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10 Things I Love And Admire About Canada

Canada recently celebrated its 150th Birthday in 2017! Never has the country been more patriotic and prouder than this past year. Now that we're into 2018 and a new era is rising, let's look back at the reasons for celebrating this far and wide land we call home and do some very un-Canadian boasting. After all, as a famous Irish man once said, The World Needs More Canada!!

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1. It's a BIG PLACE!!!

Canada is kinda like a well kept secret that's staring at you right in the face!! Open a map of the world and if you can't find Canada within 1.5 seconds get your eyes checked! It's the second largest country in the world with endless natural resources, breathtaking scenery and beautiful wildlife. From the majestic Rocky Mountains, to great plains, to serene rivers and valleys. More than half of the world's lakes are here (Ontario alone contains 20% of the worlds freshwater supply) so it's safe to say that this land is truly Nature's Warehouse and is fittingly referred to as The Great White North.

2. One of the worlds most diverse populations... and the nicest!

As an nation built on immigration, just about every culture from around the world is represented here! Toronto has been called the most multicultural city in the world with over 140 languages spoken. Perhaps the United Nations should relocate there?? However, for the size of our country, we are actually quite sparsely populated. At just around 36 million, that's a rather small number if you consider our influence and economy (more on that later).

And Canadians are famous for being "Nice"... and it's no myth! We will say sorry if you bump into us... that's just how we roll. sorry....

3. One of the world's most open and responsible governments.

The World Justice Project and the Legatum Institute rank Canada as #7 for best government of the world only behind the Scandinavian countries and New Zealand. Canada is also ranked #6 for freest country in the world according to the Human Freedom Index.

Now, of course for those who live here, when it comes to government, many will have much to complain about and of course frustrations will always occur since Canada is a large landscape of regional issues, cultures and values that vary greatly but that also plays into judging a federal governments performance by analyzing the quality of life for it's citizens and how united the country still remains despite those challenges.

4. Top entertainers!

Let's not kid ourselves, neighboring with the USA who has the most powerful entertainment industry has been advantageous for our creative community. Many huge stars of stage and screen have come from north of their border... often without them or the world realizing it! Here's a short list...

Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Dan Ackroyd, Leslie Nielson, Ryan Gosling, Bryan Adams, John Candy, Jim Carrey, Christopher Plummer, James Cameron, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Reynolds, Avril Lavigne, Pamela Anderson, Kiefer Sutherland and his Dad Donald, Micheal Buble, Barenaked Ladies, Keanu Reeves, Neil Young, Sarah McLachlan, Mike Meyers, Rush, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Lorne Greene, Leonard Cohen, Anne Murray, Michael J. Fox, Paul Anka, Kim Cattrall, Brendan Fraser, Eric McCormack, Howie Mandel, Matthew Perry, Russell Peters, Seth Rogan, William Shatner, Alan Thicke, Justin Bieber, Drake, Nickelback, Diana Krall, Alanis Morissette, K.D. Lang, Lorne Micheals, Jason Priestly, Monty Hall, Alex Trebek, Norm MacDonald, Rick Moranis, Dallas Green.... ok I'm getting tired now, you get the picture.

5. We OWN Hockey!!!

Sports has a way of uniting people and when you have a huge country with different cultures and priorities, there's only a handful of things that you can do to bring everyone together. That's what Hockey has done for Canada. We literally invented the game! You can't go anywhere in this place without finding a hockey rink somewhere close by and that infrastructure has cultivated a massive talent pool of players that have dominated the sport on a world wide level.

Before 2015, more than 50% of the NHL had Canadian players with the rest filling up with Americans, Europeans and Russians. If you consider the population of the all those other countries combined, we only make up about 7% of the pack... that's a pretty disproportionate amount! And our ladies really kick ass! Our Women's hockey teams have won the majority of the world's major tournaments including the Olympics 4 out of 5 times since the event was included in 1998!

6. Universal Health Care.

Every Canadian is assured of high quality health care that won't bury you in paperwork, bills and other complications. As a single payer, government funded program, all one has to do is show their issued health card as identification upon visiting a doctor, clinic or hospital. Our drug costs are also kept low with many subsidies for the elderly and the young.

Toronto can also boast some remarkable facilities such as Princess Margaret Hospital which is the #5 cancer research centre in the world. Sick Kids Hospital is world renowned for it's wonderful and advanced treatments of children (if you kid is in need, there's no place you'd rather have them being treated). Of course, no health care system is perfect and the one major flaw has been long wait times (which wasn't always the case) and still needs to be addressed however it's not a first come, first serve basis and so wait times are dependent on the severity of a case.

7. Innovation.

Similar to the point of our entertainers, our high tech geeks are no slouches either. Many have worked in the U.S. as well as here either as collaborators or leaders in the advancement of science and technology (did you know that Edison BOUGHT the patent to the light bulb from it's Canadian inventors!?!). Here's a short list of inventions and innovations either by Canadians alone or with other international partners.

Imax Movie System, peanut butter, Walkie Talkie, AM Radio, Insulin, Standard Time Zones, Blackberry, pager, telephone, Hydrofoil boat, snowmobile, electric wheelchair, gas mask, Superman, modern Sonar, Basketball, instant replay, electron microscope, plexiglass, garbage bags, modern open heart surgery techniques and the pacemaker, Java programming language, akaline batteries and naturally, Hawaiian Pizza!!

8. Cool Cities and Rural communities.

Canadian cities offer a very high quality of life and a few consistently rank in the top ten most livable cities in the world in various publications like Forbes, Business Insider, CNN. These cities have a fantastic array of culture, industry, neighborhoods, retail, public services, infrastructure etc. Toronto gives you all the offerings of a cultural and business centre (think mini-New York). Vancouver is the cool coastal city nestled at the foot of beautiful mountains. Montreal and Quebec City offer a European experience without leaving North America. Ottawa is a classy capital with a rich history and a centre of modern technology being Canada's silicon valley (although Waterloo is fighting for that title!).

But if rural living is more your speed, we have that in spades! Remember, small population, big land! Although most of the population are located along the southern regions, there is a multitude of little towns along the way between the large and small cities. Canada has a major agricultural industry which spans across the whole landscape and this network of towns and regions glue the country together.

9. BIG Economy!

If all that wasn't enough, let's throw in the fact that it's in the top ten economies of the world and a member of the G8! Again, that's rather remarkable for a country of such a small population by comparison to it's counterparts. The success of Canada can be seen as an extension of the American economy as both countries developed very much in the same way and under similar circumstances. The economic relationship between the two nations has been one of the worlds strongest with Canada having been the US's largest trading partner for decades until China has surpassed it in recent years.

The banking system is also one of the worlds most stable and Canada was one of the only major western nations to have barely been effected by the financial crisis of 2008. Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank Group are regularly listed in top 20 safest banks in the world (the only North American banks on the list) only behind Swiss, German, Dutch, French and Singapore banks.

10. One of the most peaceful countries in the world.

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Hey, Man... relax... it's Canada. Peace is sort of our thing. Although we've slipped a bit in the past few years, Canada has typically been ranked #3 or 4 by the Global Peace Index but in 2017 it is now ranked as #8. This is still quite cool and you can certainly feel the brotherly vibe when you're here. Our welcoming and inclusive nature has cultivated a community of togetherness, respect and tolerance for all. Being Canadian means you're part of a family, a special club... and it's a privilege we don't take lightly.

So take off to the Great White North and come see us sometime, eh? Peace out.

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