Thursday, July 1, 2010

Northern Glory

Magnet # 281:  Canadian Moose in the Wilderness

Material:  Rubber

Purchased By:  Mom & Dad

Once again Canada is beating those of us in the United States to a holiday, only this time by a much narrower margin than Thanksgiving. Just days before our Independence Day, they're celebrating Canada Day right now.  It's not exactly their independence day, but July 1 is the anniversary of the day in 1867 when the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada were joined to form the country of Canada.  Ontatrio and Quebec joined with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to form the nation's four original provinces.  Part of the reason Canadians were so interested in uniting was a fear of the United States taking over their lands in an attempt to take over all of North America.  In fact, some thought that an attack was imminent after the Civil War had ended.  Obviously, that never happened, but I'm sure most Canadians are happy that just such a rumor helped give them their nation.  Of course, Canada didn't completely receive its complete freedom from Great Britain just yet - that wouldn't happen until 1982 when the Constitution Act finally ended all British power in the nation.  Regardless, this is a pretty big day for most of Canada, as citizens gather to watch parades, fireworks, and concerts.  Many also hold barbecues and picnics.  Yep, it sure sounds a lot like Independence Day in the United States, although just how to celebrate seems to vary all over the nation.  The nation's capital, Ottawa in Ontario, is home to the largest and most exciting festivities, with large concerts on Parliament Hill and all over the rest of the city.  Even Queen Elizabeth II sometimes travels there on Canada Day to join in the festivities.  But one Canadian province doesn't quite join in the festivities as much as its neighbors - Quebec.  Any parades held there are met with a certain amount of resistance, as that region is more tied to France than England.  And to them, June 1 is Moving Day, a time when many lease agreements are up and moving companies work around the clock to keep up with the heavy demand of so many households that are relocating.  It's kind of funny, however, that there are bigger Canada Day celebrations to be found in cities like Detroit, Michigan and Buffalo, New York than in parts of Canada itself.

My travels in Canada are pretty much limited to those I mentioned in a recent post about Toronto. Besides that, I journeyed with my family on the same trip to see the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It really is much more impressive than the falls on the American side. Of course, there is so much more to see in Canada than just Toronto and Niagara Falls. Like many girls who grew up enthralled with the story of Anne of Green Gables, I would love to visit Prince Edward Island someday. Tourism is a major source of revenue for this idyllic spot and not only can visitors see the birthplace of the series' author, Lucy Maude Montgomery, they can also see Green Gables, where Montgomery set her fictional novels. It was a farm owned by her family that she visited when she was growing up and it's one of the country's most popular historic sites. One room has even been named "Anne's Room" in honor of the heroine.  And on the other side of the nation, Vancouver is a really exciting city to visit.  Of course, it just received an increased amount of attention when it hosted the Winter Olympics, but there is still plenty more to be seen in this idyllic spot on the Pacific, including the fifth-largest aquarium on the continent.  And Quebec, with its lovely city of Montreal and historic Old Quebec, the only fortified city in North America, is worth a visit.  But just be warned - by law, all of the signs there are in French.  And there's also stunning natural wonders up there, like Banff National Park and Lake Louise.  This country seems to have no end of great places to explore.  But if I ever venture up to Canada again, one thing's for certain - I will absolutely be going during the warmer months of the year. I know I'm not ready to deal with a Canadian winter!


  1. Having been a fan of Anne Shirley for a long time, its almost amazing that I have never traveled to her island. That is definetly on my list of places that I would like to visit. Thanks for reminding me of Prince Edward Island.