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Old 06-18-2015, 10:57 PM
Location: Alberta, Canada
2,189 posts, read 1,761,081 times
Reputation: 2669


Originally Posted by OZpharmer View Post
Hi, could you tell me what Canadian culture is really like?

.... Oh, and I am asking about the Anglo-Canadian culture only.
That's a loaded question around here.

There are those who will tell you that English Canadian culture doesn't exist, that is is simply American culture: the same TV shows, music, visiting Broadway productions, etc., etc., etc. Canadians watch NFL football more than CFL football, and NHL hockey (note that this is hockey--Canada's game!) is headquartered in New York USA, instead of Montreal, Canada. Both cultures enjoy baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolets; to borrow an old advertising slogan.

While these may be true (or may not--I really have no idea of NFL viewership statistics for Canada), they are the big-picture issues. The differences, I'd suggest, are far more subtle.

For example, many of the big issues that continue to be discussed in the US were settled in Canada years, if not decades, ago; and are no longer issues in Canada. Abortion? Have one, if you like; it is a matter between a woman and her physician, and the government plays no role in the decision. Gay marriage? That was made legal ten-plus years ago. Should tax dollars go towards a government-run TV and radio network? Not in the US, but in Canada, many people feel that it should, and such networks exist. And the big one: healthcare. Canadians simply cannot conceive of a healthcare system that doesn't deliver care to the uninsured--because every resident of Canada has insurance simply by virtue of being a resident of Canada. Canadians have trouble figuring out why Americans cannot figure such things out, because Canadians figured them out years ago.

Canadians are very wary about guns; and while private ownership of firearms is allowed, there is no right to own one, as enumerated in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Still, any Canadian claiming that he or she needs a gun "for protection" will forever be barred from owning one. To Canadians, guns are sporting goods, used for hunting or target shooting; they are not weapons used for offensive or defensive purposes. As such, Canadians have trouble understanding the recent church shooting in Charleston, the school shooting in Sandy Hook, the Columbine Massacre, Virginia Tech--the list goes on. Why, Canadians ask, are guns so easy to get in the US? Why are there no controls? But then, we run up against the Second Amendment again, which Canadians just don't understand.

Americans tend to be more individualistic, looking to solve problems themselves; while Canadians aren't. As a Canadian, I'm always amazed after an incident like Columbine or Virginia Tech, when Americans say, "Well, if teachers were armed, this wouldn't have happened." The Canadian reaction is to say, "Call the cops and take cover." In other words, Canadians look to governmental authorities to solve their problems. This extends to many other aspects of Canadian life: "The government should do something!" instead of Canadians taking the initiative and solving problems themselves. This is a good or bad attitude, depending on your point of view.

Other things manifest themselves even more subtly: Canadians don't wear their politics on their sleeve or their bumper stickers (and asking about politics is considered rude), they don't proclaim that their kid is an honor student at Anywhere High, and religion is non-existent in the public sphere (who cares what church a politician goes to and how often?). Americans will never know the delights of Lowney's Cherry Blossom; of six different kinds of Molson beer (order a "Molson" in Canada and you'll be asked "What kind?"); of the straight Virginia tobacco taste of Export A for those who still smoke, of the the tangy sauce at Swiss Chalet, or of the ability--nay, the expectation--that you will customize your burger at Harvey's. Nanaimo bars, tortiuere pie, maple taffy, Sweet Marie, ketchup chips, Kraft Dinner (not "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese"), legal Cuban cigars, Hudson's Bay stores--these are all normal things to Canadians. They are largely unknown to Americans.

In short, superficially, you might think that English Canadian culture mirrors that of the US. It doesn't. There are subtle differences.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:18 PM
Location: Montreal
579 posts, read 470,076 times
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If I may add, subtleties are also partly regional...
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:20 AM
Location: between three Great Lakes.
1,766 posts, read 1,954,347 times
Reputation: 5973
"We are a single income family forever on a tight budget"

O.P., this statement doesn't square with wanting to move anywhere. Uprooting your household is an enormous cost, literally and figuratively. You might consider becoming employed before moving anywhere.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:37 PM
411 posts, read 1,152,805 times
Reputation: 313
OP, why not make the large diversity of climate / plenty of geographic latitudes that exist in U.S. come to fruition?
Yes, Canada may be big, but the weather is almost the same everywhere (bad that is), with very few exceptions (i.e. BC, but that also stands for "Bring Cash" and low-paying jobs even in IT).

If I were you, I wouldn't give off US for Canada, especially if you have a path for long-term/permanent residence.

[my background: born and lived in Europe, then lived for 7 years in Montreal, other 3 in Ontario, and now established in U.S.]
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:36 AM
2,676 posts, read 1,079,860 times
Reputation: 5171
Originally Posted by Pennies4Penny View Post
I have thought about moving to Canada off and on over the past 5 or so years, but was always turned off by the weather. After scouring the US for a place to relocate, we realized that to get what we want we are going to have to move north and settled on Minneapolis, Minnesota. We are happy with that choice, but seeing as the weather there is pretty much the same as Canada's, I thought I would take a more serious look into moving there. The problem is, it is so BIG, I don't know where to start!

For no particular reason, I am more drawn to the west coast, but Vancouver seems to be VERY expensive. Ontario is out because we have a pit bull and pit mix coming with us (nonnegotiable; we are aware of the difficulties in trying to rent, get insurance, etc, not a deterrent). St John's, Newfoundland looked very interesting until I saw where it was :/. So far east, waaayyy up north!! I honestly don't know much about the rest of Canada.

We have three small children, so education and quality schools are very important. I like suburban/city life with museums and cultural events and easy errand running, but also enjoy getting out in nature, hiking and my husband loves fishing. We are a single income family forever on a tight budget, so cost of living needs to be reasonable/doable.

Also anyone transfer with your company from the US to Canada? I know my husband's company has Canadian sites, but I haven't looked into where exactly yet. I know transferring will probably make things easier, but I don't want to limit ourselves either. TIA!
I'm Canadian and have lived in several Canadian and American towns/cities (dual citizen).
Cost of Living price statistics of Canadian cities (rent, utilities, food, clothing, fuel,etc.)http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/
Top 10 Family-Friendly Canadian Cities
Best Large-sized Cities

Good Luck !!!!
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