The Beauty of Canada "This is a place where you could be who you want to be, and love who you want to love"- Shay Mitchell

The sweet smell of maple syrup tickles your nose as you step into the "Byward Market", Ottawa's most favorite outdoor market. As you walk through the busy streets, you are greeted by a melting pot of all the races in the world, intermingling in perfect harmony. An odd pile of rocks shaped as a human, catches your eyes, with the word "Inukshuk" written on its side. A dazzling array of t-shirts featuring beavers, hockey sticks, moose, maple leaves and canoes gives you a glimpse of items that are Canadian in nature. Snow, the purest of white, falls into your steaming cup of creamy hot chocolate. This is a snapshot into the heart of Canada.

Numerous labels have been placed on Canada. These labels include describing Canada as "weak", "cold", "peaceful", "multicultural", "too nice," and " having a lack of identity". However, I know Canada as an outstanding country that provides equal opportunity for all of its citizen to succeed. I grew up in Canada and would never imagine myself living elsewhere. I am very proud of my Canadian identity.

The moment I step foot on the land of Canada, I feel ultimately safe. Canada has become my "home" and I plan to continue to live in this beautiful country for the rest of my life. Canada will always stand out as a beacon to the rest of the world. Canada's goals and achievements stand out from the rest of world, from its peacekeeping missions, to the bravery of Terry Fox and its humanitarian role around the wolld. Canada also consists of ten provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and three territories: Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Each province is distinct yet they all share the core values of Canada.

Among each country in our world, I feel that Canada is the absolute best. On July 1st, we celebrate the anniversary of this nation. Millions of individuals across Canada light fireworks in honor of our wonderful country. Each day, I give thanks for living in such a beautiful country, where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.

The streets of Ottawa, Canada are filled with individuals who are proud to be Canadian on July 1st of each year. For several years, my family and I visited Ottawa to gain knowledge about Canada and enjoy the activities that their capital city has to offer.

"We wish nothing more, but we will accept nothing less. Masters in our own house we must be, but our house is the whole of Canada."- Pierre Trudeau

Algonquin Provincial Park

Time almost seems frozen as we gaze upon the beauty of nature. Nature is a true gift from the earth that is essential for all lives. To gaze at the vibrant flowers that dance in harmony to the gentle breeze is priceless. The sky is painted a cerulean blue and animals are jovial as they chase each other through trees. All lives are truly accepted and live blissfully within nature. Nature allows us to reconnect with our inner spirit and reminds us that we are also a part of nature.

Canada's provincial parks help us connect with nature as we take a much needed break from the rush of our daily lives. Provincial parks are areas of land and water that consist of man-modified or natural designs. These parks are designated to nature preservation, recreation, tourism, historic preservation and education ("Provincial Parks"). Provincial parks are also located in every province and hold activities such as canoeing, hiking, zip-lining, cycling and several other entertaining activities. Although there are numerous provincial parks, Algonquin Park is the most enchanting and breath-taking park in existence.

Myself gazing into the Oxtongue Lake, Algonquin Park in 2008.
Myself, viewing the vibrant trees from the lookout point inside Algonquin's "Visitor Centre" in 2016.

Established in 1893, Algonquin Park was the first park designated to protecting natural environments. Alexander Kirkwood, a clerk of the Crown Islands, grew concerned as he learned of the destruction of wildlife and forests in northern Ontario. As his concerns grew, Kirkwood began to advocate for the creation of Algonquin Park in honour of "one of the greatest Indian nations that has inhabited the North American continent". in 1893, his dreams had come true as the area of Algonquin was announced "a public park and forest reservation, fish and game preserve, health resort and pleasure ground for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of the people of the Province" ("Provincial Parks").

The alluring scenaries of Algonquin Park will always be in my memory. This park has tremendously changed my life as I created numerous memories there. Algonquin tranquil beauty will calm any mind. There are several cottages located in Algonquin park. I have been staying at the "Blue Spruce Resort" each summer since I was born. My family and I visit the Blue Spruce Resort each summer to explore the many wonders of Algonquin park. We are great friends with the owners of the Blue Spruce Resort and several other friendly families who visit Algonquin Park as often as my family.

The Blue Spruce resort is a large cottage located by the west gate of Algonquin Park. It overlooks a small, soothing lake that sometimes seem like a giant mirror. Behind the cottages is an enormous forest with tall trees that spread like a canopy. The resort also includes an arcade and library room, activities for children, a large beach, free access to the internet, boat rentals, a Friday night barbecue, a campfire, and several other activities. As a young child, I relished participating in their scavenger hunt each year. Each participant is required to find minnow fishes, a stick shaped as the letter "Y", a four-leaf clover, a dead spider, shoelaces and several other peculiar objects. However, the atmosphere of the Blue Spruce resort helps release the stress of daily living in the city. A beautiful serenity enters my mind that carries my spirit towards the imagery of a natural landscape.

A small playground and tennis court is located behind the cottages. As a young child, I was amused by the large seesaw that sent me flying into the clouds, and the tall swings where my body flew into the air. The playground is like none I have ever seen. My brother and I enjoyed the activities set up inside the arcade. During our visits to the small arcade, I would read through several novels while my brother and father played long matches of ping-pong. After a long day of venturing into Algonquin Park, my family and I would end every night with a campfire under the stars. We'd roast marshmallows and engage in long conversations a few feet away from the lake.

Among all the cottages I have been to and will ever travel to, Blue Spruce will hold the best of my memories. The mere thought of the resort will inevitably invoke happiness within my being.

Character is developed through experiences that influence our thoughts and life. Algonquin park is the highlight of each summer with the many experiences I gain in every visit. Various activities are spread throughout the large park that add interest to the park.

Each year, my family and I engage in several activities during our stay in Algonquin Park. Algonquin offers activities to appeal to the interests of all types of individuala. As individuals, we all have our own interests and hobbies to keep us entertained. As a young child, I discovered the joys of recreational sports and observing nature. Algonquin Park offers: canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, hiking, skating, camping, cycling, and several other activities.However, the vast majority of my visits are spent biking, hiking, swimming and canoeing.

The extravagant land of Algonquin is best explored on foot or with a bicycle. Three biking trails: Old Railway Bike Trail, Minnesing Mountain Bike Trail, and Byers Lake Mountain Bike Trail and eighteen hiking trails including: Booth's Rock, Beaver Pond, Big Pines, and Hemlock Bluff are located throughout the park ("Interpretive Walking Trails"). These trails vary in length and will inevitably astonish each of its visitors. Large tree canopy cover the trail and vibrant bushes and wildflowers are scattered along the way. Each step along the pathways of Algonquin's trials hold moments of tranquility and delight that are left within my mind for all of time. I very much enjoy observing nature's beauty. My hiking and biking experiences allowed me to observe the various plants and wildlife in the forest of Northern Ontario.

Clear, still lakes are located all throughout Algonquin park. These lakes include: Tea Lake, Lake of Two Rivers, Cedar Lake and Lake Opeongo ("Boating"). These serene bodies of water are best discovered by canoeing and swimming. Each year, my family and I canoe to a waterfall located within Oxtongue Lake, which overlooks the Blue Spruce resort. The canoe ride is about two to three hours in length. The large waterfall known as "Ragged Falls", pounds against the rocks as it flows. I enjoy canoeing throughout the peaceful lake as I view the large body of water. After climbing to the top of the falls, my family and I go for a swim in the sky-blue water. A logging museum and visitors center are not far from the lakes of Algonquin.

The pathways of Algonquin Park lead to chambers of new memories and experiences. Algonquin is best explored on foot or cycling through the towering trees.

Over 70% of Algonquin is subjected to controlled logging. The logging industry grew in the nineteenth century. This left Algonquin Park as a huge target for the logging industry. Two thirds of the land is made up of temperate deciduous forests, a biome known for its variety of animal and plant species ("Algonquin Provincial park"). This biome contains four natural seasons: winter,spring,summer and fall, and get about thirty to sixty inches of precipitation per year("Temperate Deciduous Forests")

Wildlife, plants and lakes make up the beauty and attraction of Algonquin park. Individuals all across the world come to visit Algonquin's vital ecosystem. This unbeliveble ecosystem contains: over 1000 species of plants, 53 species of fish, 31 species of animals and amphibians, 272 species of birds, 53 species of mammals, and more than 7,000 species of insects ("Plants and Animals of Algonquin Provincial Park"). Tourists all across Canada visit Algonquin to view its variety of plants and animals.

My family and I enjoy spotting animals along the roads of highway 60. White-tailed deer, moose, deer, eastern wolves, chipmunks and ravens are some of the beloved animals found in this beautiful park. I was astounded by the large moose and deer I spotted along highway 60 as a child. I had never seen such large animals in Brampton, my hometown. I've always had a wide interest for all types of animals. In August, Algonquin's staff also hold wolf-howling sessions, where one can hear the howls of wolves (Fischer and Hudson, 73)

Exhibits of stuffed wolves in Algonquins "Visitor's Center"
A male moose lurking through the bushes in 2007

Algonquin has provided me with countless intimate experiences with nature. The many trips I've made to this provincial park has instilled in me, a deep appreciation of nature and the outdoors. I truly support the effort of the government in preserving these natural areas we call "Provincial Parks". It provides an interactive and rewarding experience between us, the visitors, and nature. We need to preserve these Provincial parks in their natural state, so that future generations can enjoy the natural beauty that Canada has to offer.

Walking through the trails of Algonquin Park in 2008.

Pedal-boating in the Oxtongue Lake during 2007.

Climbing the Ragged Falls with my brother.

Canoeing in the Oxtongue Lake in 2016.

Multiculturalism

The gift of a multicultural world is one that we should truly cherish within our hearts. A multicultural community shares their knowledge, celebrations, values and beliefs within society. Cultures come together to celebrate one another as they share events, festivals and languages. Canada is a multicultural country where individuals from all parts of the world have chosen to live. These immigrants bring their knowledge, values and talents which add to the richness and diversity of Canada. Many even call Canada a "cultural mosaic", a term used to describe the diversity of our country. The contributions of the Chinese, East Indians, Italians, Irish, Africans and all other ethnic groups are priceless to the Canadian society.

"We define a Canadian not by a skin color or a language or a background, but by a shared set of values, aspirations and hopes"-Justin Trudeau. Individuals from all around the world immigrate to Canada, in hopes of becoming a part of this world-famous multicultural society. Canada makes immigrants feel welcome and free to practice their own cultures within the wider society. Immigration also helps reunite family members, build our economy, and promote our humanitarian tradition by accepting refugees ("Canadian Multiculturalism: An Inclusive Citizenship").

My parents were born in Guyana, a small Country located in South America. They departed from Guyana and immigrated to Canada in 1987 with the hopes of improving their lifestyle. My parents admired Canada's economic prospects, health care and education. Canada is recognized for their many pull factors such as: a multicultural society, excellent healthcare and education system, economic prospects, a democratic government, and a set of rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms. My aunt had first moved to Canada to live with her husband in Mississauga, Ontario. Soon enough, my father was sponsored by my aunt and arrived in Mississauga in 1987. There was a shortage of individuals in the workforce. Therefore, it was quite simple for my parents to receive their first jobs as a machine operator and cashier. They felt most welcomed by the Canadian society as they began settling into the Canadian lifestyle. After saving for approximately seven years, they bought their first house in Brampton, in 1994. Their standard of living improved from year to year. Their lives are much richer due to their exposure to the diverse Canadian society.

In the present day, 1/5 of Canadians were born in another Country. Canada is made up of immigrants from all across the world. More than 200 ethnic groups were reported across Canada with majority of the individuals from English, French, Scottish and German backgrounds. Other ethnic groups include: East Indians, Italians, First Nations, Dutch, Polish, Chinese and Africans. Toronto, Ontario's capital city, is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. There are 2.79 million people living in Toronto, with 51% of them born outside of Canada. 140 languages are spoken and 230 nationalities exist within Toronto ("Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada").

"Visible minority" is a term used by the Canadian government to classify those of a non-Caucasian ethnicity. Canada's largest visible minority group are the South Asians, followed by the Chinese, Africans, Filipinos, and Latin Americans ("Ethnic diversity and immigration"). I am an individual of a South Asian background. I believe that the diversity of Canada creates the true beauty of this country. A diverse population including minority groups, build Canada's character and allows individuals to learn from different ethics groups. Each ethinic groups has their own set of traditions, beliefs and knowledge. However, each ethnicity should be treated equally as we are all human who share the same core values. As humans, we each have the right to be treated equally. Canada treats visible minority groups with great respect and care for each individual. Canada also has the highest population of foreign born residents out of the G8 countries ("Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada").

There are numerous pull factors to Canada. Canada has a very low pollution rate compared to the rest of the world. Canada is also known for their excellent health care and education system, high standard of living, advance economy and diversity ("What are the pull factors in Canada?") Who wouldn't want to live in country with so much to offer? Immigration also greatly benefits Canada. Canada's workforce is shrinking as the demand for labor jobs is growing. Many immigrants work in labor jobs before receiving an education (Ramsey). This would benefit Canada's demand for labor jobs across the country.

Justin Trudeau greeting refugees in 2016.

Cultures inspire our experiences and personality as we grow in the world. Canada is one of the most diverse countries in our large planet. Each Canadian respects one another as we accept the cultures of immigrants in our world. The very essence of Canada is made up of its various ethnic groups. Without these ethnic groups, Canada would not have nearly as much beauty as it has in the present. Diversity is celebrated all around Canada as we continuously welcome new cultures into our country.

Toronto, one of the most diverse cities in the world, enjoys celbrating its culture. Some of the many festivals are: Caribana, Taste of the Danforth, Taste of Manila, Polish Festival, Taste of Asia and several others ("Summer Festivals & Multi Cultural in Toronto"). Toronto also has specific areas dedicated to cultures across the world. Located in Downtown Toronto, "Little Italy" is an area dedicated to Italian culture. Italian restaurants such as: Bar Isabel, DaiLo, Marinella, and La Carnita. As one steps into Little Italy, they will experience a little bit of Italy ("Little Italy Resuarants"). "Chinatown" and "Little India" are also located in Downtown Toronto with restaurants and stores designated to their cultures. Toronto gives its citizens a feel of other cultures that exist around the world. I would like to visit these areas in the future for a taste of other cultures in our world.

As an individual with a West Indian background, I feel welcomed in Canada. As I travel around Canada, I feel no discrimination due to my culture. Canadians respect all cultures with their laws and rules. In 2002, the Canadian government announced that June 27th was "Canadian Multiculturalism Day" ("Celebrate Canada activities"). The Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988, allowed Canadians to protect their cultural heritage, reduce discrimination and encourage the implementation of multicultural programs and activities within institutions and organizations (Elliot and Fleras). This famous act truly shows the whole-hearted kindness of Canadians as they strive to accommodate each Canadian.

The many cultures of Canada are celebrated all across the Country. Canadians will continue to support one another, no matter their background. I feel very valued and proud to be a part of this caring community. Canada will forever be my home.

Chinatown, Downtown Brampton

Multiculturalism has become a symbol that defines Canada. Canada has become a model for the successful implementation of multiculturalism. Our government and laws protect and support diversity in the population. All cultures feel welcome and at home in Canada.

Carabana, Downtown Toronto in 2016.

Little India in Downtown Toronto.

Justin Trudeau greeting refugees in 2016.

Canadian Health Care System

Our bodies are highly complex with many parts that help us function as humans. However, at times these body parts may suffer from a deep crisis. Health care is essential for us to live our lives and engage in daily activities. Each body part controls a specific function in helping our bodies function. Health care professionals are responsible for caring for our body during times of need.

The Canadian Health Care System affects each Canadian citizen. Each of us rely on Canadian health care to provide aid during times of need. Health care professionals undergo many years of studying and training to become quailify in care for the sick. Canada is rated one of the best countries in the world for providing Canadian citizens with free basic health care services. This system is highly effective in supporting all Canadians, despite their social and economic status. It is a human right for individuals to care for one another during a health crisis in their lives, especially when faced with death.

Unlike the American health care system, we have a universal system (Lindenberg). We do not leave any Canadian out in receiving necessary health care. This is an area of pride for most Canadians as they come to recognize the superiority of our system . Canadians believe that each individual is entitled to the same amount of health care. However, the taxes in Canada is quite high compared to other countries. The high taxes helps provide coverage for all Canadian citizens. ("The True Cost of Healthcare"). This is very efficient and fair since not all Canadians can afford health care. I believe that it is a human right for all individuals to receive an equal amount of health care.

Prescription medicine, dental care, physiotherapy, ambulance services and prescription eyeglasses are not covered under Canadian's Health care services ("Health care in Canada"). Mental health care, surgery, and all other services are offered to all individuals. It is said that there is 1 primary care doctor for every 100 Canadians ("Accessing Health Care"). Not far from Canada, the United States citizens have to pay over 500 dollars for their health insurance every month. There are many millions of Americans who cannot afford to pay for health care. My grandmother who currently lives in New York, was diagnosed with dementia. Her family has a very hard time affording the necessary expenses for dementia.

To be eligible to receive Canada's health care, one must have a health card. To receive an Ontarian health card, one must fill out an application providing access to private information. After collecting the necessary documents, the forms will be taken to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan office ("To Apply for a Health Card").

Canada is a significantly wealthy and developed country. This enables the country to provide high quailty health care to all patients who are in need. Canadians have access to one of the best quality of health care available in the world.

Over 80% of the Canadian population have access to a regular doctor (admin). In 2011, there was approximately 53,200 health care professionals who could speak in both English and French. It is important for Canadians to speak in both languages to accommodate for all individuals (Lepage and Levoie). Canadians also have a life expectancy of 80.34 years, compared to the United States who have an expectancy of 78.6 years (Heymann and Barthold). This is due to Canada's excellent quality of health care.

I feel blessed for having access to high quality health care at all times in my life. It is only fair that the poor and homeless have as much health care as the rich. We are all Canadians, with equal rights to health care. Canadians have access to MRI scans, CAT scans, and all the machinery used for health purposes. More lives will be saved and prolonged as Canada's health care continuously advance. A sick person will never have to worry about being able to afford the cost of healthcare. The entire population has free immunization throughout their lifetime prevent diseases such as measles, Meningitis, and Hepatitis B. We also have access to free flu shots to prevent the flu during the winter season.

I am thankful for the gift of a universal health care. During my lifetime, I may experience visits to the hospital. It is very comforting to know that I will not have to pay for health care in the future. I am proud to live in such a country of caring.

William Olser Health care center in Brampton, Ontario.

Canadians are generally very proud of their health care system. They do not have to worry about health care costs from birth to death. The quality of our health care and its universal access is an envy of the world. Canada's empathy will continue to grow as we accommodate the needs of all individuals.

Canada, a land of immense beauty, populated by people from all across the globe, stands tall among the countries of the world. I would never live in another country. Canadians are very proud of their great country. This extraordinarily beautiful country and its renown cultural mosaic enjoy a level of health care that is second to none. Its beauty, cultural diversity, and health care are just some of the many factors that make this the best country to live in.

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