Lee is currently on exchange at Nipissing University, in Canada. Here, she shares with us the Canadian hobbies that she has picked up.
When I arrived to Canada for my semester aboard I arrived in January. This means I was here for the winter and as you can guess, winter is much colder in Canada than Australia! During my first few weeks here it was regularly at around -25C and once even got as cold as -45C. This means that the hobbies of Canada are quite different to Australia. Instead of staying inside all day due to the huge amounts of snow and frozen lakes, Canadians like to get out there and appreciate it. Despite North Bay being a small town I can ski, snowboard, ice skate and toboggan all in the city. But these activities, although harder and more expensive, are possible to do in Australia. There are however, multiple ‘Canadian’ hobbies that aren’t possible in Australia that intrigued me –
Ice fishing – Ice fishing is exactly how it sounds, fishing whilst surrounded by ice. You go to a frozen lake with your fishing gear, make a hole through the ice and wait for the fish to bite. If the cold is too much for you, you can even hire shacks which you put out on the ice and sit in for warmth. I attempted this in Quebec City and have to admit I was as much of a failure at it as I was at ‘real’ fishing in Australia.
Dog sledding – is not exactly a hobby of Canadians, in fact I have only met a few in North Bay that have done it. But it is available all through Canada in the winter and if you go really up North some Canadians even dog sled to work! A dog sled is a sled pulled through snow by multiple dogs. You can do it with a partner, with one sitting in the sled and one in the back attempting to speed up and slow the dogs when needed. It is like nothing else and is something everyone visiting Canada in the winter must do!
- My dog sled team
Snowshoeing – Snowshoeing is where you wear special footwear designed to make it easier to walk in the snow. You just put the snowshoes on and you are ready to go exploring. Personally, I still don’t understand the big deal about it but that could be because despite having them on I still almost fell over every two seconds (in my defense they are quite big).
Ice Hockey – Canadians love their ice hockey. Most universities have their own hockey team and every Canadian has a team they support. It is easy to see why. The sport is very fast paced with lots of pushing and shoving and in between, goals are scored. The atmosphere at a game is really fun with lots of cheering and chanting. As an Australian I find it impossible to know what is going on most of the time but watching the sprinting in skates and dives by the players makes it worth watching and if you are lucky, you can even see a fight – or seven.
Drinking Tim Horton’s Coffee – I have never seen a country so obsessed with the one store. Tim Horton’s is a café and it is everywhere. To give you an idea, there are three just in my university and there will always be a line at all three of them. It just sells hot and ice coffees and snack food like donuts but it is super cheap, and Canadians love it. As it only does espresso coffee, I personally don’t understand the obsession but if you want to try and live like a true Canadian, you need to have your daily Tim Horton’s coffee and some ‘timbits’ (mini donuts) every now and then.
What are some of the hobbies of your host country?