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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 ...

Prayers get answered in ways that we never intended for careers we never considered.

– Zarqa Nawaz, creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie and the author of Laughing All The Way To The Mosque

22. The Trans-Canada Highway

I was driven back and forth across Canada many times as a child, and I have done the journey with my own children. That trip – even with the endlessness of Northern Ontario – has built in me my love for this country. Holding your breath in the tunnels in mountains (so you get your wish), the endless skies of the Prairies, the Canadian Shield, the Great Lakes, and just the amazing ancientness of the land, all of those things connected by one long highway. For me, that’s the Canada I love.

– Annie Kidder, founder of People for Education

23. Prairie summers

Some of my fondest memories are of the long drives to my grandmother’s summer cabin as a child, and later to my parents’ cabin with my own children. There is nothing more beautiful than the summer scenery in western Manitoba – bright yellow mustard fields, rolling hills, endless skies, prairie lakes and long summer sunsets.

– Anna Stokke, co-founder of WISE Math, a Canadian coalition to improve math education, and a professor of mathematics at the University of Winnipeg

24. We stand up for each other

The one thing I must say is that the little family of academics here fight for each other. Within 72 hours of my firing, 1,800 people from schools across Canada were willing to put their names on a petition to bring me back. All those people were willing to stand up and say, “This firing was wrong.”

And there were so many emails and tweets. Here’s one: “I admire your courage and determination. You are my hero.” I don’t know this man who sent me this but he’s from Milden, Sask. It’s mind-boggling. I’m just a little dean who got fired.

– Robert Buckingham, former dean of public health at the University of Saskatchewan

25. Snow

I was born in India, and was 7 when we moved to Timmins, Ont.. where it gets really cold in the winter. When the temperature goes down – we would get nights that were minus-40 – any moisture in the atmosphere would precipitate out. I always remember how, waking up in the morning, there was often this beautiful snow that sort of sparkled in the sun.

– Arvind Gupta, president of the University of British Columbia

26. Canadian maples

We have these maple trees here that in the fall, in a particular period, produce a colour that I have never seen anywhere on the planet. They’re not the same as the maple leaves we have in New England. They’re just spectacular. They are a deeply saturated red – perhaps garnet comes closest although, as I said, I have never seen this colour in nature or man-made.

– David Helfand, president of Quest University in Squamish, B.C., an American who has lived in Canada for six years

27. Mountain hikes

As an Albertan, I’ve spent many hours hiking through the Rocky Mountains, winding my way through trails outside Jasper and Banff. Indeed, the time spent in the outdoors is the best possible escape from a challenging week in entrepreneurship, where the stresses of building a company can seem overwhelming. Each time I return from these hikes, I feel energized by the expansive landscape of trails, streams, rivers and lakes. There is something distinctly Canadian about these times spent outdoors, and it is one of the many reasons why I cherish living in this country.

– Emerson Csorba, founder of Gen Y Inc. and a 3M national student fellow

28. The Chicken Lady

We’re a country where government-funded television broadcasts a show (or at least used to) like Kids In the Hall. Where would we be without Chicken Lady?

– Garrett Dougherty, bassist for the Montreal-based band Le Trouble

29. We care

I love how Canadians care about the world around them. From the @LuckyIronFish project to @WorldUniService student-refugee program, Canadians make a difference.

– David J. Hornsby, senior lecturer in international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa

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