Canada is known to be the nation with more delightful people, chilling winter, and extensive wildlife. Made fun of in American sitcoms, many view Canada as an extension of the USA. People not familiar with these countries on account of living on the other end of the world might even mistake Canada as a part of the USA.
But Canada is very much an independent country with a diverse culture, an impeccable education system, good people, low crime rates, and a beautiful touch of nature. To an Indian like me, it seems like the coolest place to live in, both literally and metaphorically.
Canada has a lot of things other countries don’t have, but wish they did. Here are the top 10 best things about Canada which make me want to pack my bags and head there in the next flight.
Topping the world’s list of most educated countries, Canada is known for its impeccable education system. Around 56% of people pursue higher education after finishing high school, meaning that more than half of the population hold a bachelor’s degree.
That isn’t unprecedented, considering that it has some of the world’s top-class universities (which come in the list of top 100), such as the University of Toronto, McGill University, and University of British Columbia.
Canada’s public school system for primary and secondary school is entirely free, according to the K-12 education system. Fees are required to be paid only in private schools, which only 5% of the student population attend.
Expenditure for parents whose children study in public school is usually only on extra-curricular activities and stationary. The education in schools is of high quality, with a focus on building technical skills, critical thinking and communication, and digitization in many teaching techniques.
There is a significant focus on extra-circular activities by colleges and even employers, encouraging students to build interest in activities they have an interest in, apart from studying. Click here to know about the best schools in Canada.
One of the best things about Canada is that it is a bilingual country. Because of that, Canadian schools teach both English and French, making students well-versed in both languages.
For immigrant children who speak neither, there are private schools available as well. Schools are known to give importance to different cultures, especially since Canada gets a lot of international students every year.
This makes the K-12 system easily adaptable for a student of any country, which is one of the best things about Canada. As a result, Canada now has more than half a million international students studying in their country. Watch this video to learn more about the K-12 education system in Canada:
In high-school, students follow a credit-system to get their diploma. Credits are earned by a combination of mandatory and optional subjects, meaning that students can choose to learn subjects they have an interest in, while also gaining knowledge in vital subjects such as Maths and Science.
While Canadian colleges, especially those of higher-decree, have a significant fee (more so for international students), they offer scholarships and financial aid. Their colleges provide high-quality education and give their students a high standard of living as well.
Job-placements are sufficient, with the creation of more and more jobs as new industries are rising, and the cost of living is affordable. Canada leads the world in terms of education, making it the best place in the world to study in.
Canada is known to embrace people of all cultures, races, ethnicities, and religions. More than half of Toronto constitutes of the foreign population. This is why in Toronto, communities are representing and belonging to different ethnicities like Little India, Chinatown, Greektown, etc. Inclusivity is among the best things about Canada, making it a prosperous country for people from all over the world. Canada is known to provide a home to everyone. According to the BBC, Canada is the most multicultural country in the world. (Source)
The multiculturalism of Canada was not born by accident; it was a conscious effort made by the leaders. In the 1970s, under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s regime, multiculturalism was made a significant part of the Canadian constitution, so as to make it a diverse country. In 1988, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act was legally put into place, with a more definitive purpose and method as to how multiculturalism will be adopted on a countrywide basis.
As a country, Canada’s constitutional framework has ensured that while they allow and enable immigrants to become a part of the population, they’re not forced to blend. Foreigners residing in Canada have retained their identities in terms of religion, race, and ethnicity. That is what makes Canadian diversity beautiful; it gives space to foreigners to set up their own homes. Multiculturalism and respect for different identities are one of the best things about Canada.
In a statistical report in 2016, around 250 different ethnicities were reported to be living and working in Canada. Approximately 48% of the foreign population constituted of Asians, mainly Indian and Chinese. A little less than one-fourth of the population is a visible minority.
3. Empowering Women And The LGBTQ+ Community
In the year2005, Canada was the 4th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Today, we celebrate June as Pride Month every year. In 2015, Canada was the country that started it. Canada has laws that forbid discrimination against people based on their gender identities or sexual orientation, in workplaces.
In a poll held before the 2019 election, around 90% of people said that they would be okay with a lesbian, gay or bisexual person living in their neighborhood. Around 87% of people said they would be comfortable with a transgender person in their neighborhood. While it’s sad, the numbers aren’t 100%, they represent a level of comfort with the LGBTQ+ community, much more than other countries.
Their conscious efforts to empower minority communities is one of the best things about Canada. (Source) Recently, Toronto Police hired their first-ever openly transgender officer. While these seem like minuscule steps, they are crucial in bringing about change and acceptance in the future. Canada appears to be on the path for that.
Canada plans to include different gender identities in their survey in 2021. Toronto also hosts the most significant annual pride parade in the world. The Ministry of Diversion and Inclusion and Youth actively works in analyzing conditions, rights, and treatment of the LBGTQ+ community.
It is entrusted with creating an action plan to be reviewed by the federal government to make policy changes in favor of the city. Inclusivity from a legal perspective is also one of the best things about Canada.
When talking about women in Canada, inclusivity is a broad term covering not only locals but also foreigners and immigrants. The right to vote for Caucasian women was granted in 1916 (entirely over the country, in 1951). The period between 1947 to 1960 saw all states giving minority groups the right to vote as well.
As part of their policy on ensuring equal opportunities and safety to women, Canada also prepares a report to be handed over to the UN every four years, to demonstrate how they have worked towards making Canada an equal country for men and women. The government officials, especially the prime minister, is known to be openly feminist in their ideologies and political agendas.
Canada also falls in the top 5 safest countries in the world for women. While there is space for improvement of women’s condition in Canada, nevertheless, it is one of the best places in the world to live, study, and work as a woman.
4. Excellent Quality Of Air And Low Pollution
Air pollution is considered to be the silent killer who preys on millions of people across the world every year. Developing countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Nepal, amongst others, have the lowest AQI’s (Air Quality Index). Industries, wars, vehicles, construction, and other factors contribute to a low quality of air, which affects people both directly and indirectly.
Canada is among the top 10 nations in the world with the cleanest air. While there were earlier claims that ranked Canada’s air quality at the bottom, later after measuring against standards set by WHO, it was found that Canadians are exposed to the least amount of air pollutants. Canada has made significant strides towards cleansing their air and eliminating air pollution since the 1970s. Its levels of sulfur dioxide have fallen from 1974 to 2015, by 92%.
With low population density and a lot of greenery, Canada has done a better job of curbing air pollution than most developed countries. Canada celebrates June 3rd every year as Clean Air Day so that they can make individual efforts in reducing air pollution. The significant strides made towards cleansing their air is one of the best things about Canada.
5. Chivalrous People
One of the best things about Canada is its people. Canadians are known for being “too nice.” This firm belief has led to the creation of stereotypes in the form of jokes in shows and movies. They are believed to be more apologetic and friendly. In fact, “sorry” is supposed to be the most common word used by Canadians! Many debates, whether the niceness of Canadian people is genuine, or just a stereotype.
A study conducted through Twitter in 2016 compared the choice of words between tweets made by Americans and Canadians. While it was found that overall, both use the same type of language when they tweet, nicer words are more characteristic to Canadians, and vulgar words to Americans. This doesn’t mean that Americans are rude, and Canadians are nice, but it does lead to the explanation that most Canadians are prone to using nicer language than Americans. (Source)
It’s also believed that since Canadian weather can be brutally cold, people believe in being warm at heart. It’s easy to survive, after all, if we’re all nice to each other and considerate of each other’s feelings.
Courtesy and chivalry are common patterns of behavior in Canada. Apologizing when you bump into someone, saying “thank you” to waiters and servers, holding the door for someone- these traits come naturally to Canadians but may seem unfamiliar to foreigners. Being from an overcrowded nation myself, one of the best things about Canada and also the most appealing is their people’s manners.
6. Beautiful Destination for Tourists
Canada finds its way to the bucket list of many travelers. Though it is the second-largest country in the world, its population density is among the lowest in the world, meaning that there is space for cities, countries, and nature.
It has multiple tourist attractions and has a little bit for every kind of tourist or nature-lover, whether it is mountains, lakes, waterfalls, plains, beaches, forests or deserts. Uninhabited areas with widespread greenery and tame animals, all add up to create the charm Canada is so well-known for. Whether its spring, winter, or summer, Canada’s scenery has a lot to offer.
With French culture intertwined in its own, Canada has the appeal of a European town in Quebec City. Montreal lends the feeling of actually being in France, with its French architecture, language, heritage, and cuisine.
Canada is also home to the beautiful Niagara Falls, which can be viewed in close proximity from several points. The Rocky Mountains situated in Alberta are expansive and beautiful, with lakes such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
The village of Whistler, a few hours away from Vancouver, is a popular destination in winters with a ravishing view of snow-capped peaks and winter sports like skiing and sledding. National parks, such as Banff National Park, Gros Morne National Park, and Yoho National Park, are popular places that offer an immersive experience into nature and wildlife.
In the town of Churchill, you can get rare views of polar bears and also enjoy snorkeling with whales. Fun fact: polar bear sighting is so common in Churchill that people are known to keep their cars unlocked, in case a fellow resident needs to escape from a polar bear.
The CN Tower in Toronto provides a view of the whole city and can give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience of eating at a 360 restaurant. From places such as the Yukon, you can even enjoy a view of the Northern Lights.
The fact that it is a tourist haven is one of the best things about Canada. With beautiful sites, safety, welcoming people, and a tolerance and acceptance of foreigners, Canada is one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
7. Low Crime Rate
Canada is one of the safest countries in the world. In the Global Peace Index 2018, Canada fell in the 6th position among the list of peaceful countries in the world. Unrest, conflicts, political instability, and even violent protests have been on the low for many years in Canada.
Violent crimes and the rate of criminal offenses in Canada consistently plummeted from 2000 to 2014, before rising marginally till 2018. In 2018 alone, approximately 1140 crimes against a whopping 100,000 people were reported. Click here to check the crime committed according to the area. (Source)
The severity of crimes committed has also fallen since 2000. Canada holds peaceful international relations and ties with other countries. There is strong gun control. Canada is also a safe country for women. In fact, it is one of the few tourist destinations recommended for solo female travelers, which is one of the best things about Canada.
Canada falls in the list of 25 richest countries in the world, with more than a $1.7 trillion GDP, despite having a large population. Its wealth is among the best things about Canada. Canada follows a market-oriented economic system. The 2020 Index has also declared Canada’s economy to be the 9th freest in the world. Industries are privatized, running alongside Government regulation.
While Canada is rich in resources and land, a major chunk of its wealth can be attributed to the service and manufacturing sector, Canada is one of the main producers of minerals, chemicals, gold, aluminum, forest products, and fish products in the world.
Exports and imports contribute around 70% of the GDP, with most of their trades being with the USA, and then with China. Machinery, automobile, and automobile parts are the principal imports. Even agriculture, though contributes less than 2% to the GDP, has high functionality, with large crop production and high yields. This contributes to the production of food crops required for both self-sufficiency of the country and food exports.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which came into effect in 1994, allows free trade between the USA, Canada, and Mexico. This agreement led to the creation of new jobs, and a larger pool of business, with a more significant array of goods. The NAFTA took years to fall into place, and now is one of the most crucial aspects contributing to Canada’s wealth and a stable economy.
The average annual income of Canada is $52,600, with low taxes, high quality of life, and affordable real estate. The unemployment rate is flat in Canada, at around 6.6%. Less than 13% of the population falls below the poverty line.
Jobs such as engineering, IT, accounting, food services, and public relations are responsible for creating more employment opportunities. A highly educated labor force and advanced public infrastructure are some of the best things about Canada. Click here to know more about the Canadian economy.
9. Contribution to Television and Movies
Many notable actors who have gone on to achieve big fame in Hollywood, hail from Canada. Several TV shows and movies are also Canadian. Let’s see how many of these famous personalities you knew were Canadian.
In the music industry; Drake, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Michael Bublé, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Alessia Cara, The Weeknd, Neil Young, Shawn Mendes, and Carly Rae Jepsen, some of our favorite singers, musicians, and rappers, are from Canada.
Many Canadian actors, too, made it big in Hollywood. Jim Carrey, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, William Shatner, Pamela Anderson, Keanu Reeves, Ellen Page, Seth Rogen, Sandra Oh, Michael Cera, Mathew Perry, Will Arnet, Joshua Jackson, Nina Dobrev, Lilly Singh, Dwayne Johnson, are some Canadian actors who we know and adore. Did any of these names surprise you?
Apart from celebrities, Canadian shows and movies are also a big hit. Movies such as A Christmas Story (1983), Goin’ Down The Road (1970), Juno (2007), What If (2013) and Room (2015), and many French films, are known and treasured all over the world.
Some underrated Canadian sitcoms need more credit for how funny they are. Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020), created by Daniel and Eugene Levy, is one of the funniest sitcoms and has also been nominated for several primetime Emmy awards. Workin’ Moms (2017-contd), created by and starring Catherine Reitman, is a hilarious sitcom about navigating work and motherhood, currently available on Netflix.
The DeGrassi series, with four versions, is about high school kids navigating life and problems. The original version starred Drake and Nina Dobrev. It is funny, insightful, and quite woke. Other shows like Anne with an E, Kim’s Convenience, and Orphan Black are too binge-worthy Canadian shows. So, amongst other best things about Canada is its contribution to pop culture.
10. Nature and Wildlife
One of the best things about Canada is its wide range of wildlife because of which wildlife tourism is an integral part of a Canadian tourism package. Canada offers nature in all its forms- mountains, lakes, oceans, forests, beaches, plains. Canada also has the most significant coastline in the world, which extends to over 200,000 kilometers. The amount of lakes in Canada is more than the lakes in the rest of the world combined.
Even the extreme cold weather in Canada becomes tolerable because of winter-sports. When the Atlantic Ocean freezes, people play ice hockey on it. With a multitude of natural parks, reserves, trails, and hikes, Canada is a paradise of natural wonders.
Every year, during the spring, the western coast of Vancouver Island offers views of around 20,000 whales and orcas when they migrate. Dolphins, polar bears, wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, coyotes, horses, mountain lions, 462 species of birds such as eagles, falcons, mockingbirds, and seabirds, can all be sighted in Canada. The country is blessed with wildlife and nature, all of which combine to provide anyone who lays their eyes on Canada the best view imaginable. Watch this video to see other types of wildlife that can be spotted in Canada:
Canada has a little bit of something for everyone. It is safe, peaceful, clean, developed, beautiful, scenic, wealthy, refined, and exciting. Perhaps that is why millions of people flock over from all parts of the world to live there. It is a welcoming country, which accepts everyone with open arms. Their education system and democratic structure, are commendable and upheld in the most organized way, benefiting not only its citizens but also immigrants. Click here to know more about the best things about Canada.
The best way to sum up Canada’s goodness is through the words of Dr. Dwayne- “You can’t buy happiness, but you can live in Canada, and that is pretty much the same thing.”