By: Christy Au-Yeung

“O Canada! Our home and native land!” As Canadians, we share national values and beliefs despite our ethnically diverse population. The recent General Social Survey by Statistics Canada shows that almost 90 percent of Canadians are proud to be Canadian. What do you think of Canada? What do you like most about Canada? To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, Culture Magazin questioned randomly selected people on the streets of Toronto to find out their views on being Canadian and what they would recommend visitors to explore.

Darlene Delorme

“The nationality that we present in Canada makes me proud. We are a cultural mosaic and we have different communities. Everybody can celebrate their traditions but still remain Canadian. Particularly, the Highway of Heroes makes me really proud. When someone dies in a peacekeeping mission, there are people lining the bridges to welcome back the person who passed away. And we are just really proud to say that their sacrifices are important to us.”

Doreen Kennedy

“I’m an immigrant from Ireland. I came here and I loved it. I love the people and versatility of different places. People are really friendly and it’s a very welcoming place.”

Fuad Murad

“Being a Canadian means that I can have a name like Fuad Murad and be proud of it. I am part of a country that is as inclusive as possible, not discriminating and that allows me to express myself freely. Being in a country that cares about other people is important to me. And just walking around everyday makes me proud to a Canadian. Simply looking around seeing people from all over the world from different backgrounds and experiences coming from different places makes me proud to be Canadian.”

Cory Macmillan

“What makes me proud is that we are really accepting towards everybody. We’re truly a multicultural country. That remains to be seen in other countries especially with what’s going on in the United States. The seasons are great. I love the rain and the snow. I love every about Canada. I’ve been all the way across Canada and there’s nothing bad I can say about the country. I would recommend people to see Canada itself, don’t just visit the cities.”

Jackie Lee

“Canada is more than just hockey, maple syrup and super nice people. We are a nation that was built by those who came before all of us and set the path that we are walking on now. We would not be where we are if it wasn’t for strong, indigenous individuals that went ahead of us and protected what we are taking for granted! Canada is a wonderful place to explore and strive for greatness, and it will only get even better if we celebrate and learn from our own history, learn from those who know Canada better than anyone else.”

Philip Madina

“I like Canada because I like the things that are happening here. When the Pan Am Games were here, I was so excited for everyone to see what Canada was about and how friendly everyone was. The weather was always good at that time. It was nice to see how all these cultures come together and interact. I also like the diverse food scene Toronto has. There are different parts of the city like Chinatown, Little Italy and Korean town where you can try out different cuisines. I would recommend people to discover different sceneries like Banff.”

Christine Smalling

“We are out of many, one people. Because of its multiculturalism, Canada is a very interesting place to be. It’s good to embrace new cultures and learn from new people. On Canada Day I will be celebrating at Toronto’s City Hall!”

Geta Myntke

“I like Canada because we can hold dual citizenship and enjoy a free healthcare system. I would recommend people come during winter to embrace the cold and the snow. I am from the Caribbean so winter would be good for them.”

Chris Tran

“Canada is a land of opportunity. It’s open for people to settle down as long as you know who to ask and ask the right questions. There are a lot of organizations that will help you out. I come from Vietnam where I don’t feel supported. I feel supported in Canada. The Vietnam Association in Canada helped me a lot and gave me a hand when I first came to Canada.”

Cassie and Kiana Garcia

“We love Canada’s pride and how everyone is trying their best to support one another. We would recommend people visit Canada’s art galleries because they are the best places and support Canada.”

Tony Tran

“I’m proud to be a Canadian because of the respect and love we have for one another. We’re just a bunch of amazing, passionate and unique individuals. Canada is a place of unity since people come from various cultures and backgrounds. This is a place that is filled with love and warmth that I can call ‘home.’”

Arielle Azmon

“What I love about Canada is the amount of culture all packed into one country. For instance, in Toronto we are blessed with the Toronto International Film Festival each September. There are a lot of exciting things to do all year round and I love how events like the film festival bring everyone together. I’m proud of how hard the country works on creating and recognizing the importance of culture.”

Rin Huynh

“Healthcare and education costs in Canada are low. I’m glad I can enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of expression. We also have a huge commitment to diversity, appreciation and respect for nature and wildlife species.”

Jessica Ketwaroogreen

“Living in a country that feels free makes me proud to be Canadian. It is a very beautiful country. I would recommend visitors to go north for relaxation and come down to Toronto for some fun.”

Howard Wong

“Canadians are stereotypically nice and that’s true for me. I feel so warm when total strangers on the street greet me. Things like that really put a smile on my face.”