The journey from freeze dried instant coffee to the freshest, tastiest coffee is long and fraught with misinformation. Large corporations that sell whole beans in supermarkets have a vested interest in ensuring their clientele believes the coffee is fresh. But a quick perusal of the Internet's expert sites like Home Barista and Sweet Maria will confirm the fact that roasted coffee beans reach their peak within 48 hours or so, and last a maximum of 10 to 14 days before declining in flavour and aroma. Furthermore, the darker the roast, the shorter the shelf life.
A large well-known corporation distributes its "grind your own" whole beans at supermarkets everywhere. Their "best before" date is nearly a full year after roasting. Another well-known manufacturer, renowned for its dark coffee, roasts its Canadian offerings in York, Pennsylvania. From there, it is packaged and shipped internationally. That product is kept in the supermarket warehouse until needed, then put out on shelves until you pick it up and grind it weeks (maybe months) later!
Fresh coffee is like baked goods: the fresher the better, There are a few excellent small roasters in the Ottawa area, and I encourage you to give them a try. The taste and variety will convince you.