The Canadians of Vienna Series

  • The Canadians of Vienna - Patti

    This is a series of short interviews and stories of fellow Canucks, a glimpse
    into the lives of Canadians in Vienna.

     

    I was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. In 1999, I decided to study abroad for a semester in Lund, Sweden. It was there where I met my husband.
    Before I left to back home we exchanged emails and telephone numbers but it wasn't until I flew to Vienna in 2001 to visit him that we became a couple. After a long distance relationship we got married and then I moved to Vienna for what was supposed to be for 2 years.
    Now, 12 years later, I am a mom of three girls and have my own business (Quirky Seams - www.quirkyseams.com) sewing children accessories and call Vienna home.
    At the beginning it was difficult trying to adjust to the way of life, to learn the language and to understand the Viennese.
    There is a lot of things that I love about Vienna: the architecture, the parks and playgrounds across the city, Donaupark and the bike paths along the Danube (which reminds me of parts of Ottawa).
    I've met some really wonderful friends and other Canadians through the Austrian Canadian Society (www.austria-canada.com) over the past 12 years that have helped me feel more at home.
    I miss my family and friends, especially during holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also miss how friendly Canadians are, who say sorry even though it's not their fault and who wait patiently in line-ups without budding ahead.
    Let's not forget the beautiful fall colours and the snow.

  • The Canadians of Vienna - Tova

    This is a series of short interviews and stories of fellow Canucks, a glimpse
    into the lives of Canadians in Vienna.

    My name is Tova Marr and I have lived in Vienna for a total of almost 17 years. I first moved to Vienna in 1993 due to my father’s job. I attended the American International School for 4 years and at the end our post, to be honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted to return to Vienna. It was very very different in the 90’s and of course, I then met an Austrian in 2001 while living in Toronto.

    He told me he had an apartment in Vienna and I said “Sure, why not.” An incredibly romantic moment. We eloped in 2004 to Niagara Falls in January and almost died from frostbite. A few months later we moved to Vienna and it has been my home ever since. It definitely took a few years to adjust to the lack of shopping hours, the language and the god awful schnapps but now, 13 years later, I proudly call this city my home.

    What I mostly miss about Canada is the Canadian attitude towards multi-culturalism. We are an immigrant country and from the moment we hatch, we are taught to embrace different nationalities and religions. This has created a country of understanding and growth and a sense of pride. In other words, we are smug…. and rightfully so. I am happy that I get the chance to help out once in a while with The House of Canada because I think adding a little Canadiana to Vienna is just what we need.

    Vienna is an incredible city and over the years I have met amazing friends and have experienced the most incredible moments; operas, balls, hiking (in heels), beer gardens, visiting castles and Kirtagen and so on and so forth. I love walking through the city and taking in the architecture as well as the affordable alcohol.

    My one issue with this wonderful city, sadly, is the lack of autism support. Our beautiful son is 5 and is autistic and for the past 2 years, since his diagnosis, we have struggled to get help and support. Frustrated with the situation, I am currently starting my own autism center and last September, created the Autism in Vienna Facebook page. I am trying to change the system here and to create a community of specialists and parents so that we can spread autism awareness and work towards the very Canadian ideology of inclusiveness, eh. For more information about Autism in Vienna, please see: https://www.facebook.com/autisminvienna/?fref=ts

    I love this city and don’t imagine ever leaving it.

  • The Canadians of Vienna - Carmel

    This is a series of short interviews and stories of fellow Canucks, a glimpse
    into the lives of Canadians in Vienna.

    I met Christoph, who is from Graz, in Toronto. We fell in love, got engaged and came to Austria to meet his family in 2013. On that trip, I fell in love with Vienna. It was like walking through a fairytale. Everything looked so beautiful. I remember my first day in Vienna asking Christoph "Do you think we can move to Vienna for a few years?" And that's how my Vienna story began.

    I'm from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I used to live above Wanda's Pie Shop in Kensington Market. There was never a dull moment living in that market. Before that I used to live close to St. Lawrence market. And now I live a minute away from Karmelitermarkt. I've always liked living close to a market. I love food, energetic atmospheres and Karmelitermarkt on a Saturday is one of my favourite places.

    There's a lot I love about Vienna, the architecture, the parks, the bike lanes, the easy going life, the relaxed atmosphere, the cafe culture and the CAKE! But, if I could take one thing back to Toronto, it would be the transit that is always magically on time. I'm always impressed by its punctuality. Transit is a sad joke in Toronto compared to Vienna. And if I could bring back one thing from Toronto, it would be the friendly Canadian culture and smiling. I miss that a lot. I smile at people everyday and most of the time people give me a confused look. But for the few that smile back, they make my day. I want to make Vienna smile more.

  • The Canadians of Vienna - Paul

    This is a series of short interviews and stories of fellow Canucks, a glimpse
    into the lives of Canadians in Vienna.

    I was born and raised on the south shore of Montreal where street hockey was a common sight. Go Habs Go...My dad is from Austria and grew up in Vienna and my Mom is from a small village in rural Québec. After spending a summer working at Expo 2000 in Hanover and the following year traveling around Australia and New Zealand for 4 months, I decided to make use of my double citizenship and move to Vienna in 2003. My passion for traveling continued to grow as I worked for the Formula 1 Racing Paddock Club.
    I studied various subjects at University in Vienna, from Political Science to Agriculture and Environment, but never really found my niche. What was becoming clear though, is that Vienna was increasingly becoming the city I would call home. The historical background, architecture, culture and lifestyle of the city are what have kept me here. I also really like the more "enjoy life" motto which my friends have. Spontaneously meeting up for a beer, or going for dinner to one of Vienna's many delicious "Gasthäuser". The expansion of Vienna's bike paths, as well as the many green spaces which the city has, make it easy for me to use my bike 365 days a year!
    I'm a big hockey fan, and really miss playing pick up hockey with friends on Saturdays on those rinks which they set up during the winter around the city in Montreal.

  • The Canadians of Vienna - Naomi

    This is a series of short interviews and stories of fellow Canucks, a glimpse
    into the lives of Canadians in Vienna.

    My first trip to Vienna was in 2003. It was a surprise from my boyfriend who drove from Frankfurt to Vienna to explore the city for a few days. The grandiose impression of the small golden city that was the seat of an empire stayed with me as I was searching for a Master's program in sustainable architecture a few years later. I found a program at the TUWien that taught in English and moved to Vienna in 2007.
    I enjoy how the city is planned and how it constantly evolves. Vienna is a dynamic and compact city that has an immense cultural history and scene. There are both seasonal events and new ones are constantly being added, so there is always something to do. There is also a quickly evolving gastronomical scene with new restaurants and cafés to discover.
    The city is planned on a pedestrian-basis making it easy to do daily errands on foot like going to the post, supermarket, bank, etc., which is something I use to dream about at home; I always wanted to be able to walk to different places, but Toronto has a larger scale, and it is often impractical to walk from place to place.
    I like how the districts have distinct characters and discovering new details.
    I miss the open acceptance of different people in Canada. Diversity is positive and we accept each other for our personal characters. Cultural background is secondary.

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