An American in Canada

The Looney, the Tooney, the Canucks, Much More Music, and “Let’s go get a coffee and Timmys!” These are the just some of the everyday things that we American’s don’t know about Canada.

In all actuality, there is A LOT we don’t know about Canada. Funny… it’s our largest neighbor, yet so many of us know so little about the country. (No, you can’t buy beachfront property in Saskatchewan, and no, Tim Horton is NOT their Prime Minister!)

My first surprise was when I passed the first gas station and saw this!

Check out that price!

Yeah… I thought, “Holy Crud! I’m moving here if gas is only 97 cents a gallon!” Then someone explained to me that that was 97 cents per LITER.

Oh… that’s not so good then.

Their TV takes a little getting used to also. It seems to be a little bit less censored than American TV (if you can believe that). They don’t have MTV on cable, just a show called Much More Music. Satalite subscribers can get MTV, but the Canadian MTV can’t play music videos because Much More Music has the rights (so it was explained to me).

Tim Hortons is the Starbucks of Canada. Yes, they have Starbucks also. But when someone says, “let’s go get a Timmys,” they’re referring to Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is probably a closer match to a Dunkin Donuts. They have good coffee and a bunch of mediocre donuts.

The money up North isn’t that different, but it requires a little thinking. I went to buy a burger and it was 7 bucks. That required math on my part… because 7 bucks is about 5 bucks American… very rough math. At least they take American money- that was cool. I never exchanged money on the whole trip.

The news said the temperature was going to be 20 degrees. Again… it took me a second to realize, “Oh, Celsius.” Someone there told me to simply add 15 and double it and that would be close to the Fahrenheit. (that’s a lot easier than the official way: subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit number, divide the answer by 9, then multiply by 5.)

Cross a bridge? It only costs a Tooney, or two Looneys.

Yeah…that’s what I thought!  🙂

A Looney is a 1 Dollar coin with a picture of a loon on it. So guess what they called the two dollar coin? Yep. There you have it.

I always have a good time in Canada. This was only my third time across our great Northern border (I’ll actually be traveling there this summer also to the East Coast in New Brunswick where I’ll speak at a conference). Matt and John at South Abbotsford Church (an hour East of Vancouver) were great guys and it was fun to spend the weekend with them.

Saturday I taught my CONNECT workshop to a small network of youth workers from surrounding churches. Saturday night and Sunday morning I preached at their church. Sunday afternoon I did my parenting workshop– really neat group of parents. That was probably my favorite time of the whole weekend (I really love doing parenting workshops. Parents seem to be starving for information and ideas helping them understand and connect with their kids). Sunday night I spoke to their high school kids, about 90 something kids. (because the Canucks game ended… if not, there would have been less than half of that!)

The whole weekend was fun. Thanks to my Canadian brotha’s for bringing me out. I look forward to working with you again.

Monday in my blog I offered a free book to the first person who could give me a little history on the Canucks riot. Dan Kish- contact me (use the CONTACT US button on the top of my blog) to get your free book. Good job. (So did you look it up on the web? or did you know it already? Comment below. We’re all curious.)

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to An American in Canada

  1. Tim Hamm says:

    Much More Music isn’t a show, it’s a channel. It’s actually the second channel (Like MTV2) our original music channel is call MuchMusic. Gotta defend the Canadian details…eh?