Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Border blues: A year without Canadians

Canada flagI had hoped to get back to Canada sometime in the last year. I wanted to bring my family to Montreal and to some natural areas in Quebec and Ontario — maybe even visit the Maritimes for the first time. We got our son his first passport in preparation.

Oh well. I know that our continent and world have suffered much worse than I have in the last year. Canada will be there for us some other summer. No biggie.

I suppose the same could be said for Canadians who had plans to visit the Adirondacks. But when I asked journalist Stephen Leon to check in with some of them, he delivered a story that made me understand that the Adirondacks are more than just a one-time vacation for them. Some return to these mountains and lakes every year, religiously, just as a lot of Americans do.

As Stephen was working on the story, I recalled a friendly exchange with a Montreal man who had helped my son into a set of used skis at a Lake Placid ski swap a couple of years ago. I had caught only his nickname, and the fact that he was in town every winter weekend teaching young American skiers like my son. That was enough to ask around and learn his last name, which was enough for Stephen to locate and call him up north. He said half of his friends are Americans, thanks to his time in the Adirondacks. It’s just one guy’s story, I know, but it speaks to me about how communities of people, just like communities in nature, don’t stop at a line on a map.

Canadian flag photo courtesy of Wikimedia

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Brandon Loomis is a former Adirondack Explorer editor.

3 Responses

  1. Vanessa says:

    Yeah, this has been a bummer. Canadians are super nice and I love visiting Quebec – it is a great place to practice French and has a lot of culture. NY has also lost out on a great way to see Niagara Falls!

  2. Mac says:

    My sons wife passed recently and has some very close friends from Canada and they were very upset they could not be here for him.

  3. Naj Wikoff says:

    The border closing is brutal on families who hove loved ones on the other side. Canada does let family members which includes partners who have been in long relationships across, but once over they have to remain two weeks in quarantine and not cut the time short. The US does not offer even that in return. After an 8 month separation, as my partner had a long winter break she was able to fly (via Chicago) to Albany where I picketed her up. Three weeks later I was able to drive her to the border where she was met by a friend, and then went into quarantine. Had she flown back, she would have had to take a test in the airport, then remain in a government approved hotel for 3 days ($1,600+) waiting the results, and then gone into quarantine.

    Meanwhile, I know Canadians who have seasonal residences here and who have not been able to start in them, one gave up and sold his place. Others fly usually to New York or Boston (a direct flight), rent a car, and stay at their places dropping their rental off in Plattsburgh and hiring a taxi to take them to the boarder. US citizens can’t do the same.

    All an all it’s frustrating, understandable. Another frustration for Canadians is watching our COVID vaccine roll out and now expanding, while theirs is creeping along. Until that changes, and vaccine tick up on both sides I don’t expect it get any easier to cross the border in either direction any time soon.

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