I Am Proud To Be Canadian Essay

by Kristine Villegas

I am proud to be Canadian. I am proud and privileged to live in a country that honours life and offers free health care.

I am proud to be able to speak and understand both English and French.  I am proud to be in a country that celebrates multiculturalism, where diversity is not seen as a source of tension, but one of strength. 

I am proud that I am encouraged to have an open mind towards others, so that as a nation, Canadians can be seen in a positive light.

I am proud to live in a place of politeness where “please”, “thank you” and “I’m sorry” are part of my daily vocabulary. 

I am proud that my doors are open to help any Syrian brothers and sisters in need. 

I am proud of the world renowned stars this country has generated…Canadian born and raised hockey superstar, Wayne Gretzky and singing sensation, Celine Dion. 

I find warmth in my Canada Goose parka in the Winter, find comfort in my Roots sweater in the Spring/Fall, and enjoy many summer days exploring the beauty of nature in my Lululemons

I am proud to climb the Rockies, take a dip in Canada’s beautiful lakes, and to venture off into hundreds of beautiful forests with thousands of species of trees. I am proud of these trees which produce the sweetest, most delicious and natural, maple syrup. This is the icing on the cake.

This is Canada and I am truly proud to be Canadian.


A magnificent country 

by Erin Penrose

As Canada celebrates its 150 years, I reflect and know that I am proud to be Canadian for so many reasons. Canada is a well-revered country world-wide and consistently rated by the UN as the world's best country to live in.

Here, we enjoy freedom, a high quality of life, good economic conditions and a diverse range of landscape, weather, activities and people.

In Canada, we have free (publicly funded) health care and education where students perform better than any other English-speaking country, a variety of climates with all four seasons, wealth in natural resources, modern cosmopolitan cities, vast rural areas, pristine nature and we are the world's second largest country.

Canada's landscape is clean, diverse and beautiful. We are a large country, bordered in many locations by water as well as having a natural abundance of lakes, rivers and waterfalls within. There is the beautiful rugged tranquility of the Rocky Mountains and the many national and provincial parks.

Here, we have unlimited recreational opportunities and we know how to make the most of each season. Winters provide opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, tobagganing and skating. Summers, and some months in the spring and fall, offer us swimming, hiking, boating, fishing and camping to name several.

However you choose to enjoy Canada, whether it's active participation, trying something new or sitting back relaxing, you can feel safe here. 

I am proud to be Canadian and call this magnificent country home.


This land is made for you and me

by Jerry Gray

January 1, 1967, a little over 50 years ago, the first day of Canada’s Centennial birthday. I am a charter member of The Travellers, Canada’s first folk song group, formed in 1953, who were asked by Pete Seeger  in 1953 to, perhaps, alter the words to Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Lad, as Pete, Woody, and the song, were all blacklisted from airplay during the early 1950’s, the Joe McCarthy era.

The new version was sung for 10 years in Canada, becoming a national “hit” even though it was resurrected in the U.S in early 1960’s, but The Travellers’ version remains one of Canada’s most venerable patriotic songs to this very day. The group sang it before 250,000 people in Parliament Square on the first Canada Day celebratory TV Specials in 1962 and some 6 times after that.

Fifty years ago, the group was signed to appear in every province and territory in Canada by Festival Canada, to , as the press said, “let Canadians know about their heritage”. By the end of 1967, we had recorded 3 TV “specials”, 3 souvenir LP’s, done a Command Performance in Charlottetown for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, and appeared in 186 concerts  across the country, including a month of 26 concerts in the Northwest Territories, only accessible by air. Each concert ended with the whole audience singing along with This Land.

Throughout the years I have appeared with the group in Great Britain at The Palladium, toured through Russia, Poland, Lithuania, The Ukraine, USA, Cyprus, Germany,  and Panama, but most importantly in every area of Canada. The song, This Land, gives the physical boundaries and talks about Canada and its peoples.

Several years ago I was invited to conduct The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra in the final song on their programme, as they finished a North American tour at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

 In my honour, they said, they would be singing the Canadian words, written by The Travellers in 1953. Fortunately it was recorded on You Tube, and can be seen by typing “Jerry Gray, The Mormon Choir and This Land”.

As I think about a good way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, or anytime this year, is to tune in to the YouTube version and be inspired to sing along. It will give you a profound feeling of love of country that I have had the honour of doing for some 63 years, because, “this land is made for you and me.”


Celebrating the maple leaf

by Mike Zichowski

As Canada's 150th anniversary approaches, I am reminded of the important symbol that unites us all. Adorned, stitched, painted, waved and sung, the red maple leaf emblem forever touches our hearts. A simple red maple leaf on a white background between two red bars is recognized around the world as the Canadian flag and the bold spirit of its strong people.

It's a comforting symbol especially when I encounter it on knapsacks, tents and even foreheads and cheeks when visiting foreign lands, and always an easy-going conversation erupts about the land we love. It's no wonder that our politicians carry pockets full of Canadian lapel pins as they greet their constituents, and foreign retailers flutter the Canadian flag on their premises.

But Canada's anniversary is a tribute to our maple leaf country that is both smart and caring, which keeps the peace, rights wrongs, accommodates the disable, protects human rights and gives people a new chance at being the best.

We are a proud nation because of our willingness to make sacrifices to build a better life and improve the lot of our neighbours and fellow citizens, no matter what accent voices their thoughts.

As a kid growing up in the Parkdale community of Toronto, I ran the neighbouring trails of High Park religiously attempting to better my previous time. My cross-country run always culminated at a gigantic maple leaf flower bed surrounded by cherry-blossom trees on the steep banks of Grenadier pond which for some reason I circled twice for good luck. It marked the end of an arduous journey, similar to my parents and which gratefully maintained my health but moreover rooted my pride.


True, north and strong

by Rose Nisi

Happy Birthday Canada!

On July 1st. you will turn 150 years old! Remember you are still young. I am very proud to be a Canadian!

Canada is a beautiful Country, we are a country of diversity of its people to our diversity of our landscape. 

We have beauty from our small fishing villages in the East Coast, to our historical French Quebec.

We have Toronto in Ontario, which is a thriving large metropolitan city. We have the prairies and the beautiful mountains of British Columbia….and much, much more ….

Canada is often referred to as a land of immigrants because millions of newcomers have settled here and helped build Canada and defend our way of life, starting from France and England.

We have the Europeans, Italians, Portuguese, to the Chinese, the Indians and many, many more who came to Canada and now call it home.

Why did many people come to Canada and are still coming? Why do they want to start a new life here?

People came to Canada for many reasons. They came for a better quality of life, better employment opportunities, they also came for political reasons.

We have free education and medical care.  We have welfare benefits, old- age insurance and unemployment insurance.

Whatever the reason or background. We come together as one, we are “Canadian”!

We are a country of true, north and strong! We live in the Best Country in the World, Canada! I would not live anywhere else!


A beacon of hope

by Alan Atkins

What lies closest to the heart is often least talked about.  Canadians tend to be like that about their country.  Our love runs deep and silent.

I have travelled much of the world and most of Canada many times. I realize that I was fortunate to be born here, like many others, by a twist of fate.  My father was an immigrant.

When I was a child he often recounted how he felt when he arrived as a six year old in Windsor, Ontario, transplanted from the slums of Baltimore, Maryland during the Great Depression.

He described it as being like the scene in the “Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy opens her front door after the tornado picked up her house and dropped it.

The scene in the movie shifts from black and white to dazzling colour and she sees Oz for the first time.

For the next 82 years he never lost his sense of wonder that Canada was that enchanted place.

Canada is a young country.  When I was born it had existed officially for not much longer than I have been alive.

What a privilege for all of us to be here at the beginning of such a wonderful adventure, enjoying the freedom to contribute to what is emerging as one of the ideal nations on earth.

We would, if we were not Canadians, shout this from the rooftops.

It may be enough that we know and cherish, with gratitude, this truth.

More importantly, despite our adolescent fumblings and growing pains, our most important contribution is how we live out our ideals of democracy, acceptance of strangers, caring for others and fairness in our personal and civic lives.

Passing on our values and love for this country is a legacy. Despite our peace loving ways, we cannot forget that during our short history Canadians also fought and died tenaciously to preserve these values for others and ourselves.

Teaching our children to never take our freedom and privileges for granted is essential for Canada to be what it is becoming – a beacon of hope in a broken world.


Canada is the best for hockey

by Cameron Lapp

In this essay I will tell you why Canada is the best for hockey because it has been our number one sport for Canada.

Hockey started a long time ago and has evolved ever since. Actually hockey started all the way back in 1887 when it was developed here in Canada. In Montreal on March 3rd when a bunch of friends decided to use a puck. And still today some of the other things like the length of the rink and the puck were kept today. And this is just a couple of rules they keeped.

The first arena was built in 1968 it was called Madison Square Garden built in New York for the New York Rangers and had ten REFS! (the normal arena now has four refs two refs for calls and two linesmen. But the biggest thing is that they even kept the old stick design today for purposes like players would like the curve and not the new design of the ring design but that became its own thing.

The team that has the biggest fan base today is the Toronto Maple Leafs. When the Leafs lost to the Capitals won 4-2 against the Leafs lately they scored and won the series but the fans were still screaming and cheering for the leafs and the other team's GM (general manager) said “I wish we could get this kind of a fan base and how can we get that.” Canada’s other teams are also on the list like… Montreal at 3rd, Vancouver at 4th, Winnipeg in 7th, and Calgary in 8th that just is a couple of Canadian teams on the ranks.

Canada’s main sport is hockey and we should all take more notice in it and explore the best things about hockey so this is my essay on hockey.


Beautiful land, beautiful people

by Madison Ryckman

Canada is a nice place to live in because people are nice. They’re nice because they don’t just care about themselves, they care about kids and other people. The government even gives money to help raise their children. Canadian families love and value each other.

Canada is a nice place to live in because of the beautiful land. The lake is my favourite place to go in the summer because it’s clean and pretty to look at. There are so many trees and flowers where I live. I like them because they’re pretty and they help us survive.

In Canada we have so many farms and parks. Farms are great because of all the animals that live in them. I love going to the provincial parks because you get to go tent camping with your family. When we’re camping it is so quiet and peaceful.

Canada is a nice place to live in because of the great city of Toronto. Toronto is so much fun because there are many fun activities for kids.

My family and I love going to Blue Jays games, car racing and the zoo. We also enjoy going to museums like the ROM and the Hockey Hall of Fam. The TTC/subway is so cool because I love trains! It’s fun to watch the airplanes land at Toronto Pearson Airport.

Canada is a nice place to live because there’s fresh food. I love going to get fresh food from the local farmers market. It makes me stay healthy and energetic. The local food tastes fresh and delicious.

I am very proud to be a Canadian citizen because Canada is an amazing place to live with my family.


Canadians warm, friendly, caring, gracious

by Nikki Putric

What makes me proud to be Canadian? Of course people like activist Gord Downie and Nobel laureate Alice Munro, but I am most proud to be Canadian because of everyday Canadians who are warm, friendly, caring, and gracious.

Recently, a lovely lady began a conversation with me and my sister in a gift shop. She complimented the teacups and saucers we were purchasing and mentioned that she owned plenty which she no longer needed. To our surprise, she then offered us her tea set and refused to accept any payment. A couple of weeks later, this kind-hearted lady met us at our local library with two boxes containing a gold-coloured teapot and over a dozen beautifully adorned porcelain tea cups and saucers.

When I began sharing my experience with family, friends, and neighbours, I discovered why I am proud to be Canadian.

I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians smile at you in the grocery store and say “Hello” when passing you on a Main Street.

I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians offer to sign out your library books when you forget your library card at home.

I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians will search an entire neighbourhood until they find the lost dog’s family.

I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians shovel your driveway in the winter and knock on your door during a power outage to make sure everyone is okay.

I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians will bring you a jerry can of gasoline when your car is stranded on the side of the road.

I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians use the lost and found, offer their bus seat to expectant mothers, and give strangers bus fare.

I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians will share their extra sun umbrella with strangers on a beach and welcome their new neighbours with a plate of homemade cookies. These Canadian stories are endless.

What makes me proud to be Canadian? Canadians make me proud to be Canadian because they are warm, friendly, caring, and gracious.


Accepting of others, considerate of nature

by Tatum Ellwood 

This is what makes me proud to be a Canadian.

Being a Canadian is great, and I am super proud to call myself one. Canada is a really great place to live. We are polite, accepting of our differences, we value education, and treat nature with kindness. Here are some reasons why I am proud to be Canadian.

First of all, everyone gets along. No matter what ethnicity, race, religion, or beliefs someone has, we still treat them with the same respect as anyone else. Here in Canada, there is a mosaic of different cultures, and everyone is free to be themselves. In America, it is like a melting pot. All immigrants are encouraged to cut all ties with their previous lifestyle and become ‘American’. But in Canada, we embrace our diversity and encourage newcomers to remain in touch with their roots.

Not to mention the fact that we were the final destination for slaves to escape during the Underground Railroad. Between 1787 and the 1860s, the Underground Railroad helped almost 100,000 slaves escape to Canada, where they could live their lives freely, without being enslaved. Canada treats everyone equally.

Another reason to be prideful of our Canadian heritage is that our country produces a lot of people that went on to help the world. Examples: Alexander Graham Bell, Terry Fox, Frederick Banting, Marcellus Gilmore, Reginald Fessenden, Helmut Lucas, David Suzuki and so many more. All of these Canadians changed the world for the better, and life would be so different without their work. Imagine what life would be like without the telephone!

And lastly, we respect nature. Canada is the 9th cleanest country on the planet. Most of the population is huddled around the border, so that leaves more room for nature to be nature. Our country has such a low population for its size that almost 90% of Canada is uninhabited.

In conclusion, I think that Canada is very accepting of others, considerate of nature, and has produced some very helpful people, and that is why I am proud to be a Canadian.


A carefree, safe childhood

by Gordon Weber

I have had the good fortune of being born in Canada to German immigrants who wanted to live in the greatest country that offered great opportunities to hard-working people.

Growing up in the village of Swansea in the city of Toronto, allowed me to enjoy a happy, carefree, safe childhood and adolescence.

I was able to walk to and from school, starting in grade 1 up to high school.

The numerous parks that were within Toronto provided lots of social and athletic activities. Summers were spent in High park playing baseball, visiting the High Park zoo and seeing the exotic wildlife enjoying the world renowned cherry blossoms and also swimming at Sunnyside public pool. Winters were occupied with hockey on the outdoor public rinks-all activities sponsored by the city of Toronto; which allowed the public to grow up in a healthy environment.

As I matured, I travelled from coast to coast and I discovered all the natural wonders that define Canada and the towns and cities that make up the fabric of our country.

I made my home in the town of Midland, which encompassed the natural beauty and community spirit I experienced growing up in Toronto and travelling this great land.

Little lake is everything I love about Canada-green space to enjoy social and athletic activities, surrounded by a friendly safe environment just like the village of Swansea 50 years ago.


Climate, culture and commerce

by Nick Mancuso

On July 1, 2017, Canadas 150-year-old fabric, will continue to be woven, through its threads of climate, culture and commerce. A metamorphic climate, that transforms itself annually, from a crystalized winter playground, back into a brilliant and renascent summer oasis. In keeping with the embracing culture of our Native founders, we as Canadians continue to welcome people from all over the world. Altogether partnered with a government that truly honours the foundations of growth, of my Alma Mater St. Michaels College School, in goodness, discipline and knowledge.

Our winters months are spent with friends and family on the snow filled landscapes of Muskoka, rediscovering childhood skiing and snowboarding adventures. A few short months later the spring reappears, making the same snow filled landscapes come alive with green grass and dense foliage. They almost appear to be magically painted back in place by the effortless brush strokes of The Group of Seven. Now in the summer months of July and August, the shores of Georgian Bay reveal Canada’s largest freshwater beach, in the community of Wasaga. Finally, the artistry of the fall season returns once again, reuniting us for our back to school walks through the elegantly forested streets of Vellore Woods.

I enjoy long conversations on my street with my neighbours from Vietnam, India, Iraq and so many other beautiful parts of the world. While our kids play street hockey and other sports together, we share espressos and other imported treats. I’m proud of my neighbourhood families, knowing that we all came together from places around the world, that aspire to offer what Canada is to us today:  A truly northern, strong and free nation.

Our Liberal government continues to innovate in providing Vaughan’s newest hospital, The Mackenzie Health Centrw, along with many community amenities annually. The Vaughan and Toronto Transit systems continue to expand to unite Vaughan’s Metropolitan Centre with Toronto’s Spadina subway extension. An amazing new first and incredible birthday surprise, a few of Vaughan’s citizens have organized a world record flight, in honour of Canadas 150th birthday:  https://www.c150go.ca  Happy 150th Birthday Canada!


Proud mama, proud Canadian

by Nicole Gordner

While jumping on the couch, my three-year-old holds his Canadian flag up high while simultaneously belting out the Canadian anthem.  Everyone who knows him knows that he LOVES Canada. I’m not sure where his Canadian pride really originated from. Though I’ve shown him the flag and read the occasional book about Canada, I’ve never given the topic of our country or its symbols much attention. Nonetheless, he is relentlessly passionate, insisting he bring his Canada flag, Canada cap, and Canada sweater to school each day.  The preschool teachers, attending to his interests, have now made “Canada” a central topic in the classroom.  His excitement over this country has certainly reminded me of its greatness.

I want my son to truly understand what makes this country great.  Yet, how does a person explain concepts such as freedom, peace, and security to a three year old?  Since a country is only as good as its people, I decided to personify Canada.  I’ve explained that Canada is a great leader for the following reasons (that a three-year-old can understand by referencing bagels, one of his favourite foods):

1. Canada makes mistakes but apologizes and tries to do better the next day. Sometimes they burn their bagels but they make fresh bagels the next day.  

2.  Canada also works hard to make people feel safe.  They don’t throw their bagels at others.  

3.Canada is generous and helpful.  If someone can’t buy bagels, they share their bagels with them.  

4.Canada also tries to be fair.  If you’re very hungry, Canada may give you more bagels than they have.  Canada never tries to force a person to have more bagels if they don’t want.  

5. Canada is really respectful, welcoming and open-minded.  They make all sorts of different bagels to appeal to different people.  Canada knows that when they make bagels that people will get to eat and enjoy, every one will be happy and productive.

From the mouths of babes, we hear the truth.  In my son’s own words: “Canada is the best country!”  Period.


Close to utopia

by Joanne Bailey

Canada is the closest to utopia on earth.

Canada has a large diverse beautiful landscape from coast to coast to coast. 

To the east, is the province Newfoundland “the Rock”, an explorer’s paradise where whales abound the ocean and icebergs climb. On the west, is British Columbia where coastal and Rocky Mountains majestically soar and pierce the sky.  Not to forget the beauty of every other province and territories within.

A country with four distinct seasons with the best walks at night in the winter, when tiny ice crystals fall and become snowflakes. Spring a season of beautiful flowers, bees humming and birds chirping.  Summer brings us many outdoor social activities with brighter and longer days. In our National and Provincial parks we observe nature and how our natural land is preserved.  In the fall the air is cooler with foliage revealing an artistry of color. Canadians adapt to these four seasons with temperatures ranging from minus 30 Celsius in the winter to 30 plus Celsius in the summer. We are hearty and love the variation of the extreme cold and sweltering heat.

Very importantly Canadians are outside thinkers. We are a multicultural respectful society with a great appreciation of others.  As Canadians we have freedom of speech, a stable democratic government, we live at peace with each other and have an excellent standard of living. We value our education system and health care.  Canadians are great participants in worldly events. A country populated by immigrants with many seeking refuge in Canada with a strong desire to live within our country.

On July 1, 2017 Canadians will be proud to wave the Canadian flag, the maple leaf our symbol of Canada representing “unity, tolerance and peace”

As a Canadian I feel honoured to live in King Township in Ontario Canada. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital city of Ottawa and the nation’s most populous city Toronto.



Freedom and diversity

by Tammy Merchant

As a Canadian, I walk proud, talk proud, and live proud! Canada is about freedom and diversity.

Being Canadian means you can befriend all you meet here, no matter any one’s race or religion, age or sexual gender.

We all share a common idea: unity.

In Canada you can come and go, explore this great country, without any disappointment as to where you’ve ever visited. You’re always sure to get a warm welcome from Canadians eh!!  

The sites and sounds of all families enjoying our Canada can be seen and heard far and wide.

Weather it be snowing, cool autumns, crisp spring air, or hot summer days with rainfall, we all enjoy being Canadian no matter where we are our what we do. 



The best place on earth

by Barbara Boutilier

I am proud to be Canadian because my ancestors came out from U.K. in the 1770s and some the Year York was named Toronto 1834/5.  They came over on a boat they called a Rolly Polly.  They arrived on the muddy shores that are now Toronto. It was a black fly and mosquito infested swamp and bush.  They were the pioneers who cleared the land, dug out the roots, made the roads including Yonge St.

They settled in York Mills near St. John's Anglican Church.  Where my great great great grandfather built his home. He was into lumbering and died when a tree fell on him.  He is buried at St. John’s Anglican Church. They had six sons and one by one they all worked their way north into Muskoka. Two ancestors pilots of the mail ship Segwun one before the renovations and one after.  Some moved on to where Bracebridge is now. 

Our old family graveyard is on Taylor Road, Bracebridge. My great grandfather moved up around Hoodstown. They expected the train to go there but when the train went to Huntsville Hoodstown became a ghost town. I have ancestors on Buck Lake, Lake Vernon and Loon Lake that had its name changed to Lake Waseosa in 1918.

I grew up on the Muskoka River in Huntsville. I worked 32 years for a Marine Insurance Co. in Toronto. I am retired now on beautiful Lake Simcoe in the Orillia area. This is as good as it gets!  I am 79 years old I love this area. It is the best place on earth.

I have so many stories I could fill a book.







The True North, Friendly & Free: What makes us proud to be Canadian

December 31, 2016

By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto

In our final survey of the year, and as the country prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday, we decided to explore what makes Canadians proud of their country.

To do this, we came up with a wide-ranging list of 78 different items, realizing that we could have had an almost infinite list of ideas to probe for.

So, with the caveat that this is by no means the definitive list of items that could stir passion for Canada, this initial release will focus on the top 20 and bottom 10 from our list of 78. We’ll release more of the results over the next couple of days, and the entire list at the end of that process.

Here’s what we found:

• All but 3 of the 78 items made a majority of Canadians feel at least some pride. Those that did not meet this threshold were Conrad Black, Justin Bieber, and Lululemon.

• At the very top of the list, and a source of a great deal of pride for 59% (17.1 million adults) is our “freedom to live our lives as we see fit”. Fully 98% said this aspect of Canada made them at least some pride.

• Second was Terry Fox, an individual whose spirit and commitment captured the nation, and who passed away 35 years ago. Every year, thousands of Canadians participate in a run to honour his effort and to raise money for cancer research. Fox makes 50% or 14.7 million adults feel really proud.

• Third was “open-mindedness towards others”, and fourth was “politeness”, two characteristics at the heart of what it means to be Canadian for a great many people.

• In fifth, and first among several places tested in this survey, was the Rocky Mountains.

• Sixth went to maple syrup, tops among several foods included in the survey.

• Seventh was “enjoyment of the outdoors” a recognition of the passion Canadians feel for nature and for experiencing it first-hand.

• Eighth was Canada’s “reputation around the world”. While Canadians embrace humility, it matters to us that the world sees us in a positive light.

• Ninth is multiculturalism – reinforcing that diversity in Canada is not seen as a source of tension but rather of strength or advantage.

• Rounding out the top ten is our “sense of caring for the world around us”, reinforcing that Canadians take seriously our responsibility to the world we live in and to the people who face challenges greater than ours.

• Eleventh is our “steadiness and consistency”.

• Twelfth is “how we provide health care”.

• Canadian food makes it to 13th on the list.

Wayne Gretzky is 14th and the top of several hockey players tested.

Celine Dion is 15th and the top entertainer on our list.

David Suzuki is 16th.

Canadian wheat is 17th and the second highest food product after maple syrup.

• Our cities made it to 18th on the list. No doubt many people feel proud of the fact that several Canadian cities regularly make global lists of great places to live.

• 19th is Pittsburgh Penguin hockey star and Cole Harbour, NS native Sidney Crosby.

Leonard Cohen, who passed away earlier this year, rounds out the top 20.

Those that just barely missed making the top 20 include Gordie Howe, Alberta beef, and Queen Elizabeth II.

The bottom 10 in our list (which does not necessarily imply unpopularity but rather in some cases less familiarity or a meaningful, but smaller contribution to national pride, were: the Roots brand (18 million feel some pride) Ryan Reynolds, Drake (15 million feel some pride), Air Canada, Rachel McAdams, soccer player Christine Sinclair, the Toronto FC, Lululemon, Conrad Black and Justin Bieber.

For some of these, it’s especially important to note that there may be important regional or generational differences of opinion. In the case of Drake, for example, 14% of those aged 18 to 35 felt really proud of him compared with only 4% of those over 35.

Naturally, not everyone will agree about what contributes to their pride in the country or in being Canadian. Because of our desire to test a wide range of items, we had to split our sample and so our ability to examine subgroup differences is a bit limited.

Nevertheless, there are some important generational differences that bear noting in these results.

Compared to older Canadians, those under 45 were MORE likely to say they derive a great deal of pride from:

• Multiculturalism (23 points higher)
• Open-mindedness (23 points higher)
• How we provide health care (16 points higher)
• Our winters (14 points higher)
• Our politeness (7 points higher)
• Sidney Crosby (7 points higher)

Those under 45 were LESS likely to say they derive a great deal of pride from:

• the Rocky Mountains (19 points lower)
• Maple Syrup (18 points lower)
• Leonard Cohen (14 points lower)
• Wayne Gretzky (10 points lower)
• Terry Fox (11 points lower)
• Canadian wheat (12 points lower)

Differences by generation were small or non-existent on the following items:

• Our freedom to live our lives as we see fit
• Our sense of caring for the world around us
• Steadiness and consistency
• Our cities
• David Suzuki
• Celine Dion
• Justin Bieber
• Conrad Black


According to Bruce Anderson: this first pass at a what stirs our pride shows how important we consider our values to be. We define these as freedom to live our lives as we see fit, a polite, open-minded attitude towards other people, a commitment to helping others, including making sure everyone has health care, and our steadiness over time.

Our sense of space and nature is strongly linked to our pride. So too, is hockey, and in particular the two most famous players in the last 3 decades.

The place that Terry Fox holds is one of the most remarkable findings, in my view. His struggle with cancer is something so many can relate to, and his dogged effort to bring visibility and raise money for cancer research by launching a run along Canada’s national highway touch many different chords that illustrate what Canadians admire about the country and aspire to emulate.

The current debate about screening for Canadian values is topical for several reasons. These results confirm that a sense of shared values truly is important to a great many people. At the top of the list of values we share is the freedom to live our lives as we see fit.

However, some powerful generational differences then come into play. Young people are clearly more enthusiastic about cultural diversity and open-mindedness to people who are different. In contrast, the concept of individual freedom can include some qualifications among a higher proportion of older, compared to younger, Canadians.


Our survey was conducted online with 1,848 Canadians aged 18 and over from December 12 to 14, 2016. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of over 500,000 Canadians.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of 1,848 is +/- 2.3%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.


We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail and value-added insight. Our team combines the experience of our Chairman Bruce Anderson, one of Canada’s leading research executives for two decades, with the energy, creativity and research expertise of CEO David Coletto, Ph.D.

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