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How does YMM stack up against…St. John’s?

Every issue we’ll compare Fort McMurray to another town or city in Canada. The facts will be quirky, off the wall, and quite interesting, just like YMM-ers. This time it’s the turn of Newfoundland’s capital.

  • St. John’s is the largest city in Newfoundland; Fort McMurray is likely the second largest city of Newfoundlanders.
  • They sell beer in convenience stores in St. John’s, which is pretty useful. Meanwhile, here at home, you can go shopping for liquor at 1:00 a.m.  
  • There are no snakes in St John’s, due to geography. There are no rats in Fort McMurray due to stringent controls. However, if a snake were accidentally brought in pregnant to the island, you’d need St. Patrick to get them out. Any doubts, ask a moose.
  • St. John’s is the oldest city in North America; Fort McMurray has been a city for 32 years. But, we have a really cool Fort in our name while yours is like an incomplete thought – St. John’s, with the possessive apostrophe and nothing to possess.
  • Newfoundland has a community named Dildo. Not kidding. This has nothing to do with St. John’s, but it presents the opportunity to make a lame Dickinsfield/Dildo joke.
  • Sorry, that joke was deleted by the good taste police.
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s has one of the finest arts departments in Canada. Keyano College might still have a semblance of an arts program by the time you read this.
  • Signal Hill is where Marconi received the first Transatlantic transmission in a blowing winter day in 1901. Supertest Hill is where truck drivers can blow their transmissions every winter.
  • St. John’s has George Street, we have Franklin Avenue. (All right they win that one.)
  • Of major Canadian cities, St. John’s is the foggiest, snowiest, wettest, windiest, and cloudiest. Fort McMurray is not.
  • According to the 2006 census, St. John’s has a visible minority/aboriginal population of less than 5%, making it the least diverse city in the country. Fort McMurray has more diversity, more than 100 different nations than nearly every other major population in Canada. We are, in fact, so diversified that we advertise this on our buses.
  • The downtown area is the cultural hub of St. John’s and a major tourist destination…Give us three years to catch up.
  • Canada’s greatest living comedian, Rick Mercer, started his stellar career in St. John’s. He has also been to Fort McMurray. (What’s the point, you might ask? Well, he was born there. He chose to come here.)
  • 200 years ago, the lesser St. John’s, Newfoundland breed of dog was actually a Labrador. Confused? Wait, there’s more. In Fort McMurray, the tar sands beetle is actually the white-spotted sawyer.
  • We have a better looking Mayor, but St. John’s Municipality promises snow clearance like so: For storms up to 25 centimeters, complete an initial cut on all streets within 12 hours following the end of the storm. Fort McMurray’s municipality has not, as yet, made a commitment.
  • St. John’s has the seaside and beaches and things. We would have if we were closer to the ocean. And we have Gregoire Lake.




Kevin has been writing for YMM since the first issue. Many of his articles have been pseudonymous, hidden behind the tags Keyano writer or YMM staff. Kevin has been a columnist for many years, working for some of the leading newspapers of the world, including the New York Times and the Devon Dispatch.