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Reason to love Canada No. 123: Reader Peter Taylor holds a book and a beer beside his campfire at Monck Provincial Park in British Columbia. (Peter Taylor)
Reason to love Canada No. 123: Reader Peter Taylor holds a book and a beer beside his campfire at Monck Provincial Park in British Columbia. (Peter Taylor)

147 reasons to love Canada Add to ...

Indeed, if Canada had been around when John Locke wrote his Letter Concerning Toleration in 1689, he could have dispensed with abstract reasoning and just used Canada as a model. This trait has produced a society whose quality of life, measured not only in material terms, ranks at or near the top of all global comparisons.

This is a justifiable source of pride. It could also be a justifiable reason for bragging. But that would be out of character, eh?

– Mark Heller, principal research associate, Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv

120. The weather

“Most recently, I debuted my Fall/Winter 2014 collection at World MasterCard Fashion week, which is inspired by the beauty of the cold, ice and snow.” – Kim Newport-Mimran, president and head designer, Pink Tartan

121. We support our athletes He’s worn a national team jacket on all sorts of stages in all sorts of places, but Olympic moguls skier Alex Bilodeau has never felt more Canadian than he did on Valentine’s Day in 2010.

It was day three of the Vancouver Winter Olympics and Bilodeau, then 22, became the first athlete in Canadian sports history to win an Olympic gold medal on home soil.

“That moment was when I truly felt in my bones what it means to be Canadian,” he said. “It was as if everyone’s team had won the Stanley Cup at the same time – every day, for two weeks. The spirit of togetherness was amazing.”

In the intervening years, Mr. Bilodeau, who won a second gold at the Sochi Games last winter, has crisscrossed the country for speaking engagements, which has sparked one key observation on his part.

“We’re an extremely hospitable country. Everywhere you go, there’s genuine warmth,” he said. “The richness of this country is: We have absolutely everything, there’s an amazing diversity …and I think people understand and embrace that.”

– Race-car driver James Hinchcliffe, a 27-year-old from Oakville, Ont., spends the bulk of his downtime in Indianapolis, where his Andretti Autosport team is based. But his country is never far from his thoughts. “As a Canadian athlete, the support from the country is incredible. The people really motivate you to compete and win for them,” he says. “I love what our country stands for.”

– “There is something unique about competing with the maple leaf on our back; it feels like we have a special indescribable X factor that isn’t comparable to any other country,” says Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan. “Perhaps part of that is because there aren’t as many of us, so Canadians are really well-received when we compete on the world stage. But what I really love about Canada is knowing that when I do compete, I have the whole country behind me. And for me and all the other athletes, in that moment, no matter how you finish, you’re No. 1 in the world with all of Canada cheering you on.

– “For many years, Canadians were not focused on investing in Olympic athletes. But when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Olympic Games, a group of interested Canadians came together to invest and campaign for Canadian athletes to own the podium. There was a lot of criticism at the time that it was a wasteful investment. Then, Alex Bilodeau won his gold medal in moguls freestyle skiing at the 2010 Games – the first ever Canadian to win gold on home soil. That moment changed how Canada looked at its Olympic athletes. That moment lit up a nation. And every gold, silver and bronze since then has added to our collective enthusiasm.” – Richard Baker, governor and CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company

122. Because we can laud the best among us, even in shorthand

“I love Canada because of the boys at Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Dieppe, and Juno Beach. I guess I will always love it for that. Of course number 4, number 99, number 66, and number 87, as well. And our women’s national Olympic team. After that nothing needs to be said.” – Novelist David Adams Richards (and those jerseys would be for Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby)

123. Lots of places to chill

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