Going on holiday to Canada is an incredible experience, but coming home once the holiday is over can often leave you wishing you had more time in this fantastic country. Not only is Canada regularly in the press for the friendliness of its citizens, it also has an incredible landscape and some amazing sights to offer visitors and residents alike.
There are so many great ways to experience this country, whether you choose to see its coastline on a Canadian cruise, or encounter the interior with an exciting Canadian motorhome holiday. However, unless you are choosing to enjoy an extended trip, you will only ever know Canada as a holiday destination rather than a country you call home.
We spoke to bloggers from all over Canada about what it is actually like to live there and – warning – it will make you wish you could emigrate tomorrow!
With such an incredible landscape at their fingertips, Canadians are quick to take advantage of their mountains and lakes all year round. Whether they are out playing friendly games of ice hockey in the winter, or hiking in the summer, being outside is a fundamental part of being Canadian. Tammi from My Organized Chaos gets nostalgic, with her best memories involving nature:
“Looking back at my childhood, the bulk of my memories were those spent outdoors. They are of moments spent riding bikes, exploring in the woods, building forts, running through the sprinkler, skating on the local pond, and even building igloos (or trying to anyway).”
With defined and occasionally extreme seasons in some of Canada’s regions, it allows those who live there all year round to enjoy a full spectrum of activities. Jody from her blog Jody Robbins describes the annual holidays her family take to Lake Louise and the special significance the area has:
“Every winter I look forward to a magical weekend spent at Lake Louise. Coming here is as close as you’ll ever get to stepping inside a snow globe. It’s pretty enchanting. Even though we took (our daughter) Eve with us, it still felt weirdly romantic. There’s something about Lake Louise that makes it easy for us to connect: to nature, to each other. When Eve was a toddler and I was losing it from lack of sleep and my mom’s cancer diagnosis, it was to Louise we retreated. Year after year, we come back for a winter weekend, and fall in love with the season all over again.”
There is no denying it, Canada is a big country, encompassing a lot of different geographies. There are lots of different ways to get to destinations, and though flying may be quicker and the train more luxurious, there is something irrepressibly attractive about the road trip. The freedom to stop and explore, the control of the definitive road trip playlist and the ability to pack as much as humanly possible into the car means many Canadians enjoy a road trip. Aneta from Home with Aneta enjoyed the spontaneity of a road trip:
“When we were a family of four we used to take these on-a-whim road trips that meant strapping the kids into the car and driving to Montreal for the weekend. We would rent off-season cottages by Mont Tremblant to explore and whisk off to Niagara Falls for impromptu water park adventures.”
Having so many great cities on your doorstep is one of the advantages of living in Canada. Each city has a proud and diverse history, and with this comes a strong identity for those who live in and around them. If you are missing the architecture of Europe, it can be just a short hop to Quebec to drink in the French influence.
With these cities, there is an enormous following for local sporting teams. The Toronto Blue Jays are the baseball favourites for the city, and if you live close to Toronto or are a baseball fan, seeing them play in their home stadium at the Rogers Centre is a truly incredible experience. The Montreal Canadians are one of the original six teams to found the National Hockey League and are the oldest Ice Hockey Teams in Canada. When they are playing in Montreal, the support is immense.
Being able to visit these wonderful cities at the drop of a hat means Canadians are able to tap into their national identity very easily. Kyla from Mommy’s Weird is often appalled to find that her native Canadians prefer to travel abroad than visit some of the fantastic cities on their doorsteps:
“I must say, I am still shocked to this day when I meet people who have travelled to England but not Ottawa. Say what? You need to stop that. You need to pack up the car and take your children to Parliament Hill. When your kid is in high school and there is an opportunity for them to go to Ottawa for a conference, send them. If your school is planning a trip, suggest Ottawa. Push for Quebec City. Push for Montreal. Push for Calgary. Push for Whitehorse. Push for Vancouver. Push for Halifax. Push for St. John’s. Push for Regina. Push for Canada.”
All that outdoor space and wonderful views, as well as a love for nature, means almost all Canadians have an appreciation for a little al fresco holiday. Combined with a road trip or outdoor activities, the freedom and intimacy with nature is something that appeals to the Canadian spirit. Though not possible in the depth of winter, it is still a holiday that can be taken in all the other seasons to fully appreciate their changing landscape. Elizabeth from Frugal Mom Eh remembers camping in her childhood and it is something she wants to carry on with her own family:
“Growing up I spent most of my summer family camping in Ontario and it’s a tradition I would like to carry on. There was nothing like falling asleep to the whisper of the leaves in the wind across the forest or spending the day sun-bathing and building sand castles at the beach. These days though, it’s a wonderful opportunity to force myself to unplug and just enjoy life, create new memories with my family and relax.”
By living in Canada, not only are you much more in touch with the nature around you but are also able to enjoy it with your family. Whether you intend to experience the country on wheels, skis or from inside a tent, there is always so much on offer, everything from s’mores over a campfire to cocktails at a trendy bar.