Your Canadian fishing vacation by the numbers


Thinking about a trip to Canada this summer? Great idea, because one week on a crystal clear northern Ontario lake, complete with a crackling campfire, a sky full of stars, and a skillet sizzling with walleye fillets, is well worth the price of admission.

Yes, a trip to Canada trip cost money, gasoline is more expensive than here, and yada, yada, yada. But really, a gallon is bigger there and a mile is a kilo — or is it?

Exchange rates

Here are the real metric driven facts: Thanks to a stronger American currency of recent, one U.S. dollar is worth $1.25 Canadian (actually $1.25656). That’s a real and pleasant change from recent years when the U.S. dollar was worth less than a Canadian dollar.

Many travelers are already buying Canadian money in preparation of summer trips. And why not, considering that $1,000 U.S. buys $1,250 worth of Canadian goods, services and gas. Some U.S. banks deal in currency exchange and some don’t. To be sure, don’t expect to count out a stack of American money at the gas pump unless you like to lose. Vendors tend to like calling it even, or very near even, so they can cash in any U.S. currency they pull in for the positive exchange rates.

A Loonie in your pocket

Interestingly, Canadian currency comes in forms, unlike those of U.S. money. For instance, the all-metal Loonie is the same as our one dollar bill. George Washington here is an image of a common loon there. Thus the tag of Loonie. The metal dollar was introduced in Canada in 1987 and you can bet that a pocket full of Loonies is a load — and so is a pocket full of Toonie (two-loonie) coins, the two-dollar version of the Loonie.

Metric weights

Now, move on to additional weights and measure considering that Canada, like the rest of world, is on the metric system and we are not. Gas is priced per liter and there are 4.546 liters in an Imperial gallon. In the roundest of comparisons, an Imperial gallon is very much like five U.S. quarts.

Actually, a more exact comparison equates to one Imperial gallon being the same as 1.2 U.S. gallons and one U.S. gallon is the same as 3.8 liters. Go figure. Sorry, but most fifth graders already know this stuff.

Some additional comparisons include one liter equals 1.06 quarts, .26 gallons, or 2.1 pints. On dry land, one meter is equal to 3.3 feet or 1.09 yards, which means that the yard stick you scrounged at the fair last year won’t make it as a substitute for a meter stick.

How far?

Let’s skip the weight comparisons, but move on to the miles to kilometers. One hundred miles is the same as 160.9 kilometers and 100 kilometers is as far as 62.1 miles. So in quick, no paper and no calculator terms, a road sign that reads 200 kilometers can be interpreted as about 120 miles. (kilometers times .6).

It’s how many degrees?

So you wake one morning on your Canadian trip and hear the DJ on the local radio station report that it’s going to be a real burner of a summer day with a high of 29 degrees. As you wake up, you come to realize that temperatures are given in Celsius, so multiply the 29 by 9, divide by 5, and add 32.

That or just go with the flow, expect a warm day and be thankful that a dozen worms is a dozen worms here and there.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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