I've Lived In 3 Canadian Provinces  & Here's Why 'Onterrible' Is Actually My Favourite

Alberta and B.C. just can't compare.

Vancouver. Right: Kayak in Ontario. Right: Brooke Houghton and Grace Waite in Banff.

Vancouver. Right: Kayak in Ontario. Right: Brooke Houghton and Grace Waite in Banff.

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

It's no secret that Ontario gets a bad rap in Canada, and if you've ever seen the nickname "Onterrible" trending on Twitter, you know what I'm talking about. But the province has a lot more going for it than you might think.

My family has a habit of moving around every few years, which means I've been able to experience three Canadian provinces firsthand. So far, Ontario has come out on top!

I was born in Barrie, Ontario, and grew up there until I was about 10 when my family packed up and headed to the scenic West Coast for British Columbia.

I spent a good chunk of my adolescence and teens in B.C. and moved back to Ontario for university in Toronto in 2017.

A few years after I left, my parents and one of my brothers moved to Calgary, Alberta, where I now spend my family holidays, and last year I even lived there for about a month with my parents.

But despite all the memories and time I've spent in each province, I always come back to Ontario.

Now, I know objectively you're thinking Alberta and B.C. are way prettier but hear me out on why this ugly duckling is actually the swan of Canada.

There's more variety when it comes to food

B.C. may have the best seafood, and Alberta has top-notch steak, but if you're looking for the widest range of cuisines, Ontario reigns supreme.

Alberta has a good selection of restaurants in Calgary, but every time I go out to eat, I never find the wow factor I often get in Toronto.

B.C. does have some incredible restaurants, but you are limited when it comes to the range of cuisine you can find.

Personally, I find B.C. has a great range of Asian cuisine, from dim sum to pho, to sushi and Indian food, but outside of that, you'll probably come across a lot of chains.

In Ontario – especially in Toronto — there is an endless stream of restaurants that try to reflect the city's diversity.

It honestly feels like you could try a new dish every day from a different culture or country, which wins over my foodie heart.

Nature is more accessible 

Kayak in Ontario.

Kayak in Ontario.

Brooke Houghton | Narcity

B.C. and Alberta, at first glance, have nature on lock.

They both have gorgeous mountains, beautiful parks and bodies of water, but I use Ontario's cottage country the most.

Growing up in B.C, my family would go to Whistler maybe once a year to ski but heading out to B.C.'s most covetable locations usually means a long drive and a pricey hotel room.

The ocean was close by, and we would often hit up White Rock and Crescent Beach, but I found most people didn't actually swim there.

In Alberta, there are tons of stunning spots to visit like Lake Louise and Banff, which are only an hour or two away from where my family lives in Calgary, but I still prefer a cottage vacation over a day trip.

Cause realistically, how often are you going to drive there?

I find myself in Ontario's cottage country all year long, from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter to swimming and kayaking in the summer.

So while B.C. and Alberta definitely have the wow factor when it comes to the great outdoors, I find Ontario's backyard to be more usable with how predominant cottage culture is.

I'm lucky to have a family cottage I can visit, so I don't have to book a hotel every time I want to get out of the city for a few days or worry about driving back home.

There's more to do

Ontario is home to one of North America's largest cities, so when it comes to things to do, B.C. and Alberta can't top Toronto.

Between the city's sports, music and food scene, there is never a dull moment in the 6ix. You can always catch a Toronto Raptors game or check out whatever top artist is stopping by on tour, followed by dinner at a brand-new restaurant.

Its vibe has the best of both worlds

B.C. gives off a very chill vibe. The people there move slower and aren't as friendly compared to Alberta and Ontario, and I prefer a warmer and more fast-paced lifestyle.

In Alberta, I find people are exceptionally kind and always down for a chat about the weather, but the city just isn't that bustling, and similar to B.C., it moves at a slower pace.

Ontario is the perfect happy medium because you'll never get stuck in long-winded small talk, but if you ever need help, people are more than happy to give you directions.

The province moves fast, and I find there's a buzzing energy of hustle and excitement that's contagious.

I've enjoyed every province my family has lived in and feel extremely grateful to have experienced them, but I think Ontario is the best spot to be.

If you're a young professional that loves city life and prefers kayaking across a lake to skiing, you may agree with me.

But if you're a die-hard slope shredder with a passion for the outdoors and an easygoing attitude, you may fall in love with B.C or Alberta.

Ontario's a spot where you can soak up the culture, live out your foodie dreams and be surrounded by people that walk and talk fast – just how I like it.

Brooke Houghton
Brooke Houghton is a contributing writer for Narcity Media based in Toronto, Ontario.