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CWB National Leasing’s Canadian storybook

Janet Seniuk

By: , Public Relations Coordinator

What makes you proud to be Canadian? Is there a time you felt more Canadian than ever? What does it mean to be quintessentially Canadian?

To celebrate Canada 150, we asked CWB National Leasing employees these questions and ended up with some great stories – from traveling across the country in a Winnebago to braving our fierce winters. We learned that “being Canadian” can have many different meanings, and that’s what makes it so special.

This week, we’re counting down the days to Canada’s 150th birthday by sharing our stories. Check out the first one below and stay tuned for new ones every day this week!

May 24 at the lake

Carol Stubits, General Manager, Ontario Sales, CWB National Leasing
Location: Toronto, Ontario (and surrounding area)

National Patriot’s Day. The Queen’s Birthday. Sovereign’s Birthday. Victoria Day. Call it what you will. In Ontario, we opt for the Victoria option but truthfully the official name of the long weekend in May is ‘May 24.’ Simple, yet so full of meaning, most people or families have some sort of tradition. Maybe it’s the first barbecue of the year. For gardeners, it’s the all-important planting weekend. You will see people who wear shorts or flip-flops just because it’s May 24, even if it’s only 3 degrees.

When I was a teenager, it was “the first weekend at my best friend’s cottage,” weekend. And the first weekend for any other cottage owner or cottage visitor. The tradition starts with an excruciatingly long car ride to cottage country north of Toronto, where it takes you five hours to drive 200 kilometers because everyone else is doing the same thing.

Traffic is a huge part of a cottage goer’s life. Don’t forget to stop at Weber’s – the decades-old little burger joint on Highway 11. The burger joint that became so popular they had to build a pedestrian bridge over the highway to keep cottagers from getting smoked because the drive home is when you need it even more.

When you’re coming to the end of your journey and mere minutes from the cottage, your parents have to stop for the grocery run. So, of course, you beg for some ice cream or butter tarts from the general store. Then you drive down the dirt road, painfully slowly, until you see it – the cottage and the lake! This is what you have been waiting for all winter.

I remember my best friend and me spilling out of the car in our bare feet and running down to the dock just to look at the water. We are already envisioning the dreamy weekend that would be filled with suntan lotion, Teen Beat magazines and ice cream. LOTS of ice cream. 

Then the parents would call us to come help unpack the car. Once that chore is out of the way, it was right into the bathing suits. As long as it’s flirting with 18 or 20 degrees, it’s bathing suit time, even if your teeth are chattering. It’s summer, right? It’s pretty warm, right? We have to go swimming, right? 

The dares and challenges would begin. Who jumps in first? It never failed that one of us would always make the mistake of dipping a toe to test the water first, giving us a preview of what we are about to experience.

Finally, after many deep breaths and false starts, we would always decide to hold hands and jump – that way neither of us could bail. (Because even the bestest of besties can become weak when facing the cold water.) You then count to three and… JUMP! The shrieking and splashing to get the heck out of the water ensued. And then we would sit contently on the dock the rest of the weekend – without swimming.

Aaaaaahhh, Canada.  

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