Canada

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    Jun 23, 2008 2:51 PM GMT
    So there have been a lot of threads about locations and cities. And I have noticed the one about Canadian men. I wondered if some of our northern neighbors could share some about Canada. It seems like there are some great people, but is it just land in between cities (not like America is much different. Is it super cold? Expensive? What make you proud to be a Canadian?
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Jun 23, 2008 3:52 PM GMT
    Canada, much like the US, is a lot of land in between cities. There are tons of small towns, that each have their own little thing to learn about or enjoy. I wouldn't really know, cause I love the city, for the most part.
    Gas here is super expensive. That doesn't sound too different from the US. The only difference is, we produce tons of gas, but then ship it down to the US, which is partly why it's so expensive for us. Free trade, market economies, supply and demand, etc.
    A couple of years ago, I would've said that it was very cheap for a US citizen to come visit. Now, not so much, do to the two currencies being so close.
    It is super cold, depending on where you go and when.
    Here in Vancouver, the winters rarely get that cold and it only snows about twice a year, maybe. In Alberta, in one of the major cities (Calgary) it snowed last month. Just depends on where you are. Calgary has the most awesome Chinook snow storms though. It goes from being mostly warm and no snow, to 4 feet of snow, in a couple of hours. Awesome to experience once in your life.
    In the summer, it's pretty warm everywhere.
    In terms of places to visit, Ottawa is interesting. It's the seat of political power, on the east side of the country (relative to the ocean). Montreal and Quebec city are great; they're like a little piece of Europe (to me). The maritimes (Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, etc) sound great. I've never been there.
    And of course, Vancouver is an amazing city too, if I do say so myself. Warm in the summer, tons of hot guys, lots of outdoors stuff to do, and excellent skiing/boarding in the winter.
    And not that I'm one of them, but a lot of Canadians are proud not to be Americans icon_smile.gif
    I'm proud that my head of state isn't a complete tool. He's only a partial tool. Well, maybe he is a complete tool. I take that back.
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    Jun 23, 2008 5:24 PM GMT
    I have been dying to check out Vancouver. I hear it is amazing.
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    Jun 23, 2008 5:26 PM GMT
    DJBens77 saidI have been dying to check out Vancouver. I hear it is amazing.


    I LOVED Vancouver!!! SO AWESOME!! You should go!
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Jun 23, 2008 5:53 PM GMT
    I'm an American but I've been living in Montréal, Canada for 2 years and I LOVE Canada and Canadians. My two big incentives for going were 1)Being able to speak French and 2)The quality of the public university system. But then there are so many other incredible things to love about Canada: moosehead, molson, poutine, beaver tails, hockey, ice skating, caribou (the drink), sam roberts, feist, canadian rising, and tons of other things. Montréal is an incredible city, the nightlife is amazing, the concerts are fantastic, the rent is CHEEEEEEAP, and the people are diverse and interesting. I'm getting a great education and loving every minute of it. GO CANADA!
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    Jun 23, 2008 5:57 PM GMT
    UncleverName said
    I'm proud that my head of state isn't a complete tool. He's only a partial tool. Well, maybe he is a complete tool. I take that back.


    Haha! That's my inner dialogue exactly.
    What's great about Canada? health care, the distinct changes of season, tolerance. Of course, all of these vary a bit depending on where you are. it gets colder the further north you are, obviously, but when you watch letterman and he says, "it's so hot in new york that...", it's usually exactly the same here in toronto.
    in toronto, specifically, it's nice to see men walking hand in hand all over the city and no one cares (and the nightlife here is amazing). i could go on and on about the beauty of the rockies. A great trip would be hiking, scrambling and biking in Banff, driving down to waterton with the mountains on one side and the prairies on the other, and hiking crypt lake.
    Other than that, we're generally polite, respect other's opinions, clean up after ourselves, say "i'm sorry" and "excuse me" too much, and laugh at ourselves a lot.
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    Jun 23, 2008 6:03 PM GMT
    Bunjamon saidI'm an American but I've been living in Montréal, Canada for 2 years and I LOVE Canada and Canadians. My two big incentives for going were 1)Being able to speak French and 2)The quality of the public university system. But then there are so many other incredible things to love about Canada: moosehead, molson, poutine, beaver tails, hockey, ice skating, caribou (the drink), sam roberts, feist, canadian rising, and tons of other things. Montréal is an incredible city, the nightlife is amazing, the concerts are fantastic, the rent is CHEEEEEEAP, and the people are diverse and interesting. I'm getting a great education and loving every minute of it. GO CANADA!


    haha. lol @ the poutine. I have just recently discovered this delightful post party snack. but yes, do come and visit Canada and stop by Vancouver. It's a coastal city, lots of greenery and it's in BC (Bring Cash). and just to keep the stereotype alive, we also have the best weed. icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 23, 2008 6:09 PM GMT
    Dog River is my favorite town in Canada...and Emma is my favorite canadian...she's the one with the groceries!

  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Jun 23, 2008 6:21 PM GMT
    Canada's cool - lmao, Nunavut just got a wireless upgrade and can now send text messages! lmao.

    My buddy goes to school down here in Waterloo but goes back to Nunavut for the summers for work and to see his parents, lol. It's 6 degrees celsius up there.
    I think it's cool that we've got so many different climates - it's kind of neat icon_biggrin.gif. Though apparently Iqaluit (capitol of Nunavut) is pretty sketch. Since he's been back (end of April) his car has been broken into 3 times and someone attempted to hot-wire it recently. Lol.


  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Jun 23, 2008 6:23 PM GMT
    I think Iqaluit would be a pretty interesting place to visit. I hear the mosquitoes are wicked in the summer, though. A lot of people are attracted to hot places for vacation but the last few searches I've done to check out possible destinations have all been around the Arctic Circle! I'd really like to visit Nunavut.
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Jun 23, 2008 6:35 PM GMT
    Well it's actually pretty funny, because my friend from Nunavut tried incessantly to convince us to come up and see it. Now almost every time I talk to him there's a 10 minute rant on how much he f*cking hates Nunavut and wishes he was back down here. I think it might have something to do with him not getting laid, lol - his girl is down here.

    Personally, I'd like to go on a snowkiting excursion in Nunavut - I think that would be pretty boss-awesome icon_biggrin.gif


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 23, 2008 6:35 PM GMT
    "...a lot of Canadians are proud not to be Americans
    I'm proud that my head of state isn't a complete tool..."

    I shalln't respond to this, because this is going to be a nice thread about the beauties and wonders of Canada. Right, fellows? All about wonderful Canada.
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Jun 23, 2008 6:38 PM GMT
    Oh, don't forget Canadian "Cops" - quite possibly the funniest thing to watch right after American "Cops"

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    Jun 23, 2008 6:50 PM GMT
    UncleverName sort of summed things up!
    There is no perfect political system, but I like the fact that our Prime Minister is the head of the party that wins power, and is not elected on their own. Our head of state is actually Queen Elizabeth the Second, who is represented in Canada by our Govenor General. Largely a ceremonial position they do have the right to exercise some authority and provide rather dignified leadership that rises above party politics.
    Universal health care is not without problems but does guarantee everyone to medical help. Also proud of our gun control laws which are some of the toughest in the world. While we are small in population size check out the statistics on crime rates and you will see a large difference.
    Being from Ottawa, I would like to extol the virtues of living here, or visiting! Lots of parks, green space, museums and other cultural activities. There are festivals year round that include Winterlude when the Rideau Canal is frozen over and turned into the worlds largest skating rink; and North America's largest Dragon Boat race festival that just occured over the weekend! We have four complete and different seasons, so always depends on when you want to come visit!
    Price wise I think most items are comparable, but the advantage of the strong U.S. dollar is now a thing of the past as our currency is on par! The best suggestion for you DJBens77 is come explore for yourself! Each province has a tourism website along with one for Canada -so check them out and come on up! All the big cities have pride festivals too, the one in Ottawa is at the end of August!
    See you soon! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Teacherguy

    Posts: 150

    Jun 23, 2008 6:50 PM GMT
    I love being Canadian...very diverse...lots to do...I live in Toronto...the summers here are fun...lots of different types of neighboorhoods...mine is predominantly portugese...so it was bumping last week because of the Euro cup. My favorite Canadian city to visit is Vancouver. It is beautiful..and often voted the best city in the world to live in...which also makes it the most expensive city in Canada to live. Guess you could call me a typical Canadian...i speak french fluently, i'm half native canadian...my mom is a saulteaux indian...and a white dad from eastern Canada.

    So come visit..were glad to have yah!

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    Jun 23, 2008 6:53 PM GMT
    I lived in Canada icon_razz.gif all my life in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver until emigrating to the States. This is a story of a young Canadian moving south.

    While growing up I also lived in London, Windsor, smaller cities than the metros above. The constant move was attributed to the shifting local economies my parents faced at the time in Canada. icon_rolleyes.gif


    Now I live in the States, first Boston, now Portland Oregon.

    To contrast the two, Canada is great if you have money coming in from a good job, or someone is supporting your lazy a$$ (jk). Most of that money is going to taxes, probably around 40% if you make a good 5-6 figures. That's a lot of money to give away!!! I am all for socialism, but c'mon icon_exclaim.gif

    IF you are gay, you most likely will thrive in all the three major cities, and you do okay in smaller ones too. Discrimination was unknown to me my entire life, but second hand I've experienced minor incidents, however they resolved smoothly.

    There are places where racism is still an ongoing problem (and my guess, discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, etc too), and there are rednecks living in rural areas like the rest of the world. Less exposure often more ignorance, usually the rule.

    But now as an American resident, I have to say that I love San Diego and Portland. I love the weather, the opportunities in terms of education and grant money and jobs.

    I was going for my paramedics in Toronto while studying Biochemistry @ University of Toronto, and I found it extremely competitive and I learned nothing out of all that. Too many students, overcrowded conditions, etc and too many stringent regulations in order to obtain something that should be based on "fair merit".

    I have a family friend who took up Medicine @ McGill in Montreal (after her PhD @ Harvard) and she nearly lost her mind how difficult the material was (ie. Biochemistry), for no purpose at all, except the professors have lost their minds. To this day she regrets getting her MD in Canada.

    I do research in Portland and I'm soon going to move to UCSD, and the grants are coming in, the research is great. All this is my perspective, as I'm a student/ part time worker. My parents are making about 5x more money (net income, respectively) than in Canada as professionals. (They both have their masters in engineering). They also live in California. Each state is a different story indeed.


    Health care wise, while growing up I had services that American kids would only get if their parents had comprehensive coverage. After the age of 18, I relied on University provided medical insurance, which was pretty lame, both in Canada and in the US (in terms benefits and coverage).

    I rely on third party insurance and I pay out of pocket on my own as I did in Canada, as I also prefer Naturopaths, so really the socialist health system did not attract me especially.

    Anyway I could go on about advantages and disadvantages. If you plan on immigrating to Canada as an American gimme a shout and I can give you some pointers maybe helpful to ya.


    I don't think that one is better than the other, it's very partial to each one's own.

    And that's been my 2 cents, extended to 2 pages haha, icon_cool.gif
    Peace

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    Jun 23, 2008 7:35 PM GMT
    DJBens77 saidI have been dying to check out Vancouver. I hear it is amazing.


    Hey you can check it out by way of SEATTLE. It would be great to meet ya DJBens! icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 23, 2008 7:42 PM GMT
    My old agency was based in Seattle. I went for work one, but ended up not seeing much. I guess I am gonna have to hit the Pac NW...
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    Jun 23, 2008 7:53 PM GMT
    Seattle would be Honored to have ya stud! All I ask is that you bring the sun with ya. Junuary is getting old. Great city though, and the mountians are amazing!
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    Jun 23, 2008 8:07 PM GMT
    Free universal Healthcare icon_biggrin.gif

    Toronto and Hot summers by the pool and snowy winters hitting the ski slopes.. Always something to do.

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    Jun 23, 2008 9:48 PM GMT
    Some advantages to Canada:

    - universal health care, you don't have to worry about being dropped from your companies health insurance plan;

    - tax dollars go mainly to social programs not the military industrial complex;

    - tax system is actually less complicated then the US tax system;

    - more diverse population in the big cities (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver) then many US cities. Also the downtowns of the big cities are safer and more vibrant then many US cities. Very low homicide rates.

    - gays can get married and have human rights protections;

    - the federal government runs a budget surplus;

    - the country is chock full of commodities that countries want such as oil, natural gas, gold, nickel, uranium, etc..

    - lots of clean water.

    - the government pension plan for people that work and contribute to it is actuarially sound for at least the next 75 years.

    Some disadvantages:

    - tax rates are higher, but not as high as Oceanboy11 is quoting in terms of income tax. You are looking at having about 28-30% of your gross income deducted for federal and provincial taxes if you make 100 to 150k. The marginal tax rate is around 46%; If you add in the cost of your health insurance rates that you pay in the US then the differences may not be that much.

    - most provinces have a provincial sales tax, and there is a national consumption tax that is 5% on many purchases; In Ontario I pay 13% for many purchases (e.g. dinner at a restaurant).

    - the federal politics at times is consumed with conflict between the provinces and the federal government which can be irritating after awhile.

    - some parts of Canada have brutal winters and summers. It is not unusual to have highs of 100+ F in the summer and -40 F in the winter.

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    Jun 23, 2008 10:59 PM GMT
    I just traced my father's family back to 1803 in formerly Fonthill, Ontario, Canada...outside Niagra Falls now.

    I found one couple in the tree interesting. They were second generation americans in Pennsylvania, but between 1790 and 1800, they moved up to the Fonthill area. The 1790s were interesting times in the US. The new Constitution was being implemented and several tax rebellions had occurred. Maybe this couple in my family tree thought this new USA wasnt going to work, so they moved back to mother country country. ... icon_lol.gif

    This is a great site for canadian genealogy and English/Scottish/Welsh genealogy. The ladies that run this do the research for you.

    Genealogy Addicts Anonymous
    http://groups.msn.com/GenealogyAddictsAnonymous
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    Jun 23, 2008 11:15 PM GMT
    The biggest advantage I can think of for Canada is probably the health care system, as almost every other response to this thread has included.

    I also like the diversity found in some of the bigger cities. Compared to the relatively small town I live in, Toronto is a multicultural hub.

    We also have igloos icon_cool.gif
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    Jun 23, 2008 11:31 PM GMT
    Interesting, Caslon.

    My father's family emigrated from Russia to Philadelphia in the 1800s, but one branch of the family didn't like Philly much so they moved up to Montreal, and that's where we come from. Apparently they also didn't think the U.S.A. was going to work out.

    No, seriously, it was just before the Civil War, and I think they were worried about the US descending into a chaotic bloodbath. Um, and they were right.

    So I'm 1/2 Canadian.
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Jun 24, 2008 5:48 PM GMT
    Where I live we're currently having seventeen hours of daylight. Last night I was out late and the northern horizon was glowing. The summer sunshine makes up for the winter.

    In Alberta we don't have a provincial sales tax. We were paying health care premiums (which were subsidized for low-income individuals), but those are being phased out, too.

    Housing is getting expensive here now because the economy is booming, but groceries and clothing aren't expensive. I'm spending more money nowadays on ridiculous non-essentials than on anything else. Why do I have two phones, digital cable, the habit of eating out, etc.?

    People here complain about the same things that they complain about almost everywhere else. They all move to the outskirts of town and then complain about the traffic during their commute to work. They gripe about the price of gasoline while driving brand new Hummers. They make demands upon the government to clean up the environment while drenching their own lawns in chemicals every time they see a bug. It's no different than anywhere else.