Three things that surprised me about Canada

By: Jason Svendsgaard

I can surely tell you that I’m not in Kansas anymore, I am in Canada! When most people think of Canada we think of three things, hockey, Mounties, and polar bears. Those, however, are not the most surprising things!

Niagara Falls

There are only seven wonders of the world. I’ve only seen one, but it was pretty wonderful indeed. Niagara Falls is breathtaking. To stand so close to the Horseshoe Falls is an experience I would recommend to anyone. There is nothing quite like having the mist from the falls hit your face on a hot summer day. You can look down from the surrounding land, go behind the falls, or get close up on the boats tours – you just can’t go over it in a barrel.

Tim Hortons

I’ve yet to meet a Canadian that said, “I do not like Tim Hortons.”  Yes, I have been to many fast food restaurants, but none such as this. They don’t serve baked goods that taste a day old, nor do they serve greasy sandwiches. Their food actually tastes fresh. I found from my first tasting, that I had been converted to Tims. I wouldn’t say it’s a place I would eat everyday for the rest of my life, I’m just saying that I could. If I had to…

Red Poppies for Remembrance Day

Until I came to Canada I had never seen people wear red poppies for Remembrance Day, in fact in the States it’s called Veterans Day. I see them everywhere, in every store, and being worn by most people. The tradition is based on the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Canadian Physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in which McCrae makes a reference to the growth of the poppies on the graves of soldiers in the Flanders region of Belgium. I have to say it is a pleasant surprise. It is nice that we can remember those who have served for more than just an hour on November 11th. I find myself thinking about them every time I pin the poppy to my jacket or shirt. Having come from a long line of service members, it makes me think back upon my own family and the family of others.

All and all, I’m happy I’ve be able to experiences these surprises, maybe one day you can experience them as well.