Oh, Canada! It’s your birthday and a big one at that! 150 years calls for a celebration…or many small ones. With that in mind, I decided to compile this list of very Canadian ways to celebrate Canada’s 150th.
Personally, I have made it a goal to see as much of Canada as possible this year. I have trips planned to visit all corners and am extremely excited to share more of this amazing country. While going through my photos to add to this post I realized that I have already experienced so much, yet there is so much more to see. Canada is that big and that great. For that, I am humbled and very grateful to call Canada home.
And note, it’s Canada’s birthday all year long so no matter when you visit or where you will be able to do something on this list!
1) Drink a Caesar
What better way to kick off this list of very Canadian ways to celebrate Canada’s 150th than by enjoying the national drink. Vodka, Clamato, spices, and a wide array of garnish makes up this beloved Canadian cocktail.
2) Watch a Hockey game
The good old game that is played and loved from coast, to coast, to coast.
3) Visit a National Park
39 parks and over 200,000 km2 for you to explore. Best part, they’re free all year!
4) Eat Some Smarties
They’re like M&M’s only made in Toronto (sine 1918!)…thus vastly superior.
5) Watch the Northern Lights Dance
My hometown of Yellowknife is known as one of the best places to experience the Aurora Borealis, even in the fall!
6) Put Maple Syrup On It.
On anything really. Pancakes, coffee, ice cream, your significant other…it’s all deliciously good.
7) Build an Inukshuk
Used for centuries by the Inuit as points of references and for navigational purposes, the Inukshuk is a symbol for Northern Canada and is even in Nunavut’s flag.
8) Challenge the Prime Minister to a Fight
Our world leader can beat up your world leader. Just ask Mathew Perry.
9) Eat Poutine
I mean, what’s not to like? French fries, good. Gravy, good. Cheese curds, good!
10) Watch “ One Week”
Terminally ill Canuck chooses a road trip across Canada over treatment. Staring Dawson’s Creek’s Pacy (Joshua Jackson), this film highlights just how big, diverse, and beautiful Canada really is.
11) Listen to the Tragically Hip
Canada’s band covering Canada like no other. Last summer the country came to a stop to experience the band’s nationally televised curtain call. Lead singer and wordsmith, Gord Downey, is battling a rare form of brain cancer which has ended the band’s 35-year run.
12) See Niagara Falls
From the Canadian side obviously. Why? Just like Smarties, it’s vastly superior 😉
13) See the Stanley Cup
If you are not lucky enough to hoist it after winning the NHL playoffs or see it in transit while attending the Olympics as I did, you can find it on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
14) Sleep in an Ice Hotel
Quebec City’s Hotel de Glace has been offering up a uniquely Canadian experience for years. Apparently, it is cozier than you would think!
15) Eat Lobster in PEI
The waters off the coast of PEI are blessed and bountiful with lobster. This, surprisingly, hasn’t always been considered a good thing. A family friend from PEI used to be embarrassed by her school day bagged lunches of lobster sandwiches on homemade bread, once considered poor people’s food!
16) Drive from Sea to Sky
Truly one of the world’s greatest drives, the stretch of highway from Vancouver to Whistler is a Canadian gem.
17) Go Ice Fishing
18) Adopt a Dog…because Sarah McLachlan
19) Pick up a 2-4
Canadian for a case of 24 beer.
20) See a “Newfie Speedbump” Preferably not running it over.
In Newfoundland moose outnumber men.
21) Visit the CN Tower. The pointiest building in Canada?
Canad’a highest and arguably, most recognizable, structure. On top of the viewing platform, you can find a restaurant, glass floors, and a thrilling cable walk outside.
22) Wear a Canadian Tuxedo
Denim on denim never looked so good…unless of course, you’re Gord Downie recieving the Order of Canada.
23) Visit Pier 21…Canada’s Ellis Island
Many Canadians roots can be traced back to this historical pier. Today it houses a wonderful museum where you can search your family name.
24) Have a Double-Double
A cup of Canada’s favourite coffee with 2 cream and 2 sugars.
25) Watch the Notebook
Ryan ANNND Rachel?? Both Canadians.
26) Drink a Crown and Cola
Canada’s favourite highball?
27) Watch the Sun set…or don’t
Canada’s Arctic may endure brutally cold winters however their summer sunshine lasts nearly 24-hours.
28) Party on George Street
St’John’s famous party street is one of the only Canadian streets where you can wander bar to bar with a drink in hand. There is also a shocking number of wonderful musicians making each stop better than the last.
29) Visit the Avro Arrow…the fighter jet that never was.
For a brief period, Avro Canada was leading the way in aviation innovation. The Avro Arrow was the world’s most advanced fighter jet until the Government abruptly shut the program down in favor of the US Bomarc missile system. The Avro Museum is currently constructing a replica while other original parts have been scattered through various museums across the country.
30) Learn About that time we Fought the USA…and Won
Here’s something you would be hard pressed to find in a United States classroom lecture, the only time Canda (alongside the British) and the USA fought, we burned down their Whitehouse. It’s actually why the Whitehouse is now white…
31) Go for a Rip
or pull a mainer.
32) Put a Canadian Flag on it
Anything really…unless you are an American.
33) Go Curling
Men with brooms never looked so good.
34) Pay Respect to Terry Fox
The man lost his leg to cancer then, then vowed to raise $25 million by running across the country. Although his run was cut short, Terry ran a remarkable 5,373 kilometers (3,339 miles) in 4 months and covered over half the country. That’s a marathon each day…on one leg. To date, he has raised over $600 million for cancer research. There is currently an excellent exhibit on Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria BC.
35) Skip Rocks on a Frozen Lake
It’s cooler than it sounds…and sounds really cool.
36) Go Tobogganing
Canada’s east coast receives more than its fair share of snow. Sometimes it can reach the second floor of houses, making it the perfect place to slide from.
37) Play Crokinole
Canadian table top game that is as equally frustrating as it is fun.
38) Visit Dildo, Ball’s Falls, Spread Eagle Bay or Punkeydoodles Corners…
…and try not to giggle like a school boy. Canada has it’s share of funny town names and could play a part in why we have such a great sense of humor.
39) Watch the Trailer Park Boys.
Follow the misadventures of Bubbles, Julian, and Ricky as they come up with new schemes and ways to make a quick buck…or Loonie. You can now find all 11 seasons streaming on Netflix. I had the chance to meet them at an after party for their first movie and can say the fun does not stop off screen.
40) Eat Ketchup Chips
Why hasn’t this caught on anywhere else?? If you want to go full Canadiana be sure to pick up a box (yup box) of Old Dutch Ketchup Potatoe Chips!
41) Go to Las Vegas…to Watch Circus du Soleil
Canada’s favorite high flying circus act is at its best in Sin City.
42) Get Screeched in
…no, not the Dustin Diamond kind. A Newfoundland tradition of welcoming visitors that involves drinking screech (high-proof moonshine essentially), a short (and confusing to guests) recitation, and kissing a cod…or puffin’s arse in my case. Wait…did I get duped?
43) Watch the Tide Roll in
The Bay of Funday is one of the 7 Wonders of North America and has the highest tide waters in the world. In a matter of hours, the water level can change an incredible 16 m (56 feet) feet! Read on if you are ready to plan your trip!
44) Drink a Sourtoe Cocktail in Dawson City
This unique tradition has been testing the stomach of daring visitors since 1973. Think you have what it takes to join the 100,000 other “Sourtoe members?” How do you become a member? As per www.dawsoncity.ca:
“Step 1 – Come down to the Sourdough Saloon and ask for Captain River Rat
Step 2 – Purchase a shot (most club members prefer Yukon Jack)
Step 3 – Pledge the ‘Sourtoe Oath’
Step 4 – Watch as a (genuine) dehydrated toe is dropped in your drink
Step 5 – Drink your Sourtoe Cocktail
Be sure to remember the most important rule: “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips have gotta touch the toe”
Sourtoe Cocktail Recipe:
- 1 ounce (minimum) of alcohol
- 1 dehydrated toe
- garnish with courage”
45) Visit the Most Easterly Point in America
Cape Spear Newfoundland juts out farther east than any other point in America…North and South.
45) Go Cross-Country Skiing…and like it
47) Watch Icebergs Float By
Wow. There really are a lot of great things to love about Newfoundland.
48) Shotgun a Pilsner
…No, not a Pilsner Urquell. Old Style Pilsner is popular in the prairie provinces and goes down easy…and fast depending on how it is consumed. Give’r.
49) Eat a Nanaimo bar
50) Say Sorry
Why? Because that is what we do. Sorry.
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