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Old 02-22-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Both coasts
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Of course I know that "danger" can happen anywhere...but in general, Canada is a far safer place than the US. I've spent time in all the main Canadian cities and they all seem safe. At night, you see people of all walks of life (including young women and young families) walking around in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

There is this case here in LA of the Canadian-Chinese tourist girl who was found dead in a hotel that people here know is in the "rough part of town"....whether foul play or not, but still...and obviously all the crazy incidences like the Newtown & theater and mall shootings. etc etc all reflecting the realities that anything BAD can happen but ESPECIALLY in the US

Anyway, when you visit the US esp in the big cities- do you feel safe or have your guard up more than you would say in Canada or other parts of the world where violent crime is statistically lower?
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:51 AM
 
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Wherever you go you take it by a city by city basis. Frankly if you know a certain areas bad you tend to avoid it, it's the same in canada as it is in the states in that regards. I've never heard a canadian say they feel "un-safe" visiting the the US, most canadians are wise enough to know what areas of major armerican cities are safer than others.

DC's one of my favorite cities to visit even though it has a reputation of crime and violence in some areas. So i avoid those areas and have a good time. The unbalanced socio-economic divisions in a lot of US major cities is sort of a "blessing" for tourists and travelers to put it bluntly, as it's usually pretty clear visually what are the good areas and what are the "bad ones".

Mexico has been an issue for many canadian travelers the last several years though. That's actually the #1 foreign country for canadian deaths and I have talked to fellow canadians who are weary of visiting there.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
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I've never been to any of the high crime areas in the US, as most of my travels to the States are to Montana and North Dakota, which are actually statistically safer than Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Generally, I don't have any particular worries in either country, as I don't tend to associate with people involved in serious criminal activity, nor do I generally visit run down, poverty stricken neighborhoods, unless I have a specific reason to do so.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Windsor Ontario/Colchester Ontario
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I feel less safe in the States, knowing how so many people carry guns, and there is a much higher crime rate there as well. I must say that I feel pretty safe in most places though, just have to be aware of what is around you. South Chicago scared the HELL out of me though, when we took a wrong turn. I grew up in Windsor and have spent much of my time in Detroit, but I have never felt as unsafe as in South Chicago!
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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I have, but it really depends on where. I go to Washington State and never feel unsafe, just more aware. I've walked around Seattle at night with no worries. However I am a bit more cautious in L.A. and to a degree San Francisco, especially parts of Oakland at night. In NYC I'm more aware as well, but still haven't been in fear.
By aware I mean what North 42 I think means. Knowing that more people carry guns does not make me feel comfortable.
Also I don't worry what part of the city I'm in while I'm in Canada.
I also camp occasionally in Washington State and was surprised at how many Americans had handguns while camping. It came up in conversation last year. This campsite also gets some Canadians. You could feel the divide. We Canadians never thought about taking a handgun camping. A hunting rifle maybe, that is if you are going to be in an area where you might need one. I have no idea if the campground, a private one, allows handguns since no one was showing them, just admitting they had them.
As for the poor girl from Vancouver who was murdered that doesn't frighten me since it seems she didn't take any precautions. It seems incredible that today with the internet that she didn't do more research on the hotel and area's to stay in. We don't have the whole story yet, but it's something I would never have done. I used to drive down L.A. and San Fran when I was only 20, this is before the internet, but I still checked guidebooks and tried to have a feel for a place and neighbourhood before I'd stay.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Some Canadians, like my mother, are unrealistically afraid of the American cities. When we've been in them together, she'll say things like "don't make a scene, this is America and people are crazy and have guns and you never know if you're going to antagonize a nutjob who'll just shoot you dead." I don't know if this is realistic, but I've encountered quite a few Canadians who aren't very... worldly, who are quite frightened of American cities. These were all urban Canadians as I've only ever lived in urban Canada.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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I travel to the US regularly and have spent time in some of its poorest urban neighbourhoods. I felt unsafe once in Chicago's South Side (you can read my story in the Chicago forum, in the thread called What's the worst Chicago neighbourhood you've actually been to?) but otherwise I've never felt in danger.

Safety is really a subjective thing. Many people would feel unsafe in neighbourhoods I visit regularly in NYC, but it's a matter of perception - I've lived in an urban environment all my life, and have lived and worked in many low-income / high crime neighbourhoods, so I don't feel uncomfortable in these places for the most part. However, lots of people not familiar with these places would probably be (unnecessarily) afraid for their lives if they found themselves there. But in the US you do have to have your radar tuned a little more finely, be more aware of your surroundings, and don't take stupid risks. I attribute this to the proliferation of handguns, and the higher rates of violent crime in the US. For example, I try to avoid gas stations and convenience stores / bodegas late at night. You do have to modify your behaviour a bit when south of the border to stay safe, and some street smarts goes a long way, but I don't often hear of Canadians being victims of violent crime in the US, especially when you consider the millions of visits Canadians make there every year.

So me, personally, I feel safe in the US, but some people might not. It's an impossible question to answer, really. Everyone will answer differently based on their experiences. Generally, I think you have a higher chance of being the victim of violent crime in the US than in Canada - but that doesn't mean you should walk around scared.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Well, the idea of people carrying around guns bothers me quite a bit when travelling in the US when hubby is doing the driving.... I can see why people might want to shoot him. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't think about it too much.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,005 posts, read 34,914,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Some Canadians, like my mother, are unrealistically afraid of the American cities. When we've been in them together, she'll say things like "don't make a scene, this is America and people are crazy and have guns and you never know if you're going to antagonize a nutjob who'll just shoot you dead." I don't know if this is realistic, but I've encountered quite a few Canadians who aren't very... worldly, who are quite frightened of American cities. These were all urban Canadians as I've only ever lived in urban Canada.
My mom is like that too!

Personally, I generally do not feel unsafe in the U.S. at all. Like Natnasci though, I am more aware that there are certain parts of some cities that should be avoided, and this is something I don't really do for any cities in Canada.

I also try to avoid conflicts or arguments with strangers in the U.S., but this is something I also do in Canada.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:40 PM
 
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My mother lives just outside Hamilton and used to live in Vancouver. It's not unusual for her to spend a day on her own in Toronto fearlessly visiting my younger brothers and my sister, but when she comes to the States, she is every bit as uncomfortable as Bimbam's mother.

I live in a reasonably safe neighbourhood but there are some parts of my city where a bit of street smarts would be helpful. Perhaps I have a certain radar that she either doesn't have...or else hers is set way too high.
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