Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

“Despite Canada having only 37 million inhabitants, compared to the 328 million US citizens, and in spite of their common language, Canada is far from being merely America’s copycat little brother. Yes, both countries specialize in vast shopping plazas, fast food chains and arrow-straight highways, but the list of differences is longer, and that’s without counting the fact that Queen Elizabeth II’s smile adorns the money here, since she’s still technically the nation’s sovereign.

One major difference is the fact that Canada is officially bilingual, and everything is written in both English and French. (It should be noted that in the US, Spanish has reached almost the same status, albeit unofficially). In its healthcare agenda and foreign policy, Canada more closely resembles Western European nations. In short, it’s a country that has more or less mingled the cowboy/pioneer spirit with a more liberal, socially-sensitive society.” (2019)


Practicals

Shopping

“Everything in Canada is expensive. Starbucks counts as a cheap coffee here, and people are pleased when they get something to eat or drink for less than ten dollars. Following the American custom, shops don’t display the price as the actual cost to the customer, but rather the pre-tax price, so the number that appears on the till when making a purchase can come as an unpleasant surprise. (2018)


Public safety

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Canada - policeman

Others

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Canada - bear - a.a. photo

Canada - warning - t.m. photo

Background

Canada - national flag with maple leaf

Destination in brief

Canada in brief 

Size: 9.9 million km² (3.8 million mi²)

Canada is the world’s second-largest country (Russia is the first). 

The Canadian-US border is 8,891 km (5,524 mi) long

The longest distance from east to west is 5,515 km (3,426 mi). It takes five and a half hours to fly and two whole days to drive from Montreal to Vancouver. 

Canada has six time zones.

Population: 37.5 million (2020)

The capital of Canada is Ottawa, the second coldest capital in the world after Moscow.

Language: 60% of Canadians are English-speaking and 23% French-speaking. Montreal is the world’s second-largest French-speaking city after Paris.

Religion: Roman Catholics are in the majority 

Canada (being in the Commonwealth) is a constitutional monarchy. The British Queen is the head of state; however, executive power is in practice exercised by the Canada’s Prime Minister and his ministers.

Canada’s name comes from a misunderstanding between Jacques Cartier (an explorer in the 16th century) and some young Iroquois (Native American Indian) who was pointing out a village (for which they used the word “Kanata”). They were actually trying to identify the small area that is present-day Quebec City, but Cartier used the similar-sounding word “Canada” to refer to the whole area.

Canada has six times more oil reserves than Russia. 

Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD)

Average net monthly salary: 2,100 USD (2020) (if it not taken already?)

Most common last name: Smith, but Li is set to take over soon (if it not taken already?)

Most interesting tourist attractions: Vancouver, Banff, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver Island, Quebec City, Halifax, Niagara Falls, Saint John (New Brunswick), Canadian Rockies, Prince Edward Island, Kelowna (British Columbia), Churchill (Manitoba), Lake Louise (Alberta)

According to the prostitution laws the purchase of sexual services is criminalized, but the selling of sexual services is allowed under certain conditions.


Geography

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Canada - British Columbia - Garibaldi Provincial Park - Wedgemount Lake, a turquoise-coloured alpine lake - e.a. photo

Nowadays


People

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Canada - Quebec - bachelorette party - L'enterrement de vie de jeune fille - Elter photo

Tourist etiquette

“Canada, where same-sex marriage has long been legal and there is a sort of ‘national obsession’ with gender equality, is not the most appropriate place for ‘gross-out’ humor, or non-PC jokes about alternative lifestyles. In addition to state libel laws, in larger cities with robust queer communities (especially Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal) a person could even face trial on ‘hate crime’ charges for a particularly egregious outburst.

Expressions of passion towards members of the opposite sex are best avoided, as a clumsy or culturally insensitive attempt at gallantry might be misinterpreted as creepy, or even as sexual assault. (‘Moral policing’ is particularly widespread on university campuses).

One important point to note is that Canadians jealously guard those minor differences which separate them from their larger neighbor to the south, and though it can be hard for foreigners to spot many changes when crossing the border, it can greatly offend Canadians to compare their country to the USA. (2019)


Gastronomy

“The Canadians are extremely creative in finding new ways to consume maple syrup. Following a work visit we went for a lunch where the main course was lardons of pork with fresh bread, onions and maple syrup. That’s right, this sugary syrup is placed on every restaurant table, and applied liberally as a condiment to all sorts of savory dishes.

A family of six sitting opposite me managed to empty an entire bottle of the stuff in just twenty minutes. It’s an interesting gastronomic combination, and worth trying (perhaps just the once). If you can’t get hold of maple syrup then honey works just as well."


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