

  108. Happy Canada Day to all our Commonwealth cousins. Steph, I always love reading your Canada Day posts – if Australia wasn’t so far away I’d be there in a jiffy!!

  109. Happy Canada Day! I was in Dawson City on Canada Day 2007 and had a great time not getting eaten by mosquitoes (it was a late spring) and enjoying talking with folks about a water pipeline to the states. You live in a fabulous country. Though I only spent 6 weeks there, I have an immense respect for Canada! Enjoy the day…pssstttt….watcha knittin’?

  110. Happy Canada Day! What a great post. I hope that someday I can be as proud of my country (the U.S.).

  111. Happy Canada Day! It’s so great to read how much you love your country!

  112. thanks for writing this…as always it is just so great to read. You are a national treasure..

  113. In honor of USA-Canada relations, you’ll be pleased to know I’m working my way through all three seasons of Due South … one of the best tv shows ever.

  114. I always love your Canada Day posts! It makes me want to be a Canadian. I would move there in a heart beat (if I could).

  115. Happy Canada Day. Forgive my pointing this out but when you listed the funny folks which Canada has exported to the US, you forgot William Shatner. I find him extremely amusing, even if he is not meaning to be. I believe that there is a building named after him on the McGill University campus.

  116. I moved to NW Ontario in May of 1975 from Wisconsin and would never, ever consider living anywhere else. I love Canada. Five years ago my daughter and I traveled to Paris, right when the “American” fries were all the rage. Interestingly, I traveled with a US passport but proudly wore my Canadian fleece jacket and carried my duffle bag with the Canadian flag on it. Multicultural, indeed. Happy Canada Day

  117. I am drinking beer (Sleeman’s) but not knitting at the moment. I did, however, complete a Bernat on-line survey (on one of two home computers – typical Canadian, apparently) that will have Bernat send me two free electronic versions of pattern booklets. Happy Canada Day (or Dominion Day, as I sometimes still call it)!

  118. Whee! Happy Canada Day from Ottawa everyone! I am spending it knitting too, and I am wearing my Canadian hockey jersey – Go Canada! (oops, sorry – flashbacks to the Olympics, heehee). We watched the Snowbirds fly over our house on their way to do their fly-over of the Parliament Buildings (spectacular!) I did want to mention that I wore my Rogue Roses socks yesterday to watch the Queen unveil the statue of pianist Oscar Peterson, so your socks got to see Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth – well, mostly her hat, really, she’s pretty petite 😉
    Enjoy the brew and knitting! I am off to get ready to go see fireworks!

  119. I always enjoy your Canada Day posts. Much of this one has me wanting to move a few hundred miles north (overlooking the Kraft Dinner stat). Any stats about the weather were omitted from this post, however!
    I was in Cananda for Canada Day once, at a campground in rural Ontario. Granted we weren’t in a city, but I was quite surprised that no mention of the holiday was made at all. Not even a “Happy Canada Day” at the border. The campground claimed to have the world’s largest swimming pool (another Canada stat for you, if its true), though much of it was too shallow to drown a beetle. Anyway, we had a beer to celebrate our first (and only, so far) Canada Day in Canada.

  120. I would seriously be considering moving to Canada, if it weren’t for the cold. I’m a tropical girl; I can’t handle your winters. And, since I’m allergic to wool (really and truly, with the test to confirm it), I don’t think knitting is going to solve that.

  121. i would just like to say that i love the UK, it is my country and i am proud… However… HAPPY CANADA DAY! Dude your country has so much to be proud of… i envy your peacefullness and your water… peace, out.

  122. Ah, I got a little teary reading your post today. I am also a very proud Canadian!
    Thanks you for sharing your great list 🙂

  123. Well, that explains it! My Canadian-American father introduced me to Kraft Dinner at an early age–it was a special treat in our household (which tells you a lot about our economic circumstances at the time…). Happy Canada Day!

  124. Great post, makes me happ(ier) to be Canadian. I would like to point out that I believe that there is a direct correlation between the amount of students attending post-secondary school and the amount of Kraft Dinner Canadians consume. It’s the students gourmet!

  125. Happy Canada Day – eh. I love reading your Canada posts. It sounds like a great place to live. I’m not a big fan of cold weather, though. Even with hand knits!

  126. I would wish for all peoples to feel so proud of their countries and with good reason as you do.
    Soooo, does anyone else mix their Kraft M&C (yes I’m American) with other stuff. We go for tuna, peas, maybe broccoli, chopped olives, baked with corn flakes on top.

  127. What is the yarn with your beer? It looks just like my Ella mae (Italian) that I currently have on the needles for a shawl/scarf.

  128. I am so sad to be missing Canada Day – the alternator is out on the boat so we can’t travel to The Saturna Island Lamb Barbeque to help celebrate. Next year!

  129. I look forward to your Canada Day posts every year. Happy Canada Day!
    (Please remind me to talk to you later about the Canadian pronunciation of the word, “decal.” The Husband mocks me for the way I say it, but I insist it’s a Canadian thing.

  130. Happy Canada Day to one and all. I hope the American readers enjoy their day on Sunday.

  131. Happy Canada Day! Here’s hoping this is the year you get nobody accusing you of being un-American in your love for your homeland.

  132. i’ve learned so much about canada today. not only have you enlightened me, now i want to live there. i visited niagra falls (your side) in 1976…loved it. i also visited montreal in 2004/2005…need to move there.
    i enjoy your blog, every bit of it. here’s to you, o canadian! have a great day!

  133. Happy Canada Day!
    I certainly spent most of the day knitting, with a bunch from the Purple Purl at a pub on the Danforth. There was much beer consumed, too!

  134. Happy Canada Day! Great post and I am so happy to have made Canada my chosen land to live and be!

  135. This American wishes you a most amazing, relaxing, and productive Canada Day.
    And, I love your Canadian points; I always knew you were the smarter, kinder, gentler, and more humorous northerly neighbor.
    Now, can you come down here and help us get health care right?

  136. Oh, thank you for posting this. It gave me some little shivers. As an American who hopes to some day soon migrate up north, this is a really delightful list. Particularly the same-sex marriage bit, and the healthcare bit, and the bit about the no entrance scholarships for athletics, and the bit about…

  137. Happy Canada Day! I look forward to your annual post. You’ve almost convinced me to come on up and join you. 😉

  138. Yes, yes we are.
    I spent today wandering Batoche National Park (holy mosquitos. I’m from northwestern Ontario and just moved here from northern Manitoba. These are bad as I’ve ever seen.) Home now with a beer, some yarn and CBC radio’s musical tribute to sailors.
    Ariel – I heard a bit on CBC about the HIV+ visitor issue just recently, so hopefully that’s a policy we can revisit. On a slightly related note, gay men are not allowed to donate blood because they’re considered a risk group. Oy.

  139. “yippee” i say with great pride. thanks for reminding me why.

  140. someone else’s post about Due South reminded me that i would add to your list of all-canadian humourous citizens: the entire cast of CORNER GAS!

  141. I’m proud just to live close to Canada! I’m in Michigan, maybe 50 miles from a border. Lots of Michigan culture is Canada-ish, and sometimes even money is interchangeable… keep up the good work.

  142. Great Canada Day post. They say you learn something new every day and today I did. The stats in your post were enlightening. The deck was a great place today for knitting with an STR rare gem(in green) and drinking red wine.

  143. I love you. Every July 1st, just a little bit harder. Thanks, fellow Canadian.

  144. Canadians are: lucky to have you and RachelH as compatriots.
    And yay for all the positive comments today. We are a civilized bunch, eh?

  145. I forgot to ask: What is that yarn with which you are knitting? I am smitten by the colour.

  146. Happy Canada Day to you and yours, Steph! From one who has long admired your country, and who has often wondered if now was the time to move there!

  147. My Mom came to visit me last week and we were talking about how I need to get a passport for my daughter because she’s going overseas and I want to get one too “because you need one to go to Canada now.” Mom said, “You absolutely need to. I’ve been to Canada three times and it’s the most wonderful country I’ve been! I get my passport renewed just for that.”
    God bless you and your countrymen and women; you’re the best neighbors we Yankees could hope for!

  148. Hope your Canada Day was wonderful and continues to be for the remaining 3.5 hours!
    As always, LOVE the Canada Day posts. I learn something every year, and this year is no exception. Thanks so much!
    My Aunt and Uncle lived in Canada for about 10 years(Napanee, ON). I absolutely loved visiting, EXCEPT for the mosquitoes. Steph, I don’t know what you Canadians feed them (tourists who arrive with skis in June and start asking about snow?), but those are some of the largest and most frightening things I’ve ever laid eyes on. No joke: the bite I got swelled to the size of a plum! Still, it wasn’t as big as the mosquito that bit me…
    But despite the disfigurement Canada’s national bird can cause, I still love me some Canada.

  149. Have a great Canada Day, eh? Growing up in Buffalo, NY, we ventured many of times to the great white north, especially when the drinking age went to 21 in New York State but was still 19 in Canada! It’s such a clean, beautiful and awesome place to visit! Miss attending the CNE every summer with the family…

  150. Yay! As soon as I found out it was Canada Day, I came over here to see if you had a post written about it, and you didn’t disappoint! Thanks for all the awesome Canada trivia. I wish we Americans would take on some of your ways : )

  151. Steph, thank you for the reminder of everything that is good about Canada. I live in the US, have adopted many of their ways but I Am Canadian.

  152. I love this post — thank you for sharing.
    My husband and I have a special relationship with Canada: We got married last year at the Hockey Hall of Fame (Dude. We HELD the Stanley Cup!) and then spent our honeymoon traveling across that great land of yours. This post has made me all teary eyed with love.
    Happy Canada Day, Stephanie. Your pride in your country (as well as what a wonderful country you have) is inspirational.

  153. The paternal (French) branch of my husband’s family emigrated to New England after a generation or so in Canada. This probably explains my youngest child’s undying love of Kraft mac n cheese. She won’t tolerate any other brand and prefers it even to a homemade mac n cheese casserole. She likes the classic dinner (not the bacon and cheese or the grilled cheese explosion or creamy velveeta) but will allow the boxes with novelty noodles (spiral, Pokemon, SpongeBob). Her “mac n chz” notation has been appearing on my grocery list from the time she lesrned to hold a pencil, so it is a very rare occurance for us to run out of it.
    Happy Canada Day!

  154. Y’know, I’ve often felt grateful to have had the good fortune to be brought into this world as a U.S. citizen. I know that I have so very much more than I need (and sometimes too much for my own good). But every year, I look forward to your Cananda Day posts. And it reminds me that there are countries who’ve really got it going on. Kudos to you and yours on Canada Day. Most excellent job on that pre-birth citizenship selection. I think you really hit the jackpot.

  155. Bravo – go Canada – from Australia which is pretty great too. We celebrate by drinking beer and having BBQ’s – although mostly without prawns – that’s just what they tell the rest of the world!
    Have a great day and feel proudly smug – you deserve too.
    JO in OZ

  156. I’ve always thought I was a Canadian philosophically and politically. If I could just get over my overwhelming dislike for subzero temps and winter in general, I’d be there and be a happy contributing member to your society. (Australia’s out because of the poisonous creepy crawlies.) My own country can be pretty darn good at times, but now is not one of them. Have a wonderfully happy Canada Day. I love your posts about your great country. 🙂

  157. Happy Canada Day!! Have a large decaf double-double for me!! (It is 9:15 after all!)

  158. Very few things in the world that I love more than Canada…except maybe Gordon Lightfoot…and he’s from Canada, so there you have it! Happy Canada Day!!!

  159. I was just about to tell my husband to pack the car with all our worldly goods because we were moving to Canada when you shot me right between the eyes with the mosquito information 🙁 I am a mosquito magnet – ask anyone who knows me. I can be sitting with ten other people and not one of them will be bitten. I, on the other hand, will sustain a dozen hits per minute. I don’t know what it is that mosquitos like about me, but it certainly has limited my ability to commune with nature over the years. And now I learn that Canada is full of the nasty little buggers. Oh s%$t.

  160. I’ve been looking forward to this. Without a doubt the best Canada day post ever!

  161. Thanks for sharing so much about Canada! It’s obvious you love and are proud of your country. While I love the US, I’m not always proud of it. I hope to someday be able to marry in my own country and have the same rights and privileges I would if I were a Canadian.

  162. Too, too!!! I can spell but not type. (I had to do French, German and Maths B instead of typing)

  163. And . . . .many of those (not the mosquito one) are the reasons I plan to retire in Canada. Wonder if I can get the ex to move there now – just thinking about the highly educated part . . . :O)

  164. Thanks again Steph for another wonderful Canada Day post. Many happy returns! We’ve often thought of emigrating, but since I’m retired, I’m not a desirable citizen for the big red leaf. My husband might be though. Anyway, we admire the Canadians for their enlightened attitudes and civilized society. Long may it thrive!
    P.S. Lovely rose yarn – what’s the product?

  165. Happy Canada Day! I haven’t knit yet, but intend to tonight. I’m so, so proud to be both a first and 12th generation Canadian (first ancestor on my mom’s side hit Quebec in 1642, and my dad immigrated here when he was 23), and will never leave our great country! So proud today!
    Hope you have/had a great one!

  166. Yep, knitting and beer…well, make that Smirnoff Ice…Happy Canada Day to you too!!

  167. well said!! I read this far from home which is Vancouver and I am in Halifax. I am proud of what you said and proud to be a Canadian

  168. Thanks for another great lesson on your beautiful country (or in this case, your wonderful people). Happy Canada Day!!

  169. I’m sitting in a hotel in Detroit, Michigan thinking that I should really drive the 15 or so miles across the border into Canada sometime before I leave here on Monday. So I can say I’ve been to Canada, however briefly.

  170. While I’ve never been to Komarno, I certainly live in Manitoba (I’ll have to look it up and see this giant mosquito for myself). And I think that your last sentence should read thusly:
    “Canadians are spending today drinking beer, knitting, reflecting on their great good fortune, *and swatting mosquitoes while they wait for the fireworks*.”
    Thanks for the great post – and happy Canada Day!!

  171. Having been to Canada several times to folk dance with people there, I must say they are always charming, helpful, organized, funny as heck, and have great food available. We love the museums, the little shops, the pubs and the bookstores.
    So, Happy Canada Day to a wonderful country and its citizens!

  172. Happy Canada Day!
    Fairly recently, and uncharacteristically for me, I read a light fluffy novel set in Ireland, where they also get pissed in pubs. In fact they go out on the piss, which to a Yank sounds very strange. What you would call ass, they call pants, which is at least in the same general region. Mad means crazy, and stinking means pissed. It’s all very interesting.

  173. Canadians are cool – especially the “knitterly” ones. Happy Canada Day. Even I lifted a beer to you today — granted, it was one of those 55 calorie ones, but it WAS a beer – sort of. Actually, I liked it.
    Enjoy those brewskies!

  174. Happy Canada Day!
    My mother and I took flasks of coffee (it was 11am, so we saved the pinot grigio for later) and our knitting to Queen’s Park today to watch the citizenship ceremony.
    30 people from 18 countries became new Canadians today, and the Lieutenant Governor David Onley gave a moving speech.
    That’s the way I want to think about our city/province/country, not like last weekend in downtown Toronto. I recommend Steve Paikin’s editorial in the Ottawa CItizen.

  175. Happy Canada Day to you, too! I’m living down in the States now, but I went to the Embassy in DC for Canada Day. A Colonel gave me a beer. A Lt. (LEFtenant) Colonel gave me my second one.
    I enjoyed reading your tweets throughout the day with the factoids. Thank you!

  176. Good information! Glad you are our neighbors to the north.
    We have our differences in opinions, but I do love reading about your knitting.

  177. Thank you for such a wonderful essay on what is good about Canada. I’ve only been there once but I know a lot of displaced Canadians and find them the most delightful people in the world. You are so right about the sense of humor, and I’ve known for a long time that Canadians love their health care system. (In spite of what American right-wing pundits say!) I am an American and I love my country but it wouldn’t take much for me to move to Canada.

  178. Happy Canada Day (even though it’s almost over now)! I *love* these posts! They’re very educational, especially for those of us south of your border who are, unfortunately, not taught much about other countries in school. 🙁
    I can’t wait to see the pictures of the finished shawl once it’s unpinned, and find out what that lovely bit of knitting in the picture is.

  179. Happy Canada Day!! As always, I look forward to your Canada Day posts. Thanks for once again making this American wish she were moving North!

  180. Happy Canada Day!
    My current mosquito obsession is related to my front porch. For reasons unknown to me, the front porch is surrounded by mosquitos (more so than anywhere else on the property). I’m starting to wonder if there isn’t a stagnant pond under the porch, but its definitely a subject of some fixation!

  181. Canada might be a great place to live but the climate–I am a whimp and whiney–I will stick with central IL for the climate and think the residents that live here in the USA could learn a lot from our northern neighbor

  182. Hope you had a very happy Canada Day! I love your Canada posts but they always make me jealous! 🙂 I don’t know why Americans make fun of Canadians so much- you guys are awesome!

  183. And Canadian football began today – yea – I like to knit while I watch. And while Saskatchewan beat Montreal in overtime, they got a penalty for having too many men on the field. That is only funny if you remember what happened during the Grey Cup last year. Ah the CFL – what would we do without it? Canada Day indeed.

  184. BRAVO! You guys ROCK! HAPPY CANADA DAY! psst, can I sneak in and live in your stash closet? or a nearby cave? anywhere would be fine. The US is OK-ish from a selfish/comfort point of view, but our foreign policy… not so much; I wish we’d take a lesson.

  185. Thanks Stephannie for the Canada Day posts. I love them and always learn something and think about moving to Canada. We always have such a good time visiting your country. I especially love your trains. I just realized that my baby boy was born on Canada Day 27 years ago.
    Keep knitting and writing,

  186. I would totally move to Canada, except I’m currently living in LA, where in June I’m still wearing wool socks to bed because I’m cold. I don’t think I would make it in Canada.

  187. I live in the best place in the world…Vancouver, BC, CANADA. The Winter Olympics will never be the same now….we rock.

  188. Happy Canada Day! We in the US are so fortunate to have such nice neighbors. I love your Canada Day posts, and I think that if you keep this up, someday (soon I hope) people here will catch on. You send such a great message of what we can all be.

  189. Happy Canada Day! Every time you post about how awesome Canada is, I want more and more the live there. Or visit, at the very least.

  190. Happy Canada Day! What a great post. Bare Naked Ladies (more awesome Canadians) makes a reference to Kraft Dinners in their “If I had a Million Dollars” song… makes total sense now!

  191. Happy Canada Day! When I traveled through Europe in 1972, I told everyone I was from Canada, to avoid arguments about Vietnam and the US. I think you guys have the greatest country!

  192. I think I’m a Canadian at heart, even though I am a native midwesterner (Missouri–doesn’t get more middle-er than that!).
    Happy Canada Day, and God save the Queen.

  193. i knitted,i drank a double double, i knitted, i drank beer, i knitted, i smacked mosquitoes
    thank you dear harlot. you make us all proud!

  194. I love your Canada Day posts. I always forward them to my Canadian friends here in California, so they can recite a few fun facts!

  195. Yay for Canada! Both sides of my family came from Canada, my paternal grandfather came from near Kingston, ON, paternal grandmother from near Halifax, NS, and maternal grandparents from Quebec. Can I claim Canadian citizenship? We used to live in upstate NY and would travel to Kingston via the Thousand Islands to celebrate Memorial Day and Canada Day. What lovely memories you brought to mind. Thanks,

  196. I lived in the interior or BC for awhile and can agree with the mosquito problem, although the biting flies were nearly as ferocious. I’ve visited your fair country many times and enjoyed every excursion. You are justified to be proud of your country. Most of us are born, live and die in the country our parents did-without much choice in the matter. Your famous leader reminds me of FDR-led the US for 16 years and brought social security (disabled and old age pension) and welfare for the poor. Sadly, universal health care is still in flux. The US will soon celebrate it’s birthday and even though the evening news is leading us to believe otherwise, the vast majority of your civilian neighbors to the South are not only very tolerant and nonviolent-we love to knit, buy yarn, and most especially… your books! Why yes, I do own them all. Happy Canada Day!

  197. Thanks for your Canada Day posts … they are some of my favorites … and this year’s bunch of facts totally is a favorite!

  198. Joyeux Jour du Canade!
    Now, about that lake within a lake? What on earth?
    My mind, it is boggling.

  199. Happy Canada Day! Let me share a favorite panel from one of my favorite web comics. I’ll quote the best part here: “It’s a little known fact that every Canadian citizen is born with a sharp, serrated edge somewhere on their body as protection from polar bears and enraged Quebecois.”
    “Every night they quietly hone their blades, quietly biding their time until the Great Curling, when the cleanse the earth of all other nations. That’s… why they’re all so polite- they know we’re all doomed eventually.” -Questionable Content

  200. Happy Canada Day Stephanie! Thanks for another great post about Canada. And what is it you are knitting?

  201. Hooray for Canada! It sounds like a truly wonderful place to live. I love the Canada Day posts, if not to better understand my neighbors to the north!
    And I was totally giggling over the milk statement even before I finished reading it. Total American!

  202. Happy Canada Day! I love your Canada Day posts; thanks again for yet more enlightenment about your lovely home.

  203. Happy canada day — from the left coast, where there was knitting and cycing!

  204. Well, I know it’s a bit late, but I loved your Canada Day post and hope you had a great Canada Day!
    Happy Canada Day!!!!!

  205. Happy Canada Day! When I was a young ‘un, there was a great ad campaign for Canadian tourism that had a beautiful picture of a mountain reflected in a lake, and underneath read: “America borders on the magnificent”. Both times I’ve visited I’ve found that to be true.
    We have kind of a lot of mosquitos in Mississippi where I grew up, and my uncle Wilbur swears that he pulled the tractor into the barn one day and one grabbed him by the arm. Another one grabbed his other arm, and they lifted him off the tractor. The first one said, “Should we eat him here, or take him outside?” The second one said, “If we take him outside, the big ones will get him!”
    Enjoy both the beer and the knitting!

  206. I love your Canada Day posts! I’m also intrigued by the concept of a lake within a lake. What is its name?

  207. Happy Canada Day!
    You forgot to say that Canadians are some of the most hospitable, helpful and polite people in the world – that’s what I found when I visited anyway.
    And you have a shoe museum.
    What’s not to celebrate?

  208. Well, hadn’t it been for Canada we wouldn’t have had Lucy Maud Montgomery would we? I will always be grateful for giving her to us, because the world would definitely be less colourful without her.
    I’m not a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables, but Jane of Lantern Hill rocks:) And her journals are sort of a revelation.
    (Have you noticed btw the knitting, crocheting, sewing, patchworking, well you name it) they do all the time in her books? One more reason to love them 🙂

  209. Happy Canada day! Ever since WWII my native country has had consistenty warm feelings about Canadians (and the chocolate bars too).
    Alongside that (delicious) brown beer I can see something lovely growing out of your needles. Very pretty yarn! Definitely makes me curious….

  210. Happy Canada Day! I lived there when I was a kid until my family moved us to Alaska. I have many happy memories of my time there and wish I could move back with my family. It truely is a wonderful place and I love your history remembered. I can only remember my postal code TOG2LO. It’s funny what we remember isn’t it.

  211. Thank you for this post! It made me “homesick”. I have only lived in Canada when I was an exchange student there for 9 months, but your post brought back happy memories of this time. I hope I can go back some day.
    Katharina from Germany

  212. I loved Canada and i love Canadians – Happy Canada day from Australia 🙂
    (and we totally say chocolate bar and pissed is both drunk or angry here too)

  213. Thanks for the post! I like the Global Peace Index – a lot.
    I guess the mosquito warning was there to keep us from being over-run with new citizens – although I’ve been quite impressed by the efficacy of “After Bite” this year – and it doesn’t smell so bad (being ammonia) as the bite-prevention stuff like Muskol.

  214. Happy Canada Day!!! I just love your country. I grew up 30 miles from the US/Canada border. When I was little going to Canada was like going to a different state, except you had to talk to the customs guy at the bridge to get there. We always had lots of Canadians visiting us too and everyone was always friendly. Where I grew up Hockey was huge, and most people wanted to date a hockey player, not a football player. We also wore touques, knew what a hosier was, knew that when you ordered fish and chips that the chips were not potato chips. (We also knew that malt vinegar goes on chips!) We ate M&Ms and Smarties and knew that they were almost exactly the same thing, and that the candies we had in the US called Smarties had absolutely no chocolate in them. (I can still remember that TV ad that started “When you eat your Smarties do you eat the red ones last?”) We watched the Friendly Giant, Mr. Dressup, and many other CBC shows, in fact 2 of the 3 TV channels that we received were Canadian. My friends and I all knew the theme from Hockey Night In Canada, and watched it regularly. We also knew all the words to “O Canada” and sang it with everyone else. Since I’ve spent so much time in your country, I’ve developed a serious love of Butter tarts and Canadian beer, and because of your blog I finally have a kick butt butter tart recipe. We also have squeaky cheese curd, put real maple syrup on our pancakes, and ate a lot of Kraft dinner as kids. Then there’s the accent. I never really thought I had an accent until my friend and I went to one of your book signings. Hearing you speak really made me miss home, and my friend noticed that I said words like “about” with the same accent you did LOL! So I guess that what I’m trying to say is that after the US, Canada is my favorite country. I think it’s just wonderful, and we couldn’t have better northern neighbors. I just wish that going over the border was like it used to be in the old days. Happy Canada Day!!!

  215. And the oldest (possibly) navy in the world has sent a ship over with happy b’day greetings! The British navy is over 600 years old in continuous service in a form that would be recognised as a navy and one of my relatives is on the warship in question.
    His main report of Canada is that Halifax is very foggy.

  216. Happy Canada Day! What a great incentive to live there! Are the mosquitos the only down-side? LOL

  217. So that dude’s name could have been Lyon King? Awesome….I saw Lion King in Toronto a few years back and loved the play and the city. Your shawl is so lovely, and it looks like another one is on the needles….looking forward to progress of that one. Thanks for posting so often….

  218. Many thanks for the info. we can all stand to be reminded what a great country we live in – especially with all the fuss over the G8 and G20.

  219. All that, And I’d move there in a minute if it wasn’t so darn cold!

  220. Happy Canada Day! This was your best Canada post yet. Makes me think about moving to Canada (the last time that happened was after a U.S. presidential election a few years back…).
    What is the lake within a lake???

  221. It’s so nice to have good neighbors–The U.S. is lucky to have you living next door. I love how you always keep your yard looking so nice!

  222. Happy Canada Day! Having grown up in Michigan, I have a grand appreciation for what a great place Canada is. Especially in the summertime. Enjoy your beer and yarn!

  223. Happy Canada Day! I love your Canada Day posts, it’s always interesting to learn about another country from someone who lives there and clearly loves it.!

  224. Belated Happy Canada Day!
    I travel to Canada fairly frequently for business, and I do love it. You have every right to be proud.

  225. Thank you. I’m always delighted to learn more about our neighbor to the north. Hope you had a good Canada Day.

  226. Happy Canada Day! My Dad’s side of the family is from Quebec with most of them now living in the Ottawa area of Ontario. I have always had a love for our Northern neighbors and, as you have shown, with good reason! It is a great country.

  227. You make me want to be a Canadian! I’m sending a link to my brother and his wife – she’s from Canada and they’re thinking seriously of moving to her hometown. Maybe this’ll make the transition from LA to Montreal a little easier for him, eh?

  228. Steph,
    Brava, again!
    As an American-raised, now Canadian citizen and Toronto resident, I had to share your post with my family and friends south of the border! Expect more non-knitter readership as a result 🙂
    As always, thanks for making us smile, and think, and mix knitting and beer!

  229. I live 50 miles south and wish I lived 51 miles north! Oh Canada what a great land!

  230. Happy Canada Day !!! Canada is indeed a very special place. My family has many connections with Canada including ancestoral ones and for the past few years we have been vactioning there. Our youngest son & his wife did a French imersion experience in Quebec City and my husband & I did a baseball one (odd thing to do in the city with the hockey hall of fame) in Toronto a couple of years back.
    I have never met, seen or heard of a rude Canadian..I’m sure they exist…but they seem to be rare. But my experience has been that Canada is a truly charmed country with truly charming people and if we ever win the lottery, we’re going to buy a home up there and go north for the summers 🙂

  231. It is my belief that the numbers around the consumption of Kraft Dinner (KD) are based on a specific demographic…university/college students. In university, it was was a dietary staple — no — necessity, really. That very large percentage of us who go off to post-secondary education are simply skewing the data…

  232. Dang it – every year you do this, and every year I wish again that Canada had a semi-tropical zone (though with climate change clipping along, I suppose there’s an off chance you might get one before I kick the bucket.) What I love about Canada – besides the wool, of course – and my Canadian friends is the sense of “Well, alright then, let’s just be sane about this.”
    Yes, you have ditzy politicos like Mr. Harper, but at least you don’t have nut jobs running round trying to prove black is white just because they can scream loud.
    Since you’re one of Canada’s leading citizens, at least in a knitter’s viewpoint, how about seeing if you can get the government to offer dual citizenship for knitters who, say, buy lots of Canadian wool, or actually say “davenport,” or something?

  233. This is our second Canada Day in Manitoba…the mosquito thing is SO true! We will have to go find that statue for a photo! We have learned that Manitoba has two seasons…”Shovel & Swat”! Happy Canada Day Stephanie, I spent mine knitting red lace also! :o)

  234. Stop dissing the USA!
    (Just kidding–your Canada Day posts never dis the USA, but it seemed unnatural not to read a comment like that in response to one of your July 1 posts.)

  235. You forgot Canadians are: the nicest people on the planet.
    William Lyon Mackenzie King sounds remarkably interesting.
    And what is a lake within a lake? How do you DO that?
    Sorry ’bout the skeeters (mosquitoes).

  236. I LOVE #4 – no college admissions based on athletics – and, of course, #8 – health care. The secretary of state in Michigan signed on to the nutty lawsuit against the US health care reform bill, and I wrote him an e-mail: “Are you MAD? We’re Michigan, we’re not an ignorant state! We don’t DO stuff like that here.” For some reason, he didn’t write me back. Yay, health care! Yay, a sensible country that has shown the rest of us how to do it right! Yay for Stephanie for reminding us each year of some wonderfulness in the world. Thank you!

  237. one of my ancestors (irish) was in the british army way back when. he fell in love with a scottish girl (not catholic, big deal).
    so he got transfered to canada in the new world so they could live together.
    later, their kids travelled down into the u.s.
    so i guess i owe canada since without her, i wouldnt be here.

  238. That mosquito….it’s not the only one. There is a town in Australia, called Hexham (near Newcastle) that has a giant mozzie. Though I think yours might be larger.

  239. Ok, I am proud to tell people that I am a Goofy Newfy (spelling?)…born in St. John’s, Newfoundland but now a U.S. citizen.
    However, I cannot believe that the universities do not award incoming freshmen athletic scholarships! I don’t know what I’d have done if all those years of playing soccer hadn’t had some sort of payoff other than the usual “team bonding, play as a group, keep kids out of trouble” kind of things.
    Hmmm…things to ponder!

  240. Well, if Canada consumes the highest amount of Kraft Dinner per capita, I must tell you that you cannot beat Utah for Jell-o.
    Utahns eat more Jell-o per capita than any other place in the world. I blame it on being potluck land where freaking everyone brings Jell-o salad.
    We’re proud of that here. Not sure why, but we are.

  241. Just wanted to thank you for your annual Canada info day. I learn alot of cool stuff (That I’m embarrased to say I didn’t know.) I really like that you’re proud of your country without being a jerk about it. I wish more US citizens could be “that” kind of proud! (I feel weird saying I’m “American”. How do Canadians feel about US people saying that?)

  242. Happy Canada Day! Hope you enjoy it. Oh my what is that beautiful knitting at the end of the post?

  243. I love the Canada Day posts. They are so interesting and it’s nice to know a little about our quiet neighbor up north.

  244. I LOVE Canada. Every time I am here I feel like I have stepped into a new and improved version of the US—kind of a washed-clean version with more dignity, tolerance, compassion, and civilization. I love my home country very much, but wish we would model ourselves more after our wise neighbor to the north.

  245. Happy Canada Day! I love Kraft Dinner (I Can’t get enough of the stuff!), chocolate bars, poutine, peaceful tolerant people (But not the barbarians who recently trashed Toronto; they probably came from south of the 49th parallel, Eh! Real Canadians don’t behave that way!), Canada’s National and Provincial Parks, financial stability, a low and declining national debt, a stable currency – the Looney, stable, well regulated banks and far many more good things than I can list here! Canadians have a lot for which to be grateful: Peace, Order and Good Government! No wonder the barbarians south of the border are envious!

  246. Thanks for the lesson! Always loved Canada and now this American has even more reasons to appreciate her neighbor. 🙂

  247. Happy Belated Canada Day! I spent my Canada Day in Ottawa drinking beer, reading and watching the great fireworks over parliment.
    To answer the lake within a lake question: I think Yarn Harlot is refering to lakes on Manitoulin Island. Lake Manitou, one of these lakes, is the largest lake on the largest freshwater island in the world. Since there are also two islands in Lake Manitou, we also have islands in a lake on an island in another lake. Sweet eh?
    Anyways here is a google map link for Manitoulin Island, which is itself in Lake Huron.,-81.991667&spn=0.1,0.1&t=p&q=45.778333,-81.991667
    I love being Canadian.

  248. Congrats–you really are a great country , which I happen to say I am moving to everytime something stupid happens in the USA(which is actually a pretty nice place too).
    The Kraft dinner thing is a “comfort food” thing. In Canada and in lots of the USA there is a long cold,dark, snowy winter. Comfort food is important to our emotional survival !! And it must be the REAL thing-mo cheapie substitutes-they break the magic charm of comfort food.

  249. Okay, I’m convinced… I’m going to have my husband read this so he can see why we need to move north! 🙂 Seriously though, it sounds like a wonderful country and I can see why you’re so proud of it. I wish the U.S. had universal health care. It blows my mind that some people are against it…. crazy.

  250. I believe that the U.S. is better for having Canada as a neighbor. I appreciate the sanctuary you gave to our young men during the Vietnam War. I only wish you had better weather. Have a happy day!

  251. Way to educate!
    Don’t forget the MacKenzie brothers and Gordon Lightfoot!

  252. Great post! I had to google “elvis skater” to find out who Elvis Stojko is…educational as always. Happy Canada Day!

  253. Thanks! As a Canadian, I love reading your C day posts. They make me proud. Especially nice as I spent most of the week wondering what the hell was going on in Toronto and if I’d been teleported to another country in my sleep. Sigh. Happy Canada Day!

  254. Great Post. Just got back from three weeks in BC and Alberta visiting the National Parks. I’m an America in awe and love with Canada and Canadians!

  255. I for one, hate your Canada Day posts. They make it painfully clear how far the US has fallen, and how much I would LOVE to emigrate north. Just not an option though.
    But, all my own bitterness aside, Happy Canada Day to you! Sounds to me like you have chosen the best possible way to spend it.

  256. Happy Canada Day to you and yours! Thanks for the info. I heart Canada and the national and provincial parks. And Tim Horton’s.

  257. Happy Canada Day, Stephanie! I love your posts on Canada. Shameful that we Americans barely know anything about our great neighbor. I would love to live in Canada but I have grandchildren I don’t want to leave. And being from Texas I don’t know I’d survive that cold up there, lol!!

  258. What a fun post!!!! I think we must have imported some of those mosquitos (we call them “skeeters”) down here in Texas!!! Ours have to be saddled up during the summer!!! LOL!!!
    😀 Carla

  259. Oh yeah….”Kraft Dinner.” (My husband was in Kitchener for 2 years, so we got used to seeing “homo milk” and some of the other terms. (We never did get used to what passes for “iced tea” up there however.) 😀 But….NO ONE who ever smells the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese plant in Champaign, IL will ever again eat that stuff – regardless of what it is called. Cured me FOREVER!!! It’s just nasty.
    That said, I loved reading about Canada Day. Yesterday I asked my husband what was the difference between this day and Dominion Day – and he wasn’t sure. Guess I’ll have to look it up. 🙂

  260. I’m so glad we are neighbors! I have always loved vacationing in Canada. Happy Canada Day! When I get home tonight I will raise a toast.

  261. In my joking-yet-serious rant about Kraft mac-n-cheese dinner, I forgot to say….
    …that there is so much we loved about Canada and so many people we miss; my husband thinks that if our nat’l health care could be like Canada’s, it would be just fine; and actually, we wish it would have worked out for me to go up there a be with him.
    Happy (belated) Canada Day!

  262. Thanks for all the interesting facts and education. I doubt that I can ever catch on to the vocabulary but I understood all the rest. Have a great day!

  263. Stephanie,
    A lovely post. So glad to have such wonderful neighbors. What are the requirements to become a Canadian? There is much knashing of teeth here to your south about illegal aliens, just curious about how it is handled in Canada? Your health care seems like it is on the right track. Wish the same could be said here…Happy Canada Day!

  264. Hi Stephanie. My friend here in Flower Mound, Texas, forwarded this to me and I enjoyed it immensely. Thank for you posting such a unique, accurate and complimentary description. I was already proud to be a Canadian living in Texas but you reminded me why in so many ways. Happy Canada Day weekend!

  265. Happy (belated) Canada Day!
    Re: The Queen – I was in the middle of the incredible throng that was patiently waiting to (not quite) meet her, (not quite) on Parliament Hill yesterday. (We didn’t make it there because so many others had the same idea.) A remarkably peaceful, friendly, and very Queen-loving crowd, I’ll tell you!
    My favourite sight yesterday: multiple different forms of cultural and ethnic dress, all in red. (Like the numerous red hijabs that I saw.) That said something cool about Canadian identity and pride to me.

  266. Some friends wished me Happy Canada Day because they know I have family in Canada. For a minute I thought I’d correct them. No, I’m not Canadian. And then I thought: they don’t need to know that! Let them think I’m Canadian, and I took it as a complement.
    Happy Canada Day. It’s a very good feeling.
    It sure makes sense exporting humour. Knowing peace, the world could certainly use more of that!

  267. I love Canada Day – I always learn something about our neighbor to the North when I read your blog. Your love for your country shines through this whole post. Hope you have a great day!

  268. As much as I love living in the USA, in my next life I want to be Canadian.
    PS – The New Jersey state bird is the mosquito. You are not alone.

  269. I am very glad you posted another Canada Post. I was looking forward to it all day yesterday! It is so nice to read the obvious pride you have in your country. We should all learn, as you have so often shown, that loving something about ourselves does not mean you have to tear down someone else. I hope your day finished as well as it started and you didn’t have any of the unpleasant people you have had in the past!

  270. Canadians are cool. Fact. If Kids in the Hall weren’t enough, there’s you. Cool. Nuff said. Happy Canada Day!

  271. Canadians are cool. Fact. If Kids in the Hall weren’t enough, there’s you. Cool. Nuff said. Happy Canada Day!

  272. ooops. Canadians may be cool but obviously Scottish people are not so much with the patience for the time it takes for a comment to load….

  273. Thanks for reminding me why I love my home – the True North, Strong and Free. I carry it with me always, but sometimes it nice to see it “out there” where others can see, if you know what I mean.

  274. As a French teacher living in the US (and a teeny bit worried about losing the favorite part of her schedule at some point before retirement – I also teach English so am “almost” safe from being laid off without insurance), I gotta love a country that sees FRENCH as a valuable second language for English speakers. Where I live, I see a lot of vegetables in grocery displays labelled in French and English because of the langauge regs in Canada – not so much Spanish. Where I live is also probably the only county in Pennsylvania with NO families who speak Spanish at home; in fact, the second language of some families around here is German! (Pennsylvania Dutch due to the Amish residents)

  275. Happy Canada Day (belatedly) – wonderful to hear your pride in your country and get a little more educated every year about Canada.

  276. Happy Canada Day!
    Why wouldn’t a homogenized nation have HOMO milk?
    I am not going to diss the United States , especially on its birthday weekend, but Canada sounds like a terrific place to be and live.
    (and you have lots of Paton’s yarn there!)

  277. Happy belated Canada Day! Yesterday, I had a beer in honor of all the fabulousness that is Canada.

  278. Your post about Canada was very inspirational. Makes me want to move there right now! I used to visit Quebec City every year of my life growing up to see my aunt and uncle and cousins. Sadly, they are mostly all passed now and visits seem limited to attending funerals. I must rethink that. Thanks so much for such a fact-filled and extensive post about Canada. Loved it!

  279. Just thought I’d let you know that the athletic scholarship thing isn’t entirly true. Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC gives out athletic entrance scholarships. I think they are the only university in Canada to do so.

  280. I’m a day late, but Happy Canada Day! I’m from your near-northern neighbor, but am proud to share the world’s largest undefended border with such cool neighbors.
    Oh, and your national anthem is SO MUCH better than ours. Hope you had a wonderful day!

  281. Thank you so much for the Canada Day post. I love it! I love all the interesting facts. Don’t ever stop 😀

  282. In a nutshell, I dug in the garden…we had a barbecue for dinner, then I knitted and had a beer.
    The fireworks were all up and down the street, and my hubby is Station Fire Chief…so he was on call in case someone set something on fire..LOL It happens.
    We both served as Peacekeepers and were proud to do so…but now knitting and beer are a good pastime.

  283. Happy (belated) Canada Day! I love your Canada Day posts and am happy to be just across the water (and within CBC range) from your lovely country.

  284. Enjoy your holiday, your knitting and your beer. But what is that yummy new rusty red project I see snuggling up to the beer??? End of the green phase?

  285. Happy Canada Day! I am an American. I can say when I celebrate the 4th of July I won’t be mentioning our stats concerning the world but ourselves. Our rights and our wrongs. The sacrifices of the generations before me and the ones to come. Let us come together to honor those sacrifices for the freedom of our countries.

  286. I tatooed 16 maple leafs into my arm when I came to live in the states.
    Gawd I wanna go home.

  287. Happy Canada Day!! I am always glad to have you all as our neighbor.
    Your reference to the large mosquito statue in Manitoba reminds me of the large Ukrainian egg statue that my family saw somewhere in Saskatchewan. As a 9 year old, I was mightily impressed by the giant Easter egg.
    Thanks again for being our neighbor!

  288. I love this post! And for the record I did have beer – some good old Toronto’s Mill St. Organic Lager – and I did knit yesterday.

  289. Thanks for the great Canadian trivia! I love hearing about different countries and how things work in other places!!

  290. Happy Canada Day! I’m ready to emigrate. Where do I sign up? 🙂
    Look forward to hearing about the knitting project; it looks lovely, and I note it’s not green.

  291. I’m packing my bags! I’ll be knocking on your door soon. (no worries, I’m not really a crazy stalker lady)

  292. My daughter and I are traveling to Vancouver next week so she can decide if you wants to go to grad school at UBC. Being that we’re neighbors to the south (she’s in chicago and I’m in NJ) I thought she’d love to read your Canada Day blog so I sent her the link. I, of course, check your site every day for a new post and loved this one as I love all the rest!
    Dana loved it, as I knew she would. I think she’ll end up there and other than being 3000 miles from me, i think it’s an awesome choice. Go Canada!

  293. We did have a civil war, and we Anglo Canadians should remember and be ashamed. This is the 125th anniversary of the Red River Resistance which our history books call the Riel Rebellion. Check ou tBack to Batoche days at
    I am proud to be a Canadian, and I truly believe this is one of the best places in the world to live and to raise my kids, but we do have scuzzy bits in our history and we need to acknowledge them and do what we can to heal the wounds.

  294. I am proud of the fact that I can be mistaken for an Ontarian, with speech patterns from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
    They can’t understand me in Virginia though.

  295. By the way: from here, it sounds like it was a year of two life-threatening diseases and one life-taking one. What I wouldn’t do to try to make it all better. I hope the other two came out okay. (I feel like I survived my own one last year, so by rights everyone else should to. Right? Right?)
    Just to quietly say, prayers and Thinking Good Thoughts have been offered up for you and your loved ones.

  296. Don’t know why you guys are hateing on the weather so much. It only gets down to -50 C (-58 F) about 1 week a year. Here in Calgary we’ve had weather in the mid to high 20’s (~ 75 – 85 F) for the past two weeks. It all depends on where in Canada you live.
    Ok… When the four seasons are Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction, I can see where the weather might be an issue.

  297. Happy belated Canada Day!! Homo milk, huh? You learn something new every day. Any place that has given us you and Seth Rogen pretty cool in my book!

  298. We just spent a few days in northern Ontario (I’m told it’s called “northern” even though to me it actually looks “western,” but whatever), and found everything you’ve ever said about Canadians to be true — except for one thing. Which was confined to one person. The trait of Canadian niceness? Was *conspicuously* lacking in the border agent who seemed to think that two middle-aged US citizens, one knitting, were the biggest danger that Canada had ever seen. I honestly didn’t think she’d let us in the country!
    Fortunately, everyone else was as lovely as we have come to expect over the years. Considering that I met my husband 15 years ago at a Canada Day party in San Diego (hosted by two visiting Canadians, obviously), I have a fondness for your national celebration. Now if I can just cure my husband, who grew up along the border, from calling it Dominion Day….

  299. Belated Happy Canada Day! I always look forward to this post.
    FYI, down here in South Louisiana, the land of expatriated Canadians? To a Cajun, a warm hat is a toque, a small backpack is a knapsack, a bag is a sack, and there is a town named Maringouin just a short drive from Baton Rouge.
    In the swamp.
    Of course.
    You forgot one thing: you guys have awesome beer.

  300. Belated Happy Canada Day! I always look forward to this post.
    FYI, down here in South Louisiana, the land of expatriated Canadians? To a Cajun, a warm hat is a toque, a small backpack is a knapsack, a bag is a sack, and there is a town named Maringouin, just a short drive from Baton Rouge.
    In the swamp.
    Of course.
    You forgot one thing: you guys have awesome beer.

  301. I hesitate to correct you, Steph. But, after living back in the USA for 3 years…after 37 years in Toronto…I have to say that Kraft mac and cheese doesn’t even come CLOSE to Kraft Dinner! Mac & cheese is tasteless, next to KD. Next time I’m in TO, I’m going to get a whole case to bring back down here. No one believes me. Sigh.

  302. And I’ve always loved your country! From the time I was young and traveling freely between Windsor and Detroit, I noticed the calm and freedom of differentiation between peoples and their colors.
    I love Canada and would have sent my brothers there, and probably joined them, during the Vietnam War draft.
    I love Canada.

  303. This was an awesome post, makes me want to move to Canada for so many reasons you’ve listed and more, if I could just take my San Diego sunshine with me….

  304. I noticed that many of the issues surrounding our biggest points of contention in the U.S. are common place in Canada: universal health care, same sex marriage, taking things in stride…..
    I love the United States. I do think, however, that we can look to the north to see how some things are done right. (and Americans really hate to not figure it out on our own)
    Happy 4th of July from one American who also loves Canada. (Can’t wait for my next trip there to see more of your beautiful country.)

  305. I missed your post on the 1st (I was off sailing for 17 days), but here’s a belated Happy Canada Day — sent on America’s Fourth of July. I’m looking forward to many more such posts in the years to come — and to the day when I can visit your lovely country.

  306. Stephanie…thank you for sharing with so many people how great Canada is! Reading the responses has actually made me tear up. I’m proud to be Canadian and am so happy to have someone like you to share with the world how great it is. 🙂
    Happy belated Canada Day!!

  307. Largest Easter Egg – Vegreville, Alberta (next door to Saskatchewan) – Thanks Stephanie for Canada Day musings – I put the link on my FB page, and told everybody to check the Archives … Great list, as always, and this Canadian learns something every year as well … Love you, girl – what’s the yarn?

  308. My parents were both Canadian but moved to Maine, then Connecticut, where I was raised. I always wished they had never left (I never wanted to leave when we visited extended family in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia.)
    I’ll never understand why they left! It makes me sad to say it but the US is getting worse every year. More rude, more in debt, more in conflict.
    You have good reason to be so proud of your vast, diverse, beautiful country.

  309. you are a wonderful ambassador for Canada. Thank you for the interesting info. Your gov’t should give you some kind of position in public relations.

  310. I take the birthday of my country to wish you a belated happy Canada Day. I am always amazed at how much I learn about your country every year in your Canada Day posts. The lack of athletic scholarships in college really blew me away. Here in Illinois, people are up in arms about the salary being paid to the new president of the University of Illinois system. Nobody has said boo about the much higher salaries paid to the head coaches of the U of I’s football and basketball teams.

  311. Yay for peaceful New Zealand! And Canada sounds like a pretty darn neat place to live too. Happy Canada Day.

  312. What a lovely place, except for the mosquitoes bit. Do you guys have blackflies up there? I’m in Maine, and blackflies are kind of our thing.

  313. This shawl is truly lovely. And I must say that I love older men that sit in the park and play chess. This made the story enchanting.

  314. I loved your salute to Canada Day. I have been lucky enough to live fairly close to Canada my entire life. I love visiting as often as I can. My husband and I are planning a trip to Toronto later this summer or early next summer. I need to find some of these yarn shops. :>)

  315. I so love the annual Canada Day post. Love, love, love. Happy belated Canada Day.

  316. I always love your annual Canada info blog post! It’s always interesting, and always manages to make me a bit ashamed of how little I know about our northern neighbors.
    Thanks for keeping up the great blogging!

  317. Thanks for the boost. You never mentioned black flies! Mosquitoes are bad but many will agree that they are eclipsed by black flies. At least you can feel a mosquito’s stinger penetrating your skin &, if you are quick, end its time on this earth. Not so with black flies. They are devious, sneeky, loathsome and repulsive. Totally unCanadian. We appreciate your observations.

  318. Steph-you are a great spokesperson for your country and I’ve alwaye enjoyed your Canada day posts. Maybe you can help change one thing that is not good? Canada is the worlds 2nd largest exporter of asbestos and 95% of it goes to POOR countries. Just as our fathers and early baby boomers were exposed, 30-50 years from now their husbands and families exposed to this killer will be dying of asbestos or mesothelioma as my husband is now. You can’t help my John with his struggle to breathe. But you can help thousands of citizens in countries struggling to build a better nation by NOT letting them build & live with asbestos products and then later have to deal with this killer known for over 80 yrs. The US has nothing to be proud of over it’s history with asbestos, but Canada is still mining & shipping it to innocents. Please help stop it! The search engine of your choice or wikpedia will tell you the shameful business history all over the world. I love your blog and don’t comment too often, but I read every post, keep up the good work!

  319. Stephanie, I was in Toronto on Canada Day!! Waved in what I believed to be your general direction. . .

  320. Happy belated Canada Day!
    Just had to comment to say that you have great taste in beer. The Nut Brown Ale in your photo is one of my favourites.
    Perhaps a beer recommendation post for the summer is in order?

  321. Love this post. I was in Canada on the 1st and enjoyed myself and family. I love having family in such a great place.

  322. late reading this post, but in case no one mentioned it yet there is one VERY important feature about Canada – you have Mike Holmes. – he didn’t make the list, and he shoulda!

  323. I am originally from Manitoba, so I just resign myself to taking a shower in “Off” everyday when I go to visit in the summer. You could probably just dunk in one of the lakes and get a film of it on you, since everyone else has left some of it behind when they go swimming. The lakes are worth braving the mosquitoes. In the evenings, they congregate over the warmth of the highways and it looks like clouds of smoke. Your car looks like a massacre when you drive through them. It sounds like rain on the windshield. I can explain the Kraft Dinner thing. In the 80’s, it cost about a dollar a box and kids will eat it so my son was weaned on it. You can also add stuff to it like hot dogs and tomatoes and then you have a “complete” meal.

  324. I grew up in NY so we say chocolate bar too! My husband though is mostly Canadian (born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Canada) and has taught me a lot of things about that great country. I love America but also love visiting Canada for it’s laid back natured people, gorgeous scenery, and very cool accent that I like to copy from time to time. I’ve been to Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and am working on visiting BC pretty soon. I know I’m late but Happy Canada Day!

  325. Damn it! Just when I start to feel okay about the U.S. again, you post a pro-Canada piece and I’m feeling jealous and petty. All kidding aside, I love reading them and I love how you can also be critical of your country at times without feeling the other side is going to jump down your throat. Wish that were true in this country! You have a lot to be proud of, Steph.

  326. I think that this is the first thing I’ve ever read that made me truly proud of being a canadian. Thanks for putting it into context 🙂

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