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Old 08-28-2010, 11:00 AM   #31
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View from the North Shore. The famous Stanley Park with Lions Gate Bridge. Washington in background.
I used to live not too far away from where that photo was taken! We had a fantastic view of the bridge and the downtown area.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:06 AM   #32
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maybe someone in this thread can explain to me.

why does Canada cop so much shit (particularly/exclusively from America)?

lovely place. and i only saw like four towns
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:17 AM   #33
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I think its mostly just friendly rivalry mixed with a bit of ignorance (the ignorance not being in all cases, of course).
I've heard from a very small, particularly retarded few that they're mad because Canada doesnt spend as much on our military as the US does, thus the US is 'saving our asses' from being invaded... or something.
But for the vast majority, I think it's mostly just friendly rivalry

A friend of mine went to school in South Carolina. We went to visit him for his graduation and met a lot of his friends from there. One night, we were talking about Toronto and it didn't take much convincing for them to believe that the Skydome (Where the Blue Jays play) is routinely shut down because seals and polar bears sometimes swim underneath and make holes in the field through the ice
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:34 AM   #34
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I mostly lurk around here but I thought I'd chime in, given my experiences in these cities.

First, I'll have to side with Flaming C here. Apply for jobs in all three cities and move to wherever you find decent work (i.e. a job that you would enjoy and that pays well enough to live in that city). Finding a good first job following graduation can be difficult. Hedge your bets.

I would also suggest getting a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) if you want a good policy job in the public service or an NGO - a bachelor's degree in PoliSci isn't worth as much now as it used to, I'm afraid.

Now, if you have the leisure to choose, here is what I think is the bottom line on all three cities.

Vancouver

Pros: Beautifully situated city with temperate climate, amazing scenery and nature, beaches, great food (especially if you like seafood and Asian cuisine), laid back vibe, close to the US West coast and Asia.

Cons: Very expensive, lower wages than in Ontario, fewer NGO or government jobs, lots of rain, the city itself isn't particularly vibrant (compared to Montréal or Toronto), far from Europe.

Overall Vancouver is an amazing city, very unique in Canada, but very expensive. Choose Vancouver if you're into the outdoors and want a laid-back lifestyle but expect a much smaller disposable income.

Toronto

Pros: Large vibrant city with a very diverse population, great food, many job opportunities, good wages, excellent arts scene and overall a great city for an urban lifestyle (restaurants, bars, festivals, etc.).

Cons: Not the prettiest city in the world, can be expensive, perhaps more stressful than Ottawa or Vancouver, can feel a bit soulless at times (I keep comparing to Montréal).

Toronto is the undisputed commercial centre of the country, with great opportunities and countless things to do. Of your three choices, it is the best city to lead an urban lifestyle (I would argue that Montréal is even better in this respect). Choose Toronto if you want to live in a large city with good jobs, good pay, but don't expect it to look good.

Ottawa

Pros: "Pretty" city, many NGO and government jobs with good wages, less expensive than Toronto or Vancouver, very "livable" city (beautiful neighbourhoods, parks and nature right next door), somewhat bilingual atmosphere, good activities because it's the capital (exhibits, orchestra, concerts, festivals), close to Montréal, Toronto, NYC and Boston, really friendly population.

Cons: Smaller than Toronto and Vancouver (i.e. fewer restaurants, bars, etc.), more conventional population (school then marriage then house then kids then...), very cold in the winter, can get boring.

Ottawa is more easily compared to mid-size cities like Calgary or Québec City (I prefer Ottawa). It is smaller and feels less like a "big city" than Toronto or even Vancouver, but still boasts plenty of activities (the restaurant scene is booming, arts scene is good). It is a very stable, relatively quiet city with good, safe, and well-paying jobs; this is overall a good thing, but it may also appear boring to some. Choose Ottawa if you want to work for the federal public service and live in a relatively inexpensive mid-size city. Travel to Montréal if you really need to party.

------------

About French. Many, many positions in the public service are "English essential" positions and do not require French. I know countless unilingual anglophones with great jobs in the public service. Similarly, many, many positions are "Bilingual essential"; it depends on the line of work. Still, if you wish to move up in the ranks one day (I'm thinking manager or executive), being bilingual is not only an asset but a requirement. Luckily, the Government often pays for French (or English) training, and is fairly lax in its definition of "bilingual" (I know many "bilingual" managers with, in my opinion, a poor command of the French language). Most government work in Ottawa is carried out in English unless all people involved are francophones.

Long post, hope it helps!
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:46 AM   #35
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:34 PM   #36
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A friend of mine went to school in South Carolina. We went to visit him for his graduation and met a lot of his friends from there. One night, we were talking about Toronto and it didn't take much convincing for them to believe that the Skydome (Where the Blue Jays play) is routinely shut down because seals and polar bears sometimes swim underneath and make holes in the field through the ice
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:07 PM   #37
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Ottawa - really friendly population.
You find? I spent 8 yrs in Ottawa (7 of which I spent trying to get out } and never found the people there that friendly - in fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find the people of Toronto much friendlier when I moved here 2 years ago (and I'm not biased towards T.O. as I'm from Saskatoon}.

I also read a Readers Digest survey that put the prairie cities (Calgary, Edmonton} at the top of the 'friendliest cities in Canada' list and funnily enough, Ottawa (and Saskatoon!} were at the bottom. Go figure.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:26 PM   #38
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You find? I spent 8 yrs in Ottawa (7 of which I spent trying to get out } and never found the people there that friendly - in fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find the people of Toronto much friendlier when I moved here 2 years ago (and I'm not biased towards T.O. as I'm from Saskatoon}.

I also read a Readers Digest survey that put the prairie cities (Calgary, Edmonton} at the top of the 'friendliest cities in Canada' list and funnily enough, Ottawa (and Saskatoon!} were at the bottom. Go figure.

Overall I do find people in Ottawa to be pretty friendly. Conventional, but friendly. Torontonians are friendly too, no question; the rest of the country just doesn't seem to know (or want to know... It's just much easier to think that TO sucks in all possible ways).

I'm surprised that Saskatoon scored so low on that list. I've never been but I hear only good things about the people there. Not surprised that Calgary faired well though, people there were much friendlier than I expected (it being a business city and all). But friendliest place in Canada? No way. That honour should go to Atlantic Canada in my opinion.

Still, in general I would say that Canadians are pretty reserved people. I find it pretty striking every time I come back from abroad.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:19 PM   #39
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Still, in general I would say that Canadians are pretty reserved people. I find it pretty striking every time I come back from abroad.
Yeah, I've just come back to Vancouver from my latest stint (this was 1 year, 8 months) overseas, and I'm a student again (just for a year). I'm finding the people really reserved and a bit strange. But I am one of them...
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:39 PM   #40
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Cons: Not the prettiest city in the world
It's interesting you say this, because the gorgeous skyline is one of the main reasons I've picked Toronto over other cities. Not that I'd be able to see it all the time, but it's still nice to know it's there. As long as I can visit a park once in a while, I should feel at home.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:24 PM   #41
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Well I suppose my comment comes from personal experiences and taste. I've traveled and lived in Europe for some time before, so I do find Toronto to be pretty bland in terms of aesthetics and urban planning. It's definitely getting better, there are some interesting modern architecture projects going on, but I still think the city needs some serious work in that department.

That being said, Toronto does have an impressive skyline and I find that the city looks great at night with all the lights. My favourite vista: go have a drink or a bite at the rooftop lounge of the Park Hyatt at the corner of Bloor and Avenue. Amazing view of the city's skyline and the lake.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:35 PM   #42
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One bad thing in my opinion about Vancouver that I've noticed, and it's not difficult if one has travelled to any big city around the world, everyone here moves so bloody slow. It's like walking amongst people at a holiday destination or being on the set of Shaun of the Dead. Amazing for a town that has Starbucks on every corner! haha

I was thinking about this coming off a train yesterday and trying to work my way to the escalator and out of a station. Everyone seems to be in camping mode or lack any sort of common sense. You'll find this on streets too.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:15 PM   #43
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you know what fucking blew my mind about Vancouver? the trains don't have drivers!!! you can sit at either end and watch out the window. i seriously couldn't get over that.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:27 PM   #44
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It's interesting you say this, because the gorgeous skyline is one of the main reasons I've picked Toronto over other cities. Not that I'd be able to see it all the time, but it's still nice to know it's there. As long as I can visit a park once in a while, I should feel at home.
I've lived near or in Toronto for all my life, so I've sort of gotten immune to appreciating the skyline. But after the Arcade Fire concert at Toronto Island this summer, we took a 10 person water taxi back to the city. Not a single person said a word the whole way back because the view of the city was so stunning.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:29 PM   #45
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you know what fucking blew my mind about Vancouver? they have staircases that move!!! you can stand at either end and it will take you up or down to the next floor. i seriously couldn't get over that.
Friggin Cobbler

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