This summer, I was granted one of the greatest experiences of my life. I got to travel coast to coast, from Vancouver, British Columbia, to St. Johns, Newfoundland with the Via Rail Canada 150 Pass. The experiences I had and people I met gave me a newfound pride in my country. With the spirit of Canadian pride in mind, here are ten incredibly impactful moments in our history that make us proud to call this country home.
The Golden Goal
Any Olympic win is something to be excited about, but a gold medal in your national sport while your country is hosting? That is something special, and exactly what happened during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Stomachs dropped and arms flew to the air when Sydney Crosby scored the winning goal for Canada seven minutes into overtime.
The Marathon Of Hope
Every September, Canadians of every age get together to walk in honour of Terry Fox. Terry began this tradition when he set out to run across Canada to raise funds and awareness for cancer research, losing his leg to the disease. He passed away before being able to complete his goal, but we carry on his legacy through marathons and walks to this day.
Any Time Spent Admiring Our Landscape
When I was planning my trip there was one image I couldn’t get out of my mind. I remember sitting in my 9th grade geography class and watching a video of drone footage from across Canada. We’ve all seen it, the video that goes from showing an aerial view of the Rocky Mountains, to the wind blowing through the prairies’ grass, to the lighthouses in Cape Breton. There is something so uniquely magical about seeing the diversity in our landscape, and how every province and territory hosts different views.
The Highway Of Heroes
There is a stretch of highway along the 401 known as the Highway of Heroes. This is where fallen soldiers make their final trip through funeral convoy from CFB Trenton to Toronto. It is on this path that we as Canadians can pay our respects and honour our soldiers who gave their life to protect us. It is in witnessing the reminders of those serving us that we can feel pride in the freedoms we have.
The 1972 Summit Series
While some of us may not remember this series, or have even been alive at the time, for others it remains a symbol of true Canadian spirit in a time of conflict amid the Cold War. The moment when Canada came from behind in the final game, winning with little over 30 seconds on the clock, shook the nation and became one of the most famous goals in hockey history.
Blue Jays Back-To-Back World Series Wins
Yeah – another sports entry,but it wouldn’t be right to not include it on the list of proud Canadian moments. The Toronto Blue Jays are Canada’s only Major League baseball team, and their back-to-back World Series wins in ’92 and ’93 are an integral part of Canadian baseball folklore. Say it with me “Touch ’em all, Joe!”
Newfoundland Taking In Diverted Planes On 9/11
The tragedy on September 11th, 2001 immediately shut down airspace and forced planes to land, leaving many stranded in the sky. The tiny airport in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland took in 38 wide-bodied planes and the 10,000 residents of Gander took immediate action to help the stranded travelers, helping our neighbours when they needed it most.
Ski Coach Helps Competitor Win The Race
During the 2014 Winter Olympics Justin Wadsworth (the head cross-country ski coach) came to the aid of a Russian skier who broke his ski after a fall. Wadsworth ran to the athlete with an extra ski in hand and fixed it onto the skier’s boot, allowing him to finish the race with dignity.
The Snowbirds are Canada’s military air show flight demonstration team who showcase the skill, professionalism, and teamwork of Canadian Forces personnel. No matter where they are across the nation, they draw a crowd, proving that they can make memories that instill pride in every citizen.
The Tragically Hip’s Final Concert
In May of 2016, legendary Canadian singer Gord Downie from the Tragically Hip announced that he had terminal brain cancer. Nevertheless, he decided to put on one last final summer tour, with the final concert taking place in Kingston, Ontario on August 20th, 2016. The concert was broadcast live on CBC, and 11.7 million Canadians tuned in. There was an overwhelming sense of unity felt across the country that night, as we all watched Canada’s band go out on their terms.