I’ve been lucky enough to call Canada home for 35 years now. But yesterday marked my first Canada Day in our nation’s capital.
It was, from start to finish, an absolute blast. The city was alive with people and colour and music and awash in red-and-white; Canada flag umbrella hats, red reindeer (I think) foam horns and plenty of prideful bits such as “Canada: Kicking Butt Since 1867.”
Maybe it’s me, but I don’t remember we Canadians (I’ve been a citizen for almost 20 years) being quite this vocal about our country until a few years ago. Again, it could be my own perspective but I really do think the Vancouver 2010 Olympics marked a sea change in the way we think about ourselves. The pride I saw on the streets during my four weeks in British Columbia in 2010 was pretty similar to what I saw yesterday; a much more American type of approach but still restrained and polite; as if we were happy to thrust our chests out and brag but that if someone had taken offence we’d have almost certainly apologized and reached into our knapsack and replaced our red and white Kicking Butt shirt with our favourite hockey jersey.
Anyway, that’s a longer than it needs to be prelude to my selection of fun photos (all taken by me) from my first Canada Day in Ottawa. If you click here, you’ll also find a link to a video I shot of the fireworks from the fantastic Fairmont Chateau Laurier. It’s one of the best places in town to watch the show, as well as being one of Canada’s best hotels.
I hope to be back in Ottawa at this time next year as part of my regular travel duties and to help celebrate the 150 best things to do in Canada, which you’ll find here on my site.
Cheers. Happy 149th to my favourite country in the world!