My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

Canada Day – a silent celebration

Canada Day, 2020. How infinitely lucky I feel to live in this country, to have lived here almost all my life. My daughter would be the first to point out Canada’s flaws, and there are many, no question. But to me, our namby-pambyness, our colonialism, our forms of racism, are outweighed a hundred times by what is good here, most of all, right now, a sense of shared responsibility for our fellow citizens that is so very lacking to the south of us. The ferocious American need for individuality is what has made their country great, and what is destroying it right now: an inability to see that one small action, say, wearing a mask, may be uncomfortable for the self but is necessary for the greater good.

Thank God, again, for Tommy Douglas.

Mind you, I went this morning to a place I call Planet Rosedale; my friend Carole, teacher of my favourite Y class for 30 years, held a Canada Day class in a park in Rosedale, a 15 minute bike ride away. Rosedale, a ‘hood of unimaginable wealth, is barely on earth, as far as I could see – mansions, wide streets, enormous old trees, this lovely, beautifully maintained park – I think my grandsons from Parkdale, with its cluttered, filthy streets lined with often angry homeless people, would be bewildered here. I couldn’t help but think, as I rode along the smooth, freshly paved roads, about how ghastly the streets are in much of the rest of the city – along Gerrard to the south of me, for example, barely navigable, so pitted and rutted. But in Rosedale, for some strange reason, magnificent boulevards of fresh flat asphalt.

Inequality war aside, the class was fun; I was the least fit, but no matter, we were together. Carole had posted exercises on trees so we went from tree to tree, doing sit ups and pushups, and I, avoiding any running, though the others were keen. We have missed each other and our routine.

The city and the ‘hood are quiet today, on this holiday. I am waiting for the new tenant to arrive, a young woman who’ll live downstairs for the month of July. Final shop yesterday to replace the missing towels and bath mats. The place is gleaming.

Yesterday Annie came for lunch – a salade niçoise with green beans and lettuce from the garden, and of course rosé. We watched a webinar together put on by the Friends of Allan Gardens, about pests that eat vegetables. There are so many! I’m terrified. But I’ve ordered some “food friendly diatomaceous earth” which will fix everything. Stay tuned. Oh, and he also said – apply fertilizer in the morning and kill bugs at night. Your tip of the day.

RIP to Carl Reiner, a happy, loving man who made the world a better place. Listen to his Shakespeare!
Thank God for Tommy Douglas and comedians.

Happy Canada Day to you all. May you have many good laughs today. And so, on into mine.

Carole. She’s the grandmother of three grown women and has run 50 marathons. (Hint: She’s bionic.)

PS. And she just wrote to say that those roads in Rosedale were just as pitted as anywhere else until recently. I’ll take her word for it.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.