This is My Canada – 5 Great Things about the Great White North

What do you like about the Great White North? My Top Five Canada list includes the cottage, the great outdoors, and yes, sushi. What's on your list? (via thetravellingmom.ca)

As a Vancouver-based family travel writer, my first and most loyal allegiance is to my home and native land: Canada. I’ve lived in three provinces over my lifetime – Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia – and we’ve been lucky to have travelled in all of them as a family as well.

Canada is a BIG country, the second biggest in the world in fact. It’s tough to describe the many wonderful things about the people, places and things in our vast country. But in this post, I’ve done my best! This is My Canada – five things that I love about the Great White North.

What do you like about the Great White North? My Top Five Canada list includes the cottage, the great outdoors, and yes, sushi. What's on your list? (via thetravellingmom.ca)

This is My Canada: Five Things I Love about the Great White North

1. Experiencing the Great Outdoors

Like many other Canadians, we like to spend as much time as we can in the great outdoors. We love camping, and our kids have grown up camping all around British Columbia, whether it’s on long weekends or on 3 week-long road trips. We’ve had some amazing and hairy adventures on our camping travels, but nothing beats getting out into Mother Nature and the Canadian wilderness.

What do you like about the Great White North? My Top Five Canada list includes the cottage, the great outdoors, and yes, sushi. What's on your list? (via thetravellingmom.ca)

A bluebird day, skiing at Manning Park, British Columbia

2. Playing in the Snow

Mon pays, c’est l’hiver. {My country, it is winter.} Even though Vancouver experiences milder winters than elsewhere in Canada, there is plenty of winter and snow to be found, and we love to get out and enjoy winter as much as anyone. With local North Shore mountains only 45 minutes away from the city, and Whistler a 1.5 hour drive along the Sea to Sky, skiing and boarding are no brainers. Now that our kids are older and very proficient skiers/boarders, there is nothing more fantastic than hitting the slopes together as a family. British Columbia’s ski resorts offer incomparable winter sport opportunities like skiing, snowboarding, tubing.. the list is endless.

What do you like about the Great White North? My Top Five Canada list includes the cottage, the great outdoors, and yes, sushi. What's on your list? (via thetravellingmom.ca)

Downtown Vancouver, as seen from iconic Kits Beach

3. Living in Vancouver

Gotta love where you live, right? While we’ve only been in Vancouver for 20 years, it’s home, and we can’t envision living anywhere else in Canada anymore. Vancouver has the ocean, the mountains, a walkable city, a multi-cultural mix of people from all over the world, and yet it retains a feeling of being in a small town – something I never felt living in Toronto many years ago. The food and restaurant scene is amazing – we’re spoiled by the ability of eating every cuisine imaginable, and usually at very reasonable prices compared to the rest of the world. Now, if we could only do something about the 8 months of rain…

What do you like about the Great White North? My Top Five Canada list includes the cottage, the great outdoors, and yes, sushi. What's on your list? (via thetravellingmom.ca)

The abundance of fresh fish and great chefs make for fantastic sushi

4. Eating sushi – really!

Speaking of food, we love sushi. With its proximity to the ocean and local fisheries, Vancouver has some of the best sushi outside of Japan, and of course, much, much cheaper. To say that eating sushi is a Canadian experience may be a stretch, but out here on the pacific coast, I would argue that it’s most definitely a western Canadian thing!

5. Going to the Cottage

Summers at the cottage are rituals for many families. I didn’t grow up that way, but have been lucky enough to experience it as a adult, and introduce cottage life to our kids. Getting back to nature, canoeing on lakes and rivers in eastern Canada, appreciating the animal and insect life around you – look a beaver skeleton! – and just relaxing ‘away from it all‘ is heavenly bliss. No cell service needed or wanted here, thank you very much.

Hope you’ve enjoyed our family’s five Canadian experiences. I would have added eating Maple Syrup to our list, but we go through our syrup stock so quickly, there’s never time for photographs. Trust me though, we love the stuff, as several visits to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival will attest.

Photo Credits: C. Laroye

What’s an important part of Your Canada? Leave a comment about your best Canadian experience below.

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