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Old 06-12-2022, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
17,194 posts, read 12,717,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
No problem buddy



I have to admit Nat - i'm surprised you haven't been yet lol
Was suppose to have gone by now.

Pre-Covid our trip plans were one trip to Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City, one year and the Maritimes the next.

That got reduced to just Toronto at the beginning of this month. Nice time. Partner didn't want anything longer since part of the trip was some family stuff.

It was our first real trip in over 2 years. We called it our " It's only Toronto " trip.

So next year....hopefully we will get the Ottawa, and Quebec City part ( I've been to Quebec City, but my partner hasn't. They've been to Ottawa and I've only been at their airport ) done. Plus throw in some NB, NS and PEI.

Interesting to read the OP' s experiences, especially about the unfriendly in NB. Never heard anything like that before...although I do have a friend from NB...they can be a bit harsh sounding sometimes but I doubt it has anything to do with being from NB.
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Old 06-12-2022, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
The last post was already too long so I have to add a second one here. These are other helpful reflections from my trip.

Border crossing/ArriveCAN - Crossing the border and using ArriveCAN is a lot more seamless than what Travel Canada purported. The border guard pretty much grabbed our passports and scanned them over his device which automatically displayed the ArriveCAN info, vaccination proof and all. I still downloaded the ArriveCAN app and printed copies of the receipt from the website version for backup. Still, the crossing did not feel all that much different than pre-pandemic days.

Masking - What the!? I thought Canadians were very regimental about mask wearing and social distancing but I guess all of that went out the door once the mask mandates were lifted. Nine out of ten locals were maskless, particularly the young people, and social distancing was definitely not practiced in many places. In fact, it really felt like we were back in 2019. I see more people masked up back here in Greater Boston than anywhere in New Brunswick though admittedly, Boston is a lot more crowded and diverse. I suppose there are greater chances of catching the virus here than there. Is this the case in bigger metropolitan areas like Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver?

Language - New Brunswick claims to be the only officially bilingual province but the language spread is very uneven. All of the Fundy Coast including Saint John is overwhelmingly Anglo, most stop signs say "Stop Arret" but sure enough there are ones that simply say "Stop". Many other non-governmental signs are only in English. I only heard French spoken in Shediac so it is communities along the coast of the Northumberland Strait that speak French.

Canadian tea - I was determined to load up on Canadian tea during this road trip because Canadian tea is so much better than that insipid dishwater passed off as tea down here in the States. I ended up purchasing three boxes of Barbour's King Cole Tea, three boxes of Canadian Tetley, and three boxes of Canadian Red Rose. The cashier at Atlantic Superstore (what they call Loblaws in the Maritimes) even got me an Optimum card which I used to get all nine tea boxes for discounted prices and this card I can use at any Loblaws, Provigo, or Atlantic Superstores in future visits. I also loaded up on a variety of Canadian brand biscuits and cookies. Oh yes, and in New Brunswick, the most popular tea brand is its own Barbour's King Cole Tea, based out of Sussex, NB. If Canadian Red Rose Tea is gold then King Cole Tea is platinum . It is one of the richest blends I have ever tasted.

Food - If you like fried seafood, New Brunswick is the place for you. I like fried seafood too but after two days of eating fried clams, we all felt we needed a change. There weren't many choices for other ethnic foods though. It is too bad there aren't any authentic Chinese restaurants in Saint John because there are not many Chinese living there. We had to settle for Westernized Chinese food which is just not the same (who puts broccoli in a Mo Gu Gai Pan dish?). Sigh. It makes that Congee Queen on Lawrence Avenue, East in Toronto seem like a distant memory.

Canadian Funny Money - I was also determined to make a killing on Canadian pennies so I can fill up an entire jar at home and this time I really did. I ended up purchasing a total of 66 rolls of pennies and even got additional large handfuls of loose pennies from a vendor at Saint John's Market and the kind manager at the duty free shop at the border. Yeah, I might have overbought because 30-40 rolls could already fill up the jar but hey, I said I was going to indulge on this trip. I even found some specialties such as old pennies with King George VI on them and an old Saint John river crossing token. As always, the task was not easy. I managed to get the first 40 rolls at the second bank I visited, they let me clean out their penny roll collection. After that though, I went through eight different banks with no luck until my 11th bank, which sold me just one roll, and the 12th and final bank which sold me another 25. That last bank however (it was a BMO branch in Saint John) had a very friendly teller, kind manager, and over a hundred rolls of pennies which after I purchased my 25, told me I could come back anytime to purchase more from them . At many of the other banks, I got the typical "We're not allowed to sell pennies to you" even though I pleaded with them I was only purchasing for collector's purposes. I really do wonder the real reason for this as even the RCM website made it clear that though taken out of circulation, pennies along with 50 cent pieces and silver dollars still remain legal tender and can be purchased and spent . I sincerely doubt the RCMP is going to arrest a teller or bank manager for selling funny money back into the public . Perhaps it has more to with the bank's accounting but I don't think I or anyone else will ever get the correct answer. It makes no sense that one bank branch says they're not allowed to sell and the next one lets you clean out their supply.

Now I do admit, just for fun, I gave the cashier at Tim Hortons three pennies and to my surprise, he accepted them. I had no such luck with spending my fifty cent pieces that I brought with me. No less than four vendors rejected the coin including Walmart and Marks, the cashier at Sobeys even going so far as telling me Canada only has 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, 1 dollar, and 2 dollars for coins This was after I told her to look at the Canadian coat of arms on the 50 cent piece . That Canadian 50 cent coin remains the black sheep of the family because so little people have seen it, heard of it, or appreciate it. I feel sorry for the RCM for trying to promote the coin over the years only to find each attempt fall flat. Oh well, I'll just return the 50 cent pieces to my collection because I appreciate it.
Not surprising really.

A lot of younger people don't even recognize our old paper bills. I had an old 5 dollar one, and the cashier had to check with her manager as she thought it was fake.
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Old 06-12-2022, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
Was suppose to have gone by now.

Pre-Covid our trip plans were one trip to Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City, one year and the Maritimes the next.

That got reduced to just Toronto at the beginning of this month. Nice time. Partner didn't want anything longer since part of the trip was some family stuff.

It was our first real trip in over 2 years. We called it our " It's only Toronto " trip.

So next year....hopefully we will get the Ottawa, and Quebec City part ( I've been to Quebec City, but my partner hasn't. They've been to Ottawa and I've only been at their airport ) done. Plus throw in some NB, NS and PEI.

Interesting to read the OP' s experiences, especially about the unfriendly in NB. Never heard anything like that before...although I do have a friend from NB...they can be a bit harsh sounding sometimes but I doubt it has anything to do with being from NB.
Yeah I hope you guys get out there in the not too distant future. I didn't spend too much time with the locals as I was doing more nature stuff and trails. I didn't have any feeling that anyone was unfriendly, though but I guess individual experiences can vary.

I drove from T.O to Halifax in October though. It was a gorgeous drive! The changing colours was a highlight. Just majestic.
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Old 06-12-2022, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post

Language - New Brunswick claims to be the only officially bilingual province but the language spread is very uneven. All of the Fundy Coast including Saint John is overwhelmingly Anglo, most stop signs say "Stop Arret" but sure enough there are ones that simply say "Stop". Many other non-governmental signs are only in English. I only heard French spoken in Shediac so it is communities along the coast of the Northumberland Strait that speak French.
You definitely get a strong French penetration along the border with QC. Edmunston is probably the most prominent city along the QC border in NB and definitely French was more prominent than English. I stopped into the local Walmart and asked an employee a question in English and he didn't speak a lick of it. My limited French got me through though. But yeah, just hearing the locals talking to one another it was mainly French.
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Old 06-12-2022, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post

Interesting to read the OP' s experiences, especially about the unfriendly in NB. Never heard anything like that before...although I do have a friend from NB...they can be a bit harsh sounding sometimes but I doubt it has anything to do with being from NB.
Not everyone was outwardly unfriendly, in fact I encountered more friendly individuals than not but there was definitely a cold, condescending vibe that I felt there that I did not feel elsewhere in Canada. I don't mean to stereotype but I swear it is the same attitude I witness time and time again here in New England and perhaps only someone who grew up in New England can attribute to it. It was a lot more Nashua, New Hampshire than say Los Angeles, Vancouver, or even Toronto (New York is in a different category of unfriendly). I blame it on our harsh weather but it could be attributed to other things such as wealth, environment, upbringing, and educational attainment as well. Overall I am not offended because I am used to this attitude but it was surprising to also witness it over the border that's all.

If you're wondering whether I did encounter rude individuals during my trip, well there was the time we got lost in Saint John and took the wrong turn onto a dead end. There were several individuals lounging about outside but when we tried to ask directions, they simply ignored us. We probably didn't fit the type they'd seek to help. Then at a CIBC branch in the outskirts of Saint John, I tried to exchange banknotes for loonies and toonies because I had run out of them but when I told the teller I was from the States and was not a bank customer, she quickly shook her head and curtly told me "No, we can't do it" and sent me on my way. So the teller was probably right in that she could not make the transaction but she could have explained to me in a kinder fashion. This by the way did not happen at other bank branches, some other tellers were very accommodating even when explaining why they could not do certain things. You can tell the types that want your business and the types who don't care whoever you are and are not there to help you.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Default the Donair

Oh yeah, there is one more thing I forgot to mention about food in the Maritime Provinces. There is this Middle Eastern like wrap sandwich commonly found in local and regional pizza and fast food restaurants called the donair (a variant of doner). It was apparently first introduced by a Greek immigrant in the 1970's and subsequent chefs in the region have made it the way he presented it with its special donair sauce and everything. I tried it at a local chain called Greco Pizza and found it to be very tasty.
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Old 06-15-2022, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
17,194 posts, read 12,717,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Oh yeah, there is one more thing I forgot to mention about food in the Maritime Provinces. There is this Middle Eastern like wrap sandwich commonly found in local and regional pizza and fast food restaurants called the donair (a variant of doner). It was apparently first introduced by a Greek immigrant in the 1970's and subsequent chefs in the region have made it the way he presented it with its special donair sauce and everything. I tried it at a local chain called Greco Pizza and found it to be very tasty.
Donairs are popular here in Vancouver, and have been for decades. In fact there are four near me. Popular after clubbing food.

Not sure about the rest of Canada, but I have seen some in Toronto.

I did know about it's Halifax origins.
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Old 06-19-2022, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
Donairs are popular here in Vancouver, and have been for decades. In fact there are four near me. Popular after clubbing food.

Not sure about the rest of Canada, but I have seen some in Toronto.

I did know about it's Halifax origins.
In T.O you don't get 'Donair' or at least not common but you do get Shawarma's which are ubiquitous.. I think Donair's are Turkish in origin and a Nova Scotian variant of the Doner Kebab. Shawarmas originated in Levant countries. They are very similar by the looks and delicious - before or after clubbing - though i don't do that much at all anymore lol.
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Old 06-25-2022, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Default Boston news channels in Saint John

I forgot to mention that I was surprised to find a few of our own Boston networks while staying at our hotel in Saint John. Boston is hundreds of kilometers away from Saint John and there we were in Saint John watching WBZ Channel 4 news and WCVB Channel 5 news, Boston happenings, Boston weather, the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, etc. I wonder if the locals are able to watch this news too. I suppose Canadian communities close to the US Border can tune into news from across (e.g. Vancouver B.C. getting Seattle news) but Boston is not near the Canadian border. I didn't even think that Boston media had that much of an impact outside of Massachusetts much less all of New England but New Brunswick, Canada? It all goes to showing that this particular trip to Canada nearly felt like I never left home.
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Old 06-25-2022, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,722 posts, read 33,898,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
I forgot to mention that I was surprised to find a few of our own Boston networks while staying at our hotel in Saint John. Boston is hundreds of kilometers away from Saint John and there we were in Saint John watching WBZ Channel 4 news and WCVB Channel 5 news, Boston happenings, Boston weather, the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, etc. I wonder if the locals are able to watch this news too. I suppose Canadian communities close to the US Border can tune into news from across (e.g. Vancouver B.C. getting Seattle news) but Boston is not near the Canadian border. I didn't even think that Boston media had that much of an impact outside of Massachusetts much less all of New England but New Brunswick, Canada? It all goes to showing that this particular trip to Canada nearly felt like I never left home.
Every place in Canada has ABC-CBS-NBC-FOX stations on basic cable.

In Atlantic Canada they are the Boston stations.

Where I live they are Detroit stations so I can watch Detroit local news. It used to be Rochester NY stations here but it was changed.
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