Enjoying Our Border TownPosted by Darren Drevik on Jul 2, 2014 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments
“I read in a newspaper that I was to be received with all the honors customarily rendered to a foreign ruler. I am grateful for the honors; but something within me rebelled at that word ‘foreign’. I say this because when I have been in Canada, I have never heard a Canadian refer to an American as a ‘foreigner’. He is just an ‘American’. And, in the same way, in the United States, Canadians are not ‘foreigners’, they are ‘Canadians’. That simple little distinction illustrates to me better than anything else the relationship between our two countries.”
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
We hope everyone had a great Dominion Day. Ok, Canada Day, it’s hasn’t been called Dominion Day since 1982. Americans erroneously think it’s “Canadian Independence Day,” since it falls just three days before our Fourth of July.
It’s actually the day in 1867 that various Canadian provinces were unified into a single country, the day Canada became a kingdom in its own right. The British parliament kept limited political control over the country that was slowly released until 1982, when the Constitution Act effectively gave Canada full control over its own government.
Montgomery Center is located just an 11 mile drive from the border. Or 18 kilometers. See, the duality is part of the fun of being so close. As hosts, we easily say “bonjour” and “s’il vous plait” to our guests — not to be patronizing or showy, but to be hospitable. Around 20 percent of our guests are from Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and other Canadian provinces. (I suspect there’s only one in a thousand Americans who can name all 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories. (Note: I can’t either, but for the curious they’re here.) We love having them, love their gentle nature and stories. They in turn are sometimes surprised when we confess our love for poutine or bandy around terms like Autoroute or drinking a double-double.
For Americans, Canada represents a great opportunity to drive 15 minutes from the Phineas Swann and visit another country, an area where the Eastern Townships feel as if you’ve ventured all the way to Europe. Small villages where people are as friendly as they are in Vermont, where the shops are quaint and the dining is exceptional.
We’ve added a Canada page to our website, filled with tips for both Americans and Canadians. Information is included about making border crossings easy (and they really are easy), and things to do while you’re visiting Canada or while you’re visiting Vermont.
Finally, we thought we’d throw in a link to this commercial from 14 years ago. We really liked it then and we still like it now.