Health

Canadians tell us what really makes them happy

To help ring in Canada Day, we asked our readers what makes them happiest as Canadians. Read on for their answers and be sure to leave us yours!

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The Bow Valley, Alberta (Photo by Iconica/Getty Images).

Driving from Victoria to Toronto in a blue Hyundai. Watching my mom’s Canadian citizenship ceremony. Singing O’Canada interchangeably in French and English. The Toronto Blue Jays. Algonquin Park. Tarte au sucre (maple syrup in general). Canadian beer. Lawrence Hill and Vincent Lam. CBC radio. Tim Horton’s medium coffee with milk. Charlottetown. Timbits. Jason Priestley. Swimming in Lake Huron. Stanley Park. Attaching a Canadian flag pin to my bag when travelling. Nanaimo bars. Horseshoe Falls. Parliament Hill. Malpeque oysters. This Molson Canadian commercial, which has resurfaced. Eh. The Badlands and Drumheller.

With Canada Day punctuating the upcoming long weekend, it’s a time to reflect on what we love as Canadians. Hence my stream of consciousness above, where I sat down to think about what has made me, and continues to make me, happy as a Canadian. While I only touched on a few highlights, I did take to social media to ask, “What makes you happy as a Canadian?” Here’s what you shared with me:

1. It makes me happy that Calgary asked for 600 volunteers with only hours notice. And 2,500 plus showed up to help flood victims. —Grace Sanchez MacCall, via Twitter

2. Our year-long maternity leave. Without a proper mat leave, how can moms be expected to breastfeed and take care of their new babies? If you’re only going to get a few weeks off, which is about the learning curve for first time breastfeeding, what’s the point? —Mama Naturale, via Twitter

3. Being born on Prince Edward Island, raised in Nova Scotia and living in Ottawa. I’ve had it good! And there’s also going to school in the Annapolis Valley, and Kingston, Ontario — who could ask for more! How about going to Newfoundland for two weeks in August with my honey. The cherry on the sundae! —Debra McLean, via Facebook

4. I never love being a Canadian more than when I come home from a trip. Something about crossing over the border back into Canada makes me feel happy and safe. Just love to see that red and white flag waving. Also, poutine. Poutine makes me happy! —Danielle Smith-Parney, via Facebook

5. We’re avid fans of the Canadian National Women’s [soccer] team. We saw them in Columbus, Ohio at the Fifa Women’s World Cup and we watched them win bronze, swelling with national pride through the experience. We cheer for Canada first, then our heritage teams — Argentina and Netherlands. It’s our way to celebrate our nationality with our family and our love for the game. —Kirsten McGoey, via Facebook

6. I appreciate being given the opportunity to live here by giving back to my community. —Meg Aquino, via Twitter

Tell us in the comment section below: What makes you happy as a Canadian?