by Kristine Villegas
I am proud to be Canadian. I am proud and privileged to live in a country that honours life and offers free health care.
I am proud to be able to speak and understand both English and French. I am proud to be in a country that celebrates multiculturalism, where diversity is not seen as a source of tension, but one of strength.
I am proud that I am encouraged to have an open mind towards others, so that as a nation, Canadians can be seen in a positive light.
I am proud to live in a place of politeness where “please”, “thank you” and “I’m sorry” are part of my daily vocabulary.
I am proud that my doors are open to help any Syrian brothers and sisters in need.
I am proud of the world renowned stars this country has generated…Canadian born and raised hockey superstar, Wayne Gretzky and singing sensation, Celine Dion.
I find warmth in my Canada Goose parka in the Winter, find comfort in my Roots sweater in the Spring/Fall, and enjoy many summer days exploring the beauty of nature in my Lululemons.
I am proud to climb the Rockies, take a dip in Canada’s beautiful lakes, and to venture off into hundreds of beautiful forests with thousands of species of trees. I am proud of these trees which produce the sweetest, most delicious and natural, maple syrup. This is the icing on the cake.
This is Canada and I am truly proud to be Canadian.
A magnificent country
by Erin Penrose
As Canada celebrates its 150 years, I reflect and know that I am proud to be Canadian for so many reasons. Canada is a well-revered country world-wide and consistently rated by the UN as the world's best country to live in.
Here, we enjoy freedom, a high quality of life, good economic conditions and a diverse range of landscape, weather, activities and people.
In Canada, we have free (publicly funded) health care and education where students perform better than any other English-speaking country, a variety of climates with all four seasons, wealth in natural resources, modern cosmopolitan cities, vast rural areas, pristine nature and we are the world's second largest country.
Canada's landscape is clean, diverse and beautiful. We are a large country, bordered in many locations by water as well as having a natural abundance of lakes, rivers and waterfalls within. There is the beautiful rugged tranquility of the Rocky Mountains and the many national and provincial parks.
Here, we have unlimited recreational opportunities and we know how to make the most of each season. Winters provide opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, tobagganing and skating. Summers, and some months in the spring and fall, offer us swimming, hiking, boating, fishing and camping to name several.
However you choose to enjoy Canada, whether it's active participation, trying something new or sitting back relaxing, you can feel safe here.
I am proud to be Canadian and call this magnificent country home.
This land is made for you and me
by Jerry Gray
January 1, 1967, a little over 50 years ago, the first day of Canada’s Centennial birthday. I am a charter member of The Travellers, Canada’s first folk song group, formed in 1953, who were asked by Pete Seeger in 1953 to, perhaps, alter the words to Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Lad, as Pete, Woody, and the song, were all blacklisted from airplay during the early 1950’s, the Joe McCarthy era.
The new version was sung for 10 years in Canada, becoming a national “hit” even though it was resurrected in the U.S in early 1960’s, but The Travellers’ version remains one of Canada’s most venerable patriotic songs to this very day. The group sang it before 250,000 people in Parliament Square on the first Canada Day celebratory TV Specials in 1962 and some 6 times after that.
Fifty years ago, the group was signed to appear in every province and territory in Canada by Festival Canada, to , as the press said, “let Canadians know about their heritage”. By the end of 1967, we had recorded 3 TV “specials”, 3 souvenir LP’s, done a Command Performance in Charlottetown for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, and appeared in 186 concerts across the country, including a month of 26 concerts in the Northwest Territories, only accessible by air. Each concert ended with the whole audience singing along with This Land.
Throughout the years I have appeared with the group in Great Britain at The Palladium, toured through Russia, Poland, Lithuania, The Ukraine, USA, Cyprus, Germany, and Panama, but most importantly in every area of Canada. The song, This Land, gives the physical boundaries and talks about Canada and its peoples.
Several years ago I was invited to conduct The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra in the final song on their programme, as they finished a North American tour at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.
In my honour, they said, they would be singing the Canadian words, written by The Travellers in 1953. Fortunately it was recorded on You Tube, and can be seen by typing “Jerry Gray, The Mormon Choir and This Land”.
As I think about a good way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, or anytime this year, is to tune in to the YouTube version and be inspired to sing along. It will give you a profound feeling of love of country that I have had the honour of doing for some 63 years, because, “this land is made for you and me.”
Celebrating the maple leaf
by Mike Zichowski
As Canada's 150th anniversary approaches, I am reminded of the important symbol that unites us all. Adorned, stitched, painted, waved and sung, the red maple leaf emblem forever touches our hearts. A simple red maple leaf on a white background between two red bars is recognized around the world as the Canadian flag and the bold spirit of its strong people.
It's a comforting symbol especially when I encounter it on knapsacks, tents and even foreheads and cheeks when visiting foreign lands, and always an easy-going conversation erupts about the land we love. It's no wonder that our politicians carry pockets full of Canadian lapel pins as they greet their constituents, and foreign retailers flutter the Canadian flag on their premises.
But Canada's anniversary is a tribute to our maple leaf country that is both smart and caring, which keeps the peace, rights wrongs, accommodates the disable, protects human rights and gives people a new chance at being the best.
We are a proud nation because of our willingness to make sacrifices to build a better life and improve the lot of our neighbours and fellow citizens, no matter what accent voices their thoughts.
As a kid growing up in the Parkdale community of Toronto, I ran the neighbouring trails of High Park religiously attempting to better my previous time. My cross-country run always culminated at a gigantic maple leaf flower bed surrounded by cherry-blossom trees on the steep banks of Grenadier pond which for some reason I circled twice for good luck. It marked the end of an arduous journey, similar to my parents and which gratefully maintained my health but moreover rooted my pride.
True, north and strong
by Rose Nisi
Happy Birthday Canada!
On July 1st. you will turn 150 years old! Remember you are still young. I am very proud to be a Canadian!
Canada is a beautiful Country, we are a country of diversity of its people to our diversity of our landscape.
We have beauty from our small fishing villages in the East Coast, to our historical French Quebec.
We have Toronto in Ontario, which is a thriving large metropolitan city. We have the prairies and the beautiful mountains of British Columbia….and much, much more ….
Canada is often referred to as a land of immigrants because millions of newcomers have settled here and helped build Canada and defend our way of life, starting from France and England.
We have the Europeans, Italians, Portuguese, to the Chinese, the Indians and many, many more who came to Canada and now call it home.
Why did many people come to Canada and are still coming? Why do they want to start a new life here?
People came to Canada for many reasons. They came for a better quality of life, better employment opportunities, they also came for political reasons.
We have free education and medical care. We have welfare benefits, old- age insurance and unemployment insurance.
Whatever the reason or background. We come together as one, we are “Canadian”!
We are a country of true, north and strong! We live in the Best Country in the World, Canada! I would not live anywhere else!
A beacon of hope
by Alan Atkins
What lies closest to the heart is often least talked about. Canadians tend to be like that about their country. Our love runs deep and silent.
I have travelled much of the world and most of Canada many times. I realize that I was fortunate to be born here, like many others, by a twist of fate. My father was an immigrant.
When I was a child he often recounted how he felt when he arrived as a six year old in Windsor, Ontario, transplanted from the slums of Baltimore, Maryland during the Great Depression.
He described it as being like the scene in the “Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy opens her front door after the tornado picked up her house and dropped it.
The scene in the movie shifts from black and white to dazzling colour and she sees Oz for the first time.
For the next 82 years he never lost his sense of wonder that Canada was that enchanted place.
Canada is a young country. When I was born it had existed officially for not much longer than I have been alive.
What a privilege for all of us to be here at the beginning of such a wonderful adventure, enjoying the freedom to contribute to what is emerging as one of the ideal nations on earth.
We would, if we were not Canadians, shout this from the rooftops.
It may be enough that we know and cherish, with gratitude, this truth.
More importantly, despite our adolescent fumblings and growing pains, our most important contribution is how we live out our ideals of democracy, acceptance of strangers, caring for others and fairness in our personal and civic lives.
Passing on our values and love for this country is a legacy. Despite our peace loving ways, we cannot forget that during our short history Canadians also fought and died tenaciously to preserve these values for others and ourselves.
Teaching our children to never take our freedom and privileges for granted is essential for Canada to be what it is becoming – a beacon of hope in a broken world.
Canada is the best for hockey
by Cameron Lapp
In this essay I will tell you why Canada is the best for hockey because it has been our number one sport for Canada.
Hockey started a long time ago and has evolved ever since. Actually hockey started all the way back in 1887 when it was developed here in Canada. In Montreal on March 3rd when a bunch of friends decided to use a puck. And still today some of the other things like the length of the rink and the puck were kept today. And this is just a couple of rules they keeped.
The first arena was built in 1968 it was called Madison Square Garden built in New York for the New York Rangers and had ten REFS! (the normal arena now has four refs two refs for calls and two linesmen. But the biggest thing is that they even kept the old stick design today for purposes like players would like the curve and not the new design of the ring design but that became its own thing.
The team that has the biggest fan base today is the Toronto Maple Leafs. When the Leafs lost to the Capitals won 4-2 against the Leafs lately they scored and won the series but the fans were still screaming and cheering for the leafs and the other team's GM (general manager) said “I wish we could get this kind of a fan base and how can we get that.” Canada’s other teams are also on the list like… Montreal at 3rd, Vancouver at 4th, Winnipeg in 7th, and Calgary in 8th that just is a couple of Canadian teams on the ranks.
Canada’s main sport is hockey and we should all take more notice in it and explore the best things about hockey so this is my essay on hockey.
Beautiful land, beautiful people
by Madison Ryckman
Canada is a nice place to live in because people are nice. They’re nice because they don’t just care about themselves, they care about kids and other people. The government even gives money to help raise their children. Canadian families love and value each other.
Canada is a nice place to live in because of the beautiful land. The lake is my favourite place to go in the summer because it’s clean and pretty to look at. There are so many trees and flowers where I live. I like them because they’re pretty and they help us survive.
In Canada we have so many farms and parks. Farms are great because of all the animals that live in them. I love going to the provincial parks because you get to go tent camping with your family. When we’re camping it is so quiet and peaceful.
Canada is a nice place to live in because of the great city of Toronto. Toronto is so much fun because there are many fun activities for kids.
My family and I love going to Blue Jays games, car racing and the zoo. We also enjoy going to museums like the ROM and the Hockey Hall of Fam. The TTC/subway is so cool because I love trains! It’s fun to watch the airplanes land at Toronto Pearson Airport.
Canada is a nice place to live because there’s fresh food. I love going to get fresh food from the local farmers market. It makes me stay healthy and energetic. The local food tastes fresh and delicious.
I am very proud to be a Canadian citizen because Canada is an amazing place to live with my family.
Canadians warm, friendly, caring, gracious
by Nikki Putric
What makes me proud to be Canadian? Of course people like activist Gord Downie and Nobel laureate Alice Munro, but I am most proud to be Canadian because of everyday Canadians who are warm, friendly, caring, and gracious.
Recently, a lovely lady began a conversation with me and my sister in a gift shop. She complimented the teacups and saucers we were purchasing and mentioned that she owned plenty which she no longer needed. To our surprise, she then offered us her tea set and refused to accept any payment. A couple of weeks later, this kind-hearted lady met us at our local library with two boxes containing a gold-coloured teapot and over a dozen beautifully adorned porcelain tea cups and saucers.
When I began sharing my experience with family, friends, and neighbours, I discovered why I am proud to be Canadian.
I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians smile at you in the grocery store and say “Hello” when passing you on a Main Street.
I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians offer to sign out your library books when you forget your library card at home.
I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians will search an entire neighbourhood until they find the lost dog’s family.
I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians shovel your driveway in the winter and knock on your door during a power outage to make sure everyone is okay.
I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians will bring you a jerry can of gasoline when your car is stranded on the side of the road.
I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians use the lost and found, offer their bus seat to expectant mothers, and give strangers bus fare.
I am proud to be Canadian because Canadians will share their extra sun umbrella with strangers on a beach and welcome their new neighbours with a plate of homemade cookies. These Canadian stories are endless.
What makes me proud to be Canadian? Canadians make me proud to be Canadian because they are warm, friendly, caring, and gracious.
Accepting of others, considerate of nature
by Tatum Ellwood
This is what makes me proud to be a Canadian.
Being a Canadian is great, and I am super proud to call myself one. Canada is a really great place to live. We are polite, accepting of our differences, we value education, and treat nature with kindness. Here are some reasons why I am proud to be Canadian.
First of all, everyone gets along. No matter what ethnicity, race, religion, or beliefs someone has, we still treat them with the same respect as anyone else. Here in Canada, there is a mosaic of different cultures, and everyone is free to be themselves. In America, it is like a melting pot. All immigrants are encouraged to cut all ties with their previous lifestyle and become ‘American’. But in Canada, we embrace our diversity and encourage newcomers to remain in touch with their roots.
Not to mention the fact that we were the final destination for slaves to escape during the Underground Railroad. Between 1787 and the 1860s, the Underground Railroad helped almost 100,000 slaves escape to Canada, where they could live their lives freely, without being enslaved. Canada treats everyone equally.
Another reason to be prideful of our Canadian heritage is that our country produces a lot of people that went on to help the world. Examples: Alexander Graham Bell, Terry Fox, Frederick Banting, Marcellus Gilmore, Reginald Fessenden, Helmut Lucas, David Suzuki and so many more. All of these Canadians changed the world for the better, and life would be so different without their work. Imagine what life would be like without the telephone!
And lastly, we respect nature. Canada is the 9th cleanest country on the planet. Most of the population is huddled around the border, so that leaves more room for nature to be nature. Our country has such a low population for its size that almost 90% of Canada is uninhabited.
In conclusion, I think that Canada is very accepting of others, considerate of nature, and has produced some very helpful people, and that is why I am proud to be a Canadian.
A carefree, safe childhood
by Gordon Weber
I have had the good fortune of being born in Canada to German immigrants who wanted to live in the greatest country that offered great opportunities to hard-working people.
Growing up in the village of Swansea in the city of Toronto, allowed me to enjoy a happy, carefree, safe childhood and adolescence.
I was able to walk to and from school, starting in grade 1 up to high school.
The numerous parks that were within Toronto provided lots of social and athletic activities. Summers were spent in High park playing baseball, visiting the High Park zoo and seeing the exotic wildlife enjoying the world renowned cherry blossoms and also swimming at Sunnyside public pool. Winters were occupied with hockey on the outdoor public rinks-all activities sponsored by the city of Toronto; which allowed the public to grow up in a healthy environment.
As I matured, I travelled from coast to coast and I discovered all the natural wonders that define Canada and the towns and cities that make up the fabric of our country.
I made my home in the town of Midland, which encompassed the natural beauty and community spirit I experienced growing up in Toronto and travelling this great land.
Little lake is everything I love about Canada-green space to enjoy social and athletic activities, surrounded by a friendly safe environment just like the village of Swansea 50 years ago.
Climate, culture and commerce
by Nick Mancuso
On July 1, 2017, Canadas 150-year-old fabric, will continue to be woven, through its threads of climate, culture and commerce. A metamorphic climate, that transforms itself annually, from a crystalized winter playground, back into a brilliant and renascent summer oasis. In keeping with the embracing culture of our Native founders, we as Canadians continue to welcome people from all over the world. Altogether partnered with a government that truly honours the foundations of growth, of my Alma Mater St. Michaels College School, in goodness, discipline and knowledge.
Our winters months are spent with friends and family on the snow filled landscapes of Muskoka, rediscovering childhood skiing and snowboarding adventures. A few short months later the spring reappears, making the same snow filled landscapes come alive with green grass and dense foliage. They almost appear to be magically painted back in place by the effortless brush strokes of The Group of Seven. Now in the summer months of July and August, the shores of Georgian Bay reveal Canada’s largest freshwater beach, in the community of Wasaga. Finally, the artistry of the fall season returns once again, reuniting us for our back to school walks through the elegantly forested streets of Vellore Woods.
I enjoy long conversations on my street with my neighbours from Vietnam, India, Iraq and so many other beautiful parts of the world. While our kids play street hockey and other sports together, we share espressos and other imported treats. I’m proud of my neighbourhood families, knowing that we all came together from places around the world, that aspire to offer what Canada is to us today: A truly northern, strong and free nation.
Our Liberal government continues to innovate in providing Vaughan’s newest hospital, The Mackenzie Health Centrw, along with many community amenities annually. The Vaughan and Toronto Transit systems continue to expand to unite Vaughan’s Metropolitan Centre with Toronto’s Spadina subway extension. An amazing new first and incredible birthday surprise, a few of Vaughan’s citizens have organized a world record flight, in honour of Canadas 150th birthday: https://www.c150go.ca Happy 150th Birthday Canada!
Proud mama, proud Canadian
by Nicole Gordner
While jumping on the couch, my three-year-old holds his Canadian flag up high while simultaneously belting out the Canadian anthem. Everyone who knows him knows that he LOVES Canada. I’m not sure where his Canadian pride really originated from. Though I’ve shown him the flag and read the occasional book about Canada, I’ve never given the topic of our country or its symbols much attention. Nonetheless, he is relentlessly passionate, insisting he bring his Canada flag, Canada cap, and Canada sweater to school each day. The preschool teachers, attending to his interests, have now made “Canada” a central topic in the classroom. His excitement over this country has certainly reminded me of its greatness.
I want my son to truly understand what makes this country great. Yet, how does a person explain concepts such as freedom, peace, and security to a three year old? Since a country is only as good as its people, I decided to personify Canada. I’ve explained that Canada is a great leader for the following reasons (that a three-year-old can understand by referencing bagels, one of his favourite foods):
1. Canada makes mistakes but apologizes and tries to do better the next day. Sometimes they burn their bagels but they make fresh bagels the next day.
2. Canada also works hard to make people feel safe. They don’t throw their bagels at others.
3.Canada is generous and helpful. If someone can’t buy bagels, they share their bagels with them.
4.Canada also tries to be fair. If you’re very hungry, Canada may give you more bagels than they have. Canada never tries to force a person to have more bagels if they don’t want.
5. Canada is really respectful, welcoming and open-minded. They make all sorts of different bagels to appeal to different people. Canada knows that when they make bagels that people will get to eat and enjoy, every one will be happy and productive.
From the mouths of babes, we hear the truth. In my son’s own words: “Canada is the best country!” Period.
Close to utopia
by Joanne Bailey
Canada is the closest to utopia on earth.
Canada has a large diverse beautiful landscape from coast to coast to coast.
To the east, is the province Newfoundland “the Rock”, an explorer’s paradise where whales abound the ocean and icebergs climb. On the west, is British Columbia where coastal and Rocky Mountains majestically soar and pierce the sky. Not to forget the beauty of every other province and territories within.
A country with four distinct seasons with the best walks at night in the winter, when tiny ice crystals fall and become snowflakes. Spring a season of beautiful flowers, bees humming and birds chirping. Summer brings us many outdoor social activities with brighter and longer days. In our National and Provincial parks we observe nature and how our natural land is preserved. In the fall the air is cooler with foliage revealing an artistry of color. Canadians adapt to these four seasons with temperatures ranging from minus 30 Celsius in the winter to 30 plus Celsius in the summer. We are hearty and love the variation of the extreme cold and sweltering heat.
Very importantly Canadians are outside thinkers. We are a multicultural respectful society with a great appreciation of others. As Canadians we have freedom of speech, a stable democratic government, we live at peace with each other and have an excellent standard of living. We value our education system and health care. Canadians are great participants in worldly events. A country populated by immigrants with many seeking refuge in Canada with a strong desire to live within our country.
On July 1, 2017 Canadians will be proud to wave the Canadian flag, the maple leaf our symbol of Canada representing “unity, tolerance and peace”
As a Canadian I feel honoured to live in King Township in Ontario Canada. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital city of Ottawa and the nation’s most populous city Toronto.
CANADA - “THE TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE” – I AM PROUD!
Freedom and diversity
by Tammy Merchant
As a Canadian, I walk proud, talk proud, and live proud! Canada is about freedom and diversity.
Being Canadian means you can befriend all you meet here, no matter any one’s race or religion, age or sexual gender.
We all share a common idea: unity.
In Canada you can come and go, explore this great country, without any disappointment as to where you’ve ever visited. You’re always sure to get a warm welcome from Canadians eh!!
The sites and sounds of all families enjoying our Canada can be seen and heard far and wide.
Weather it be snowing, cool autumns, crisp spring air, or hot summer days with rainfall, we all enjoy being Canadian no matter where we are our what we do.
“CHEERS CANADA 150”
The best place on earth
by Barbara Boutilier
I am proud to be Canadian because my ancestors came out from U.K. in the 1770s and some the Year York was named Toronto 1834/5. They came over on a boat they called a Rolly Polly. They arrived on the muddy shores that are now Toronto. It was a black fly and mosquito infested swamp and bush. They were the pioneers who cleared the land, dug out the roots, made the roads including Yonge St.
They settled in York Mills near St. John's Anglican Church. Where my great great great grandfather built his home. He was into lumbering and died when a tree fell on him. He is buried at St. John’s Anglican Church. They had six sons and one by one they all worked their way north into Muskoka. Two ancestors pilots of the mail ship Segwun one before the renovations and one after. Some moved on to where Bracebridge is now.
Our old family graveyard is on Taylor Road, Bracebridge. My great grandfather moved up around Hoodstown. They expected the train to go there but when the train went to Huntsville Hoodstown became a ghost town. I have ancestors on Buck Lake, Lake Vernon and Loon Lake that had its name changed to Lake Waseosa in 1918.
I grew up on the Muskoka River in Huntsville. I worked 32 years for a Marine Insurance Co. in Toronto. I am retired now on beautiful Lake Simcoe in the Orillia area. This is as good as it gets! I am 79 years old I love this area. It is the best place on earth.
I have so many stories I could fill a book.
A Canadian Perspective on the War of 1812
by Victor Suthren
When the American declaration of war fell upon the disparate colonies of British North America, it produced reactions as different as the character of each colony. But the people of the Canadian colonies were united in the belief that this was an unwanted war, governed more by the distant preoccupations of London or Washington than the needs and wishes of the King’s subjects in North America.
The Perspective in Lower and Upper Canada
In Lower Canada, what is now the Province of Quebec, the French-speaking majority had little love for the British colonial overlords, who had governed them since the conquest of New France, fifty years earlier. As with the American War of Independence, they viewed this new war as another fratricidal struggle between Anglo-Saxons, in which the people of Quebec had little interest. The British government, however, had guaranteed their freedom of language and religion, and it was not clear that the Americans would do the same if they were to control Canada. Picking the lesser of two evils, French Canadians served willingly in regular British regiments and militia formations, and fought well in the successful repulse of American forces.
In Upper Canada, which would later form the basis of the Province of Ontario, the British administration was far less sure the population would fight in defense of the colony. There was a hardy, well-settled core of American Loyalists who had trekked north to Canada after the Revolution. They nurtured a bitter enmity toward their former countrymen who had dispossessed them of all they had and driven them out. But they were lost in the ranks of other American settlers who had come north seeking land after the Revolution, and who now outnumbered the Loyalists. The small and overworked British administration, and its inadequate garrison of regular troops, governed an essentially American colony of uncertain loyalty.
It was this reality, as well as the weakness of the British defenses -- the militia of Kentucky alone could outmatch the total armed force available for the defense of “the Canadas”-- that led Thomas Jefferson to suggest that the conquest of Canada would be a “mere matter of marching.” The American settlers in Canada wanted to protect their homes and farms, more particularly so after the first American troops incursions demonstrated that an American origin would be no protection against burning and pillaging. But these transplanted Americans would not commit to a fight unless the British administration demonstrated it would defend the Canadas. When the British did show they meant to fight, the largely American “Canadian” militia turned out in defense of their new communities against the armies of their former countrymen.
The sufferings of Canadian civilians at the hands of American troops, and the legacy of burnt and looted communities along the frontier gave the people of Upper Canada a strong sense, not so much of who they were, but certainly who they were not. And it had been American bayonets and torches that had brought that realization. Nonetheless, when the passions of the war faded, Upper Canadians soon returned to a more natural relationship with the American communities across the border, and re-knit ties of kinship, trade and friendship that the war had, in most eyes, needlessly sundered.
The Canadian Maritime Perspective
In the colonies of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, opposition to the war was immediate. In this, they shared the feelings of the New Englanders, to whom they were intimately tied by marriage, trade, friendship and natural inclination. During the war, citizens on both sides sought to minimize the war’s impact.
For Nova Scotians, there was an economic benefit, the principal British naval and military base at Halifax bustled with activity during the war, injecting energy into the colonial economy. Privateer vessels from all three colonies preyed successfully on American shipping during the war, establishing some lasting fortunes, including that of Samuel Cunard. Nonetheless, the war’s end brought a sigh of relief, and a quick return to friendly relations and business as usual between New England and the maritime provinces.
First Nations of Canada
For the North American Indian First Nation warriors, their courageous and desperate struggle against the Americans ultimately failed. The Shawnee war chief Tecumseh died in battle near Moraviatown, and the disparate tribes that had fought with the British lost not only their leader, but also their political position in the resolution of the war. The refusal of the British government to press redress of First Nations grievances with the Americans, who were in no mood to discuss it, ended all hopes of First Nation security. Having been instrumental in the successful defense of Canada, the warriors and their families lost their dream of an Indian homeland, and continued their decline into marginalization and poverty. Theirs is the most tragic story of all in the War of 1812.
The end of the war brought a return to normalcy in terms of trade, and the renewing of ties of friendship and family. The end also brought out, in often poignant terms, the tragedy that such a conflict could have arisen between peoples so closely bound. But some things were different. Great Britain, preoccupied with its European and world concerns after the defeat of Napoleon, had learned a new respect for the United States. For its part, there would be no more talk of a “mere matter of marching” to conquer Canada in Washington’s corridors; the tough and dogged defense that had blunted American invasion efforts ensured that. And for the British North American colonies, the blurred lines that had marked the border with the United States had now become clear. The war ensured that there would be a different society to the north, following its own lights, and having fought for its existence -- as had its neighbour thirty years earlier. Out of that would grow mutual respect and an enduring friendship.
Victor Suthren is a Canadian naval expert and the author of the 1999 history, The War of 1812.