Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Canoe Day? Community Day? Eh Day? Your ideas for naming the August holiday

Globe photographer Fred Lum and his wife paddle to another lake and campsite in Algonquin Provincial Park.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

We asked readers to suggest a new name for the August holiday, a truly national moniker that all of Canada could get behind. Here are some of the responses:

***************************

Several readers evoked nature:

Story continues below advertisement

Camping Day

A day in the woods to recapture our ties to nature.

PaulaAnne McNeil, St. John's

Adventure Day

It's mid-summer, the lakes are warm, the weather is fair, and an extra day lands in our laps. What to do with it ... take out the kayak? Or maybe it's a canoe or fishing boat. Head out on a long cruise on the motorbike, or with the family in the minivan. Go somewhere, do something - have an adventure. What better way than to have a day dedicated to it.

Aaron McDonnell, London, Ont.

Harvest Day

Story continues below advertisement

Canadians buying locally grown food, encourages healthy eating, supports Canadian farmers and contributes to our national economy. The beginning of August is the start of harvest time for the many fruits and vegetables grown in Canada. Also, the word, 'Harvesting' refers to hunting, fishing and plant gathering by First Nations, Métis and Inuit. This day may also encourage some to get involved in a community vegetable garden or a personal home garden. Harvest Day is a day all Canadians can take pride in and enjoy the fruits of our labour!

Teresa Pamatat, Mississauga, Ont.

Discovery Day

All across this country people flock to campgrounds and cottages to enjoy the best this land has to offer. Cold drinks, a roaring fire and good times with friends and family is what the August long weekend is all about. Add in hot days, fresh water swimming and some glorious sandy beaches, the long weekend begs for all Canadians to get out there and discover new and amazing things in their own backyard.

Kristina Somerville, Toronto

Boreal Day

Story continues below advertisement

This name celebrates Canada as a northern country with its magnificent northern wilderness. It also celebrates our vast boreal forest, which extends across all of Canada and is a key element of our country's heritage. Finally, it reminds me of the aurora borealis, a symbol of the unparalled beauty of Canada's northland.

Peter Gammon, St. John's

Canoe Day

Where would you rather be on that glorious mid-summer Monday than in a red Canadian canoe, on a quiet lake, early in the morning. The mist is still over the perfectly smooth water, a screen door slams somewhere, you hear the drip from the paddle as you glide. The sun is emerging behind the pines and you know in the cool of the morning that it will be a hot day.

Susanne Hynes, Toronto

***************************

Others want the day to embody our community spirit, our history or a well-known Canadian

Canadian Talent Day

To celebrate Canadian talent in entertainment, the arts, business, science and other fields. This would be a great opportunity to recognize the people who enhance Canada's worldwide reputation as a creative and dynamic nation.

Dan Lyon, Toronto

Peace Day

The month of August is named after the first Roman Emperor, Augustus, and Augustus initiated an era of relative peace in Rome, known as the Roman Peace or Pax Romana.

August is a month where most people in Canada are off school, and take vacations off work. It's a month to relax and be at peace (especially this weekend). We should also be thankful that Canada is a peaceful and prosperous nation, comparable to the Roman Peace era back when Augustus ruled Rome.

Emil Jayatileke, Mississauga, Ont.

Unity Day

Because there is no "them", there is only "us".

Maureen Heath, Regina

Charity Day

A day to give back to family, communities, or a worthwhile cause. You can volunteer, attend an event or financially support.

Lawrence Lee, Red Deer, Alta.

Canuck Day

All Canadians celebrate a national identity as Canucks - English and French and multinational cultures all unite.

Jacqueline Lavigne, Harrow, Ont.

Appreciation Day

I'd start a tradition of doing something to help a total stranger on that day, in appreciation of all of our good fortune, living in Canada. While there will always be people who look for things to complain about, seriously, where on earth would we rather live?

Eya Donald Greenland Kotulsky, Toronto

Multiculturism Day

Few of us have a single culture in our families any more and even less of us will have them going into the future. We're not just seeing records broken in the number of immigrants but in the scope of their origins, and I think that is something to be proud of. More than anything else, I see Canadians as a patchwork, it's getting more intricate by the day and that comes from celebrating each other.

Rory Smith, Oakville, Ont.

Fleming Day

How about Fleming Day to honour the guy who linked the country from sea to sea by rail, designed our first postage stamp and made sure everyone on the planet knows what time it is? Sandford Fleming was chief engineer of both the Canadian Pacific and Intercolonial railways. His 1851 stamp design featured a beaver, creating one of our enduring national symbols. And his promotion of standard time and time zones, to keep trains and people around the world running on time, ensures that no one will be late for the celebration.

Dean Jobb, Wolfville, N.S.

Terry Fox Day

A true Canadian hero. He ran a marathon a day on one leg! If there is anyone who embodies the Canadian spirit of endurance, perseverance, and courage it is Terry Fox. Someone every Canadian can take pride in celebrating.

Craig DuHamel, Toronto

From Sea to Sea Day

I suggest naming the holiday "A Mari usque ad Mare Day'," using the Canadian national motto, "From Sea to Sea."

Indeed, it should be modified to be "A Mari ad mare ad mare" (from sea to sea to sea) to reflect our Northern coastline.

This name is truly national in character, depicting the vast expanse of Canadian territory. It is not limited to a narrow historical or geographical description in its application as is the case with the current names used to represent the holiday.

Bertram Frandsen, Ottawa

Settlers Day

The settlers were men and women of extraordinary courage, resourcefulness and independence. We do not live up to their example. Perhaps "Settlers Day" will help us to remember our predecessors, the people who made Canada, and just perhaps start acting in a manner worthy of them.

Jack Dixon, Victoria

Jerry Prinsoo Day

Jerry is a neighbour of mine. He's a pretty good guy, lends you his lawnmower when yours cracks a blade, hands you a cold beer after you've been raking leaves all afternoon. And enjoys one with you without talking much. Jerry comes from a really warm place, but he likes shovelling snow. He does his own driveway, and then he walks down the road and does Albert's because Albert had a stroke last winter and can't use his left arm. Albert never asked him. Jerry just started doing it.

Every summer we have a combined BBQ for the whole block on the holiday Monday. Last year, a few people decided to give Jerry a small tree for his front yard, as a kind of thanks for all the little things he keeps doing for his neighbours.

There's quite a few Jerry-type folks out there. They are all worth celebrating.

Gordon Scott, Toronto

Community Day

A celebration of the many communities that make up our country. We continue to be a cultural mosaic and should have a day to recognize and celebrate this.

Rob Murray, Vancouver

Peter Gzowski Day

Because In books, on TV and especially on CBC radio, the man who was Morningside made us proud to be Canadian. Proud that such a bright, thoughtful and civil mind and heart could represent our nation.

Ken DeLuca, Arnprior, Ont.

Olympic Day

The day could honour Canadian competitors and what it means to participate in something purely for the pride of our country. Cities could pay tribute to local Olympians, future prospective competitors, and Canadian athletics in general.

Natalie Giorgio, Burlington, Ont.

Sirius Day

From the high arctic outpost of Alert, to the ocean shores east and west, and to the long expanse of border with the United States, there comes a feeling across our vast lands each mid-summer season referred to as the dog days of summer.

The canine connection historically coincides to the appearance of Sirius, the binary Dog Star, and brightest star we see unaided, which occurs in early August each year. The ancients thought the rising of Sirius just before our sun's dawn signified the culmination of the hottest period of the season due to the combined light of the two celestial objects. Of course, at 8.6 light years' distance, the heat from Sirius would hardly cause a sunburn, but the symbolism gives rise to the coincidence of the warmest days of the summer period, hence the dog days.

Leonard Campaigne, Canadian expat in Abu Dhabi

Joseph Brant Day

A leader of the Iroquois League through his education, abilities and connections with the British. He met with both King George III and George Washington, who tried to bribe him into becoming American, which he refused. He helped keep the Americans out of Canada. But violence was never his first answer; he was a true Canadian in spirit, and always tried to make peace first. You can still go to his house in Burlington, Ont., now the Joseph Brant Museum, which is at the end of Burlington's main street; Brant Street. He is one of Canada's greatest unknown heroes, and he deserves a day.

Tayor Morin, Burlington, Ont.

***************************

Others took a more amusing approach

Good Grammar Day

Let's treat it as a celebration of all that is dear to literate Canadians everywhere. After all, we've always been proud of our well-structured, accent-free use of English. We'll design a series of banners to display along every main street, each illustrating a treasured grammar or punctuation rule. Hail the possessive "its" over the misused contraction "it's"! Three cheers for spelling out numbers under 10! Canadians of all backgrounds can attend open-air workshops and share stories of how they first learned about the difference between "which" and "that." Editors and English teachers will be acclaimed as heroes, and we will come to love a day when it is acceptable to correct each other's use of pronouns. Happy proofreading, everyone!

Christie Day, Markham, Ont.

"Eh!" Day

That one word just about symbolizes us nationally and possibly internationally, eh? And it could become an national emoticon too!

Bill Huiskamp, Guelph, Ont.

Summer Day

Call it just what it is, and why we treasure it: Summer Day.

Tony Peterson, Ottawa

Longusto Day

It's a long weekend, in August, that many meet with gusto.

Having lived from coast to coast to coast I've experienced Longusto in such exotic locales as Wolfville, N.S., Fort Smith, NWT, and Revelstoke, B.C. Each of these places react the same to the long weekend – by grabbing the three days off and running with them. Usually with a beer in hand and the outdoors beckoning.

It's almost like Longusto is the last kick at the can of summer. You've got to get in a day at Hurdle's Beach or paddle the Slave River or hit the ball out of the park at the baseball tournament.

If you don't fully enjoy the long weekend then you're doomed to regret it for the rest of the year. That's when you get "Disgusto" – disuse of the August long weekend.

Lea Storry, Calgary

Thanks to all the readers for their submissions. Whatever you call this holiday long weekend, we hope you enjoy it!

Editor's note: This article originally identified one of the contributors as Christine Day. Her correct name is Christie Day.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.