Since my move to England, I’ve been documenting bits and pieces of English culture for others making a similar move.
Now that I’m back in Canada visiting family and friends, here’s some things my British friends should know about this great country.
Quick facts: we drive on the right side of the road, Tim Hortons is basically a religion and we can sing our national anthem in English and French.
Although we have a Prime Minister and our own parliament (housed in Ottawa), the Queen is still seen in Canadian culture. Her face is still on our money and the news goes wild over things like Will and Kate, the babies and everything else royal.
The stereotypical Canada is weak, overly polite, quiet and boring. And while that may be true for some of us, I genuinely believe Canadians are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. 99% of Canadians will smile at you in passing or say “Hello!” when walking by, hold the door for you or say “Sorry” even when something wasn’t their fault. You’ll hear “sorry” quite a lot.
I’m from Southern Ontario and even here, the weather is wild. Winters can see the temperature drop to -40C and then rise to +40C in the summer. And life still continues. Even if I have to dig my car out of a giant snowbank, work still expects me to get to work (and on time!).
Canada is huge. Like, “second-largest country in the world by total size” huge. My boyfriend complains when it takes 15 minutes to drive to the closest grocery store or the 2 hour drive to France. In Ontario, I can drive for nearly 24 hours straight without even reaching the next province.
At home in England, I would buy milk in cartons, which is fair since most of the world does the same. In Canada, we buy bagged milk. To use it, you have to buy a milk holder to put the bag in, cut it a corner and voila!
When you see a price tag, it doesn’t include tax like the UK does. So everything you buy will be slightly more expensive than you thought! Tipping is also expected at many places like bars, restaurants, hair dressers, taxis and any other service you can think of.
We say “Eh” a lot. Just get used to it.
Honestly, this place is such a beautiful country. If you ever have a chance to visit, you won’t regret it. Kiss the ground for me when you land!