Hello! And welcome back to The Word Gourmet Podcast where you can read and listen to English as you learn a little about different things.
Today I’m going to talk a little about childhood in Canada.
I’m often asked what it was like to grow up in Canada as a child. People are curious about this vast country that embraces people from all over the world.
Growing up in Canada can vary depending on the specific region and community you choose to live in. It’s considered a safe and multicultural country with the highest standard of living.
Canadian children have access to free public education and health care. And there are also many opportunities for outdoor activities and sports due to the country’s diverse geography, mountains, lakes and forests.
There is a strong emphasis on diversity and cultural acceptance, making it a welcoming and inclusive place to grow up. In the first podcast I talked about growing up bicultural in Canada. The diversity is wonderful and so is meeting people from different cultures who speak different languages.
The official languages in Canada are English and French. The province of Quebec is mainly French-speaking.
Health care is one of the primary benefits of living in Canada, as well. It means we all have access to basic health care services.
One of the best things about growing up in Canada is the access to great education, which is also free from kindergarten through high school.
I think that was one my favorite things about growing up in Canada: my school. I loved going to school and I loved the range of activities that were offered, including art programs and sports.
One of my biggest loves in Canada, though, is the outdoors. I grew up in the neighborhood of Bloor West Village in Toronto, and I lived near a park called High Park. My love for that park is profound. I would often visit the park by myself and spend hours roaming the forest or sitting by the lakeside. It was still possible to do that back when I was a child. I don’t think many parents would leave their children to roam freely though a huge park like that anymore.
The park is beautiful in every season. In the winter with the snow we would go tobogganing down the hills. In the fall the trees turn many colors. In the summer I would spend weeks at a camp there, studying the Monarch butterfly or learning how to photograph nature and making arts and crafts.
There are many parks around the city and throughout Canada.
Sports are also very popular. You can do many sports, including hiking and skiing––downhill or cross-country––, skating and cycling. Hockey is definitely a popular sport in Canada.
Families love to go camping and spending time in the woods, and many families also enjoy having homes by the lake that we call cottages. A favorite memory is canoeing around those lakes.
The four distinct seasons gives you an appreciation for nature and how it changes and also a different sense of time. The beauty of the colorful fall leaves is breathtaking, with shades from red to bright yellow. Seeing their reflection in the water takes your breath away!
I really enjoyed Canadian winters as a child. Winter was a wonderland and I really have fond memories of building snow forts and ice skating and coming back to the house and taking wet clothes off and hanging them by the chimney to dry as we drank hot chocolate and warmed ourselves up.
All in all, growing up in Canada, as a child was a very happy, healthy and wonderful experience, offering many opportunities.
Until the next time!
Words and Expressions
Tobogganing: Using a toboggan or sled or a board to slide down hills.
Cross-country skiing: Rather than go down hills, you ski over flat or low hills through the countryside.
Cottages: Homes and cabins near the lakes.
Arts and crafts: Decorations and objects made with your hands.
Take your breath away: An expression that means you are very impressed!
Warm up: A phrasal verb that means to get warm. You can use a pronoun between the verb and preposition.