10 Things We Love About Canada

From the classics like maple syrup to surprise pizza controversies (yes, really), there’s a lot to love about Canada. We’ve compiled a list of our top ten favorite things about the Great White North.

Canadian flag flying over snowy peaks in Whistler
The slopes in Whistler are among the world’s best. Photo © hannamariah/123rf.

1. Some of the cleanest air in the world

For a breath of truly fresh air, look no further: Thanks to its low population density and huge expanses of forested land, the air quality in Canada is second only to Iceland’s. Ahhh.

2. Genuinely friendly people

Every now and then a stereotype checks out, and this is one of them—at least online. Take this 2016 study that analyzed more than 3 million tweets as an example: They found that by far, tweets by Canadians were more pleasant (lots of “great,” “amazing,” and “favourite”) than those of Americans, whose language was significantly more judgmental. Of course, this isn’t true across the board—no stereotype is—so let’s take it with a grain of salt, eh?

3. Gorgeous lakes—and lots of ’em

Fun fact: Canada has more lakes than any other country in the world! According to recent measures, it holds more than 60% of the world’s lakes. From a historic cruise on Waterton to splashing around in Louise’s turquoise waters or taking in the majesty of the Great Lakes, there are plenty of aquatic adventures to be had.

4. The undeniable Tim Hortons

Timmy Ho’s is an institution—who could possibly say no to a good cup of coffee and a delicious donut (or two)? We’re fans of the maple dip variety; what’s your favorite flavor?

5. Delicious maple syrup

Speaking of maple, there’s a reason the Canadian flag is literally a maple leaf. Québec produces about 70% of the world’s syrup supply, generating upwards of $480 million every year. Our pancakes are forever grateful.

6. Opportunities to hit the slopes

Canada has a staggering number of top-notch ski resorts, spanning the width of the whole country. The slopes at Whistler in British Columbia and Le Massif in Québec really take the cake.

A skier descends a trail on Whistler Mountain. ©Robert Cocquyt, Dreamstime.

7. Admiring the diversity of historical structures

From Toronto’s bay-and-gable houses and the signature outdoor staircases of Montréal’s plexes to minimal modernism in Vancouver and Quebec City’s Scottish-baronial-meets-French-château, Canada holds a fascinating mix of architectural history.

8. Of course, a piping hot bowl of poutine

The ultimate comfort food: crispy fries drenched in scrumptious hot gravy and tossed with salty, chewy cheese curds. Thank you, Canada.

Poutine or Canadian specialty french fries with gravy and other toppings from a festival food truck. ©Rtdeleon04, Dreamstime.

9. Incredible Canadian entertainers

Comedians, actors, musicians…oh my! Canada has gifted the world with some amazing talent: Jim Carrey, Seth Rogen, Samantha Bee, Celine Dion, Neil Young, Alanis Morissette…the list goes on and on. (And let’s not forget the Ryans: Canada gave us both Gosling and Reynolds.)

10. Hawaiian pizza (if you’re into that kind of thing)

Alright, this one’s just here as a surprise fun fact: allegedly, “Hawaiian” pizza was actually invented in Chatham, Ontario by Greek-Canadian Sam Panopoulos. This pineapple pizza creation has been the subject of some controversy, as well. In 2017, the president of Iceland reportedly said he would ban pineapple as a pizza topping if he could—sparking outrage and opinions from a lot of people, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Regardless of where you stand on this important issue, we have Ontario to thank for the ham and pineapple slice.

Moon Travel Guides

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Since 1973, Moon has been guiding travelers to unique, authentic experiences in more than 200 destinations around the world. We believe in the power of travel to connect people and enrich their lives. Our authors are local experts who share our commitment to independent businesses, local culture, and ethical travel. Moon Travel Guides are published by Avalon Travel, an imprint of Perseus Books, a Hachette Book Group company, in Berkeley, California.

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