To give advice on 'pedesting'

I pride myself on my travels.  I promised myself as a young girl that I would travel my own vast country before I stepped outside for entertainment.  That way, if backpackers in Europe asked me about it I could honestly answer their questions without having to give the stereotypical: "eat back bacon and maple syrup" response.  Canada has much to offer but I think you might want to read this if you are going to experience any of the major cities on foot.

I enjoyed my time in Ontario.  Being so far south had given me a shorter winter, a longer, more colourful fall, and a glorious spring.  I am starting to see why some call it "God's country".  But, when it comes to being in a pedestrian in Ontario, it is a little more like the opposite.  There, cars rule the road and the sidewalk.  Rarely do you get a nod to continue on your walk or run from a driver.  And if you even think for a second that the wave was for you to start walking, you have just begun a game of real-life frogger, and you are the frog.

If you even think of crossing the street in Quebec, you are taking your life into your hands.  The road may seem clear but they speed like crazy in Quebec and they'll come out of nowhere.  My friend's sister was going 70km/hr in a school zone and she got off with a warning!

In the maritimes, it's all a small town, you could walk in the middle of the street and no one will bother you, they may ask if you were dropped on your head, but they won't hit you.

I'm not saying that the prairies are any better; however,  I read in an article that in Calgary cars will screetch to a halt for you, it is aptly named the 'Calgary halt'.  I have not experienced this phenomenon personally because you cannot get anywhere in Calgary without a vehicle.  I think the halt is because most of the population of Calgary has come from a small town and their manners remained with them in the big city.

Winnipeg, (we all know how I feel about Winnipeg if you don't please refer to the blog titled: "I hate Winnipeg") is a halfway point between Ontario and Calgary (stay with me, I know it's geographically between).  The drivers stop for you, but they rev the crap out of their engines and demand that you walk faster because you are in their way.

Regina is a bit of a craps shoot.  You have to choose your moment carefully and confidently.  The only way cars will stop here is if you start walking.  I know that is a little odd, but drivers there pretend to not see you and will wiz by you until you take the step of faith.  It's funny to watch pedestrians wince in fear that the car hasn't seen them, yet they continue crossing the street.  I've been that pedestrian, I have made that wince. I also talked to myself to stay calm and convince myself that the driver has seen me, and I have seen others do the same. Peeking out from a corner doesn't work, you have to step out, believe that the drivers are going to stop and head confidently to the other side of the street.  Any sign of hesitation and the traffic will move on with or without you.

In Vancouver everyone walks, and because of that, no one jay-walks.  So don't jay-walk and you'll be fine. But I know two people who have been hit by cars while riding their bikes so be careful of that.

And you have nothing to worry about in the Northwest Territories.  Each person has 16 square kilometres to themselves up there so your chances of even seeing a vehicle are slim.

Happy walking.

That's all.


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