Friday, October 17, 2008

The cost of living

Gasoline/Petrol prices here in Ontario have fallen from 1.20c/litre, mere weeks ago, to an advertised rate today of 99.1c/litre. Fuel cost more than this in the UK right now in pounds sterling.

As a general rule of thumb, things in Canada cost the same or less in canadian dollars here, as they do in pounds in the UK, or in euro's in Europe. A coffee at Tim Horton's here is currently 1.28c, and at the Tim Horton's on route to Dover last time I was in England that same cup of coffee cost more than 2 pounds. Since a pound is worth approximately 2 canadian dollars, canadians find holidays in Europe horribly expensive. For Europeans a holiday in Canada is cheap, cheap, cheap.

The biggest factor governing net wealth for any individual is the amount one has to pay for accomodation. A large mortgage can leave the holder of this mortgage, effectively broke. Compare house prices in Toronto with those in Europe, and ask where one would be better off owning a home. People in Europe are struggling to own one house, and can't afford as consequence to travel. Here in Waterloo, I own three houses, and have travelled extensively.

For those planning extended holidays in either Canada or Europe, I believe Canada offers more bang for the same buck.


Anonymous said...

On the other hand, since Canada is so large and sparsely populated, traveling between major cities is more expensive in Canada. Europe is much more dense, not only in population, but in things to see and do.

I would rather travel in Europe, but live in Canada.

Ian Davis said...

The obvious solution to this dilemma is to have Iceland join Canada. That way you can live in
Iceland while having Europe in your back yard to travel in.

Personally I've tried travelling in Europe. It took us an unbelievable number of hours to get from the south coast of Portugal to Seville in Spain in the middle of summer.

And the M1 in England can become a parking lot. They really should have washroom facilities on the M1every hundred feet, since one can find oneself stuck on the M1 in the same spot for hours.

Sid Dorsett said...

i write from istanbul and it seems to me like destroying a culture. iceland stand a very special position with its culture, arts, language and everything. if iceland joins a union or a country it would be a declaration of being part of nothing. i don't beleive in states even in my country but i like icelandic culture. please stay away from iceland and 101 reykjavik, let them be alone in their distant cold world and don't demolish their point of view

sorry for my english

Ian Davis said...

Hi Sid, I personally doubt that union with Canada would destroy Iceland's culture. Quebec has been part of Canada for hundreds of years, and it very clearly has its own culture, attitudes, concerns and sense of identity. Likewise Newfoundland.

Iceland isn't going to cease being an island just because it joins Canada. And I don't imagine it being occupied in the same way that Hawaii was. I don't think Canadians imagine themselves as having a culture they want to forcefully impose on others. I see it much more as being Iceland remaining Iceland at home, while being part of Canada instead of being part of the EU which they would be if they bought into EU membership.

It may be that Iceland is best served by sharing its bed with no one. But if it is going to climb into bed with anyone, I'm of the opinion that Iceland might be more comfortable sharing a bed with Canada than every nation in Europe.