21 years ago I moved to Canada with my family. At the time I was only 7 years old and didn’t know much about Canada, only that it was far from my friends and family, and that we had to take a plane to get there. Having lived there for the majority of my life I first and foremost consider myself a Canadian. Canada is truly like no other place in the world, especially in terms of multiculturalism. It is a large and wealthy country, with a vast variety of landscapes and climates. Despite all of this, there are still many, many, many, and I mean MANY people who I come across in my travels that seem to know very little about Canada, so today I am breaking down some facts about the country I call home based on common questions and comments I have heard along the way.
|(Grand Bend Beach in Ontario)|
Unless you visit the far north, close to the arctic circle, you will experience a warm beautiful summer just like you would anywhere in the world. In the southwestern end of the province of Ontario, where I live, we often get very hot and humid summers, and we have had temperatures reach the high 30s. On such hot days, we like to cool off at one of our favourite beaches and take a dip in one of our many beautiful lakes. Having said that…
2. We don’t live in igloos
|(Toronto skyline at night, taken from my friend’s condo)|
Now no one has directly asked me this, but I have heard of others who have been asked. Canadians don’t live in igloos! Sure there are some people who might build them as a hobby in the winter months, we live in normal modern houses and buildings.
If you hear someone say “I’m going to Tim’s”, this means they are going to a coffee chain restaurant called Tim Horton’s that most Canadians visit it seems religiously, and not to see their friend Tim. Be sure to grab a Tim’s if you visit. My personal favourites are the Ice Cap or French Vanilla Cappuccino, and Boston Cream Doughnuts!
4. We may sound funny but…
You sound just as funny to us. I have seen many posts on the internet where we are criticized for saying “roof” and “about” differently than other English speaking countries. Canada has a variety of dialects, so different parts of the country may sound “funnier” than others. In the province of Quebec they may sound super funny but that’s because they speak French, our second, and in my opinion the more beautiful, language.
Canadians are obsessed with hockey. I am not one of these Canadians (mainly because I hate the useless fighting), but I do get pumped up for hockey when we compete on an international level.
6. We are friendly people
Now I am not saying Canadians are the only friendly people on this planet, but from my travels, I have seen that Canadians are up there for the most friendliest people.
7. We eat sap from a tree
|(Photo Credit: International Maple Syrup Institute)|
That’s right! We eat maple syrup with pancakes for breakfast and it is so damn delicious! If you haven’t tried REAL Canadian maple syrup, you must! None of that fake processed junk, just the real maple syrup. There is even a Maple Syrup Festival that takes place in Elmira, Ontario, each spring. That’s how much we love our Maple Syrup!
8. Our landscape and climate differs across the country
We have hundreds of lakes, including the great lakes, have many many rivers, are situated between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, are home the Rocky Mountains, have flat fields in the Prairies, and some parts of our country are above the arctic circle. As you can imagine, with such a variety in landscapes, we also have a variety of climates, so it is not fair to generalize Canada under one typical climate, as you will see, our climate is anything but predictable. And for this reason, the weather is one of our favourite topics of conversation.
My cousin told me the other day that what he likes about Canada is that you don’t feel like a foreigner there because many other people are as well. Canada has a lot of immigrants and it is dependent on immigration to help it grow. This is why we are so accepting of other cultures and embrace bits and pieces of each culture to make our own.
10. Monopoly money
|(Photo Credit: PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada)|
Some say our paper bills look like monopoly money because of the multiple colours used, but it is so much easier to recognize each bill in your wallet! Also our new bills are pretty cool! And yes we call our $1 coins Loonies, and $2 coins Toonies. That’s just how we roll!
Fellow Canadians, do you have anything else to add to the list? If so, please share your comments below!
Happy Travels Everyone!