Water Cooler 3/23/2018 – Open Thread – Wrapping up a visit to Canada

Spring break in most areas around Austin was a week later than usual. My wife and I decided to take a chilly trip up to Ontario when it should be relatively quiet. I’m writing this from Toronto Pearson Airport.


900+ miles
We put 1500km on our rental Jeep over the course of the week. We went as far north as Blue Mountain and Parry Sound (Bobby Orr’s hometown) and also made the 2+ hour drive to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. We did some smaller hops in between.

People are friendly
We stayed just outside Barrie, which is an hour north of Toronto. Maybe it’s different amid the hustle and bustle of Toronto, but everyone we ran into was very friendly. People tend to say “Hello” rather than “Hi”. Lots of “eh?” and “Yeah sure”.

Gas we’ve seen has between $1.10 and $1.20, which is well over $4 CDN/gallon = over $3 US. Before we left Austin, gas had jumped up to $2.19 or so. Maybe $3/gallon is cheap for some areas of the US.

Food is fairly expensive; clothing and grocery items seem reasonable. Housing is expensive, even compared to Austin’s skyrocketing prices. One of the people we chatted with had moved away from the Toronto suburbs where she was paying $2,000/mo for a bedroom – not a one-bedroom apartment, a bedroom.

Niagara Falls
We had a great trip there. We parked a short distance away and it was not crowded at all. You can practically touch the water on the Canadian side and you have a good view of the American Falls and the Rainbow Bridge as well. During the summer when it’s wall to wall tourists it’s probably not as much fun.


“Do you need the machine?”
No one ever touches your credit card. Restaurants use a small reader they bring to your table. I’ve had my card skimmed at a restaurant more than once; guess that doesn’t happen up here.

Recycling is big here. There are recycling bins next to every trash can pretty much everywhere whether inside or outside.

Driving is interesting. Even on major highways there are virtually no streetlights. White stripes to mark the lanes are not always present, so with all the sand on the road anyway it makes it an adventure at times.

At gas stations you can pump and then pay. I can’t recall the last time I saw that in the US.

it’s interesting that so much recreation and commerce are tied up in things that are shut down half the year. A lady at a golf course near us said it’s usually closed 5+ months, and we saw others further north where it would be worse. Lakes and islands and boats are everywhere, but everything is still frozen over, at least along the coast.

Anyone else have a fun spring break? Welcome to RedState’s only daily open thread! Enjoy!


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