This weekend Toronto was flooded with people celebrating. Between the Eurocup Finals, Canada Day, Pride and 30+ degree sunny weather all weekend there was no shortage of events and outdoor festivities. Normally I would have disappeared for a relaxing weekend with my friends at the cottage but I also had a wedding to attend this weekend so it was decided I would stay in Toronto. And boy, was I glad with that decision. Since I was staying I wanted to make the most out of my weekend but even after having done a bunch of events, I still feel like there is so much I missed.
While out this weekend I couldn’t have been more proud to live in a place where people stormed the streets to celebrate culture, heritage, gender, freedom, unity and even the great weather. There is something surreal about seeing a large group of people walking on church street or pouring out of sports bars cheering for the winning team or bombarding the parks and the island. Locals or not, this multi-cultural mix of people are being brought together by a common force and it’s a beautiful thing to see. Having been born and raised in Canada, it is easy to forget how fortunate I am to live in a place that allows for events such as these. It’s a country where we can be proud to be different and encouraged to celebrate it, which is somewhere we should be proud to live.
After reflecting on why I’m so proud to be Canadian, it’s no surprise that this is how I summed up my top three reasons as to why I love Canada:
1. Diversity. Though this mostly occurs in our urban areas it is unique to Canada. As a person who loves surrounding herself with different people, it’s no wonder this my top pick. Canada works hard at overcoming multicultural barriers and providing a space where people from all over the world can come and easily integrate into our society.
2. Freedom. I would need to pull up the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedom and insert the long list of ways in which Canada allows us to live freely. Instead, I’ll just tell you a couple of my favourite including being a place where there are people of many different cultures and beliefs. As well as, a place where you have the freedom to voice your opinion and not be afraid to be different.
3. Smiles. We really do have some of the friendliest people. Wherever you go people are warm, open and receive you with a smile. I’m no exception, I smile at random people all the time. I had been told this before but never really appreciated or noticed myself until I traveled and observed other countries.