Sunday, October 14, 2012

Crossing the Border

Canada’s minimum wage is on average $10. I found that number to be very fascinating in comparison to the $7.25 that America has. The trip this weekend to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and the city of Toronto was eye-opening and most defiantly a new experience and additional to this Off Campus Program. The toll was $3.25 to cross the bridge to the border of the U.S. into Canada with no additionally toll to come back. There was also the $1 toll to cross Grand Island from Buffalo there and back. So a round trip with a car as your mode of transportation cost a total of $5.25.

First of all, one of the most important things to know is that Canada uses a different metric system and secondly a different currency. Once I drove in Canada, I notice the green sign on the right of the highway that stated that the speed limit was 100. I thought to myself 100 is quite fast and realized that it was 100kmph, which is equivalent to 60mph moments after. The currency of Canada is also different and it seems to me like people in Canada see U.S. dollars as change and not so much as a dollar bill with any value. That is because 1 U.S. dollar = 0.9796 Canadian dollars. The American dollar is worth less than a dollar in Canada. The smallest bill Canada has is a $5. The value of $1 in Canada is a gold coin. I also had to close my cellphone because of international fees and thus had no phone to use. However, as a surprise there are a few payphones in the streets of Toronto. After visiting Niagara Falls in Canada, I drove on the QEW and an hour and a half later arrived in the bright busy streets of Toronto. I visited the small neighborhood of Chinatown and saw that there was a trolley used as a bus system with streets constructed in cobblestone material. Canada is very different from the city of Buffalo, but at the same time reminds me much of New York City.

- Edward L 

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