59. The drive between Ottawa and Thunder Bay “Over the past several years my friend Mike Cooke and I make an annual pilgrimage to Thunder Bay in my jeep with the top down. It’s the journey of going home. Two days of pure bliss on the roads. Beautiful small towns like Blind River, Thessalon, Terrace Bay and Nipigon and many more. Coffees with the locals talking about the weather and fishing and (yes) politics.
For me, the rugged landscapes on the north of Lake Superior are as beautiful as any in the world. It is spiritual to the senses. I love the vastness of the Great Lakes and the big rocks and hills shaped by glaciers many years ago. I love the smells of cut wood as the logging trucks go flying by. I love watching and listening to the seagulls searching for food. I love the feel of the sun and wind on my face.
I love the emotions of connecting with family and friends when we arrive at our destination. I love our Canada.” – Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer for Canada
60. Being in a canoe on a quiet morning “Whether it’s in the Attawapiskat River, or it’s the Keele River in the Northwest Territories or on Lake Opeongo when I was a kid, that peaceful silence and the quiet of a canoe – that conjures up for me the best of Canada.” – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne
61. The landscape that keeps us apart also brings us together “It sounds trite, but over and over, it is the geography in Canada that gets me. Hiking the cliff that overlooks the St. John’s harbour, snowshoeing in the Laurentians, a Prairie wheat field, a mountain forest, a canoe and another coast. The thing about it, aside from the beauty of it all, is that the very thing that keeps us apart is also the thing that brings us together. We started with a railway and fumbled our way to Medicare. No one could live here alone. So we come together. That’s the real beauty.” – Broadcaster and writer Stuart McLean
62. Manitoulin Island, Ont.
“I live in midtown Toronto. Doesn’t get much more urban than that. So when I see this incredible vista every summer near Kagawong on Manitoulin Island, I rejoice in my other Canada. A seven-hour drive north of my home, this place is plenty remote. We can go days without seeing another soul. And you won’t find a McDonald’s or Tim Hortons on the island either. No franchises allowed. This is Canada in all its rural beauty.” – TVO host Steven Paikin
63. Toronto ravines “I walk or bike in Toronto’s ravines every day. For me, they are the essence of the city.” – Richard Florida
64. “The vivid clarity of end-of-day light in Alberta’s foothills.” – Joe Clark
65. Northern Ontario on the May 24th long weekend “The stubborn rain, the ravenous black flies, the carcass-smell in the cottage and a lake with ice around its shaded corners. But dammit, it’s not winter!” – Samantha Nutt
66. Sir Alexander Galt and his son Elliott “Sir Alexander Galt and his son Elliott founded Lethbridge – as well as coal mines and railways in the area, and the first large-scale irrigation project in Canada. Their perseverance, dedication to their country and their ability to connect the right people with the right projects were instrumental in developing southern Alberta.” – Reader Belinda Crowson, Lethbridge, Alta.
“We have visited the island four times and every time I’m reminded how supremely special it is. This picture was taken by my husband when we were on a hike on the Skerwink Trail near Trinity, Nfld., in the summer of 2008. The trail (called “one of the top 35 walks in North America and Europe”) was magical as the fog descended and then pulled away to reveal the coastline. Canada would not be the same place without Newfoundland and its people.” – Reader Mary Ellen Stoll, South Porcupine, Ont.
68. Canadian Immigration agents. Really “I have been living in Canada since August, 2010. I came as a student, then got my work visa to stay longer and am now applying for permanent residency. Canadian Immigration plays the biggest role in that: I always got my visas on time, airport agents were helpful and welcoming – I am really thankful for that. Canada is officially my home now.” – Reader Karan Saha, Toronto