Canadians - What things would you miss most if you left?

I’ve been living in the US for the past 7 years, and there are little things I can’t get here easily that still bother me…

Tim Horton’s Coffee
The Globe and Mail
and lots of other things almost daily…

I know I can probably get em all online, but I miss being able to just get em when I want em… :frowning:

If you were to suddenly leave Canada, what little things do you think YOU would miss?


The scenery. I travelled around the US this summer and not one place I saw compared with the sights I see around here.
Plus some of the people are overly nice and you don’t see enough of that elsewhere.

Iced Cappucinos at Tim Hortons.

Food. I’ve been living abroad for ten years. First Europe, now Asia. When I visit home I try and get my fill of bagels, smoked meat sandwiches and good pizza. When I leave I take dill pickles and maple syrup.
mmmm… smoked meat sandwiches.

I’m soon to be an expat.

What I miss most when I’m in the US is…

…socialized healthcare.

And smarties. And ketchup chips. And coffee crisps, caramilk bars… n’… Tim’s donuts, of course.

That’s why I have people back home shipping me boxes of goodies.


red licorice. and gummy feet.

Peter Mansbridge on The National.

Rick Mercer … heck, the whole This Hour has 22 Minutes crew, Colin Mochrie included…

Laws re: pot and gay marriage.

Macaroni and Cheese. or has America finally caught on?

Yeah, cowgirl, I was going to add:

Constitutional protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Same-sex partner benefits. All that stuff.

I lived in Canada from 1994 to 1995 (OK, not for long, but I’ve tried to move back and have failed to get a visa.) When I moved to England in '95, I found that I missed:

Tim Horton’s donuts
Winter (I like the winter! And England’s winter consisted mainly of “the rainy season.”)
Generally friendly people
Affordable restaurants, CDs, and shopping in general
Nightlife (the night scene in Oxford stinks if you’re not either filthy rich or a fan of high-level drinking)
Most of all, my friends. I made more friends in Canada in a year than I did in Oxford in seven years.

Another Canadian ex-pat living in the U.S. for the past several years checking in. A lot of the things that make me homesick have already been mentioned. Here are some others:

Royal Canadian Air Farce
Hockey Night in Canada
Rickard’s Red and Waterloo Dark
lower crime rates and actual gun control
better education

Another major one I forgot: Less religious fundies wandering around causing havoc

Tim Horton’s.

On Labour Day weekend, RickQ and Brynda visited Toronto, and I showed them around town. We got along very well in many ways (RickQ and I both share a taste for plain, simple, real food for instance), but on one thing we sharply differed. Donuts. Thay liked Krispy Kreme, but, as any right-thinking Canadian knows, hot, soft, and mushy is not the way a Proper Donut is served.

I’d miss Tim Hortons. I’d miss other things too, like having choices in big-city media that include some that still have some vestiges of editorial integrity, like saner approaches to health care, drugs and same-sex marriages, like having a political culture that treats religion as a private thing, and like those cold clear sunny winter days where everything is crystalline and gorgeous, but… I’d miss Tim Hortons.

you can get smarties here.

krazy kat: American Smarties are not what we call Smarties in Canada. They’re what we call Rockets. Canadian Smarties are more like M&Ms.

I’ve been in Maryland since May 1/02. Some of you have been with me throughout the transition from very proud Canadian to miserable ex-pat to not-so-miserable but still occasionally homesick ex-pat.

I miss so very much. Generally friendly people, free health care, the Mountains, my family, Smarties and Coffee Crisp and Hawkin’s Cheezies and Ocean’s tuna and Donairs and Maple Nut Oatmeal Crisp cereal and This Hour has 22 minutes and our political system and how easy it is to deal with the Canadian Government offices and Gay rights and little or no racism and Native people (they don’t appear to exist here) and Salon Selectives styling lotion and the dry prairie weather and walking safe in downtown at night and, of course, TIM’S! I also can only use one kind of feminine product and that’s been shipped to me by my sister and my dear sweet friend Elenfair.

Mom sends care packages, but I’d like to just walk up to the Superstore (or Safeway, or bLoblaw’s) and pick it up.

BTW: I can buy Dill Pickle and Ketchup chips at the local grocery store. They are made by Herr’s in Pennsylvania. It may be local, but I’m sure they’d ship in the US.

As for Tim Horton’s: I spoke at length with the owner of the Columbus, OH Tim Horton’s when I stayed over with Jessity on my Big Trip Home, and he will send “Whatever you like” anywhere in the US. I have his card; if you want the number, my email is in my profile.

For other things, try these links:

Always Canadian
Canadian Favourites
More Candy!
The Gummint
And, a way cool column about us.

One thing I mentioned to Dave yesterday: Why are there so many clubs for other immigrants and ex-pats, but not us? There are no Canadian-American clubs, but there are Irish-American and Italian-American and what-have-you. I don’t get it, and I wish there were. I have felt so isolated here, like nobody ‘gets’ me. And I want someone to talk to about home, in person, over a cuppa Tim’s. Closest I have to that is Elenfair, and she’s in Minnesota.

Well, there would be my husband and two cats, for starters. Then the rest of my family and friends. :smiley:

I would miss the beautiful, clean cities, towns and countrysides. You can say what you want, but I’ve been to the East Coast, the West Coast, and down the middle of the States, and things just aren’t as clean and nice as they are here.

It’s hard to say what specific things I’d miss, because I don’t know what the US doesn’t have.

One thing I missed when I was in exile in Michigan was decent bread. Why does bread south of the border have to be so squishy?

(I know the answer, actually; the question was purely rhetorical.)

About to become a Canadian ex-pat and I already miss:

  1. Smarties/Coffee Crisp/Aero and a slew of other candy bars
  2. Murchies Earl Grey
  3. Mike’s Hard Lemonade made with VODKA, not malt liquor. Ugh!(They also have Limade back home now, sobs)
  4. Kinder Eggs
  5. HP Sauce
  6. Girl Guide cookies
  7. Canadian Coca-Cola (Yes, it tastes different up there!)
  8. Mint chocolate chips that aren’t green. My special chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies just aren’t the same now.
  9. Fireball whiskey
  10. Allergy pills that WORK that aren’t prescription

and because I’m living in a desert after living on the Wet Coast:

  1. Sushi
  2. Fresh fish

Yes, I realize that I can find some of these things in specialty stores or order online. :slight_smile:

There’s other stuff I miss, like the health care system for obvious reasons. I also just miss “home” with it’s gorgeous coast, rain, hiking, fishing, etc but I know that I can get those here as well, just not where I am at the moment.

I felt a lot safer back home as well. Hearing the neighbours shooting off their semi-automatic weapons in the dead of night kind of makes me nervous. Again, I blame my safety concerns on the area I’m in as well. :wink:

I always thought the Smarties thing was weird, but I never called the sour pill-shaped candies in a plastic wrapper “rockets”. Actually, I have no idea what we called them. Every kid in Canada would know, however, that “Smarties” are candy-coated chocolate pieces – would every kid in America know they were the sour pill-type things, or is it a more regional thing?

I can’t believe no one has said any of the three things I’m sure I’d miss most about Canada: Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet and Mr. Sub.

Harvey’s is a fast-food burger chain infinitely better than McDonalds/Burger King and possibly on the same level as some legendary American regional chains (possibly even In-n-Out, but I’ve never been there). The burgers are cooked on a grill over flame, which is something no other fast-food chain known to me does. (Burger King uses a belt that carries burgers through a box of natural-gas jets, which is certainly not something you’d do at home, unless you were looking to win advertising battles with a neighbor who fries them with a two-sided grill then puts them in a warm plastic box for several hours.) Also, toppings are placed on burgers from a series of bowls and squirt-bottles according to your tastes. This has been a source of endless humor for me, because about 20% of Harvey’s employees do not know the correct order, and many insist on confirming that “everything” includes hot peppers. (Sometimes they ask if “everything” means ketchup and mayo, too, because they’re in squeeze-bottles.)

Swiss Chalet, et son frère Québecois, St. Hubert, is a rotisserie-chicken place, and, while it’s probably not really all that noteworthy except for the sauce, they deliver, and now have online ordering.

Mr. Sub is a chain which takes advantage of there being only one common Canadian term for a sandwich on a 30 cm long bun. It is vastly better, for some reason, than Subway, a prescriptionist chain which seeks to redefine hoagies, grinders, po’boys and dozens of other sandwiches for millions of Americans. We have Subway here, too, but there are several advantages to Mr. Sub:

  • They have slightly better bread, though this is a matter of opinion.
  • They cut this bread in the natural, lengthwise way, rather than trying to be show-offs and cutting it in a V-shape.
  • Lettuce is shredded into fine strips.
  • Their ‘secret sauce’ (Italian dressing, paprika and banana pepper juice) is vastly better than anything Subway offers. This is not subject to opinion.

Gulo gulo: I always thought American soda tasted better than Canadian pop, especially out of fountain machines. It seems much more heavily carbonated. Americans also caught on to paper-wrapped straws earlier, and seem to have different ice-making technology.

The reference to Mike’s Hard Lemonade reminded me of another area of mixed-drink superiority, Rev. Rev (formerly there was an accent on the E, which made it unclear if it was supposed to be “reeve” or “rave”) is a vodka cooler that is carbonated, caffeinated and tastes like cream soda. It is horribly expensive, but it can be frozen to make it change into a substance not unlike white Mr. Freezes… that is, if those exist in America too.

The Mike’s is something I’ve become used to down here… but man, don’t go to a bar and order a caesar. They’ll tell you they don’t serve salad.

Also, I heartily miss Grower’s Cider. Raspberry or Pear. Mmm.