Top Ten Reasons To Live in Canada…

This post was inspired by my friend, Renée, over at Life in the Boomer Lane:

Newsweek rated Canada #7 in the world as “best country.”  I think it should have been #1!

For those of you who don’t know my background, I was born in Ohio, but my family moved to Ontario when I was 8 years old (1969).  So for those of  you who aren’t math wizards, I’ve spent the last 41 years living in Canada.  I can say in all sincerity that I’m never leaving! 

Here (with tongue planted firmly in cheek) are my Top Ten Reasons To Live in Canada (in random order as I think of them!):

1. It’s probably the only place in the world where you can bump into someone, and they will apologize to you.  Canadians are the politest people ever (unless they’re drunk -don’t bump into someone holding a bottle of Molson!).

2. Geography lessons are shorter – we only have 10 provinces and 3 territories to learn the names of.  Rivers and lakes are often given Indian names, while cities and their streets are usually named after dead guys or places in England.

3. Our paper money comes in pretty colours – it makes it easier to figure out what you’re giving the clerk at the Great Canadian Dollar Store.  Our dollar coin is called a “loonie” for the bird that’s pictured on it (it’s not a reference to our Queen who’s featured on the front, although it may apply to certain members of her family).

4. Our young men are not required to register for military service on their 18th birthdays…however, they must have worked at least two shifts serving coffee at their local Tim Horton’s outlets.  If they do decide to join the military, they are probably going to be sent over as peacekeepers to some country the Americans have invaded.

5. We elect our governments in a single day…no foolish primaries!  Candidates campaign for about a month before the election.  Campaign costs are measured in thousands of dollars rather than millions.  Canadians have been known to elect prime ministers who didn’t look like movie stars.  The worst political scandal is likely to involve a government minister leaving sensitive documents at his girlfriend’s house (no Watergate here).

6. If one is a Canadian actor or musician, it is possible to move about freely without being constantly accosted by fans (or even recognized).  These artists have to make it south of the border before anyone here pays attention to them (sad but true)!  It’s a different story for hockey players or national news anchors…they will be mobbed wherever they go!

7. Getting sick in Canada is not likely to cause you to lose your house.  Our tax dollars ensure that no one is billed for routine medical appointments, emergency room visits, or hospital stays in semi-private rooms or wards (although cosmetic surgery or dental treatment is a whole other ball of wax!).

8. Our highway signs are in metric – a 100km/hour speed limit sounds so much faster than 60 mph doesn’t it?  We also have compulsory seat belt/motorcycle helmet laws, which often prevents injury in the event of a collision (cleanup after the accident is also quicker when you’re not peeling someone’s body parts off the pavement).

9. Since we basically have only two seasons in Canada (winter and summer), one doesn’t need nearly as much clothing.  Tanning companies make a fortune, because our summer is only three months long.  Strangely, many people wear baseball caps year-round (including women).

10. Handguns are illegal in Canada.  If you cut somebody off on the highway, they probably won’t get out and shoot you (although you could be beaten with a hockey stick!).

I invite my Canadian readers to add to this list…


Filed under rants, self-discovery

41 responses to “Top Ten Reasons To Live in Canada…

  1. Great list, Wendy! I’m honored that my post inspired you. I’ve only been to Toronto and Montreal, but I loved them both. My son lives in Seattle, and on one of our trips there, I want to go up to Vancouver.

    • Hi Rene:

      Vancouver is supposed to be beautiful…I haven’t been there yet, but have been in the Okanagan Valley of BC…loved it there!

      If you ever come east to the Maritimes, you and Dan will have a place to stay!


  2. izziedarling

    Oh Wendy, I love this, really! My Cooking Partner (boyfriend is just such an ick of a word after 16) has most of his family in Canada … can’t wait to show him this. They are mainly in Vancouver. I’ve got to get up there… 🙂

    • Hi Izzie:

      That’s cool…I didn’t know that! As I told Rene, Vancouver is a beautiful city! And, if you ever visit the Maritimes, you guys will have a place to stay!

      I love that you call him your “Cooking Partner.” Jim and I almost never cook at the same time, because neither one of us can stand having someone else in the way while we’re cooking!



  3. planejaner

    Wow. this was strong…
    ” If they do decide to join the military, they are probably going to be sent over as peacekeepers to some country the Americans have invaded”

    wow. honestly, I stopped reading right there. I am married to a man who served in the Army for over 20 years.


    • I’m sorry to have offended you, Jane. My dad had a cousin who came home a vegetable from Vietnam, and later died. I have a cousin who was a paratrooper for about 20 years (he chose this career, and was not drafted into it). I have no beef with soldiers…my problem is with war itself…


  4. planejaner

    Wendy–I don’t love war, either. And, you say the problem is with war itself, but also infer we Americans invade other countries…

    I am confused, I guess, or just too tender today.

    • Jane: Here is an older piece (2006?) I found on the Council of Canadians (a social justice group) website. Although it is not up-to-date, it expresses the opinion of many Canadians about our current involvement in Afghanistan (and the Iraq War), where our soldiers are dying on a regular basis (I believe the Canadian death toll is up over 500 now). This is just the conclusion: reading the whole piece will give you some idea of the history of the Canadian military in foreign wars.
      Again, this is not intended to offend you or anyone else…this is something I feel very strongly about.


  5. A good list that encompasses a lot of topics! Yeah, I like our coloured money too.. 🙂

  6. Wendy this was fabulous! I love your humor. If Sarah Palin gets elected president, Curt and I will be new Canadians!

    I’m sorry that Jane took umbrage in your military statement. I will read your article. I don’t think you meant to insult our military men and women, just our U.S. policies of going into other countries in a warlike fashion. I think that’s the same as “invading” and if I were in that country, it might look like that to me, too. Our former President Bush could have made wiser choices if he in fact were wise, but unfortunately he wasn’t. (And those around him had so much to profit from our going to war.)

    When I see the faces of those young women and men killed in these wars I ache for someone wise enough to figure out a more peaceful means of negotiating. Unfortunately, we’re in it, however and why-ever we are. And so are many other non-U.S. men and women. We must pray and vote and call and write and hound until we bring them home safely. In the meantime, you and I must sit and watch these valiant young people die, be maimed and wounded, and psychologically assaulted, daily. It really hurts my heart, as I hear it does yours.

    That’s my loonie’s worth.

  7. planejaner

    Wendy–thanks for the article. I’ll give it a read later.
    I apologize for getting my hackles up–seems we all feel strongly about this issue, but for different reasons (that are all personal and important to each one of us).
    sorry to take umbrage.

    • Thank you, Jane…I really was upset that I offended you…I wouldn’t purposely hurt anyone I consider a friend, especially someone who has been so good to me as you have!

      Onward and upward!



  8. Now, if you could just have the weather that I enjoy in the southern US, I just might move next door to you!

    • Actually, Jane, it’s quite temperate where we live near Saint John, New Brunswick…because of the water, we don’t get the extreme hot or cold temperatures they have in other parts of the country. Our snowfall amount is usually quite manageable too. However, if you like 95-degree summer days, they don’t happen very often (which is fine by me!).


  9. LOL, I’m not Canadian, but I love your list and wish that I did live there! It seems like such a peaceful place … and everyone vouches for this too. Jeremy and I have often joked about it … but really, we’re thinking of visiting Canada while on our travels.

    I’m not surprised it’s number 7 as best country … it makes sense that it would be up there … now I’m curious to see which made the first six spots.


  10. Let’s not forget Canada has the best peanut butter, ever. Really, the best. My Canadian clients bring me jars of it when they return from visiting their homeland and I covet them.

    I love Canada and have always enjoyed visiting.

  11. Why am I not surprised that you turn out to be Canadian??!! I have not met a Canadian that I do not like yet. My husband happened to be in Canada during the elections in both 2000 and 2004. (Yeah, he called and we cried together over the phone…) In 2000, the taxi driver asked him whether the guy he supported has lost, my husband said yes. The driver said Good. Otherwise I’ll have to kick you out of my car. In 2004, people in the bar bought him drinks. And I LOVE this video “Canadian Please” (with 2+ million views on YouTube to prove how many others LOVE Canada! Yeah!)

    • Thanks, subWOW…I actually am still a dual citizen, although I often refrain from revealing my American heritage to fellow Canadians…I’ll have to look up that video!


      • Pssst: Be proud of your American roots, they are marvelous in their own ways. My mother’s ancestors came from England to Boston, MASS, in 1646 when it was still just a collection of tents. My fathers arrived in “Upper Canada” in 1840’s due to the Irish potato famine, so I often feel like I am a “dual”, if only in my heart. :^)

      • Dad’s family came from Germany to Pennsylvania in the 1750’s, and then moved on to Ohio. Mom’s family came from England and Germany in the mid-1800’s, and settled in Ohio. There are a lot of people here in Saint John, NB where I live descended from potato famine immigrants. Thanks for reading, Genie! Wendy

  12. Yeah, about the musicians, would you all consider taking Celine Dion back and sending us Bruce Cockburn?

  13. I love the money. My father always makes fun of the colors claiming it’s “Monopoly money” but I dig it. I know if I see reds I’m good to go. 😀

  14. I was born here (in Calgary), and I love Canada because it is one of the only places you can live in the world where a televison news man or news woman sporting dreadlocks was: born in India, educated in Quebec, lives in Vancouver and speaks English, French and Punjabi, and says “eh” with perfect ease in all accents. And smiles a lot!
    And in Canada politicians are more likely to be gently mocked than worshiped. Thank you Rick Mercer!

  15. Enjoyed reading your site. Correction though, Handguns are not illegal in Canada, they are extrememly tightly controlled, and it is definately illegal for an ordinary citizan to carry one. They can only be used on a shooting range, and even carrying one to the range is strictly monitered by the police. However the criminals seem to have no difficulty in procuring them.

  16. Thank you so much. I am a fellow USA native who is going to France to study French. After i complete my studies, i was planning to work in Montreal. I have a friend that came from Canada and always complaint that his parents brought him to the US and i always asked him why and he kept giving me vague reasons like “Canada is better” and “we’re not crazy”…stuff like that. I love the winter and prefer to live in cold areas like Michigan or Washington state. Hearing the things you said about Canada makes me want to move there permanently. I already speak French, Spanish, English, and Portuguese, which over qualifies me for whichever country i would like to go.

  17. World Is My Garden

    Hahaha! You nailed it! Thanks for the smile.

  18. Emi

    I was wondering what great colleges are available there!! Need to desperately leave here!

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