Canada Local Customs

  • Fishermen!
    Fishermen!
    by johngayton
  • Fishing nets
    Fishing nets
    by IreneMcKay
  • Advert on wall of Georgia Cannery
    Advert on wall of Georgia Cannery
    by IreneMcKay

Canada Local Customs

  • Drugs & alcohol

    Vancouver Local Customs

    A clever new nickname for Vancouver that I just heard recently. Let me dispel the rumours somewhat. Yes the laws towards marijuana are somewhat less strict here (and everyelse in Canada) than other parts of the world but I don't like it is quite Amsterdam, West. While most people know a guy who knows a guy, weed is not really seen (or smelled)...

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  • Bilinguism

    Montreal Local Customs

    I was somewhat worried about communicating in Montreal, especially as most of the signs are in French, but I didn't have a problem at all. We didn't run into anyone who didn't speak english. Waiters/waitresses were no exception, right down to the worker at the bakery. Most menus were completly in english, and when you check out places websites...

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  • Liquor / Beer / Wine

    Toronto Local Customs

    The laws concerning alcohol consumption in Toronto follow mostly Ontario laws. The government regulates all sales of beer, wine and liquor, so you can expect prices to be expensive here. Even local wines and beers will cost you more than one might think. Expect to pay 10-15 CAD dollars for a bottle of wine (even ones made in Ontario) in LCBO...

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  • Local food and drinks

    Quebec Local Customs

    Through our trip to the provences of Quebec and New Brunswick we would stop at a restaurant and see the mysterious word "Poutine" on the menu. Finally I was brave enough to ask, "What the heck IS Poutine" and a kind waiter explained it to me. Poutine is uniquely French Canadian and is French fries with cottage cheese and gravy. What? Yep French...

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  • Drinking/Buying alcohol

    Ottawa Local Customs

    It happens for three days, once a year. The Ottawa Wine and Food Show is an excellent place to try different wines, food and other spirits prepared and presented by local businesses among others. The thing is ALWAYS packed, you may have to wait in line for an hour even if you have a ticket. Regardless, it's always a good time. There's lots of...

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  • Currency/Tipping

    Victoria Local Customs

    Please excuse me if you think this is a silly tip but I just wanted to point out that American coins (quarters, dimes, nickels etc) are NOT considered eligible for preferential exchange in stores or banks. So if you are shopping somewhere and see something listed for $1 Canadian if you pay for it with an American dollar bill you'll receive some...

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  • Birds/ Animals/Flowers

    Banff National Park Local Customs

    These cheeky little fellows popped up everywhere and were a joy to see. Please do not feed them although they will squeek for your attention = when tourists are thin on the ground they have to survive on their own

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  • Winnipeg Festivals

    Winnipeg Local Customs

    Winnipeg is a cultural mosaic. There are people here from every part of the world. For the first two weeks of August each year, there is a two week long festival (called Folklorama) where 40 different nationalities present their cultures. The two weeks are different because the pavilions change. In the first week, 20 different communities have...

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  • Diversity

    Edmonton Local Customs

    The area of Edmonton is home to a fairly large Ukrainian community and its influence can be perceived all across the city, especially through its beautiful architecture. If you want to find out more about the story of Ukrainian immigrants in Alberta, you can visit the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village located about 50 km east of Edmonton.

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  • Calgary Stampede

    Calgary Local Customs

    After 2012 Centennial many including myself thought Stampede 2013 be somewhat a let down, how wrong we were. 2 weeks to the day that the parade starts off the official beginning of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede the banks of the Elbow River that run through and along the Stampede overflowed with a velocity that made the opening of the Stampede...

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  • Summer festivals

    Charlottetown Local Customs

    In August, there's Old Home Week at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The main event is the big horse race, but there's also a midway with carnival rides and games, as well as farm animal exhibits. All this happens at the Charlottetown Driving Park. On Friday morning/afternoon before the big race (which is Saturday), there's the Gold Cup and Saucer...

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  • Behaviour & manners

    Vancouver Local Customs

    We had seen this vehicle being driven along Robson Street a few days earlier and now had the chance to catch it on camera. We saw him again a few days later, this time the car was parked and he got upset if you took a photo, I think he wanted money. I do not know if vehicles like this are a local custom, but it the only one I have seen and it was...

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  • Tam Tam day

    Montreal Local Customs

    From late spring to early autumn, the Tam Tams happen on Sundays in Mont-Royal Park, near the monument. It's a massive drum circle where people play music and dance, but there are also vendors selling things (mostly hippie-style jewelry and clothes), people hanging out and having picnics, circus artists practicing their juggling and tight-rope...

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  • Events / festivals

    Toronto Local Customs

    Halloween is just as popular in Canada as it is in its American counterpart. Adults and children love to celebrate. People decorate their houses, some going more 'all out' than others and get very elaborate costumes for themselves and for their kids. For the youth, its another excuse to drink, but in costume. The North American tradition of...

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  • Languages (French, English)

    Quebec Local Customs

    Outside the Old City, very few people speak fluent English, but in the tourist area, most everyone speaks English. Signs, however, are often only in French (unless the English is smaller), so take caution if you are driving! It is handy to learn at least a few french phases.

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  • French and English

    Ottawa Local Customs

    Canada is English speaking, apart from Quebec which has remained French speaking, with people of French origin. Ottawa and Gatineau are divided by Ottawa river, Ottawa being in Ontario on the English side and Gatineau being in Quebec on the French side. If you go into Gatineau all the signs are in French, but on the Ottawa side all the signs are...

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  • Cultural/Historical

    Victoria Local Customs

    One thing this Navy town has in common with its East Coast counterpart Halifax are the downtown street names. You can find those in the walkway concrete at the intersections of the streets.

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  • Presents/Souvenirs

    Banff National Park Local Customs

    All these wonderful items were found at the shops along Banff Avenue. I took these pictures because I've learned to curb my spending on decorative items. You wouldn't believe the amount of things I've to lug home from every single trip to Japan & elsewhere, so much so that anyone who had traveled with me would know that I'm not joking about it!

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  • Winnie the Pooh

    Winnipeg Local Customs

    Did you know that the Winnie in Winnie the Pooh is short for Winnipeg? The city bought the orginal painting of Winnie, and he will be part of a new Pooh museum in Winnipeg (I kid you not!). PS According to our paper, The Winnie painting is on a year long tour in the far east. Supposedly he is quite adored in Japan, etc.

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  • Tipping

    Edmonton Local Customs

    It is expected here when you go to a restaurant, spa, bar, and other areas like this to tip the server, bartender, or whomever is working on you. The expected rate varies from 5% to 20%. If you head into a restaurant and the server takes too long with your drinks, messes up your order -- well that would be in the 5% range. If that server has been...

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  • Greetings & Salutations

    Calgary Local Customs

    This nice chap approached us while we were looking at some statues. He told us he was the Prime Minister and gave us his papers. We had a good laugh together while he tried to sort out the world. Hope he gets reinstated because he promised us a free holiday.

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  • Multiculturalism

    Vancouver Local Customs

    Vancouver is often considered one of the most integrated cities in the world with more interracial couples and less racial segregation than any other city in Canada. Since its beginnings as a city in 1886, is has always been a multicultural place, with a sizable Chinese, Japanese, First Nations (aboriginal) and Sikh (Indian) community which has...

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  • Festival

    Montreal Local Customs

    Nuit Blanche is a city-wide artistic event that happens in late February. Many venues all over town host art exhibitions, classes, workshops, concerts, presentations, etc. There's something for everyone whether you're into theatre, music, photography, art exhibitions, film, dance, music, comedy, etc. Most events are either free or have a cheap...

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  • People / Different cultures

    Toronto Local Customs

    Tastes of Thailand offered a wealth of activities that surely made a mark to event goers who like cultural dance and music. I have enjoyed the parade of native Thai costumes. It was colourful. You will also taste the Thai food in the many booths that was installed on the street. The mouth watering taste of noodle dish, satay, tamarind tofu, shrimp...

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  • History, culture and politics

    Quebec Local Customs

    When walking through an old city you will always come across some nice brass monuments preserving the history of the district and the way of life. We found this brass monument whilst walking the old town just after 9pm and we thought how good it was and a great reminder to our generation of how life was a century ago. It is a recent piece of art...

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  • Cultural Diversity

    Ottawa Local Customs

    On my walks in Ottawa I came across so many churches, they were almost on every corner. It came as a pleasent surprise seeing how strong the Christian church is in Canada, seeing that Canada is a melting point of different cultures and religion. 75% of Canadians are Christians, but with immigrants almost flooding the country the number of Muslims,...

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  • Festivals/Holidays

    Victoria Local Customs

    British Columbia Day, the first Monday in August, is a Provicial Holiday. (We didn't know that.) It's a bank holiday, so most "public facilities" (like banks and post offices) will be closed. Also, a lot of restaurants and shops are on reduced "holiday" hours. The night before B.C. Day there are festivities in Victoria Harbor, including a concert...

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  • Local Crafts

    Banff National Park Local Customs

    Finding locally produced products in Banff is a hard task. Most craft items are mass produced in the far east - a hard fact of mass tourisim. Indian head wear and the popular dream catchers are all made from feathers from lands far removed from here TBC

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  • General city Information

    Winnipeg Local Customs

    The legal drinking age in the province of Manitoba is 18 years. If you look 20ish, you will be asked for ID when buying alcohol or entering a pub. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public other than in a licensed premise. You are allowed to drink in private. In your private residence, hotel room or camping spot, etc. Regarding drinking and...

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  • People

    Edmonton Local Customs

    If you go to someone's home, you will usually be asked to leave your shoes by the front door (inside of course!). I thought it odd when I first moved there but it makes sense since the weather is quite often messy and it wouldn't be polite to track mud or snow into your host's house. It has become a habit even on nice days though. Some people do...

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  • Western Culture

    Calgary Local Customs

    Ranching played a large part in Calgary's development, and so many Calgarians are proud of the city's western heritage. Calgary's nickname is "Cowtown", but it doens't live up to it unless you count the requisite country and western radio station, and two bars called "Cowboys" and "The Ranchman's". Ranching and western heritage may be responsible...

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  • Language, accents & slang

    Vancouver Local Customs

    Though I noticed this in Canada generally...Vancouver had all these lovely little things that you saw when you are walking around town. Like asking you to do something to do something without asking.....the picture below speaks for itself...great Canadian humor

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  • Français

    Montreal Local Customs

    If the red octogon isn't obvious enough, "Arrêt" is the French word for "Stop". Apparently the province of Quebec is the only place in the world where they have translated the word "Stop" on stop signs into French. That's saying something. In fact, though some may argue otherwise, I see the stop sign in Quebec as a bold political statement by...

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  • Etiquette & Dress Code

    Toronto Local Customs

    It is amazing how helpful the Canadian people are. If you need help locating where you are or where you want to go just flip out a map of the city. The residence of Canada will approach you to offer help. I have never met such helpful people. As for the escalator, you definitely want to stand to the right and walk to the left. The people in Canada...

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  • Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Quebec National...

    Quebec Local Customs

    The Fête nationale du Québec ("Quebec National Holiday") is the official day of Quebec, Canada. The festivities occur on June 23 and June 24 and are organized by the Comité organisateur de la fête nationale ("national holiday organizing committee"). Originally, June 24 was a holiday honouring the patron saint of French Canada, St. John the...

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  • Capital of Canada

    Ottawa Local Customs

    The Canadian political system consists of the House of Commons (where the politicians sit) and the House of Senate (where the Bills are passed into law). To have a full understanding of this, you should attend the free guided tour at the Centre Block of Parliament Hill. You will also have a chance to see the actual House of Commons & House of...

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  • Churches

    Banff National Park Local Customs

    The pretty llittle white church is located at 102 Banff Avenue on the corner of Buffallo Avenue. Designed by architect John Manuel of Winnigeg in the Gothic Revival style. The church was built in 1927. The base of the church is designed with locally quarried rundle stone creating a natural look in keeping with the mountains surrounding her.

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  • Public Displays

    Edmonton Local Customs

    I've already shared what I thought of the artistic fencing I spied at a little park in Downtown Edmonton ... apparently I am in the minority in liking it though :) If you surf the VT Miscellaneous Forum, you are already familiar with the witty, dry and understated humor of 2 Edmontonians we know as David Keeling and Darby2 ..... after seeing this...

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  • Mountains

    Calgary Local Customs

    1.Canadians in general are very friendly and helpful, if asked for information about locations or history (although in Calgary there is NOT MUCH history left... i mean places, older than 5-10 years)! Anyway, as i got to know... there have been people asking park wardens about getting the water so blue (the lake on the left, hehe) , and well, i mean...

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  • Coffee & cuisine

    Vancouver Local Customs

    One thing you will notice immediately when you are walking around in Vancouver is how many coffee shops there are! In some parts of town there seemed to be at least one coffee shop in every street corner. If you want to get away from coffee in a plain brown wrapper (Starbucks) then you should be very happy indeed. Below is a link to the best...

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  • Halloween

    Montreal Local Customs

    This was my favorite Halloween Preparation, the carving of the pumpkin! It's long, it's tedious, but when it's finished everyone is so proud of their pumpkins! Plus you get to have with the interior that you took out, pumpkin cake, pumkin seeds (baked in oil and salt), pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, even pumpkin coming out of your ears once you're...

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  • Tipping

    Toronto Local Customs

    Think. Don't listen to ignorant people about tipping. 10% is an insult at a sit down restaurant. Remember, 15% is an average standard tip all over the world, and included in EVERY bill in most countries in Europe. A waiter makes below minimum wage, serves you food, drinks, takes your sometimes rude attitude, cleans up after you...basically is your...

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  • Carnaval de Quebec

    Quebec Local Customs

    Canadian winters are long and cold and so most cities have some sort of mid-winter celebration - celebrating the turning point rather than the mid-winter! Quebec's Carnaval claims to be the World's largest and certainly looks like fun. The event kicks off on either the last Friday of January or the first Friday of February and runs until the...

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  • General city Information

    Ottawa Local Customs

    POLiiITiCS : Yes PArty Politics means Cabinet Ministers come and go, we in the Nations Capital see and hear more about politicians and their 'shanannigans', and also how one person suddenly becomes emcumbered with three mahore Portfolios. ===Is that what democracy about === ever wondered why many Canadians do not vote nor worry about who...

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  • Government Buildings

    Edmonton Local Customs

    During my visit ot Edmonton it has been really hot, up to 37 degrees Celsius. It seems quite common that people go to the fountains at the Government Building as well as on the mainsquare to give a refresh to their kids.

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