What are Canadians like?

Canadians are great, they are very welcoming and for a nation that has had to accept a vast number of immigrants from all over the world they do so with grace and diplomacy. They are renowned for being very polite. They have their quirks though – they are a coffee loving nation and they tend to always be sporting a Tim’s cup whether it’s arriving to a meeting, standing around a baseball diamond or popping around for coffee. They also don’t entertain at their homes the way South African’s do. They are reliable and there is a good service ethic. Treat them with respect and they’ll do the same.

What do Canadians do in their spare time?

Canadians, much like South Africans are a sport-loving nation. They love ice hockey! Hockey is like a religion to them, so be warned, never say anything derogatory about hockey.

Kids grow up on an ice rink – be it ice hockey (played by both girls and boys), or figure skating. Some Canadian kids learn to skate when they are as young as 2 or 3 years old. Lacrosse is big here too as is soccer, basketball and baseball. In winter skiing and tobogganing are big and in the summer people tend to hit the lakes – in boats, kayaks, dingy’s or just for a dip. Read the signs though as some lakes are not recommended.

Many Canadians have a cottage – and head to their cottage (North if in Toronto) for most weekends in Spring and Summer. They enjoy beer, BBQ’ing (braaing – although done on a gas braai) and playing sports – often done by kids in the street.

Where to SHOP- when it’s COLD

In case you ain’t in the know, Toronto has a 27 km underground pathway of shops, know as “The Path”

PATH facts: Thank you “City of Toronto”

  • According to Guinness World Records, PATH is the largest underground shopping complex with 29 km (18 miles) of shopping arcades. It has 371,600 sq. metres (4 million sq. ft) of retail space. In fact, the retail space connected to PATH rivals the West Edmonton Mall in size.
  • The approximate 1,200 shops and services, such as photocopy shops and shoe repairs, found in PATH, employ about 5,000 people. Once a year, businesses in PATH host the world’s largest underground sidewalk sale.
  • More than 50 buildings/office towers are connected through PATH. Twenty parking garages, five subway stations, two major department stores, six major hotels, and a railway terminal are also accessible through PATH. It also provides links to some of Toronto’s major tourist and entertainment attractions such as: the Hockey Hall of FameRoy Thomson HallAir Canada CentreRogers Centre, and the CN Tower. City Hall and Metro Hall are also connected through PATH.
  • There are more than 125 grade level access points and 60 decision points where a pedestrian has to decide between turning left or right, or continuing straight on. The average size of a connecting link is 20 metres (66 ft.) long by 6 metres (20 ft.) wide.
  • The building furthest north on the PATH network is the Toronto Coach Terminal at Dundas and Bay Streets. The building furthest south that can be accessed through PATH is the Toronto Convention Centre’s Convention South Building. PATH does not follow the grid patterns of the streets above.
  • The first underground path in Toronto originated in 1900 when the T Eaton Co. joined its main store at 178 Yonge St. and its bargain annex by tunnels. By 1917 there were five tunnels in the downtown core. With the opening of Union Station in 1927, an underground tunnel was built to connect it to the Royal York Hotel (now known as the Fairmont Royal York). The real growth of PATH began in the 1970s when a tunnel was built to connect the Richmond-Adelaide and Sheraton Centres.
  • In 1987, City Council adopted the recommendation that the City become the co-ordinating agency of PATH and pay for the system-wide costs of designing a signage program.
  • In 1988, design firms Gottschalk, Ash International, and Keith Muller Ltd. were retained in by the City of Toronto to apply the design concept for PATH.
  • PATH’s name and logo are registered to the City of Toronto. The City co-ordinates and facilitates the directional signage, maps and identity markers throughout the system.
  • Each segment of the walkway system is owned and controlled by the owner of the property through which it runs. There are about 35 corporations involved.
  • In the early 1990s, signage for PATH was developed to provide pedestrians with better ease of use and functionality. The signage enhances PATH’s visibility and identity, ultimately increasing its use, attracting more people to downtown Toronto, and drawing more businesses there.
  • Each letter in PATH is a different colour, each representing a direction. The P is red and represents south. The orange A directs pedestrians to the west, while the blue T directs them to the north. The H is yellow and points to the east.
  • Signage includes a symbol for people with disabilities whenever there is a flight of stairs ahead.






Yeah, no! Here it’s called GAS! No – not that type of gas either!

The word gas when first used in place of Petrol, sounds really foreign and you will “giggle like girls” as you try to get it to roll off your tongue! Enjoy! It doesn’t last long, until one day you realize the when you say “Petrol”, you “giggle like girls”!

Just to be on the safe side, you put gas in your car and not in your braai (BBQ) , for this you use Propane!




GPS required?


If you have one that will travel and you can update the maps, bring it with! You will need it just to get out of the airport!

Most new cars today come standard with one, however there are those of us who still have them attached to our windows!


Where to really SHOP!

BLOOR St in Yorkville downtown Toronto!

Whether shopping for the hottest trends, stylish classics, or designer fashions, Bloor-Yorkville is a shopper’s paradise! Recognized internationally as one of the top ten shopping destinations, Bloor-Yorkville is often compared to other acclaimed areas such as Fifth Avenue in New York, Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, and Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Lined with international labels such as Prada, Hermes and Gucci, as well as Canadian retail icons Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew, Stollery’s and William Ashley China, Bloor Street is Canada’s fashion mecca.


American Visa

Yes, you will need one.

If you planing (even if your not) at all in driving south of the border, you will need a USA visitors visa.

It would be advisable to obtain this in South Africa before you leave.


So who are those Famous Canadians your are all talking about?

Canada is very fortunate in having an incredible number of very talented and famous people, these include:

Justin Bieber- Born March 1, 1994 London, Ontario, Canada. Grew up in Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Avril Ramona Lavigne – Born 27 September 1984. Grew up in Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Pamela Denise Anderson- Born 1 July 1967. Grew up in Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada
Shania Twain -Born August 28, 1965. Greu up Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Nelly Kim Furtado- Born December 2, 1978. Grew up Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Céline Marie Claudette Dion-Born 30 March 1968,Grew up Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada
Alanis Nadine Morissette- Born June 1, 1974. Grew up Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Bryan Guy Adams-Born 5 November 1959. Grew up Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Neil Percival Young-Born November 12, 1945 Toronto. Grew up Winnipeg, Manitoba,Canada
Jim (James Eugene) Carrey -Born January 17, 1962 Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Sarah Ann McLachlan-Born January 28, 1968. Grew up Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Howard Michael Mandel-Born November 29, 1955. Grew up North York, Ontario, Canada

and there are a few 100 more.

Happy reading on your Super Stars!

What beer will I drink?

Canadians take their beer pretty seriously – it’s more than just a beverage, it’s an icon!

In fact, “The Beer Store” goes out of its way to make sure they offer the biggest and best selection of beer products:over 350 for those who are counting.

And occasionally even a South African beer can be found.