Top 40 songs about Canada


Jim Cuddy and Blue Rodeo have three songs on our list of top songs about Canada. (Julia Pelish/

Story by Adrian Brijbassi

The 2012 Juno Awards will be announced on Tuesday, so with Canadian music on the mind, we put together a Top 40 list of songs by Canadians that reference the country. Debate is welcome — so send in your own picks and you could win a travel prize!

1. Helpless Neil Young (There is a town in north Ontario …) [Cool duet with Bruce Springsteen]

2. It Hasn’t Hit Me Yet – Blue Rodeo (Snow falling in the middle of Lake Ontario)

3. Wheat Kings – The Tragically Hip (Sundown in the Paris of the Prairies)

4. Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot (when the Gales of November came slashin’)

5. Coyote Joni Mitchell (On the road to Baljennie near my old home town)

6. Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out) – Arcade Fire (Growin’ up in some strange storm, nobody’s cold, nobody’s warm)

7. Acadian Driftwood – The Band (Canadian cold front movin’ in)

8. Lakeside Park – Rush (Everyone would gather on the twenty-fourth of May sitting in the sand to watch the fireworks display.)

9. The Night Paddy Murphy Died – Great Big Sea (They stopped the hearse on George Street outside Sundance Saloon)

10. Oh … CanadaClassified (I know where I’m from and I told ya before North of America hard to ignore)

11. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead Stars (Captured a taxi despite all the rain we drove in silence across Pont Champlain)

12. Spoonful of Sugar – Matt Mays & El Torpedo (Spoonful of sugar in Montreal city)

13. Hard Road – Sam Roberts (And her soft brown hair is as long as the Canadian highway)

14. My Old Apartment – Barenaked Ladies (We bought an old house on the Danforth)

15. Spadina Bus – The Shuffle Demons (Well, I start to cuss on the Wellesley bus and you can’t go far on the College Street car you know the Yonge Street train is a real pain and the LRT—that’s not for me)

16. Sudbury Saturday Night – Stompin’ Tom (The girls are out to Bingo and the boys are getting’ stinko)

17. Bobcaygeon The Tragically Hip (It was in Bobcaygeon I saw the constellations reveal themselves one star at a time)

18. Three Pistols – The Tragically Hip (Tom Thomson came paddling past)

19. English Bay – Blue Rodeo (I listen to the rain and the sounds of the passin’ cars and the waves on English Bay)

20. City of Lakes – Matt Mays & El Torpedo (And at the end of the day I will return to the city of lakes where the real people roam close to where all the real waves break)


Dallas Green and City and Colour make the list with their hit “Comin’ Home.” (Julia Pelish/

21. Comin’ Home – City and Colour (I’ve been through Nova Scotia, Sydney to Halifax, I’ll never take any pictures cause I know I’ll just be right back)

22. The River – Joni Mitchell (I wish I had a river I could skate away on)

23. Weakerthans – One Great City (I hate Winnipeg)

24. The Ballad of Wendel Clark Parts 1 & 2 – The Rheostatics (Wendel was a man with a stick in his hands he learned how to play in Kelvington S.A.S.K.)

25. Montreal – Blue Rodeo (We met in Montreal far from the crime)

26. 38 Years Old – The Tragically Hip again (Twelve men broke free in ’73 from Millhaven maximum security)

27. Evangeline – The Band (Evangeline, from the Maritimes was slowly going insane)

28. Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon – The Guess Who (Moose Jaw saw a few)

29. Hockey Skates – Kathleen Edwards (Going down in the same old town down the same street to the same bar)

30. Canadian Railroad TrilogyGordon Lightfoot (For there was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run when the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun)

31. Miles from Our Home – Cowboy Junkies (The moon hangs like a question mark, pale as milk, bold as a promise)

32. Northern Touch – Rascalz (yes from the northwest and the t-dot, o-dizot check)

33. Escarpment Blues – Sarah Harmer (We’ll keep driving on the Blind Line if we don’t know where we want to go)

34. The Old Sod – Spirt of the West (Canada’s been good to us we’ve a living and a home. We’ve all got central heating and most are on the phone)

35. The Old Black Rum – Great Big Sea (I think a bloody racket might soon begin I must have said something to the George Street queen Now the boys are joining in)

36. An American Draft Dodger in Thunder Bay – Sam Roberts (Crossed the border late at night and it was high stakes until he saw the Great Lakes)

37. City is MineDrake (Yo, the city is mine ((Which one?)) T-O-R-O-N-T-O)

38. Parkdale – Metric (I’m flipping out in the magazine neighbourhood)

39. Canada vs. America – Broken Social Scene (I’m from the city of love we all don’t feel loved)

40. Far From Home – Neil Young (Walking down the trans-Canada highway I was talking to a firefly)

What’d I miss? What do you think should make the list? Email your picks — hey, you could win a prize!

Adrian is the editor of and Adrian has won numerous awards for his travel writing, travel photography, and fiction, and has visited more than 55 countries. He is a former editor at the Toronto Star and New York Newsday, and was the social media and advocacy manager for Destination Canada. His articles have frequently appeared in the Huffington Post, Globe & Mail, and other major publications. He has appeared on national and local broadcasts, talking about travel, sports, creative writing and journalism. In 2019, he launched Trippzy, a travel-trivia app developed to educate consumers about destinations around the world. He also edited "Inspired Cooking", a nutrition-focused cookbook featuring 20 of Canada's leading chefs and in support of the cancer-fighting charity, InspireHealth. "Inspired Cooking" was created in honour of Adrian's late wife and co-founder, Julia Pelish, who passed away of brain cancer in 2016.


  • sarah

    April 27, 2012 at 1:48 am

    i know i’m super late but “rest of my life” by sloan should totally be on this list! lyric “one thing I know about the rest of my life, I know that i’ll be living it in canada”.
    I swell with pride every time I hear that line!


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