Top Ten Favorite Canadian Things

To set the record straight, I am not Canadian. I have been to Canada exactly two times: when I was ten years old, and my freshman year in college. But it seems that every time I fall in love with something…it turns out to be Canadian. So here, in no particular order, are ten of my favorite Canadian things. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone or something, but we’ll save that for the next ten.

Michael J. Fox

Is it just because Back to the Future takes place the year I graduated from high school? Does it have something to do with Family Ties being set in Columbus, Ohio? I’m not sure, but we do have a rather strange connection: his wife has seen my ex-husband naked. (Call me up, Mike, and I’ll refresh Tracy’s memory.) A couple of years ago I received the BTTF trilogy as a Christmas present, and I have been happily working my way through the commentaries and extra features ever since.

Barenaked Ladies

This was one of the first oh-I-love-this, they’re-from-where? moments for me. I used to hear a bunch of their songs on WCBE while I was working, and evenually a friend gave me the album Gordon. (“But not a real green dress, that’s cruel.”) I haven’t seen them live yet, but I hope to.

Moxy Früvous

I tracked these guys down after another WCBE track worked its way into my head. Again, haven’t seen them live but want to.


Let me just say…Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Columbus…..Presto! Also read Neil Peart’s book on bicycling across Africa while I was riding the bus to work because my car was dying. Looking forward to reading his books about motorcycling after the deaths of his wife and daughter. I love these guys.

Banff National Park

I had a poster of Lake Louise up on my wall during my freshman year of college. I thought it was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. It was also the terminus for an amazingly ambitious cycle-camping tour that started in Boulder, Colorado. (Let me clarify that this never got past the planning stage. Take a look at a map and you’ll see why.)

The Calgary Stampede

I just love to watch this when it’s on television. Is it the frontier spirit, the friendly competition, the element of reenactment, the horses, the challenge, the speed? I don’t know, but I just weep when I see it.

my swan mug from Stratford

Swan mug

In the spring of 1986 I went on a van trip up to Stratford, Ontario to wallow in some Shakespeare. It was lovely and I had the hardest time picking out a suitable souvenir. When I saw this mug, it reminded me of the swans that live in the park. (I did look at handknit sweaters and fell in love with several, but couldn’t afford any.)

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

All hail the Harlot! I’m not sure when I first came across her writing. It may have been a copy of At Knit’s End, or a magazine article in which she was mentioned. If you haven’t read her writing yet, click on the Yarn Harlot blog link to the right. Just do it, you’ll be glad you did.

Bill Mason

When I bought my first canoe (Mad River Eclipse), the salesman loaned me a copy of a Bill Mason video to help me get started learning the paddling strokes. I now have his first two paddling books, his biography, and a video set from Canoecopia 2000 that includes Paddle To The Sea. I can’t say enough about this man’s wonderfulness. I hope someday to take paddling lessons from his daughter Becky.

Margaret Atwood

I have a signed copy of Cat’s Eye from when she came to Miami University for a reading. But it was my copy of The Edible Woman, which I had loaned to a friend, that I really wanted her to sign. Oh well.


P.S. I’m back in English again, thank you very much! Thanks to a very helpful woman in New Zealand. Sometimes, the Internet works.

P.P.S. The next Canadiana list will have to include Lynn Johnston, Mike Myers, Tim Horton’s, Labatt’s, and….?

Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 12:42 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ooh, you have to add Victoria BC to your list. Amazing place! 🙂 I live 6 hrs away from the border and have a good friend who lives on the Island. 🙂

  2. Check about Bruce Cockburn…amazing music.

  3. Hahaha!
    It was odd to read this on your site because i feel exactly the same way–and can’t count the times i’ve thought the same thing. As i read down your list, i was going to suggest Margaret Atwood, but *wahlaaaaah* there she is! (My favorite of her books is The Blind Assassin, with Edible Woman in second…)

    As a tangental note (brought up by your bio), i would love to be a SAHM of 3 or 4 (or 5?) sometime in the relatively near future. I have also relocated (old home: PA, new home: WBGV–that is, West ‘By God’ Virginia)


  4. My encounter with swans in stratford

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