6 flattering quotes from famous foreigners about Canada

And 5 not-so-flattering quotes


1. “As fine a land as it is possible to see” —Jacques Cartier, 1534

2. [Toronto is] “full of life and motion, bustle, business and improvement. The streets are well paved and lighted with gas; the houses are large and good; the shops excellent.” —Charles Dickens, 1842

3. “Canadian girls are so pretty it is a relief to see a plain one now and then” —Mark Twain in Montreal, 1881

4. “The prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world” —Winston Churchill, on the Niagara Parkway, 1943

5. “Canada is like an expanding flower—wherever you look you see some fresh petal unrolling” —Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1914

6. “I believe the world needs more Canada” —U2 front man Bono, 2003

. . . and 5 not-so-flattering quotes

1. “England would be better off without Canada; it keeps her in a prepared state for war at great expense and constant irritation” —Napoleon Bonaparte, 1817

2. “I fear I have not got much to say about Canada, not having seen much; what I got by going to Canada was a cold” —Henry David Thoreau, 1850

3. “I don’t even know what street Canada is on” —Al Capone, 1931

 4. “We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.” —Prince Philip, 1976

5. “It seems that everything’s gone wrong / Since Canada came along” —South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, 1999

Sources: Colombo’s All Time Great Canadian Quotations by John R. Colombo; The Great Canadian Trivia Book
by Mark Kearney and Randy Ray; Canada Inside Out by David Olive

Originally published in Maclean’s Book of Lists, Volume 2 (2013)

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