Real Man Travels Presents: 150 of Our Favourite Canadian Things

Follow along as we list off our favourite 150 Canadian things over 150 days to celebrate Canada Day!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Crispy Crunch


In 1912 a candy roller for the Williams Neilson candy company submitted his vision of a peanut butter filled chocolate log to an internal chocolate bar contest. Harold Orwin would go on to win the contest and its $5 grand prize(worth about $120 today!) but he would see his dream become reality.

While the shape would change, the Crispy Crunch became a staple on candy bar shelves for the next century. Our friends to the south had a brief time to experience its goodness in the 1990's before the american distribution company Pro Set went bankrupt.

The fine people over at Cadbury have taken over where Neilson's left off, making a few minor changes, however the taste has stood the test of time.Next time you are in a Canadian corner store, pick up the bar chalked full of Canadian goodness and history, and don't forget, the only thing better than your Crispy Crunch, is someone else's.


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

CN Tower


It is a symbol of Toronto, a masterful piece of engineering, a field trip staple, fodder for a million postcards and the subject of countless phallic jokes that have been and are to come; it is the CN Tower, 553.3 metres of pure Canada.


The CN Tower held the world’s tallest freestanding structure title for more than 30 years until it was knocked off in 2010 (don’t worry CN, you’ll always be the tallest in our hearts). The tower is home to observation decks, a revolving restaurant and a glass floor, and it is still being used as a communication tower for broadcasting radio and TV signals.


I got to experience one of the CN Tower’s most exciting attractions with Ford Canada, the Edge Walk. Read more about that.

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Monday, 29 May 2017

Don Cherry

Photo from Hockey Night in Canada

There are few people on Canadian television that speak as loud as they dress. Don Cherry is a Canadian sports commentator and retired NHL player and coach. Co-hosting  along side Ron MacLean on legendary Coach's Corner segment during the 1st period intermission of the long running Hockey Night in Canada. Nicknamed Grapes, this Canadian icon is known for his direct and honest outspoken manner, flamboyant suits and his unwavering Canadian nationalism.


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Muskoka


The Muskoka-region of Ontario feels iconically Canadian. This has a lot to do with the Group of Seven capturing the area so vividly in their paintings, which hang on the walls of the last several generations of Canadians. It has also come to be so iconic as generations, even before the Group of Seven, have found themselves drawn to the natural, rugged beauty of the area. Whether travelling to a campground, going backcountry, or traveling to a million-dollar cottage, Ontario's cottage country has much to discover.

Home to 1600 lakes, the region has changed significantly in the last 50 years. Lakes such as Rosseau, Joseph and Muskoka host the cottages of the rich and famous while single lane roads have turned into multi-lane highways cutting through the rocky landscape. That said, there is still plenty of untouched wilderness and quiet areas into which to escape.

The Real Man Travels gang loves to fade into the Muskoka wilds whenever we get a chance.    




What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Hudson's Bay Company

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has a rich history of exploration, adventure, control, trading and more that spans over 340 years. There is way too much history to write about in this blurb (to learn more you can visit HBC's history website) but I would like to share a neat fact that most Canadians overlook.

The last trading post ever built by Hudson Bay Company


HBC has long been thought to be an iconic Canadian company. However it was originally formed in England in 1670 to maintain and profit from fur trading in the new land (eventually Canada). It wasn’t until 1970 (the company’s 300th anniversary) that HBC was granted a new charter and moved its head offices from England to Winnipeg. Later they would move the office to downtown Toronto where it still sits today. However the company was bought out by a private US company fronted by Jerry Zucker in 2006 and after his death in 2008 was scooped up by National Realty and Development Corporation (NRDC) Equity Partners, who also own Saks 5th Avenue and Lord & Taylor.

While officially only a Canadian company for 38 years, we still love the iconic 4 colour stripe products they have been creating for centuries (mostly the blankets though).


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here


Friday, 26 May 2017

The Northern Lights



Otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights have been been dancing across the world's sky for centuries, and while they may not be unique to Canada, we proudly have the Northern Lights Centre in the Yukon territory. I was fortunate enough to see it with my own eyes on a summer road trip last year. To say it was the highlight of the highway drive between Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, would be an understatement. That statement doesn't do enough to explain how boring that drive is, or how impressive the lights were to watch.

If you've had the privilege of watching this scientific light show you know just how lucky you were. If you haven't, come on up to some the remote parts of Canada, get a double-double at the Tim Horton's, put your phone away, and just watch the show, because it's a different one every time.



What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Ottawa River

Rope swing in to the water at Wilderness Tours


We were given the chance to see the full majesty of the Ottawa River on our trip through Ontario’s Highlands. We also had the pleasure to meet Joe from Wilderness Tours, a man who has spent his life trying to preserve one of the greatest rafting destinations on earth. Read more about that.


If you’ve never gotten the chance to raft the Ottawa River, do it, now, or when you are done reading this post. It is an amazing experience and the folks from Wilderness Tours know how to do it right.

The river itself defines the border between Quebec and Ontario. Canada’s parliament building are situated on its shores. The river is revered by the Algonquin people who called it Kichisipi, the “Great River.” It played a key role in Canada’s development, as a critical logging corridor. That history can still be seen in the tea-coloured water of the river, that has been dyed by a thick bed of bark and wood scraps that make up the river bottom.


Power, passion, adventure, fun, legacy. The river is truly Canadian.    

Or you can bungee jump into the Ottawa River, if you'd like





What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Degrassi: Old and New

“Whatever it takes, I know I can make it through.” These are the famous opening lines to Degrassi: The Next Generation, but they really speak volumes to the entire franchise. 



The Kids of Degrassi Street was where it all began. It was the first iteration of the franchise and was composed of four episodes varying in length that aired consecutively between 1979 and 1982 on the CBC. Most of the cast would move on to the full time series Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High with different names, families and story lines.

Degrassi Junior High had its run from 1987 through 1989 while Degrassi High ran from 1989-1991. These were the original two series and they had a very organic feel to them as the cast were mostly non-professional actors and the budgets were pretty low. The two series touched on a lot of controversial topics that were not in the mainstream media such as homosexuality, teen pregnancy, child abuse, racism, homophobia and much more. The show always approached these topics with a high level of tact and responsibility. This run of the franchise also created some much loved generational characters such as Joey Jeremiah, Snake, Spike, The Farell twins, Wheels, BLT and many more.

The franchise received a revival in 2001 with Degrassi: The Next Generation. This modern version of the Degrassi world did exactly what the original run intended to do. Speak to its audience about issues that pre-teens and teens face. With a 20 year gap, the show was able to develop and create episodes geared to even more controversial and issues that were brought about by technological advances that didnt exist during the original run such as cyber bullying, online predators, sex, suicide, self-injury, abortion, domestic violence, date rape, murder, school shootings and much more.

Degrassi is a real street in Toronto's East End

 The modern run of Degrassi also brought back some familiar faces from the original series who portrayed parents, teachers and other adult figures of the new cast. The Next Generation received acclaim worldwide rather quickly and went on to have a 14 season run ending in 2015. From the show a few cast members went on to become quite famous such as Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Devon Bostick (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Shenae Grimes (90210) and of course Drake.

The franchise continues on now with Degrassi: Next Class thanks to Netflix and Family Channel. This version is set in the world of Degrassi but is not a continuation of The Next Generation. It is currently 3 seasons long and has been green lit for a 4th.


How long will the Degrassi franchise survive? On television? Who really knows. In the hearts of multi generations of Canadians? Forever.


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tim Hortons


What can you say about a country where one of their most iconic symbols is a coffee shop, and where a phrase synonymous with that coffee shop, "Double-Double" (meaning a coffee with two cream and two sugar) has been enshrined as an official word in the dictionary. Well, all you can really say is that Canada is awesome, because anything less would be simply untrue.

Canadians buy more coffee from food service than any other country in the world, and eight of every 10 of those cups are bought at Tim Hortons. Indeed, almost one in five Canadians goes to Tim Hortons daily (that is insane, but in an awesome way). This equates to the chain serving over two billion cups of coffee every year.

It is not rare to see Facebook or Instagram posts of ex-pats or even those who have simply been outside of Canada for vacation post a picture of their favourite cup upon their return to native soil with the caption, "oh, how I have missed thee."

Tim Hortons' success can be chalked up to nothing short of a cultural phenomenon. The coffee has consistently received poor reviews by experts, the food is nothing more than soups, sandwiches and donuts (that are on the small side), the popularity means there is always a wait to get your cup, and the chain isn't even Canadian-owned anymore. Nonetheless, Canadians flock to Tims by the millions every day, which is likely why they need one location for every 9000 Canadians!

Maybe its the 18% cream, but I prefer to think it is another way that Canadians enjoy simple pleasures. Tims is a meeting place, a constant in a crazy world; it is home, in the same way your favourite thread-bare easy chair is home, consistent, comfortable and rich with memories. That's why there is no better way to show a Canadian love than by bringing them a steaming hot cup of Timmies.



What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here



Monday, 22 May 2017

Blackberry (Research in Motion)

Blackberry (formerly Research In Motion – RIM) was once the technological prowess of Canada. The company itself was founded in 1984 in by Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin. RIM was the first North American company to develop for wireless data technology. While the company dabbled with modems and pagers early on, things really kicked into high gear in 1999 when they released the Blackberry 850, a device that could handle email. The Blackberry 850 was a catalyst that forever changed the mobile world.


From there the company went on to create the most secure handheld devices that were utilized by corporations, governments and consumers. Some notable models were the Blackberry Pearl, Blackberry Bold 9000, Blackberry Torch, Blackberry Z10/Z30 and the more recent Blackberry Passport and Blackberry Priv (the first blackberry to use Android as its operating system). During the company’s peak in 2013 they had 85 million subscribers worldwide. Recently those numbers have dwindled significantly; so much so that the company has moved on from creating their own hardware and have outsourced that to partners.

 I can remember when I was in college and everyone had a Blackberry and used their messaging service (BBM) on the regular. Funny thing is, us guys at Real Man Travels still use BBM as our main messaging service. We have a group chat set up on it and I will legitimately be sad if Blackberry ever shuts their service down.

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Insulin


Our favourite Canadian things list is full of Canadian innovation, but no item on the list has the strong personal connection to the Real Man Travels crew than insulin. This is because Real Man Travels finds its roots in Alliston, Ontario, where insulin co-founder Dr. Frederick Banting was born. He remains Alliston's proudest son, with his birthplace enshrined as a historic monument on the outskirts of town.

Insulin is a life-saving treatment for diabetes, a condition that causes high blood sugar due to either the inability of the body to naturally produce insulin or the body not responding properly to insulin that is produced.

Dr. Banting, working with Drs. Charles Best, J.J.R McLeod and James Collip, developed the method of isolating insulin from dogs, and later calves and pigs, for use in humans. The resulting product was called a miracle in its time, effectively treating a disease that before was a death sentence.  The good doctors are credited with giving all rights to their patented product to the University of Toronto so that income generated could be used for research.

Insulin is now procured from genetically-engineered bacteria but the treatment remain relatively unchanged.

Banting received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and remains the youngest person to have ever received the honor. He was also knighted by King George V.


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Montreal International Jazz Festival


Summer in Montreal. There is nothing like it, especially when the Montreal International Jazz Festival is in town. The city comes to life as they close Rue St.Catherine and the rest of the Montreal's core for 10 days. Thankfully Montreal has a solid transit system to help when it is too far to walk.

The festival in Montreal is the worlds largest jazz festival. If you don't believe me just check out your copy of the 2004 Guinness Book of World Records. Every year more than 3,000 artists put on just over 650 concerts, with 450 of those concerts being free and open to the public. The one day I attended in 2015, I saw a variety of street performers, large bands, rock bands and even a theatre production all in one epic day. The entertainment doesn't stop there as Montreal has more to offer the 2.5 million visitors that attend the jazz festival every year. In 2017, Montreal is celebrating the city's 375th anniversary of it's founding, mix that in with a half of a dozen other festivals going on throughout the city and you will have no shortage of things to do.

This year the Montreal International Jazz Festival runs June 28,2017 to July 8,2017 it should be the best one yet.

I experienced the jazz fest first hand with my blogger buddy Kashyap Bhattacharya from the Budget Traveller. He documented our experience in the film below.




What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Friday, 19 May 2017

Screeching In

Photo by QuiltsbyJen.ca
Getting screeched in on George Street is a time-honoured tradition/joke Newfoundlanders love to do with “mainlanders.” The history is always a little different, but it usually involves a trade by long-ago Newfies and pirates for some strange liquor, thereafter known as Screech.

I won’t give it away, as it’s something that needs to be experienced, be sufficed to say it involves a cod, some questionable deli meat, poetry and said strange liquor.

When you find yourself in St. John’s, let the city’s natural slope funnel you to George Street and get the real screech in experience, and stay to enjoy the street with the most bars and pubs per square foot of any in North America. It is an incredible spot, and a truly Canadian experience.




What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Caesar

Photo from baconismagic.com

The Thursday before the Victoria day long weekend (May 2-4, for us canucks!) is National Caesar's Day, the unofficial start to summer.

For the uninitiated, a Ceaser is the "clammy" sister of the  Bloody Mary consisting of vodka, Clamato juice, hot sauce, and worcestershire sauce. The glass is rimmed with celery salt and garnished with a stalk of celery.

You may be thinking "Why?" and "What the heck is clamato juice?" What a very inquisitive group you are! Allow me to save you a google search:
Why?: Walter Chell created the caesar recipe in 1969 as a signature drink for the opening of new Italian restaurant in Calgary. The caesar drink was meant to reflect the flavours of spaghetti alla vongole – spaghetti with clams and tomato sauce. 
What the heck is clamato juice?: A strange mixing of clam and tomato juice that some how hold the whole thing together
What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Hornblower Niagara Cruises - Niagara Falls




This up close and personal tour of the falls get you as close as possible to the breathtaking power and mist, what a thrilling way to experience Niagara Falls. There are 3 different types of cruises that take you into the heart of Horseshoe Falls. The day-time and evening cruise is a legendary 20 minute tour or you can watch the Falls light up on the night-time illumination tour. The perks to this tour include an on-board licensed bar and an extended tour time to enjoy the illumination colours on the Falls. (Tip: In the Summer show up early for the Illumination cruise and enjoy the licensed patio with live entertainment, local craft beer, Niagara wines and delicious BBQ).



The famous "Voyage to the Falls" is said to be the oldest attraction in North America. Delighting millions of visitors since 1846. If you'd like to learn more about this visit Niagara Parks

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Publicly-funded Health Care

Photo from medicaltourismmag.com


Canadians can thank, for one, Tommy Douglas for pioneering the publicly-funded health care system we enjoy today. While it is easy to take for granted, particularly having been born here, you need do nothing more than talk to new Canadians to realize what a privilege it is.

The system isn’t perfect, but having publicly-funded health care does much more than just heal us when we are sick. It provides critical peace of mind. Canadians know that, should we encounter illness or injury, a system is there to catch us. Not only do we know we will have quality care, but we know we will not have to make difficult choices to get it. We will not have to choose between our health and something else, like amenities for our families, or, in the worst case, food or shelter. This provides financial security, but also physiological protection from the fear that comes from the prospect of having to make those decisions.  

Yes, we pay higher taxes to support the system, and for many years, thankfully, most will not have to access the system for much more than check-ups and minors health issues; but it is utterly Canadian to support a system that supports others in their time of need, as it will support us when and if we need it.

I fear the day when politics in Canada become focused so much on the individual that the foundations of our health care system are questioned. We need not look far to see the individualized, self-centred approach to politics infecting other countries, and I truly hope the Canadian way remains as it is.





What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Monday, 15 May 2017

Night Rafting on the Grand River


A few years ago we set out on an adventure to Paris, Ontario. This adventure was like no other we had ever been on before, night water rafting. When we arrived, we were greeted by a nice summer breeze and riverside bars. After dinner we met up with our guide Nick (from Grand River Rafting Company). He could tell right away that we were a special group and he quickly became our seventh wheel.




We had a great night of exploring and stargazing. If you are considering this fun night out then you should know that the total raft ride takes about three hours to complete, depending on current, how much you row and how many stops you make. We made two stops to explore the true nature of the river bank. 

You can read about our adventure here.



What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Canadian Heritage Minutes



"Doctor Penfield, I smell burnt toast!"

If you grew up in Canada in the early 90's I don't have to explain that sentence to you at all. It caught on after a heritage minute devoted to Canadian Surgeon Wilder Penfield on his mapping of the human brain.

Many have followed since their debut of 1991 and new ones continue to surface every year. And while the production quality has improved since their first offerings, they continue to show great moments in our Canadian Heritage in a mere 60 seconds. Because 90 seconds would make us look like a bunch of show offs, eh?


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire, informally known as “Crappy Tire” is a department store with a heavier focus on automotive products. With over 500 stores, it is rumoured that 90% of Canadians live within a 15 minute drive from the nearest one. Most of their locations also have a garage where you can get repairs done to your vehicle although I do not know many people who would get more than an oil change done there.
A Canadian Tire store.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Canadian Tire originated in Hamilton Ontario in the early 1900’s after John Williams Billes and Alfred Jackson Billes bought the Hamilton Tire and Garage Ltd Company. In the 1920’s they launched their first catalogue in southern Ontario and began taking mail orders for automotive parts. They set up shop in downtown Toronto in the 1930’s and since then have blossomed into the national brand they are today. In the 1950’s Canadian Tire branched out and began operating gas stations under their banner as well.

During the 1950’s Canadian Tire also introduced a loyalty program that is still in existence today; Canadian Tire money (CTM). For every purchase made in the store the customer would receive CTM back (value based on how much was spent) and the CTM could then be used on future purchases. There are bills in values of 5¢ 10¢ 25¢ 50¢ $1 and $2. In keeping with modern times the loyalty program has begun shifting to the digital age; where you show your loyalty card and get your CTM added electronically instead of paper notes. The neat thing about Canadian Tire money is that some businesses across Canada have been accepting it as currency on certain products. A burger chain called The Works allows guests to pay in CTM for their “Crappy Tire” burger. Rogue recording studio in Toronto accepts CTM at par to the Canadian Dollar (which Toronto based recording artist Corin Raymond used to finance a live album in 2011) and a now closed Pete’s Peanut Pub in Calgary would accept CTM in lieu of cash for drinks and food.

Canadian Tire Money!
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Canadian Tire has managed to stay near and dear to the hearts of Canadians while big American corporations keep pushing their way in. There is a sense of loyalty to the brand for the way they advertise on how to survive “Canadian life” and of course by offering up a secondary set of monopoly coloured money.

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Rideau Canal

Post by: Helen M.

On today's docket we have the - kinda - world famous Rideau Canal (or Rideau Waterway)
not the Rideau canal, but kinda famous



The Rideau Canal was opened in 1832. It was originally created in case of war with the United States. After the war of 1812, the Rideau was constructed as a means to transport supplies and communication between Montreal and the British naval base in Kingston. This allowed Canada to by pass the part of the St Lawrence River that ran along the border of New York. 

In current times, the canal is just used for recreation. In winter, the canal is flooded and becomes the world's largest skating rink. The total surface area equals about 90 ice hockey rinks! It runs from Carleton University to the Parliament buildings. Once the rink opens for the season, it remains open 24 hours a day until the end of it's season. The season varies from year to year according to weather conditions. Every year the rink is the focus of the Ottawa Winterlude festival. 

In the summer, the waterway is used by many different boats and can accommodate boats as large as 90 ft in length! Feel free to tour along the waterway in your own boat, or jump aboard a boat tour! Boat tours are offered along the waterway in various communities.

The canal spans 202 kms and runs from Ottawa all the way to Kingston, Ontario. There are a total of 45 locks, and most of them are hand operated. While you can boat from one end right to the other, it would take you about 3-5 days by motorboat. 


Now, despite what you may think, it's not its' size that matters to me, it's the history. This is what I love about the Rideau! You can almost feel the history just by standing at the locks by Parliament. The feeling you get when you are standing on a spot that someone stood on over 150 years ago is just amazing. It's the history that our country, especially the Ottawa area, is so rich in, that truly make Canada great! 

When a "land mark" is part of over 12 communities in Ontario, it's definitely something to take notice of. More than just a big skating rink, more than just a river, this is history. This waterway is a statement to some of Canada's earliest engineering tenacity! Well done Canada, well done!

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Nanaimo Bars

A dessert that requires no baking? It must be a Nanaimo Bar!

If you haven’t heard of or tried a Nanaimo Bar, you may not be a Canadian. The dessert itself is named after Nanaimo, British Columbia. It is a 3 layer treat that is simple and relatively quick to make. The bottommost layer is a chocolate, coconut and graham cracker mixture, the second layer is a vanilla custard and the top layer is chocolate. That’s it, a Nanaimo Bar!

By Sheri Terris (Flickr: Nanaimo Bars, mmmmmm) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There is however a great debate happening on the desserts actual origin. New Brunswick claims they created the dessert but the first known recipe was published in 1954 in The Country Womans Favourite cookbook. Baltimore, Maryland in the United States also wants to claim the dessert as theirs because it was published in the His/Her Favourite Recipes cookbook in 1957. None of those claims can beat the original recipe of the Nanaimo Bar in Edith Adams Prize Cookbook (14th Edition) which was published in 1953. If you ask me the dates speak for themselves and the name does too.

The city of Nanaimo is actually on the hunt for more publications of the recipe from the early 1950’s, so if you live in BC be sure to check in your grandparents or great grandparents cookbooks. If you should find the recipe in a cookbook from way back in the day, be sure to make yourself a batch of those delicious Nanaimo Bars before submitting it to their museum.


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Newfoundland



If there is one thing I'd choose to define Canada it would be Newfoundland. The province has a spectacular mix of stunning, rugged and unique natural beauty and kind, welcoming and kooky people, making it one of the best places I've ever gotten the chance to visit.

You can read about my entire adventure here. To summarize, the land itself  took our breath away while the people grabbed our hearts in a way I didn't expect. Newfies know how to have a genuinely good time, how to not take life too seriously, and how to live in an open, welcoming way. We cannot wait to go back.

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Toronto Blue Jays


At a time in sports where market sizes drive relocation, Canada is home to only one MLB franchise.

Now we all know the Jays weren't the first Major League Baseball team in Canada, that distinction belongs to the Montreal Expos, but they are the last Canadian team standing, and as a result they have become Canada's baseball team. In recent years they have held preseason series' in Montreal, even sparking rumours that the Expos could be make a return if expansion ever comes around. Turn on a  match up with Seattle or one with the divisional rivals in New York or Boston, and you will see the Jays faithful travel well from coast to coast. That's a direct result of having the 2nd largest land mass in the world as your fan base.
Let's Go Blue Jays!


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Monday, 8 May 2017

I am Canadian - Rant

"My name is Joe and I am Canadian!" are passionate words from a year 2000 campaign from Molson Canadian, the ad debuted during a telecast of the Oscars. It was shown right after a memorable Robin Williams performance of "Blame Canada" from the movie South Park and quickly started appearing in movie theatre's across Canada. Newspapers across the country reported that crowds would burst into applause after the commercial aired in theatre's.




During the commercial, Joe starts out fairly quiet but delivers his lines with increasing vigour as the speech builds. After shouting out the final words of the speech -- "My name is Joe, and I am Canadian!" -- he says a polite "thank you."  Strong and polite, a Canadian trademark.


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Niagara


 Niagara Falls is shared by the Canadians and Americans, but let’s be honest, the American’s have waterfall envy. The falls view from the Canadian side is breathtaking.

Niagara, Ontario is an amazingly diverse region of Canada. Known far and wide for wine and icewine, the region also supplies amazing tender fruit to residents of Ontario. At certain times of year the farms pour forth peaches, grapes, nectarines, cherries, pears, plums and apricots. If you go at the right time, you can find road-side stands with the freshest, most delicious fruit you have ever had.

Niagara Falls is the well-known tourist town, but the Niagara region is also home to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a lovely little down rich in charm.      


Niagara now has a vibrant beer scene as well. Read more about that. 

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Red Green


"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

That line alone has some of you wondering if you have enough duct tape on hand. It is after all the handy man's secret weapon. Red green became part of Canadiana legend during its 15 season run on Canadian Television. The show's humour was a bridge for many Canadian fathers and sons who could watch an episode and laugh of this uniquely Canadian slap stick comedy brand


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Friday, 5 May 2017

Goderich, Ontario

Goderich, Ontario sits on the eastern shores of Lake Huron (one of the Great Lakes of North America) and the Maitland River. Folklore of the town has said that Queen Elizabeth II once commented that it was “the prettiest town in Canada”, which led to Goderich’s motto “Canada’s Prettiest Town”.

The famous Goderich Lighthouse built in 1847.

The hot spot for shops and food is in the center of the town which is dubbed “the square”. While not an actual square it is an octagonal traffic circle and features a beautiful courthouse in the center. The town is also home to three beaches along the Huron shore and has a rich history of mining salt from the lake (the mine itself is almost as big as the town!). In Goderich it is said that you can view the sunset twice, once from the beach and again by climbing up the bluff overlooking Lake Huron

Goderich is one of my favourite little towns to visit in the summer and if you find yourself in Ontario you should also make the trip.

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Multiculturalism


Canada's mosaic is nothing new. We've long been a country of blended backgrounds and ethnicity. What is unique about Canada, though, is how different backgrounds play in relationship dynamics and friendships.

In my experience, ethnicity and background are not overlooked, but embraced. We embrace similarities, while recognizing and exploring differences, collectively finding the best in everything and bringing it to bare.

Some say religion, politics and culture are taboo in polite conversation, but as many know, polite goes out the window with good friends. In such circles these topics become fair game, and treated as the pillars of personality that they are. As such, they become subject to the same conversation, jokes and thoughtful debate that make up the dynamic of a great friend circle, and everyone is better, and more connected, for it.

While this may not be universal across all Canadians, it does, to me, represent the best of Canada. A people that do not try to melt others into a single mold, or hold fast to the beliefs they were born into, but instead who look for the best in all.


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

St.Patrick's Basilica - Ottawa


Saint Patrick's Basilica was known as Ottawa's first English speaking Roman Catholic church, most of the English population were of Irish descent, thus when the church was completed in 1875 it was dedicated to St.Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The church was appointed to basilica status on Saint Patrick's Day, March 1995.


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Butter Tarts


Butter tarts are the best. Period. Don’t try and argue, for it is fact.

A quintessential Canadian dessert, nothing compares to a warm, gooey, homemade goodness that is the butter tart. A simple combination of butter, sugar, syrup, eggs and raisins in a flakey pastry, many companies have attempted to create pre-packaged varieties and failed. There is something about tarts fresh out of the oven that just can’t be beat.


We had the distinct pleasure of trying Algonquin Gourmet Butter Tarts on our trip to Ontario’s Highlands, and they still hold my vote for best butter tarts in Ontario (try the coffee butter tarts, they are mind-blowing). 

If you love these ooey gooey treats be sure to head to Midland, Ontario on June 10; the sweetest day of the year. The township is hosting its annual Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival where professional and amateur bakers compete for their recipe to be known as the best in the province! The day also offers up live music and a vendor market where over 150,000 butter tarts are sold! You can also find homemade crafts, art, things for the house and of course butter tart inspired treats. Make room in your belly for more butter tarts by competing in the annual Butter Tart Trot, a 1km kid’s fun run and 5km, 10km or half marathon options for the adults. The day promises to be fun for the whole family,  

What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

Monday, 1 May 2017

Bombardier

Joseph-Armand Bombardier was a mechanic in Quebec who dreamed of a vehicle that could float on snow. He began working on prototypes in the 1930’s and after selling 12 of his vehicles he began L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitee (Bombardier Snow Car Limited) in the early 1940’s. His business was booming in the rural areas of Quebec where long winters left huge amounts of snow on the ground. However at the start of WWII the government of Canada issued rationing regulations and customers had to prove that these snowmobiles were a necessity to their livelihood. To combat this set back Bombardier began to develop snowmobiles for the military that were lighter and faster than current models.

Bombardier Logo
Bombardier Logo
Fast forward to the late 1950’s and an early representation of the modern “ski-doo” was created. A funny little side story is that the original name was actually meant to be “Ski-dog” (as it was to replace sled dogs) but a painter misinterpreted the name and painted “Ski-doo” instead. In the first year they sold over 800 units and quadrupled that within 4 years. The company was outselling and outpacing Arctic Cat and Polaris and scooped up a local competitor Moto-Ski in the 1970’s.

Bombardier is more than just snowmobiles however, in 1986 Bombardier acquired Canadair from the Canadian government and after 3 years returned it to profitability. They then began to purchase other failing properties like Learjet (which still operates as a subsidiary), Short Brothers and de Havilland Canada. Bombardier is famous for its C series airplanes which were introduced in the early 1990’s and 2000’s and are still operational today.
By New Brunswick Tourism (Winter in New Brunswick  Uploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, Bombardier is more than planes and is a large player in the railway sector as well. In the 1970’s Bombardier acquired Lohner-Rotax, an Austrian company which was a manufacturer of snowmobile engines and tramways. The purchase appeared to suit their interests in snowmobile engines but would reveal itself to be far more valuable in the mid 1990’s when Bombardier purchased patents and designs from a handful of companies in the railway sector. The biggest move made was in 2001 when Bombardier acquired Adtranz from DaimlerChrylser and became the largest manufacturer of railway vehicles in the world.

Bombardier has grown significantly from it's early days in Quebec and has blossomed into an industry leader globally. That paired with the credit of creating a new winter recreational sport is something all Canadians can be proud of.


What is 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here