Canada Day 2010 (1st July)

We celebrated our second Canada Day in Canada as landed immigrants yesterday! (Yes, I know we didn’t move here till October, but we were here this time last year on our prospecting visit and to go through the formal landing process). It definitely felt like a milestone.

It was a glorious day, bright sunshine but with a warm breeze to mellow the ferocity of the rays. After a lazy morning, we headed through Glen Stewart Ravine (green, cool, with a stream running through) to ice cream on Queen, people watching on the Boardwalk and  our third free open air music event at Woodbine Park in 4 weeks (Blues Festival, Father’s Day and now Canada Day)! And we have yet to experience the ten day Beaches Jazz Festival (all free), later this month.

Canada Day crowd at Woodbine Park Canada Day crowd at Woodbine Park

Although the headliner yesterday was David Clayton-Thomas (of Blood Sweat & Tears), the highlight for us was a Canadian 80s band, Glass Tiger (with a Glasgow born front man and, in the old photos, classic 80s styling). Although Canada’s Song – Free to Be was written as a a hockey anthem, it was poignantly apt in capturing my feelings as an aspiring Canadian – and as the crowd roared, I guess there were others responding the same way!

Oh, this is Canada’s Song.
Oh, where my heart belongs.

Where you’re free to be a dreamer,
Free to be who you are,
Free to believe in your star,
Free to go far . . .

We don’t have an equivalent to Canada Day in the UK to stir our patriotic fervour. But there are undoubtedly occasions when I should have been able to tap into this and, for whatever reasons, never did. So many relative newcomers here, wherever they have come from, seem to say the same; that they never felt wholly British, French, Albanian . . .  Canada is not perfect, but somehow the cloak of its national identity, however incomplete, seems to rest comfortably on our shoulders.

The Beach from the Boardwalk The Beach from the Boardwalk - Toronto at play on Canada day as sunset painted a pastel sky before offering up a dark canvas for the celebratory fireworks.

Then on down to the Boardwalk, soaking up the relaxed atmosphere of a city at play and the pastel sunset. To cap off the day, just before 10pm, there were more fireworks across the water in Ashridge’s Bay – Canadians definitely ‘do’ fireworks – we are becoming almost blasé, though I’m not sure Paul will ever tire of the thrill (and I hope not!).

(Written 2nd July)

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