Government of Canada FAQ #4

29 02 2012

How do I get information on travelling in Canada and abroad?

Herein, a handy guide. Warning: excessive use of regional stereotyping ahead.

British Columbia

Principal features: rain, Stanley Park, recreational drug users, daffodils in February, expensive housing, rain, bad traffic, the Canucks, rioters, mountains, the ocean, rain, nude beaches, rain, rain, drizzle, rain

What not to say:

  • “Hi! I’m from Toronto!”
  • “You guys are all hippies, aren’t you?”
  • “Can I borrow your umbrella?”


Principal features: oil, cattle, climate change deniers, Conservatives, a cool mayor

What not to say:

  • “Hi! I’m from Toronto!”
  • “You guys are all rednecks, aren’t you?”
  • “Can you direct me to the local Liberal Party headquarters?”


Principal features: wheat, flatness, cold, drought, curling rinks

What not to say:

  • “Hi! I might or might not be from Toronto.”
  • “Okay, so this is Moose Jaw. Where is the rest of the moose?”
  • “Why buy anything here? There’s no sales tax in Alberta.”


Principal features: biting flies and mosquitoes, wind chill, one or more members of The Guess Who

What not to say:

  • “Hi! I’m from some unspecified location in Southern Ontario.”
  • “Admit it – you guys aren’t really westerners.”
  • “Which one are you – Bachman, Turner, or Overdrive?”


Principal features: a dying economy, metrosexuals, fat cat bankers, the world’s largest freestanding structure (and his brother Doug), lots of stuff other than Toronto for chrissakes they think they’re the centre of the universe ooh it makes me mad I need to lie down now

What not to say:

  • If not in Toronto: “Hi! I’m from Toronto!”
  • If in Toronto: “Hi! I’m from Scarborough!”
  • If in Scarborough: my sincerest sympathies


Principal features: poutine, French-speaking people, Bonhomme, latent separatists, more fun than you are having right now

What not to say:

  • “Bonjour! Je habite en Toronto!”
  • Anything in English
  • Anything in French, unless you’re one of the 43 anglophones in Canada who can speak it

New Brunswick

Principal features: none whatsoever – well, okay, Magnetic Hill

What not to say:

  • “Hi! I’m from Ontario.”
  • “Your province is boring.”
  • “Is there an Old Brunswick?”

Nova Scotia

Principal features: fish, tides, Stanfield’s underwear

What not to say:

  • “Hi! I’m a repetitive joke that has gone somewhat stale.”
  • “I have trouble telling the Maritime provinces apart. Can you guys wear name tags or something?”

Prince Edward Island

Principal features: red dirt, Anne of Green Gables

What not to say:

  • Anything about red dirt or Anne of Green Gables


Principal features: rocks, air force bases, hidden Nazi war gold, the odd Viking or two

What not to say:

  • “Where’s the bye that builds the boat?”
  • “I have this great joke to tell you.”
  • “The world will end at 9:00 tonight, or 9:30 in Newfoundland. Har har.”

Nunavut and/or Yukon and/or Northwest Territories

Principal features: scenery, cold, black flies the size of house pets, oil spills

What not to say:

  • “Can you carve a walrus for me?”
  • “I would like to run a pipeline through your property.”
  • “It’s colder than a [insert cliche about something very cold, possibly related to witch’s nipples] outside.”


Principal features: foreigners

What not to say:

  • “Can I have vinegar on my fries?”
  • “I am from the same country as Justin Bieber!”
  • “We whipped your ass in the War of 1812. Care for a rematch?”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: