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Currently living the dream of moving to Toronto for 12 months for a Firefighter Exchange!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some more observations about Canada

1)  School zones here at 40km/h, 24hrs a day, 7days a week, 365days per year!  Doesn't matter if it is a weekend or summer hols or 11pm at night, you still have to do the 40km/h

2)  When someone invites you over for "tea", they don't mean dinner.  They mean a cup of tea.  Most people call dinner, supper.  I feel really country calling it supper.

3)  Toronto has the best rubbish collection service.  You get three bins - a mini green wheelie for all compostable stuff like vege scraps, serviettes etc.  They have a recycle bin and a normal rubbish bin.  But they also have collections for any electronic equipment, garden waste etc.  Actually you can pretty much put anything on your front footpath and it will be disposed of.  A bit like Kelso in Townsville, except it's not the neighbours taking your stuff!

4)  Soup is consumed heaps here so your blood does not freeze in your veins in winter.  It acts like anti-freeze but tastes better than the regular anti-freeze.  Anyhow, whenever you buy soup at a cafe or something, they always give you salada/premium biscuits with it.  I have learnt that Canadians use the 'saltine crackers' like we use bread - they crumble it all up over the top of the soup and then eat it.  Kinda like crunchy croutons...but different. 

5)  People do not do the speed limit anywhere here.  And if you are wearing a Toronto Fire Service T-shirt and get pulled over for speeding, you just get a caution :) Thanks officer!

6)  Drivers here LOVE to use the horn!  They are very impatient when the light turns green, they expect you to floor it even if there is a stationary car in front of you, otherwise you get beeped.  We are seriously lucky that Troy does not have a gun licence.

7)  It is socially acceptable to wear your jarmies to the store at any hour of the day.

8)  You have to pay for plastic bags EVERYWHERE.

9)  The public school system here does free sight and hearing tests as well as dental checks.

10)  Tim Hortons is the Canadian coffee sensation.  Their stores are everywhere here in Canada.  It is so so so so cheap as well and I think that is why Canadians seem to hate Starbucks.  We bought a large coffee, a softdrink, an apple juice, a bagel and a breakfast muffin and it cost $6!  Bargain.

11)  Softdrink here is really cheap - a can of coke is $1, plus tax of course....oh and you don't even have to put it in the fridge, you can leave it outside and save the electricity.

12)  There is no cottee's cordial here.  Actually there is no cordial concentrate here at all, only juice concentrates which are frozen ... weirdos!

13)  Canadian kids drink HEAPS of juice!  There are so many juice varieties it's mind blowing.

14)  Vitamin D is added into a lot of drinks here, mainly cause you will freeze to death if you go outside during the months of Dec - Mar.

15)  The schooling curriculum seems to be ahead/advanced.

16)  If we order any takeaway thru drive through, we have a Forrest Gump moment every time.  People don't seem to understand Troy and so we always end up with a surprise order every time.  Like Forrest Gump says, you never know what you're gonna get.

17)  Apparently, it is not cold here.  If we say, geez it's cold....we will get one of the two following reactions:  a) hysterical laughter or b) "just wait".

18)  I tried a new Canadian sensation called a "flutter-nutter".  It is a sandwich with peanut butter and this marshmallow fluff stuff on it.  Sounds gross and the fluff stuff tastes gross on it's own, but all together....mmmmm divine.

19)  Canadians kick arse on Aussies with desserts.  Period.  No arguing.  Seriously.

20)  Aussies kick arse on Canadians with wine making.  Period.  No arguing.  Mega-seriously.

We found a UK food stand at the Royal Winter Fair on the weekend and bought some 'real meat pies and sausage rolls'.  You can't buy a pie or sausage roll over here so I was happy to see the UK stand.  However, we were very disappointed and so now I am going to make the real Aussie meat pies and sausage rolls!  I will even do a batch for Troy to take into work on Monday. 
I will let you know how they turn out!


  1. In Australia we NEVER know what we are going to get when we are invited to tea! After all this time I still have to be frank with the hosts "um, are we having dinner, should I bring a plate". Seriously, set a rule and follow it.

    I still make soup all the time, even in summer

    Gawd I miss Tim Hortons, but I weigh a LOT less living without it.

    Frozen juice concentrates ROCK!

    In 35 years of being Canadian I never ate flutter nutter. Never. It is just wrong.

    They are not kidding, "just wait"

  2. Supper actually comes from the French "Le souper" which is the family meal at the end of the day. We were confused when we first came to Oz and nobody referred to their evening meal as "supper" but as tea.

    And if you want a bit of a preview of what winter will be like, put your head in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator, it's about -18C and T.O. has the potential to get a bit cooler than that.

    Lovin' the blog, Keep them coming


  3. Hi, just caught your blog - I'm in Vancouver married to an Aus-guy so used to seeing and hearing strange things..
    actually you can get cordial here (at least lime!) but its not in the juice area, its closer to the coffee and tea aisles. You CAN get better English type food here on the West Coast where we have a more British tradition and history. Actually, everything is better on the West Coast, so hopefully you'll make it out this way before your return.
    It was fun to read your post!

  4. We also don't sit on the horns out here, like they do back in TO either! So its much more quieter and serene!! (watch the fur fly now!!) :-)