Canada is pretty awesome. Even in the short while I’ve been here it’s managed to build itself a place in my heart. And although I’m not so sure that the people are as polite as the stereotype would suggest, they’re not too bad.
That said, there are a couple of key items that I would have expected this big country to have, a few things that Ireland has had for years. Understandably, this could just be a Calgary/Alberta thing, but from talks with others I don’t think that it is.
So, here’s my list of (non-deal breaking) things that I was surprised to find didn’t really exist in Canada/Calgary.
1. A Service Like Halo
Halo has been in Ireland for a while now, initially starting off in Dublin. For Canadian readers, it’s a taxi ordering app that allows you to see where there are drivers around you, book one and tell them your end destination. After booking you can see on a map exactly where they as they come to get you and you can even pay from directly within the app.
Now sure, some will argue that the same availability is possible with Uber, but not only is that not an official taxi based service, but it’s also only a relatively new thing.
2. A Pennies Alternative
I’ll admit that I’m not a huge clothes shopper but I definitely missed Pennies for its cheap socks, jocks and plain Jane t-shirts. My “look” usually consists of just a pair of jeans and a solid colored T, usually picked up on the cheap in pennies.
Turns out that shops like it aren’t a thing over here. There are “cheaper” places to shop, sure, but pennies is a huge go to for Irish people and if Primark were to open a store here in Calgary they would make an absolute killing.
3. Decent Chocolate
Seriously Canada, Seriously? Your chocolate game is just sub par.
Just get on it.
4. Bike Rental Schemes
A few years ago the City of Calgary totally rejuvenated the city’s road network to be more accepting of bikes and cyclists. It did receive a bit of back lash, but as someone who used to commute on a bike I think the system works very well (Listen up, Dublin).
But, after spending all that money on the infrastructure, why not have a bike rental scheme like Dublin, Toronto and Vancouver?
Admittedly they do have a car sharing scheme that works on a similar process, but given how nice the summers are here I don’t see a reason as to why they don’t get on the bike sharing scheme too.
5. Cheap Cars
When we were looking for our vehicle back in 2015, we struggled to find anything for less than 4k that was fit for the road. There were cars out there for less, but they all either needed extensive levels of work or were scrapped for parts.
I think it’s just because people drive their cars right into the ground, but I was supposed to find the cheap car market that Ireland has just doesn’t exist over here.
These are all first world problems. I know that. And I don’t mean to say that they ruin the entire country or anything.
All this is is a list of things I was surprised to find when I moved here. Things which I don’t really understand. That said, Ireland still doesn’t have an A&W, so what do we know anyway?