Living in Canada

Eating

Canada is a melting pot of different cultures and people from around the globe. This it is not easy to define the Canadian food as its range is very wide. From fresh lobster eaten at a picnic table, to fine local beef steaks and world-class wine, from French bistro to Lebanese, you'll easily find something to delight your individual palate.

People

Majority of the people in Canada are ethnically British or French, But, people from other European countries are also present, with indigenous peoples forming the majority in the north. Most Canadians live in cities, and most of the cities are close to the southern border. The largest urban areas are in Qu├ębec and Ontario provinces, or central Canada, where some two-thirds of the population lives. French and English are the two official languages. But, English is more widely spoken than French. Canada sees many people immigrating to its land, though this group still remains a minority. The Canadians are mostly literate and prefer to maintain a high living standard.

Smoking in Canada

Smoking is becoming increasingly unpopular in Canada. It is not permitted in most public buildings. Even the families do not allow smoking in their homes. So if you are staying in a homestay, you should confirm if the family likes smoking or no. If you smoke, please mention it on your application for admission, so that you can be matched with hosts who will not mind.

Body Language

For Canadians, it is customary to shake hands on being introduced. It is not considered objectionable to lightly touch someone on the shoulder or elbow, during a discussion. Most Canadians do not often kiss or hug when greeting friends.

Culture

Summer is usually warm and sunny, but it can get very hot in some areas in Canada. It's a good time to visit historic cities and places of interest. Toronto hosts Caribana, a festival of ethnic music, dance and food, in the month of June. The Calgary Stampede in July is the place to see cowboys, rodeos, bull riding and chuck wagon races. Canadians love the great outdoors and go kayaking, hiking, and cycling in summers. Every province has its "wilderness walks".

In winters, one can participate in sports including downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, skating, ice hockey, snowboarding, and curling. The Quebec City Winter Carnival, at the end of February, features parades, ice sculptures, snow slides, music and dance. The towns and cities in Canada are well organized for low temperatures with indoor malls and many cultural attractions. Canadians are fond of creature comforts, which are reflected in the many excellent restaurants found throughout the country. The world-class gourmet delights reflect the multi-culturalism of the country.

Shopping in Canada

You will love to shop for yourself and your family after arriving in Canada. Stores in Canada are set up differently than what you have experienced in other countries. There are cash registers in Canadian stores where you pay for your goods. Large stores generally have many cash registers. Whenever you buy something in a Canadian store, you will be required to bring your goods to the cash register, line up and pay.

Keep your receipts

We recommend you to keep a receipt for whatever you buy, as it is a proof that you paid for your goods. You will need a receipt if you must return an item for a refund or exchange it for something else. Confirm about the return policy of the stores as some will only accept refunds or exchanges within a stipulated time period.

Shopping malls

Generally many Canadian stores are grouped together in large shopping malls. This enables you to do all your shopping in one place. Each store has its own cash registers where you pay for your purchases.

Outdoor markets

There are large outdoor markets in many places in Canada. Here you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables and other goods from local farmers and craftspeople. Each vendor can be paid for your purchases, as you go along.

Religion

Canada is world's one of the most religiously diverse countries. South-eastern Ontario has been called the most religiously diverse region of any country in the world. A major contributor to this trend is the large number of immigrants to Canada who have settled in the Toronto, ON area.

  • The percentage of Christians is declining in Canada, dropping at about 0.9% points per year. It amounts to nearly 10% a decade. Small non-Christian faith groups are increasing in number and popularity in Canada.
  • The percentage of Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, secularists, and persons of no religious adherence is increasing rapidly.
  • Many Canadians identify themselves as adherents of a specific religion, religious group or denomination, but do not attend services.

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