It's a great big, crazy world out there, and sometimes it feels like it would be easier to set your phone on airplane mode, pour yourself some wine and hide in bed under the covers for a few decades until stuff gets sorted out.
But that's not the Canadian way. We're universally recognized as some of the friendliest, happiest and generally awesome people out there - and we have the town names to prove it.
Love, Happyland, Happy Adventure....yep, they're all real life places right here in Canada. (We mentioned Happy Adventure, right?)
And, let's be honest, what the world needs right now is Love (sweet love), a stroll down the Sunnyside of life, and probably a Happy Adventure or two.
The residents of these 10 heartwarmingly happy, oh-so Canadian places couldn't be better ambassadors for this great country. They're exactly who Cheapflights.ca is calling on when we say #ExportYourself now - because the world needs you Canada!
Love actually is all around when you're in the happy little village of Love, Saskatchewan. Each year around Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day - as many as 10,000 love letters from all over the world are sent through the post office of Love to be stamped with the town's iconic postmark: a teddy bear holding a heart. Nope, you're not alone, the world just let out a collective "awww". According to the town's website, the village is home to about 80 inhabitants (Lovers?) and their heritages include European, Asian and more. Despite many requests, there is not yet a Chapel of Love, but the town is dotted with red, heart-shaped road signs and the tourism board has started selling T-shirts.
While it's believed the town was named after conductor Tom Love, who conducted the first train to pass through the town, another local legend says railroad workers in the area would remark that the streets were always full of young couples strolling hand-in-hand. Hey Lovers, share a little of that lovey dovey-ness with the rest of the world, will ya?
Don't even pretend reading about a town called Leading Tickles doesn't plaster a big, goofy smile across your face. This little town is home to more than 330 people and, in addition to having what is perhaps the best town name ever, it's also a great place to watch thousand-year-old icebergs float by dramatic cliffs and long, wide beaches.
The island town got part of its name from the bridge connecting the island to the mainland, "leading" people over the narrow area of water where two coves connect, says town clerk Doreen Haggett. As for the "tickles" bit, she's not quite sure. What she does know is that it's a town that has that real Canadian character.
"Everybody knows everybody," said Haggett, who has lived in Leading Tickles her whole life and says it's the kind of place where doors are never locked and people trust their neighbours. "It's a quiet town," she said. "You've got no worries."
The area around Leading Tickles is also well known for its roadside giant squid statue, which might just tickle the fancy (see what we did there?) of those who come up to greet him.
Of course there's a Canadian town called Happy Adventure. Would you be surprised if there was an Amour Baguette, France? Or a Loud Freedom, United States? Or a Sipping Tea, England? (There isn't by the way, but we're just saying...) Happiness and adventure might just be the most Canadian things ever. According to a local myth, this town got its name when, more than 300 years ago, an infamous pirate found shelter in the community's harbour.
Today, Happy Adventure is home to almost 230 people and offers great vantage points for admiring the scenery and watching whales. The town also has an adorable little sandy cove, aptly named Little Sandy Cove, which is an ideal spot for picnics.
Admit it. You just can't say the name of this town without laughing. Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! happens to be the only town in the world with two exclamation points in its name. Punctuation aside, the French-speaking Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! is known for its active, open-minded residents. Now that's something we can get behind. Exportez-vous, Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! No, seriously.
No, Happyland, Saskatchewan, is not a theme park. It's the awesome name for Rural Municipality #231. This area's name is reportedly the result of a German-Russian immigrant who settled in the area in the early 1900s. He spoke limited English but was so happy (yep) with his new environment, he referred to the place as a "happy land", and the name just stuck. Who knew a municipality of just over 280 people could be a place of such cross-cultural conjunction?
Located within the municipality are the four communities of Leader, Liebenthal, Mendham and Prelate (which just kind of sounds like a cool way to say "on time" to us). The town of Leader is known for being a gateway to Saskatchewan's Great South Hills, a vast area of grassland that's home to a ton of cool Canadian wildlife, including an amusingly named species of bird called the yellow-breasted chat.
But easy access to wildlife is hardly the most memorable thing about Happylanders. Who can forget that time in 2010 when a dozen residents of Leader took a cue from the yellow-breasted chat, posing nude next to potholes along Route 32 - which connects the communities of Leader, Mendham and Prelate - to draw attention to the thoroughfare's poor condition? The photos were made into a calendar, which gained international attention and sold more than 3,000 copies worldwide, making enough money for community infrastructure repairs and drawing enough attention to get Route 32 fixed. Good ol' Canadian problem solving at its finest.
Another fun fact about Happyland: In 1995, balloonist Steve Fossett landed in Leader after taking off from South Korea, becoming the first solo pilot to cross the Pacific ocean - and much of Canada, for that matter - in a hot air balloon. A happy land(ing), indeed.
"Hello there, friendly stranger, where in the world are you from?"
"Oh, I'm from Paradise."
Plenty of people think they're from Paradise. But only the real Paradise-ians can claim it as truth. Just imagine being able to say things like "I live in Paradise", "Welcome to Paradise", and "I grew up in Paradise". Need we say more?
Happy Valley-Goose Bay is reportedly home to people from more than 30 countries including Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, India, Ghana, Nigeria and the United States. The town has an airport, used on occasion for international emergencies, and accepts local multilingual volunteers to provide translation aid when emergencies arise.
You know what's a rad town name? Radville. You know what's even radder? The people of Radville - all 860 of them. During the not-so-rad depression of the 1930s, one Radville youth, Jerry Bertrand, organized a tree planting project. To this day, the town's tree-lined streets remain a source of pride, and Bertrand still lends his name to both a local park and an award that recognizes community volunteerism.
Radville also participates in the international traveller's favourite treasure hunt, geocaching. Geocachers can track down nine hidden caches across Radville. Now, that's pretty rad.
Flowers Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador
The proud people of Flowers Cove see it as their responsibility to promote Newfoundlanders' and Labradorians' renowned friendly ways. Now that's the Canadian spirit.
"It's quite a great place to live," according to Mayor Keith Billard. He adds, since the population is not large - only about 270 people - Flowers Cove residents are a close-knit community. And they're proud of their little slice of Canadian heaven. "You're not only close to the sea, but you're away from the hustle and bustle, close to the forest, the woods and the wildlife," like salmon, moose and more, all of which can be appreciated from the town's extensive walking trails, says Billard.
In addition to having a smile-inducing name and a picturesque spot on the coast, Flowers Cove is full of - yep, you guessed it -- floral history. Home to some of the rarest flowers in the world, Flowers Cove also boasts the well known Thrombolite Walking Trail, which features 650-million-year-old fossils that gave the town its motto: "Flowers Cove: An adventure 650 million years in the making".
In three neighbouring coves along Trinity Bay, the towns of Heart's Content, Heart's Desire and Heart's Delight-Islington have been setting the bar high for awesome town names since John Guy landed in Newfoundland in the early 1600s. The towns are thought to have been named after a fleet of ships, but locals like to think their hometown monikers reflect the characteristics settlers found upon arriving to their welcoming shores. (Some other notable nearby locations include Shag Rock and the town of Dildo, so we're not sure what settlers found upon arriving there. That's probably a story for another day.)
These three hearts have been open to the whole wide world ever since. In fact, Heart's Content is known for connecting all of North America to the wider world as the western-Atlantic anchor of the first-ever transatlantic telegraph cable, which began enabling intercontinental communication in 1858. While communications have advanced since then, giving us such treasures as the selfie, the world still undoubtedly looks upon these little towns with hearts full of contentment, desire and delight.
Honourable Mentions: Additional shout outs go to the happy towns of Sunnyside, BC; Cupids, NL; Hartland, New Brunswick; Mount Pearl, NL; Moonbeam, Ontario; Brilliant, BC; and Garden of Eden, Nova Scotia.
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