19 Completely Awesome Things Canadians Did In 2014

Just another year being eh-plus people.

1. When a grieving widower from Ontario left a beautiful note to pay for a young couple’s meal at a restaurant.

Lee Ballantyne, who lost his wife a month before, had only one request for the couple: to “pay it forward.”

4. When, after Canada took home gold in hockey, someone continued spreading joy.

5. When a bank turned its ATMs into “Automated Thanking Machines” that surprised their customers with miscellaneous gifts.

The ATM gave every customer a $20 bill, but other random and personalized surprises were flowers, more cash, baseball swag (to a huge Blue Jays fan), and plane tickets around the world.

6. And then again, later in the year, when they surprised 24 people with $30,000 to #MakeTodayMatter.

The bank gave the customers $30,000 and 24 hours to do one thing: #MakeTodayMatter by carrying out a good deed. They identified 24 people with the most inspirational ideas and then surprised them with the resources to allow them to actualize their goals.

7. When, then, someone used their $30,000 to build a ramp for his paraplegic neighbour.


Ontario native Michael Mulligan is in a wheelchair himself, so he knew “how hard it can be to get into places.” He decided to spend the $30,000 on constructing a ramp for his neighbour Rose so she could regain her independence. It was the first time in four years she was able to get out of her house.

8. And when someone else spent that money on buying uniforms and equipment for a struggling minor football league.

In the same initiative, someone else threw a glamourous gala for children in foster care. The joy and gratitude of this one-day initiative was felt around the world.

9. When a fourth-grader drew this “coin” for a school assignment.

And explained why:
“The coin represents gay pride. I chose the rainbow because the rainbow is the gay pride flag. I chose the gay pride flag because it’s okay to be gay in Canada. I chose the girls holding hands and 2 boys holding hands because gay means love with a person in your gender. I chose black because black represents guilt & sorrow. If you were in a different country where you aren’t allowed to be gay in and you are gay you would feel guilt & sorrow. That’s why I chose gay pride as my coin.”

11. When an organization in Vancouver created bus benches that double as shelter for the homeless when it rains.

RainCity Housing

At the time, the initiative was seen as the antithesis to the anti-homeless spikes installed outside of buildings in London.

12. When Canada’s NATO master trolled the Russian army on Twitter.

Geography can be tough. Here’s a guide for Russian soldiers who keep getting lost & ‘accidentally’ entering #Ukraine

— Canada at NATO (@CanadaNATO)

When the country was shaken after several fatal shootings in Ottawa that were later classified as terrorist attacks…

15. And instead left a different message at the mosque, like, “You ARE home.”

16. When this happened:

18. When 20 puppies were abandoned in Saskatchewan and support came flooding in to save and adopt them.


The 20 pups found in a field in Saskatchewan (left), and toy donations from one Canadian family (right).

19. And, finally, when Canadians helped Americans finish their national anthem after a mic cut out at a hockey game.

Because we’re just those kind of neighbours.

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