Ask Most Americans about Canada and they will tell you that we are a small country somewhere in North America filled with Inuit people who travel to work by snowmobile year round.  Maybe if you are lucky you may find one that will tell you we are larger than the States and are filled with a vibrant multicultural population that enjoys the same four seasons as half the planet.  A truly astute American would then ask “Why on Earth with all of that unspoiled natural wilderness does everyone live in the GTA?” This is a very poignant question indeed.  Why the heck do we?

I moved to Ontario in 1994 from the west coast.  We have a very different approach to life out there.  It’s hard not to spend your spare time outside the city of Vancouver when the majestic Rockies scream at you to get out of bed every Saturday morning and go exploring!

One thing that struck me as different here in Ontario was the multitude of people I met in the GTA, who for whatever reason had never been outside of the footprint of the metropolitan area…..ever.  Some may say that when you have everything at your fingerprints and plenty of distractions at your beckon call why you would ever venture outside of your box, your comfort zone. I am sure that somewhere Mother Nature is having a good pout. “I made all these cool lakes and trees and you won’t even come see them?”

I am in a different camp.

Our country is awesome! Within a short drive of every major city in Canada is a wilderness gem knocking at your door asking you to come out and play.  The first thing I did when I moved to Ontario was hop in my car, grab my Parks Ontario Handbook and see what this part of the country had to offer.  Slowly and methodically working my way across this awesome province I visited as many natural landscapes as I could….before the snow fell.

It is time to slow down a little Canada, take a breath and spend some quality time with yourself.  There may not be any mountains screaming at me here, but sitting in my canoe in the middle of one of almost a million lakes surrounded by majestic pines is pretty darn awesome.  The Group of Seven chose this area of Canada to paint for a reason.  It would be a pity to only experience it through their eyes.

This article is the first in a series by author Brian Duff entitled “In A Different Camp”

Loading Facebook Comments ...