Sunday, 28 October 2007

The important things in life

The fast food industry of North America is something to behold. McDonald’s, A&W, Tim Horton’s, Wendy’s, Harvey’s, KFC, Burger King, Coffee Time, Taco Bell, Pizza Pizza, New York Fries, and Subway. Most of these ‘restaurants’ differ very little: a burger encased in a fluffy bun, a variation on the Big Mac. Although some of these businesses pre date McDonald’s. One of these is a Canadian institution. Tim Horton was captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey team. His fame is similar to James Hird from AFL or Alfie Langer from NRL. Tim, along with a business partner started Tim Horton’s, a coffee and donut shop. Soon after beginning the business Tim Horton died when he crashed his car at high speed. Today Tim Horton’s is everywhere. My local shopping centre Owen Sound has 20,000 people and 5 Tim’s, one you will find in the hospital. Tim Horton’s has 2733 outlets in Canada, almost twice the number of stores as McDonalds and has 62% of the coffee market. Starbucks comes in second at 7%.

Two other important places that Ontarian's visit are the LCBO and The Beer Store, these are the only places where you can buy alcohol in Ontario except cellar doors. What the latter sells needs no explanation. I wonder if it has such an obvious name because beer drinkers have a low IQ, and if the name was anymore complicated they would not be able to find their precious liquid. Entering The Beer Store is just like walking into a big fridge, because that is what it is. The only part of the store that is not fridge is the checkout.

LCBO is an acronym for Liquour Control Board of Ontario. The LCBO is run by the Ontario provincial government. When I arrived at the farm house where I am living there were bags of groceries, one of them contained an LCBO gift card. Yes, our Canadian Lutheran cousins like a drink as we do.

One more thing needs explaining. Ice hocky is the national sport, and national obsession. Canadian’s invented the game and make up the largest nationality in the NHL (which includes mostly US teams). In Canada you can play ice hockey or practice playing various social versions of the game: wearing shoes on ice or on concrete with inline skates or street hockey on a flat surface using a tennis ball and wearing runners. Canadian’s are ice hockey mad. One of the most popular teams is the Toronto Maple Leafs. They have not won the Stanley Cup for 40 years and this year they have got off to a bad start, at one stage they had played 8 games with 1 win. If you don’t barrack for the Maple Leafs you hate them, just like our attitude toward the Crows or Collingwood, sorry Sharni. One of the most high profile Maple Leaf supporters is Canadian Mike Myers aka Austin Powers/Dr Evil.

As you can see Canadian’s differ little from Aussies; they want cheap food, a drink, and for their favourite team to win the flag. Maybe next year Hawks, maybe next year.

XO Adrian


HsChosn1 said...

I've never heard of prohibition lasting that long. This is what I know....

Ontario itself instituted Prohibition measures from 1916 to 1927. However, Ontario's wineries were specifically exempted, and many breweries and distilleries remained open to serve the export market (anyone with access to a doctor might be able to beg for a prescription of rum or whiskey for "medicinal" purposes). The export market boomed with Prohibition in the United States. Shipment upon shipment left Ontario, with excise taxes paid, handled by residents who were not allowed to touch a drop of the stuff themselves.


Anonymous said...

Actually haven't you heard of the REAL National Sport, (hockey only became a recogonized national sport since 1994) Now Lacrosse, a sport with Aboriginal origins, is Canada's oldest sport and the real national sport... Go lacrosse GO!

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