The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is on a great quest to name the Seven Wonders of Canada. They were inspired by the New Seven Wonders of the World project (which is still underway). Canadians aren’t as overtly patriotic as, well, some North Americans, but when the CBC asked people to name their favourite Canadian wonders, they were inundated with over 20,000 nominations full of passion for our country. It is often said that Canadians are people of the land, and that has certainly come out in this process. Me, I nominated a tree. And I wasn’t the only one. In fact some trees made it to the final 50. That’s us.
I’m a little disappointed that certain things didn’t make it to the final list. The igloo, for instance. So many people think we live in them that they really should be on the list. And where’s the water? The St. Lawrence, the Fraser, the Great Lakes, the bazillion lakes of Mozzytoba? I might forgive the CBC if the vessel that has plied those waters for millennia, the canoe, makes it to the final seven.
I was pleased to see that the Library of Parliament made it to the short list. But will I vote for it? I don’t know, there are too many wonders to choose from. Here are my favourites:
- Bay of Fundy (big tides)
- CN Tower (big building)
- Drumheller (big dinosaurs)
- Haida Gwaii – Queen Charlotte Islands (big trees, big culture)
- Library of Parliament (big beautiful library!)
- Manicouagan Crater (big impact)
- Mt. Thor – Auyuittuq National Park (big cliff)
- Niagara Falls (big falls)
- Northern Lights (pretty colours)
- Old Quebec City (pretty buildings)
- Prairie Skies (as big as it gets)
- Porcupine Caribou Herd (lots o’ hooves)
- Rankin Inlet Inuksuk (Northern icon)
- Spiral Tunnels (one for the engineers)
- The Canoe (built our country)
- The Rockies (do I have to explain?)
- Trans Canada Hwy (binds us together from coast to coast)
I could have included Vancouver Island’s Cathedral Grove but the only wonder about it is that it never got logged. The whole south-eastern plain of the Island was once covered in gigantic Douglas-firs. I almost left off Haida Gwaii for a similar reason—the whole mainland coast was just as ecologically and culturally rich, but its accessiblity made for a quicker demise. The list of wonders we’ve lost is probably just as long as the list of wonders we still have. We had to nominate the priaire skies because the prairies themselves are now Monsanto monocultures. The Northern Lights now shine on massive clearcuts, strip mines, and oil rigs. Even the Rockies are shrinking as they get sliced and diced by loggers and miners looking for quick profits. Nevertheless it is good to celebrate what we still have and reconnect to our great land. What do you think are Canada’s greatest wonders?