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The Travel Issue

The VICE Guide to Canada

That's right America. Canada is not cool. It's bigger than you, correct. It's home to great things like poutine (fries, cheese curds, gravy, repeat).

by Pierre Berton
Dec 1 2004, 12:00am

(Click to enlarge)

That's right America. Canada is not cool. It's bigger than you, correct. It's home to great things like poutine (fries, cheese curds, gravy, repeat), Chester Brown's Louis Riel comics, SCTV, Rush, Jack Black, Gordon Lightfoot, Kids in the Hall, TV Carnage, hockey, David Cronenberg, The Dears, The Stills, Ren & Stimpy, French girls, basketball, and Nardwuar the Human Serviette, but the truth of the matter is, nobody lives there so there's just not that much to say about it. In fact, we can sum up Canada by focusing on the only three cities that live there: Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.

Vancouver is on the very, very left-hand side. If you read about it online it sounds cool because pot and prostitution are basically legal. You'll even hear the board of tourism call it Vansterdam. However, if you ever end up going there, you'll see it's just a pile of junkies and potheads. The worst part is, the bars are only allowed to be open for 12 hours a day and, since all the drunk natives insist they get to start at 11:00 a.m., there's nowhere to go after 11:00 p.m. That means you can either wander around dark streets like Hastings and look at dead heroin addicts (one dies every day in Vancouver) or you can go home, smoke pot, and watch TV. The problem with the latter is, you're sitting around with 15 people sneering at how gay America's Funniest Home Videos is, like it's supposed to be good or something. It's for old people and kids, you fucking assholes.

SO WHY SHOULD I GO THERE? This is the only place in Canada where there's so many natives that if you walk into an all-native bar by accident the music stops and everyone stares at you like that part in Animal House where dude accidentally walks into that black bar. Plus, the nude beaches are funny.

One hundred-fifty hours of driving to the right brings you to Toronto. Jokingly referred to by Billy Bragg as "America's big thumb," Toronto contains both the lamest and the most patriotic Canadians there are. Though the population is about five million they all act like those small-town kids that tried to act big-city because Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie brought TV cameras and everyone's looking.

Here's why: In 1970, Quebec declared war on English Canada by blowing up some stuff and kidnapping some politicians. That scared the shit out of every English person in Quebec, so they all moved to Toronto. Almost overnight, Toronto went from a hick little lake village to New York City–sized. That seems to have fucked with their heads, because all the males have regressed into this hillbilly, hoser mentality where they drink beer all day dressed as lumberjacks and call their friends by their surname. The females, on the other hand, have decided to failingly grasp at big-city life by wearing tiny knapsacks and platform shoes and saying things like, "It's, like, ooooh kaaye." Both of them perfectly sum up how blindly liberal all Canadians are. They push the leftist agenda not because they believe it, but simply because it seems un-American. For example, Torontonians are so chuffed with themselves for being the most culturally diverse city in the world (more than any American city) you can almost smell their balls. Of course, whenever you ask them why that's so great, they go on about being able to order Turkish food one night and Thai the next, so that means the merits of diversity are measured by how well they serve white people. What a bunch of fucking douchebags, eh?

SO WHY SHOULD I GO THERE? It's fun to dress up in bad outfits and go for a cornball vibe. You have dinner at the Hard Rock Café in the CN Tower and then go get drunk in the gigantic Rolling Stones–themed bar called The Stones Bar.

French people, a.k.a. Peppers (so named due to their affinity for Pepsi-Cola), have the rest of Canada wrapped around their little fingers. Despite the fact that they are only 20 percent of the total population and all they do is sit around and drink wine in leather pants, most of Canada's prime ministers (presidents) are French. English Canada also insists everyone in every province (state) speak French, even if there are no Peppers to be seen for miles. They also funnel millions of dollars in grants into Quebec and plead for a "unified Canada," even though Quebec laughs in their face and has tried to secede about 80 times. You have to hand it to them, they have pulled in the most cash for the least work and still get away with calling themselves "the niggers of Canada." An ironic faux pas, considering most Quebecois blacks are bourgeois Haitians with blazers and $200 socks. Peppers get away with it because Canadians could give less of a shit about race. For them it's all about French vs. English and righting the wrongs of Britain's colonialist past.

The history of Quebec is about four hundred years old, and it goes like this: 1) Missionaries from France tried to convince the natives that "Jesus saves," so the natives killed them; 2) French soldiers came next and killed all the natives; 3) England tried to take it from the French soldiers, but everyone was getting killed so they gave the province to the French church; 4) Soldiers started fucking all the remaining female natives, so the French church sent in whores (France didn't want them).

The result is a province with the hottest women (half native, half whore) and the stupidest men (all soldier) the world has ever seen. If you don't believe us, try going there in the spring. There are more strip clubs than any city in the world and there is less work to do than in Margaritaville. If every American spent a June in Montreal, they would be embarrassed they ever said anything bad about their neighbor to the north.

SO WHY SHOULD I GO THERE? I just told you, moron. The spring is dense with eye candy. The architecture is hundreds of years old. The saumon au sel gris at L'Express is mouth-shattering, Supersexe, jack shacks, the list goes on…

If you are American and you are still reading this, you are either not an American or you are taking the longest shit of your life. We already summed up the whole country, but here's some more stuff to read until your liar American bowels are totally drained.


1. Americans call round ham "Canadian bacon" even though such a thing does not exist in Canada.

2. Americans don't leave at the end of the movie, and will sit there watching all the credits, even the logos. Canadians aren't into credits and will write articles that go on for pages and pages under a made-up name.

3. Lots of Americans have never used a condom. Also, American girls aren't into blowjobs until the third date and insist on getting down to full-on slamming right away. Canadians fit into two groups: the English, who never fuck, and the French, who like to have about three orgasms before any penetration happens.

4. Americans rarely finish college and make you feel like a pompous asshole if you use a word like "sycophantic." They don't know anything about any other country but their own, they have never been overseas, and they think reading is for gaylords.

5. Americans hate French people with a passion. If you speak French at an American French restaurant, people will freak out on you. They even get mad if you pronounce "croissant" right.

6. Americans are petrified of talking about anything racial, no matter what. For example they don't even know that blacks are only 8 percent of the population. They think it's 50 percent, because that's what it is on TV.

7. Americans know the full name and entire history of every actor in America, even Jason Bateman. This is related to No. 2. They love celebrities. Even smart girls will buy a copy of In Style for the train and happily read about Woody Harrelson's bathroom.

8. Americans are weird about confrontation and would rather get you back secretly. Like, if you had done something to piss a guy off he would bang into you on the way out of the cafeteria and say, "Oh, sorry," so you couldn't do anything about it.

9. Americans are really, really into Thanksgiving and the whole city shuts down that day. America used to have the same day as Canada, but Roosevelt moved the day to November to encourage Christmas shopping. Americans don't seem to mind, even though you're supposed to be celebrating the harvest and what's being harvested in late November? Snow pies?

10. Americans hate being criticized and even homeless natives get mad when you point out things like No. 4. Canadian identity is so wrapped up in American criticism, Canadians spend most of their time in high school trying to come up with something better than, "At least we're not a bunch of uneducated Americans."

Basically, the main difference is this: Americans are weird about having their picture taken, and they want their name on everything because they think you're going to get rich off of them. The American dream used to be "work really hard at something and don't let people walk all over you and you will prosper." Then that dude who invented Pet Rocks got rich because he was smart about copyrights. After that, everything changed. Now the American dream is "getting rich is a lottery and you never know what's going to catapult you into prosperity so make sure you copyright and get credit for every little thing you do, no matter how irrelevant, and you will become as rich as the Pet Rock guy." Canadians live in a communist country so even if they never get credit for anything, they're all looking at free Medicare and indexed pensions from here to eternity (no matter what that does to the dollar).

If you are still reading, you must be one of those weird Canadaphile Americans that rode the Trans-Canadian Railway and knows who Margaret Trudeau fucked. Let's just empty our whole load on your face so you never ask us about Canada ever again…

The pioneers chased all the natives and frogs up to the top of the country, and now they span from coast to coast. The only thing to do up there is hunt, but the bugs are so insane it's almost impossible to hold onto your sanity. If you eat a sandwich, it's 30 percent black flies. If you take a shit in the woods, your ass will be covered in itchy freckles within about 20 seconds. It's hell on earth.

This used to be an okay place to live. It was mostly fisherman descended from the Irish, and there was some money to be made fishing cod. Then one day, for no particular reason, all the fish disappeared. Now all they do is drink and do sad jobs like telemarketing and tech support.

The Underground Railroad ended here, so it's about 50 percent black. There is a ton of racial tension, and one time it got so bad a bunch of black guys moved next door and started a town called Africaville that is 100 percent black. There's a good hip-hop scene, though (check out Buck 65 when he was called Stinkin' Rich).

There's a lot of oil and ranching here, and they have a big rodeo called the Calgary Stampede. It's weird to see full-on cowboys wearing the boots and the 10-gallon hats in the middle of Canada.

You have to give respect to anyone you meet from Winnipeg, because they live in the coldest place on earth. It's fucking –23°F (–31°C) for about six months of the year!

By the way, just so you know we're not another pile of ignorant Americans poking fun at this easy target, we'd like you to know that America sucks balls, too. And so does Europe. In fact, the only bearable areas in the world are Montreal, New York City, Austin, Glasgow, Utrecht, Barcelona, Genoa, Languedoc, Paris, and Berlin. The rest of the world is filled with boring dipshits that like the Dixie Chicks and have fart in their hair.