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Old 06-12-2008, 07:59 PM
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I have read that 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Does anyone know what percentage of Canadians have visited in the U.S.? Do any of you Canadians have adult friends or family who have never been to the U.S.?
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:12 PM
Location: Both coasts
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I'd say most Canadians have visited the US- at least only certain regions (NY, CA, FL, Hawaii, Alaska). Canadians like to think they are very different from Americans, yet they are drawn to many U.S. cities. Furthermore, the RV culture & 'cross-country-driving' culture exists well in both nations. However, although there are some, it's not likely that there are many Canadians who visit less prominent parts of the US meaning it's not too common for Canadians I'd think, to visit certain Midwestern or Southern places for various reasons
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:07 PM
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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My sister has never been to the states. Her husband was convicted of a crime in 1969. They did try once to visit in the mid 70's and were turned away at the border and they have never tried again.

I on the other hand have visited the stated numerous times. My husband and I drive to Charolette NC twice a year for the Nascar races. We've done this for the last 7 years. We drive because we want to see all America has to offer and we usually stop and visit whom ever we met at the May race in October if it's on the way. Last year we went to Virgina, and since we had to drive through Chicago, we went for a taping of Jerry Springer. On our Honeymoon in 2005 we drove from Winnipeg to Vegas and since we were on the west coast we stopped in LA, San Fran, came up thru Utah, you get the idea. We started collecting those little fridge magnets of every state we travelled through. We've even been to Hawaii. Alaska... well we have snow here so I don't know about that state, but we now plan on collecting all the states.

Gotta love the States. Anyone who goes there... in the Southern States if you get a chance, go the the Golden Coral Buffet Restaurant. You will not be disappointed.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:19 PM
Location: Vancouver, BC
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It's more an issue of convenience.

The transportation networks in Canada have historically been located along what later became the national border between Canada and the USA. It just so happens that this part of Canada is the most hospitable. It's where the infrastructure is. It also has to do with physical geography of the country. The most populated parts of the country, or the areas where you see the most density is where 1. there's fertile land, and 2. there's a good growing season. Everything else is too rocky, too mountainous, or has too short a growing season (due to extreme climates) to sustain large settlements. It's not because Canadians wanted to be close to the USA and made a mental note to move there... it's just historically where population settlements ended up due to geographical reasons I noted above.

Here are two decent maps illustrating Canada's population density:



Due to the nature of Canada's population looking like a narrow strip along its southern border, it's often cheaper/faster/more convenient to travel an hour or two or three south into a neighbouring American city than it is to pick up and travel over to the next major Canadian urban center. This is really the reason why I think a lot of Canadians travel to the US.

Canada's major cities are separated by hours, if not many days of driving. An example... I live in Vancouver. The next "major" Canadian city (not including Victoria on Vancouver Island) is Calgary, a 12 hour drive east. If I wanted to visit Toronto, it would take me 4 days of non-stop driving. Meanwhile, within 24 hours, if I really wanted to, I could drive from Vancouver down the I-5 and get to the Mexican border, passing through LA and San Francisco if I really wished. If I travelled for 24 hours north of Vancouver, I'd be in the middle of nowhere in northern BC - still in my home province. If I travelled 12 hours east, I'd likely be in Saskatchewan (ie: great for agriculture, not so great for cities).

So it makes sense that I've travelled more frequently in the USA as my 24 hour driving radius extends down through Washington state, Oregon state, and California. It makes sense that I've been to Washington state more times than I can count, as suburban Vancouver literally ends at the US border. Whereas, if I wanted to visit my neighbouring province to the east, I have 12 hours of slow mountain driving, and I'd be in Calgary. But why bother going to Calgary if Seattle's 3 hours south? Of course, I've travelled throughout Canada for different reasons, but rarely are the reasons to visit cities or go shopping. There are countless beautiful areas - lakes, mountains, deserts, national parks, forests, provincial parks, islands, etc, within several hours of where I live. But if I'm looking to immerse myself in another urban center, the US doesn't come across as this foreign country, but merely... "the US". To many Canadians, while they love to criticize it, it feels like our second home.

Another thing to note is that before Canada was even a country, many of the colonies (that would later become provinces) had historical north-south trade routes. Those on the Atlantic were trading up and down the coast. On the Pacific coast, gold miners went up and down seemlessly, as did fishers, trappers, explorers, etc. The north-south transportation routes were actually set in place well before Canada's Confederation. The fact that Canada exists at all is merely a political fabrication... Vancouver never had historical trade routes with the Great Lake region or the Prairies, for example. It was only after Confederation (1867) that a railroad was built for the sole purpose of initiating a new east-west transportation/trade corridor. But even to this day, while we're all one country... we have more in common with our regions to the south than to our neighbours to the east/west. It's the same in the USA.

What *I* don't comprehend are people living in the USA within a half hour drive of the Canadian border... people who have lived there their entire lives... and they've never been across. It's more common than the other way around.

Last edited by Robynator; 06-12-2008 at 09:48 PM..
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Old 06-14-2008, 03:24 PM
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I grew up in Michigan. No U.S. state was closer than was Ontario. (Our Southern neighbor). I feel more kinship with Toronto, than with Dallas.
I feel connection within anyone who grew up walking the beaches of any Great Lake!
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:35 AM
Location: Outside Of Montreal Quebec,Canada
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I go once a week .. most folks I know have been several times.. My brother is in Myrtle Beach now..
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:40 AM
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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I live in Gatineau, Québec (just across from Ottawa, Ontario), about 85 km north of the border. I know one adult person from Ottawa who has never been to the U.S.

Although most people here would have been to the States before, many have only been to the smaller, north country upstate New York border towns like Ogdensburg and Watertown, or perhaps as far as “largish” Syracuse.

I am always astonished by how many people here have never been to New York City (700 km away), yet have been to Toronto (500 km away) especially considering the appeal of NYC. Not to disparage Toronto, but the Big Apple is the Big Apple, after all.

I’d say the majority of adults in the Ottawa-Gatineau area have never been to New York City, whereas most everyone has been to Toronto at least once. A lot of this probably has to do with family ties given that we’re in the same country as Toronto, but still… many, many more people from here go to Toronto just for fun than there are that go to NYC.

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Old 06-18-2008, 10:45 AM
Location: Outside Of Montreal Quebec,Canada
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NYC is fine but between the traffic.. the lack of parking.. or $10.00 half hour rate.. last time I was there.. YIKES.. but NY State.. is great.. lots of things reasonably priced.. Favorites.. Cooperstown.. Lake Placid.. FingerLake Area.. Howe Caverns.. Lake George.. ++++++++
I have visited 37 of 50 states.. all have their good places..
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:40 AM
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Most people from Montreal that I have met have been all over the globe and down to the States as well. When I use to go to Plattsburgh N.Y. I notice folks have been all over the States but some have never been to Montreal which is only an hour's drive North of Plattsburgh. I think the trend will be for less travel with fuels prices being so high. Flights are becoming so pricey and crowded. My last flight was so miserable that I dread the next one but sometimes you have no choice.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:58 AM
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,874 posts, read 37,997,315 times
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Originally Posted by cazelais View Post
Most people from Montreal that I have met have been all over the globe and down to the States as well.
Sounds like you've got a personal "subculture" thing going on here. I'd be surprised if most people in Montreal (or anywhere else for that matter) have been all over the world. A lot of people don't travel much, and Plattsburgh might be the furthest they've ever ventured from home.

Granted, some sub-groups in society are extremely well-travelled, and if you mostly hang out with them you easily get the impression that everyone is the same. I've been to lots of places around the world and so have my siblings but my mom's never even been on a plane, and I know lots more people who've never flown.
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