The Majesty of Marineland

CPblog7.jpegIf you are planning a trip to Niagara Falls, there is one attraction you absolutely cannot miss: Marineland Canada. This magical place houses countless marine and land animals, but it is so much more than zoo or aquarium. You could easily spend your entire vacation exploring everything Marineland has to offer, from its exhibits, to its shows, to its thrilling rides. Read on for more information about this winning attraction in Niagara Falls.

Beluga Whales

These beautiful arctic mammals are one of Marineland’s most popular exhibits, and it’s easy to see why. Beluga whales are spotless white, huge, and extremely friendly; they love meeting guests and playing in their tanks, which makes for excellent viewing. Marineland Canada has more beluga whales than anywhere else in the world, largely due to the abundant wild population in and around Canadian shores.

In Marineland, you’ll have the opportunity to learn everything and more about belugas, and for an additional fee, you can get up close to feed and interact with them. Guided by a trainer, you may have the opportunity to perform tricks with the whales — a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Killer Whales, or Orcas

The recent documentary “Blackfish” showed Sea World’s poor treatment of their orcas, but in Marineland, the animals are treated with much more reverence and respect; in fact, researchers at Marineland continue to study these important creatures to learn more about their unique social behavior and requirements. Killer whales have an especially developed emotional system in their brains, which means they are intensely social animals. You can observe Marineland’s orcas interact with one another in their tanks, and see for yourself how emotionally advanced and friendly these sometime fearsome creatures truly are.

The King Waldorf Stadium Show

You can watch and be amazed as Marineland’s marine mammals put their intelligence to work during this entertaining and awe-inspiring spectacle. Dolphins and whales jump, swim, and execute other feats impossible to humans, and sea lions and walruses perform hilarious acts that will see you doubling up in laughter. The show occurs many times during the day, so if you miss one while you’re oohing over the exhibits or rides, you can easily wait around for the next one.

Amusement Rides

CPblog8.jpegAfter being inspired by the high-flying mammals of the sea, you can see yourself soaring through the air on any of Marineland’s myriad thrill rides. However, all rides aren’t built the same; you’ll get the most out of your experience if you know your limits when it comes to death-defying acts.

Visitors who prefer gentle rides or who are accompanying small children shouldn’t miss:

  • Trivioli Wheel. A unique and exciting Ferris wheel designed with any and all guests in mind.
  • Boat Carousel. A sea-themed merry-go-round to entertain kids of all ages.
  • Lady Bug Coaster. A short and moderate coaster suited to younger children
  • Space Avenger. A self-controlled whirling ride where you decide when to go up and down.

Those who can tolerate a bit more adventure may enjoy:

  • Ocean Odyssey. Another whirler to amuse all family members.
  • Viking Adventures. A rocking Viking ship that will throw you around like the high seas.
  • Orca Screamer. A tower ride for those not as tolerable of heights.

Finally, adrenaline junkies can’t miss out on these world-class thrills:

  • Skyhawk. A ride that takes you well into the atmosphere for excellent views of the park and surrounding areas.
  • Flying Dragon. A coaster to scare even the stoniest of thrill-seekers.
  • Dragon Mountain. The world’s largest steel roller coaster, spanning 30 acres and traveling through countless tunnels.
  • Sky Screamer. The highest triple tower ride in the world, moving at breakneck speeds and jaw- and stomach-dropping heights.

Seeing a Safari in Niagara Falls

CP1.jpegWhen planning a visit to Niagara Falls, you probably expect to see some specific flora and fauna. Native birds are easy to spot, and you could get lucky and see a moose or a bear amongst the trees. However, what if there was a guaranteed chance you would see a lion or a tiger? What if, when you plan a trip to Niagara Falls, you could promise your kids they’d be able to watch apes play in the mud?

Safari Niagara can offer access to the most exotic animals that you wouldn’t expect to find in Ontario, Canada. On your next visit to the Falls in the summer and early fall, take a ride to Safari Niagara to view and learn about the wildest beasts in the world.

Watch Animals in Their Natural Habitats

Safari Niagara works hard to create habitats that reflect the wild and natural environment of each animal. This means that the animals at the park are comfortable and happy, so you can see how they might behave outside captivity.

In the Silent Forest, the zoo offers sights of the world’s most majestic big cats, while in the Mellow Marsh, you’ll be able to spot creatures indigenous to wetlands, like geese and turtles. Safari Niagara has dozens of wild animals to enjoy — you’re sure to find your favorite among the plethora of habitats.

Learn About Animals of All Types

The zoo is more than a place that houses exotic beasts — it is a center of culture and learning to encourage proper behavior and give aid the animals that need our help. Safari Niagara has several exhibits and presentations to educate visitors about creature care and conservation.

For a more hands-on experience, walk through Safari Niagara’s new aviary filled with more than 500 budgies. Listen to their song, and feed them with special seed to see birds in a whole new way. You can also pay a visit to Papa Steve’s Family Farm, where a handful of farm animals, including horses, chickens, deer, and others, can be seen, heard, and even touched. Zookeepers here encourage visitors to communicate through sounds and facial expressions to learn what it’s like to be an animal.

Go Wild in the Adventure Zone

CP2.jpegAfter a long day of seeing wild animals, most people feel the urge to go wild, too. That’s why Safari Niagara has its amazing Adventure Zone, filled with rides and play areas designed to test your courage and drain your adrenaline. Defy gravity and free fall like birds on the park’s Bungee ride, or crawl to great heights like monkeys on the multi-level ropes course. Alternatively, if you’re more of a water animal, cool off in the Splash Pad or explore the lake in the paddle boats. There is fun for kids of all ages in the Adventure Zone.

It is thrilling to see a wild creature wandering around the forest, but you must have keen eyes and a soft step to spot anything more exciting than a squirrel in Niagara’s well-trodden wilderness. Instead of trying your luck, bet on a full day of beasts and birds at Safari Niagara the next time you’re hunting for wild adventure.

Having a Sweet Vacation at Niagara Falls

CPblog5.jpegNo matter how well you plan, some vacations just turn sour through no fault of your own. Fortunately, you can totally avoid that possibility in Niagara Falls by visiting any of the city’s sweetest attractions. From a world-famous chocolatier and candy maker to some must-visit locally owned shops, you’ll be so overcome with sweetness that you won’t have time to be bitter.

Hershey’s Chocolate World

This world famous chocolate master has set up shop in Niagara Falls, much to the benefit of locals and tourists alike. With a waterfall to rival Niagara’s — or at least fictional Willy Wonka’s — this decadent store is packed with 7,000 square feet of treats. As soon as you walk through the four-story chocolate bar door, you’ll be hit with the sweet scent of chocolate, much of which you can sample. Head over to the gourmet fudge bar where custom flavor creations are made every day, or revive your senses with a mouthwatering milkshake made thick with Hershey’s chocolate.

Kids will love interacting with life-size versions of their favorite Hershey’s pals like the chocolate bar and the peanut butter cup amidst their edible lookalikes; the Hershey’s Kiss is a fan favorite for his death-defying stunt over the store’s waterfall! Alongside the familiar candies made by the legendary brand, you will find baked goods like cookies and cakes fresh out of the oven. You can buy any of these treats to share with your friends — if you can — or ensure them a souvenir by purchasing a keepsake instead, like a plushie, mug, or signature cookbook.

Pop & Lolly’s Candy Shop

Classically trained confectionary chefs toil day and night to churn out the vibrant and delicious treats in Pop & Lolly’s. Such candies you’ve never seen anywhere else: Mountains of chocolate, rows upon rows of dipped fruit, and a full wall of bulk candy will stop you dead in your tracks as soon as you enter the shop. While you shop, you can watch the candy makers at work pouring hard candies or pulling taffy; it certainly takes skill to craft the sweets you love and crave. You can easily take home pounds of candy — for your friends and family, of course — and you can customize each parcel with the unique and entertaining containers.

The Fudge Factory

CPblog6.jpegChocoholics will face the biggest temptation of their lives in Clifton Hill’s legendary Fudge Factory. With more than 20 unique flavors of fudge, this shop has perhaps the highest concentration of chocolate in all of Canada. Your mouth will water as you watch skilled chocolatiers whip and pour the store’s fare right in front of you.

The recipes these candy makers use are traditional and decades old, perfected and passed from chef to chef to delight generations of visitors to Niagara Falls. While fudge is what the shop is known for, you can also partake of delectable candied apples and chocolate covered fruits, as well as other specialty confections like toffee, brittle, marshmallows, and more. You can even bring your friends and family home some of Canada’s infamous maple candies.

By the end of your trip to Niagara, your sweet tooth might be sore — but your vacation will have been anything but bitter.

The Future of Cinema in Niagara Falls

cpblog1.jpegIn the past few years, 3-D has exploded. With amazing new technology, 3-D movies are more realistic than ever, allowing for a completely immersive experience during a feature film. However, outside the theater 3-D is starting to catch on as well, as 3-D televisions gain a real foothold in the market. 3-D video game devices and tablet computers allow users to see deep into their screens like never before.

3-D is certainly a phenomenon — but what if we told you that it’s already outdated? For years now, Niagara Falls has boasted a cinema that employs a technology that puts 3-D to shame. The next time you come to Niagara Falls, bring your family to iWerks 4-D Moving Theater to experience the future of movies, television, and video games.

Amazing Effects

3-D technology allows the audience to see more detail than traditional films, but the unique 4-D experience gives the audience the opportunity to feel, smell, and taste movies like never before. Iwerks’ one-of-a-kind multi-sensory movie studio will bring the action to life with water spray, gusts of wind, floor rumbling, and more. You can safely feel the worst of nature’s most intense weather, from tornadoes to volcanoes to hurricanes. As much a ride as a show, this 4-D experience is top-notch fun for kids of all ages; it is easy to lose yourself to the fun when you’re in such an immersive environment.

Iwerks has been developing its amazing 4-D technology for more than a decade, and it continues to add to the plethora of effects in its theaters. Every day, Iwerks brings audiences one step closer to entering the scene and truly feeling a part of the on-screen action.

Excellent Entertainment

cpblog2.jpegIwerks puts you right in the middle of some of the best family entertainment around. This winter, treat your family to the heart-warming and foot-tapping excitement of “Happy Feet,” where you’ll see your favorite dancing penguin Mumble get into all kinds of musical trouble in astounding 4-D. Feel the chills of the Antarctic and the beats of Mumble’s rhythms with Iwerks’ multi-sensory theater.

Alternatively, if the December chill makes an icy movie sound unappealing, venture deep into the tropical jungle in “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” with top stars like Dwayne Johnson, John Hutcherson, and Michael Caine. Experience nature’s most deadly phenomena as you follow them deep underground to the lost city of Atlantis.

Convenient Location

If you and your family are staying in the popular Fallsview region of Niagara Falls, you won’t need to travel far to experience amazement at Iwerks. Simply head to the Adventure City neighborhood of Clifton Hills to find the theater, where you can purchase tickets and take your seats for the movie experience of a lifetime. Then, after you’ve been sufficiently wowed by the film and effects, you can continue your amazing vacation at any of the district’s fantastic attractions: Tackle any of the other rides like the Skywheel or Ghostblasters, visit Clifton Hill for its top-notch shopping and arcades, or simply take it easy after your 4-D experience by seeing and feeling the falls in person.

The Outstanding Orchids of the Niagara Escarpment

CPblog3.jpegMany people know orchids as those finicky flowers that are almost impossible to keep alive for more than a few days, but orchids are beautiful and unique in the world of botany for their distinct shapes and bright colors. While in your home it may seem that orchids are too delicate to survive — they have exceedingly specific temperature, humidity, and food requirements — orchids thrive in wild environments around the world, including the Niagara region.

If you are an orchid admirer, a trip to Niagara Falls is well worth it. The Niagara Escarpment is home to no fewer than 37 different species of orchid, all of which can be spotted on a series of hikes within Niagara Falls’ surrounding areas. Check out a few of the more recognizable wild orchid varieties, and get excited for your trip to Niagara Falls.

Yellow Lady’s-Slipper

This orchid’s name is a perfect descriptor of this jaw-dropping bloom. These orchids are a striking bright yellow, and the lower part of the bloom contains a distinct bulb that looks just like a tiny shoe. The surrounding petals of the orchid may be yellow as well, but some have dark leaves and petals that make the lady’s-slipper even more striking.

Calypso Orchid

Also called the fairy slipper or Venus’s slipper, the calypso orchid is usually pretty easy to spot. Most often appearing in bright pink or purple, the bloom also has accents of dark, white, and yellow along its spiky petals. To find this beauty, search sheltered areas along the forest floor.

Alaska Rein Orchid

CPblog4.jpegThis orchid is one of the more difficult to see in the wild because its buds are much smaller than more familiar-looking orchids. Growing about two feet tall, the Alaska rein (otherwise known as slenderspire or Alaskan piperia) has widely spaced blooms of greenish-white flowers toward the upper part of the stem. In the evenings, these blooms emit a distinct musky, honey-like smell.

Spotted Jewelweed

Vibrant orange and flecked with fuchsias, yellows, and other orange hues, the spotted jewelweed orchid is anything but an unwanted intruder. With three lobes curled into a distinct shape, this orchid is one of the most striking to find in the wild. When held underwater, the plant appears to turn a silver color, allowing for its “jewel” name. Look to the streams and ditches to find this bottomland soil–dwelling bloom. If you’re lucky, you might find it alongside its less-common relative, the yellow jewelweed, as the two like to grow near one another.

Orchid Festival

If you are having trouble spotting the wild orchids on your own, or if a hiking-filled vacation sounds unappealing with the luxury of urban Niagara Falls so close, you don’t need to fret. Every year, the Bruce Peninsula National Park hosts an Orchid Festival to celebrate the beautiful diversity of plant life in the Niagara Escarpment. Keep abreast of their plans by visiting their website, and make sure to book tickets to the best orchid experience in North America.

Wine Tasting Etiquette Tips for Wine Month in Niagara

CPblog1.jpegThis November, Niagara Falls is celebrating its rich wine country by giving travelers unique access to the region’s most impressive wineries. Every weekend, one renowned winery is inviting visitors to wine and dine with them to experience world-class food and beverage. If you love your nightly tipple and are heading North this month, you simply cannot miss this outstanding and delicious opportunity.

However, if you don’t often tour vineyards and sip the world’s best wines, then a refresher course in tasting etiquette is likely in order. Practice these simple tips while you’re still at home, and during your November Niagara vacation you’ll be as refined as everyone else.

Wear the Proper Attire

While much of Niagara is well-suited to casual outfits, wine tastings tend to be more elegant affairs. While you don’t have to don a tuxedo or a pearl necklace, your clothing should be quietly sophisticated while remaining comfortable. Think dark wash jeans, and choose a button-up shirt instead of that tank top you wear to the gym.

Take Advantage of Spitting

If you’re enjoying your wine during a paired dinner, you aren’t likely to overindulge, but if you do feel a buzz coming on, use the spittoon or spitting cup provided by the vineyard. When you become drunk, you lose the ability to distinguish the fine flavors of the wines, which discounts the purpose of the tasting. Plus, when you’re drunk, you’re more likely to become rowdy and commit obvious social faux pas, like being rude to the server or annoying fellow guests.

You should also be pacing yourself throughout the tasting, and know that you are never obligated to finish what has been poured. The goal is not to become inebriated, but to taste the world’s best wines.

Don’t Cloud Your Nose or Mouth

CPblog2.jpegYour senses of smell and taste are the most important when it comes to wine tastings, so you don’t want to do anything that will impede the functions of your nose and mouth. This means you should avoid wearing strong cologne or perfume, and in the days leading up to the tasting, avoid meals with lingering flavors like garlic or onion.

Follow the Technique

There’s more to tasting wine than simply drinking it. While every sommelier tends to have his or her stylish quirks, the general method of tasting a glass of wine is the same across the board.

  1. Hold the glass by the stem. Whether it’s white or red, your wine is affected by the temperature of your palm and fingers on the bowl.
  2. Cup the glass around your nose and mouth, and inhale deeply. Many flavors of wine are experienced only through aroma, and you miss out on these subtle notes if you don’t take a whiff.
  3. Sip and swirl. The wine should coat every area of your mouth, including the roof, cheeks, and under the tongue; different areas of the mouth experience different textures and flavors.

As long as you are courteous, it is unlikely the winery will throw you out, but if you want to have a proper tasting experience, use the proper etiquette.

Clifton Hill for Grown-Ups

People celebratingNiagara Falls is a fantastic place for a family vacation. There are hundreds of attractions that will keep your little ones busy all day, but when night hits you might want to unwind the adult way. Clifton Hill may seem like a child’s dreamland, but there are plenty of perfect places made specifically with adults in mind. If you’ve booked a room in a Niagara hotel in the middle of it all, you only need to head outside to find an adult getaway with all the amenities you crave on vacations.

Almost all of the attractions at Clifton Hill are open late, making it the best place to head after your kids are tucked into bed. However, if you get a day or even a whole vacation to yourself, Clifton Hill has still more adult-appropriate attractions to keep you busy. Here are the best adult activities for your Clifton Hill experience.

Casinos

Both Casino Niagara and Niagara Fallsview Casino have all the games you love — and probably even more — so you can play to your heart’s content. Whether you prefer craps or roulette, poker or blackjack, you can find the opportunity to while away the hours winning back everything you’ve invested into your vacation — or else just trying your luck for the fun of it.

Night Clubs

people dancing One of the best aspects of vacations is the freedom to let it all go, and night clubs filled with the hottest music (not to mention people) really allow you to throw caution to the wind. You can head to the clubs with the expectation of meeting new people, or try spicing up a romantic date with a trip to a club filled with music and lights. Here are four of the best locations to dance the night away:

  • Rumours Night Club. Specializing in techno music, you can almost hear and feel the power inside Rumours from blocks away. Canada’s best DJs come to DJs to show their skills, so dress your best and come let loose on the huge dance floor.
  • Hard Rock Night Club. A fantastic nighttime concept from the people who brought you Hard Rock Café, this club has everything you want and more. From the world’s largest disco ball (dubbed the Ball of Power) to rooms for private parties or more intimate discussions, Hard Rock won’t let you down.
  • Beer Garden Karaoke Patio. If you are looking to sing rather than dance, this bar is for you. The selection of available songs is vast, and you’ll be treated to some of the best talent Niagara has to offer. If you’re confident, take up the microphone yourself and show your stuff!
  • R5. One of the classiest clubs on the list, R5 is chic and refined, but it’s undeniably cool. The club is designed to highlight the beautiful view of the falls seen through the venue’s magnificent windows. You can easily lose yourself in the comfortable lounge chairs and expertly crafted cocktails littered around R5.

3 Most Scenic Waterfalls in the World — Besides Niagara

Niagara Falls Niagara Falls, Ontario offers vacationers everything they could ever want, from unparalleled natural beauty, to unbelievable geological power, to deep history, to exciting thrills. Niagara is clearly one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the world, but what about the thing that started it all — the falls?

Niagara Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and it’s no surprise why. The three sets of falls that make up the Niagara Falls system have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, 750,000 gallons per second, and the energy generated by the falls could power 24 million 100-watt bulbs all at once. More than 13 million people travel to the falls to witness their beauty and power — and indulge in all the thrills and excitement the city and surrounding region has to offer.

We all know how fantastic and rewarding a visit to Niagara Falls is, but there are a handful of other gorgeous and jaw-dropping waterfalls scattered around the globe that are worth some investigation. Here are the falls Niagara Falls beat out to win its place in the hearts and minds of travelers everywhere.

Yosemite Falls

One of the tallest falls in the world (beat out by another on this list) Yosemite Falls can be spotted from almost anywhere in the park. Part of what makes the falls so stunning are the three stages that break up the waterfall: the Upper Fall, which is 1,420 feet, the Middle Cascades, which are 640 feet, and the Lower Fall, which is 320 feet. Interested travelers can hike up and down near the falls to get different angles. However, tourists should know that these falls aren’t there year-round; the creek that supplies the falls with water only runs during the mid-spring and early summer when the winter snows melt, then again sometime late fall during the autumn storms but before the winter snow.

Angel Falls

Set in the remote rainforests in Venezuela, Angel Falls is definitely a tough competitor against Niagara for most amazing waterfall in the world. Angel Falls drops uninterrupted for an astounding 3,212 feet from the edge of a tepuy, or table mountain. To see the falls, devoted travelers must endure a four-hour boat ride against the current of two different rivers, and then a grueling 90-minute uphill hike, requiring stream crossing and forest navigating. And did we mention that the name of the tepuy that hosts the falls is Auyantepuy, which basically means The Mountain of the God of Evil?

Gullfoss

rainbow These falls in Iceland are the most similar in appearance to those in Niagara. Translated to Golden Falls, Gullfoss is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Iceland, a country known for its natural wonders. With 3,441 gallons rushing over the falls during the peak summer season, these falls are huge and significant, but still the existence of them was challenged in the early 20th century when Icelanders attempted to abuse the falls to generate electricity. Now, the falls are a protected landmark, and travelers are welcome to visit during their tours of the landscape.

4 Wild Facts About Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls HorseshoeFor many people, Niagara Falls is at the top of their must-see lists. They’ve seen pictures and videos of the falls and felt themselves amazed at the power and wonder inspired by the rushing waters. If you’re planning a trip to Niagara Falls, you might even have started reading about the bevy of attractions and activities available in the area. However, you still might not know all that much about the city and falls. You know that Niagara Falls is unbelievably fun and beautiful, but can you believe any of these other astounding facts about the falls and surrounding region?

Niagara Falls Is Actually Made up of 3 Different Waterfalls

The most famous of the falls, and likely the one you’ve seen in picture of Niagara Falls, is Horseshoe Falls, but Niagara Falls also encompasses the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Horseshoe Falls is the largest of the falls, which is why it is the most exciting to experience, but the other two are just as beautiful. The American Falls are, not surprisingly, on the American side of the border, and Bridal Veil Falls are the smallest of the sequence. All of the falls combine to produce the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world.

Niagara Gets Its Name From Indigenous Peoples

When European explorers and colonists came into the region, they learned about the surrounding landscape from the neutral American Indian tribes living in the area. The tribe who lived closest to Niagara Falls were called themselves the “Thundering Waters” tribe, which the Iroquois translated as “Ongniaahra” which was then Anglicized to “Niagara.”

Niagara Falls Is Moving Every Second

Sure, the water is moving, but the physical location of the falls is changing, too. The erosive power of all the water rushing over the falls is immense, and scientists have discovered that Niagara Falls have moved as far back as seven miles in the last 12,500 years. The falls work to erode almost four feet of rock every year, and several conservation groups are working to preserve Niagara Falls as we see and love them today. If these efforts aren’t successful, scientists predict that Niagara Falls will no longer exist in about 50,000 years — so get your vacation in while you still can.

Niagara Has a Shipwrek

Ship on waterIn 1918, two men were aboard a scow (a type of barge) were dredging sand banks in the Niagara River upstream of the falls. When a tugboat attempted to bring the scow back to shore, the line broke and the scow — with the two men aboard — started floating downstream toward the falls. Luckily, the scow became trapped on some rocks just before the falls. The two men were rescued successfully with a grappling line shot to the scow from the shore, because a rescue boat was too risky given the churning torrents of water just before the falls. The scow has remained behind, completely visible even today, for almost a century.

In 1923, two new owners of a World War I submarine chaser — a small wooden craft — became lost in the Niagara River, and during the night, their new purchase became loose from its moorings and drifted downstream toward the falls. The boat became caught on the same shoal that trapped the old scow, and its owners abandoned it. While the subchaser is harder to see than the huge scow, you might be able to spy it when the waters are lower in the winter.

Learn to Speak Canadian for Your Trip to Niagara Falls

Canadian FlagWhen you’re traveling to a new country, it’s always wise to pick up a bit of the language of the locals. You want to be able to ask about transportation, and it’s helpful to understand key phrases related to buying and selling or ordering food. It is incredibly difficult to convey what you want when you’re speaking two completely different languages.

While Canadians and Americans have many things in common — they both live in North America, for example, or they both speak English — there are still some key differences that can impede communication. Be prepared before you head to the Great White North on your trip to Niagara by learning some key Canadian phrases.

Favourite, Colour, Honour, etc.

You may recognize some words. They look so familiar, you can almost read them, but something is throwing you off. There’s no need to become frustrated and confused — you just can’t get past the way Canadians add the letter u to certain words Americans don’t. The reasons for this unnecessary inclusion aren’t well understood, but many top researchers suggest Americans don’t have the time for such quaint frivolities.

Toboggan

If you come to Niagara during the winter looking for some excellent sledding opportunities, you might leave disappointed. Locals may be avid tobogganers, but sledding is an activity more common among their lower neighbors. Though the toboggan and the sled are the exact same vehicle used for the same purpose, the difference in vocabulary can make equipment rentals tedious.

Toque

Another common fall or winter accessory, the toque (or tuque, pronounced “took”) is the same as the American beanie or cap. While your ears are freezing off during a Canadian blizzard, it will be helpful to know what to ask the shopkeeper for to prevent your brain from freezing.

Eh

You’ve probably heard this Canadian expression without quite realizing its purpose in the language. An interjection like the American “huh” or “right?” eh works on many levels and in almost any context. Try inserting an “eh” into icebreakers when you’re simply confirming a fact, or else phrases when you’re trying to express surprise or outrage.

Chesterfield

Woman asking directionsAfter a long day exploring Niagara Falls, you’d probably like nothing more than collapsing on the couch and taking a well-earned rest. However, Canadians don’t own couches or sofas, they own chesterfields. You could find yourself making a social scene in a furniture store if you use your American terminology.

Homo Milk

You’re walking around a grocery store or convenience market and you spy a term that really ruffles your feathers — but it shouldn’t. In Canada, they prefer to shorten the term “homogenized” when they refer to their milk. This beverage is the same as good old American whole milk and actually isn’t discriminatory at all.

Loonie

While you’ve probably heard this term applied primarily to toons or crazies, Canadians prefer this word to describe their money. One dollar coins in particular are loonies, so if you hear the term bandied around when you’re trying to use good American money to buy souvenirs, know the shopkeeper isn’t trying to insult your intelligence.

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