What we loved…
Poutine – Perhaps Canada’s greatest invention, and for sure one of my favorite snacks of all time. How can you not fall in love with french fries sprinkled with cheese curds, topped with gravy? That’s just the good ol’ fashioned original poutine, but now their are “poutineries” mastering the art of gourmet poutine with all sorts of interesting flavor combinations. You really can’t go wrong with any poutine while traveling Canada.
Cleanliness – With 90% of the population living within 100 miles of the American border, Canada has a lot of wild and open space. It’s a massive country with only 35 million people living in it. That means not a lot of any kind of pollution – air, water, etc. You can spend your entire time traveling Canada in their National Parks and never even see a city, but they have some pretty amazing cities. Even Canada’s big cities are clean – I would say Victoria is downright immaculate!
Diversity – I was actually surprised at just how diverse Canada is, especially in the major cities. Toronto is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. That means diversity in style, diversity in the arts, and most important to me, diversity in the food. Any food you can imagine is readily available.
What we didn’t love…
Cost of Booze – It is undeniably expensive to drink in Canada. Between their import taxes and liquor taxes, even trying to buy beer or wine in a bottle shop is going to cost you a good chunk of change. Boo for pricey booze!
USA’s Kid Brother – Much like how New Zealand often feels like Australia’s kid brother or Laos feels like Vietnam’s kid brother, Canada feels like the USA’s kid brother. What I mean by this is, the type of foods and restaurants are similar, the type of landscape and weather is similar, the type of pop culture and style is similar. Now, I love New Zealand, Laos and Canada; I’m just making the point that they all have bigger, more populated countries right next to them with similar cultures, but more on offer.
Hating Americans – Canadians love to hate on America and Americans. They feel the need to share every flaw, and ignore any good about the US. A Canadian friend thinks links this to dreaming of America in her early teens (when pop culture was king and politics didn’t matter). It’s like it’s part of their culture to hate America. To that, I have this to say, stop saying that Canadians are the nicest people in the world until your behavior backs it up. I’m not my country, and I probably have your same issues with US politics. Where I’m from is not a reason to treat me poorly. And if you can’t control yourself, don’t use your American invented iPhone to Google (American) your next flight on a Boeing plane (American), and stop enjoying our music, movies and TV. Canada is great, so let’s all just be friends!