Happy Canada Day!
That’s right, being July 1, this is the Canadian national holiday, and being a proud Canadian, I cannot help but share a little of my heritage with you today. Canada is a rugged land whose landscape boasts lakes, mountains, prairies, as well as huge cities. It is the home of the CN Tower (not CNN Tower), beautiful Lake Louise and awesome professional sports teams. It boasts dynamic cities, quaint towns and numerous historical attractions. You’ll find museums, tranquil parks and food for every palate. We love our maple syrup and Tim Horton’s coffee and pride ourselves on being polite, thank you very much. This great land serves as the backdrop to my Gemini Island Shifters series and I love it from sea to sea.
Not too many of my readers know this about me, but one of my first jobs as a young adult was working for the Toronto tourism board. I took calls from all over the world from tourists who wished to visit Toronto and helped them plan their vacations. It was a wonderful job and allowed me to chat with so many great people.
It also gave me the chance to field many funny questions about my country and hometown Toronto. As Canadians, we’re pretty hearty stock and we love a good laugh, even when it’s at our expense. So whenever I heard these questions, I couldn’t help filing them away for a giggle later. I’d like to share some with you now. Hopefully you’ll giggle too.
1) “Can I take the subway from Toronto to Vancouver?” Nope, sadly, the Toronto subway system doesn’t span provinces, prairies and mountains. Maybe one day. 😉
2) “Will I see Mounties on the street?” Probably not, but if you do, I will need the co-ordinates so I can check him out too.
3) “If I visit Ottawa, what state am I in?” You won’t be in a state. You need to be in the U.S.A. for that. You will be in the province of Ontario. Provinces are our version of states.
4) “Why do you have money that looks like Monopoly money?” It’s true. We have colorful cash. We have bills that are pink, purple and green, among other colors. To make it even more confusing, we don’t have bills for $1 and $2 denominations. We have coins. The $1 coin is called a “Loonie” (because of the picture of a loon) and the $2 coin is called a “Toonie” (see the sense of humor?).
5) “Is it snowy there all year?” No, and we do not live in igloos…well, maybe some of us do somewhere, but no one I’ve ever met. Unless you live in the far north, you are bound to experience all four seasons here. Our winters can be brutal, just as easily as mild. We have had some doozy ice and snow storms and most of us can wield a shovel as easily as a pencil. Our summers here in Toronto can be as hot as Florida weather.
6) “Why do you all end your sentences with ‘eh?'” Okay, I will admit. I do this. A lot. And I’m not stopping. It’s a little bit of Canadian color. I’m a hoser. Sue me, eh.
7) “Will I see caribou when I come to Toronto?” If you do, you’d better run, because that caribou took a wrong turn somewhere and might be ornery!
8) And my personal fave…I’m sure everyone has heard this one before, no matter where you come from. “I have a cousin named Joe in Winnipeg. Do you know him?” No. But if Joe is hot, can I use him for hero inspiration?
Those questions are just the tip of the ice berg. Of course, I’m sure I’ve asked my share of odd questions on my travels. We all have our moments.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quirky homage to my homeland. I love living here in the Great White North, even if Mounties don’t patrol my neighborhood. I apologize for Justin Bieber, on behalf of my country folk, but hey, Canada has given the world some marvelous people as well. Author Margaret Atwood. Actor Michael J. Fox. Rocker Bryan Adams. Astronaut Chris Hadfield. Architect Frank Gehry. Humanitarian Terry Fox. Actress Kim Cattrall. Astronaut Roberta Bondar. Oh, and we gave you Ryan Gosling, too.
We definitely get points for that one. 😉