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First impressions of Canada

I must sadly admit I didn’t know much about Canada before coming here. I blame tv and media for that. We are bombed with all possible information and culture events from the USA but Canada barely ever appears in our TV. All I could recall about this country, besides some famous places, amazing Trans Canadian train journey and big cities, were maple syrup, hokey, Anne of Green Gables and Robyn Schrebatsky of How I Met Your Mother. But that’s good in a way as I arrived here with no expectations at all and I’m taking everything just as it is!


After one full day in Canada I already have some first observations and impressions. I visited only Toronto very briefly (walked all the way of the Yonge Street, one of the main streets in Toronto’s Downtown) and spent few hours in Kingston and so my opinions are based only on these two places. But the very first thing I’ve noticed is how extremely friendly people are ! It’s incredible! Every single person starts a conversation, no matter how random, with “how are you today?” and damn, Canadians are so good in these small talks. It’s extremely easy to talk to people as the conversation goes, just like that. Even the immigration officer yesterday at the airport talked to me much longer than it was necessary, already after giving me back my passport, only because he was curious about my job (not every day you met someone who works with the trains schedule) and how easy it is to travel around in Europe. Or the guy in the tourist information in Kingston, even if there was already a line of people waiting he just kept telling me all the Polish words he knew, asking me of some new ones to learn and showing his knowledge of Polish cities. Every person asks me where I’m from (assuming I’m from France or Germany) and kept asking me about my impressions of Canada and my plans for the stay. It was pretty tiring at some point but I still think it’s amazing! Oh, and everyone says how good English I speak – it never happened in any other English speaking country before


Canada is not the most walking-friendly place . I assume everyone here has a car and drives around but there were actually quite some people walking in Kingston too yet the sideways are very narrow and sometimes only on one side of the road (so you have to walk from one side to another and back). There was a bus service in Kingston but not very frequent so using it was pretty difficult too. That’s just the country for drivers I guess.

So far things look like in the American movies I know . There are yellow school buses, yellow-painted traffic lights, everything is just bigger than in Europe and even suburban houses and streets or Toronto metro looks familiar. It’s quite amusing, even if I’m in a completely new country (or continent for that matter) everything looks so familiar. But again, I’ve heard that Ontario is very American whereas Quebec feels more European so maybe I’ll change that opinion after some time in the Quebec Province.


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I need to finally realize that European and North American “old, historic site” isn’t the same thing . Maybe that’s why Kingston’s architecture kind of disappointed me (more about that city hopefully tomorrow), I expected something more from UNESCO site. But I like it here, big time, I enjoy it a lot and I’m really looking forward to exploring more of Canada! Now it’s time for Quebec Province!!

Have you been to Canada? Would you like to visit it?


canada impressions pin (1)

If you think of visiting Canada or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!

love, kami 2

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Hey Kami! It was very interesting reading your first impressions of Canada. I’ve lived in Toronto for 28 years and I don’t find people particularly friendly. “How are you” is just a greeting. Nobody expects a response. (It took me a long time to figure this out after I moved here from Quebec.) This goes to show how your experience of a place can differ widely depending on who you are (visitor or resident, man or woman). On the other hand, I find Toronto very easy to walk around, even though it lacks the pedestrian streets of Europe. I know tons of people who don’t have a car here! I hope you enjoyed the rest of your stay.

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Thank you for comment! It’s indeed really interesting how different people see different places! I really enjoyed my time in Canada and would love to go back one day!

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I live in Quebec and reading your first impressions was a fun experience. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay and i never thought people from other places didn’t greet each other like that, but everyone half-expects a response when they say something like, “how are you?” or “What’s up?” i showed a classmate your post and they (my classmate) found it silly that people aren’t as friendly as in Canada, but you grow into a habit of constantly saying “please,” “thank you” and “sorry” i say sorry far too often (i bump into everyone because of how clumsy i am)

haha, believe me, it’s a very Canadian thing! And that’s great really!

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I read your take on Canada with a smile on my face. I am Canadian and I too find GTA a place where you need car to move around. TO is different, there is a lot of good public transportation if you need it.

I hope you get to visit other parts of the country like the East coast (Newfoundland and Labrador in particular) as well as Vancouver island on the other side.

Best wishes,

I would love to visit other parts of Canada too, and to take the train across the country. Hopefully one day! :) All the best!

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I also like travelling I am glad to khow that you are liking travelling and visiting a lot of countries such as Canada and many others contry,so kindly tell me how can I get a Canadian visit visa at very low cost and 100 percent gurranted

I’m sorry but I don’t know. I didn’t need a visa when I went to Canada and I never had to research this information.

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Hi Kami, if you noticed Canada looks very American, it’s also because they film so many movies in Canada that take place in US! Many of the most popular Hollywood movies are filmed in Vancouver and Toronto, so Canada looks very familiar to people around the world. Also so many of the actors are Canadian too so the accents and voices of Canada are familiar as well.

Yes! Just the other day I was checking the filming location for one of the NYC-based movies and of course it was filmed in Toronto :)

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Lee Rushford

Try Winnipeg Manitoba…

Why not ;) I wouldn’t mind going there one day :)

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The Shooting Star

My First Impressions of Canada.

my first impression of canada essay

It’s been a little over three days since I arrived on the shores of Vancouver, wide-eyed to experience what the “west” is really like. Between battling jet lag, getting to know my fellow travel bloggers, and soaking in the sheer beauty of the maple leaf country, I’ve validated notions that I’ve subconsciously held of North America, and in a way, gotten to know my “travelling self” better.

On this cloudy morning, as I pen my first impressions of Canada, the rain drops are gently dripping on my window and the pine trees are swaying in the wind, perfectly encapsulating the start of my love affair with the great white north.

1. The Canadians live up to their reputation of being incredibly friendly.

From the lady who whipped out her iPhone to help me figure directions on a chilly night, to the security guard who walked me to the right exit, to the bus driver who let me go ticketless when I didn’t have enough small change, to the couple who helped me decode the way to a valley in east Vancouver, I’ve already had my fair share of random acts of kindness!

Canadian people, Canada culture, Canada photo gallery

2.  It’s a riot of colors.

And not in the way India is. Now in May, there’s still a hint of spring in Vancouver. Green, maroon and yellow trees stand in the foreground of deep green mountains, peaked in white snow, the grey mist occasionally playing hide and seek with them. Maple leaf trees line every other street in Vancouver, and while they’re green now, I can just about imagine how beautiful they’ll be in autumn, when they turn their signature red. So all those pictures of Canada that make people go, “wow”, I know now that they aren’t photoshopped.

Langley Vancouver, Canada countryside

3. Hollywood is spot on.

Naive as this might sound, my first impressions of North America are derived from Hollywood. And a part of me always wondered how fair that was, given just how inaccurately Bollywood often portrays India. But the posh residential suburbs of Vancouver that I ventured into yesterday, were right out of a Desperate Housewives set – designer homes with front lawns lining the street, soccer moms watching over their kids as they rode their bicycles and scooters! Then there were the not-so-posh neighborhoods, with four wheel drives parked outside dilapidated houses and tough-looking men sitting in the porch. I’m not trying to lump the US (where I’ve never been) and Canada together, but Hollywood had painted these images in my head a long time ago.

Vancouver suburbs, Canada city photos

4. “Comfort food” is local here.

I’ve always felt guilty about satisfying western food cravings in other countries, because local culinary experiences are what I’m after. That only means one thing – I’m binging on what’s considered “local food” in Canada, and it’s all delicious! Sandwiches, pastas, pancakes, waffles, you name it. And my cafe hopping can include even Tim Hortons, Canada’s version of Starbucks; got to indulge like the locals do, you know?

Canada vegetarian

5. Travelling in an English-speaking country is just not the same.

Surprising as it might sound, this is the first time in four years that I’m travelling to a country where the primary language is English; the last time was Australia in 2009. And I have to say I miss the challenge of getting by without a common language. The remote Black Sea countryside of Turkey, the small villages of southern Spain, and the interiors of Vietnam, were all special experiences because the warmth of the locals outdid the communication barriers.

Of course, being able to communicate easily with the locals means I get to swap so many more stories. Like an ex-armyman I met yesterday at New Westminster Quay who told me all about the 100-year-old boat he’s trying to restore and take sailing again. Or the couple I met at Capilano Suspension Bridge, who have spent the last seven years in a rainforest, training mighty birds like falcons and the great horned owl. You’re sure going to hear some interesting stories in the days to come!

New Westminster Vancouver, Vancouver boats, Vancouver river

What were (are) your first impressions of Canada and its people?

For real time travel stories, photos and tips from Canada, join The Shooting Star on  Facebook  and  Twitter .

Shivya Nath

Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.

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In search of vancouver’s wilderness., 33 comments.

Nice post! In some sense you have validated my observation. I was speaking to this American friend of mine..really close friend and I said “people from Western world are friendly but I think warmth is really not their thing”. He replied “Well, what is the difference?!!”. So yes…in my travels to the western world….I have always come across friendly people but warm people – none. I guess we have warmth to offer to the world and I am very proud of that. It also explains why any western person who comes to India always raves & raves about people in India (hotel staff, restaurant staff etc.)

As for Canadians – they really are some of the nicest people that are out there. Give ’em a bear hug 🙂

Thanks, Vinayakan

Interesting perspective. It’s too soon for me to judge the warmth from the friendliness – not just because I’ve only been here a few days but also because cities are never a good way to judge an entire people. Shall share my observations towards the end of the trip 🙂

Hi Shivya, I just sent you an email, but in case you aren’t able to check it…Let me know if you’re planning to travel to Ontario. Enjoy the west coast! Cheers, Betsy

Looking forward to meeting you in Toronto, Betsy!

Yes, Vancouverites are very friendly, nice and helpful. I just arrived her too from the States and am loving the city. It’s very bike-friendly and walkable, at least down on the Waterfront near Gastown, Chinatown, Robson Street (aka “Vancouver’s Runway”), etc. I’m looking forward to exploring more of this amazing beautiful city’s art, history and its local food scene too.

I agree. Wish I had more time to spend there, there was just so much to choose from! I’m sure you’ll have a ball exploring it. Let me know how it goes, and where I can read about your explorations!

So happy to hear your first impressions are positive ones. You are not wrong for having a ‘hollywood’ feeling. Many US movies and TV shows are filmed in Canada (mostly Vancouver and Toronto but also surrounding cities). Vancouver looks absolutely stunning and I need to make my way there myself asap. Looking forward to your posts about Toronto.

I could’ve sworn it felt like deja vu! You really have to make your way there soon 🙂 Looking forward to exploring Toronto soon too.

never been to Canada but loved reading your experience. So when I will go there, I will be less touristy and more open to enjoying Canada in its rawness.

Glad to hear that, Jas. In that case, you have to go to Jasper! It’s breathtaking.

beautiful place,and i think it is very comfortable to travel here.nicely described.waiting for ur next post.

It is, I agree! Got so much to write already, I don’t know where to start.

Yes challenge of not having a common language is different experience. I had this in Da Nang in Vietnam where very few people could speak english and I had the best time there. Of course sharing stories is much easier in English :). Looking forward to see rest of Canada. Are you planning to go to Niagra falls from Canada side. Have read that same waterfall is completely different from US and Canada 🙂

Oh yes, Vietnam is the epitome of that. I think I’m gradually easing into the common language bit; got so much to pen and share 🙂

The one thing that stuck with me here, after reading this is the “friendly people” part. I feel, what makes a place heaven for a traveler, are the native people. One cannot enjoy unless one feels welcome by the locals and the anecdotes I keep hearing from my cousin who has shifted there recently and after reading what you wrote about Canadians, my interest in visiting the place has increased many folds. 🙂

I absolutely agree, Namrota. I’m glad you’re going to be planning your own trip soon. You’re going to love it, not just because of the people and the food, but also the breathtaking beauty!

Ah! true that 🙂

It’s interesting that you are longing for the language barrier! I just got back home (to Australia) after three months in Europe, and by the end, the language difference no longer had the novelty factor. That said, it is always so amazing and humbling when you can successfully communicate with another person even though neither of you share the slightest nuggets of language in common!! Makes me all misty-eyed at our common humanity!

I guess I know what you mean; it’s a bit surprising that I’m actually longing for the barrier. Guess I’m gradually easing into it. I so agree about the misty eyed bit 🙂

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Beautiful post Shivya. I haven’t been to Canada but I am enjoying reading your experience. So in a way I am travelling through your posts 🙂

Thanks Shweta, glad I have your virtual company! Got so much to share from the last few days. Stay tuned 😉

Great place. I have never been to canda but after reading your post i think i should plan a trip to canda. Pictures are lovely. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! Looking forward for your more posts.

Thanks John! Greetings from Winnipeg! I’ve had a great time so far, and absolutely loved Jasper (a small mountain town in Alberta). You definitely a lot more time than I have here to explore the country. I’ve just scraped the surface in the last 10 days!

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Thanks for sharing for good post.blogging is the best to increasing business.

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I like your post and thank you for mentioning that we are so friendly up here in Canada. Next time you should visit Edmonton. It is really coming up as a tourist destination in Alberta. I am an avid hockey fan but also a fan of business entrepreneurs like Daryl Katz. His family pharmacy empire grew tenfold under his direction and management. He paid $200 million for the Edmonton Oilers . in 2008 and he is currently working to refocus his efforts to build Canada’s largest mixed use-sports and entertainment district. He is by far one of the most successful businessmen in North America. I am looking forward to seeing how he helps to take this team to the next level and what is next venture will be. He is really focusing on helping Edmonton become a fantastic tourist destination and the city has seen a huge jump in tourism.

I know this is an older post of yours, but it makes my heart happy 🙂

Vancouver’s home to me, (well more specifically a town near Langley) and I love hearing about what travellers enjoy when they visit 🙂

It really gives you a different perspective of home when you get to see others enjoying it as tourists! We take everything for granted when it’s what we’re used to…

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My First Day in Canada


I came to Canada from SriLanka in 2000. My first day in Canada started at Toronto airport. I will never forget that day. That day I felt very strange in the airport. There were so many people with different faces, skin colour, hair, clothes and languages. I met an immigration officer. He turned to me and said, "Welcome to Canada." I replied, "Thank you." I was very pleased to hear these words and he asked how do you feel. I replied, 'I'm happy and lucky." At that time my feelings were mixed. He understood my feelings. On my first day in Canada I had many experiences.

On my first day in Canada there were many surprises in my life. The weather, transportation, culture, medical system, taxes, houses and languages are different in my country. When I came to Canada, it was snowing in Toronto. That day was very beautiful. I had never seen snowfall. I was happy to be here but SriLanka is a hot country with no winter and no snowfall. Canada has different seasons and different weather.

In Canada transportation is very different from my country. Canadian transportation is very good and developed. Canada has many cultures and languages. On my first day in Canada I knew few English words. I like to speak with other people but I couldn't speak very well because I didn't know enough English. First I decided to study English and after that I would look for a job.

In Canada the medical system is very good. Canada has many hospitals and doctors. Canada has a health care system and we don't pay for medical care. My country has few hospitals and I paid money. In Canada the health care system is very good.

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Impressions of Montreal

Mont Royal, Montreal

Montreal has always been one of those cities that I’ve wanted to visit but just never made it happen. “What, you’ve never been to Montreal?!”, people would say to me totally a gasp. “It’s an amazing city, I love it, you have to go!”, they’d follow it up with. Yes, I’ll admit it; I’m one of those Canadians who has seen more of the world than my own country. So since returning to Canadian soil, I’ve made a promise to start exploring and discovering what Canada has to offer for travelers.

It’s funny how some of my travels come about because I find a great deal on transportation (case in point, my trip to New York City last September). Back in the spring, Via Rail was having a wicked sale; $25 one-way from Toronto. It doesn’t get any cheaper than that and after a quick discussion with Tristan, a weekend trip to Montreal was finally in the works.

We really didn’t have too much planned for our short time in the city, but knew that we wanted to eat great food, walk the streets of Old Montreal, and generally try to soak in the vibe of the city.

Throughout the course of the weekend, we meandered our way around Montreal checking out the Jean Talon Market and Notre Dame Basilica, hiked Mont Royal and enjoyed the view of the city from the Chalet, and took in a free walking tour of Old Montreal.

Churches in Montreal

My impressions were that of a youthful, energetic city with a strong emphasis on nurturing and showcasing art (in all its forms). It seemed like everyone was outdoors enjoying the weather with joggers and cyclists routinely passing us by. Young families strolled along the waterfront, couples enjoyed picnics in the parks, and friends were grabbing drinks on outdoor patios. The city felt alive.

Known as the festival city, Montreal puts on more than 100 festivals throughout the course of a year. And on the particular weekend we were visiting, there were 3 festivals happening simultaneously including the Mural Festival where artists were given the side of a building to showcase their work. It was amazing to watch these artists work their magic over the course of 4 days, transforming drab looking brick walls into an outdoor art gallery.

Mural Festival, Montreal

The city has a strong culinary scene and we made sure to taste it at every chance we had. When I asked about food we should try in the city, the overwhelming response was Shwartz’s, the place in the city to get smoked meat sandwiches. Luckily for us, we timed our visit between the lunch and dinner rushes and didn’t have to wait in their notorious long line-ups. Woo! Our food was served within 10 minutes and before you could say “pass the mustard”, I was left sitting there completely satisfied and impressed that it lived up to the hype.

Smoked Meat Sandwich in Montreal

Montreal is also one of the best spots in Canada to grab a plate of poutine, a combination of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy. It may not sound all that appetizing but let me tell you, it is and soaks up a night of drinking beautifully. We stopped in at La Banquise located on rue Rachel Est. Their menu boasts 30 varieties of poutine including ones called La Kamikaze, La T-Rex and La Three Amigos. The fries were crispy, portions were generous, and even tasted great cold the next morning.

Food in Montreal

We had really wanted to check out Olive + Gourmando in Old Montreal, but on our very last day, trudging through the pouring rain, we arrived for lunch only to find out it was closed for a commercial shoot. Sigh. I guess it’ll have to wait for the next visit then!

What I loved most about Montreal was how much it felt like I was far away in some other country, but really I was just a 5-hour train ride away from home. With French being the official language spoken (Tristan had a great time brushing up on his French speaking skills), and the old Gothic architecture throughout the city, it was easy to forget I was still in Canada. I was slightly thrown off whenever I would reach into my wallet to pay for something only to pull out my own Canadian currency. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were in a city in France.

Old Montreal

We found the people to be very hospitable and friendly, the public transportation was easy to navigate, and English was widely spoken. So getting around and interacting with Montrealers was easy-peasy, as I like to say.

Montreal is a popular destination with many options for every type of traveler. It’s easily accessible by train, bus, car, and plane.

A short weekend in Montreal definitely doesn’t do the city justice. I want to explore more of the diverse neighbourhoods, check out the craft beer scene, and learn more about the city’s history. Knowing now what a short and easy jaunt from Toronto is it, I’ll be keeping my eye out for more seat sales so I can plan my return visit.

Have you been to Montreal before? What other places do you recommend we should check out?

2 thoughts on “ Impressions of Montreal ”

I didn’t know Montreal had cobblestones. Is it strange of me that I love any place with wonky cobbles and sexy looking food like that? I live so close to Montreal but I haven’t ever been and this makes me want to go. Especially when you compare it to France 🙂

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Write@Home Winter 2015



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  • Previous Editions
  • My First Winter in Canada

My First Winter in Canada Author:   Nataliia D. Level:   4 Instructor:    Joseph N. Photo Credit:   surangaw / 123RF Stock Photo Article ID:   338  [Seasonal- Winter 2016]

Canadian flag and beautiful mountain landscape (canada)

Before moving to Canada I had limited knowledge about the country. For me, Canada was a country of maple syrup, hockey, many forests, extremely cold and snowy winters, and a lot of bears around. But now that I am in Canada, I would tell my impressions about Canadian winters.

I moved to Canada from Ukraine in September 2015. It was the right time to adjust to my first winter here. In preparation for the cold and snowy winter, I brought with me a winter coat, boots, gloves and hat to keep me warm. In Ukraine I lived in the northeastern part of the country, where we have a humid continental climate with moderately cold, snowy and long winters, which last about four to five months. The coldest months are January and February. The average winter temperature is around -10C, but sometimes the temperature drops to -20C. Here, in Canada, I live in the western part of British Columbia, 500km away from the Pacific Ocean. Our small village has a sunny winter with lots of snowfall and average temperatures of about -10C to -13C. Therefore, comparing Ukrainian and Canadian winters, I would say the winters are similar in general. I noticed that Canadian winters are more dry then Ukrainian ones because the humidity is low here.

The most interesting and wonderful parts of Canadian winters for me are their nature and wildlife. I had never seen such a beautiful scenery like here in winter. I had never seen so much wildlife approaching very close to my house in search of food.

Also, the most exciting part of Canadian winter is snowshoes. I saw snowshoes here for the first time in my life and I got some experience in snowshoeing. As I live in a private house with a huge property around, snowshoeing is a very important part of winter activities here. It seems everybody has snowshoes in our small village!

I am happy to live in the country with a similar climate to what I had before. I would probably miss the winter if I lived in a warm country. I really enjoyed my first winter in Canada with lots of snow, wildlife, snowshoeing, nature and lots of sunny days.


  • My first impression
  • First two months in Canada
  • All About Me


My first impression When I firstly came to Canada my impression about Canadian people, culture, was not that good, but I liked the educational system. I likes some other systems of the country also. When I meet Canadians I hated them because of their unfriendly attitude. I thought when I will start the school  my Canadian  classmates will ask me where I am from? Am I liking their country or not? But, they even did not look at me!!!!!!!! I am from Bangladesh , a country which is known for it's hospitality. In Bangladesh if any new student come to the school all the students in a group or separately come to you and welcome you. If you join a office then also the old people of the office ask you about yourself. After coming from that country it was difficult for me to take people around me who are always busy with their computer, Internet, cell phone, and their personal life. I could not take people having no curiosity about each other. I found then smiling all the time, but that was not enough to impress me. Then, I had to experience Canadian culture . I knew something about western culture, because it is really a famous culture. I will not say I felt very bad about it. It also did not impress me a lot. Food was spiceless, dressing style was okay, festivals like Christmas , Halloween were not much colourful like the Bangladeshi festivals.   I liked the educational system though. The teachers were very helpful, polite and funny. Not just teachers  I found Canadians really funny. I liked the varieties work, because in my Bangladesh we do the same type of work again and  again. I struggled a lot with those different works, but at the end of the day I would be happy after learning something new. So, I had good expression   about Canadian educational system, but not much good expressions about Canadians, and their culture. There is a saying in English, “First impression is last impression.” But, about Cana dians and Canadian culture my first expressions was not the last.

my first impression of canada essay

3 Essays on Canada that Carve Out a Deeper Understanding of the Country!

Canada, a mosaic of landscapes, cultures, and histories, is a captivating subject of exploration. In this collection, we delve into three distinct aspects of this diverse nation.

From its breathtaking wilderness to its multicultural society and rich history, these essays provide a glimpse into the multifaceted tapestry that defines Canada.

Essay 1: Why is Canada a Good Place to Live and Work

Canada, with its picturesque landscapes, vibrant cities, and diverse culture, stands as an attractive destination for individuals seeking a better quality of life and ample opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Its reputation as a welcoming and progressive nation is not unfounded, as it is supported by a multitude of factors that contribute to making Canada a prime choice for living and working.

One of the foremost reasons that make Canada a great place to live and work is its commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The country is often celebrated as a cultural mosaic, where people from various ethnic backgrounds coexist harmoniously.

This commitment to diversity is beautifully epitomized in cities like Toronto, where one can experience a tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions. Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, succinctly captures this ethos, stating, “Canada is strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them.”

This emphasis on celebrating differences has resulted in an open and accepting society that welcomes immigrants and fosters a sense of belonging.

Furthermore, Canada’s robust healthcare and education systems add to its allure. The country offers universal healthcare, ensuring that every citizen and permanent resident has access to essential medical services.

This safety net provides peace of mind to residents, knowing that their health concerns will be addressed without facing crippling financial burdens. In the realm of education, Canada boasts world-class institutions that consistently rank among the top globally.

The quality of education, coupled with the multicultural environment, attracts students from around the world, creating a dynamic and intellectually stimulating atmosphere.

Canada’s natural beauty is another undeniable draw. From the breathtaking Rocky Mountains to the serene shores of its many lakes, the country offers a plethora of outdoor activities and a chance to reconnect with nature.

The preservation of its environment is a testament to Canada’s commitment to sustainable practices and high quality of life. The words of renowned environmentalist David Suzuki ring true in this context: “Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts.

Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.” The emphasis on protecting the environment for future generations underscores the nation’s dedication to both its citizens and the world at large.

Economically, Canada stands as a stable and prosperous nation. Its thriving industries, such as technology, natural resources, and finance, provide ample employment opportunities.

The country’s sound economic policies and prudent financial regulations have shielded it from the worst impacts of global economic downturns. This stability ensures job security and a promising future for those who choose to build their careers within its borders.

In addition, Canada’s commitment to social welfare is admirable. The Canadian social safety net includes unemployment benefits, affordable housing programs, and support for families and seniors.

This safety net promotes social cohesion and alleviates financial stress during challenging times. Former Canadian Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson, encapsulated this sentiment: “We are not here to boast; we are here to do a job.” This dedication to serving the needs of its citizens speaks volumes about the nation’s values and priorities.

In conclusion, Canada’s well-deserved reputation for quality living and work is supported by diversity, healthcare, education, nature, stability, and welfare. A prime choice for a fulfilling life, Canada’s allegiance to citizens shines as a global opportunity beacon.

Essay 2: Refugees in Canada: A Path to Hope and Opportunity

Canada, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and diverse culture, has also gained international recognition for its compassionate approach toward refugees.

The topic of refugees in Canada is one that has sparked both admiration and intrigue. In this essay, we will explore the country’s exceptional stance on refugee resettlement, the impact of refugees on Canadian society, and the role of global leaders in promoting this humanitarian cause.

Canada’s commitment to providing a safe haven for refugees is emblematic of its values and principles. Over the years, the Canadian government has consistently demonstrated its dedication to welcoming those fleeing conflict and persecution. The Canadian refugee resettlement program, which has been praised worldwide, is a testament to the nation’s belief in offering a second chance to those in need.

As former Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aptly stated, “Canada is a country built on immigration, and that diversity only makes us stronger.” These words encapsulate the essence of Canada’s approach to refugees, portraying them not as a burden, but as valuable contributors to the nation’s fabric.

In recent years, Canada has witnessed the profound impact of refugees on its society and economy. Far from being a mere humanitarian gesture, the integration of refugees has enriched Canada culturally, socially, and economically.

According to a study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, immigrants, including refugees, play a crucial role in fostering innovation and driving economic growth. Their unique experiences and perspectives contribute to a vibrant tapestry of ideas, propelling Canada forward in an increasingly interconnected world.

This sentiment is echoed by entrepreneur and philanthropist, Elon Musk, who remarked, “The value of immigrants to the U.S. economy and to innovation is pretty much unassailable.” This sentiment holds true for Canada as well, as refugees continue to invigorate various sectors and communities across the country.

Furthermore, Canada’s support for refugees extends beyond its borders, signaling its commitment to global solidarity. The nation’s participation in international efforts to address the refugee crisis exemplifies its role as a responsible global citizen.

Former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, praised Canada for being a “model for other countries,” highlighting its dedication to finding sustainable solutions for displaced populations.

Canada’s engagement in diplomatic initiatives and financial contributions underscores its belief in collective action and the importance of shouldering the responsibility of refugee protection on a global scale.

In conclusion, Canada shines as a beacon of compassion, offering hope and setting a global example with its welcoming approach to refugees. Through sanctuary, positive societal impact, and international engagement, Canada’s inclusivity and humanity stand out. Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai’s words remind us of the world-changing power of education. Canada’s embrace of refugees parallels this, providing a new book, a fresh start, and the chance to rewrite life stories. In doing so, Canada not only transforms refugees’ lives but also reshapes its own narrative, rooted in empathy, understanding, and the limitless potential of human resilience.

Essay 3: Multiculturalism In Canada

Multiculturalism, a concept that celebrates diversity and fosters inclusivity, has become a defining feature of modern societies. Canada, often cited as a paragon of multiculturalism, stands as a shining example of how a nation can embrace various cultures while maintaining social cohesion. This essay delves into the significance of multiculturalism in Canada, exploring its historical roots, societal implications, and the lessons it offers to the world.

Canada’s embrace of multiculturalism can be traced back to its history of immigration and settlement. Waves of immigrants from diverse corners of the globe have shaped the nation’s cultural fabric.

The policy of multiculturalism was officially recognized in 1971 when the Canadian government adopted the Multiculturalism Policy of Canada. This policy not only acknowledges the importance of cultural diversity but also promotes equality and social harmony among all citizens, irrespective of their backgrounds.

One of the remarkable aspects of Canada’s multiculturalism is its positive impact on society. Rather than creating isolated enclaves, multiculturalism has encouraged communities to interact, share, and learn from one another.

The result is a rich tapestry of traditions, languages, and perspectives that contribute to the nation’s dynamism. For instance, in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, one can find neighborhoods where Chinese markets coexist with Indian restaurants, creating a fusion of flavors and experiences that reflect the global village we live in.

In the words of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, “A society that emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.” This sentiment underscores the wisdom of embracing multiculturalism.

When individuals are encouraged to express their unique identities, they are more likely to feel valued and respected, reducing the potential for social tensions. The Canadian approach of recognizing and celebrating diverse cultures has led to a society where citizens proudly identify with their heritage while also considering themselves Canadian.

However, multiculturalism is not without its challenges. Striking a balance between preserving cultural traditions and fostering a unified national identity can be intricate. Some critics argue that multicultural policies may inadvertently lead to cultural silos, hindering the assimilation of immigrants into the broader society.

To address this concern, it is crucial to promote activities that facilitate cross-cultural interactions, such as cultural festivals, language exchange programs, and collaborative community initiatives.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan once remarked, “Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue, and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected.”

Canada’s commitment to multiculturalism aligns with this sentiment, offering a model for nations grappling with issues of identity and diversity. As countries face the challenges of globalization and increasing cultural intermingling, the Canadian experience underscores the importance of nurturing an environment where individuals from various backgrounds can coexist harmoniously.

In conclusion, Canada’s multiculturalism shines as a beacon of unity in our divided world. Its history, policies, and societal harmony showcase the power of embracing diversity. Canada celebrates differences, inspiring an inclusive global community. Let’s learn from this model and build a world that thrives on understanding and diversity. endeavor to create a global community that thrives on diversity and understanding.

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Prepare For Canada

How Newcomers Can Make a Great First Impression

by Amy Zahran | Feb 1, 2019 | Support services to settle in Canada

Newcomer to Canada

As you prepare to set off from your home country to come to Canada as a newcomer, it’s important to make a great first impression. You may be feeling a little nervous.  Don’t worry, as soon as I got my confirmation of permanent residence I felt the same way.  One thing that I was particularly concerned about was how I was going to make a good first impression with my neighbors and my colleagues.  With just a little bit of research, I was able to find out as much as I could about Canadian culture.


First impressions as a newcomer are important

As a newcomer to Canada, you will find that you are meeting new people all the time.  I found this to be a little scary at first, but after a few social events, I grew very confident in my elevator pitch.  If you are unfamiliar with what an elevator pitch is it’s a short two-minute introduction about yourself.

Once you have your elevator pitch, you will be able to clearly and confidently introduce yourself in any situation.  You should practice this a little so you know what you are going to say when someone inevitably asks you where you’re from and how you came to Canada. You can also prepare an elevator pitch to describe your professional background.

Moving to Canada soon? Join our free webinar with Next Stop Canada for information for a successful start!  

Your First Weeks In Canada: Featuring Panelists from the YMCA

Tips to make the best first impression 

  • Wear clean and tidy clothing. Buy clothing that works well together, and easily mix and match
  • Wear clothes that are the right size and style for your body, and suitable for the occasion
  • Clean, shined shoes are a must
  • Always be groomed properly by showering, using deodorant, and having clean nails, neat hair, and appropriate makeup
  • Eye contact is valued in Canada as a sign of paying attention, focusing, and showing respect
  • Have good posture and stand straight during introductions and when shaking hands
  • Be aware of your non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions. Make an effort to smile!
  • Be attentive to your choice of words by being positive and supportive
  • Be courteous and respectful to others and yourself.

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  • Benefits of Living in a Small City
  • First Things to do after Landing in Canada
  • How to Access Free Healthcare in Canada

Tips for attending a business lunch

Depending on which industry you’re in you may find that you are invited out to business lunches.  At my first job in Canada, I had to go to lots of these.  I actually got to quite like them as even though we did talk a lot about business, there is also a relaxed social component to the lunch as well.  Being a newcomer to Canada actually helped me as it was something I could talk about with ease.  As with anything that I have done in Canada, practice makes perfect.

Here are some great tips to ensure that your first few business lunches in Canada as a newcomer go well:

  • Choose a restaurant or location that is convenient for both of you
  • Make reservations
  • Confirm with both the restaurant and your lunch date a couple of days before
  • Arrive earlier and wait for your party before you take your seat
  • Food is not a priority here; do not experiment on a new or messy dish such as lobster. Order something simple, light, and easy to eat.
  • Make your client or colleague feel comfortable to indulge in a cocktail or wine, but refrain if they decide to pass. If you’re meeting with a potential employer, don’t drink alcohol
  • . Wait on the topic of business until you have ordered. Engage in small talk first.  This is the opportunity to get to know them, to build trust, and improve your relationship
  • No cell phones on the table; do not text or even glance at your phone
  • Be mindful of your cutlery; work your way from outside in toward your dish. The butter dish is on the left and the drinks are on the right
  • Put your napkin on your lap, and do not point or gesture with your cutlery. Chew with your mouth closed and no talking with your mouth full. Use your best table manners!
  • Pay the bill with your credit card, as it is usually the simplest and most professional looking. Servers will typically ask if you will be splitting the bill.

Remember that you need to always put your best foot forward. You will be interacting with people who are already well established and are comfortable with Canadian workplace culture and social etiquette.  The trick is to stay positive and be confident!

For more information to help you prepare for your successful life in Canada, be sure to view our upcoming free webinars !


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Study in Canada: College application essay tips

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Once you have chosen where you want to study in Canada , the next step is the application process.

This may include writing a college application essay. With a solid plan and by adhering to some principles, your college application essay is more likely to stand out among the pile.

The application process to study in Canada

Contact the college or university you want to go to and ask them details about the application process. Oftentimes, they will have a prepared kit that’s going to help you with information such as:

  • Tuition fees
  • Cost for applying
  • The prices of rent and lifestyle in Canada
  • Any required language tests
  • Information regarding the college application essay

Complete the application from your chosen school, and use the instructions provided to submit it. You’ll have to wait for a letter of acceptance, which will then allow you to apply for a Canadian study permit .

But in order to make an awesome impression and raise your chances of being approved, your college application essay has to be exceptional. Your essay represents an important component of the overall admission process.

1. Understand what they’re looking for

You must do your homework and find out the psychology behind the way admission officers react when dealing with applications. There are few key elements that can make you their preferred candidate.

If you look like you’re about to succeed no matter what once you’re admitted, this will be a huge plus. Also, you should be a profitable investment and contribution to the overall society of the college or university.

2. Determine the goals of your essay

College application essay

After a higher rank reads your application, you will leave the first impression on the table. You must be careful of the impression you give. How do you want to be perceived by the school board? What can you say that could lead to a better characterization of your aptitudes?

It’s important that you write your essay while still staying focused on your desired end-result effect.

3. Show your language usage skills

Even though it’s not always recommended to use fancy words during essays, in this case it may just work fine. You need to prove the reader of your essay that you can express yourself using proper language and a diverse range of words and phrases.

You should also not allow mistakes during your essay. Here’s an awesome website called Grammar Monster that lets you check your grammar problems and learn more on how to stop making those mistakes.

4. Proofread your college application essay

You might think that your essay has no grammar or punctuation mistakes, but even professional writers make mistakes from time to time. I really believe that allowing a professional essay writing service to proofread your writing is a good investment.

EduGeeksClub offers a variety of services such as editing and proofreading.

By letting a proofreading expert take a look at your college application essay, you may improve your chances of being approved.

5. Specific details matter

Your college application essay should be on-subject and specific. You never want to bore the person reading it, so unnecessary information should be left out.

If you write about a specific experience from your past, make it as concise as possible.

If you want to see some examples and learn more about how you can improve your essay, I’d suggest checking out Shmoop: College 101 , where you’ll find specific examples and helpful recommendations on application essay writing.

6. Out-of-the-box thinking

In a society where everyone copy and pastes, you’ll be much appreciated if you can do things differently. In order to be different, you need to start thinking “outside the box.”

Your essay should also contain out-of-the-box ideas and experiences. If you can show them you are special, you will be perceived differently.

7. Don’t miss deadlines

Each school where you can study in Canada has different rules and deadlines. Missing deadlines is one of the biggest mistakes you could make. You’re risking your chances of being approved, because they either stop checking late submissions, or you’ll be perceived as a student who lacks discipline. Either way, it’s not a good way to present yourself.

If you want to study in Canada, the admission process is quite easy and straightforward compared to the process in the United States. But that doesn’t really mean that it’s easier to be approved as a student. You need to take care of the way you create your overall submission.

Your college application essay should “shine” in order for you to get noticed and taken into consideration.

Karen Dikson

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  • Visit the Moving2Canada study section .

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how to make a great first impression in an interview?

First impressions matter. People will make a lot of assumptions about you within the first few seconds of meeting you. It’s human nature. One of the most important first impressions you will make is during a job interview.

Those first few seconds can play a big role in how the rest of the interview will proceed. You need to be the best version of yourself from the second you start interacting with the interviewer. 

With this in mind, we’ve created a list of 7 things to keep in mind to help you make the most of the first 5 seconds of a job interview, and make a positive impression:

1. arrive on time

This is an obvious one. Always be on time for job interviews. If possible, be a few minutes early. It’s important to respect other people’s time. 

And if you are late, even by a couple of minutes, you are already hurting your chances of getting a call for another interview or job offer. People will assume this could be a sign of things to come. 

Two smiling woman sitting on a window sill chatting and having coffee.

2. be ready for anything

It is tough to know how an interview will start, so be ready for anything. Be ready for it to start with small talk and the common interview questions. The interviewer can also  jump right with a hard line of questioning . Be prepared for all types of conversation (don’t forget to bring copies of your resume and visit the company website to familiarize yourself with their mission).

3. dress like a professional 

Appearance matters. Avoid wearing anything inappropriate.   Always dress like a professional . The type of clothing required to fit the part will vary. 

To make a good impression, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the company culture so that you can adhere to the dress code and meet the expectations set by the company.

Dress for the job you want, even if you are taking part in a video job interview. The same rules apply for dressing and appearance when meeting people on video. 

4. sit up straight and be aware of your body language

The perception other people have of you has a lot to do with how you present yourself, particularly your posture. Try to always maintain good posture. Be aware of your facial expressions and body language. Maintain eye contact and engage with the hiring manager.

These are nonverbal cues that interviewers will use to make assumptions about you. For example, those with good posture appear confident, while those who slouch appear less engaged and awkward.

want to dazzle your prospective employer in your next job interview?

Gain a competitive edge by exploring our expert tips and strategies. From acing common interview questions to making a lasting impression, we've got you covered. 

5. take a deep breath beforehand and stay calm

A job interview can be nerve-wracking. It’s common for people to have jitters and feel anxious beforehand. Take a deep breath and collect yourself beforehand. This will help you re-focus and start your interview on the right foot. And then, answer the question directly and effectively.

6. greet your interviewer

This is another obvious tip. But it’s worth repeating. Always greet your interviewer right away. Smile and use a friendly and welcoming tone. This can help you establish rapport and get things started positively.

7. show enthusiasm and happiness to be at the interview

Having positive energy is contagious. People are attractive and more likely to engage with people on a deeper level if they have good energy. Show your enthusiasm for the opportunity and be appreciative of the job interview opportunity you have received.

8. be yourself!

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to always be yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone you are not. Be your authentic self throughout the interview.

Being on time, looking professional, holding your head high, and greeting your interviewer warmly will help you get the most out of the first 5 seconds of your interview. It will also set the tone for what is to come.

If you are on the job interview circuit and looking to make a career move, contact one of our recruiters today to explore job opportunities in your area.

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My first day in Canada


  • Word count: 634
  • Category: Canada

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I have just come off the plane. I finally have arrived and brought all my dreams here in Canada. I didn’t know much about Canada but I knew exactly that Canada looked like USA at least about life and culture. The Montreal airport was very beautiful, big and modern with noise at all. Suddenly I felt lonely in this strange world and kind of disappointed because it was not like as things I expected before. There were so many people around me, and they seemed to be in a hurry, but I didn’t know why, I thought that they might not have time to think about silly things like me right now.

So I tried to find my luggage and checked out formality to leave airport. I crossed a big hall and stop at a line where everybody stopped and waited to check out with airport officers. I took almost one hour to finish this before continue to check out at another place. It was horrible time but airport officers were really nice as they were. I smelled coffee and broiled meat somewhere and it made me so hungry. After all, I felt better and go to in the front door of the airport to seek my relative.

Finally I saw them at a corner and they were really happy when they saw me and welcome me to Canada. My aunt and uncle have lived in Canada for ten years and I really hoped them very much with all my trust. Out of the airport, in the afternoon, it was raining and so cold, so I had to put on my jacket and felt uncomfortable with the weather because I hated coldness and humidness at all. The air was really fresh but the sky was gray and cloudy. That day was not really a good day to enjoy this new country.

I was following my uncle and aunt to a parking, then put my luggage into the car and started a trip to Ottawa where I will live in years. Not so long, they drove the car on highway and always be on high speed. The atmosphere became more cold and quiet. Two side of trees appeared and smell of trees came to my nose. Nothing made me more enthusiastic because I knew this tired trip will take more two hours to end. Sound of the wind blows strongly through glass door of the car and made me fall sleep.

After a long while, I woke and see the sky and everything around me were dark with a little bit electric light on road and in buildings. It was eight o’clock and my uncle said that we will come home very soon. This was Ottawa and we were crossing a bridge to come to Gatineau. I will live in Quebec and study in Ottawa, that will fun I think. I couldn’t realize anything because they are dark, not noisy and absolutely not like anything I expected before. Not much light, not many cars, not many people on road and I thought the night here will not be interesting like my country.

Soon we stopped in the front of the door of my uncle and aunt. The house was really nice even in night when I looked at the house. At that time I knew that I will have to live in long time to finish my plans in this strange place with very different things. I will have time to discover things which I will live with them but that day was my first day in Canada, and I didn’t wanted to think too much at first day because I will start a new life tomorrow not to day, not first day. Everything changes every day but with me, the first day in Canada is always in my mind.

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Ielts essay # 1188 - your first impressions when you meet someone are always right, ielts writing task 2/ ielts essay:, some people say that your first impressions when you meet someone are always right., to what extent do you agree with this statement.

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Middle East Crisis As Ramadan Nears Its End, Relief Remains Elusive in Gaza

  • Share full article
  • Palestinians return to Khan Younis after Israel withdrew some of its ground forces from southern Gaza. Associated Press
  • A Palestinian doctor inspecting damage at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. Haitham Imad/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • The Jordanian armed forces airdropping aid over Gaza. Alaa Al Sukhni/Reuters
  • A burial in Rafah, in southern Gaza. Mohammed Salem/Reuters
  • Women prepare cookies for Eid al-Fitr at a shelter in Deir al Balah, in central Gaza. Associated Press
  • Destroyed buildings following airstrikes in Khan Younis. Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images
  • Treating the injured at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah. Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • An Israeli tank near the Gaza border. Leo Correa/Associated Press

Active fighting has ebbed, but Gazans still face extreme hardship.

In early March, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began amid dashed hopes that negotiators would reach a deal for a pause in the fighting in Gaza.

On Tuesday, as weeks of fasting were drawing to a close, the pace of the war had slowed. But the prospect of relief and peace of any duration in the embattled territory remained elusive.

Cease-fire talks are still sputtering , Hamas has dismissed the likelihood of a deal and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has doubled down on his vow to invade Rafah, the final stretch of the Gaza Strip that his military has yet to push into.

“We will complete the elimination of Hamas’s battalions, including in Rafah,” he said on Tuesday . “No force in the world will stop us.”

For weeks, allies and the international community have been warning Israel that a move into Rafah would result in a humanitarian calamity. But Mr. Netanyahu’s remarks to military recruits on Tuesday — a day after proclaiming “there is a date” for the planned Rafah invasion — made clear he remained undeterred.

Hamas, in a statement on the messaging app Telegram early Tuesday, said it was reviewing the latest cease-fire proposal, even though its demands had not been met. Egypt, Qatar and the United States have been mediating the negotiations.

Active fighting in the 140-square-mile enclave has ebbed to its lowest point since November. Israel withdrew troops from southern Gaza over the weekend, allowing some people to return to survey their homes in the southern city of Khan Younis, only to find much of it annihilated.

Analysts said the pullback of troops signaled a new phase of the war rather than the likelihood of an enduring cease-fire. Israeli leaders said the withdrawal was a result of their military’s achievements on the battlefield.

Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan , will begin in Gaza on Wednesday. Under normal circumstances it’s a holiday filled with family visits, new clothes and sweet treats.

But this year, Gazans are facing Eid under the pall of widespread hunger and extreme shortages of basic necessities, on top of the destruction and death that have touched all corners of the enclave in six months of war. During the month of Ramadan, about 2,000 people were killed in the fighting, bringing the toll to more than 33,000 lives lost since the war began on Oct. 7, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its statistics.

COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for coordinating aid deliveries into Gaza, said 419 trucks with humanitarian aid had entered the territory on Monday, the largest number since the outbreak of the conflict. Before the war, an average of 500 commercial and aid trucks entered each day, the level that aid agencies say is needed.

On Monday, the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and France urged an immediate cease-fire in Gaza in a joint opinion essay published in The Washington Post and other publications, citing the “catastrophic humanitarian suffering” and “intolerable human toll” brought on by the war.

King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Emmanuel Macron of France and President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi of Egypt together called for a two-state solution for the Palestinians, saying it was the only credible path to peace, and warned Israel against invading Rafah.

“Such an offensive would only bring more death and suffering, heighten the risks and consequences of mass displacement of the people of Gaza and threaten regional escalation,” they wrote in the essay.

Cassandra Vinograd contributed reporting.

— Victoria Kim

With fighting at a lull, workers are combing the grounds of Al-Shifa Hospital for the dead.

Video player loading

United Nations workers and Gazan health officials returned to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Monday to begin burying the unidentified remains of scores of people who died there during a 12-day Israeli raid on the complex in March.

The raid pitted Israeli soldiers against Gazan gunmen and drew international condemnation, as did an earlier incursion into the hospital by Israeli forces in November.

But the battle in March reduced what was once the Gaza Strip’s largest health care facility to ruins. On Monday it was a scene of shattered concrete, buildings stripped of their facades, overturned cars and a half-crushed ambulance. In the air hung the stench of dead bodies.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization, said on Tuesday that aid workers had found bodies covered by only rough plastic sheets or partially buried under mounds of dirt. He said they were making sure that bodies found at the hospital “were given fuller burials on site or at a nearby area."

“When the dead are buried properly, they can be identified later with forensic examinations, giving loved ones some consolation,” Dr. Ghebreyesus said. “This war is a moral failure of humanity.”

Israeli officials have said that their forces raided Al-Shifa last month because remnants of Hamas’s military wing had regrouped there after Israel’s withdrawal in January.

That reflects what some analysts have argued is a strategic failure: Israel has been unwilling to administer captured territory in Gaza, but has also been unwilling to turn it over to a non-Hamas Palestinian group. That has created the kind of power vacuum in which militant groups can thrive.

Gazan officials have said that hundreds of civilians were killed in the raid, an accusation that Israel has denied. It says the Israeli military killed about 200 fighters and captured 500 more. The New York Times has not been able to independently verify either account.

Video player loading

In a video posted online by Dr. Ghebreyesus, aid workers can be seen picking through the rubble of the hospital and removing at least two bodies.

Dr. Mustasem Salah, a Gazan medical official, says in the video that identifications have been done in part by using wallets or other identifying possessions found on the bodies.

“The psychological impact of the scene on the families is unbearable,” he says. “Seeing their children as decomposing corpses, and their bodies completely torn apart, is a scene that cannot be described.”

— Liam Stack


At the top U.N. court, Germany fights allegations of aiding genocide in Gaza.

Germany on Tuesday defended itself at the International Court of Justice against accusations that its arms shipments to Israel were furthering genocide in Gaza, arguing that most of the equipment it has supplied since Oct. 7 was nonlethal and that it has also been one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

At the U.N. court in The Hague, lawyers for Germany said that the allegations brought by Nicaragua had “no basis in fact or law” and rested on an assessment of military conduct by Israel, which is not a party to the case.

“Germany firmly rejects Nicaragua’s accusations,” Tania von Uslar-Gleichen, an official at Germany’s Foreign Ministry and lead counsel in the case, told the 15-judge bench, adding that Nicaragua had “rushed this case to court on the basis of flimsiest evidence.”

On Monday, Nicaragua had argued that Germany was facilitating the commission of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza by providing Israel with military and financial aid, and it asked for emergency measures ordering the German government to halt its support. The court is expected to decide within weeks whether to issue emergency measures.

The proceedings, which concluded Tuesday, were the third time in recent months that the U.N. court became a forum for nations to put pressure on Israel and support Palestinians.

Earlier this year, the court heard arguments by South Africa that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza and ordered the Israeli government to take steps to prevent such atrocities. The court has not ruled on whether genocide was in fact taking place, an allegation that Israel has strongly denied.

The latest case, brought by a Nicaraguan government that itself has been widely accused of repression and human rights violations, has placed a spotlight on Germany, Israel’s second-largest arms supplier after the United States. Germany’s leadership calls support for Israel a “Staatsräson,” a national reason for existence, as a way of atoning for the Holocaust.

But the mounting death toll and humanitarian crisis in Gaza have led some German officials to ask whether that backing has gone too far.

Lawyers for Germany urged the court to throw out the case. They argued that Germany has tried to balance the interests of both Israel and the Palestinians, and presented figures showing that Berlin was among the largest individual donors to the U.N. and other agencies that provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“Germany has always been a strong supporter of the rights of the Palestinian people,” Ms. von Uslar-Gleichen said. “This is, alongside Israel’s security, the second principle that has guided Germany’s response to the Middle East conflict in general, and to its current escalation in particular.”

In 2023, Germany approved arms exports to Israel valued at 326.5 million euros, or about $353.7 million, according to figures published by the economics ministry. That is roughly 10 times the sum approved the previous year.

Germany’s legal team argued on Tuesday that most of its exports were nonlethal support, such as protective gear, communications equipment and defense equipment against chemical hazards . Christian Tams, a lawyer for Germany, denied Nicaragua’s claims that Germany had increased weapons supplies to Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, saying that since then “no artillery shells, no munitions had been licensed.”

“The picture presented by Nicaragua is at best inaccurate, and at worst it is a deliberate misrepresentation of the actual situation,” he said.

While it was not possible to independently verify the figures presented by Mr. Tams, they were roughly in line with those provided earlier this year by the German government, in response to a question from a lawmaker, when it said that only about 6 percent of its military exports to Israel were for what it called “weapons of war.”

Critics have said that there is little distinction between the types of weapons provided to Israel while it is at war. On Monday, Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, Nicaragua’s ambassador to the Netherlands, told the court that “it does not matter if an artillery shell is delivered straight from Germany to an Israeli tank shelling a hospital” or goes to replenish Israel’s stockpiles.

Pieter D. Wezeman, a senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks global arms exports, said the German position is in line with typical arms exports to Israel.

“While they don’t do the killing directly, they are an essential part of the overall system, the armed forces of a country, which actually make it possible to engage in warfare,” he said.

Lawyers say that Germany is an easier target for a suit than is the United States, by far Israel’s main military supporter . Germany has granted full jurisdiction to the International Court of Justice. But the United States denies its jurisdiction, except in cases where Washington explicitly gives its consent.

— Marlise Simons ,  Christopher F. Schuetze and Erika Solomon

In Germany, discomfort with Israel’s conduct of the war in Gaza is growing.

Even before the International Court of Justice this week heard arguments that Germany was aiding a genocide in Gaza by supplying weapons to Israel, there was growing concern in Berlin over its strong support for Israel during the war.

Some analysts have suggested that, as outrage at the civilian death toll in the war has grown around the world, the perception of Berlin’s unconditional support for Israel has damaged other important international relationships. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock recently said that Germany would send a delegation to Israel as a reminder of the duty to abide by international humanitarian law.

Stefan Talmon, a professor of international law at the University of Bonn, said that the initial news that Nicaragua would take Germany to the U.N. court in The Hague “put the plight of the Palestinians more in the sight of ordinary Germans.” The case, he said, has provided a rare opportunity for some Germans to discuss their discomfort with the Israeli offensive, which Gazan health authorities say has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians.

Debate over Israel’s war in Gaza has long been muted in Germany, where support for Israel is seen as an inviolable part of the country’s atonement for the Holocaust. Analysts say that Germans have historically been reluctant to question their country’s support for Israel publicly lest they be accused of being antisemitic.

“There is always this concern over how not to slide into antisemitism, but there shouldn’t be this atmosphere where we can’t have this debate at all,” said Sudha David-Whilp, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Berlin. “This may not be unique to Germany but also many democracies who see a need to defend other democracies like Israel but at the same time want to make sure their values are respected.”

Still, it has been jarring for Germany to be taken to court to answer charges of abetting a genocide. German officials have long maintained that the country’s past crimes give it a special duty to protect against future genocides.

Although Germany strongly rejected the accusations from Nicaragua at the court on Tuesday, analysts say that the government is slowly toughening its stance toward Israel in any case, not because of the court case, but largely because of growing criticism of Israel’s conduct of the war from its main ally, the United States.

Some German news media said it was absurd that Germany should have to answer to accusations from Nicaragua, which is led by the President Daniel Ortega, an authoritarian whose government is widely accused of repression.

One opinion article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily newspaper noted that Mr. Ortega has often used heavy-handed tactics against perceived enemies. For instance, the newspaper said, Mr. Ortega shut down street celebrations of the victory of a Nicaraguan in the Miss Universe pageant over concerns that they could lead to a coup attempt.

“Ortega, of all people, now appears to want to campaign internationally for the observance of human rights,” the newspaper said.

— Erika Solomon reporting from Berlin

Israel and the U.N. can’t agree on how much aid reached Gaza this week.

Israel said on Tuesday that it had increased the amount of aid it had allowed into the Gaza Strip over the previous 48 hours, arguing that it was complying with demands from the United States as well as the United Nations to address a hunger crisis that verges on famine.

But the main U.N. agency that helps civilians in Gaza, UNRWA, questioned that claim, saying there had only been a “modest increase” in aid flowing through the two main crossing points in southern Gaza lately — and no sign of the big push needed to alleviate hunger in the north of the territory, which is the epicenter of the crisis.

Israel’s agency that oversees policy for the Palestinian territories, known as COGAT, said 741 trucks of humanitarian aid had entered Gaza on Sunday and Monday combined, calling that an “unprecedented number.”

Shimon Freedman, a spokesman for COGAT, said he had no comment on when the country would open two more ways for aid to reach Gaza, as it promised to do last week in response to pressure from President Biden: a crossing at Erez in the north, and the nearby Israeli port of Ashdod.

Lloyd J. Austin III, the U.S. defense secretary, again urged Israel on Monday to significantly increase the amount of aid that flows into Gaza. On Tuesday, the American secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, speaking at a news conference in Washington, D.C., with the British foreign minister, said Israel had stepped up its aid to civilians in Gaza, with 400 aid trucks on Monday.

But Mr. Blinken warned that the increase in aid must be “sustained for as long as it takes to put in place something more permanent” after the war ends. He added the United States wants to see 350 trucks entering Gaza each day by later this week, a figure that is roughly triple the number that were entering each day earlier in the conflict.

Israel imposes stringent checks on incoming aid to keep out anything that might help Hamas, which it has pledged to eliminate. Humanitarian groups say this bottleneck, and a lack of security for aid convoys, have been the major barriers to distributing aid within Gaza.

But Israel says that there is no bottleneck, and that it is the fault of the U.N. and aid agencies if aid is not reaching people, because they are not providing it and handing it out quickly enough.

“The capabilities are there, so if they send more aid we are willing to inspect it and facilitate it into the Gaza Strip,” said Mr. Freedman.

“There’s lots of different ways, lots of different steps that they can take in order to increase their distribution capacity,” he said, adding that the United Nations could bring in additional trucks, open new warehouses and extend their working hours.

Since the start of the conflict, the United Nations has taken a leading role in delivering aid within Gaza, but Israel has also delivered some aid to northern Gaza on its own. In February, its forces opened fire on a crowd gathered in Gaza City near a convoy of aid trucks that it had organized, and scores were killed and injured, according to Gazan officials and the Israeli military, which attributed most of the deaths to a stampede.

UNRWA has consistently given lower figures than the Israeli authorities for the amount of aid reaching Gaza. Its data showed that over Sunday and Monday, 326 aid trucks entered Gaza through the two main crossings — far fewer than the minimum of 500 trucks of aid per day that the U.N. says Gaza needs. “Everyone in Gaza is experiencing extreme forms of hunger,” the U.N. World Food Program said Monday on social media.

A spokeswoman for UNRWA, Juliette Touma, stood by the agency’s figures, which are published daily , and said she had no explanation for the discrepancy.

The situation for around 300,000 people living in northern Gaza was “definitely getting worse” because of a lack of aid, she said, blaming six months of Israeli restrictions. Israel’s decision to prevent UNRWA from delivering food to the north has not helped, she said. The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday it had made a delivery of aid to northern Gaza by road from the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Israel has accused around 12 of UNRWA’s 13,000 staff members of participating in the Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct. 7 that started the war. Mr. Freedman said that the Israeli government was “definitely phasing UNRWA out” and instead was working with other U.N. agencies such as the World Food Program.

The aid deficit has drawn new attention since last Monday, when Israel’s military killed seven staff members of the disaster relief organization World Central Kitchen who were working to deliver food to Gazans, drawing condemnation from around the world and angering President Biden.

Aid agencies say they need full access to the territory, which has been shattered by fighting and Israeli airstrikes.

— Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Adam Sella

Cease-fire talks continue to sputter despite a new U.S. proposal.

Negotiations to reach a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip continued to sputter on Monday, despite a new framework proposed to Hamas and Israel by the United States and rising optimism voiced by Israeli officials about the prospects for a deal.

For months, the sides have failed to agree on a deal because of differences over the length of a cease-fire, the number of hostages that Hamas is willing to release, and the number of Palestinian prisoners that Israel is willing to exchange for those hostages.

Hamas and Israel are also at odds over whether and how displaced Gazans should be allowed to return to their homes in northern Gaza during any halt in the fighting.

Hamas wants Israel to withdraw from the territory so that Gazans can freely move around during a cease-fire, which Israel has ruled out. Israel wants those returning to northern Gaza to pass through Israeli checkpoints in order to make it harder for Hamas to regroup there, according to an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

On Monday, the sides were still deadlocked, as they have been since the end of a weeklong cease-fire in November. Basem Naim, a Hamas spokesman, said that Israel had given some ground on letting Gazans back to the north, but not enough. He also expressed disappointment that Israel would not discuss a permanent cease-fire, another key Hamas demand.

“Worse than the previous ones,” Mr. Naim said of the proposal. “Many things that were included in previous offers are not now offered,” he said in an interview.

Other details about the new U.S. proposal remained unconfirmed. The Israeli official said that the proposed deal would involve at least 40 hostages being exchanged for hundreds of Palestinians held in Israel prisons over the course of a six-week pause.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been under increasing pressure from the United States to reach a deal. The Biden administration has also urged the leaders of Egypt and Qatar, countries that have been key mediators in the talks, to press Hamas.

Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, said in a radio interview that a new truce was within reach — if Hamas is willing to agree to it. “For the first time since the first deal, we’ve reached a critical point,” Mr. Katz said. “If matters work out, a large number of hostages will return home.”

Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, said in a speech to new military recruits that Israel would be willing to “pay the price to get the hostages back, and then get back to fighting and do everything we need to do.” The comment was interpreted as a sign of Israeli willingness to reach a compromise.

But Hamas dismissed the likelihood of a deal, saying that Israel wanted to give the impression of being ready to compromise, so that it would not be blamed if the talks collapsed.

“We believe that Netanyahu does not want to reach an agreement and this is why he keeps changing the wording of each offer,” Mr. Naim said. “He wants to show the Americans, the world and the Israelis that he is doing something here.”

Adam Rasgon , Johnatan Reiss , Julian E. Barnes and Katie Rogers contributed reporting.

— Patrick Kingsley and Abu Bakr Bashir

Turkey imposes export restrictions on Israel over the war in Gaza.

Turkey said on Tuesday that it would restrict exports to Israel until there is a cease-fire in Gaza, prompting threats of a tit-for-tat response from a government with which it has long had tense relations.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has defended Hamas and lashed out at Israel over the war in Gaza, accusing it of deliberately attacking civilians. But his government had until Tuesday stopped short of taking concrete economic measures against Israel over the conflict.

Turkey’s Trade Ministry said it was imposing restrictions covering dozens of exports — including aluminum, steel products, cement and jet fuel — after Israel denied a Turkish government request to airdrop humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“This decision will remain in place until Israel declares a cease-fire in Gaza and allows the flow of a sufficient amount of uninterrupted aid to the Gaza Strip,” the ministry said in a statement.

The announcement drew an angry response from Israel’s foreign minister, who accused Mr. Erdogan of “sacrificing the economic interests” of Turkey’s people in the name of supporting Hamas.

“Israel will not capitulate to violence and blackmail and will not overlook the unilateral violation of the trade agreements and will take parallel measures against Turkey that will harm the Turkish economy,” the minister, Israel Katz, said in a statement.

Turkey’s exports to Israel were worth $5.4 billion in 2023, or 2.1 percent of its total exports, according to official data.

Turkey has long had turbulent relations with Israel, though in recent years there had been some signs of a thaw: In 2022, Turkey welcomed Israel’s president to Ankara, the first visit by an Israeli head of state since 2008. Mr. Erdogan met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel for the first time last September.

Less than a month after that meeting, Hamas led the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that set off the war in Gaza.

Under Mr. Erdogan, Turkey has often hosted members of Hamas, some of whose leaders were in the country for meetings on Oct. 7. The Turkish leader has strongly criticized Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, putting him sharply at odds with his NATO allies.

But the rising death toll and dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza have prompted increasing criticism from Israel’s allies over how the war is being conducted.

President Biden threatened last week to condition future U.S. support for Israel on how it addresses his concerns about civilian casualties and the humanitarian crisis. This week, the foreign minister of France told French news media that imposing sanctions might be one way of putting more pressure on Israel to open humanitarian corridors to Gaza.

Gabby Sobelman contributed reporting.

— Cassandra Vinograd reporting from Jerusalem

The U.N. Security Council agrees to take up a Palestinian bid for full membership.

The U.N. Security Council agreed on Monday to take up a Palestinian bid for full membership in the United Nations, which would amount to a recognition of statehood, but prospects for its acceptance remain dim.

A similar application failed in 2011 — the next year, Palestine was granted the lesser status of observer — and last week the Palestinian Authority asked the United Nations to take up its bid a second time.

The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, calling it “a historic moment again,” said that it was high time for the world body to recognize Palestinian statehood, which has support of most U.N. member states. That, he said, would “open the door slightly in the direction of peace.”

But the United States, which has a longstanding policy that Palestinian statehood must come as part of a negotiated agreement with Israel, has the power to defeat the U.N. application, and is seen as likely to do so.

The 15-member Security Council agreed to send the Palestinian application to its membership committee. That decision was unanimous, said Vanessa Frazier, the ambassador from Malta, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council this month. The committee will report back to the full Security Council with a recommendation, if it can agree on one.

Either way, the Security Council can vote on membership. To succeed, the application needs the votes of at least nine of the 15 member countries, and no veto by its five permanent members. The United States is one of the five nations that wield veto power.

Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Gilad Erdan, sharply criticized the Council for considering what he called “modern-day Nazi jihadists” for membership and said it was a “reward for Palestinian terror.”

The 2011 membership bid failed to get the support of nine of the Council’s 15 members. And even if it had, the United States signaled that it would veto the application.

But now, six months into a war between Israel and Hamas that has taken a catastrophic toll on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the issue of Palestinian statehood has gained momentum, receiving wide support among U.N. member states. About 140 countries have gone on record supporting the Palestinian bid now before the Council.

— Farnaz Fassihi

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  21. IELTS Essay # 1188

    Sample Answer 3: [Disgreement] In the modern world, people often form their opinions about others based on their initial impressions. While some individuals believe that these first impressions are always accurate, I am more sceptical about this idea. In this essay, I will explain why I believe that our first impressions when we meet someone ...

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    Mr. Erdogan met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel for the first time last September. Less than a month after that meeting, Hamas led the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that set off the war ...

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