Before moving to a new nation, whether Canada or another, you will certainly be given advice, anecdotes, recommendations, and plenty of warnings. And I wish someone had told me about these 10 practical things while living in Canada.
ALL YEAR ROUND, CANADA IS NOT A FROZEN WASTELAND.
You should be aware that Canada is not a frigid tundra all year! People often associate Canada with polar bears and winter, however it rarely snows in Vancouver! The rest of the country does not have snow all year. Many places of Canada can have a lovely hot summer. But remember that it’s not all ice and snow in Canada.
Canadians are really friendly, kind, and helpful.
It’s practically an international joke how welcoming Canadians are. This hasn’t altered over the years, and it’s not a stage production. Canadians are extremely pleasant, helpful, and courteous! Yes, they apologize greatly, but that’s part of their generosity. If you ever need directions or restaurant ideas while traveling in Canada, simply ask a native. They are more than happy to assist. And they will be delighted to offer their impressions of Canada and recommendations for surrounding attractions.
The price you see is not the price you will pay.
The price you see on a price tag or on a restaurant menu is never the amount you pay. Be prepared for sticker shock on some Canadian prices with extra sales tax and tipping. The sales tax in Canada varies by province. In Alberta, it might be as low as 5%, or as high as 15% in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. GST is for goods and services tax, HST stands for Harmonized Sales Tax, and PST stands for Provincial Sales Tax. Quebec also has its own.
Canada is HUGE!
Canada is one of the world’s largest countries in terms of land area. People who plan a trip to Canada sometimes underestimate the distances involved. If you intend to drive between any of Canada’s main cities, plan on spending many days in the automobile. The distance between Toronto and Vancouver is 4500 kilometers, while the distance between Montreal and Calgary is 3600 kilometers. When traveling between Canadian cities, you may opt to fly. WestJet and Air Canada are both excellent airlines for traveling around Canada. If you don’t have weeks to travel, consider visiting just one or two regions of Canada. Focusing on one region or province tremendously reduces travel time and allows you to get a feel for that portion of Canada.
Canada is GORGEOUS!
You might be surprised at how beautiful Canada truly is. Canada’s natural beauty will wow you whether you visit Whistler, Banff, Vancouver, Prince Edward Island, or Niagara Falls. There are dozens of national parks and provincial parks in Canada, so pack your hiking boots!
Canadians are crazy about hockey. No, seriously, they adore hockey!
You already know that Canada adores hockey, but you might be surprised with how much they adore it! Yes, the United States is enthusiastic about various sports as well, but hockey takes it to a whole new level. In Canada, hockey is more than simply a sport; it’s a way of life. Hockey serves as the de facto advertisement for every product sold in Canada. Hockey is always on TV, whether it’s a game or a commercial. If you have the opportunity to attend a hockey game in Canada, do it!
Maple Syrup Can Be Found Anywhere
Another reality-based Canadian misconception is the availability of maple syrup. You’ll be surprised at how many different kinds of maple syrup and maple syrup-infused items there are. You won’t mind because it’s tasty. Whether you sample maple syrup bacon pizza, maple syrup salmon candy, or maple mints, make sure to leave room in your baggage to carry some maple syrup home with you.
In Quebec, French is spoken (but not everywhere)
If you’re going to Quebec, you should know a little French. People in Quebec speak English as well, however knowing some French can help you get by. What’s more surprising is that, despite being one of Canada’s official languages, you won’t hear much French once you leave Quebec. However, in New Brunswick and parts of Ontario, you will still hear it rather frequently. If you hear someone speaking French in Vancouver, they are most likely a visitor from France or Quebec.
Canada is extremely safe.
When you visit Canada, you may be surprised at how safe you feel. It’s a big country, and whether you’re alone on a beach or in a crowded city, you’ll feel safe almost everywhere in Canada. One of the best aspects of Canada is its low crime rate. This sense of security is especially comforting while traveling with children. Of course, there are locations to avoid in major cities, but that is the exception rather than the rule in Canada. The wildlife in Canada’s National Parks will be your greatest safety issue! And above all, DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE! That is a massive no-no, and it is a major problem for tourists who visit Canada.
Tim Hortons is your new best friend.
After visiting Canada, Tim Horton’s will become your new best buddy. Tim Horton’s is a restaurant franchise similar to Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Subway combined, but in a Canadian flair. You’ll be surprised at how many Tim Hortons there are, and they’re always open when you need them. If your hotel charges for breakfast, skip it and go to Tim Hortons – there’s bound to be one nearby! They are usually clean, friendly, and open for a long period of time.
Canadian Are Awesome!
Many Canadian stereotypes, such as maple syrup and hockey addictions, are accurate. Canadians are extremely proud of their flag, which is plastered on everything. Beavertails are a delicious and uniquely Canadian treat. Poutine is another Canada icon (albeit it is more of a Quebec pleasure that has spread across the country) and one of the reasons to visit the country. If you haven’t tasted French fries with cheese curds and gravy on top, get to a poutine store as soon as possible! Among other unusual food items, Canada features ketchup chips and milk in a bag (primarily in Eastern Canada). And, yeah, you will hear “sorry” and “eh” a lot!
1) New Brunswick is Canada’s only bilingual province and French is spoken there “Officially” but I have heard French spoken all over Canada, even in Canada’s most Red Neck Province, Alberta. If you cannot speak French (well) in Quebec most Québécois will speak to you in English. I am an English only speaker and I totally love Quebec.
2) Tim Horton’s in an embarrassment to real coffee drinkers.
3) And on top of the taxes you didn’t realise you had to pay make sure you a a 20% tip.
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