Village of the Small Houses: A Memoir of Sorts– Ian Ferguson

Oh Canada! Our home and native land…

You might be wondering why I know the lyrics to the Canadian National Anthem and it’s because I like to think I have a little Canadian in me. I grew up very close to Canada and have been many times. Hell, one of my dorm rooms in college would hit Canadian cell towers! Plus, whenever I’m in DC and in other travels people always tell me I sound Canadian!

It’s been awhile. Too long really. About a year since my last post and then a year since the one before that. The pandemic has caused a complete shift in my routine and I’ve been trying to get back into reading more regularly. I have quite the queue of books to get through. I hope to be posting more regularly than once a year but I guess time will tell on that one!

For this Canada’s read, I choose the Village of Small Houses by Ian Ferguson. Ferguson is a native Canadian and is well known for other works such as How to be Canadian. I really enjoyed this book! Ferguson is a great writer, includes good detail, and moments to make you laugh. He pulls in so many elements of family and growing pains and puts it in the rural context of his childhood. I deeply related on some levels, and was totally the opposite on others. Books that make you feel at home and teach you something new are always so great. I wholeheartedly suggest this book as another way to learn about Canada that’s not through the lens of any of it’s cities. 

Ironically, that’s really all I know of Canada. I’ve been to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls many, many times. I have been to Toronto a bunch of times too. And the places on the drive in between. Here’s what I’ll mention about both.

If you haven’t been to Niagara Falls and are planning a visit, skip the US and head over the border. The Canadians keep it classy and cute over there. I still don’t know how the US has let our side down. (And yes, I can criticize since I lived in that city for 4 years.) Nonetheless, whatever side you’re looking from, you will see how magnificent- and dangerous- nature can be. 

Toronto! I was running through the 6 with my woes…  Damn, I LOVE that city. Love it. Since the onset of the pandemic and spending time at my parents I have wanted to go visit Toronto many times. It’s just a low-key city with friendly people. I went there for New Years Eve a few years ago and although the bars were packed people were super friendly. It was almost weird until you forget where you came from. 

I’ll include some photos from below and will hopefully be back soon with another country crossed off our list! 🙂

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