In 2017, Canada is celebrating one epic birthday. In preparation for the big day, we’ve rounded up 150 quintessentially Canuck ways you can show off your Canadian pride:
2. Skate the Rideau Canal
The world’s largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway stretches 7.8 kilometres, from downtown Ottawa to Dows Lake.
3. Eat a beavertail at ByWard Market
Topped with cinnamon, chocolate sauce or butter, this fried doughy treat was first sold in Ottawa in 1978. It’s so famous, in fact, it’s been a question on both Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit.
4. Order a shirt named after a former PM
A Turkish businessman thought Paul Martin‘s name sounded posh so he named a line of shirts after him.
5. Visit the largest playground ever
TVO’s Giver is building the 4,600-square-metre playground in Ottawa, just in time for the 150th b-day bash. Shaped like Canada, it’ll have a different play space for each province and territory plus the world’s longest set of continuous monkey bars!
6. Go to a nude beach
Are Canadians modest by nature? Oh no, we are not. There are at least seven clothing-optional beaches across the country. Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Island is an especially picturesque place to go au naturel.
7. Eat a Montreal bagel
Preferably hot, moist and straight out of that wood burning oven on Rue Saint Viateur.
8. See a show in Toronto
Musicals, comedies, dramas—the city is, hands down, the best place to see a show outside of Broadway, NYC.
9. Paddle the Rideau Canal
No Canadian worth their salt would admit they’ve never been canoeing. The Rideau stretches 202 km from Kingston, Ontario, to Ottawa and offers some of the best paddling in the country. And, in honour of Canada’s 150th, Parks Canada is offering free lockage throughout 2017.
10. Plant patriotic perennials
Veseys Seeds is selling limited-edition 150 Celebration Garden kits that contain 75 red and 75 white tulips. Plant in the fall and they’ll look bloomin’ marvellous come spring 2017 (just in time for the big celebration).
11. Go curling
Often referred to as “chess on ice,” this Canadian sport is still a mystery to many. But watching grown-ups frantically sweeping ice to move a stone somehow feels pretty darn patriotic.
12. Dogsled across the Canadian North
Stand on a sled and let huskies lead you across the snow-covered expanses of the country’s northern territories. Mush!
13. Drive the Cabot Trail
All vistas, forest and ocean, this 298-km paved loop on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, will make you feel like you’re touring the Scottish Highlands (but without the passport).
14. Swim at Sandbanks
15. Get into a winter hot tub
It doesn’t get any better than a cold brew and a hot, steamy soak in the middle of a snowfall.
16. Get yourself a white cowboy hat
Founded in 1919, Alberta’s Smithbilt Hats hand makes 20,000 to 30,000 hats per year using century-old equipment. Olivia Pope would love ’em.
17. Get it on in a canoe
Just try not to tip over, and yes, heavy petting counts.
18. Drink a craft beer
Canadians drink beer like it’s water (arguably, sometimes too much). Thankfully, we make some of the best in the world.
19. Listen to a hockey game on the radio
Anyone born before 1980 will wax nostalgic over this.
20. Wear a toque
…while trying to say something serious.
21. Visit Regina’s RCMP Heritage Centre
Sure, it has the usual memorabilia (buckskin shirts!), art exhibits and multimedia presentations, but the best part is the daily parade, including roll call and inspection of the troops, complete with a cadet band. If this doesn’t have you humming “O, Canada” we’ll eat our (campaign) hat.
22. Check out where they shot The Beachcombers
Make a pilgrimage to the Gibsons, British Columbia, restaurant Molly’s Reach, one of the central locations used in the long-running TV series. Enjoy a Beachcomber beer and a fish and chips while waxing poetic about Nick’s crazy logger antics.
23. Drink award-winning Canadian vodka
Georgian Bay Vodka was named best in class at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, where it beat out almost 2,000 other entries (and, no doubt, a few Russkis) for the prestigious Double Gold Medal.
24. Eat poutine
25. Bike, bike, baby
From Newfoundland’s rugged Viking Trail to BC’s Kootenay Rockies, Canada’s bike routes are spectacular. So strap on your helmet and start peddling, stat.
26. Learn all four (gender-neutral) verses to “O Canada”
…in both official languages.
27. Sing a Stompin’ Tom Connors song at karaoke
28. Watch all the “Heritage Minutes”
Who needs high school history? Doctor Penfield, I can smell burnt toast!
29. Ski or snowboard at Whistler Blackcomb
We Canadians have, hands down, some of the best skiing in the world.
30. Meet Anne of Green Gables
Lucy Maud Montgomery‘s red-haired minx is famous all over the world. Green Gables Heritage Place in Prince Edward Island inspired the books, and you can take tours of the real-life Haunted Woods and Balsam Hollow trails.
31. Drive the Trans-Canada Highway
It’ll take eight days of straight driving. Yep, our country is huge.
32. Get sprayed by Niagara Falls
Everyone knows our falls blow the American side’s out of the water. The old Maid of the Mist doesn’t operate in Canada anymore, but you can get just as close on the new Hornblower Cruise. If that don’t float your boat, there’s always Louis Tussaud’s creepy wax museum.
33. Sip, swirl and spit
Who needs the fancy French stuff when BC’s wine country is home to 948 vineyards?
34. Pay your respects at The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg
It’s Canada’s first national museum to be built in 50 years and the first dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights.
35. Eat salmon
Smoked, poached, baked or barbecued, it’s all delish.
36. Visit Peggy’s Cove
37. Bite into a Nanaimo bar
The pride of Nanaimo, BC, these sweet snacks are made with a crumb base, creamy custard filling and chocolate topping.
38. Hum some Barenaked Ladies
If you can’t sing along to “If I Had A Million Dollars,” you really shouldn’t hold a Canadian passport. Just sayin’…
39. Do something nice
We’re known for it. Then say you’re sorry (even if you’re not).
40. Wrap yourself in a Hudson’s Bay blanket
The iconic point blankets were traded to First Nations in exchange for beaver pelts, and you can still buy ’em at HBC stores.
41. Visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Americans have Ellis Island, and we have Pier 21 in Halifax, where one-million immigrants landed between 1928 and 1971. Take a tour, then map your family tree.
42. Roll up the rim
According to Tim Horton’s, the odds of winning a prize are one in six, which ain’t too bad. (Just don’t forget the Timbits.)
43. Swim in a Great Lake
Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario—these big, bad-ass lakes are the largest on Earth! Better still, no sharks.
44. Try ice fishing
Rent a hut in Bait Shop Bay, which runs along the Ottawa River between Petrie Island and Orléans, Ont. Bundle up, crack open a beer and be prepared to wait. Them pickerel and walleyes will make you work for ’em.
45. Play hockey on an outdoor rink
Just make sure your mom buys you the right team jersey.
46. Play ball hockey
47. Go sugaring off
It’s a surefire sign of spring and rite of passage for every Canadian kid who enjoys freezing their tootsies in exchange for one sip of maple syrup.
48. Visit Banff National Park
Set on the eastern slopes of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, it spans 6,641 glorious sq. km of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers. If you don’t see a moose within 10 minutes of arriving, you get a free cookie.
49. Watch Canadian Bacon, the movie
John Candy’s comedy about Canada–US relations was a box-office bust but it’s full of classic lines like this one: “Y’know, it’s a free country. If he doesn’t like it here, he can swim across the river to Canada. Lotta work there.”
50. Take a northern food tour on a private 737
If you’ve got money to burn, sign up for Across the Top of Canada foodie tour with some of Canada’s best chefs. The private jet makes stops from Whitehorse to St. John’s. Bon appétit!
51. Turn up some Canadian music
Starting on March 27, 2017, the most epic JUNOs Week ever is being hosted by Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Centre (natch).
52. Celebrate major hockey milestones
Throughout March 2017, you’ll find events honouring the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, the centennial of the National Hockey League and the Ottawa Senator’s 25th hockey season all over our country’s capital. You might even call it a hat trick.
53. Go whale watching in Gaspésie
Considered one of the best whale-watching sites in the world, you’ll see white-sided dolphins, fin whales and humpbacks.
54. Watch a Bob and Doug McKenzie sketch
These beer-swilling hosers didn’t do much for Canada’s international reputation, but their “Great White North” bits about long underwear and donut-shop parking are woven into the fabric of our consciousness, eh?
55. Embrace winter
Canadians can’t beat the cold so we may as well embrace it. The best winter party in the land is arguably Winterlude in Ottawa. During three weekends in February, you can skate, watch outdoor hockey games and ponder ice carvings while drinking buckets of hot chocolate at the biggest party in town.
56. Get jiggy with Canadian artists
We are one artsy-fartsy bunch. From June to July 2017, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre hosts Canada Scene, a spectacular cultural festival celebrating our country’s music, theatre, dance, visual media, film, literature, comedy, circus and culinary arts.
57. Take in some amazing triple axels
The first sporting event of the capital’s year-long 150th celebration, the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships are being hosted in Ottawa from January 16 to 22, 2017. Don’t know your crossover from your pivot? Try not to worry.
58. Ride the rails in Saint-Constant, Québec
Just 20 minutes outside of Montréal, Exporail might be one of this country’s best-kept secrets. Set up like a rail station, it has the biggest collection of trains (real and miniature) in Canada. Head outside for rides in a mini-train, old Montréal streetcars or a passenger train ride to nearby Barrington Station.
59. Picnic on the Alexandra Bridge
Iron the picnic blanket! Break out the sandwiches! On July 2, 2017, residents of Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., will come together on the bridge for a giant interprovincial picnic.
60. Buy a two-four
…on May 24th. Queen Victoria would approve.
61. Say “eh”
Say it loud, say it proud.
62. Watch death-defying stunts
Who says Canadians are dull? Throughout 2017, Ottawa is hosting Ignite 150, a series of 17 epic stunts throughout the capital, including a gourmet dinner party 50 meters in the air and a yoga session on a moving barge accompanied by a live orchestra.
63. Tour the Canadian War Museum
Tanks, artillery and combat gear, this impressive Ottawa museum is an amazing testament to Canada’s role in conflicts from the beginning of time right up through present day.
64. Speak “Franglais”
You won’t believe how far this will get you on a trip to Montreal.
65. Watch extreme skating
We Canucks are bad-asses, especially on skates. In March 2017, Ottawa will host the Red Bull Crashed Ice world championships, featuring athletes hurtling down a massive ice track filled with high vertical drops and hairpin turns. It’s like downhill skiing on skates, and it rocks.
66. See a Cirque Du Soleil show
Okay, so maybe we don’t own the brand anymore, but it’s still one of this country’s biggest exports, after sorrys and syrup.
67. Watch the birthday countdown
Throughout 2016, visit Ottawa City Hall to get your photo snapped with the official clock that’s counting down to January 1, 2017, (when Canada turns 150).
68. Ride the Lake Louise gondola
One of the best places in the country to see a grizzly bear where they can’t eat you.
69. Take a bite out of the Big Apple
Set just off the 401, Colborne, Ontario’s roadside attraction claims to be the world’s largest apple. It has an observation deck, petting zoo, miniature golf course and a whole lotta pie.
70. Get your art on at the McMichael
Distinctly Canadian, this Kleinburg, Ont., gallery carries a whopping 6,000 pieces by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, First Nations, Métis and Inuit arists.
71. Visit the arctic (in Ottawa)
In June 2017, a new permanent Arctic Gallery finally opens at the Canadian Museum of Nature.
72. Savour a Swedish fish
Though the name suggests otherwise, our favourite gilled gummies are actually made in Hamilton, Ont.
73. Go camping
It doesn’t get any more Canadian than setting up a tent in the rain, surviving an attack of black flies and hanging your food from a tree (to deter bears).
74. Drink some liquid gold
Maple syrup is worth 25 times as much as oil, and Canada stockpiles five-years’ worth in case of threats to national security
75. Buy some Justin Trudeau swag
Show your pride by wearing a sweatshirt featuring our dreamy Prime Minister riding shirtless on a moose. $60 at shelfies.com
76. Drink Crush Cream Soda
It’s unnaturally pink, tastes like liquid sugar, and you won’t find it down south.
77. See the Bard
The greatest of the great converge on Stratford, Ont., each year to perform works by the world’s favourite playwright.
78. Eat smoked meat
Arguably, the best in the land is at Schwartz’s Deli on the Montreal Main.
79. Play with polar bears
Churchill, Manitoba, is one of the few human settlements where polar bears can be observed in the wild. Aren’t we lucky?
80. Visit a walled city
Founded in 1608, Québec is a UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the oldest cities in the whole of North America. C’est cool, n’est-ce pas?
81. Sleep where Wilfrid Laurier slept
Spend the night at Ottawa’s luxurious Chateau Laurier, just a stone’s throw from Parliament Hill.
82. Go geocaching in an 18th-century fortress
At Nova Scotia’s Fortress of Louisbourg, you can hunt for modern-day treasure chests via GPS on the grounds of a settlement that helped Canada secure its freedom from France.
83. See a basketball game
After all, a Canadian guy invented it!
84. Make a box of Kraft Dinner
It’s been called “the de facto national dish of Canada.” You may not agree but you know if you had a million dollars, you’d still eat it.
85. Buy a bag of ketchup chips
They’re one thing our poor neighbours to the south have been deprived of.
86. Buy a flannel shirt
…and some long johns while you’re at it. Bonus points if you wear both while singing “The Lumberjack Song.”
87. Embrace the art of shovelling snow
…and don’t forget to stretch.
88. Drink a julep
This three-story orange has been perched atop Montreal’s Décarie Expressway since 1966. Sadly, the roller-skating waitresses are gone, but the frothy drinks are as sweet as ever.
89. Rent a cottage
But there had better be a bunkie and some s’mores.
90. Bow down to Ryan Gosling
Hey girl, this London, Ont., native is a national treasure, Oscar-nominee and hottie all rolled into one fine package.
91. Hit up the Calgary Stampede
This annual rodeo is a great excuse to wear cowboy boots every day and yell “yee ha!” without getting shushed.
92. Buy something from Roots
93. See monarchs migrate
Watch monarch butterflies migrate each autumn across Lake Erie from Canada’s southern-most point, Point Pelee National Park in Ontario.
94. Snowboard in a bikini
Because Canadians are tough. And because you can.
95. Sponsor the Terry Fox Run
It takes place each September in a whopping 9,000 communities across the country and it couldn’t be for a better cause.
96. Buy bags of milk
We have ’em, the Americans don’t. Enough said.
97. Fry up some Canadian bacon
Then go get your cholesterol checked.
98. See a light show on Parliament Hill
Most of the action is undoubtedly inside the House, but the annual Northern Lights show, featuring 150 moving and static lighting fixtures, is pretty darn cool.
99. Play some lacrosse
It’s our official national sport, eh?
100. Check out the Montreal Jazz Fest
Montreal’s street cred was practically built on this mega event, which hosts over 3,000 performers from 30-plus countries around the world.
101. Listen to some folk
We’re a folksy bunch, us Canadians. And some of the best and brightest converge each September at Ottawa’s annual CityFolk festival.
102. Shop at West Edmonton Mall
The largest shopping centre in North America, it has over 800 stores, an amusement park, a water park (with a full-size wave pool!), sea lions and even its own fantasy hotel.
103. See the Northern Lights in Yellowknife
Sit under the starry sky while watching the magnificent Aurora Borealis light up the night.
104. Sweat it out
Try a centuries-old purification ceremony at a First Nations sweat lodge.
105. Visit Canadian Tire
And earn some funny money.
106. Walk a city’s underground
You will get lost but you will be warm.
107. Take a dip in some hot springs
Relax in the mineral hot springs tucked away in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
108. Live life on the edge
Walk around the rim of the CN Tower, 1,168 feet above Toronto.
109. Eat bannock
Traditionally made by Inuit while trapping, this dough can be fried or wrapped around a stick and cooked over an open fire. Yum.
110. Take a tour of Parliament Hill
Admire the view from the Peace Tower, watch the changing of the guard, see the eternal flame, visit the “whispering wall” and be thankful we live in a democracy.
111. Visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The oldest of its kind in Canada, Nova Scotia’s waterfront museum has replicas of sailing vessel (big and small), shipwreck treasures and a large Titanic exhibit with mortuary bags, model lifeboat and one of the doomed ocean liner’s wooden deckchairs.
112. Hike the Grouse Grind
This 2.9-km trail up the face of Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain has often been referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.”
113. Visit the National Gallery of Canada
Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, this stunning granite and glass building houses everything from centuries-old paintings to avant-garde sculptures.
114. Eat a Jos Louis
Another delectable treat that’s as Canadian as the true north strong and free.
115. Float through Iceberg Alley
Get on a boat and float beside frosty giants off the coast of The Rock.
116. Place a lock on Ottawa’s Corktown Bridge
Because nothing says eternal love like a slowly rusting padlock.
117. Visit the other French-speaking Canada
There are plenty of pockets outside of Quebec to parlez-vous français. Get a taste of Acadian culture in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
118. Feel the chill of the Cold War
Canada’s Cold War museum, the Diefenbunker, is an underground bunker in Ottawa built in the 1960s to house Canadian government officials in the event of a nuclear attack. Tour the war room, emergency broadcasting studio and the PM’s (not-so-secret) hideout.
119. Downward dog on Parliament Hill
All summer long, Lululemon hosts free noon-time yoga sessions on the lawn in front of Parliament. Om…
120. Light a candle at Notre-Dame Basilica
Celine Dion got married there, and she’s as Canadian as sugar pie.
121. Go surfing in Tofino
Ride the surf like a pro on Vancouver Island. Don’t know how? Take a lesson. Cowabunga!
122. Walk on the Earth’s mantle
Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park is a geological landmark, which helped scientists prove the theory of plate tectonics.
123. Dig for your dinner
Clamming at low tide in P.E.I. is about as East Coast as it gets.
124. Take a train from one end to the other
The longest Via Rail route is from Toronto to Vancouver. It’ll take three days, 14 hours and 42 minutes. Bring a good book.
125. Wear a Canadian-flag patch while backpacking
You’ll be guaranteed 10-per-cent kinder service in most European capitals. Sure, it’s a tad cliché, but it works.
126. Walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge
Walk among the treetops (and take some deep breaths) 230 feet above the Capilano River in British Columbia.
127. Go VQA (or go home)
There was a time when no one would touch Canadian wine with a 10-foot pole. Times have changed.
128. Spend a night on ice
Sleep in a palace sculpted out of ice at the Hôtel de Glace in Québec City.
129. Go white-water rafting
Grab your fellow thrill-seekers and get on board for river rafting through the Bow and Horseshoe Canyons in Banff, Alberta.
130. Build the perfect campfire
131. Visit Magic Mountain water park
This Moncton, NB, must-see is the largest man-made tourist attraction in Atlantic Canada and requires more than 3,600,000 litres of water to operate. For thrills and chills, head for The Torpedo, a 400-ft enclosed tube slide.
132. Book a trip to Ottawa
133. Visit the Anne Murray Centre
Create your own “duet” in Murray’s mini recording studio, pick up a golf shirt and walk the rows of awards amassed during the snowbird’s 40-year career.
134. Straddle the border (literally)
The Haskell Free Library and Opera House straddles the Canada-US border. Set in Stanstead, Quebec (or Derby Line, Vermont, depending on where you’re standing), the building has a line straight through the middle.
135. Visit the most eastern part of North America
Look out from the Cape Spear Lighthouse in St. John’s and the next stop east is Ireland.
136. See the largest standing dinosaur in the world
This model tyrannosaurus rex is in Drumheller, Alta., and stands an impressive 86 feet tall (four-and-a-half-times bigger than a life sized T-Rex).
137. Glide across the Glacier Skywalk
Set 280 metres over glaciers and rushing waterfalls, this nail-biting walkway offers spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies.
138. Ride the Leviathan
Depending on your attitude, the 306-foot-high Leviathan roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland is either three minutes and 28 seconds of heaven or hell.
139. Go tree planting
It ain’t easy but it’s a living.
140. Take the unofficial Sophie & Justin Montreal tour
Book a room at Hotel Le St-James (where Sophie got dressed), buy a bouquet at Westmount Florist (where Justin picked up his boutonnieres), then attend mass at Sainte-Madeleine d’Outremont Church (where the two got married).
141. Catch up on Degrassi
And rekindle your love for Joey Jeremiah.
142. Knit a Mary Maxim sweater
Her hand-knitted 1950s designs were influenced by Canadian wildlife and are still perfect for chilly Canadian afternoons.
143. Learn how to chop and stack firewood
Every card-carrying Canadian needs to know the ins and outs of this.
144. See a real inukshuk in Nunavut
These man-made stone landmarks are a regal and amazing testament to Canada’s earliest history.
145. Go to summer camp
It’s a rite of passage for just about every Canuck kid, and there are even ones for grownups.
146. See wild bison in Alberta
Visit Elk Island Park and catch a glimpse of these majestic beasts as they roam the lands of the national park.
147. Boat through the Thousand Islands
Made up of 1,864 islands, this pretty part of Ontario straddles the border between Canada and the USA and has some of the most memorable boating in the country.
148. Canoe through the canyons
J-stoke down the magnificent South Nahanni River for views of wild, untamed nature in the Northwest Territories.
149. Visit the Bay of Fundy
Go water rafting, see 300-million-year-old-fossil cliffs or watch more than 160-billion tonnes of water move in and out of the Bay every day, twice a day.
150. Watch the fireworks in Ottawa
There are July 1st festivities across this great land, but the mega one takes place behind Parliament Hill. Watch the skies light up over the Ottawa River and feel #blessed that you live in the best country in the world.