What's your defining Canadian moment? - Macleans.ca

What’s your defining Canadian moment?

Share your stories for a chance to have them featured in Maclean’s



This is a big country. And there are a lot us, as in nearly 34 million, living in our 10 provinces and three territories.

Some of us were born here, some of us came here long ago, and others have just arrived. But what defines us as Canadians? For the last five weeks, we’ve invited readers to share their most defining Canadian moment with us. And the response has been overwhelming!

In Ontario, Sheila O’Neill’s moment was watching her daughter carry the Olympic torch while Arnold Hoskyn in British Columbia counts the thrill of singing the national anthem after World War II ended as his. Our Political Editor Paul Wells’ moment was when he picked up a book at a community sale that eventually lead him to investigate the life of an unknown but inspiring Canadian.  My moment took place in a small, recently resettled, Newfoundland outport called Grand Bruit where I was lucky enough to have lived for six months.

There’s still time to send us your moment for a chance to have your story featured in our Canada Day issue of the magazine. Is it the time that tiny flag on your backpack made you welcome in a strange land? Or was it watching your grand-daughter score her first hockey goal? Maybe it was visiting the monument at Vimy Ridge.

The truth is, what it means to be Canadian is different for each and every one of us. So send us your photos! Send us your videos! Send us your report card when you got that A+ in Canadian history! Send them right here.


What’s your defining Canadian moment?

  1. Surely our greatest moment is June 3, 2003, when the Ontario supreme court not only struck down restrictions against gay marriage, but did so WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT. Those who had been cruelly denied the right to equality their entire life, in a single instant, could literally cross the street to city hall and apply for their marraige license.

    There is evil, bigotry and cruelty in the world, and even within our own borders. But Canadians knew in that moment that equality and justice would be the stronger forces.

  2. Real Canadian Moment? That its NOT the USA. Well at least in Geography it isn’t.

  3. Mine was definitely being cramped up in a line of 20 people at the overstocked, understaffed Save Easy in my neighbourhood, earlier today. With the crater sized potholes in the lot and the oversized carts and the undersized aisles and the obesity and paying for a shopping bag that I already owned and the 5 minutes it took the cashier to scrutinize my twenty dollar bill and the ridiculous price of milk products thanks to subsidized farming and the zombie hoard of seniors whiling away, leering at my smartphone and my inherent need to bellyache about the whole experience. Oh, Canada.

  4. My greatest Canadian memory is being in the basement of my parents home in 1972 and watching Paul Henderson score the winning goal in the Canada-Russia hockey series. Nothing like it.

  5. gay marriage, definitely.