It’s my last day in Canada and I haven’t written about Canada Day/Canada Eh yet!
I had the foresight to be in Ottawa for 1 July, Canada Day. Actually, I wanted to be with a friend for my birthday on 28 June, but once Jenny (my woman on the ground) and I discussed dates, she said I had to fit in the national day in the capital too, followed by a couple of days by the lake with her family. I did not argue.
In true Jenny style, she organised it to a T. All decked out in red and white, we headed downtown. It was like going to a Cork match. On a really good day for Cork…
The main festivities were around the Parliament and as we were passing, who jumped up on the stage but Justin Trudeau.
You can just almost kind of make him out on the screen in the photo, but he had the whole crowd, me included, cheering rapturously when he finished with “We are CANADA!”.
From there, we pushed against the crowd and got some relief down by the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007.
It wasn’t as busy by the canal or down on the riverbank, but we did hear/see a military shooting reenactment and I made a new friend.
By then, it was time to stroll on to the Canada Day house party, where we ate, drank and played games outdoors, until the torrential rain began and we just continued under a gigantic tarp.
The rain meant that the fireworks that night were underwhelming, but everyone made up for it at the weekend. We went to the family cottage and were among many groups around the lake who put the clear night sky to good use.
I’ll miss the Belgian National Day this year, which is a pity, so it was good to fit in one national celebration. Canadians are proud of their country in a sweet understated kind of way and it is much deserved.