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Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Old Aug 4th 2006, 8:43 am
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Default Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

As the other thread I started on this topic rapidly decended into an unseemly slagging match. I was really hoping to get some insights from the people who live in Canada (and thanks for the informative posts on the other thread).
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 9:35 am
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Originally Posted by sinope
As the other thread I started on this topic rapidly decended into an unseemly slagging match. I was really hoping to get some insights from the people who live in Canada (and thanks for the informative posts on the other thread).
That is unlikley as most threads about liking or disliking a place decend into unseemly slagging matches. Whether or not other people on this forum like Canada won't affect you liking it. You'll just have to go there and find out for yourself.
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 11:26 am
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Originally Posted by Deer Hunter
Whether or not other people on this forum like Canada won't affect you liking it. You'll just have to go there and find out for yourself.
Yes, obviously, but some insights into the country from an outsiders point of view would be helpful. Blood and stones comes to mind right now and are you all so deliberately obtuse or is it because I have broken some rule or offended some clique on this forum by posting when I shouldn't have? As for the comment that any discussion like this is going to end in tears, wtf???????? Come on, surely I can say I'm not keen on yellow but I love blue without someone else coming along and saying they think I am an idiot for not choosing red?
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Originally Posted by sinope
As the other thread I started on this topic rapidly decended into an unseemly slagging match. I was really hoping to get some insights from the people who live in Canada (and thanks for the informative posts on the other thread).

I dislike unhyphenated Canadians. That is, the few people I meet who were born in Canada to two parents born in Canada, seem to me be a drain on the good working people of the country; they're mainly government employees of some sort, tend to be rednecks and devote their lives to differentiating themselves from Americans, a difference so subtle that only they can detect it. A good example would be Steven Harper. He's also a fine example of Canadian fire and passion though it would be unfair to suggest that his hair reflects Canadian barbering in general.

I dislike the lack of history (history with events, 10,000 years in an igloo hardly counts). I dislike the weather. I dislike the ludicrous bureaucracy; the immigration process is not an abberation but a fine example of Canadiana.

I dislike the ugliness, much of the housing is ghastly subdivisions named for the things bulldozed to create them, these are interspersed with "malls" clusters of American chain stores selling the same thing as the same clusters in the next town. I hate the pollution, either it's freezing outside or the government tells people not to breathe the air.

I dislike the government controlled liquor stores, some wines are literally five times more expensive in Ontario than in the US and the selection is limited to that favoured by a small commitee. I dislike the way every facet of life is regulated (I know we ignore lots of laws but why employ people to pass more and more ludicrous laws we're going to ignore?)

I like the consumer durables. Property is cheap in Canada so one can have lots of gadgets.

I like OHIP.

I like the discriminatory policies of the Government of Ontario. My children are francophone Catholics and so qualify for better, goverment funded, schools than the hoi polloi.

In short, moving to Canada is about sacrificing the cultural and aesthetic for material gain, Margaret Thatcher would have loved it.

Last edited by dbd33; Aug 4th 2006 at 1:10 pm. Reason: Toned it down a bit
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Originally Posted by dbd33
I dislike unhyphenated Canadians.

I dislike the lack of history (history with events, 10,000 years in an igloo hardly counts). I dislike the weather.

I dislike the ugliness, much of the housing

In short, moving to Canada is about sacrificing the cultural and aesthetic for material gain, Margaret Thatcher would have loved it.
I don't live there (yet) but I've spent a fair few two and three month 'holidays' over there.

A lot of what dbd33 is saying about architecture and town planning is absolutely true. You will become very used to seeing one main straight road running through a small town, banded on both sides by very similar patterns of shops each with their own vast car park, and many of the newer houses aren't that inspirational (though they compare reasonably favourably with the orange faux-country boxes we jam in over here.)

I disagree about the weather though, you will see a marked difference between the seasons which really makes a difference imho. Pollution in the cities in summertime will surprise you (in a bad way) and despite the shocking numbers you'll see on the weather reports in winter I found it pretty bearable in Montreal as it's a fresh cold if that makes sense. (Canadians talk about ours being damp and eating into your bones)
... to be fair though that was December and I think it gets worse in Jan, and you really do have to heat your home well unless you want to be wearing your longjohns/woolly hat/scarf etc indoors.

Oh and Canada does have some history; much of it quite interesting to brits as it involves us! If you ever take a trip to Quebec city you'll see a lot of it - bits of the city remain walled and they still have the cannon pointing out into the river that were being fired at General Wolf (If I remember correctly.)
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Originally Posted by sinope
As the other thread I started on this topic rapidly decended into an unseemly slagging match. I was really hoping to get some insights from the people who live in Canada (and thanks for the informative posts on the other thread).
Been here since Feb '98

LIKE:
4 seasons, not just different grey skies

Relatively cheap property, affordable on a single salary.

Easy going laid back lifestyle

Friendly People, without that "me first" thing thats so popular in the UK.

Lots of space, no overcrowding. I live on a 0.8acre lot overlooking a pretty big river.

Community Spirit, neighbours helping neighbours, waving at passers by!

Load of organised stuff for kids to do

No petty crime or yobbery

"Liberal" is not a dirty word here, the politics is relatively sane, and there are many "service clubs" helping those less fortunate.

Wife and kids made in canada


DISLIKE:

LACK OF VACATION TIME!!! I'm up to 3 weeks, but its still not enough to really go somewhere for a fortnight and still have time for days off or long weekends and to cover the Xmas gap.

Missing family and friends

Raising kids, we miss the support of and interaction with family.

Cost of living (or running a house anyway) rising fast

Winter a month too long, summer too hot and humid, bloody flies and mosquitos in spring.

Poor employment rights, can be fired with no cause or notice.

"Canadian experience required" (didnt affect me, but I dislike that its exists for others)

High car insurance costs.

High cost of air travel relative to CDN dollar income

No stately homes and such ( I guess what a western european would consider "history") for weekend trips.

Used to dislike the access to credit situation, but thats fine now (now that I dont need it )

The list of Pros outweights the cons (some of which are pretty trivial)

Last edited by iaink; Aug 4th 2006 at 3:25 pm.
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Originally Posted by sinope
As the other thread I started on this topic rapidly decended into an unseemly slagging match. I was really hoping to get some insights from the people who live in Canada (and thanks for the informative posts on the other thread).

The space..
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Originally Posted by windward
they still have the cannon pointing out into the river that were being fired at General Wolf (If I remember correctly.)
Made in England, ironically enough.
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Hi,
Sorry to hear you sound so disheartenned with the forum. I'm not part of the old guard and have only been here for 6 weeks so can't be as informative and detailed as dbd but I'm happy to share my snapshot!

Likes
*Weather (we live in Mississauga at the moment)
*Lake and abundance of outdoor space - parks, pools, b-b-q's
*Lots to do (may be because we came during the summer) but been to RibFests, Midnight Madness, Grand Prix, off to see Bob the Builder later!!
*Very positive work/life balance attitude. This is obviously only our experience but my husband works for a Pharmaceutical company and he gets every other Friday afternoon off during the summer, we have a family picnic to go to next weekend and no-one is in the office past 6pm (unheard of in the same company in the UK!)
*Very friendly people and a really diverse mix of nationalities
*24hr convenience - some people may not like it but I have a toddler and a baby on the way so convenience is key. There is not much you can't get here and at most times of the day / night.
*Driving an SUV without a second mortgage
*The fact that I don't have to work and we can still have a better house than in the UK in a nice area (Very truman show but heh I have kids!!)
*Great houses - sold a 3 bed semi in Cambridgeshire just bought a 4 bed, dbl garage for the same money.
*Lots of provision for small children .......... certainly here there are lots of indoor playgrounds and state organised play centres with free classes etc.
*Healthcare. Okay so at the moment we don't have our OHIP so we are paying for it but in 3 months time we won't be. My daughter has a paediatrician who saw her within 2 weeks of being here, I have a Dr & an OB, both of whom I can get an appt with whilst I am still ill!
*Haven't really noticed much litter, grafitti etc
*Its school holidays but haven't been intimidated by groups of teenagers hanging around the parks


Dislikes
*Lack of credit - its like you have never existed anywhere else in the world
*VVVVV expensive car insurance. 2 companies quoted $11,000 for 2 cars, eventually got it down to $4000. Happy to share the details if you decide to come.
*The fact that all prices are quoted without tax - if you're not concentrating things can appear really cheap!
*Missing family and friends - you can feel really alone!
*Chain restaurants - Outback, Kelso's etc nice as far as they go but would like a bit of individuality
*Staple foods can seem expensive, milk, chicken etc. Although I like the fact that the farmers are being protected.
*Traffic on the highways - same as the UK really!
*V. impatient drivers who expect you to cross a 3 lane road on a red light!
*We get Toronto news and far from being crime free we read about shootings almost every weekend!
*V. expensive flights

As you can see - I've struggled a bit with my dislikes and to be fair most would be to do with our situation. Ie living in a rented appartment whilst waiting for our stuff to arrive from the UK. The working culture here seems to be very different from the UK - and thats not good or bad just different.
On balance - we think we will really enjoy living here. As someone else said it depends on what you are looking for. For us it was about us having the time to enjoy our young family.
Good luck in whatever you decide and I hope this helps!
Kind Regards
Tara
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

I like;

The Albertan climate. Dry and sunny with big blue skies and clean fresh air.

The slower pace of life. Partly due to the fact I no longer 'have' to work part time, so no longer rushing around like a blue ar**d fly

I like the people. Respectful, polite and just 'nice'

I like the shopping experience. Can always park, never overcrowded, less stressful.

I lurve the Mountains. No where on earth I would rather be.

I love my home. Could never have dreamt of owning such a beautiful house, and the mortgage doesn't cripple us.

I love the change in my husband. He is infinately more relaxed and that has had a huge impact on our home life.

We have more time as a family.

We do more with our time. We go to new and beautiful places. And its never a stressful drive to get anywhere. "wot no traffic jams"

I like our new quality of life

Dislikes:

The fact there are no regulations as far as car worthiness on the roads. No MOT so some real knackers clog up the roads. No emissions testing either!

Can be a bit 'samey' in all the towns you go to. A little bland in places

The price of groceries. Certains items are riduculously expensive

I dislike the fact that Alberta goes brown and dry looking in the Autumn before the snow covers it all in the winter.

I dislike the price of airfares.


I'm sure there are more, in both categories, but these sprang to mind initially.
On the whole we lurve being here in Alberta (brown grass and all.) You learn to accept the things you don't particularly like and remeber there were plenty of things about the UK you didn't like either. Why else would you consider leaving !
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Ok I'm in Calgary (That is relevant)

Like
The Mountains.
The Beef
The Perogies
Wendy's
A&W
Costco
Stampede (yes i know its not PC)
Gophers (Sorry Mo but tell Ian they will always be gophers to me)
The fact you can have all four Seasons in one day
That crime although it exists is generally less visible here than in the UK.

Dislike
Traffic cops
Price of air travel
Stoopid low speed limits
Lack of common sense (and recently courtesy) shown by other road users
TV
Price of Chicken
Homelessness
The fact that Mrs C will not let me have all the toys I want.
The fact that the way Gas is increasing in price even when I can have my toys I wont be able to run them.
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Thankyou all so, so much for this, it is exactly what I was looking for. The price of chicken keeps coming up in these threads - does nobody keep their own (I do at the mo and plan to wherever I end up)?

The car insurance thing is very interesting - that is around £2,000 for two cars wow. Does that come down with no claims? Also do company cars exist like they do in Britain? We have a fab company car here and fuel paid so it would be quite a factor in any move.

Mississauga seems to have some good jobs for my partner (ops management) so it is looking a likely destination and I really enjoyed your post Tara, I have got a 15month old so family things is high on the agenda.

I keep reading conflicting reports on Canadian education so I shall have to research a little more. I am, however, deeply unhappy about sending my daughter to a state school in this country so it may be an improvement. And anything that takes the constant exam stress out of it is a plus.

It is all great food for thought and nothing I have heard yet has made me stop short. Obviously having a good job is important but where is that not true? Anyway, thanks so much for all of the replies, you have all restored my faith in this forum.
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Originally Posted by sinope
Thankyou all so, so much for this, it is exactly what I was looking for. The price of chicken keeps coming up in these threads - does nobody keep their own (I do at the mo and plan to wherever I end up)?

The car insurance thing is very interesting - that is around £2,000 for two cars wow. Does that come down with no claims? Also do company cars exist like they do in Britain? We have a fab company car here and fuel paid so it would be quite a factor in any move.

Mississauga seems to have some good jobs for my partner (ops management) so it is looking a likely destination and I really enjoyed your post Tara, I have got a 15month old so family things is high on the agenda.

I keep reading conflicting reports on Canadian education so I shall have to research a little more. I am, however, deeply unhappy about sending my daughter to a state school in this country so it may be an improvement. And anything that takes the constant exam stress out of it is a plus.

It is all great food for thought and nothing I have heard yet has made me stop short. Obviously having a good job is important but where is that not true? Anyway, thanks so much for all of the replies, you have all restored my faith in this forum.
Glad you've had you're faith restored.

Not sure about keeping chickens (well not in the 'cities') but it is expensive compared to beef.

Insurance is a bone of contention I think you need to do a lot of shopping around and asking advice of locals.

Yes company cars do exist BUT for us personal use is a lot more restricted than it was in the UK. We are 'charged' $50 a month towards fuel costs and are not supposed to use it during holidays (annual leave).
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Originally Posted by R2D2
I like;

Dislikes:

The fact there are no regulations as far as car worthiness on the roads. No MOT so some real knackers clog up the roads.
There are some regulations: if a car is spewing pollution, the police can stop it and ticket the driver.

Before a car from another province (used) can be registered, it must pass a safety inspection.
http://www.infratrans.gov.ab.ca/Driv...gram/index.htm

Last edited by oceanMDX; Aug 4th 2006 at 4:03 pm.
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Old Aug 4th 2006, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Perhaps someone could tell me nicely what they like/dislike about Canada?

Canada's a nice place to live, but now and then i feel like sticking my finger up at it.

Here's an insight into one particular incident, let's go back to Canada Day last year.

Canada Day is also known as "Moving Day". This is particularly true of Montreal, where 75% of homes/condos/apts are rented.

I couldn't park in my assigned parking space outside my condo because someone was moving out. Instead of asking them to move their truck, I politely allowed them to continue and parked my car on the street.

The wrong way.

Yes, you can park your car on the street, the WRONG way around.

I got a $42 ticket for being polite.

Other than that, and a few other 'niggles', it's super-dooper-fine and dandy!!!

Originally Posted by sinope
Yes, obviously, but some insights into the country from an outsiders point of view would be helpful. Blood and stones comes to mind right now and are you all so deliberately obtuse or is it because I have broken some rule or offended some clique on this forum by posting when I shouldn't have? As for the comment that any discussion like this is going to end in tears, wtf???????? Come on, surely I can say I'm not keen on yellow but I love blue without someone else coming along and saying they think I am an idiot for not choosing red?
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