Faces in the Crowd – This is Us, Who We Are

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On Canada Day, after snapping the expected Mark-with-a-flag, Mark-with-a-moose-hat and Mark-being-cute shots, I started to focus on the crowd—Canadians, newcomers and tourists who, like us, felt like celebrating the country they had been living in for days, months, years or generations. I paid attention to the sea of red and white, these little “Canadian pride” accessory and products so many people wear during national events—temporary tattoos, hats, t-shirt, sunglasses or necklaces. Our national flag looks nice and the Maple Leaf is probably one of the most famous and recognizable in the world.

That day of July 1st, 2016, people were happy and relaxed. Canada Day is a fun affair here. Everybody is welcome to a day of family-friendly festivities. There is nothing controversial about being proud to be Canadian. Our country is being celebrated and we celebrate the people who live here, no matter where they are from and what brought them to the New World in the first place—a boat, a plane… or maybe they are First Nations, who lived here for thousands of years before explorers arrived from Europe. It doesn’t matter, anyway. For a day at least, we united, cheering for the guest of honour—Canada.

Back home, going through the pictures, I realize how diverse the crowd was. I love it. This is Canada. In the viewfinder, when snapping the shots, I saw Canadians, regardless of the ethnic origin. Taken one by one, these pictures are little pieces of a vast mosaic of a country, people from all walks of life who call Canada home.

You can see the complete set on Flickr.

Faces in the crowd, celebrating Canada Day 2016

People waiting for the festivities to begin

Faces in the crowd, celebrating Canada Day 2016

Tee-shirt in the crowd

Faces in the crowd, celebrating Canada Day 2016

Making giant bubbles

Kids sharing poutine

Kids sharing poutine

Dog with the moose hat with antlers

Dog with the moose hat with antlers

The popular (free) moose hat

The popular (free) moose hat

Kid at Major's Hill Park

Kid at Major’s Hill Park

Kid at Major's Hill Park

Kid at Major’s Hill Park

Couple snaking at Major's Hill Park

Couple snaking at Major’s Hill Park

Stack of beavertails and small gathering in front of the American Embassy

Stack of beavertails and small gathering in front of the American Embassy

A beer in "Ottawa's oldest bar" in the Byward Market

A beer in “Ottawa’s oldest bar” in the Byward Market

Maple products at the Byward Market

Maple products at the Byward Market

Crowd by the Parliament

Crowd by the Parliament

Tired woman by the Parliament

Tired woman by the Parliament

Listening to Trudeau's speech

Listening to Trudeau’s speech

Woman resting by the Parliament

Woman resting by the Parliament

Quick selfie

Quick selfie

Little mountie bear in the crowd

Little mountie bear in the crowd

Kid in front of the Parliament

Kid in front of the Parliament

Kids during the speech of the Governor General

Kids during the speech of the Governor General

Enjoying some poutine

Enjoying some poutine

Couple sharing lunch

Couple sharing lunch

Grabbing fries at one of the food trucks

Grabbing fries at one of the food trucks

Teen tying up a Canadian flag

Teen tying up a Canadian flag

Crowd watching a busker

Crowd watching a busker

Crowd watching a busker

Crowd watching a busker

Crowd watching a busker

Crowd watching a busker

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

20 Comments

  1. In the photo titled “Maple products at the Byward Market”, the saleswoman is having an unusually long neck. Looks like it has been Photoshopped 🙂

  2. It’s less diverse here, being a small town, but we have been seeing an influx of people from else where in the world than the UK and Australia lately and it’s great. It’s also what I love about Canada, the diversity and the fact that most Canadian are migrants (recent or old). I also appreciate that our current Prime Minister is not shy about celebrating this diversity 🙂

    • Yes, I agree, I enjoyed his speech as well (about diversity). What would be the main economic draw in your region for immigrants to come?

      • We get a ton of people coming foe the skiing and tourism 🙂 it’s a very popular ski town.
        We alao get wealthy calgarian for weekend / holidays.
        Local author Angie Abdou wrote a book about life here and people who have nannies from the Philippines (a novel she is known all over Canada )

        • Ah, makes sense. I was implying you were in the boonies, it’s just that I don’t know this part of the country and that most immigrants tend to stick to the big cities unless employment perspectives take them somewhere specific 🙂

          • No worries, I didn’t take it like that 😉
            We have a ton of people who come here from the UK / Australia / New Zealand for a gap year or to be ski bums.
            It’s a different kind of immigration I guess

          • It’s interesting though, totally not the kind of immigrants who land in the tradition Montreal/Ottawa/Toronto region!

  3. I really like this serie. The people of Ottawa is like I remember the people of Toronto : diverse, from all other the world, but mostly, canadians. I often think of Canada, at least Ontario, as a well managed melting pot… Like there’s none other in the southern border 😉

    • I truly think Canada is doing a great job integrating immigrants, who become Canadians WITH another culture. It’s refreshing. I’ve been there for a while now and I rarely hear anything negative about immigrants in Canada. Maybe I choose to ignore idiots… oh, and I don’t read The Sun. Must be why 😆

      • Chiruza Canadiense on

        How dare you say “I truly think Canada is doing a great job integrating immigrants” ?? Are you a newcomer by any chance ??

        Well, I am, and let me tell you they are not. At all !

        I think you’d better listen right….lots of newcomers do complain about the country, you’re just not attached to them.

        I’m not an idiot for complaining if the country isn’t treating me right. Maybe you’re, for idealizing a country that has many issues like any other country in the world.

        • Er… hello, we know each other, I was a newcomer at one point too! You’re entitled to your opinion but overall, compared to the “Old World” and many countries, I think Canada is doing a pretty good job of integrating new immigrants.

          I’m not offended at all if you complain about Canada, it’s not personal and I have complaints too (sometime shifting through time).

          However, I’m very surprised by your attitude. You went from “Canada is my dream” to… well, so many complaints over the past few months.

          • Chiruza Canadiense on

            Well, I’m complaining because of the way Canada received me. Or maybe I should say the way Québec received me. Or Montréal. You get to choose.

            I won’t talk about Canada since the country is really big, but since I live in Montréal, I wil tell you that this city really disappointed me and I was and still am mistreated here.

            This isn’t Canada. People are right when they say Québec is a different country.

            Don’t judge me, Juliette. Just don’t. You have not even the slightest clue of what I’ve been through since I got here.

            You said “Canada is doing a pretty good job of integrating new immigrants.”. I’m telling you it’s not. Open up, listen to me. I’m a newcomer. You’re not. It doesn’t count what you’ve been through or how the country received you 10 years ago. Nowadays it’s very different. If we’re talking about the present, then you should just listen to me. But if you wanna talk about the past…then yeah, we could take into account what happened to you as well.

            Montréal sucks. It’s a disgusting city. It’s dirty, the subway doesn’t work and they try to put the French up to your butt. Looks like a branch of Nigeria or sth in here. Black people who don’t shower, so with +40 degrees, you can imagine how cool it is to take the subway or the bus…..

          • I won’t judge you and I agree that everyone goes through different experiences, good and bad. But I think you should also reconsider your attitude and I’m writing this in the nicest way possible. Maybe you’re overwhelmed, tired, going through culture shock, who knows. But you complain about EVERYTHING. You complained about the immigration process, now you’re complaining about this place that you spent years getting a visa for.

            It’s the glass half full/ half empty issue.

  4. Chiruza Canadiense on

    Well, as I said, it’s easy for you to talk: How long was your process again ? 5 months ? Try 4 years and waiting in France (not in Canada like you did) and then we can talk.

    Culture shock ?? I wish….I just had a hearing with a judge a couple of days ago. Told you, you have no idea what I’m going through.

    Tired ? Probably….sorry but the bed bug infestation in my apartment makes it hard for me to sleep.

    ….and then you come and ask me to see the glass half full, please !

    • Okay lady, you are going to have to calm down. I don’t mind you sharing your experience, good or bad, but who do you think you are to attack me? Seriously?

      1) I supported you the way I could during your process, I even wrote a letter for you.
      2) You’ve been whining constantly since you came to Canada. If you’re not happy, it’s your problem. At this stage, you either believe the world is against you… or you start questioning your attitude, see point below.
      3) You have a serious attitude problem. Nothing is good enough for you? Then change, move, do something POSITIVE.
      4) You don’t know me. My immigration process was fast. And so what? I didn’t speak English when I came here, I was 20 and I was at times completely lost as well. Life is what you make of it.

      I have zero interest in talking to negative people.

  5. Chiruza Canadiense on

    Who attacked who first ? Who was the one that said that people who say sth negative about immigrants in Canada are idiots ? You think you are so smart, don’t you ?

    You just speak because it’s free, isn’t it ? You fill your mouth with nonsense when you don’t have a clue of how good or bad Canada welcomes immigrants nowadays.

    1) You supported me how exactly ? Did you make my process go faster or easier ? I don’t think so. I earned my permanent resident visa, so I don’t owe you anything. Oh, BTW…the letter you wrote ended up in the garbage, I didn’t use it.
    2) I’ve been whining with good reason, and I will keep on whining if I feel like. Just as much as you’ve been whining since you got pregnant (really…who forced you to ?). Sometimes I just want shout at you “you should have worn a goddamn condo, for christ’ sake”.
    3) What’s good or bad for me is noone of your business.
    4) You don’t know me either. And not sending me a freaking $1 Walmart bag with a lousy excuse, showed me the type of person you are. Fuck your love for Starbucks. I love Tim Hortons. If you decided to immigrate to a country and you didn’t even speak the language, who’s the idiot here ?

    I rest my case. I’d better leave you alone….you probably have to write another never-ending boring post ranting about the kid you decided to have yourself.

    • You’re just plainly rude and aggressive at this stage.

      Yes, I think most of the time I’m smart enough to see through issues. Not always, though.

      I have been living in Canada for about 15 years. I think I know better than you how it works here. Like it or not, I went through the process as well even though it was fast, I also faced challenges, ups and downs.

      You didn’t use my letter? Fine. Suit yourself. I have no idea who you are taking your anger on me. I had absolutely no authority to speed up your immigration process. You asked for a favour, I obliged. I wish I had known what kind of person you were, though. I thought you were a good person and I wrote a letter of support in good faith.

      Your WalMart bag? Seriously? How old are you, little entitled princess? I didn’t have the time and the chance to ship you what you wanted, again, a favour, and you’re blaming me? Hilarious. Grow up.

      You are attacking my kid? Fuck you lady. Nobody forced you to read this blog. You’re the one coming here and spitting your hate. I didn’t ask you for anything. But now that you’re begging for it…

      I think you’re a nasty person and I can perfectly see why you don’t feel welcome in Quebec or elsewhere. Yes, believe it or not, being nasty turns people away.

      You’re not welcome here anymore.

      Personal attacks are off limit. Believe it or not, first time I see a troll. I almost hope you’re drunk or high.

      Oh… and fuck you.

      • Chiruza Canadiense on

        Well, I know bette than you how Canada “welcomes” immigrants these days. You just don’t wanna listen since you think you know everything…..such arrogant attitude of yours, BTW.

        Yeah, challenges in a 5-month process…right. You have no idea what you’re talking about, as usual.

        Nobody forced you to have your kid either…..

        You attack your kid yourself all the time….you can’t stop ranting about being a mother, don’t you see it ? I still remember when you said “I don’t know what I was thinking” when talking about having him.

        And never mind. Not gonna read it anymore. Turned out too boring since you only rant about the goddamn kid, your useless husband and not knowing what to cook. Such first world, housewife problems….

        • Lady… fuck off. Seriously. Go attack someone else. You’re incredibly rude, arrogant and nasty. What comes around goes around, don’t forget.

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