50 Canadians Reveal What Their “Happy Place” Looks Like
We challenged you to share your "happy place"—that magical spot where you feel your calmest and most comfortable—and you delivered! Don't miss this gorgeous gallery of the happiest places across Canada.
“Petrie Island is just minutes from our home and what a literal breath of fresh air it is,” writes Paula Brown of Ottawa. “The cares of the world just melt away and a sense of peace surrounds me. The view never gets old even though we are getting older! My happy place, indeed!”
“Regardless of the season, spending the day at the Toronto Zoo is always one of my happy places,” writes Mississauga, Ontario’s Karen Allin. It looks like this polar bear has found his happy place, as well!
On top of the world
Every time Dan Wever visits Jasper, Alberta, he makes it a point to take the Jasper SkyTram to the top of Whistlers Mountain. “You get a whole different view of the town of Jasper and the vast beauty of the scenery,” Dan writes. “This is one of my favourite ‘happy places’ to hike around!”
Here are more photos that will make you want to pack your bags for Jasper Park Lodge.
Set sail for summer
This striking silhouette of a boat sailing off into the sunset is a poignant reminder that summer is just a few short months away. Thanks to the talented Sean Donnelly of Sarnia, Ontario, for renewing our hope that happier times are just around the corner.
Take a look at more beautiful boat photography from across the country.
Hand in hand
For Saanichton, B.C.’s Mike Lane, there’s nowhere more magical than Chesterman Beach on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast. “Our family holidays there every year,” Mike writes. What a fantastic family photo!
Read more about Mike’s favourite Chesterman Beach tradition.
…And the livin’ is easy
Somehow, simply looking at this photo is enough to melt away stress. It’s easy to see why Cheri Lipiec of Olds, Alberta, chose it to represent her happy place. “You can view amazing sunsets, watch the birds paddling with the current or the deer coming for a drink,” she says. Sheer bliss.
No hammock handy? Here are 25 ways to relax that don’t cost a cent.
A horse, of course
“Camlin Stables is probably my favourite place in the whole world,” writes Tessa Frey of Mount Forest, Ontario. Between the icicles and the cozy coats on her four legged friends, we can almost feel the refreshing nip in the air.
Don’t miss this gorgeous gallery of winter photography across Canada.
Fire in the sky
When Alan Cheng of Scarborough, Ontario, ventured to the Northwest Territories, he was treated to this spectacular light show. Is it any wonder Yellowknife is his new happy place?
Check out more incredible Northern Lights photography.
To roads less travelled
Ann Boddy of Owen Sound, Ontario, is happiest hiking along the many trails that wind through Grey County.
Don’t miss our roundup of Canada’s best hiking spots.
A shore thing
Uxbridge, Ontario’s Anne Renwick made the trek to Tofino, B.C., in 2018 with a lifelong friend—and found her happy place in the bargain. “I love looking out over water, ocean especially,” writes Anne. “Definitely a place to go back to again and again.”
Here are the 10 places in Canada every Canadian needs to visit.
Little house, big views
This peaceful property on the shores of Lake Erie brings a smile to the face of Sue Thompson of Chatham, Ontario.
Check out more beautiful cottage photography from across the country.
A marshmallow world
We wouldn’t mind winter so much if it always looked as magical as this! Cathy Gauthier of Magnetawan, Ontario, captured this supremely serene scene—the calm after a heavy snowstorm. “With COVID still happening and visiting inside with family and friends impossible, my happy place is out in the bush with my dog as I snowshoe our many trails,” she writes.
Check out this gallery of Canadians making the most of winter weather.
Moment of reflection
An inland pool with a mirror-like surface blurs the distinction between sea and sky in this gorgeous capture from Rhonda Beirnes of Listowel, Ontario. “For me, it’s always a great day when I can marvel at a sunset in Newfoundland,” Rhonda writes.
Find out why Newfoundland is a favourite destination for one Our Canada contributor.
After the rain
Puddles dot this peaceful country lane, where you might find Langley, B.C.’s Maryalice Wood out for a stroll.
Psst—Langley made our countdown of the best day trips from Vancouver!
Maberly, Ontario’s Christine Muchmore responded to our Theme Pic Challenge on behalf of her four-legged friend. “Clay’s happy place is at the cottage, running with freedom until it’s time to relax in front of the fire in his chair,” Christine writes. We don’t know if Clay looks all that amused, but man… That expression of his certainly put a smile on our faces!
Would you believe these are Canada’s most popular dog names?
“My favourite place is a local park in the fall with the leaves changing and the swans quietly gliding past,” writes Cindy Herbert of Welland, Ontario. “A place to walk, sit and relax, or my favorite pastime, to take photographs.” Thanks for sharing those photos, Cindy!
Check out this gallery of “making a splash” photography.
“My husband’s happy place was on his school bus with the kids… They loved him as well,” writes Edith Beerda of Abbotsford, B.C. “At year end when kids weren’t going to school, a farewell trip happened so everybody could say goodbye as he retired and moved from the area. Emotional to say the least.” What a lovely story, Edith—thanks so much for sharing. And congratulations on the retirement!
Check out more heartwarming photos that are guaranteed to make you smile.
Chesterman Beach for the win?
…And here we have a second vote for Chesterman Beach in Tofino, B.C., this time from Calgary’s Maria Powell. Is it any surprise this beloved destination also pops up in our countdown of the best Canadian road trips of all time?
Kelowna, B.C.’s Michael Henderson doesn’t have to go far to soak up these spectacular views: He captured this photo from his very own deck!
Find out why Kelowna has been ranked one of Canada’s greenest cities.
It takes a lot of landscaping to transform a back yard into an oasis of calm that’s as inviting as this, but it’s well worth the effort for Edmonton’s Joyce Stolte.
Want to add some winged wonder to your slice of heaven? Try these tricks to attract more butterflies to your back yard this summer.
“Riding my bicycle along the north shore of Lake Ontario is my happy place,” writes Lynn C. Bilton of Cobourg, Ontario. “Often I pack a picnic lunch to enjoy along the picturesque route. Exercise, the out-of-doors and “Ontario—Yours to Discover”—what could be better?!”
Don’t miss these heartfelt love letters to communities across Canada.
Moment of meditation
“The troubles of the world disappear in the roar of the lawnmower and the concentration on cutting a straight row,” writes Robbie Gorr of Petawawa, Ontario. The effort has paid off—check out that lush green lawn!
Check out more “in the backyard” photography from across Canada.
We guarantee you’ll grin
“My happy place is Tancook Island, Nova Scotia, where even the barns smile,” writes island resident Rosa Cross. Once you see this happy little structure’s windows as “eyes,” we dare you not smile right back!
Check out more breathtaking photos of barns across Canada.
“My happy place is actually looking out my front door,” writes Tammy Green of Harrington Harbour, Quebec. “The view never gets boring and the fresh saltwater breeze is amazing!” We can’t get over the contrast in your striking shot, Tammy—the snow-covered town in greyscale, and the sunrise exploding with colour on the horizon… Magical!
Check out more of Tammy’s creative captures in this gallery of joyful photography.
Ribbons of wonder
Barbara Hart of Enterprise, Northwest Territories was treated to nature’s most spectacular show on the shores of Great Slave Lake. Thank you for sharing this magical moment, Barbara. Truly awe-inspiring!
Explore more of Canada’s natural wonders.
The prettiest season
This vibrant fall foliage makes a welcome distraction from the dismal winter weather outside our windows right now. “Our happy place is anywhere in Quebec in Autumn,” writes Russ Hayes of Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Don’t miss this gallery of incredible fall photography from across Canada.
Wild and free
“My happy place is on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta,” writes Julie Birch of Didsbury. “Here, I love to photograph and just be with the wild horses who live there.”
Find out how photographing Alberta’s wild horses changed Julie’s life.
For Smithville, Ontario’s Alexis Rude, finding a secluded spot on the waterfront—like this pier she snapped in Nova Scotia—is one of life’s simplest pleasures. “Next to the water, you’re able to think freely, without distraction,” she writes. “It’s simple serenity.”
Check out Nova Scotia’s best-kept bird watching secret.
Happiness is a library
Books have always provided an escape for avid readers, but never more so than during this global pandemic. Tessa Frey pays tribute to her beloved local branch of the Wellington County Public Library in this striking architectural shot.
Looking for your next page-turner? Check out the latest Reader’s Digest Book Club pick!
Into the woods
“My happy place is anywhere in nature,” writes Arden, Ontario’s Kayla Cuddy. “This year especially I have found myself retreating into the woods to find sanctuary and a place to clear my head. The flowing water at Egan Chutes was so beautiful it cleared my mind immediately.”
Check out the best day trips from Ottawa.
A park for all seasons
“On the trails with my dog at Little Red River Park is my happy place,” writes Ashley Peterson of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. “It’s beautiful there all year round.”
Check out the incredible wildlife you might find at Prince Albert National Park.
Frank Koenig’s shot of Alberta’s Pyramid Lake is so crisp, you almost taste that cool mountain air. Between the snow-capped peaks, fall colours and calm water, this photo’s the next best thing to an actual Rocky Mountain retreat.
Find out what it’s really like travelling through the Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer.
A frolic in the field
Who could resist those twinkling brown eyes? Deb Sandau of Red Deer, Alberta, found her happy place watching her pup bound through the dandelions.
Take a look at more of Canada’s cutest pets.
Going to the chapel
Drumheller, Alberta, is renowned for its badlands and dinosaur bones, but did you know it’s also where you’ll find this cute little church? Heidi Sanita of Pickering, Ontario, discovered her happy place in this unlikely setting, and snapped a photo to keep the memory fresh in her mind. Thanks for sharing, Heidi!
Discover more quirky roadside attractions across Canada.
At a glance, you might think Alberta’s Red Deer River was suddenly filled with white lotus flowers. Kayla Reynolds captured this truly magical shot of ice crystals on a bone-chilling winter’s day, noting that her happy place is “being in Mother Nature.”
Check out more spectacular photos of winter in Alberta.
King of the marsh
The Hillman Marsh in Leamington, Ontario, is where Linda Enns is happiest. It’s where she’s able to snap some wonderful shots of her feathered friends, like this impressive belted kingfisher.
Take look at more great Canadian bird photography.
Back to the farm
If you’ve ever longed for an escape to the country, Norma Keith’s photo will tug at your heartstrings. Photographing sunsets in Northumberland County is this Baltimore, Ontario resident’s happy place.
Check out more of Norma’s lovely snaps in this gallery showcasing what love looks like across Canada.
Hamilton’s hidden gem
“This photo depicts two young lovers enjoying one of my favourite hidden spots in Hamilton,” writes Mississauga, Ontario’s Marlon Porter. “Tiffany Falls is an amazing place to escape to when I’m feeling low, and these two sharing a moment of bliss perfectly encapsulates the location.”
Check out more of Canada’s most beautiful waterfalls.
Full speed ahead
Give Christine Souka of Mackenzie, B.C. access to a cross-country ski trail, and she’s in her happy place. This dramatic point-of-view shot makes us want to grab our poles!
Never strapped on skis before, but curious to try? It turns out learning a new skill as an adult is easier than you might think.
Danny Heath might hail from Toronto, but his happy place is most definitely “down east.” According to Danny, this slice of untamed Newfoundland “is a place where you can fish for trout, swim, look at the wildlife, sunbathe or just set and enjoy the calm serenity!”
Read the heartwarming story of why one woman is convinced Newfoundland is the kindest province.
For Cat Taylor of Calgary, happiness is watching the sun set on the Bow River. How could those intense oranges, pinks and blues not fill your heart with joy?
Check out one Our Canada contributor’s dream trip through Alberta.
Gone, but never forgotten
“Our happy place was being with our loyal companion Bailey,” writes Russ Hayes of Sherbrooke, Quebec.”He passed away over the holidays. We have many memories to cherish.” We’re so sorry for your loss, Russ. This sweet photo serves as a lovely tribute.
You’ll see more of Russ’s photography in this gallery showcasing spectacular rainbows across Canada.
Hitting the links
“Any golf course is definitely my happy place, but one of my favourites is my home course, Hamilton Golf & Country Club,” writes Sheila Drury. Don’t be fooled by the Muskoka vibes of this hole—Sheila notes it’s actually to be found in Ancaster, Ontario!
Check out 13 great Canadian golf courses under $100.
We couldn’t resist another shot of the winter wonderland right outside Cathy Gauthier’s back door—just a small slice of her self-proclaimed “100 acres of happiness”! “Getting my husband to join me is a bonus,” she adds. Your happiness is contagious, Cathy—just looking at this magical shot puts a smile on our faces!
You’ll find more of Cathy’s photography in this fun gallery of “shelfies”!
Every year, Ann Marie Beacock of Dilke, Saskatchewan, finds peace and joy in her treasured lily garden. “In the prairies summers are very hot,” Ann Marie writes. “Spring brings them forth and they bloom right through to fall. Every year I add a new variety.” The colour combinations here are simply stunning, Ann Marie—congratulations on a well-honed green thumb!
Check out more gorgeous garden photography from across Canada.
Kathy Beaupré captures the romance of the Canadian north in this fantastic photo. The resident of Enterprise, Northwest Territories says her happy place is her favourite trail, with the companionship of her fine canines.
If all that snow is enough to send you shivering, imagine what it was like on the coldest day in Canadian history!
Ask Plaster Rock, New Brunswick’s Melanie Corbin where her happy place is, and she’ll respond in two words: “The beach!” This sweet shot shows her family exploring the incredible rock formations along the coast.
Don’t miss these essential east coast experiences.
Glamping it up
If you’ve yet to experience an overnight stay in a yurt, this serene shot might convince you to take the plunge. With all the essentials of a restful and relaxing lakeside vacation—straw hat, sunglasses and a great book—Sandy Sinclair manages to capture exactly why Yurt #1 at Stephenfield Lake, Manitoba is her happy place.
Take a peek at 25 more quirky hotels across Canada.
For Lynn Mabley of Hinton, Alberta, happiness is the unspoiled beauty of Wildhorse Lake, particularly in the fall when the foliage on the lower slopes of the mountains start to turn.
Are you an avid “leaf peeper”? Lose yourself in this gorgeous gallery celebrating the colours of autumn across Canada.
How does your garden grow?
Imagine having this beautiful oasis in your own back yard! Boasting an incredible array of colourful blossoms and some really lovely landscaping, is it any wonder Heather McIlravey’s garden in Severn Bridge, Ontario, is her happy place?
Check out more fantastic flower photography from across the country.
Big love for Tiny Township
For Marlene Anderson of Midland, Ontario, happiness is Bluewater Beach in Tiny Township, Georgian Bay, Ontario. “I have been going there for over 60 years now and for a time lived there,” Marlene writes. “I’ve since lived in P.E.I. and B.C., but this beach is still my favourite. It’s ‘home’ to me.” It looks like a gorgeous place to call home, Marlene.
Love the sound of “Tiny Township”? Find out more quirky place names across Canada.