The Best of What Canada Has to Offer By: Aliza Shahzad

Canada is turning 150 years old! I am very honored to be living in such a wonderful country which has so many things to offer for the people living here. There are many things that are meaningful to Canada's community, but I have a few specific things that make my life in Canada very special and enjoyable.

The three things that I love best about Canada

  • Free Healthcare
  • Poutine
  • Maple Syrup

Free Healthcare

Canada’s health care system is administrated and funded by its local, provincial and federal governments under the the conditions of Canada Health Act. It is when the government pays for your healthcare (“Health Care in Canada”). Free healthcare is all over Canada. It started in Saskatchewan on July 1, 1962, then started all over Canada on July 1, 1968 (Brown and Taylor). The government wanted equality for all Canadians in the field of healthcare regardless of income, status, etc. People don’t have to pay for going to the hospital, check-ups, etc (“Canadian Health Care”). They have to pay for certain shots, prescription medicines, etc.


Poutine is a Canadian comfort food which is made of french fries topped with cheese curds and hot gravy. Fernand Lachance who was a man in Victoriaville, QC made the combo in his restaurant. He first added cheese curds to fries after a request from a customer in 1957, people started customizing it in 1963 and then added gravy because people thought that the fries were getting cold on the plate(restaurant was called Café Ideal, later renamed Le Lutin qui rit). Despite this, a man in Drummondville claims that poutine was invented by him in his drive-in restaurant Le Roy Jucep in 1964. He said that he was serving his fries with a special sauce, then people started adding cheese curds to it and he put it as a actual item under his menu. It is said that poutine was actually invented in one of Quebec's snack bars in the 1950s. Poutine is available in Quebec City(introduced in 1963), Montreal(introduced in 1983) and Ontario. It started in Quebec. Poutine was invented in one of 1950s rural snack bars in Quebec. Poutine was invented because a of a customer’s request. That customer had asked Lachance to add cheese curds to his fries and that’s how it all started. There are many different versions.It got so popular that we get it in of cafeteria as well (Aronovitch).

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a sweetener which is pure and natural. It is the only natural sweetener other than honey. There are about 16,000 maple-syrup producers all around North America. Over 80% of the 16,000 are in Canada (Werner). There is a legend that maple syrup was made by a Iroquois women who was the wife of Chief Woksis. Her husband had gone out for a hunt but he had forgotten to take his tomahawk out from the tree from the night before. Then, because of the warm weather, sap started to come out of the tree and filled a container beside the trunk. The women thought that it was plain water so she cooked their dinner in that sap. Because of the boiling, the sap turned into syrup and infused their meal with flavor like never before and that’s how the tradition of making maple syrup began. Maple syrup has been around for hundreds of years (“Southern Maine Maple Sugarmakers Association”). The production of maple syrup was very important because maple syrup made maple sugar and that is what people used back then. The reason for this was because other sugars were hard to find and expensive (Poulin). Maple syrup is made by collecting sap from maple trees and then the sap is taken to a sugar house. In the sugar house, the sap is boiled till it is sweet and it reaches the density of maple syrup (“How Maple Syrup Is Made”).

Why Are These Things Important?

These three things are very important to me. The reason for this is because they are my favorite things about living in Canada. Free healthcare is super convenient and stress free, poutine is very tasty and maple syrup is natural and organic which makes it good for you. Free healthcare makes regular check-ups a routine so we stay healthy. Poutine is my favorite food and is affordable. Lastly, I can't imagine my pancakes without maple syrup! All these things are important to me because they represent Canada, and that's why other Canadians should value them too. They are what make Canada special because they were invented here. Poutine is a Canadian food and people come here just to have it. Maple syrup is originally from Canada, so there are shops that people from around the world also come to visit. Free healthcare makes check-ups and other healthcare necessities simple and Canadians don't have to be worried about the heavy charges and can be healthy without a problem! All these things should be valued by Canadians because they make Canada unique. They should make Canadians feel proud because other people will see that these things are not available in their country, so they will give more importance to Canada. In conclusion, these are all the reasons as to why all these three things are important to me and why other Canadians should value them as well.


Created with images by ErikaWittlieb - "canadian flag canada flag" • Robbie1 - "Hearts" • Presidencia de la República Mexicana - "Inauguración del Hospital Municipal de Chiconcuac" • mathplourde - "Poutine" • stevecoutts - "maple syrup"

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