Lots of perks when you live in a home in Houlton Maine, are at a border crossing for New Brunswick Canada.
To take advantage of the healthy US dollar exchange rate with the loonies, toonies and the other Canadian currency swap for goods or services.
At the time of the blog post, the exchange rate for a Canadian dollar in the US is .71.
I remember buying a Seadoo in Canada when the currency exchange rate was closer to .60 cents on the US dollar.
They did not sell them in my hometown so heading elsewhere I can still sleep nights wearing my Chamber of Commerce hat on straight. For sneaking out of town to reel in a bargain.
The steady decline of the two US and Canada "dollars" due to low fossil fuel barrel costs and how big a part energy prices play on the economic climate in the land of the red maple leaf. I am about as close as you can get to Atlantic Canada, the St John, the Atlantic Ocean whether the US or Canadian side of the international boundary line.
The downside of a lower value on what Canadian shop with on this side of the border is it hurts Maine merchants. Who rely on the cross border trade traffic big time.
No matter what color or kind of currency for the cash and carry. Thank you very much. Come again please.
Feast or famine like Maine farming.
Where a good year is one you break even, or where someone else had a disaster, crop failure far far away. With bad luck and poor weather messing up the simple farmstead way of life.
But the set back elsewhere. It creates the opportunity to send your produce, farm product to wherever the down and out farmer used to send his agriculatural wares.
There is a silver lining if you look at the poor exchange a little differently.
Canadians that used to travel outside their borders with belt tighening, they look for in country Canadian vacation options. To avoid taking the hit at the US registers or wherever they decide to sail off to for their R and R holidays unplug to recharge getaway.
Low cost oil prices in Canada make our gas costs lower.
Which makes Americans, Mainers venture into the provinces.
As a border town in Maine, with Canada at our doorstep it is a good time to have your passport, Nexus card current to hit the road.
Kids with the same or birth certificates also can enjoy travel into Canada too.
I like to ski in Canada at Crabbe Mountain.
When our real estate property listing buyers on this side of the Maine border ask "is it safe being this close to Canada", I shake my head. Smile to myself. Knowing my Dad's mom, Nana was 100 percent Canadian. My kid's great grandmother was too. So we are all distilled down to be at least a third Canadian in my calculations.
No danger being this close to Canada at all. Except at Thanksgiving where you snooze and may loose that Tom Turkey. That like milk, Houlton Farms Dairy butter and our lower cost cast is heading across the border to a Canadian household. If you don't lasso it and toss it in the wired, four wheel shopping cart quick enough.
We are related to Canadians and the ties go back and forth, both directions. Long, deep, lasting relationships exist in the border extension. My secretary is pure Canadian and married a Houlton Maine boy.
We are all related. All are friends and family and we are lucky to be on a border for the cultural exchange, the free trade barriers relaxed.
So if you are moving to Maine, wonder about should you go into Canada, why not? Heck yes.
Make the trip and experience a beautiful country that is sparsely populated like Maine. California has more population than all of Canada combined. That means wide open space, natural resources unspoiled by man just like here in Maine, Vacationland.
As a kid trips to Quebec City during winter carnival were fun.
Staying at the Chateau Frontinac. Listening to French, trying to learn some of the language as a kid. Tobogganing down the ice grooved long lanes like a luge racer. Down a hill or ice skating in circles on park outdoor rinks. Heading through Jackman Maine to get there from this side of the border to winter carnival happenings in Quebec City.
Canadian trips happen a lot as a Maine border town. Why not?
Because the US - Canadian border is less than 3 miles away, and ten minutes total after leaving our yard, we can be in Woodstock New Brunswick.
If the itch to leave the country to go out to eat hits, hop in the car and let's go. Roll down your window at the port of entry of either country comingor going and answer the simple questions. Easy peasy. If not long line.
There is a three plex movie theatre in Woodstock, lots of places to eat options eh?
Two boys playing hockey growing up meant you had to be heading east to Canada. Up and down the Trans Canada to hit wherever the ice arena next on the roster was.
You return to sample other activities of the Canadian border towns because of the kids causing the initial trips across the US - Canadian border. Funny how the kids pull you into lots of fun endeavors in sports, school growing up in small town Maine.
Learn more about living in Maine.
About Houlton Maine, a border town to Canada like Madawaska, Calais, Fort Fairfield, Limestone, Van Buren, Bridgewater, Fort Kent and many more. Houlton is the County Seat of Aroostook County. Woodstock New Brunswick, Canada is part of Carleton County.
Lots of border crossing options between Maine and Canada. Our side a little heavily fortified and the process tighter going back and forth across the US / Canada border crossing.
Also, one more think to be grateful for that took a long time to resolve. Where was the border of Maine and Canada?
I'm glad we worked out the kinks of the Canadian / Maine / US border too during the Bloodless Aroostook War. So we can all be friends now and cross border hop and shop.
MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine 04730