Land of Donuts and Social Services

One of the biggest differences between Canada and the U.S. has to do with social services. Canadians pay higher taxes on nearly everything, and those taxes go towards things like socialized medicine. But the distinction might better be described by talking about the ads in bus shelters. Toronto has a large public transit system (also subsidized by taxes), so there are bus shelters all over the place. I would say that about 25% of the six foot by three foot ads in/on those shelters is for some form of social service (this isn't good science, just a wild guess). One nearby explains how to contact a government agency to find out how to discourage graffiti. Another has a big sign that says "Every baby deserves to be breastfed," followed by pictures of babies of all colours. There are recycling bins everywhere, and one of them I saw has an ad under the slots showing a different set of slots for throwing away fish and turtles - it was a WWF ad against incidental animal kills caused by net fishing. Not exactly social services, but non-profits are also very common up here.

On a lighter note, another thing that's extremely common in Toronto is donut shops. Unless you're in a purely residential area, you can't go more than a couple blocks without seeing one. Perhaps people burn the calories off as nervous energy partly generated by the bad coffee served in the same establishments, I don't know. There are a lot of coffee shops too, but they can't compete with Tim Hortons and Coffee Time (both primarily donut places). I don't think Krispy Kreme (a big American chain) has much of a presence up here.