Aspects Of Me Becoming Canadian

So, I just recently learned that I’m moving to Canada. But wait — first of all, how great is that Canadian tourism video above? It makes me want to kill myself so much! It’s amazing. Give yourself a hand, depressing Canadian tourism video. CANADA — THE WORLD NEXT DOOR. Incredible. Here are some alternate proposed ad campaigns:






Or just:


So once again, good job, tourism video. You’re almost as depressing as my all-time favorite: “The Spirit of Massachusetts Is The Spirit of America,” about which I have no words:

Broom-making! …That ad actually featured broom-making as a supposedly enticing thing. Oh my ga-aaawd. Please allow me to collect myself for a second.


Anyway, where were we? So; I’m moving to Canada. I got a job as a PR-something-or-other in Canada; I assume this job will require me to smile a lot and wear sunglasses indoors. “Hi. How are you?” I will say. My job is in Toronto, which I have never been to, but which I am sure is best described as the “San Diego of the Great White North.” Or the Rochester, New York of the Great White North. Or the something of the Great White North, anyway. I have no idea; I’ve never been there.

Once I learned that I was moving to Canada, I decided that I would not make Canadian jokes. This resolution did not last very long, as you see from the above. But really I do love Canada. I love it like I love Fresca. It was my lifelong dream to become Canadian. Well, really, it was my dream to become Irish, but I had Canada as a backup. I like to dream small.


I honestly did fall in love with Canada as a 10-year-old due to my obsession with the Quebec Nordiques, which were a hockey team. See! I’m partially interested in hockey. I’m halfway to being Canadian already. I was fascinated by the Quebec Nordiques because their name was in French and was cool — it means “Northmen,” apparently — and because they would always finish last. Year after year after year, they would finish last in the NHL, which means “National Hockey League.” And they would finish last by a significant margin. Other teams would finish with records of 54-26, or 61-19. The Nordiques, or “Nords,” would finish at 9-71. As a lifelong fan of the underdog, they fascinated me.

Even their sad little logo fascinated me. It was a N in the shape of an igloo pushing a hockey stick. Why an igloo would want to leave its comfortable job of being a house in order to push a hockey stick around all day was a mystery to me; luckily, it didn’t matter much, since the logo didn’t actually manage to look much like an N, an igloo, or a demon-possessed igloo that liked to play hockey. It just looked like an indeterminate squiggle of bland. I loved it so much, in the hopeless way that you love an ugly cat that you own, which is kind of sort of the way I love Canada, which is kind of sort of the way that I love everything that I love.

And being a Nordiques fan gave me a sense of having an identity of my own. Growing up in nowheresville, rural Pennsylvania, it made me feel cosmopolitan, to like a team with a French name like that. And Quebec is cool. They have castles there. The whole city is a like walled fort, like a walled city in LOTR. Liking the Nordiques made me feel like I was a part of that, a part of something distant. Of course, I only felt cosmopolitan in my own mind, since no one ever stopped me on the street and said, “Hey, yer not a fan of an obscure hockey team, is yer? Hey, everybody, come and pay attention to this kid!” …But still.

In college, I remained infatuated with Quebec, and so I got a drunk girl that I met in a bar to take a road trip with me. To Quebec City. In the middle of February. A 14-hour drive. God, I had so much more energy then. The main thing I remember about this trip is that once we finally made it to Quebec City, we started skidding on an icy road. We started skidding and the car started spinning around and around in circles. But it was a totally empty road at 2 a.m. But the car was spinning — dangerous! Our reaction was this: “We’re spinning! We’re going to die! We’re going to die! …We’re spinning.” Long pause. “I can’t believe we’re still spinning. …Really? …We’re still spinning?” Eventually we stopped spinning. And that was the only time that I ever went to Canada.


But now, I will be living in Canada. Americans’ attitude about Canada is that they don’t give a shit about it. I wish that I could phrase that more eloquently, but, well, there it is. Canada’s like trying to remember the name of your sister’s roommate’s ex-college boyfriend. I mean, in theory I love Canada, but I know nothing about it. I consider myself to be one of the smartest Americans that I have ever met… but I had no idea who the Prime Minister of Canada was. Do you know? If you do, you’re boring, with your head stuffed full of facts like that.

I didn’t know that in Canada, they have two-dollar coins and that they’re getting rid of pennies. Soon they’ll have no pennies there! And I wasn’t sure that they drove on the same side of the road as us — they do — even though I’ve been there already. Basically, I am excited/horrified by my new Great White Northern home, and also sort of clueless about it. Here are some other aspects of the move to Canada that I find to be intriguing:

Me Becoming Utterly Indifferent To America Before I Even Move

Already, my attitude towards America is that America is so, so passé. And I’m excited for my reaction to the upcoming election. I mean, there’s a five percent chance that Romney will win somehow, right? Then I can call my friends on election night from my house in Toronto: “Wow, Romney really won, huh? God, that’s crazy. It’s ’cause of all those people in the South. Those crazy f-ckers, right? Man, though… man. Who would have thought? Man that’s just… rough for you guys, huh?” And that’ll be so so great.

Me Deciding What Weird Spellings Of Canadian Words That I Like

I’m not into “colour” and I can’t remember the other ones. Did you know that Canadians call “jam” jelly, though? Or maybe it’s vice-versa. This is going to seriously complicate my life, except for the part where I don’t know the difference between the two things to begin with.

The only foreign spelling that I like is that they spell yogurt as “yoghurt.” That’s awesome. I mean, it’s got a “yog” and a “hurt” in it and there is nothing bad about either of those things. [...Author’s note: …Or do they spell it “yoghurt”? Even Canadians seem to disagree on this point.  Wikipedia says they don’t, but I trust Wikipedia never, so.]

Their Money Is Still Hilarious

Two-dollar coins! Why would I ever need one? Still can’t get over that. And I feel like I really won’t miss pennies until they’re gone, when it’ll be too late, just like in the Cinderella song: …Do you want to see me beggin’, baby/ Can’t you give me just one more day?

I was fascinated by Canadian money so I looked it up until I got bored. Their five dollar bill has someone named Wilfrid Laurier on it. I have no idea who he is: in his picture he looks sort of haunted and ashen. Anyway, Canadians. They’re so cute! They don’t have presidents on their money, they have other things. Canadians, they’re like [joke redacted by the editor, sadly]. So cute with the cuteness.

I Still Don’t Know Anything About Canadian History

No one does, because it’s too boring to study. They were founded by a beaver and a woodchuck, some stuff happened, and now they produce comedians for Saturday Night Live. And hockey. Oh, the hockey.

I know so little about Canadian history — and remember I’m one of the smartest Americans ever — that I didn’t realize that they were still part of England. A Canadian person told me this on IM the other day. They never got full independence from England — they just never got around to doing that, the way that you never get around to cleaning out the garage. To which I say:


Still part of England? Jesus Christ, Canadians. You don’t even care enough to rebel. Plus, there’s Quebec.

And Then There’s Quebec

Quebec is like this seething Francophone island plopped in the middle of some white, white bread. The Quebecois are French. Have you heard about this? If not, they’ll tell you about it. They recently passed a law saying that all English terms have to be translated back into French, even if that makes no sense, but everyone must speak French always, so hot dog becomes like le chien de la chaud, except that might not be literally true, but the law is like that.

Quebecois hate being part of Canada, except they don’t really, which also makes them very Canadian. Every couple of years, they have a ballot measure designed to win them independence from les mal Canadiens. And every time, the same thing happens – 48% of the Quebecois vote for it, and the other 52% aren’t motivated enough to vote for it. They probably sit around in cafes being like, “Ah, Jean-Paul or Yves or whatever your fake French name is — life is so plus, plus mal, us being Canadien like this. But what can be done. It is the question eternal, is it not?” And then the other Quebec guy is probably like: “But is not the essence of this question itself trés bourgeois, is it not?” And then the other guy is like: “But who truly are the bourgeois?” And then they’re talking like that for four hours and they forget to vote for independence.

Anyway. It seems to me that Canadians are lackadaisical. They don’t give a shit. They can’t even be bothered to get independence from England, even though England doesn’t want them anymore. Quebec can’t be bothered to get independent from the people who also can’t be bothered. And I’m lackadaisical and I don’t give a shit too. So I guess we’ll be a perfect match. So this sounds great. And so, as they say in Canada, “See yah till a moose hits yah!” Which is how they say goodbye in Canada, I believe. …I’ll look into it. TC mark

image – Phobophile


More From Thought Catalog

  • assssss

    I love the convo breakdown about being bourgeois. Golden

  • fergus30

    Stop taking our jobs, American!

    • Bailey Powell

      Lol @ the notion of someone complaining about AMERICANS taking jobs from other countries.

  • http://taylore42 tayloredw

    I live in Toronto and it’s awesome… mocking our history probably isn’t the best way to go about though. also, we don’t have presidents on our money because we have prime ministers and other important Canadians along with geese and hockey players on them haha. also you will be surprised by how useful toonies (the two-dollar coins) are! and get ready to buy milk out of bags instead of cartons :) welcome to Canada, DON’T SAY EH because most people don’t actually like that. :)

    • shoeshooshoe

      Except, you guys totally say “eh” a lot.

      • http://taylore42 tayloredw

        except no, that’s not really true. yes, lots of people say it, but it is overly-generalized that we all say it. just based off of where I live and the people around me, they hardly ever say it – I’ve used it only a few times. it’s far more common in certain areas than it is in places like Toronto. plus, we don’t appreciate others using it mockingly.

      • Emily Mancer

        everything taylorwedw said is spot on. you don’t hear people saying ‘eh’ often in cosmopolitan areas – and definitely not dropped in at the end of every single sentence as pretty much every impersonation of Canadians performed by Americans would have you believe. same goes for all the ‘aboot’ mockery – in my opinion, even more annoying than the ‘eh’ variety. i hear ‘eh’ being used sometimes. but ‘aboot’? nope, never. oh possibly you’d hear it spoken in Newfoundland or Labrador – which, incidentally, are both places ridiculously far from being representative of most Canadians (and their manner of speaking). also happen to be places which rather few Canadians have ever visited…

        short version: how often do you hear people in America saying ‘howdy boys! y’all wanna go down yonder to mah pickup…got some moonshine in the back and i reckon y’all agree that there ain’t none can compare in this here county.”

        If you live in New York/San Francisco/whatever urban city in America, I’m guessing your answer is ‘damn, that would be too hilarious – if it ever happened.’ e.g. Never.

        Well, that’s about how often you’ll hear Canadians saying things like “Hockey game aboot to start! Mike, pass me a Labatt, eh? Oh and bring some maple syrup for the timbits and poutine, eh? Can’t have a real meal without a little drizzle, that’s what I always say. Oh, faceoff starting! Sorry got to go oot and grab my toque. Bit chilly these igloos, eh?”

        Yeah….forgot my original point now. In there somewhere hopefully.

      • shoeshooshoe

        I don’t hear Canadians saying “eh” in the stereotypical way that most Americans joke about, but I’ve heard it said quite often and casually, such as: “It’s really cold today, eh?” or “That’s cool, eh?” or “You don’t see that often, eh?”
        Usually you guys aren’t very aware of it, but you do say it fairly often. I live in Canada, so it’s not like I’m bullshitting what I’m saying.

    • Canadian

      I’m a born and raised Canadian (Vancouver), and I am so confused when people talk about buying bags of milk! We have cartons and jugs here. Also. we say jam not jelly.
      Furthermore, Canadians do not think extreme ignorance is in any way funny, as the majority of us are very well informed about other countries.

      • Emily Mancer

        yeah, i have totally never heard a canadian call jam ‘jelly’. for us, that’s the squishy wobbly stuff you eat when you’re sick…

      • http://taylore42 tayloredw

        Ontario is the only part of Canada that really uses milk bags, I believe. I’ve never seen it anywhere else in Canada. Also, I don’t say jelly either and I don’t really know anyone who does. And yeah, this piece is so ignorant and only proves that many Americans lack knowledge of any country but there own. I once had an American ask me if I lived in an igloo and if I’d ever seen a polar bear attack. So…

  • Only L<3Ve @

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • LO

    Toronto is the Greatest Ever and you will love it.

  • Antoine Bouchard

    Hahaha, even though I love what you write, I must totally not agree on almost everything. Being a “Québecois” (cuz yes, I speak French), I don’t know what the fuck a “bourgeois” is. I’ve seen 1 moose in my entire life. It’s not always winter, and even more, summer can be hot as fuck. We eat hot-dogs, not “chiens chauds”, as it would really be translated.

    Still, very funny article, I’m looking forward for the next one !

  • Adam

    This is the most hopelessly ignorant thing I have ever read on this site.

    • Jenn

      Agreed. This is pathetic and completely insulting.

      • isobel

        sounds like another ignorant american …cant they just stay in their own country and not bother insulting mine

      • Dora

        Also agree. This is ignorant, false and actually offensive. I can usually laugh at Canadian jokes when they are cliche and somewhat true but there was next to nothing in this article that I could even relate to. I kept wondering if this was some sort of a joke….humour that I wasn’t getting because I am a dumb Canadian. I am surprised this was even published on here….was not even well written.

  • MaggieC

    Some quick Googling taught me this: Canadians are quite capable of being snarky when it comes to the whole “bahaha you guys still answer to an old British lady” subject. Consider this actual quote from a Yahoo forum about Canada still kind of being England’s bitch:

    “The USA became an independent nation by violent revolution. But Canada became an independent nation through peaceful evolution. From being colonies governed by Britain, we obtained responsible government first, maintaining the British parliamentary form of government…”

    Damn, Canadians! So… you’re not still touchy about not getting your very own constitution until the ’80s, are ya?

    • Sarah

      Why would anyone be touchy about that? Canadians are proud of their british roots. Looks like we’re doing pretty good for ourselves these days, unlike our neighbours to the south.

    • Matt Good

      Actually Canada did have its own constitution, we just didn’t repatriate it until 1982… and all that meant was that major constitutional amendments had to be taken to Westminster first. So NBD and the only people touchy about it are in Quebec, mostly

  • Nat

    Toronto! You’re are going to like Toronto

  • Jack

    Surely the point of a two dollar coin is like…you have two 1 dollar coins but it takes up less space.

  • MaggieC

    Also, just saying: I spent a few days in Quebec once and LOVED it. Viva la… Canada!

  • Lauren

    What the hell is this? This seems like an extremely poorly researched article, and frankly im surprised you don’t care that this bullshit is floating around the internet with your name attached to it. We do still have pennies here. We use them everyday – we are getting rid of them within the next few years. We don’t have presidents on our bills because we have prime ministers here, NOT PRESIDENTS. We don’t call jam “jelly” and we don’t spell yogurt with an ‘h’. I have no idea why you would think those things. We do, however, call “soda” “pop”.
    Also, if you are looking to ‘become’ Canadian (which you don’t just do by talking to Canadians on IM and by getting a job in Toronto – you will still be just another American working in Toronto) it’s not a good idea to mock Canadian history (which actually isn’t that boring), giving off the vibe that you don’t give a shit about it and neither should anyone else – who cares about stuff that is boring? And, also, don’t mock our money either – it makes a fuck ton of sense, which you will soon realize.
    And don’t call Candians ‘lackadaisical’ which is really just another word for lazy. Maybe you are the lazy one – you know nothing about Canadian history or customs and write a blog post on a popular website that will likely reinforce negative stereotypes and arrogant misconceptions about Canada. Seriously buddy, do some research and stop being a dick about the country you’re moving to, and which gave you a stable job.
    Oh, and Canada is independent from Britain. ITS BRITAIN, not England.
    (You are not one of the most intelligent American’s – sorry)

    • MaggieC

      *Americans. Not American’s. Just… saying.

    • Oliver Miller

      You don’t spell yogurt with an “h”? Consider myself bummed. That was the one thing I felt like looking up. I knew that you’re getting rid of pennies, and that they’re not gone yet, but I didn’t think anyone would care, but of course people care, because it’s the internet — people always caaaaare.

      • Emily

        no we do, oliver, don’t worry haha. maybe there are some weird regional fluctuations in spellings of certain words but as far as i know, yoghurt is yoghurt. and doughnuts are doughnuts, NOT donuts. one thing you might have some trouble adjusting to is milk in a bag. like a plastic bag. just a friendly warning :)

      • Oliver Miller

        Wait, milk in a bag? Hold everything.

    • Annie

      You deserve a pat on the back, Lauren. You have no idea how long it takes for me to find an American twenty in a sea of one dollar bills. At least we can tell ours apart by colour.

    • Dora

      This comment was better than the entire article.

  • nicole

    I would love to know how it is even remotely possible that Canada could be part of “England.” Talk about being idiotically confused. Canada is still part of the Commonwealth. Which means the Queen is still their head of state, although they have a governor general (appointed by the queen) as acting head of state. (Notably, in Canada, unlike in the US, the head of state and head of government are not the same person.) England is England; it is part of Great Britain, which is in turn part of the UK. But the only thing that’s “part of England” are the counties and cities actually in England.

    That is only the beginning of how ridiculously uninformed this article is about anything to do with Canada or Quebec. But I will mention the fact that neither Benjamin Franklin nor Alexander Hamilton was actually president, so we don’t necessarily put presidents on our money either.

    • Oliver Miller

      So you’re part of the British Commonwealth, yahoo. I did not think that you were literally a part of England with seats in parliament. You’re part of the Commonwealth, Christ.

      • Joe

        Ohhh Oliver Miller being snarky to commenters again, colour me shocked.

  • Nic


    This just proves how much of a bag of shit Canada is, I’m sorry you’ll have to suffer here.

    • Oliver Miller

      I said that I loved Canada repeatedly in the essay.

      • Lene

        You can’t love something you don’t know anything about. Please don’t come here.

      • Oliver Miller

        So I can’t come to Your World Next Door?

      • Nic

        Yes, you did. Which I would say, you love Canada in the same way that any Canadian who has read this article, now loves loves you. If that wasn’t your intent (judging by your responses to the comments) I think may not have been — I can only conclude that like your research, your writing was lazy.

    • http://taylore42 tayloredw

      fuck you, Canada is amazing. it’s not the greatest country, obviously, but there are far worse places you could live. don’t be so arrogant.

  • Annie

    Ugh, why do let such benighted people like you across the border? I hope Toronto is a wake-up call for you, but I mean, you’re coming from Pennsylvania (which is like what, Quakers, fields, and Scranton?), so I have no doubt it will.
    Also, quite a few of us enjoy being a member of the British commonwealth, and our better spelling, and our awesome toonies. It sets us apart from idiots like you.
    You better write a follow up article on what you’ve learned since you moved to Toronto. And it better be well written this time.

    • Victoria

      Actually, as someone who grew up in Pennsylvania, it’s more like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh if you’re desperate, and a whole lot of insular weirdness in between. (And if you’re going for insults, it’s more like the Amish, fields, and Pittsburgh. Scranton never hurt anybody.)

      I’m not sure why you’re letting him in, though, honestly. My thanks for being willing to take someone like him off our hands. I hope Toronto is a humongous wake-up call to him as well.

    • Diana

      FYI, as someone who was born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania, Quakers are something we are PROUD our ANCESTORS for being. Perhaps read a history book or two,or speak to an educated Pennsylvanian, which I guarantee there are plenty of, with two major cities being located there and all. Also living in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania isn’t always a bad thing either, I’m surviving in a big city after 22 years of living in a “field”. Oh, and don’t pick on Scranton.

      Point is, don’t go as low as insulting an entire area based on what one guy on the internet says about your area. You just did what the author of the article did to Canadians as retaliation. Low.

  • Erin

    No just, no. Stay out of my city.

  • x

    I enjoyed the level of manic irony going on here, and I would like more of it on the internet. I hope Canada lives up to all your written dreams.

  • Suzy

    I’m fascinated by the part where you don’t understand the point of 2$ coins. I’ll just assume you never take the bus.
    At any rate, very funny article, but just drop the obvious superiority complex when you’ll have to confront real canadians IRL. They may be extremely polite, but a bit proud as well.

  • As

    Wow. So naive.

  • Oliver Miller

    By the way, HAPPY CANADA DAY, everyone!

    • Harry

      That was yesterday.

    • Phil

      That was yesterday.

      • Oliver Miller

        I was applying it to the long CANADA DAY WEEKEND, o literalists of the imagaination.

      • Harry

        Do you EVER just admit that you’re wrong? You’re so contrary.

      • Sarah

        jesus christ, give it a rest. He’s at least trying to appease the canadians.

  • Steve

    I thought for sure the moosecock joke would be in there.

    • Oliver Miller

      I think I caused enough trouble without that one.

  • ~

    did you know that our hundred dollar bills smell like maples syrup?

  • James

    Well you achieved your goal I guess, limiting your Canadian readership by one.

  • Nathan Mak

    As ignorant as you sound and I suppose you admit, I’m happy to welcome you to our city. I won’t guarantee you’ll love it but I don’t think your transition will be that astounding. Honestly I don’t think it’ll be worth writing home about. Big fricken deal our money is ‘coloured’.

  • Carolyn

    This is the most ignorant article I’ve read on thought catalog. Not only is it insulting to Canadians, but if I were American, I would be offended to be associated with someone who had so little knowledge.

    • Oliver Miller

      Breaking headline: PEOPLE FROM PLACE OBJECT TO VERY MILD JOKES ABOUT PLACE. I’m still waiting for someone to step up in defense of Massachusetts or Quebec. Also I’d really rather be talking about the QUEBEC NORDIQUES. That goalie that they had named Mario. …The other goalie that they had named Mario. All of them.

blog comments powered by Disqus