I can freely admit that Thanksgiving in Canada is a mere imitation of its American counterpart. History proves as much. Americans invented Thanksgiving, a celebration that has been observed for more than 400 years in that country. Canadians, feeling perhaps a bit left out of the holiday spirit, decided to copy the American holiday, since we too are a nation that was settled by European colonists (French and English) with a complex and troubled history of war and peace with indigenous peoples. We have much to be thankful for too, after all. So, in 1957 Canadian parliament declared a new statutory holiday - a "National Day of Thanks" to be celebrated by all Canadians on the second Monday of October.
Canadians adopted nearly every single American Thanksgiving tradition, from turkey to stuffing, from pumpkin pie to cornucopias stuffed with harvest fruits. The only difference is the date it is celebrated. October was chosen because of the earlier Canadian harvest.
It is a great time of year in Canada. The leaves are changing colour, there is a crisp, cool bite to the air and people gather to celebrate the joys of autumn. One tradition in Ontario is apple picking. The province is filled with orchards and many of us venture out to pick big bushels full of Macintosh, Spartan, Cortland, Crispin and Empire apples. Below are photographs taken by my friend Jessica Hodgson. She and her partner, Brendan, recently went apple picking at the Orleans Fruit Farm just outside of Ottawa, Ontario. I love these photos!