9 Small Things We’ve Noticed About Toronto

1. Torontonians love lining up for buses.

Somehow, as soon as that bus pulls in, every one reverts to their Grade 2 self and forms a very respectable line to board the bus. It is adorable.

2. They have shit coffee here

Australians are raised on espresso. Lattes are like second nature to any self respecting, brunch attending Aussie. So arrive in Canada and you will only get brewed coffee from the likes of Tim Hortons. These places do offer espresso, but much like Starbucks and everywhere else in the world, they are expensive. Our favourite cafes that do offer decent espresso are Aroma and Illy. Choose wisely. Either buy a Nespresso machine, spend a fortune on cappuccinos, or ween yourself off of espresso and onto brewed.

3. The word ‘out’ is emphasised, they say ‘Turonno’ for Toronto, and other speaking observations

Every English speaking country has pronunciation variations. Canadians seem to hold emphasis on the vowels, especially ‘o’. Sorry, becomes ‘sooooorrrryy’, out becomes ‘oot’ (as much as they will deny it) and much like Melbourne is simply Melben, Toronto is pronounced Turonno.

4. Tim Hortons will save your life when you are hungry and broke

Donuts cost 99c. Muffins are not much more. They have bagels, sandwiches and a variety of blended drinks that are cheap and satisfying. There is a Tim’s on every corner, and if we were to open a franchise in Canada, you best believe it would be a Tim Hortons. This company has been a life saver on many occasions.

5. Cheese is expensive

For some reason, you can barely get a block of no name cheese for less than $5. Why is this?

6. Sales tax is a killer

For us spoilt Aussies, imagine adding 13% to most transactions. Sales tax is still a grey area for us, like which items get taxed and which don’t, because we are used to the price being exactly what it says on the price ticket. Sometimes you are so sure something is going to have added tax and it doesn’t or vice versa. But come on, 13% makes Ontario one of the highest taxed provinces. Why not just add it into the price and be done with it?

7. You will be shown the produce price in pounds and charged in kilos

We know Canada uses the metric system, they know they use the metric system, yet because they are cheap they want to make the item seem cheaper than it really is. So if an apple says $2.99 a pound, you’re going to be charged $6+ a kilo. Bastards!


8. The snow ain’t that bad

Everyone kept warning us about the snow. That it’s bad, that they have come off a pretty severe winter, that we were crazy for coming from a mild weather country to Canada. But honestly, so far it has reached lows of -10 °C and it’s not so bad at all. It’s invigorating! Provided you’ve got your jacket, beanie and gloves, your good. Seeing that fresh white snow form on the ground, is so exciting and pure. It really makes us in awe of Mother Nature.

9. There are French translations on everything, but it will not improve your French in the slightest.

We both want to learn French, especially being so close to Quebec. But how much French have we learned since being here? None. Thinking that everything having a French translation would help is ridiculous, because you need to hear the language before you read it. Damn.

Any other observations you have noticed about Toronto? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.


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