I realized during a conversation with a Canadian friend of mine a few months ago that I knew very little about our neighbors to the North…in fact, I knew next to nothing.
How did I come across this startling revelation?
I was chatting with a friend about a trip I wanted to take to Canada. She began telling me how she grew up in Alberta and knew of companies that rent Calgary vacation homes during the late summer and that I should check them out.
I asked her, “Is that in Toronto?”
She laughingly replied, “No, Toronto is in Ontario.”
I asked, “Is Ontario in Calgary?”
She replied, “No, Calgary is in Alberta.” And she wasn’t really laughing that time…
At that point, I just pulled up a map of Canada because I felt like a bumbling idiot and didn’t want to embarrass myself any further. It turns out, there are different provinces in Canada, the way there are states in the U.S. – Ontario and Alberta were each provinces in Canada, with Toronto and Calgary being cities within those provinces. I vaguely recalled going over the basics of Canadian geography in world history, but really, who pays enough attention that they’d remember it 20 years later?
I did eventually figure it out, and now I know where most of the biggest cities are located, so when I speak to my Canadian friends, I can get an idea about where they live. So…if any of my friends ask me to visit them in New Foundland? NO thanks.
I made it to Toronto in early July, and I completely fell in love with the city! While it was much more expensive than I am used to (partly because the Canadian dollar is higher than the American at the moment), I found the people to be warm and friendly, the food tasty, and the weather? Well, I was lucky and it was absolutely gorgeous while I was there. They had a cold spell the weekend I was there and it didn’t pass 85 degrees the entire weekend.
I think that’s a sign I should go back!