Greeks are some of this world's most “spoiled” people, living in a place of extreme and diverse beauty, enjoying delicious seafood treats while their bodies get pleasantly heated from the warmth of the Greek sun. It's quite difficult for a Greek to leave this way of life and migrate to Northern countries such as Canada but, that said, as the unemployment rate in Greece keeps on rising, more and more Greeks are thinking of making the move to the Great White North. Here's a guide that will help Greeks not to feel completely out of their comfort zone while in Canada.
The first thing that a Greek travelling to Canada will notice is the much colder weather, especially during the winter months when the temperature may reach to an average of -30C (a record of -50C in some places). The warmest big city in Canada is Vancouver which happens also to be the most populated. Kamloops is even more suitable as it stays relatively warm during the winter too.
Sun is the invigorating life giving force of our nature, and Greeks have grown up enjoying our local star's warmth during the whole year. While Kamloops is quite sunny, you may find other places in Canada where sun is almost never missing. The city of Calgary is the most characteristic example, getting sunshine for 332.93 days a year. The total sunshine per year reaches 2405 hours or 24.5% of the time!
Greek cuisine is one of the most tasteful and rich in every aspect, so Greeks are used to special tidbits and delicacies that aren't easily found in places like Canada. Thankfully, there are many good restaurants across the country that offer tasty local dishes and snacks. The best of the best though are to be found in Toronto, Calgary and Montreal, so those of you who love good food should choose one of those three cities.
Greeks are used to swimming in the majestic Aegean and Ionian Seas that count hundreds of islands and beaches of peerless beauty, so this habit will be one of the hardest to fulfill while in Canada. Although the country doesn't lack shores and beaches, most are much colder, darker and somewhat “inhuman” compared to what Greeks are used to. The best choice you have regarding that is to live in New Brunswick which, apart from being closer to Greece than most other places in Canada, boasts more than 50 white-sanded, shallow-water beaches. Moreover, in the Northumberland Strait there is a set of beautiful lagoons where the warmest salt-water in the country is to be found.
Where Canadians may seek for serenity and calmness in their lives, Greeks certainly want some opa! The best bet for getting some entertainment is surely the country's largest city, Toronto. Being a major tourist destination for decades now, Toronto features many spots of vibrant lifestyle and crowded nightclubs were unbridled parties take place.
Greeks may find themselves confused and frustrated when they realize that the most popular sports in Canada don't even exist in Greece, and that professional soccer fields and soccer teams are almost nowhere to be found in the country. Greece's favourite sport is actually played by many in Canada but you are going to have a difficult time finding a team to watch play a pro match, or just attend and enjoy one from the bleachers, unless its amateur soccer. (There are thousands of amateur teams.) Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps are the most notable teams participating in the American MLS championship, but if you want to watch Canada's elite national team, you will have to visit Commonwealth Stadium located in Edmonton.
This article was commissioned by George Laczko.