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Old 03-31-2015, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Both coasts
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Posted a similar bit in the UK section on random thoughts based on my travels

- Less overweight people (especially in the city centers) and less really tall guys compared to the US. I hardly saw any fat people in downtown Vancouver/ Montreal or Toronto but aware that changes as you get further from the city cores

- Less crazies and people talking loud and dramatically on their phones in public/ transit than in the US

- Like the UK, Blacks don't have their own (discernible) accent than the Whites- maybe a little tinge here and there (some Jamaican undertones?) but not completely different like between the whites & Blacks in the US

- There are redneck-types- they may not have a drawl like their US counterparts and infact I observed unscientifically that you see more pick-up trucks in downtown Vancouver than in Downtown San Francisco. You can tell they are "Northern rednecks"

- Canadian news-casts seem very quaint to me, reporting a lot of light-hearted news and banter. More goody-goody in essence than US or UK counterparts. The production quality is less flashy & sensational

- Couldn't find cherry coke (yet they have it in Australia & UK) and couldn't find any place selling chicken-fried-steak/ okra- basically Southern food (or Pacific Island food) but it was easier to find fish n chips and places selling kebabs/ Middle Eastern. There were more candy I recognize seeing in the UK but couldn't find some of the US staples such as Mr. Goodbar, 1000 Grand but they are junk anyway

- the drugstores seem to take more of a retail strategy direction from the UK than the US. The Canadian stores feel more like Boots & Superdrug to me than Walgreens or CVS is what I'm saying

- Hard to put in words but the overall ambience is such that I know I am in Canada (which intangibly feels different from the US or the UK). The immigrants seem newer and global compared to the US- there is a little more law & order and a veneer of goody-goody & civility. Plus there are no African-American or Hispanic influences or Southern dimensions that are obviously distinctive to the overall US slice of life.
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle-WA-USA
678 posts, read 665,144 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
Posted a similar bit in the UK section on random thoughts based on my travels

- Less overweight people (especially in the city centers) and less really tall guys compared to the US. I hardly saw any fat people in downtown Vancouver/ Montreal or Toronto but aware that changes as you get further from the city cores

- Less crazies and people talking loud and dramatically on their phones in public/ transit than in the US

- Like the UK, Blacks don't have their own (discernible) accent than the Whites- maybe a little tinge here and there (some Jamaican undertones?) but not completely different like between the whites & Blacks in the US

- There are redneck-types- they may not have a drawl like their US counterparts and infact I observed unscientifically that you see more pick-up trucks in downtown Vancouver than in Downtown San Francisco. You can tell they are "Northern rednecks"

- Canadian news-casts seem very quaint to me, reporting a lot of light-hearted news and banter. More goody-goody in essence than US or UK counterparts. The production quality is less flashy & sensational

- Couldn't find cherry coke (yet they have it in Australia & UK) and couldn't find any place selling chicken-fried-steak/ okra- basically Southern food (or Pacific Island food) but it was easier to find fish n chips and places selling kebabs/ Middle Eastern. There were more candy I recognize seeing in the UK but couldn't find some of the US staples such as Mr. Goodbar, 1000 Grand but they are junk anyway

- the drugstores seem to take more of a retail strategy direction from the UK than the US. The Canadian stores feel more like Boots & Superdrug to me than Walgreens or CVS is what I'm saying

- Hard to put in words but the overall ambience is such that I know I am in Canada (which intangibly feels different from the US or the UK). The immigrants seem newer and global compared to the US- there is a little more law & order and a veneer of goody-goody & civility. Plus there are no African-American or Hispanic influences or Southern dimensions that are obviously distinctive to the overall US slice of life.
All this is pretty much spot-on.
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Pretty good eye there, f1000.
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:26 PM
 
2,566 posts, read 2,186,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
Posted a similar bit in the UK section on random thoughts based on my travels

- Less overweight people (especially in the city centers) and less really tall guys compared to the US. I hardly saw any fat people in downtown Vancouver/ Montreal or Toronto but aware that changes as you get further from the city cores

- Less crazies and people talking loud and dramatically on their phones in public/ transit than in the US

- Like the UK, Blacks don't have their own (discernible) accent than the Whites- maybe a little tinge here and there (some Jamaican undertones?) but not completely different like between the whites & Blacks in the US

- There are redneck-types- they may not have a drawl like their US counterparts and infact I observed unscientifically that you see more pick-up trucks in downtown Vancouver than in Downtown San Francisco. You can tell they are "Northern rednecks"

- Canadian news-casts seem very quaint to me, reporting a lot of light-hearted news and banter. More goody-goody in essence than US or UK counterparts. The production quality is less flashy & sensational

- Couldn't find cherry coke (yet they have it in Australia & UK) and couldn't find any place selling chicken-fried-steak/ okra- basically Southern food (or Pacific Island food) but it was easier to find fish n chips and places selling kebabs/ Middle Eastern. There were more candy I recognize seeing in the UK but couldn't find some of the US staples such as Mr. Goodbar, 1000 Grand but they are junk anyway

- the drugstores seem to take more of a retail strategy direction from the UK than the US. The Canadian stores feel more like Boots & Superdrug to me than Walgreens or CVS is what I'm saying

- Hard to put in words but the overall ambience is such that I know I am in Canada (which intangibly feels different from the US or the UK). The immigrants seem newer and global compared to the US- there is a little more law & order and a veneer of goody-goody & civility. Plus there are no African-American or Hispanic influences or Southern dimensions that are obviously distinctive to the overall US slice of life.
I'd say this is one of the few impressions that's pretty much spot on, among the usual sea of trolls on Canada threads. A lot of it matches my first impressions of Canada when I moved from Boston to Toronto last summer. A few points to add when I first came here:

- The major Canadian airports (at least YYZ and YVR) are very nicely maintained and non-hectic, in contrast to the JFK/Newark/LaGuardia chaos (though things starting to change slowly in places like Boston with the opening of the new Terminal B in Logan)

- Shopping centers in Canada seem more polished and professional. I've been to a few major ones in Toronto and one in Vancouver, and they are all very nice.

- No Afro-American accent/culture, even though there is a large black community in cities like Toronto. And blacks in Canada seem to do better and more affluent than many impoverished black neighbhorhoods in America.

- A lot of people use public transit. Not just the number of people, but also the demographics of people who use PT in Canada. In America, with the exception of NYC and a few NE cities, it's mostly working class/Afro Americans using the PT, no offense but I went to college in B'more and that's almost always the case whenever you step on a bus. In Toronto and Vancouver, I actually see people from varying socio-economic backgrounds using PT, which is a refreshing experience similar to PT usage in Europe.

- Things seem a little more well-maintained (even though parts of Toronto right now are a mess). More smooth roads and freeways, more frequent public transit, more awareness of recycling.

Those are the positives that I can immediately see and feel when I first arrived in Canada from across the border.
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Canada

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Old 03-31-2015, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
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Part of the change with the airports is that in Canada, for the most part, you were never allowed to have access to the gates. Security was always a checkpoint with a secure airside, completely unlike the US. So most of the Canadian airports are built with that space already planned for, also unlike the US, which only had gate level security, and general public access right to the gate.
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:35 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️
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I agree with other respondents, your observations are pretty spot on.

With regard to the following I think I can offer an explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post

- There are redneck-types- they may not have a drawl like their US counterparts and infact I observed unscientifically that you see more pick-up trucks in downtown Vancouver than in Downtown San Francisco. You can tell they are "Northern rednecks"
I think a lot of those pickup trucks you saw in downtown Vancouver most likely belong to people whose work takes them into Vancouver but they don't live in Vancouver and they aren't rednecks. Only a fifth of the lower mainland population live in Vancouver and the rest live in surrounding towns within an hour's drive where there is a great deal of agriculture, livestock ranching and other industries, roads and weather (weather is a major factor) that require the practical use of pickup trucks rather than cars. There are also many white collar people who live in more rural or greenbelt areas of those towns whose homes are on small acreages where they have little hobby farms and gardens where trucks are needed, or people whose families are greatly invested in outdoor recreation and activities that requires a truck instead of a small car.

More to the point, most of those people who use pickups are not what you would call rednecks, they are just ordinary people with ordinary lifestyles and attitudes by Canadian standards. Redneck doesn't mean the same things politically or socially in Canada that it means in America. In America "redneck" is a recognized culture that is different and pickup trucks are stereotypical symbols as well as status symbols of that culture. Not so in Canada, where pickups are just considered a necessary tool depending on citizens living and work and recreational environments and the changing weather conditions that they have to deal with every day.

If you were to do an early evening tour of the residential areas of Vancouver city you would rarely see pickup trucks parked on the streets or in people's driveways. They are not needed. But if you were to do a tour of the residential areas of the suburban and rural towns surrounding Vancouver and out into the agricultural areas of the valley it would not be unusual to see one or two pickup trucks parked in front of every 2nd house on the street. Sometimes in front of every house. Many of those people are white collar workers.

.

Last edited by Zoisite; 03-31-2015 at 04:46 PM..
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Nice to read some honest and intelligent observations about Canada from the eyes of someone from the outside that isn't trying to stir the pot..
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:27 PM
 
18,333 posts, read 10,407,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Nice to read some honest and intelligent observations about Canada from the eyes of someone from the outside that isn't trying to stir the pot..
X 2. Refreshingly so!
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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When I read the bit about pickup trucks, my thoughts were exactly like Zoiste. Not all, and probably most of those people in those trucks aren't rednecks at all.

I agree with your drug store comparison. We used to have Boots in Canada ( as well as Mark's and Spencer ) but they left. Perhaps because they weren't really bringing anything new to the market? EDIT: My favourite drug anywhere is London Drugs. Only in B.C. and Alberta. Love them.

Another reasons airports differ in Canada and the US is because of the way they are funded. I read an article a while back on an American site, proposing that the Canadian model might work better.

Transit...also correct. No stigma for the most part in taking transit.

You've got me thinking about doing a similar post regarding my many visits to the US. The good and the bad !! LOL
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