Province of British Columbia Local Customs

  • Decorated Navy Fleet
    Decorated Navy Fleet
    by briantravelman
  • Iraqi Protestors
    Iraqi Protestors
    by briantravelman
  • Protest Sign In Finn Slough
    Protest Sign In Finn Slough
    by briantravelman

Province of British Columbia 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • architecture & style

    Vancouver Local Customs

    Vancouver had some great public art on the walls in the downtown area. This was superb work. Starting in 2008 the provincial government invested $10 million over 3 years to celebrate the history, heritage and culture of Vancouver's first urban areas. From the murals I saw this was an excellent investment.

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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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  • 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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  • Political activism

    Vancouver Local Customs

    My cousin explained to me how protesting works in Canada, and it's a little different than it is in the U.S. You don't have to be part of a union, and you don't have to get prior permission. You can just show up with picket signs, and no one will arrest you, or ask you to leave. Basically, anyone who wants to, can protest, about anything. There are...

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  • Weather & seasons

    Vancouver Local Customs

    By Canadian standards, Vancouver doesn't have much of a winter but yes, it does snow in Vancouver - not a whole lot and never for long, but enough to considerably slow down traffic and public transportation when it does happen. And I might be used to cold winters but because Vancouver is so damp, a -1°C there felt like at least a -10°C at home...

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  • Clothing

    Vancouver Local Customs

    If you're going to be spending any real time here in Vancouver (1+ months), i'll let you in on a local must-have. The Taiga jacket. A simple, well-made unisex jacket with pockets, zipper and buttons, most importantly COMPLETELY WATERPROOF while being breathable (gore-tex is a wonder fabric). Also has a hood you can tuck away when not using it....

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  • Relaxation & leisure

    Vancouver Local Customs

    Vancouver is sometimes nicknamed, 'Lotus Land' which usually refers to it being laid back. Remember that dining out, relaxing and enjoying the outdoors are some of the main priorities of the locals. Don't come here expecting amazing nightlife onpar with New York or London, and don't expect a HUGE city center with a super fast-paced environment....

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  • Polar Bear Swim

    Vancouver Local Customs

    BRRRRRRR THE POLAR BEAR SWIM If you are able to survive the New Year’s Party, get dressed and swing by to English Bay to watch or participate in the annual polar bear swim. The swim is held every year on January 1 no matter what the weather is, at 2:30pm in English Bay. If you are able to swim in freezing water then yes swim but most participants...

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  • Sports

    Vancouver Local Customs

    Water sports are a big part of life in Vancouver. There are numerous marinas and all manner of watercrafts are available for rent. Dragonboating is my preferred watersport. It requires 20 paddlers, one steersperson and a drummer. We train in the city's False Creek area until the Alcan Dragonboat Festival which takes place on the third weekend of...

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  • Diversity

    One thing you will notice right away when you visit British Columbia is the large diversity of people. The census indicated that up to 24.8% of the population were "visible minorities," a Canadian term referring to a person not of the majority race in a given area. Given British Columbia's location and its position as the Canadian gateway to trade...

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  • Inuit

    Is the name that the Inuit Eskimos of Greenland and Canada identify themselves. The Yupik Eskimos of Alaska, and set related to the Siberian Yupik of the northeastern part of the Russian Far East. The word Inuit is the plural of Inuk, that man or real man means in Inuktitut.The word Inuit is also used as an alternative to the word 'Eskimo' in...

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  • Vistor Rebate Program

    All visitors may claim a refund of the goods and services tax (GST) and/or, the harmonized sales tax (HST) which they paid on eligible goods, must provide proof that they exported their goods from Canada. This is referred to as Proof of Export.Proof of Export began at Canada's nine major international airports. Non-resident visitors departing from...

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  • DRIVE THROUGH COFFEE SHOP

    Along the Skaha lake we went by car, enjoying the lovely views. At a lookout overlooking the lake near Penticton, we found a "Drive - Through Coffee shop"Something very different to where I come from, but a great idea for people who love their cup of Coffee!

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  • once home to Native Americans

    Remember that this area was once prime ground for Native American life. Visit the Thunderbird Park in Victoria for a fantastic display of totem poles and longhouses.

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  • Have cake!

    For our combined marriage celebration and birthday party, we had cake! It was delicious. As I recall, they were both carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Yum!

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  • Speak to People.

    When you are out hiking or walking in the countryside you should always make eye contact and say hello. Canadians are very friendly and polite. You may be considered rude and reserved if you don't.This also goes for most situations in Canada including walking into a quiet or smallish shop or video club.

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  • Mary-Jane, Reefer, Pot, it's all good...

    Okay, while it is not strictly condonned, Marijuana is not totally illegal here either. Ever since the infamous "pot-smoking snowboarder" incident, our beloved province has been dubbed the pot capital of Canada. Canadians are a very liberal bunch, and this holds true when talking about this 'gentler' drug. If you plan on travelling the world, and...

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  • See carvings along the highway

    As I've mentioned elsewhere on this page, there are several wood carvings along the highway from Queen Charlotte City to Masset. I saw them in May 1987.

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  • Try eating seaweed with salmon roe

    Though it may be hard to fine, it is a traditional delicacy with the local Natives. They collect it and spread it on the beach to dry.

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  • Try seeing a 'Powwow' (Indian...

    Try seeing a 'Powwow' (Indian dance festival). There is one every weekend, but you must do a little search for them.

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Province of British Columbia Local Customs

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