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Old Yesterday, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,138 posts, read 3,451,233 times
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I live in Minnesota, and we have a reputation for being "Canada Lite." Truth is, though, we're still more American than anything. For Canadians who have actually been to the northern tier states, what similarities do you see between those states and Canada, and what stands out as different? Like what are aspects where you're like "Hmmm. I could honestly confuse this area with Canada" and which ones make you go "Okay, now I know this isn't Canada."

Last edited by BadgerFilms; Yesterday at 07:38 PM.. Reason: Typed in "Americans" when I meant "Canadians."
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Old Yesterday, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,666 posts, read 11,227,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerFilms View Post
I live in Minnesota, and we have a reputation for being "Canada Lite." Truth is, though, we're still more American than anything. For Canadians who have actually been to the northern tier states, what similarities do you see between those states and Canada, and what stands out as different? Like what are aspects where you're like "Hmmm. I could honestly confuse this area with Canada" and which ones make you go "Okay, now I know this isn't Canada."
I see a difference pretty much instantly when I cross from Fort Erie On to Buffalo NY. The architecture is different, the accent with which people speak different. The way they dress by and large different. Even roads and highways feel different. I love when I say thank you to an American including in Buffalo, they'll respond with uhuh. You never get that in Canada, it is usually YW, a nod of the head or even no response. Even the shops and restaurants are different sure you can get Tim Hortons in Buffalo and Mcdonalds in the GTA, but there are a lot of different shops too. Hobby Lobby, The Bon Ton

I think Toronto is getting its first Chick-Fil-A soon but no Sonic in sight.

Anyway - it is easier to tell apart differences when many things are similar but no denying you're in a different country the moment you cross the border!
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Old Today, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
2,214 posts, read 1,776,001 times
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I'm in southern Alberta. I've been down to Montana a few times.

Really, it's not much different at first glance. Montana has prairies, like Alberta, and mountains in the west; and there are small towns scattered about, most of them off the Interstate, just as they are here, off the major highways. The Interstate shield is familiar, as it is on our road signs up here ("Alberta 4 to Interstate 15"), using Alberta's normal route marker and the familiar red-white-and-blue Interstate shield. Great Falls, Montana, is on Alberta Highway 4's distance signs, though the distance is marked in kilometers. On the other hand, once you leave Shelby MT on I-15 north, the signs indicate that the next city is Lethbridge, AB, and the distance is marked in miles. The way the road signs treat them, Great Falls and Lethbridge might as well be two cities in the same country, especially since the only thing that separates Canada and the USA hereabouts is a pagewire fence. There is a major customs post at Coutts AB and Sweetgrass MT, of course (connecting Alberta 4 and I-15), but either side of that is a simple fence.

The differences manifest themselves more subtly. It's not just buying gas in gallons, but it's the inability to pay at the pump using my credit card, because Canadian credit cards don't work at US pumps. So I always have to go into the station to prepay. And all those cigarettes on display behind the gas station clerk--in Alberta, they must be hidden behind a curtain or silmilar. At a time when Canadian sports bars at home are showing hockey, news about hockey, and anything else related to hockey (to the exclusion of other sports); it's nice to stop into an American sports bar where football (pro and college), baseball, and basketball get equal time with hockey--if hockey is shown at all. For that matter, the sports section of an American newspaper does not devote the first five to ten pages to hockey, the way newspapers do here.

Like I said, the differences here in the North American west are subtle. Anybody not from the US or Canada might not notice them, but to us Americans and Canadians, they are apparent.
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Old Today, 01:10 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
541 posts, read 597,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
I think Toronto is getting its first Chick-Fil-A soon but no Sonic in sight.
Don’t get excited. Chick Fil A is almost worshipped, and I can’t figure out why. The food is very blah. Not bad, but no real flavor. Sonic is way worse, though they have milkshake happy hours, alright chili cheese dogs, and the novelty of a carhop.

Niagara Falls? Do I really need to say any more? It’s the only time I’ve been to Canada, and it couldn’t have been more different. Also, the Canadian border guard looked like a GQ cover and was polite as could be. The fat American guard pointed us over for a secondary inspection.
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Old Today, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
22,091 posts, read 27,546,238 times
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As shown in posts made by Fusion and Chevy, the biggest contrasts in terms of having crossed an international border are in southern Ontario vis-à-vis neighbouring parts of NY and MI (especially stark in the case of Buffalo and Detroit), and obviously where Quebec borders the U.S.


New Brunswick offers a border contrast on the same level as what you find in Western Canada. It's there but fairly subtle.


Heck, at Edmundston NB - Madawaska ME most people actually speak French on both sides of the border! (Though diminishingly so on the American side.)
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Old Today, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
9,633 posts, read 9,502,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerFilms View Post
I live in Minnesota, and we have a reputation for being "Canada Lite." Truth is, though, we're still more American than anything. For Canadians who have actually been to the northern tier states, what similarities do you see between those states and Canada, and what stands out as different? Like what are aspects where you're like "Hmmm. I could honestly confuse this area with Canada" and which ones make you go "Okay, now I know this isn't Canada."
Do they use Canadian spelling in Minnesota? I noticed you typed “neighbouring”?
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Old Today, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
22,091 posts, read 27,546,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
Do they use Canadian spelling in Minnesota? I noticed you typed “neighbouring”?
I highly doubt it. American spelling seems totally dominant and harmonized all across the U.S.
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Old Today, 09:18 AM
Status: "El Paso in our thoughts and prayers" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Canada
4,908 posts, read 4,494,161 times
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lol Mouldy never misses a thing.
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Old Today, 09:37 AM
 
61 posts, read 19,021 times
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In my area (Eastern Townships of Quebec), the main and most obvious difference when crossing the border is language: in Northern NH/VT, the people speak English. Other differences include: they're more religious (and way more Protestant/less Catholic), have on average slightly larger vehicles (lower gas prices), and while the architecture is extremely similar between the two regions, on the American side the towns are both more homogeneously historic yet also a bit less maintained. You also see more stuff such as old vehicles rotting away on farms, etc. on the U.S. side - this aspect of rurality and freedom ("I have the right to leave that eyesore on my own property if I want, it's MY property") is, it seems, stronger in the U.S. (it's also typically American, while here we're a bit more collectivist.)
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Old Today, 09:44 AM
 
61 posts, read 19,021 times
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Also if I want to stop for coffee on the road when I go to my land... if I choose to get it in Coaticook it's Tim Hortons and if I choose to get it in Colebrook it's Dunkin Donuts. (I actually prefer the latter as far as taste goes, even though with the exchange rate these days it's not as good a deal.)

(There's an excellent coffee shop in the village but it's never open late in the evenings... so, commercial cheap coffee it is.)
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