Hello there! Welcome back for another edition of Red Deer Reality Rant. I was away last week, I had a rather interesting experience down in Ontario. Whatever you do, don’t fly there, it’s actually not faster with all of the flight delays and cancellations and also is definitely not cheaper. And when you fly, you miss the experience of driving on the Canada number 1 highway through Saskatchewan which is something you might want to try if only for the panoramic views and see Regina 3 hours before you arrive there.
Ontario really is a world apart from Alberta. I stayed in a small village called Moorefield that is less than an hour away from Kitchener and the entire area, up to and including Toronto and the greater Toronto area in no way resembles life as we know it in Red Deer. Most of the buildings and houses are made from brick and stone and older than Red Deer itself. The roads connecting the towns barely accommodate 2 vehicles going in opposite directions with no shoulders. Until you get to the gargantuan monstrosity known as the 401, which for the most part is 8 lanes, with some sections up to 12 and ever expanding.
Rocketing down the 401 to Brampton in a cab, I really felt like I was living on the edge. The QE2 from Red Deer to Calgary is like little Gaetz Ave in comparison. If you aren’t familiar with the GTA in Ontario, you are sure to be lost and even Google maps can’t help you if you are in the wrong lane. Thankfully, my cab driver was a pro but the fare from Kitchener to Brampton is hefty. It’s likely that doesn’t bother most Ontarians because I saw a lot of very rich mansions like does not exist in Red Deer or even Calgary as far as I have seen.
Pictured left to right: street view of Moorefield, ON. Mennonite church in Moorefield, Sugar Maple tree
But the disparity is also apparent. In Moorefield and area I did not see neighbourhoods with similar value properties and houses. You might have a mansion on one property and then on the next a shack worthy of lower Fairview or even less so. The community has a number of Mennonites and the Amish are in areas nearby. Ontario has a 5G network but where I was I struggled with LTE and the wifi where I was staying was so poor that I couldn’t browse or post on social media.
Everyone I encountered was polite but rarely friendly. I can’t say that I blame them, with my Alberta accent and attire I stuck out even more than I do even here in Red Deer. Obviously being a westerner, I received many strange looks and sideways glances. I did not speak a word of politics while I was there, I’m not on the same page as most Albertans so I probably could have without anyone getting riled up. But politics are not anything that I have much interest in anyway, or have much fodder for complaining about.
You definitely can’t paint all Red Deerians with the same brush, and I believe it is the same in any locale. I have to say that overall my experience in Ontario was a positive one, and I brought home some maple tree leaves and maple syrup for souvenirs. I will go back someday, perhaps to do some touristy things and explore. Until then, I remain brutally Albertan, and it sure is good to be back home!