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The Short Version for the "too long didnt read" school of thought ... stuff to do in Canada '08?

Hiya all, flowers.png

Well D-Day is finally approaching after a 12 month save and being a “responsible” adult I am nearly free .. yippee

Im a fairly unorganised traveller but i find synchronicity + pure blind chance serve me well (I remember reading in a book when I was a young lad about “lady luck” and how you could never rely on her, but also if you didn’t take chances how could she bless you with good luck – offtopic.gif )

Anyway what im asking for here is just some random stuff about Canada that I should know / might find helpful, Obviously you need to know what sort of things im into in order to know what would want to know / where I would want to visit.

The idea of going to Canada started with “I want to see a bear catch a fish” and to be honest its not moved on much further from there, I know you have some awesome scenery and I love being outdoors, camping, nature, hiking, cycling, rock climbing, lakes etc.
I will probably ski once or twice but to be honest im not intending to work a season, think im getting a little to old (35) to do the party hard / work hard thang … my choice though rather than a “please talk me into it”
I'll catch a mueseum or 2 along the way, (alternative meusems for fun as well as the "proper" ones), but i'll probably be in out of the cities in 2-3 days .... for me its all about the people / the chats / the coffees / maybe a few beers? / the little slices of life that people let you in for, knowing nothing about each other is judgement free and always results in some benfit for someone

As far as my work plans go - I will be looking for a “medium” sized town .. Where there are enough new people to meet but also once you have met someone there is a goodly chance to bump into them again, I will probably do bar work (an old hand) or possibly some sort of low rank admin (also no problem) – maybe even both !

In my head I have a thought of it being west side near the middle (if that makes sense) hopefully with access to the great outdoors, I will probably looking for work around March / April time. The idea behind this being, land east side, travel about a bit then “scooch” over the middle as funds get low, find some work, save some money, then travel around the west side and “perhaps” return to my new little hometown if all went well / nice people were met ect. Then head back over to east and departure airport in the last month, maybe picking up any missed spots

Anyway …

1. The bad point : im landing in January … lol …. I have no idea what to expect from cold weather that can kill you if you’re a bit disorganised and lacking knowledge (which reeks of me!) .. so some realistic pointers on weather / getting about in weather / clothing .. anything
2. Places .. any favourite spots? Any must sees?
3. People – no worries, ill cope with this one hug.gif
4. Distances, I have travelled enough to know there is a distance issue in Canada, but some basic land journey times so when I look at a map I have a scale to work from (don’t worry about flights .. unlikely to take any, cant get out an look around on the way )
5. Money – I wont have enough, so anything pricey will be sacrificed for an extra dinner out / round of drinks with new found friends – so we can probably rule out polar bears for one … BUT I am kinda interested in ice and snow (lucky eh?) so maybe somewhere “north” / “off the beaten track” but realistically reachable … even if theres nothing much there, im sure the people will be worth the trip, and I can always cheer them up if nothing much happens, we can all swap stories
6. Ohh can you just buy contact lenses off the shelf if you know your prescription?
7. And another ... festivals, street parties, events, any thoughts on timetables to catch these sort of things (i could miss the carnival in Rio if i was left to my own devices, by sitting talking to a little old lady eating toast in the next town up...)

Im sure I’ll think of other stuff but ill just bump the post.

Thanks in advance and looking forward to visiting your fine land, im sure we will get on fine


Qwi aka Andy
hey! I totally missed this post! Can't believe no one had any suggestions!

Well, first off, expect it to be cold in January. Think layers. That's the best way to dress 'round these parts. I'd bring a thermal top and long johns, plenty of warn socks, sweaters and shirts. Oh, and pants! You'll need boots too. Not necessarily to your knees, but something to keep snow out of your cuffs. A warm hat ( or toque as we like to call 'em), gloves and a scarf are good to have too. It is mildest on the west coast with temperatures around.

Winters on the coast are temperate, and if snow falls it doesn't stay long. A warm coat and umbrella are sufficient weather protection in these mild coastal climes. Most of BC's interior, on the other hand, experiences freezing temperatures and lasting snow from November to March, so full winter wear is necessary for comfort: a heavy coat, a warm hat and gloves or mittens.

BC is beautiful. Top on the list for me. Areas of Alberta are also lovely, think Jasper and around those parts. Mountains! Not sure how far to the "middle" you want to go. I think Ontario's particularly lovely but I'm from here so maybe a bit biased. Ottawa, Toronto and tons of small, cool towns ('specially Guelph, where I'm from smile.gif )

Now pick up a map. A drive from coastal BC to Toronto, Ontario takes about 45-55 hours. A drive from Ontario to the east coast takes about 19hours. Yup, the distances can seem daunting but that's part of what's cool about Canada.

Personally I think a random plan is a good one. If you're hard working and reliable you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a job.

There are tons of festivals and street parties etc, but most of the best ones happen in Spring, summer and fall, pretty much because it's way too cold to party outside, but it does happen! Don't miss any blues, jazz or film, beer or other music festivals as they tend to be great.
Try CanadianFestivalSeeker and this site

You'll meet tons of people because, as I'm sure you've heard, Canadians really friendly. That's actually not a myth. Some people find it repulsive but I bet they're from a place where smiling at a stranger is weird.

The Prairies have their charms but I'm afraid there isn't much excitement here as there is on either of the coasts or, well, Ontario!

If you ever find yourself near Toronto feel free to shout and I'll give you a tour smile.gif
Wow - so hopefully this advice isn't coming too late!

There are lots of medium sized towns in Canada - I live in one! Kingston Ontario is perfect for what you're looking for - university town! Other good places to try would be London Ontario, Guelph, Ontario.

Cold - dress in layers!! tshirts, turtlenecks, wool sweaters, a good windbreaker. Things are pretty variable, so be prepared for it all.


What city are you landing in when you first arrive in Canada? Do yo have any cities you want to go visit and how long are you planning to be in Canada.

If you plan to be in Ottawa, let me take you to see the Travelpod Office while you are in Town!
Also, if you are going to be in southern Ontario ...don't miss Niagara Falls!
Qwi, how was your trip? What did you end up doing?
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