Between the ultra-Liberal Justin Trudeau’s recent inauguration to Canadian government, his trailblazing stances regarding gender equality, the LGBTQ community and Aboriginal rights, and the booming success of the Canadian film industry,
There has been a big change in Canada, something in the air that has breezed in and altered the landscape, and no, we’re not just talking about the chinooks (looking at you Leonardo DiCaprio). A transformation has occurred in the Great White North, a coming of age that happened right under our noses. Or perhaps Canada is just finally getting the recognition it deserves.
The fresh-faced liberal Justin Trudeau’s recent inauguration to Canadian government and his trailblazing stances regarding gender equality, the LGBTQ community, and Aboriginal rights has reflected the accepting and socially forward nature of the Canadian people and inspired millions around the world. Meanwhile, there is the booming success of the Canadian film industry, evidenced by 2016’s critically-acclaimed Canadian-produced Room, multiple Oscar-winner The Revenant (shot almost entirely in Canada) as well as the worldwide success of Deadpool, a film shot in Canada, produced by a Canadian, starring a Canadian, and based upon a superhero hailing from Saskatchewan, which recently smashed records as the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.
It’s safe to say that Canada’s having a bit of a moment right now.
Oh, and let’s not forget Canada’s growing presence in the realms of both sports and music, evidenced by the success of Toronto’s Blue Jays in the 2015 postseason and Raptors in the current NBA Playoffs, or the recent domination of the US music charts by Canadian artists. In fall 2015, Justin Bieber, Drake and The Weeknd (all hailing from Toronto) simultaneously held the top 4 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that America’s interest in Canada has changed in recent years, demonstrated by a recent love letter to Toronto, penned by New York native Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman. In the letter, Stroman explains how he initially “didn’t want to go to Canada” as it just “wasn’t New York.” However, after a year in the 6ix (Toronto’s new nickname dubbed by music-mogul Drake), upon discovering the city’s electrifying artistic, sporting, and culinary scenes, Stroman “fell in love with hip and trendy Toronto,” an experience that reflects a larger changing attitude towards Canada. The Great White North seems to be on everyone’s lips and minds right now, and honestly, you should believe the hype. Canada is truly one of the most remarkable countries in the world, and it’s right on America’s doorstep. As Stroman discovered with Toronto, to understand Canada’s brilliance, you have to experience it first-hand. So before Donald Trump has you running for the Canadian border for good, consider taking your next vacation in the True North strong and free! Here’s the top 5 reasons why:
- Canadian culture is pretty damn awesome
From their undying love of Hockey (it’s a religion, not a sport) to their questionable obsession with Kraft Dinner, Canadians definitely have their own unique culture, making them considerably more than the “51st state.” One feature that truly stands out is their love of the great outdoors. Whether they’re skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, wake-surfing on the lake, or simply relaxing in a cabin in the middle of the mountains, Canadians love the outdoors like no other and fully utilize them regardless of the season. Spend some time in Canada and you may start appreciating Mother Nature a little bit more yourself, which brings us along to reason number two…
- Canada possesses some of the most beautiful nature in the world
There’s a reason Canadians are so outdoorsy. Encompassing a large portion of the Rockies, Canada boasts masses of protected forestry, lakes, mountains and national parkland, consequently comprising some of the most stunning and well-preserved natural scenery on Earth. Not to mention, with an abundance of nature comes an abundance of wildlife: bears, moose, elk and beavers are all frequent in the Canadian wild. Both tourist favorites Banff and Whistler as well as lesser-known areas Fernie and Kananaskis provide a taste of Canada’s world-renowned nature alongside an endless supply of exploring. Of course, spectacular scenery exists from coast-to-coast, though the Western Canadian Rockies really do steal the show, easily accessible from nearby cities, Calgary and Vancouver.
Kananaskis Country – Alberta
Viewpoint: Kananaskis – Alberta
- Canada’s cities are just as worth exploring as its mountains
Alongside its breathtaking countryside, Canada also boasts an exciting urban scene. Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are all substantial cities with growing economies; after all, Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America. However, what truly makes these destinations worth visiting is their variation, as all major Canadian cities differ massively, each possessing their own unique yet equally vibrant atmosphere. From the sheer beauty of lush Vancouver to the distinctly Western feel of “Cowtown” Calgary, both contrasting loud, lively Toronto and the European-infused Montreal. By city-hopping across the provinces and experiencing the different faces of Canada, you’ll genuinely feel as though you’ve visited five countries in one!
- Canadian Weather is an experience in itself
Not only is Canadian weather extreme, it’s also downright bizarre. Snowstorms in June? Yep. +80 and below freezing in the same week? Yep. Days so cold, your eyelashes freeze and the thickest duck-down coat doesn’t seem to be making the slightest difference? Yep. Honestly, Canadian weather truly is something to behold, and besides, who doesn’t want to be able to say they survived a -22 winter and were rewarded with a +90 summer? If boasting rights don’t appeal to you, visit anyway for the chance to see flip-flops in the snow and the notion that -13 is “pretty warm”…
Snow in Early September
- Canadians are the friendliest people
Whoever said you shouldn’t pay attention to stereotypes clearly never visited Canada; Canadians really are some of the warmest, most welcoming people around. Whether you’re asking for directions or tagging along to a house party, Canadians are more than willing to provide a helping hand or friendly face in any scenario. Whilst Canada’s striking scenery and stimulating cityscapes are of course major reasons to visit, it truly is the people that make the experience, for what’s an adventure without a few good buddies to share it with?