Once Upon a Time in Canada is a full-length drama/biopic movie. It is the second movie in the Canadian Boys franchise (after Toronto's Tale), being released in September 2011.
The movie charts the life story of Pictou as he tries to find the positives of living with a chronic illness - in this case, a bladder condition. His parents, Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton, prepare him for independent living by teaching him valuable skills and how to be a good, law-abiding citizen while facing off bullying and awkwardness.
One night in the town of Pictou, Nova Scotia, Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton, a young married couple, decide to have a little 'us time' together in their bedroom, having playful pillow fights and tugging bedsheets off each other. They slowly start to become more amorous, and Stellarton suggests they "get into bed". Port Hawkesbury lovingly accepts, and they begin lovemaking.
The next morning, suspecting she may be pregnant, Port Hawkesbury goes to the bathroom to carry out a pregnancy test. It comes out with a positive result, prompting her to tell Stellarton the good news. They share a warm embrace filled with pride. Over the course of the next nine months, Port Hawkesbury has routine check-ups at the hospital to track the progress of her pregnancy and keep her baby in good shape.
One night, while the heavily-pregnant Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton are both deeply asleep, Port Hawkesbury begins to experience severe cramps in her stomach, signifying labour. Stellarton, in shock, dials 911 for an ambulance, which promptly arrives at his house to transport Port Hawkesbury to the hospital. Having arrived at the maternity ward, and with the encouragement of her midwife, Port Hawkesbury gives birth to a baby boy, whom she decides to name Pictou in honour of the town he was born in. Stellarton compliments his sweetness while Port Hawkesbury welcomes her newborn son to the world, proclaiming his perfection.
Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton strive to give the young Pictou the best start in life by teaching him as much as they can, taking him out to the library to read, going to the pool to teach him to swim, and going on regular outings around town to broaden his horizons. Onboard a slightly elderly fisherman's boat, Pictou says his first word (which incidentally is "boat"), piquing much pride and amazement in Port Hawkesbury, Stellarton, and even the fisherman. He also forges an unbreakable bond with Harrigan Cove, the Denoon family's long-time Irish Canadian friend - a bond which still stays strong to this day.
As Pictou turns five years old, his parents enrol him at the Pictou Elementary School for the first stage of his lifelong education. Unfortunately, due to nervousness, his first day at school doesn't exactly go so well as his parents had wanted - he is teased by his fellow pupils because of his French/Acadian heritage during the first lesson of the day, and while trying to befriend some older boys named Gabarus, Morganville and Culloden in the playground, he has an accident in front of them, causing him to fall victim to bullying - something which has been hanging over him ever since.
One night, while performing at the school's annual talent show, Pictou has an accident in front of the entire audience due to stage fright. Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton, having wrongly thought Pictou had been toilet-trained, are rightly shocked, and hurriedly leave the hall, but not before Pictou gets a good shouting-at by the resident powerhouse of the school, Mr. Marlynross.
Following Pictou's accident at the talent show, Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton take him to the hospital for a check-up on his bladder, and they subsequently receive an official diagnosis of severe incontinence for Pictou. This greatly devastates Port Hawkesbury, and she has never been able to get over it, crying at every thought of Pictou and how he will cope with his condition. The family now have to face the cold, hard fact that Pictou isn't perfect at all, and after Port Hawkesbury has a horrifying nightmare about Pictou apparently committing suicide and his parents seeing his gravestone, they begin to realize he is very precious to them, as he's their dear son. The family spend the next few years after the diagnosis trying to become accustomed to having to care for Pictou's toileting, since he'll never be able to actually use the toilet.
One day, while the family are having breakfast together, Stellarton drops a bombshell: they're going to move house to the far-off City of Canada. Port Hawkesbury inevitably starts crying about starting a new life in another land, and Pictou has an accident because of the sudden shock. The family hold a huge housewarming party at the DeCoste Centre downtown so that everybody they know and love can give them a well-wished sendoff and a great new life in the City of Canada. Unfortunately, there are some unwanted guests whom the family didn't invite - Gabarus, Morganville and Culloden have broken in to the Centre to make Pictou's life a misery one last time before he moves away, and even mess up the dinner by stealing a fiddler's violin and playing it so badly that everyone else complains about the cacophony.
After an overnight sailing trip on board the local ferry, the Denoon family arrives fresh-faced in the City of Canada, where they unexpectedly run into Harrigan Cove. Having not seen him for some time, this comes as a pleasant surprise to Port Hawkesbury. Arriving at their new house, the family start placing their possessions in each room to make it theirs, but Port Hawkesbury realizes that the cupboards are completely empty, prompting her to go on a big shopping trip at the Canadian Hypermarket.
A few months after moving to the City of Canada, Pictou begins the next stage of his education at the Canadian Junior High School. Just like at elementary, his first day starts off somewhat uneasy, again being called out on his Acadian descent and trying to befriend a trio of older students - namely Hantsport, Aspotogan and Stewiacke - which leads to nervousness, making him have another accident in front of them. Since then, they have become Pictou's prime pursuers, aiming to make his life unable to be lived through continual name-calling and intimidation.
One day, Port Hawkesbury, having become exhausted with constantly caring for Pictou, cries out for him to gain a little more independence, as he's now thirteen years old and needs to start caring for himself. It is then that Pictou discovers his secret talent - cooking. Working completely on his own, Pictou bakes some chocolate chip cookies with a pinch of spice, the results of which amaze Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton, and spur him on to making the first step towards his ultimate dream: building his own food empire. He bakes even more batches of cookies and goes on a mini-tour of the City of Canada with Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton, giving out free cookies to passers-by and new friends. Having finally found a dream to work towards and eventually achieve, Pictou begins to look towards the future with a bright outlook, no matter what kinds of adversities life throws in his way.
- Port Hawkesbury
- Harrigan Cove
- Judique (unnamed in this movie; later became a permanent cast member of Canadian Boys)
- Campbell (unnamed in this movie; later became a permanent cast member of Canadian Boys)
- Lime Hill (unnamed in this movie; later became a permanent cast member of Canadian Boys)
- The Denoon family's housewarming party scene marks the debut of the Cape Breton fiddling trio - Judique, Campbell and Lime Hill (although they were not yet named at the time of the movie's release). Judique breaks wind at the table after eating lobster, and everybody else (including Campbell and Lime Hill) complain about the stink, allowing Culloden a window of opportunity to steal Judique's fiddle and ruin the friendly atmosphere with his terrible playing.
- The elderly lobster carer who appears in the lobster hatchery scene reappears (in voice only) in the 2015 Christmas special, It's Christmas in the City of Canada. He sends a letter to Pictou and his family with a box of black lobster eggs in seawater to care for inside his stocking.