What Canada Day means to our residents


Every July 1, Canadians around the country and those scattered across the globe unite in a grand celebration of Canada Day - a tribute to the country’s rich history and diversity. It’s a day that holds a special place in every Canadian’s heart, especially the senior citizens who have been the bedrock of our society, playing an indispensable role in molding the Canada we know and love. These seniors have witnessed firsthand the growth and evolution of this young nation, from its modest beginnings to its current status as a beacon of democracy and multiculturalism. They have contributed immeasurably to developing our infrastructure, values, and national identity. Furthermore, their efforts, passion, and dedication have woven a vibrant tapestry of Canadian heritage.

Canada Day is a time for all Canadians to honour the tenacity of these pioneers, who have collectively shaped the history of this proud nation through their individual journeys. It’s a day for unity, for celebration, and a perfect occasion to acknowledge the contributions of the seniors who have helped make Canada the country we cherish today.

Here’s what Canada means to five of the abovementioned seniors.

Joy Green (Aspira Mayfair Terrace)

I was born in 1951 and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. There was a large Polish population who immigrated to Canada after the war. None of them spoke English but I became familiar with their language. One day I came across a gentleman, his wife, and their two young children. They spoke Polish, and I could tell by their clothing and demeanour that they were recent immigrants. I welcomed them to Canada. I told them I was a third-generation Canadian citizen. I asked them how they liked living in Canada. They had tears in their eyes when they told me they were still in shock and awe that they were living here. For the first time in their lives, there was a future without fear and poverty. I had tears in my eyes. I realized how wonderful Canada is and how I can take it for granted sometimes. I’ve never known fear or poverty.

Andrew Mathuik (Aspira Yorkton Crossing)

During World War II, about 1943, as a grade 4 student, I was given the task of raising our Union Jack. Our teacher showed us the salute. I asked why? Be proud was the reply. Our brave Canadian young men and women are overseas to preserve our freedom. Today the basic, most valued aspect in Canada is an enriched, satisfactory life in a lawful, accepting place.

Our nation grants thousands of various nationalities a home, we are a peaceful country, and have the finest culture in the world. This is why I’m a proud Canadian.

Willi Stork (Aspira Lynde Creek Gardens)

Born in Germany 1934, and married in 1954, I came to Canada by boat with my wife and child in 1956 and settled in Toronto. Every morning I wake up, I have a lot to be thankful for what I have found here.

Canada Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize this country’s history and culture and how welcoming it is for people like myself who moved here from another country.

Gail Bissett (Aspira Hunter Village)

I am so fortunate to be living in Canada where we have democracy, freedom, and the ability to move about our country safely. Having travelled the world, I soon came to realize that many countries don’t have the advantages we have in Canada. I learned from my travels that there is really not much to complain about, as this country has a high standard and quality of living. Yes, we do go through highs and lows and ups and downs, but overall Canada is a country to be envied. Let’s all celebrate our precious and beautiful country this Canada Day.

It’s clear to see how much Canada means to its senior citizens. We should all follow in their footsteps by making this country better with each passing day and celebrating its beauty, diversity, and success this and every July 1.

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