Proudly Canadian – Harvey’s

Canadian cuisine has many streams with First Nations, English, Scottish and French roots, but one kind is close to The United States and their modern burgers. Harvey’s is a Canadian fast food restaurant chain famous for its great meat.

It is very hard to compete with huge multinational corporations such as McDonald’s and Burger King, but Harvey’s does it well. They rely on local branding and high quality products.

Proudly Canadian - Harvey's / Image, Picture, Drawing / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

Just like Canada Goose this company is also 100% Canadian, for over 50 years their restaurants are own by Canadians and serving in all Canadian provinces.

At Harvey’s you’d get a great 600 Fahrenheit degrees grilled meat and you can choose its fresh topping like in Subway.

Company invested a lot in furniture in their restaurants so it feels like a Canadian place, something between a fancy pub and a sport bar, but without crazy drunks.

Harvey’s experience is nice for people who are looking for a bit more in a burger’s place, for a reasonable price you’d get a nice restaurant experience with private seats. Prices are ok, you can get a combo for $10, it is a bit higher than in other places, but when you try their burgers (original recipe from 1959) a big chance that you’d realize it’s totally worth it.

For those who watched American TV series “Suits” (which was shot in Toronto) and remember a cool guy named Harvey there, it feels like if Harvey was a Canadian, he’d definitely eat at Harvey’s.

MapleDude.Ca recommends you to try their food at least ones when you visit Canada, and for those who are Canadians, but never went there – you are missing out. Check out this Harvey’s review from KBDProductionsTV:

Harvey’s 2 Can Dine for $11.99 Challenge and Review – 2600 CALORIES

 

 

Quebec’s Flag Day

In January 21, 1948 a new flag of Quebec was officially adopted in Canada by Maurice Duplessis, 16th Premier of the Canadian province of Quebec. Today its floating over the main tower and many other government buildings representing French Canadian heritage.

Quebec's Flag Day / Drawing, image, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

The official name of the flag is “Fleurdelisé”. Cross on flags is very common in Europe (England, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Malta, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland, Sweden and many other examples), this is the main symbol of Christianity. “fleurs-de-lis“, a small white French symbol on blue background means purity and royalty, and the blue background represents heaven.

It was an earlier version that showed gilt fleurs de lis all pointing inward to the intersection of the arms of the cross. The final version, with white fleurs de lis pointing upward, apparently had not yet been available.

montrealgazette.com

You can watch a video by J.J. McCullough with a short yet informative history of Canadian flags, including the flag of Quebec (4:40):

All about Canada’s provincial flags

Is It Safe In Canada?

What are your chances of being robbed on dark Canadian snowy streets? What are major life ricks in Canada? To address the safety issue let’s take a look at some numbers and statistics.

Is It Safe In Canada / Image, picture, drawing, art / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

Canada is on 158th place in the world by murder rates (UNODC statistics) with 1.6 murders per 100,000 inhabitants (611 cases in 2016). A big brother just across the border, The U.S., has 5.35 murders per 100,000 citizens (17,250 cases in 2016). Compared to some South American countries (El Salvador, Honduras, Venezuela with 55+ murders per 100k people) Canada is super safe. Most of the western Europe and Asia (South Korea, Japan) is safer when it comes to killings and assaults, but Canada almost the best place in North and South America in terms of the violent crime.

Traffic-related death is another big cause of death in many countries, these numbers are calculated by WHO (World Health Organization).

By road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year Canadians are standing well with just 6 (10.9 in the United States). Western Europe is a bit better, but Canadian roads can be called safe.

Many major causes of death are health related (stroke, heart disease, infections, etc.). Canadian healthcare has its problems, but it is one of the best in the world (because all countries have problems with their healthcare too). Canada takes 12-th place in the world by life expectancy with both sexes life expectancy equal to 82.2 years old.

There are very few countries with better life expectancy (Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, Italy and few others). Every new Canadian immigrant has to go thru detailed medical exam and in case of a major health issue like an infection he or she can’t enter the country.

Robbery rate by country is not easy to find, according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2015 Canada rate was equal to 61 per 100,000 people. This is not the best number, it is even higher than Lebanon, Russia, Senegal, Thailand and Kenya. Although we can assume that in many countries robbery is just not often reported due to many reasons; maybe there are no chances to catch a criminal, maybe it is reported often in Canada because people have insurance, so they can get a compensation, or maybe Canadian police is just very transparent as other Canadian government organizations, so they don’t hide numbers and publish everything as it is. In any case robbery seems to be a problem in Canada, but as in The United States chances of being robbed depend on the city and neighborhood.

There is no perfect country in the world.

Despite some local issues overall Canada is a quite safe country, numbers show that Canada is safer than The United States, not to mention troubling South American countries.

Is It Expensive To Live In Canada?

For anybody who wants to move to Canada cost of living there is an important question. How much money do you need every month to be able to live in Canada? MapleDude.Ca will try to answer this question.

Is It Expensive To Live In Canada? / Image, drawing, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

First of all we have to say that for different people comfortable life might mean very different things depending on the place they are coming from and their standard of living.

Canada is one of the world’s developed countries, income, costs, prices and expenses there are somewhat similar to western Europe, Australia and The United States, people who are coming from those places wouldn’t feel much of a difference.

What are basic necessary expenses for anyone?

  • Food;
  • Rent;
  • Clothes;
  • Miscellaneous (phone, internet, transportation, etc.);

In Canada, however, car is very important as in the U.S. Most of the Canadian cities and infrastructure designed in a way that without a car, especially during long and cold winter, live is quite hard.

Let’s start with food. It is actually quite hard to compare countries by cost of living because numbers are very different from city to city. For example according to numbeo.com (great website to compare prices) grocery prices in Toronto are 9.32% lower than in New City.

To be more accurate go to numbeo.com and compare your city with a Canadian city you want to move to.

These are examples of average food prices in Toronto:

  • Milk (regular), (1 liter): $2.08;
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g): $2.45;
  • Rice (white), (1kg): $3.3;
  • Eggs (regular) (12): $2.75;
  • Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg): $13.48;

Many researches give a number around $200 per month per person as average food costs (source). It can be lower if you can find good deals and shop at Walmart, if you cook food by yourself and don’t go to restaurants.

You will struggle in Canada if you have a bad habit of smoking as one pack of cigarettes would cost you $11+. Smoking will add additional $150 – 300 dollars to your monthly expenses.

That is if you buy cigarettes in convenience stores. Today even marijuana (legal in Canada) might be cheaper than cigarettes.

When it comes to rent prices it is very different depending on the location. In Toronto basement for one month can cost you $500, one room in a house would be from $500 to $1000 (kijiji.ca) and if you want to rent one room apartment it starts with $1500. Rent is much cheaper in smaller cities and if a location far from downtown. If you have money to buy a house, you can check this article to see average house prices in different cities and provinces. Getting a mortgage is not going to be cheaper than renting for a new immigrant because of the lack of Canadian credit history.

To roughly round it up let’s say that rent would be $750 per month.

As i said, it can be a bit lower, but it also can be much higher.

Clothes costs are hard to calculate. If you shop at H&M and such places it is not going to be much, $1200 per year should be more than enough ($100 per month), although many people would live comfortable with $600 annual spending ($50 per month).

Minimum phone bill would be $35 per month, internet cost is similar, but it is often included in the rent.

Transportation in Toronto would cost something like $150 per month (A regular adult Metropass).

To sum this up our minimum cost of living in Canada (Toronto) would be from $1185, that is if you don’t smoke. If you find a cheap place to rent, total monthly expenses might go down by $250. Maybe you can save on food too, then total number would be $100 less. If you are lucky to have workplace at walking distance, subtract another $150 from total expenses. So the perfect case would be around $900 per month, but it is hardly possible to go much lower than that in big cities in Ontario.

With $11+/hours minimum wage ($14 in Ontario) and 40 hours per week you can make $2240 before taxes.

Everything falls apart if we consider car expenses and/or girlfriend expenses. Median monthly cost to insure in Ontario is around $125 (but in places like Mississauga it can be $300+), plus gas, plus a lot of things for the car.

All of this is, of course, very rough numbers, MapleDude.Ca estimates. For a single person you can live on $1k quite easily if you are willing to look for good deals, sales and if you are ok with walking. Numbers can be much lower for other Canadian cities, Toronto is one the most expensive ones (but salaries are higher too). In smaller cities rent is much lower, as well as other expenses, but it is safe to say that it is close to impossible to live on less than $500 per month in Canada.

Some people would say that it is very hard to live on $1000 too, if you live an active live, sometimes visit restaurants, go to movies or clubs, this would add $150-500+ more every month.

Proudly Canadian – Canada Goose

Canada Goose company is known not only in Canada, but in many countries around the globe. It is not an easy task to make and sell clothing produced in America because of strong foreign competition, but Canada Goose company does it successfully for many years.

Proudly Canadian - Canada Goose / Image, picture, drawing / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

According to statista.com data now Canada Goose’s revenue is growing rapidly, wholesale revenue grew from 288 mil. CAD in 2017 to 336 in 2018 and direct sales increased from 115 million Canadian dollars to 225.

Why people are lining up to buy those fancy jackets, parkas and other products? We’ll try to answer this question.

Company’s history started in 1950s, when an entrepreneur Sam Tick immigrates to Canada. He created Metro Sportswear Ltd. in Toronto, which specializes in woolen vests, raincoats and snowmobile suits. After 20 years his son establishes the label Snow Goose, which later becomes Canada Goose. They wanted to make jackets for coldest places on earth. After that Reiss family continue company’s development.

Over the last 21 years, Canada Goose has grown from one small factory in Toronto to seven facilities across Canada with products shipped to 38 countries around the world.

winnipegsun.com

In 2018 they opened 7th factory in Winnipeg which created more that 700 new jobs, for over 55 years all production facilities were located in Canada.

Huge European and American brands moved their production to China and other countries long time ago, but Canada Goose proudly makes everything in Canada. It is not an easy decision, minimum wage in Ontario is $14/hour, for such high labor demanding production those are major expenses. Of course if would be much cheaper to open factories elsewhere, this would reduce prime cost and make products more competitive, but the company believes that “Made In Canada” on mark on any product wins against the opportunity of cost reduction.

Canada Goose is not cheap, their parkas cost $900 and more, but this doesn’t scare customers. Canadian winter is long and tough, in some places temperature drops to -30 and below, you need to be sure you well protected against such hard conditions. The thing about winter jackets is that people usually wear one for a long time, 3-5 years is a minimum, often people wear one jacket for 10 and more years, so when you choosing one, you might as well spend good money on it, winter jacket is an expensive product.

Sure you can get a nice looking jacket for $100 or even cheaper during the sale, this jacket might be quite warm and of a decent quality, but here we come to another reason why people would pay 10 times that for Canada Goose brand. Brand is the answer.

In a grocery store you see a lineup to Canadians apples and vegetables, close to it you can see much cheaper apples from The U.S. or Mexico, but people still go for “Made In Canada”. Canadian products are popular not only among Canadians, but among new immigrants as well.

When it comes to food this behavior can be explained easily, if something grows close, probably it is fresh and “natural”, so what’s up with the jacket? Germans make cars, Russians make vodka, French and Italians make wine, Ukraine makes grain and Americans make iPhones in China 🙂

Canada has a problem when it comes to international fame and stereotypes. Canada is just not very well knows in the world. Many people in different countries know nothing about Canada and they don’t read much about Canada in news. I know that because in MapleDude.Ca i am having hard time to find new content about Canada and its culture. With that in mind people know one thing about Canada for sure – it is cold out there! So Canadians must have a good winter clothing, there you go.

When people hear about winter jackets made in Canada they want to buy one, because Canadians must know what they are doing.

Another thing about Canada Goose is that those jackets are just cool to some people only because they are expensive. They are expensive in Canada, you can guess how much they cost in Europe and Asia with additional delivery costs (although Asians with their weather don’t really need warm parkas).

Why Canada Goose Jackets are so expensive? Reducing its price might have a negative effect on sales because demand for fancy and luxury goods is inelastic.

You can see that those jackets are very popular in Korean, Chinese and Arabic Canadian communities, you see a lot of people wearing them. Sometimes it is even funny because you know that some of those people are not very rich, yet they willing to spend a lot of money on it. Partly this is because of the feeling of belonging, they are in Canada now, they want to be Canadians and buying Canadian is a good way to show it.

Surly if company decided to move production to an Asian country those new Canadian immigrants wouldn’t be that interested in buying.

One more thing which makes Canada Goose popular is its quality.

Canada Goose products are good, it is hard to say if it worth the price, but by watching one of many videos from their production facility you can see how Canadians making those jackets and be sure that quality is high.

Canada Goose is not alone, there are other Canadian products, companies and brands, for example: A&W, Tim Hortons, Second Cup, Minute Maid juices, Cascade, Liberté yogurt. Competition is tough because no country in G7 trades like Canada, but Canadians managed to save some production and industries at home, some of which are not only surviving, they are growing. Canada Goose is a great example of such company with proud “Made in Canada” mark.

 

How Much It Costs To Buy A House In Canada?

If you want to buy a house in Canada for yourself or as an investment, you will find this article useful. Today MapleDude.Ca going to cover prices for houses in major Canadian cities and provinces.

How Much It Costs To Buy A House In Canada? / Image, table, drawing, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

A good place to check housing market statistics is The Canadian Real Estate Association. According to this organization average house prices as of April 2018 were the highest in Vancouver city (British Columbia) – $1,092,000 with annual growth of 14.3%. Cost of a house in Toronto was $766,000 on average with -5.1% of annual decline.

Canadian Average price of a house in 2018 was around $495,000 with -11.3% decline which might suggest that the market is overheated.

Let’s have a look at more data from other Canadian cities and provinces, here is the average house prices by city:

Canadian Cities Average House Prices April 2018 / Image, table, drawing, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Canadian Cities Average House Prices April 2018

Note that any “average” numbers are not always representative, there are cheap and expensive houses in all places. The average value gives only a general picture.

And here are the average house prices by provinces:

Canadian Provinces Average House Prices April 2018 / Image, table, drawing, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Canadian Provinces Average House Prices April 2018

Top 7 Wealthiest Canadians

Every year Forbes publishes a list of rich people from many countries, so let’s have a look at the wealthiest people from Canada in 2018, TOP 7 Richest Canadians. The average age in the list is 74 years old, those seven people have more than 70 billions of dollars of wealth combined, but the richest person in the world right now, Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon), has estimated net worth of 138B+ as of 1/17/19.

Top 7 Wealthiest Canadians / Image, Drawing, Picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

Here are 7 people from Canada with the highest estimated net worth:

  1. David Thompson: Worth: $25 billion;
  2. Joseph Tsai: Worth: $9.7 billion;
  3. Galen Weston: Worth: $9.5 billion;
  4. James Irving: Worth: $8.3 billion;
  5. Jim Pattison: Worth: $6.9 billion;
  6. David Cheriton: Worth: $6 billion;
  7. Emanuele (Lino) Saputo: Worth: $5.3 billion.

Now MapleDude.Ca will quickly go thru everybody to give additional information about each person.

David Kenneth Roy Thomson is a Canadian media magnate, Chairman of the Thomson Reuters company.

Joseph Tsai was born in Taiwan Hong Kong and San Diego, but his country of citizenship is Canada. He is the co-founder and executive vice chairman of Chinese multinational conglomerate Alibaba Group.

Galen Weston is chairman of George Weston Limited, Canadian
food processing and distribution company.

James Irving have got part of the family assets which includes Brunswick News media and several other companies.

Jim Pattison is a chairman and sole owner of the Jim Pattison Group, conglomerate with interests in media, automotive dealerships, magazine distribution, food service packaging, advertising, real estate, fishing, forest, financial services and entertainment.

David Cheriton is a Canadian computer scientist, mathematician, businessman, philanthropist, and venture capitalist.

Emanuele (Lino) Saputo is a Canadian businessman with
Italian background. He created Saputo, Inc., a cheese and dairy producing company based in Montreal.