A Canadian summer

Summer is almost here, and if you don’t already have plans to go skydiving in New Zealand or mountain climbing in the Swiss Alps, then make the most of the warm weather right here in our beautiful nation. Here are some very Canadian ideas to get you through the heat.

Road trip

If you didn’t already know, Canada is the second highest tourist destination in the world: for Americans, at least.

Either way, the Canadian economy is beginning to piece itself back together (and at a rate much quicker than the American economy, I might add), so what better time to toss some clothes in a bag and take a drive across your country?

Ditch work for a week (I mean, request time off) and head out east with a group of rowdy, yet responsible friends to visit Anne of Green Gables and sail the great Atlantic. On your way, make a pit stop in Trois Riviéres to brush up on your “Français.”

If that doesn’t float your boat, out west there’s a whole lot of flat land without much of a view. Thanks Saskatchewan. If you make it past there, go fly fishing and rafting in the Rockies.

To make your trip truly Canadian, be sure to go skinny-dipping in a not-quite-frozen northern lake. If you’re jobless, broke and can’t swing the cost of gas, there’s always hitchhiking.

Celebrate Canada Day in style

Painting a giant maple leaf on your face and on your chest is a start, but it takes more than that to show true Canuck pride.

If you’re in Ottawa (or plan on road tripping up there), check out the Canada Day Arts Festival. There is something for everyone – a petting zoo, a car show, a water park and more.

If there aren’t any beavers at the petting zoo, you might have to settle for a beavertail pastry from a stand down at the Byward Market.

No matter where you are, hunker down with a cold beer and watch some fireworks. Bonus points for setting off your own. Double bonus points if you still have all your fingers after setting them off.

Take in a Jays game


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Or an Argonauts’ game, or an Eskimos’ game, or a Toronto FC game. There’s just something about sitting in the stands, eating a hotdog and paying $8 for a warm, flat beer in a sippy cup that screams “Canadian.”

Besides, I’ve heard there have been sightings of the elusive Sasquatch at the Rogers Centre. Oh wait, that might just have been the Argonauts’ mascot, Jason, torn up and running for cover after a particularly brutal game against the Rough Riders.

For those of you who actually appreciate a good game of baseball or football, your Canadian summer won’t be complete without witnessing a grand slam from Vernon Wells or a touchdown catch from Andre Talbot (a former Golden Hawk).

Canada’s Wonderland

Big rollercoasters, big people and big lines – all for the low, low price of a week’s pay. What could be better? Doing it all with a sunburn, maybe.

While you’re there, check out Snoopy Rocks on Ice to satisfy your Peanuts nostalgia. Arthur Bay’s Dive Show and Rock Band Live are also there for you to ch-ch-ch-check out!

Make sure to eat an obscene amount of Tiny Tom’s mini doughnuts right before going on the Behemoth – because vomiting should (occasionally) be induced by something other than alcohol.

Go camping

Summer isn’t complete without spending a couple of nights under the stars with only a thin sheet of fabric between you and the Winnie the Poohs of the wild.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to work on your outdoor cooking skills, including roasting hotdogs and marshmallows on a campfire.

Talk about gourmet.

Depending on where you are, you can go hiking or spend a day on the beach.
For a wilderness adventure, only four hours north, head to Algonquin Park.

Closer campgrounds are Elora Gorge or Laurel Creek, found right in the Region of Waterloo.

At night when you’re sitting around the campfire, drinking beer and fighting off mosquitoes, make sure you’re armed with some seriously spooky ghost stories – like the one about the axe murderer who slashes tents in the middle of the night and steals the beer of campers everywhere.
Be prepared.

What else can you do when you’re camping? How about drinking beer, playing beer pong, dodge beer and flip cup.

Did I mention drinking beer?

Rock out with your hawk out

Raise your hand if you don’t love live music and outdoor festivals. Keep it up if you don’t like anything associated with it. Now, wave it like you just don’t care!

If your hand is still up, the following isn’t for you. For the rest of you, this could very well be the best part of your summer.

There’s Hillside (Guelph), Beaches International Jazz Festival (Toronto), North by Northeast (Toronto), Mutek Festival (Montreal) and V Festival (cities across Canada), just to name a few of the great Canadian summer music festivals.

Expect to see artists such as Stars, Ben Frost, Brasstronaut, Japandroids, The Blackburn Brothers, Jason Collett and Shad K (a favourite Laurier alumnus).

One of the best parts of outdoor festivals is seeing the musicians chilling out in the beer garden.
Stop by to say hi, if you’re feeling gutsy, and be sure to ask how they came up with their kooky stage name, like Tim Hecker. I mean, what kind of name is that?

Make yourself utterly unforgettable by showing him that thing you can do with your tongue, foot, and a skipping rope. Gross.

Did you know…

  • In June of 2009, there were 80 living
    supercenterarians (people who are 110
    and older). Five of them live in
    Canada.

    There have been 17 Canadian-born
    Nobel Prize winners including Richard
    Taylor who verified the Quark Theory.

    Superman was co-created by a
    Canadian.

    British Columbia consumes less beer
    than any other Canadian province per
    capita.

    The world’s average life expectancy
    is 66.47 years. Canada’s average life
    expectancy is 81.23.

    Lady Gaga
    claims that her first boyfriend was
    from Toronto.

    21 of the top 25 all-time NHL scorers
    are Canadian-born.

    The Bloody Caesar was invented by a
    Canadian.

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