Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What Writers Need to Know About Canada




This year marks Canada’s 150th year of Confederation and we’re celebrating it all year long, not just on July 1st. I’m delighted to be here in Seekerville to share a quick Writers Guide to “what’s what” and “who’s who” in Canada.  And, I’ll be here all day to answer any questions you may have about Canada that you’ve always wanted to know. So, let’s get to it!


General Facts:

  • We’re the second largest country in the world, next to Russia. Canada covers 3.85 million square miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and north to the Arctic Ocean. 
  •  We have a Canadian Forces Base at Alert, which is the true (and official) North Pole.
  • The border between our two countries is the world’s longest border, covering 5525 miles. 
  • We have 10 Provinces and 3 Territories (those are in the North). I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winnipeg is the exact geographical centre of North America, so halfway between the south of Mexico and the Arctic. The province of Manitoba is 250,900 square miles, so we’re just a tad smaller than Texas. We have 110,000 lakes just in Manitoba alone. 
  • Don’t believe Wikipedia! We have four seasons here in Canada – we don’t live in frozen, snow-covered isolation all year round. We enjoy the spring, summer, and fall along with the rest of the world. 

Politics:
  • We have a “Prime Minister” not a President. Canada is a Parliamentary Democracy, which means we have two “Houses” of lawmaking authority: the House of Commons in which elected representatives from “ridings” across the country pass law, and the Senate, which is an unelected body of people appointed by various Prime Ministers over the years. 
  •  Our Prime Minister doesn’t live in the Parliament buildings, in the way your President lives in the White House. The Prime Minister has his personal official residence at 24 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.
  • Our Provinces are led by “Premiers” which is the French word for “first” – so the Premier is the “First Minister” of the Province. We don’t have Governors.
  • Our political parties are: the Conservatives (similar to your Republicans), the Liberals (similar to your Democrats) and The New Democrat Party or NDP for short. This party is also further to the political left than the Liberals.
  • The Prime Minister is our Head of Government, whereas our Head of State is our Governor-General who represents the Queen. He/she (we’ve had several female Governor-Generals) performs State functions on her behalf.
  • While Canada is part of the Commonwealth – or sixteen independent and sovereign countries that call Queen Elizabeth our Constitutional Monarch – she is purely symbolic and has no executive power over Canada or other member countries. So, why do we have her as our Head of State? The short answer: Canada decided back in 1867 when we became a “Dominion” under the British Empire we would reflect the British model of parliament, and the monarchy is part of it. 
  • How do Canadians feel about the Royal Family and the Queen? I couldn’t find any specific statistics but overall, judging by the huge crowds that surround any Royal visit to Canada, we love them. 

  • We are an officially bilingual country: we speak English and French, although the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick are where you’ll hear the most French spoken. This means you should be able to receive any government services in the language you prefer.
  • 22.1 million people call themselves Christians, or two-thirds of our population. 1 million people identify as Muslims, or about 3.2% of our population.
  • We don’t have “free” healthcare. We pay for our healthcare through our federal and provincial taxes. But any level of medical service is “free” at the time you need it. Brain surgery? Free. Cancer treatment? Free. Stitches on that skinned knee? Free. 


Canadian Holidays and Traditions:
  • We celebrate Thanksgiving on the second weekend in October. The first recorded Thanksgiving was in October 1578 when English explorer Martin Frobisher landed in what is now Newfoundland province. In 1879, Parliament declared November 6th  our Thanksgiving Day. Parliament changed the date in 1957 because after the two World Wars, Thanksgiving was falling in the same week as our Remembrance Day on November 11th. So, they changed it to the second Monday in October to separate the two events.

  • We call November 11th “Remembrance Day” because the ceasefire for the First World War was signed at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. This is a huge tradition in Canada and we mark it as a holiday across the country with military parades and a service at what we call “Cenotaphs” to remember our fallen war dead.


  • Winter carnivals and festivals are all celebrated across the country in February. We have snow sculpture competitions, snowshoeing, skating, cross-country skiing, sled dog races, food, dancing, and rides and Ferris wheels. Here in Winnipeg, our “Festival du Voyageur” celebrates the French explorers and fur traders who opened up northern Manitoba in the 1700’s, their culture, and history.

  • We love “Folk Festivals” and have them across the country in the summer time. In Winnipeg, our “Folklorama” is the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival and takes place every August. You can find forty countries represented in Pavilions around the city, sharing their food, dancing, and music.


Specific Canadian Foods:
  • Our best known is “Poutine”: French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. This delicacy has roots in Quebec and is a French invention. We enjoy it across Canada. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
  • “Beaver Tails”:  broad, flat, sweet dough deep-fried and smothered in icing sugar, syrup, or fruit toppings and eaten off a cardboard plate. Eaten at Winter Festivals.


Some of our Similarities and Differences:

  • Our history of “How the West was Won” differs from yours. We sent the Northwest Mounted Police out west to deal with pioneer safety and settlements. This was the precursor to our current Federal police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). We didn’t use our army, and we’ve never had Sheriffs or Marshalls because law enforcement was done broadly by the NWMP.  However, because of that, we have no well-known folk heroes like Jesse James, Billy the Kid, or Wyatt Earp either. 
  • You have the FBI, the Secret Service, and Homeland Security – we have the RCMP which deals with all those same duties. The RCMP is also the provincial police force everywhere except in Ontario and Quebec, which have their own. 
  • You have the CIA – we have the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency (CSIS) which answers only to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.
  • You have SEALS, Army Rangers, Delta Force – we have “Joint Task Force 2” or JTF2 which is our integrated Special Operations forces that combine the Air Force, Navy, and Army. It is illegal to report on their whereabouts.
  • You have the NSA – we have the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE) which is our ”super-secret” security agency.


 Canadian Authors & Writing Organizations:


  • For our interests, our most famous Canadian is Janette Oke, who just celebrated her birthday on February 18th. She is considered the pioneer of inspirational fiction, and the “Prairie romance”. She was born on the Prairies to a farm family and later married a boy she met at Bible College. 
  • Some other famous Canadians authors are Margaret Atwood (The Handmaids Tale), Yann Martel (Life of Pi), L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), Emma Donoghue (The Room), Robert Munsch (just about every popular children’s book), and Malcolm Gladwell (The Outlier).
  • ACFW has a Chapter called Beyond the Borders which includes Canada and any country outside the US. The current President is from New Zealand.

What About Our Canadian Accent?
  • The correct way to use the expression “Eh” is as the up-tick at the end of a question, e.g. “That was a fantastic hockey game, eh?” Saying “Wow, that was a great game, eh? Did you see him score, eh?” and repeating it at the end of every sentence is the *wrong* way to use it.
  • No, we don’t say “a-boot” for “about”…the only place you *might* hear that would be Cape Breton off the coast of Nova Scotia in the Maritimes, because both the Cape and Nova Scotia were settled by the Scottish. The rest of Canada pronounces it “a-b-out” with an emphasis on the syllable of “out”.



 So, what other questions do you have about Canada? Has anyone in Seekerville been to Canada? Where did you visit and what were your thoughts?

I’ve brought Beaver Tails swimming in maple syrup and whipped cream, so dig in and ask me anything!


In honor of Laurie's visit today, we're giving away a Seeker ebook of choice. Simply comment to be entered. Winner announced in the next Weekend Edition.



Laurie Wood is a military wife and the mother of two special needs adults. Her family has lived all across Canada. She writes inspirational romantic suspense and historicals, and placed Second in the TARA for 2016. She enjoys spinning, knitting, and walking her dogs when not chained to her laptop working on her latest WIP. Connect with Laurie on Facebook and Twitter.


170 comments :

  1. Welcome back to the other side of the podium, Laurie. I have to tell you that I watched a Ryan Gosling interview and I promise you he said ABOOT!!!! HE DID!!!

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  2. Waving to you from Southern Ontario! :)

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    1. hahaha, Eva Maria comes out of lurking!!! Great to see you!

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    2. Hi Eva Maria! My husband and I are originally from Ontario and our kids were born there, so waving back at you!

      And Tina, yes, that's the great "a-boot"/"a-b-out" debate...I did say you'd hear it more prevalently in the Maritime provinces. :) And we definitely claim Ryan Gosling as one of our favourite actors, along with Michael J. Fox!

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    3. Michael J. Fox. That one I did not know. I want to claim Ryan Gosling. hahahaha

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    4. You and a gazillion other women! Yes, Michael J. Fox is Canadian and very popular - especially with all the work he's done for Parkinson's Disease research.

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    5. And then there's David James Elliott of 'JAG' fame ... and Paul Michael Gross of 'Due South' ... fine lookin' lads.

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    6. First, I'm impressed you guys all know who these people are... and where they're from!

      Michael J. Fox would be the only one I'd recognize, I am out of the entertainment loop!!!

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  3. Hi Laurie! Well, it's official, I want to move to Canada...lol!! All the things you mentioned here made me fall in love with it even more. :-)

    For our 3rd and 4th year anniversary, hubby & I took our vacation in Canada. Since we live on the Oregon coast, we went to Victoria B.C. the first visit, then both Victoria and Nanaimo the second. This was also before you had to have a passport, our drivers licenses were sufficient. And our American dollars almost doubled with the exchange rate across the border! We were rich, lol! Our hotel overlooked the Parliament building and at night, it was lit up. What a beautiful country :-) We went to Butchart Gardens, Victoria Butterfly gardens, Royal Wax museum, and other places I can't really remember. We ate at a restaurant called "The White Spot" one day for lunch, and had I some of those french fries with gravy on top. Being the adventurous type with my food and wanting to try an authentic Canadian dish, I had to ask the waitress what Poutine was. When she explained it, I asked for the gravy on the side since I wasn't sure I'd like it. She very nicely explained how the Canadians eat it and told me I'd probably love it. Well, turns out I did!! Almost as good as mashed potatoes with gravy. I don't recall if they had cheese on them too, but it could have come that way. I'd call that "smothered & covered" in southern terms...haha! Of course that's usually hash browns :-) We had such a good time, I want to go visit again some day! We never made it to high tea, that's one thing I'd love to do though.
    The beaver tails almost sound like the Indian fried bread I've tried at pow-wows here...and they are SO GOOD!! You can top them with a variety of things. Cinnamon & sugar mix is the perfect combination on a warm, sweet, pastry dough treat! Now I'm craving those...too bad your beaver tail offering is only virtual!

    I had NO IDEA Janette Oke was a Canadian author!I've read just about every book of hers when I first discovered Christian fiction. More like devoured really, lol!

    Hubby and I discovered a Canadian based TV show on the recommendation of a Canadian reader friend of mine (most of you know Kav Rees)called "Murdoch Mysteries". It's set in Toronto. Just got finished watching all 9 seasons a couple of days ago. They are in the process of filming the 10th season and should be released on DVD in August. Our library had the DVD sets and I'm really crossing my fingers they will obtain the new one when it comes out! Such an awesome late 1800's to early 19th century detective show. I think on American TV it's called "The Artful Detective" on the Ovation channel.

    I see I got carried away with my comment...haha! I love the diversity of Canadian culture & hope to plan a return visit someday. Really want to explore more of the places we didn't have time to do the first and second go-round :-) Wouldn't that be fun, eh?

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    1. Hello Trixi and thanks for stopping by! I'm thrilled you and your hubby enjoyed BC so much - that's the one province we have yet to visit even though we do have some family in Vancouver. The military's just never taken us there. And The Murdoch Mysteries really did take hold by their third season. If you watch closely in the last five seasons, the coroner's assistant (he doesn't say anything or maybe a one liner) is our cousin. He's made a great living for himself being an "extra" in Canadian TV and movies shot in Toronto. And I would *love* to go to High Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria some day! It's on my bucket list.

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  4. Hi, Laurie. Nice to hear from a fellow Canadian here! ::waving from a suburb of Vancouver, BC::

    You've really covered Canadian distinctives quite thoroughly! If I had to put together a list like this I don't know what I'd include and what I'd forget. We probably shouldn't forget to mention two more of the five main federal political parties here -- the Bloc Québécois and the Green Party.

    As far as food goes, I've never eaten Poutine, although I know it's very Canadian. (I like my fries unadorned and lightly salted.) You can't avoid Nanaimo Bars if you live on our west coast; and Tourtiere and Split Pea Soup are considered Canadian food staples.

    I've read many of Janette Oke's books, but if we're acknowledging other famous Canadian authors we'd have to mention Pulitzer Prize winner Carol Shields, Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro, Farley Mowat, Robert Service, Pauline Johnson, Stephen Leacock, Mordecai Richler and my favourite contemporary cozy mystery writer Louise Penny.

    Oh, and I think the RWA has chapters all across Canada now -- at least, I know they're in in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto. Moncton. and Halifax for sure, possibly elsewhere.


    I'm not even going to get into the "about versus aboot" thing. Canada is comprised of lots of different ethnic groups so English is heard and spoken with many accents. And for me, "eh" is a downright abomination. IMHO, it should be banished entirely! LOL.

    Thanks for a wonderful post, Laurie. You make me want to order more 'Canada 150' red and white tulip bulbs so my garden can glow with patriotism this summer. :)

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    1. Hello Carol, thanks for adding to the list of Canadian authors - I particularly love Carol Shields and forgot Margaret Lawrence, a Manitoba writer who's now passed on, as well. And I apologize for only noting the Toronto Chapter of RWA - that's my bad! I was constrained a bit for space, but there is the Greater Vancouver Chapter, the Calgary Chapter, the Ottawa Chapter, and the RWA Chapter of Atlantic Canada which takes in Moncton and Halifax. These have all become chapters since the last 1990's when Toronto was the only one, so it's wonderful that RWA has made toe-holds up here. And I'm with you on the 150 Tulip Bulbs! They're gorgeous and are made to look like the maple leaf is coming up from the bottom of the tulip. Ottawa's Annual Tulip Festival will be brilliant this spring!

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    2. Wow! I must go add all those RWA Chapters. Too cool!

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  5. Hello Laurie! Thank you for sharing. It's about 3AM where I am and I am going to duck to bed, but wanted to say it was a very interesting post and I learned a lot. The only place I have been is British Columbia (I think, that's the one all the way to the left, correct?) I went when I was probably around 13. My grandmother lived in Northern Idaho and we just crossed the border and spent a weekend at the hot springs. (This was long before passports and such were needed. I don't think we even had to have our birth certificates!) I have to say that area was the most beautiful area I have seen in a very long time. The mountains, trees, and lakes... they just took my breath away. Thank you for sharing. God Bless and have a wonderful day!

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    1. I'm very nostalgic for the days when we could cross the border with a drivers licence and/or birth certificates! I can remember doing it in my teens and twenties. Have a wonderful day as well!

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  6. I will likely refer my wife to his post as she spent six years outside of Toronto and remembers her time in Canada fondly.

    I jus wish ketchup chips were a staple in the U.S. They jus never have caught on here.

    I've been to Toronto twice, traveled some through Alberta, and visited both Victoria and Vancouver.

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    1. Hi Walt! ah yes, Ketchup chips! my kids love them although they're not my thing, but for awhile up here Lays did a Poutine chip too that was well-received. Toronto is home to the world's largest highway - the 401 - which can be up to 10 lanes across in places. I used to drive it without a qualm, now that I've lived in a quieter city for years I'm not sure that would be the case. Victoria is probably our most beautiful city, along with Ottawa, the nation's capital. They're on opposite sides of the country but both have an old world charm built in to them. Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. And I thought Atlanta highways were huge. *gulp*

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  7. Welcome, Laurie! Your post is packed with Canadian facts that were new to me. I'm with Trixie...ready to pack my bag!
    Thanks for visiting today.

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  8. Good morning, Laurie! Thank you for the overview of Canada! A number of my favorite authors are Canadian. I also live in northern Arizona (high elevation ponderosa pine country)--and there are bunches of Canadians down here--so I've long wanted to visit your beautiful country to the north. It's definitely on my dream list. Like the U.S. though, it's so big and diverse you can't expect to see it all in one "go!"

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    1. Thank you, Glynna. We're not "snowbirds" yet (and may never be if our exchange rate stays so high!) but we have friends who winter in Arizona and Florida. Those are probably the two favourite States for Canadians. You do have to pick one province to check out at a time as our distances are so large you can spend your whole vacation just driving from one spot to another. I highly recommend Atlantic Canada if you love the ocean though, because every province is either encircled by the ocean or borders on it like New Brunswick.

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    2. I don't know any Canadian "snowbirds" but I sure do know a bunch who live and work here year-round.

      I DO love the ocean!!

      Thanks again for spending the day with us, Laurie!

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  9. Welcome Laurie. Several years ago my adult son--the world traveler--and I explored Canada. What a beautiful place! The Canadian Rockies are amazing. We made our way up the AL CAN highway...that was a prayerful journey. No radio, no cell reception, but there were places for gas every few hours. We stayed in a hotel made our of house trailers. We saw the plains with huge statues of beaver and moose and went underground where AL Capone ran his goods. On another trip my husband and I checked out fort Malden and some underground railroad sites just north of our Ohio home. My son and I also checked out the eastern side...old world Quebec, a feel of Scotland in Nova Scotia, a visit to the house of green gables and bays filled with amazing rock formations and rapidly receding waters. Pouteens are amazing by the way!
    I'm originally from Virginia. If you want to hear a-boot...head to the coastal area of Virginia.
    Have a great one everyone! Are you ready for speedbo?

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    1. Hi Bette, I'm thrilled that you've seen so much of Canada! One thing we do well is huge statues in remote places, lol...Wawa, Ontario has an enormous Canada Goose, there's a polar bear statue in Cochrane Ontario, a Moose near Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. And the underground tunnels in Moose Jaw are fascinating because Al Capone did use them to store alcohol during Prohibition. Quebec City feels like you're in France although they definitely won't speak in any language other than French to you so you need to know some basics to get along as a tourist. My husband and I adore Nova Scotia and he has family down there so we've been back and forth quite a bit. Very cheap housing compared to larger cities, but their provincial income tax is the highest in Canada so it cancels itself out. I hope you come back to visit!

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  10. Hi Laurie:

    Yes, I've been to Canada. We flew into Toronto and then took a train to Ottawa, Montréal, and Quebec. I don't know if it was a holiday week but it seems every farm was flying the Maple Leaf flag. I also noticed that there was no litter along the roads. Also Canada seemed to have a lot more flowers. Ottawa was beautiful. On my bucket list is Lake Louise.

    Questions:
    1) Are English romances written by Canadians routinely translated into French?
    2) Do French speaking Canadians look to France for their romances?
    3) Are sales of the different romance genres about the same in the USA as in Canada?
    4) What is the best non-fiction book about Canada that would tell us the most in the least number of pages?

    I hope that's not too many questions. Also if you know it, how are Canadian soccer fans? It is said that the English fans are thugs and are not welcome on the Continent while Irish fans are well behaved and welcome. Where do Canadians fans fit in?

    Vince


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    1. Hi Vince, thank you for your questions and I'm going to try and answer them with my second cup of coffee! I'll have to get back to you, but I will, I promise. I've never seen news reports about Canadian soccer fans rioting, but I'm heading over to google to see what I can find. Stay tuned, you're keeping me on my toes this morning!

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    2. Seriously, Vince? How would one find that information. These are great questions for a Canadian Literary Agent and soccer fan. OMGOSH!!!


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    3. Lol Vince...I tried to find you some answers. It would go by publisher as to translating English books in to French, but that would be as "foreign rights", not translating them in to French for the Quebec market. And Quebec is *highly* independent and don't consider their French heritage to be tied to France at all. So no, I wouldn't say they look to France for their romances. I checked www.booknetcanada.ca and the biggest genre enjoyed in Canada is mystery/detectives at 9.2%, even by the 57% of women who buy books/ebooks, and romance rates 7.1% of books bought in Canada. If you're over 35 the most popular romance genre is romantic suspense. And we're up 9% in the sales of ebooks apparently. As for Canadian soccer, you can find everything you'd ever want to know about it at www.canadasoccer.com :)

      Unfortunately, we have had some riots after hockey games (Vancouver comes to mind), but I've never seen any news about rioting or bad behaviour during soccer games.

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    4. I can answer one of Vince's questions regarding romance novels in Quebec. The Quebecois have their own writers and are very loyal/independent. However, just as their first musicians of choice are fellow Quebecois, they enjoy music from French artists. France is a cousin to Quebec. So, they also enjoy books from France even if the jargon is very different.

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    5. Hi Josee: Thanks for the information. The Quebecois writers would seem to have a very small market in which to sell their books. I'm glad we have English here. Vince

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  11. Hi, Laurie. I've never been to Canada, but I would love to go someday! Even more so after reading this - such an interesting and educational post. Thank you so much!

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    1. Thank you Laura! Your dollar goes much further up here at about a 30% exchange rate so even a quick trip to see something specific would be worth your while.

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  12. What a wonderful post! Thank you, Laurie, for sharing and teaching us more about Canada. I have been to Canada, but we only visited Niagara Falls and were only there for two days. I do wish we'd made more time for the visit and explored a bit. I hope to visit again one day.

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    1. Niagara Falls is a beautiful city and we've been there many times because our kids favourite hotel is there - Great Wolf Lodge. I know you have them across the States but that's the only Canadian one. We've been there at the height of July (mistake!) and the week after Canadian Thanksgiving which was fantastic because it was deserted and it felt like everything was open just for us. There were only a handful of families there and we all started to chat at meals etc. My maternal grandparents honeymooned at Niagara Falls in 1929 because that was "the" place to go for honeymooners back then. Please come back and visit any time. :)

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  13. Laurie, welcome! Thank you for this great post! I learned so much. And you corrected me on a couple of misperceptions! One of them is that I've heard people say "a-boot" on a few shows on HGTV, so I assumed everyone talked that way! :)

    The beaver tail sounds amazing. And yes, I've tried poutine at a restaurant in Augusta, GA (of all places), and loved it!

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    1. Hello Missy, I probably say "a-boot" and don't even realize it, lol. There are definitely variances in our Canadian "accent" across the country just as there are in the States. For eg. we say "gah-raah-zz" - emphasis on the last syllable, for "garage" for the most part and yet my grandmother who lived in Florida for the last twenty-five years of her life said "gah-raggg" with the accent on the first syllable. Thanks for commenting!

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  14. Hi, Laurie! I'm Quebecoise, living in Vermont, about 15 min south of the border. I'm married to my college sweetheart from Toronto. We met at Bishop's University in Sherbrooke where we taught ESL to French-speaking students in the summer.

    I rarely eat poutine anymore, but I'm PICKY nonetheless. Many try, few succeed. 😄

    I've always said, if you took the best of the US and the best of Canada, you'd have Utopia.


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    1. Salut Josee! I always wondered when I saw how you spell your name if you had a French background - that is wonderful that you're in Vermont now. I've been there too, lovely countryside! I have a sister and her family living in PA and Washington DC. Canada doesn't have anything as dramatic as the Grand Canyon etc. but we also don't have any deserts either. But yes, if you put the best of each country together it would be a paradise. :)

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    2. Good eye. My legal name is Marie-Josée, but my father said "Americans LOVE nicknames and will shorten her name to Mary-Jo," which my parents didn't like so they shortened it to Josee and dropped the accent. Ironically, my babysitter who lived across the street from us was named MaryJo!

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  15. Hi Laurie! What a great post. I've been to Canada. I was in Toronto for a TV filming. I remember playing out different scenarios in my head if I ever ended up in a locale (restaurant, etc.) that only spoke French. I don't speak the language, but it's beautiful :-)

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    1. Hi Preslaysa, Toronto, Vancouver, and my own Winnipeg are BIG TV and movie towns. I hope you had a positive experience on your filming! I'm not bilingual myself although I can get by in a restaurant setting. It's the kind of thing you have to keep up all the time or you lose it. When I graduated college one of my first jobs was working for a Cabinet Minister who was French and my job was to write his English correspondence for him and answer the phones in French. I served tea to the Ambassador from Iran, back in the late 1970's in that job. That was when I lived in Ottawa, obviously. You do hear French out here in Winnipeg as the french voyageurs opened up this province with the fur trade and inter-married with the native population. There's a part of Winnipeg called St. Boniface where you'll hear French spoken first, but they will speak in English to you if you can't speak it. In the province of Quebec they only speak French and it's a provincial law that everything written - signs, menus, etc. has to be in French.

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  16. Wow, this was such an educating post. To be perfectly honest, I didn't realize how much I didn't know about our neighbor up north. Especially since I've never even left my own borders. But maybe I should look into it someday...

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    1. Hello Boo - well as I said above, our exchange rate of 30% makes it well worth your while to travel up here because your dollar will go further. Something to think about, anyway!

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  17. I've had a the pleasure of visiting the Canadian side of the falls and Toronto many times. I love Canada. The Canadian border guards...not so much.

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    1. Oh no! what kind of bad experience did you have? that surprises me, although it's true that they don't smile as much anymore...

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    2. No bad experience. They are simply very scary. I'm from Buffalo so we went back and forth many times as a kid. I went to Crystal Beach with my school class on a bus every year!

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  18. Welcome, Laurie! What a great compendium of Canadian facts--thanks!

    My only visit to Canada so far was a brief crossover to see Niagara Falls several years ago. I remember driving around a little, and we may have eaten lunch on the Canadian side. I also remember being VERY confused by the prices when we stopped to get gas!

    I might have the chance to see a teensy bit of Vancouver later this spring when Project Guy and I take an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 45th anniversary. Vancouver is the last cruise stop, where we catch our flight home.

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    1. Hi Myra, an Alaskan cruise is on our bucket list! The inside passage is stunning and my shutter-bug hubby wants to see it when we retire. Vancouver is the hottest housing market in Canada right now, with tiny houses fetching $1Million+ - it's crazy! There's lots of history there to see too. We're on the metric system so I imagine that's why gas prices were confusing. I started school learning the imperial system and then we switched when I was in grade 8, so I know what you mean. Congratulations on your 45th anniversary! that certainly deserves a cruise. :)

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  19. Beaver Tail sounds a lot like a fritter. Do you really need the syrup?

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    1. They're flat though and about 10 inches long. And no, you don't need the maple syrup and if you're buying them outdoors at a festival they'll just be sprinkled with icing sugar and maybe cinnamon so they're easier to eat. Very yummy no matter what you put on top!

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  20. LAURIE, welcome to Seekerville! Thanks for the fascinating post. Canada is a wonderful neighbor and country.

    Ages ago we enjoyed a two-week trip to Canada starting in Montreal and ending in Nova Scotia. We loved Quebec City and return years later to stay at the Chateau Frontenac. We saw the Tidal Bore in Moncton, New Brunswick, and men building a boat in Nova Scotia. Took the Blue Nose Ferry to Bar Harbor, Maine, a rather rough ride. :-) We also visited Toronto during a rainstorm that filled the streets. LOL

    I didn't know Jeanette Oke was a Canadian.

    Janet

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    1. Hi Janet, I've only stayed one night at Chateau Frontenac but it's a lovely and historical hotel. Your trip sounds wonderful and you covered a lot of ground!

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    2. Ooooh, Janet, what was the Chateau Frontenac like? I've been inside but never slept there. If anyone is looking for a great little hotel for a great price Le Priori in the "basse ville" is highly recommended!

      I just love Quebec! I was born just outside the city and most of my extended family live there so we go once or twice a year.

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  21. Oops, forgot the lovely visit we had in Niagara by the Lake, an adorable little Canadian town. We visited the Fort.

    Janet

    Janet

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    1. I've never been to Fort George but have been several times to Fort Henry where they do re-enactments every summer and it's a great job for university students. We have many of these preserved Forts from our British Empire days.

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  22. Good post, Laurie! I need to read more Canadian romances. I think the first one I read was Mrs. Mike. I have some catching up to do!

    Like Tina, I was wondering about the beaver tails :)

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  23. Laurie, what interesting information about Canada! Thanks for serving Beaver Tails...yummy! I've been to Montreal (could automatically say "Merci' after being there a week and enjoyed the varied cuisine), Vancouver (charming shops) and Victoria, my favorite for afternoon tea. I've stayed at the Empress, but want to have tea there someday. Do Canadians love tea as much the British? Thank you for your post!

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    1. Hi Sherida and Evelyn, we do have a lot of tea drinkers and Red Rose tea was very popular in the 1990's but overall I think coffee is our drink of choice. Given how many Tim Hortons coffee shops we have - 4492 stores in 9 countries - I think it's safe to say we love our coffee. :)

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    2. Thanks for the answer, Laurie. Next time I'm in your country, I'll try Red Rose tea and find a Tim Horton coffee shop! Interesting info!

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  24. Good morning, Laurie!

    My husband and I spent a glorious week in Vancouver in the springtime. I've never seen so many flowers in all my life. The golf course was lined with Azaleas ten feet tall.

    We took the tram and shopped at Whistler. I couldn't get over how clean the downtown area is. Absolutely stunning views of both ocean and mountains.

    I'm somewhat of a train foamer, so I've always wanted to take the train across country. I can go on and on, it's such a beautiful place.

    Anyway, welcome to Seekerville and thank you for your informative post.

    ~ Renee

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    1. Thank you, Renee, that's very kind of you. I've never been to Whistler although I have an author friend who lives there and enjoy her photos on Facebook so I get to see it vicariously. We do love flowers and gardens as tourist attractions. I mentioned the Annual Ottawa Tulip Festival earlier...in the second World War Queen Juliana of Holland and her children came to Canada for their safety and as a "thank you" Holland has sent us thousands of tulip bulbs every year since then. I grew up in Ottawa and as a kid my mom made us tour every site to see the tulips. En mass they're a gorgeous flower and such a nice historical tribute as well.

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    2. What a cool historical note! Thanks for sharing that.

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    3. That's fascinating, Laurie. So much history to weave into your novels. I love tulips as well. I used to live in Carlsbad (San Diego), California, which has a tulip farm along the coast. It's stunning to see miles of different colored tulips as you drive.

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    4. Renee, another foamer! We'd love to experience travel on that train across Canada. From what I've heard, the scenery and trip would be amazing! Oh, Canada!

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  25. Well done, Laurie!

    I have been to Canada and enjoyed the trip. Someday I'd like to visit the Bay of Fundy.

    My fun fact about Canada: All the Canadians I've met in person have been super nice and extraordinarily polite.

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

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    1. I had to look up the Bay of Fundy. While I have heard of it..that's all I know.
      The Bay of Fundy is one of the 7 wonders of North America. The highest tides on earth, the rarest whales in the world, semi-precious minerals and dinosaur fossils; all this convinced an international panel of experts in 2014 to choose the Bay of Fundy as one of the natural wonders of the world.

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    2. thanks for adding this, Tina! it's a gorgeous spot and worth the trip :)

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  26. Hello, Laurie! My family and I vacationed in Canada last May. We started out in Niagara and then drove through Toronto to spend some time in Montreal and Quebec City. We absolutely loved it! Vieux Quebec is especially wonderful. We had poutine at Ashton's there, and although we all enjoyed the fries and gravy and beef, our American tongues thought it would be better with Co-Jack or cheddar cheese on top. Thanks so much for this post. It makes me want to go back!

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    1. Hello Meghan, so glad to hear you enjoyed your trip and experienced French culture as well as the English (or "anglophone" and "francophone" as we say up here.

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  27. Laurie, what a fun post! My grandfather was Canadian-born, in Toronto, I believe. He built a cottage on the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands area. I have some of the best memories from our vacations up there. I've also been to Ottawa, Hull, and British Columbia. Canada is beautiful, and I remember the roadways as being very clean.

    I'd love to visit other areas of Canada, especially Prince Edward Island. I fell in love with it after reading the Ann of Green Gables series.

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    1. PEI is on my bucket list as it's the only Maritime province we haven't visited yet. However, I'm terrified of going over the Confederation Bridge joining the mainland to PEI - I hate heights and I hate bridges, so combined the 8 mile long (and curved!) bridge is too scary for me. It's the longest bridge in the world to cross ice-covered water and it's definitely one of Canada's greatest engineering achievements. I'd love to take our daughter to see Green Gables too, but I want to fly there, not drive. :) We don't have as many toll highways either.

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    2. I want to go to St. John's. I love the group Great Big Sea and have heard them in concert several time. PEI is a bucket list for me too.

      Oh, yes and Green Gables.

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    3. We went to St. John's Newfoundland when our son was just 5 months old. We didn't want to come home! I'd love to retire there too - so many choices. :) And it's too bad the TV show "Republic of Doyle" is off the air now, although it may be on Netflix. Alan Hawco, the star, grew up with Alan Doyle, the lead singer of Great Big Sea, so they combined talents to create the show about a family of PI's who live in St. John's and all their adventures. :)

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    4. The Great Big Sea is one of my husband's favorite groups!

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  28. I forgot to mention our cross-Canada summer vacation trip several years ago. We spent nine weeks camping from coast to coast -- from Port Alberni where we lived on Vancouver Island to St. John's, Newfoundland -- with another family in our RVs. Talk about seeing our nation's diversity at its grass roots! I highly recommend it.

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    1. I would LOVE to do that in an RV! Unfortunately, hubby's not the RV'ing type, or the camping type either. I tease him that if he ever makes me a rich widow, I'm packing up the kids and dogs in an RV and hitting the road!

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  29. Beaver Tails sound divine! I'd love to explore Canada more, I've just been across the border at Niagara Falls as a teen and we drove to a restaurant... then got lost coming back! My mom was freaking out a little and it made a fun family memory ;)
    Please enter me in the giveaway! Love those Seeker books!

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    1. Hello Heidi - at least you saw Niagara Falls because that's truly and amazing place. Come back soon :)

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  30. Good morning Laurie.
    Fantastic information!
    I've never been to Canada, but researched it for the Canadian Hero Blitz. I made my hero an ex-cop from Vancouver, but the story takes place in Texas. Would you suggest that besides a couple of uses of "eh", that I should leave the accent alone? It's hard researching because it's not just the country, but regions tend to vary just like they do in the US.
    It's great seeing you here in Seekerville!

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    1. Hi Connie! thanks for the kind words! I'd only use it very sporadically because once you use it once that'll ID your hero's speech. I'm not using it at all in my Canadian Hero Blitz entry just because my setting is Canadian so I figured it goes without saying. It might be better to have him remembering his favourite restaurant in Vancouver (they have a fabulous China Town), the harbour at night, etc. to ground him, rather than use his speech patterns. Because you're right, the "Ottawa Valley" accent is a far cry from what you'll hear on the west coast, or even the prairies. :) Good luck with your story! feel free to PM me with any questions along the way.

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    2. Thanks for offer, Laurie. I may take you up on that.
      Good idea on using restaurant.

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    3. Your hero could crave a good plate of poutine! hahaha. "Can't get any good poutine in Texas!"

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    4. Ha. Ha. Will have to find the perfect place.

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  31. Hi Laurie, Welcome to Seekerville. What a fun and informative post on Canada. We love Canada. We have traveled all of the provinces and been in the Yukon territory. My hubby's folks had a cabin in Northern Saskatchewan where they spent many summers and we always enjoyed staying with them. Right now we are surrounded by Canadians. Many of those prairie farmers come down here during the winter. Lots of Canadians eh?

    Thanks again for sharing your culture and history. Have fun today.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Sandra! The Yukon is one place we haven't been yet although it's a potential military posting, so who knows? I'd love to see it but don't know if I could handle the six months of darkness during the winter. And yes, Canadians do like to go south to visit you in the winter. :)

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  32. Laurie, such a lovely post packed with information!

    Hubby and I sent a delightful week in Montreal last fall. We packed for cooler weather, but the days were warm and beautiful! Loved the outdoor cafes, beautiful churches, The Oratory, history, waterfront...all so charming. We want to go back for another visit!

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    1. When I lived in Ottawa in my 20's my sister and girlfriends and I regularly made the 2 hr road trip to Montreal for the weekend to shop and see the sights. Their smoked meat is heavenly! I've heard people say that Montreal is the closest thing we have to a European city (I think it is our oldest city as the French landed there in 1643, if my history's correct), but I think it's tied with Quebec City. The Oratory is breathtaking in my opinion. Well worth the trip!

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    2. I had smoked meat at one of the well-known restaurants that's been serving it for years. (Sorry, I can't remember the name.) Also toured the archaeological center with lots of history about the first settlers. All so fascinating.

      Toured the harbor at sunset, which was romantic and informative!

      We rode the wonderful subway, often surrounded by crowds of hockey fans going to or coming from a game!

      Yes, Montreal does have a European flair. We both enjoyed being in a foreign country that was on the same time zone as the US so no jet lag. A refreshing change from our usual foreign travel. :)

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  33. Laurie, my goodness, so much info! I'd have to research a month to come up with a fraction of that much interesting stuff about our state of Nebraska, which is turning 150 years old. I'm curious about beaver tails, but need to clear some things in preparation for Speedbo...great post!

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    1. Thanks very much LoRee! I'm busy getting ready for Speedbo myself :) This year I'm going to hit my target if it kills me, lol.

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  34. Hello and Welcome! I went to Montreal and Toronto in 1983 and loved it! I had a really good time there and have been dying to go back! AND, now I am! My husband and I, and our 2 adult daughters are going to Victoria, British Columbia in May. We are SO excited! I've wanted to go there for as long as I can remember. My hubby and I only live in Oregon so it's not that far but we just never seem to get there. Our daughters live in Arizona so they are flying up to meet us. Thanks for the details you posted. It made me want to go NOW!

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    1. Hi Valri, Victoria will be at its peak for flowers and Butchart Gardens in May so you've picked the best time to go. Be sure to have High Tea at the Empress Hotel, I've heard that it's really something. enjoy your trip!

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    2. What a special trip, Valri! Enjoy!!!

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  35. The Canadian Pavilion's Victoria Gardens at Epcot during the Spring flower show are beautiful and inspired by Butchart Gardens. I want to visit the real thing.

    Janet

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  36. Hi Laurie! A delightful Canada Primer. I've visited Ontario many times. I find the same thing true there that I do here ... I prefer the countryside to large cities. Something that surprised me was how much farming there is in parts of Ontario, although I'm not sure what I thought they did with all that land :-) It also felt more than a bit English with all the place names ... imagine that. Another surprise was how relatively moderate the climate is south of the lake. And Canada definitely has the prettier view of Niagara Falls :-)

    As lovely as Ontario is, I would like to see Alberta some day.

    One of my favorite Canadian books is Stephen Leacock's "Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town." I am possibly the last person on Earth who didn't know Janette Oke is from Canada :-)

    Thanks for a fun post!

    Nancy C

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    1. Hi Nancy, yes, we do a lot of farming and have cattle ranches in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta so I'm not sure why the "cowboy" craze isn't the same up here as it is in the US. We don't write about them and they're not seen as folk heros, which may hark back to what I included in my post about how differently we developed our western provinces in history. I knew Janette Oke was Canadian but didn't know before last year that she pretty much single-handedly started the "Prairie romance" as a genre in inspy fiction. She's certainly prolific!

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  37. Hi Laurie, Thank you for sharing so many tidbits about Canada! I feel like I've discovered the tip top of an iceberg when it comes to Canadian government and history. I live 1 1/2 hrs. from the BC border, so we visit several times a year. My favorites are Victoria, Vancouver, the Canadian Rockies, and the Yukon. I'd love to visit eastern Canada and the Northwest Territories. I've been as far east as Toronto. Sometimes I think I should've been born in Canada! My current WIPs span the WA & BC border, so I'm thrilled to meet you, read this post and replies, and discover some new links.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Deb! I appreciate them! and good for you for doing some cross-border writing - I'm sure it'll add some flavour to your books.

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  38. Hi Laurie! What great information about Canada. I always wondered about the "eh" thing! I've never been to Canada but have always wanted to go and pet baby harp seals. They're my favorite.

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    1. Hi Sharee, to pet baby harp seals you'd have to go to the Arctic during the winter so it would be pretty cold. :) we have harp seals at our Zoo in Winnipeg, I'm not sure if they have them at the Metro Toronto Zoo or not. Probably!

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  39. Though I've always lived just a hop skip and a boat ride away from Canada (I live just on the other side of Lake Erie) I've never been there- or anywhere out of the country really- not even to visit Niagara Falls though my mom has gone often. I hope to visit Canada someday, it seems like a beautiful country. Thanks for this informative post, I've always wondered what it is like to live in Canada. Is it true that Canadians don't have the freedom of speech?

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    1. Hi Nicki, yes we have freedom of speech and it's enshrined in our Constitution. Niagara Falls would be wortha weekend visit and it might inspire you to travel more in Canada. :)

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  40. Hi Laurie! Late to the party, but so enjoyed your fun, informative post. My comment got eaten, but did want to say I learned a lot I didn't know about Canada. "Beaver Tails" may be similar to our version of funnel cakes. (You might know I honed in on what's really important--FOOD!!! LOL)

    I don't speak a foreign language, but our son took French and our daughter took Spanish. I can't speak either language, but wish I could.

    Hope to make it to ACFW again this year so I can hug your neck!

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    1. Hi Cynthia, I wish I could make it to ACFW this year but I can't - I do hope to make it to Nashville next year though. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's videos and photos though!

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  41. Wow, the stuff I didn't know!!! Laurie, welcome to Seekerville!

    I'm near the Lake Ontario shore so jaunts to Canada have been fairly constant throughout my life... Because you're right across the pond!

    And once my husband flew into an obscure fishing lodge through a May snowstorm, some place north of Toronto....

    And I love bacon, no matter what side of the Great Lakes it comes from!

    Nice to have you here today!

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    1. Hi Ruth, thanks for your kind words. We have several obscure fishing lodges in Algonquin Park northwest of Toronto, so maybe he was up there. :) Lots of big fishing goes on in Ontario. And we don't call "Canadian Bacon" that up here - we call it "peameal bacon" because that's what it's coated with but I'm with you, bacon's fabulous no matter where it comes from :)

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    2. Because I live close enough to visit, I knew that about the bacon... And the stuff folks call Canadian Bacon here is really back bacon formed into a circle and smoked. But I was a grown up before I realized it didn't really have anything to do with Canada!

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  42. OH MY GOODNESS, LAURIE, THIS WAS SOOOOOO MUCH FUN, TRULY!! WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE!!

    I LOVE my Canadian reader friends, so this has been a blast to learn more about them! I've always thought it was a bit sad that I didn't know more about Canada since you are SUCH great neighbors to the U.S.!

    The closest I came to learning about Canada was when I had a research glitch on my first book, A Passion Most Pure, that threatened to make me move from Dublin as one of my two locales in the book to Novia Scotia, which I discovered had a strong Irish community. But I was able to fix the glitch, so Dublin prevailed. But I learned some fascinating facts about your country at that time. :)

    You said: "We’re the second largest country in the world, next to Russia."

    Okay, NOTHING you said could have blown me away more than this. I actually blinked and almost didn't believe you -- that's how much this surprised me. WOW!! That is pretty incredible.

    You also said: "Our best known is “Poutine”: French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. This delicacy has roots in Quebec and is a French invention. We enjoy it across Canada. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!"

    PLEASE forgive me, but the only French food I like are French Fries, and I can't imagine drowning them in cheese curds and gravy. But then I have never eaten cheese curds because, well, they just don't sound good to me, although I understand they're really big in the Great Lakes area. And the only thing I like gravy on are mashed potatoes, so I won't be trying Poutine anytime soon, I'm sure. ;)

    Great post -- thanks for all the wonderful info -- SO fun!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. I thought the same thing about cheese curds until I went to a Writers Police Academy conference in Wisconsin. Cheese curds are really small non uniform cheese balls. And they are fresh cheese not the fake stuff you get in stores. REAL cheese and amazing and addictive.

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    2. Julie, cheese curds are to die for. They're bits of cheddar cheese dipped in breading and deep-fried. And if you get them at a fair, they're a congealed MESS and everyone loves them... but if you get them at a restaurant, they're more likely to be less messy.... They're amazing, it's one reason to enjoy Wisconsin and Minnesota!!!!

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    3. Oh yes!! Cheese curds are AWESOME!

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    4. I love cheese curds. I was with Tina when she first tried them...that's when I first ate them too. Oh my gosh! Wonderful!

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    5. I stand corrected! Maybe I'll try them next time I go to Culver's ... ;)

      But NO gravy!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  43. Wait, I just realized that Heartland (huge fan!!!) and When Calls the Heart (huge fan!!!) and of course Anne of Green Gables were/are all Canadian wonderful shows!!! You guys make me SO STINKIN' HAPPY!!!!

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    1. Lol...my daughter and I've watched every season of Heartland and the whole family watches When Calls the Heart. They air here on Sunday nights, so we PVR them and watch on Mondays. They are great shows!

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  44. Hi, Laurie. I have been to Canada. I went when I was a teenager. When we went through the border patrol, they asked if we had anything to declare. I was in the backseat and my father was driving. I said, "Yes, I have a walkman and here's my Bryan Adams tape." And I kept going on for another twenty seconds before my father interrupted and said, "No, we're good." They still let us come through!

    Golly, there are so many famous Canadians. Tennis has Genie Bouchard and Milos Raonic. I love watching both of them play tennis.

    And yes, I want to go back to Canada because I so want to visit Prince Edward Island.

    Thanks for all the wonderful information.

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    1. Hi Tanya! thanks for your kind words :)

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  45. What a fun post, Laurie. I think I knew most of what you said, but maybe learned a little, too. I have been to Canada twice. Years ago when I was in high school our family went to Niagara Falls. Five years ago I spent a day in Canada with my husband and son. We went to Vancouver and drove through British Columbia before coming back to the US. One thing we learned about Canada is that you cannot leave if you have fruit. We got pulled over and our car searched when we were asked if we had fruit. I guess that is actually the issue of the US since we were allowed to enter Canada with fruit! It was an interesting experience.

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    1. I'm surprised they let you enter with fruit because that's usually a no-no. Maybe you got an inexperienced border guard :)

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  46. I meant to add that I didn't realize it was the 150th birthday of Canada this year. My state of Nebraska turns 150 tomorrow. Didn't realize they were "born" the same year.

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    1. Canada is a very young country compared to just about everyone else, at 150 years old. :) July 1, 1867 is the date we were "confederated" under the British Empire as a distinct entity so that's why we celebrate July 1st as our national holiday. Yours is July 4th for Independence Day and in a way, they're both the same. :)

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  47. LAURIE, I so enjoyed the fascinating facts about Canada! I would love to visit Banff!

    Please enter me in the drawing.

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    1. Hi Caryl, I've never been to Banff or Lake Louise because they're quite expensive, but the area is stunning with the sapphire lake you see in tourist photos, and the Rockies right there. I think they might have a writers colony in Banff and I know they have a big ballet school there too.

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  48. Laurie, if I don't get another chance to pop in here, THANK YOU, for being a wonderful hostess!

    Obviously, Seekerville LOVES Canada!

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    1. Thank you to Seekerville for having me! I enjoyed spending the day talking about Canada and our tourist attractions with everyone.

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  49. Hi Laurie! Sorry to be checking in so late. I've never been to Canada but would like to soon. Can you tell me anything about Thunder Bay? Also is roil the same as roll?

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    1. Terri! I get to see a picture of you! :) No, roil is sort of a twisting rolling motion. Thunder Bay is *beautiful*. We go through it every time we drive home to Ontario. It's on the shore of Lake Superior and far enough north that it's sort of the beginning of the Canadian "north". It's where Terry Fox ended his cancer run so there's a huge statue of him near the beginning of the city, high up on a hill overlooking Lake Superior. Are you going there to visit friends or family?

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    2. Laurie, if I make it the trip will be just for fun. No friends or relatives in the area.

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  50. I've been lurking, too. Trying to finish up projects before I head home. Yes, I'm a snowbird. And I'm heading home to northern Alberta early as I start my job...wait for it...at Canada's own Book Distributor. (Think Choice Books). And I'm moving before that! But not to worry, TINA and SANDRA I'll be back around Christmas!

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  51. It's just a darned shame we never united Canada and the United States. We'd have made a great country. Now we are TWO great countries, but still!!!

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    1. But western Canada has more in common with Western US than we do with Eastern Canada. (Anything east of the eastern Manitoba)

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    2. I've heard some people say it would make more sense for British Columbia to separate from the rest of Canada than for Quebec to ever separate, although I hope neither ever happens. Ontario is our most populous province and drives the country between the federal government being there and all our manufacturing and "brainy" jobs being there - is that what you meant?

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  52. Are you SURE about that aboot thing? Cuz I think I've heard it, although it was in South Dakota.

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    1. Well, North Dakota and Minnesota are directly south of Manitoba so it's entirely possible that some Canucks migrated south and filled the well with some of our idioms. :) Like I said earlier, I probably say it myself and don't even realize it!

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    2. P.S. we definitely say "ant" for "aunt", so there's that too!

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  53. Hi, Laurie. I enjoyed reading your post...lots of interesting info I didn't know. I've visited Canada a couple times-Ontario, around Niagara Falls and Thousand Islands. I'd love to see more. Beautiful country!
    Thanks for the tour. 😊

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  54. Hi, Laurie. I SO enjoyed this wonderful post!! I learned so much!! Sorry to be so late commenting...busy, busy day...hubby is
    recovering from surgery...so I'm taking care of his "stuff" too! LOL

    My favorite horses--Norwegian Fjords- I bought from Canada...amazing horses! At the time I purchased them from a breeder in British Columbia, there were only 3 or 4 Fjords in California!! I could go on and on about these phenomenal wonderful horses...but...I won't! LOL

    We've only visited British Columbia, Victoria... Butchart Gardens...oh...be still my heart! My parents were in love with Banff & Lake Louise. I hope someday to visit this historic area!

    Thanks again for your terrific post!

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    1. Thank you Kathryn! You've seen a beautiful part of Canada. Hope your husband recovers well from his surgery.

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  55. Canada! Makes me sigh. I want to visit. On my bucket list is to head to Toronto and visit the NHL hall of fame. I would LOVE to see the Montreal Canadians play a live game because my favorite hockey player, Patrick Roy, started in the pro's there. Thanks for sharing! Rachel McMillan is from Toronto too. God bless!

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    1. Hi Kelly! The NHL Hall of Fame is definitely worth a visit :) We've been several times and I'd have to say the Montreal Canadiens are the favourite hockey team in Canada, although we love all our teams, the Habs are "magnifique"!

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  56. Oh, I'm so bummed I missed this post yesterday. I love talking Canada. I've visited Winnipeg once to visit a friend who taught in a French Immersion school at the time. I visited during American Thanksgiving. I also learned how to curl, as I was a substituted teammate for my friend during her curling match while I was visiting.
    Thanks for the post. I love learning about our neighbors to the North.

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    1. Thank you Deb. :) I've never been able to curl as my legs don't hold up to it but my husband loves it. Good for you for learning one of our favourite winter sports!

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  57. Like DebH (waving), I missed this yesterday!

    Laurie, I'm so glad to meet a fellow Canadian here, especially one who lives in my old stompin' ground! (Attended Hugh John McDonald and Tec Voc before joining the CAF)

    And we have the CAF in common, too as I signed up in the 'Peg and served as a teletype operator for my 20 yr career.

    I'm looking forward to meeting you in person someday. :)


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    1. Hi Anita! I *love* Winnipeg even though I grew up in Ontario! I don't want to leave unless it's to retire somewhere in NS or NFLD. There's so much history here. Congrats on your 20 yr CAF career as well. :) My hubby's got 6 yrs to go although his trade is "short" so he might get an extension. I'd love to meet you and all the Seekers some day!

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  58. I really wanted to read your post yesterday, but I am happy to get to enjoy it today. My family took us to Canada several times during our cross country trips. We typically would visit Newfoundland because we had friends there. One of my favorite Christian singers is from Canada, Matt Maher.

    You really shared so much awesome information! I didn't even realize quite how large Canada is which is odd since I see it on the map all the time (my son is a geography and history fan). Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

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    1. Hi Kelly! Matt Maher is SO talented! We use his choruses a lot at church. Thanks for your kind words. :)

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  59. Thanks for sharing all of these interesting facts. I must admit that I wasn't aware of Canada's immense size!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Connie! yes, we're a huge country with many still untapped resources. we have more oil than Saudi Arabia, I forgot to put that in my list of stats. Of course, that also means we're working on our carbon emissions from the Oil Sands in Alberta. Have a blessed Ash Wednesday.

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  60. Hi, Laurie. Great post! Many years ago, I visited Campbellford,and a place called Healy Falls...even sat in them! I remember how CLEAN everything was, and people were camping on the sides of the road. The countryside was so beautiful!

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    1. Thank you Marcia, I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit. :)

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  61. I loved your post, Laurie! (Sorry I wasn't able to stop by yesterday - - was gone all day!).
    This is going into my Keeper file. :) Besides having a dear friend who is Canadian, my daughter's father-in-law was born and raised there (although he now lives here in Georgia).
    Thank you SO much for sharing with us, and blessings on your writing.
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Thank you, Patti Jo! I was happy to be here because we have a lot to share with the States. :)

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  62. Hi Laurie. Thanks for this post. I'm originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and have visited our sister city in Ontario numerous times. I never knew I had an accent until my husband joined the military many years ago. When we were transferred overseas, many co-workers thought I was from Canada. What fun! Blessings and hugs to you.

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    1. Thanks so much Rebecca! Sault Ste. Marie's beautiful on both sides of the lake. We drive through there every time we go back to Ontario. We do the drive north over Lake Superior now because going south is too windy for us oldies now. :) That's hilarious that they thought you had a Canadian accent - guess that proves we really do have one!

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  63. Fun to see Canada in the spotlight! I'm an Alberta girl and love this great country. :)

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    1. Hi Angela! Me too! We are truly blessed up here.

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  64. Hi Laurie. Your wonderful post brought back so many memories of living in Canada. I went to a college north of Montreal at Ste-Agathe-des-Monts in the Laurentians over two years and got to do so much, from learning to ski _ was a yeti skiing slopes straight down - to a white water expedition in the Yukon. I got landed immigrant status but had to get back to my family in England. I dreamed of going to the University of New Brunswick to study Forestry, or joining the RCMP. That was not to be. I also spent a short time studying at Humber College in Toronto. Now, I live across the border in Idaho, with my American wife - so a visit to Alberta or BC is very possible. Oh, and I always support Canada in ice hockey and have to put 100% maple syrup on pancakes.

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    1. Hi Roland! I've had family study at Humber College too. And I've heard the skiing in Quebec equals Europe any day. (not that I ski myself) You should bring your wife up to explore the Rockies and see Victoria or Calgary! As I've said previously, 30% on your dollar's a nice cheap vacation up here. :) And thanks for supporting our NHL teams too!

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  65. Thank you Laurie for this post - it’s so much fun!

    I immediately thought of Ms. Oke and Anne with an ‘e’ when I saw the title! :)

    “Eh???” - that sounds like it works the same as in Spanish. You say it at then end of a question, going up at the end too. In Spanish, you can also do the same thing with Verdad? which means true or right??? :)

    I wanna Beaver Tail!!!!! Seriously. It sounds great!

    I also didn’t know you had so many lakes!? And winter carnivals sounds like so much fun! I wonder if the Folk Festivals are anything like our craft fair weekends - there’s music, food, and vendors of handmade goods.

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    1. Anne of Green Gables is starting up this coming Sunday up here, I think. :) Our Folk Festivals centre around live music and dancing, with food, and vendors thrown in for good measure. We do craft fairs too. Winnipeg's annual "Folklarama" features at least 40 countries for the two weeks it's on. They have huge pavilions filled with food you can buy, souvenirs, and scheduled dance performances featuring that country's national dancing. It's like being at a world expo.

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  66. Q: Do you have a favorite part/geography to visit (or that you wish to visit) in Canada? Like for me in the US, I like to visit mountains…or beaches.

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  67. Hi Megs, well, even though I live on the Prairies now I do miss the ocean on the east coast. There's just something about the ocean that's so relaxing and primal. I don't miss the 7-12' of snow we get in the east though! I'd rather it be -35 than be shoveling my way out of the house (or not be able to shovel my way out of it). Visiting the sub-arctic is on my bucket list - northern Manitoba or the Yukon. I used to think I wanted to be a teacher in the arctic when I was in high school and had a real affinity for it, but it didn't work out.

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