The 3 kindest business owners I met in Canada
Canada is known for the kindness of its people. Allow me to suggest they are really underselling it. I’ve seen kindness before, even kindness to strangers. And that’s the real tell. But Canadians upped the bar. Let me tell you three stories that warmed my heart this year.
Jim and Linda at Bayview in Alma, NB
I was on a camping trip when we heard hurricane Dorian was going to hit the Caribbean and even we were going to feel it in the Maritime Provinces. So, on very short notice we were booked into two chalets and 2 motel rooms at Bayview.
Jim and Linda made me feel like we were the only guests there. Not only that, they made me feel like family. It was pouring rain, wind was gusting, trees falling in Fundy National Park, sheds collapsing when we arrived. They drove us and our luggage up the hill to the cottages. And then all my camping equipment. Box by Box. (I was cooking for 12 people, 3 meals a day, on a propane stove, so we had a lot of food and kitchenware for 2 nights).
Jim offered me to use the propane grill on the porch. Even went to find me an adapter to my camping stove.
They had prepared the rooms in case the electricity would go out: drinking water in the fridge, tub filled with flush water, candles, a radio to communicate with them. They even brought us wine!!
The morning of departure they arrived at the door at 8am sharp with their golf carts to help us move all the boxes and the luggage back down the hill. Load by load. It took 30 minutes.
It’s this sort of kindness and hospitality that luxury hotels around the world are trying to teach their staff. And so often still fall slightly short of genuine concern for their guests. They saved the tour.
I went back to see Jim and Linda this month and was greeted with the same generosity and warmth. Forever grateful.
Mike at Cabot Trail Adventures
In the summer we rented bikes from Mike at Cabot Trail Adventures for two tours. He must be one of the most patient and level headed people I ever met. When the group was happy with their choice of bikes, fitted and briefed, I was the only one left behind. Time to take care of my van.
One of the back-up chains that secures the trailer to the van had broken that morning. I told Mike and he immediately offered to go look for a link. There were only three places it could be and he was sort of sure he had one.
He emerged from his search soon after, having found one in the first place he looked. Didn’t want anything in return.
It fit perfectly and I fixed my chain. He even helped me prop up the trailer with wood blocks when I had to take it off to pick up my guests.
The second time we came was after Dorian. A huge tree in his backyard had fallen and they were still doing clean up work. We wouldn’t have known any of this! We got the same attention and service we got the first time around.
Alfred at Baird’s Memorial Campground
This one almost made me cry. Sabrina and I were traveling in our rental RV earlier this month. We got to Perth-Andover early in our trip and were still in awe of everybody else’s fires on the campsites we stayed at.
Alfred seemed almost surprised to see us arrive at his campsite that late in the season. He was getting ready to wind down operations and close for the year. He had collected wood and twigs for months and piled them up on a fire pit. His granddaughter when she was little would come visit him on the campsite. One summer a long time ago they built a throne for King Alfred. She likes fires too, so they would make big fires all the time and watch them from the throne.
The little girl grew up. The wooden throne is slowly starting to fall apart. Alfred is still there, collecting wood for a fire.
And just before he left for the day, he lit his last fire of the year. For Sabrina and myself. Because he knew we would appreciate it.
Were you ever touched by the kindness of strangers? I would love to hear your stories! Comment below!
Truly amazing stories! This does two things. 1) makes me remember the many times and when I been the grateful recipient of the kindness of strangers and 2) encourages me to be kind to strangers myself. As you said, this is what the hotels are still trying to train their workers to do. However, I do not think that the extra mile is ever a tolled mile. Canada is indeed a place to experience these simple, timely, and life changing experiences!