Fifty Canadian Observations (so far).

Tomorrow marks exactly 4 weeks since we touched down in TO.  Here is a list of useful and useless factoids I’ve gathered along the way…

  1. Everything is bigger…
  2. All cars are massive, colossal beasts. And that’s just normal.
  3. In summer, Canadians have ice in everything and think it’s odd if we request ‘no ice’.
  4. Milk is bought in bags. No cartons here!
  5. You have to open it in a particular way so it doesn’t spill everywhere.
  6. Not many people own a kettle. Only coffee machines.  Or Timmies.
  7. Tim Hortons (Timmies) is everywhere. A coffee costs 75p.
  8. They are home to the shortest ferry crossing in the world – 90 seconds from Downtown to Billy Bishop airport on the Island.
  9. Everyone gets out of the city at the weekend to head to ‘cottage country’.
  10. A 4-hour drive is nothing.
  11. The drivers on the highways are nuts. We have seen at least three accidents.
  12. People undertake and it’s ok.
  13. The police patrol the streets on bicycles.
  14. The temperature drops 20 degrees overnight. And then rises another 20 two days later.
  15. Loads of people cycle in Downtown. Bikes and bike-lane are everywhere. Hmm, it may be quicker and cheaper than the streetcar.
  16. People moan about the TTC transport system, even though the streetcars run every 3 minutes 24 hours a day. Ever tried First Bus?!
  17. It’s £1.50 per trip. Which can consist of various modes of transport. Anywhere.
  18. There are only two underground lines. The map looks pretty poor in comparison to London.
  19. You can get from one side of Downtown to the other in less than 30mins.
  20. I’ve seen four dead raccoons. They’re big. And oh so furry.
  21. There is wildlife everywhere in the city. The squirrels are not afraid of human interaction and will stop at nothing to get your nibbles.
  22. I saw a rattlesnake and heard a band of coyotes howling in the same day.
  23. Saw moose tracks outside the cottage. They were biiig.
  24. Pumpkins are everywhere at this time of year and pumpkin pie is eaten at every opportunity.
  25. Halloween means major celebrations.
  26. Tipping is 20% Downtown (!!)
  27. The national dish is Poutine – Chips, Cheese and Gravy. And it’s acceptable to eat sober.
  28. The Government is the sole provider of booze in Ontario. You cannot just pick it up along with your groceries in the supermarket.
  29. And toiletries. You gotta go to the Drugs Mart for all your toiletries. Give me Asda BOD any day.
  30. Hardly any apartments and houses have doors connecting the rooms. Just door frames.
  31. A lot of apartments have ’dens’. A doorless second bedroom. Point?
  32. You will struggle to find a furnished apartment for lease. They’re almost all unfurnished.
  33. There are Canadian flags everywhere.
  34. The car is insured, not the individual. Which means you can drive anyones car!
  35. Cranes dominate the skyline. There are 131 working cranes in Toronto at the moment.
  36. Everyone has cable. Nobody has heard of Sky!
  37. Canadians watch Coronation Street. They’re three weeks behind us.
  38. People are going wild for the Blue Jays just now. The supermarket Tannoy read out the special offers and closed off with ‘Go Blue Jays Go’.
  39. Torontonians are always negative towards the Maple Leafs. All the time. They suck.
  40. The entertainment at the Ice Hockey is more fun than the actual game. Dance Cam!
  41. Everyone owns a Blue Jays baseball cap. And it’s acceptable to wear them at all times. Working in the office on game day? Not a problem. Pop that cap on.
  42. All lakes in Ontario freeze over for around three months during the winter. They are then used as ice rinks.
  43. No one really eats maple syrup.
  44. People spend weeks ‘shutting down’ their cottages and gardens before the harsh winter begins. Preparations start in mid September.
  45. You have to pay to take money out the ATM, unless it’s the bank you are registered with.
  46. Phone contracts are way more expensive than the UK. Waaay more.
  47. Nothing costs what it says on the label. Add 13% tax on top.
  48. Grown ups play board games on a Saturday night. Seen it. Done it.
  49. A Kilometer is known as a ‘click’.
  50. Everyone is friendly. Everyone speaks to everyone.

Please come visit soon and experience the weird-ness that is Canada… and us!

Posted by: Lynsey

4 thoughts on “Fifty Canadian Observations (so far).

  1. Very interesting! Will do, thinking of our first visit at end of February, if I get my holiday from work, for a week. Are you entertaining anyone that week?!

    Liked by 1 person

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