25 Reasons Why Canada Rocks (PHOTOS)

Ketchup flavour crisps

25-reasons-why-Canada-rocks25 Reasons Why Canada Rocks (PHOTOS).

This is an interesting insight into how Canadians view themselves and their country. But it leaves out so many things I think Canada has a right to feel proud of, and draws attention to some that don’t do it justice. (pssst, Bieber is something to live down not big up!)

Ketchup flavoured crisps and Presidents Choice can’t compete with the wide variety of organic products and easy availability of produce direct from the farmer. Not to mention the smorgasbord of global cuisine that’s available in the larger cities.

The inclusion ofย Williamย Shatner’s “scream” gives no clue to Canada’s thriving culture scene and the importance given to creative expression. From the country who gave the world the Group of Seven painters, whose contributions to cinema come from names like Paul Haggis, James Cameron and David Cronenburg and where world-famous photographers like Yusuf Kursh and Edward Burtynsky developed their talent, there are unknown depths of artistic energy. Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and Michael Ondaatje are all writers who proudly call Canada home. With a vibrant stage, screen and concert hall scene, and radio still playing a strong role in bringing this art right into people’s homes, Canada is a creative force to be reckoned with, underfunded, but unfettered by class or accessibility.

Drugs may be cheaper here than in the US but they are still wildly more expensive than the UK where you can buy a pack of painkillers for the equivalent of 50 cents. And as for “candy” bars – HA! I laugh in the face of a Coffee Crisp, for I have tasted “proper” chocolate.The volume of Dairymilk carried back home in American suitcases is testament to its gastronomic superiority.

The sheer beauty and diversity of the natural environment and the bond the Canadian people continue to have with it gets only a cursory hockey-themed mention – more Canadians go “back to their roots” at the cottage than visit Cuba!

reasons-why-canada-rocksThe No. 1 reason “Canada Rocks” MY world, has to be the freedom and acceptance people from different cultural backgrounds enjoy here. Not being born or brought up in Canada doesn’t warrant treatment as a second-class citizen in the same way it does in some other countries. Here, difference is celebrated rather than tolerated and given the pugilistic state of world affairs today, that’s no small feat.

It’s great to live in “The true North Strong And Free!”

Whitby Shores, Whitby, Ontario

By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. Have you been to the Art Gallery of Ontario? They have a whole room devoted to the group of Seven. There are some of their paintings at the National Gallery in Ottawa but the AGO’s collection is bigger.

    I used to go to the Mississauga Farmers’ Market to buy fruit and veg. I miss it! Oh Gosh you made me miss Canada ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Lol! Sorry to be the cause of anguish. I would LOVE to visit the AGO but my children might feel differently ๐Ÿ™ Patience is my watchword. Canada is a wonderful place – you’d be mad NOT to miss it!

  2. I was thinking of Ketchup chips the other day, must pick some up when I return in August. On a more serious note I must agree with you about that number one reason why Canada rocks. Differences are most definitely celebrated. Although there are pockets of people who are incredibly racist about First Nations people.

    I had an interesting, kind of shocking encounter a few weeks back with some racist young people. I was surprised as 1) they were young, and 2) it was only canterbury so I just wasn’t expecting that level of ignorance there. Something about public transport and intolerance in this country, seems to be a perfect storm as of late.

    1. Glad you concur. Sorry to hear about your encounter. It always catches me by surprise too, even though deep down I know it’s always there, simmering below the surface. I read something the other day that stated the level of racism in the UK seen an increase in the 18-25 age bracket – it wasn’t so long ago we expected that age group to be the more enlightened.

      1. Thanks. Same, I know people think like this but then to see it play out is another thing. I’m not surprised it has increased in that age group actually, such a skewed view of immigration/migration here. In bad times blame the easiest target I guess. This post makes me miss home.

        1. CORRECTION: This post and thinking of your recent unpleasant experience makes you miss home – take a minute to re-live a certain garden party… that’ll put the smile back on your face. Canada will still be here when you’ve finished hob-nobbing with the royals ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Hi Aisha,
    As I’m back ‘home’ for the summer your post has truly struck a chord! Although I love my expat life, there’s nothing like the smell of a new-mown lawn or a cold Keith’s at the Lower Deck in Halifax (many ‘upper Canadians’ don’t think there’s anything east of Ontario but the infiltration of Maritimers into Ontario and westward and inter-provincial marriages like mine have educated them a little bit on the down-home flavor of the Eastern provinces)! However, I will also be enjoying ‘cottage country’ very shortly as my husband and I head to his family cottage in Northern Ontario.
    Thanks for reflecting on what makes Canada special!

    1. Thanks for the comment Anne, I’m glad you enjoyed the post – and no thanks needed – I read the National Post article and couldn’t believe how underwhelmed it left me; it was a wrong that needed righting! Canada should never knowingly be undersold. Enjoy your summer!

  4. I really enjoy the fact that we have fresh food in Canada (more than in the U.S., we don’t have these “food deserts”, i.e. you can easily get fresh products) and it’s affordable. I love the way people try to live together peacefully. I love multiculturalism, and the fact that this is a nation of immigrants from all over the world.

  5. Liked your list and would add the veritable queen of short stories, Alice Munro. We Americans would love to claim Michael J. Fox as our own, but he’s Canadian as well. It’s got me thinking about my Nederlander 25…

  6. Tomato ketchup was sold locally by farmers. A man named Jonas Yerks (or Yerkes) is believed to have been the first man to make tomato ketchup a national phenomenon. By 1837, he had produced and distributed the condiment nationally.[7] Shortly thereafter, other companies followed suit. F. & J. Heinz launched their tomato ketchup in 1876.;;**

    Ciao for now

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