Metric? Maybe…

Everyone knows that Canada is on the metric system, right?  So, when we decided to move here, I started trying to reconcile Celsius to Fahrenheit, miles to kilometres, grams to ounces, gallons to litres, etc, etc.  (You know, it’s fun to go 100 on the highway, until you realize that that’s only 60 mph.)  I figured this adjustment would be part of the great international adventure we were on.

However, we hadn’t been here a week when we asked someone how much snow they got in the winter.   She replied, “Oh, last year, the worst was only 1 to 2 feet.”  My husband started: “Did you say ‘feet?'”  “Oh, yeah,” she explained, “we don’t use centimetres for that.  We weren’t always on the metric system.”

Since then we’ve found numerous areas where the Canadians just seem to drop the metric thing altogether and go back to Imperial measurements:

  • They sell and price fresh produce and meat by the pound, not the kilogram
  • The size of apartments  and houses are measured in square feet, not square metres
  • Their recipes measurements are printed in both millilitres and teaspoons/tablespoons/cups, etc.
  • In a hospital waiting room, the thermostat was in Fahrenheit, but they measured my husband’s body temperature in Celsius.

Now, before you Americans balk at these hypocrisies, remember that Americans buy their sodas in 2 liter bottles, so we have a little bit of this going on, too.  (But not much.)

So, if you choose to move up here, remember that it will be easy to buy fresh meat and produce in pounds, but it may not be so easy to reconcile that with your receipt, as they sometimes have a tendency to print everything on the receipt as price per kilograms.

Oy!  My brain hurts!

About iammonicasue

I'm just gal who was born and raised in So Cal, who has lived my whole life in California... until now. I moved to Toronto in August 2010 and this is my blog about the differences I'm discovering between the home I came from and the home I'm getting to know.
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7 Responses to Metric? Maybe…

  1. Chris says:

    Wait until you discover metric time – it’s not often discussed, but of major importance.

  2. iammonicasue says:

    Never heard of such a thing, but I don’t doubt that it exists. How is it important, Chris?

  3. Doug says:

    The UK has some of that too – but heck, they still use stone for people’s weights.

  4. ilene says:

    u.s. hospitals use celsius too, it is a pain to try and figure out if your kid has a fever when you do not understand the thermometer, lol… btw, sorry about the punctuation errors, my darn droid will not let me capitalize or use punctuation marks, go figure…

  5. Ilene says:

    Okay… so it turns out I needed to get the “WordPress for Android” app to be able to comment properly. Who knew? Lol

  6. jennyjack says:

    Monica, I’m loving hearing you discuss these changes! It’s like reliving my early days in the UK all over again!

    Enjoy the walking, and savour the newness (yes, that was “savour”:-)

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