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You know you're from Northwest Ontario when...

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You know you're from Northwest Ontario when...

Boating on Sioux Narrows • Credit: Gerry Cariou

How many of these do you know?

Far from Toronto, and close to Manitoba, Northwest Ontario has its own unique sayings and ways of doing things.

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Up here, Northwest Ontario is known as God's Country. If you've been here, you know why. You may also know are some of the things unique to Northwest Ontario or maybe not. How many of these do you do or say?. 

You’re going to “camp” this weekend

Meaning your personal cottage or cabin. Many other areas say they are "going to the cottage," but here it's a "camp".

It’s a “Social,” not a Stag and Doe

When a couple is getting married, their bridal party usually throws them a big party beforehand to help them out with the cost of their wedding. In many places, it’s called a Stag and Doe or a Jack and Jill, but in Northwest Ontario, it’s called a “social.”

You can’t have frozen fries anymore

It probably started with the yummy fresh, hand-cut fries from Ye Olde Chip Truck, which has been in business for over 50 years. But now, it’s really hard to go into a restaurant in Northwest Ontario and not expect fresh, hand-cut homemade french fries. Luckily, most restaurants in the area offer them!

You know how to drive a boat

Long before you can drive a car. 

It’s a walleye, not a pickerel

Growing up, we called those sweet-tasting fish "pickerel," like they do in Southern Ontario. Somewhere along the way, we started calling them walleye, like the Americans do. Whatever you call them, they are delicious!

Kelly Haskett with a nice walleye from Anderson's Lodge

You have a “Kenora Dinner jacket”

The trend has caught on and now even the Canadian athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics seem to have followed suit, but for years we’ve called it the Kenora Dinner Jacket. #kenoradinnerjacket

A post shared by The Seasons Shop (@seasons_kenora) on

May 2-4

The May Long weekend is often called May 2-4. Why? Well, the annual holiday is historically a national holiday to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday which was on May 24th. However, I think it’s really about the 24 pack of beers many northerners consume that weekend. Which leads me to…


A two-four is a case of beer. When you hear, “Please pick me up a two-four,” it means to buy a 24-pack of beer. 

You go camping May Long (May 2-4)

And you go whether it’s snowing or not!

Photo: My Red Lake

You wear flip flops much earlier in the season than anywhere else

If it’s above freezing you know you'll undoubtedly find someone wearing flip flops (or thongs, as they are sometimes called). 

You get excited about the return of the seagulls

Once they migrate back to the area, you know spring is near.

You own a “snowmachine”

Although when I was a kid we’d go "Ski-Dooing," and some of the younger generations now also call them “sleds," we all go sledding.

We cheer for the Winnipeg Jets and not the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Sure, some people have their other favourite teams, but being so close to Winnipeg, as opposed to Toronto, we cheer for them as our home team. 

Do you know any other things we do in Northwest Ontario that are not so common elsewhere?

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