Friday, June 15, 2012

Impressions of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario

“Canada is a country of more than 33,000,000 Canadians, each having a stake
in the country's capital, which is a reflection of what it is to be Canadian. 
The world's changing, Canada is changing and the Capital is in the process
of changing too.” 
(Andre Prefontaine ~ Executive Director
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society)

Our Second Home

Wherever we live in Canada ~ on a farm, on an island, in a village, town or city,
we actually have two homes.  The Nation's capital is our symbolic second home.
It's a centre of politics and diplomacy, yet who plays a role in reflecting the entire
country, representing a social nation and nurturing our collective identity.

As a showcase of Canada's personality, Ottawa succeeds! 
Citizens of this fair city have a passion  for the capital and its multi-culturalism.

(Editor of the Canadian Geographical)

Written in Stone

“For me...the greatest page in our history is written in stone.   
Walking through the well recognized and outstanding Parliament Buildings,
I started thinking  about the people who had built this country...fighting for 
our rights and forging our nation.  I thought of all those who have served Canada 
and safe-guarded  our freedom. I'm standing here at the heart of our democracy...
in the heart of our country.”

(Author unknown)

Gatineau Park
(Parc de la Gatineau is located in the National Capital Region
in Quebec's  Outaouais region...just north of Ottawa, Ontario.
Comprised of 361 square kilometres of natural wilderness
it is criss-crossed with cycling and nature trails, forests, lakes 
and lookouts.)

“For me...the greatest Canadian moment wasn't built by anyone.   
Hiking along trails in Gatineau Park, I started thinking about the people who 
created this Park and their vision to protect this great national monument.  
Because of them, I am here enjoying this national will other 
generations after me. I'm standing here ... in the heart of the heart 
of our country...covered with wilderness trees ~ and beyond,  a landscape 
of small lakes and grey-blue horizon.
(Author unknown)

My Personal Impression(s)

So...This is Canada!  I was born here.
                                   I was educated here in Ontario.
                                   I've viewed all Canada's 10 provinces.
                                   I've viewed several National Parks
                                   I've travelled to both Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
                                   To what can I compare my Canada?

After my second year of teaching, I fulfilled a dream of touring Europe for two months.
Yes...England's Lake District was charming, also Buckingham and Windsor Castles.
Yes...the cruise on the Rhine River with its hillside vineyards was wonderful.
Yes...the Alps and the Dolomites  ~ so picture perfect, were awe-inspiring.
Yes...I enjoyed Venice...its waterways and gondoliers.
Yes...the Isle of Capri and its sapphire blue grotto was exciting.
Yes...the French Riviera was enchanting and romantic.

When  I placed my feet on terra firma in Canada, I felt exhilarated to Be Home!
At this moment, I longed to kiss my country's pride:
          I missed the friendliness and charm of our people.
          I missed the unity of races and their cultures.
 .        I missed the bilingualism in our country...not the many as spoken in Europe
          I missed the St. Lawrence River and The Great Lakes that are home to me.
          I missed our  Niagara Escarpment, Lake Ontario and Burlington Bay.

THEN...I realized how truly Great and Magnificent my Canada is!   
We have 10 provinces, 3 Territories ~ each unique in its own beauty and distinction.  
We border on 3 oceans!

Countless Experiencesfrom small unforgettable scenes to spectacular!
          I've ski-holidayed in the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec many times.
          I've travelled  through our Canadian Rocky Mountains four times.
          For two summers I worked in rural British Columbia...4 different areas.
          I've walked on the ocean floor off Vancouver Island with walking stick
          to prevent stumbling on the small rocks and soft, wet sand; ate raw oysters 
          from their shells.
          Ive walked across the Capilano Suspension Bridge near Vancouvers Stanley
          Parkstretches 450 ft. across and 230 ft. above  the Capilano River.
          I've walked on the ocean floor along the Bay of Fundy when the high tide 
          was out, viewed the Flower Pot Rocks and the visible starfish on many stones.
          I've visited Flin Flon (a mining town in  northern Manitoba) where we spent
          two weeks with her parents on a nearby private island.

          I've taken my children to local sandy beaches and felt so elated watching
          my little girl catch ladybugs that highly delighted her in crawling on her hands 
          and arms...while my son built well-engineered sand castles, even with a moat
          filled with water.
          From this beach near the Skyway Bridge, we watched lake/ocean-going
          freighters pass from Lake Ontario into Burlington to Hamilton Harbour.
          I've savoured lobster from Nova Scotia's Yarmouth and scallops from Digby.
          Niagara's wineries and vineyards are less than one hour from my home city.
          Nearby universities and tech colleges are available for studies and research.
          We have fashion capitals in Toronto and Montreal.
          Golf courses and ski hills are only minutes away and numerous other 
          sports offered through Recreational Programs...for all ages.
          Canada has National Teams that compete in International sports.

Where else can one enjoy such opportunities..
.not only within our country's borders,
not only in our provinces...but also “in our back yard”???
Canada is “rich” in experiences just waiting to be discovered.
I am proud to be Canadian...and to fly its Maple Leaf Flag!!!

Tribute to Canada

                                           Canada is home to the Rocky Mountains.
                                           Canada is home to the golden mines.
                                           Canada is home to the fishing industry.
                                           Canada is home to the oil industry.
                                           Canada is a land that was made for the refugees
                                            from around the world who came here to start new lives.
                                           Canada is multi-cultural.
                                           Canada stands strong and free.
                                           Canada is home to the eagles and the robins.
                                           Canada is home to the foxes.
                                           Canada is home to the wild bears
                                           Canada is home to the deer.
                                           Canada is rich in experiences to be discovered.

The Maple Leaf Forever

For generations and generations of Canadians, the Maple Leaf has epitomized 
the endless beauty of our land and the everlasting spirit of its people.  
To capture the essence  of this treasured national symbol, the Royal Canadian Mint
presents the 99.99%  pure silver Maple Leaf Forever Coin (like our copper penny 
displaying a twig of three maple leaves).

“Pearl of Wisdom”
People cannot find pride in what they don't understand!

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written April 2, 2012
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  1. Merle... We are so proud to be Canadians but you even make us more so today ... my little chest is filed with pride for our country as I read this magnificent entry just a week or so before our Canada Day... Proud you Bet !
    Peaceful Loving and Kind as Always !
    Truly a Grande Dame !

    Love Sherrie & Alan

  2. Trust this "inspires" us all to be Proud of our Country.
    Perhaps others will reflect on patriotic
    sentiments and activities that instil
    this sense ... wonderful to be a Canadian!