This is
Ben Kolls (1972)

Country of Origin

Lives in
Bos en Lommer

In the Netherlands since


Board games and martial arts

Maple syrup! The first maple syrup of the season is always the best. In eastern Canada, there is a winter tradition where friends and family will gather at a ‘sugar shack’. There the maple tree sap is boiled down to syrup in huge cauldrons over a fire. You can take a spoonful of this warm syrup outside and pour it into the clean snow, roll it up onto a stick while it hardens, and you have maple taffy. Delicious!

Canada in Amsterdam
The Amsterdamse bos

Still would like to
Organise a big public board game event

Love brought me to the Netherlands in 2002. I had met a girl from Bergen. We lived there for the first two years before moving to Amsterdam.

There are subtle differences between Canada and the Netherlands, as both are western cultures. What I miss the most about Canada is the space. Where I grew up there fifty metres stood between my house and the nearest neighbours, plus a huge garden and expansive potato field. I’ve really had to get used to the sheer volumes of people living and working in Amsterdam. You can easily see that life goes on 24/7. Amsterdam is always light. At night you can hardly see the stars.

Canadians are generally very obliging. A few years ago my wife and I went to Canada on holiday. We had driven for hours and my wife offered to swap with the driver. We stopped and put on the warning lights to play safe. Another driver immediately stopped behind us to ask if we were OK. My wife was quite surprised, while for me it was just expected behaviour. This simple kindness, this care for others, is I think extremely typical of Canadians.

What I love about Amsterdam is that the world is literally at your feet. Within five minutes I can cycle to an entire selection of interesting and international art, culture and food. The mix of nationalities also makes Amsterdam a really special place to live in.”

1508 people in Amsterdam have the Canadian nationality


Discover other stories