Many people visit Canada without the basic knowledge needed to survive without getting lost, killed or embarrassed. This is because all they are told about is what language we speak and even that is sometimes usually wrong. The rest of their knowledge is just rumors and stereotypes that have built up over the hundred and forty three years that Canada has been a country (happy birthday canada!!). So to solve these problems I have compiled a list of things that all tourists and people thinking about emigrating should know before they get off the plane and wonder where all the penguins are.
1. Bring Shorts and a Big Warm Coat. It is not always cold in Canada despite what you might think. Many tourists have shown up at the border in july with their skis strapped to the roof and the sled dogs on the back seat. Summer here is like summer in most places. Hot. That doesn’t mean you won’t need a coat. It gets cold randomly and although true Canadians don’t really seem to notice or make a big deal of it, you will notice so be prepared to put a coat or sweater on because we will all stay outside on the patio of whatever pub, bar or tavern you happen to be at.
2. Be Prepared To Stay Outside. No Matter What. Canadians like to stay outside as much as possible between April and November because we know whats coming in December. Christmas. Or as marketing people like to call it, the Primary Gifting Period. Canadians then like to spend all their time inside. Shopping. Visiting family. Or just generally staying home hibernating or watching hockey. This means that no matter what the weather, as soon as March turns to April, most Canadians will emerge onto patios and decks and the Barbeque’s will heat up. By easter weekend everyone will be outside. This brings up another weather related problem for tourists. No matter what the weather, Canadians will stay outside on the patios. Now you Be thinking what about the cold and rain? Well that has been solved with patio heaters and large “Patio Size” umbrella. Two very Canadian items. This also explains the very popular clothing combination of shorts and a coat.
3. Our Corners are Larger than Most. A popular phrase used by Canadians when giving directions is “Oh, It’s just round the corner” or “It’s just down that street”. You must remember that Canada is a very large country (second largest! Second is good for Canada. Usually we get 13th. Remember that) so “just down the street” is quite a lot farther then many other countries “just down the street”. So be careful cause sometimes “just…” could be hours away. (Example: Toronto is just round the lake from Kingston)
4. All Roads Go Where You Think They Are Going. In many countries lots of roads that seem straight, are not. This sometimes means that you will drive around in circles for hours saying “That tree looks familiar” four of five times before you realize it is the same tree or you will drive down a street going north only to have it end up turning east with no way of turning off the street. In Canada, over 80% of the roads actually are straight and will go where you think they are going. There is still that 5-10% that go in circles but you can see that they are without having to waste time driving around. There is also the rest of the roads that are bendy and fool you into thinking they aren’t going anywhere but will actually take you where you want to go easily. A good example is Highway 7. (goes from just north of Toronto to Ottawa. google it if you don’t know where it is)