During my time in residence at the University of Manitoba, I discovered how much my friends on the Prairies looked to their American neighbours more than Ontario as their closest friends.
Mall of America was the place to go for a weekend trip, not Thunder Bay or anywhere in Ontario. The connections between the cultures of the northern plains states and the Prairie provinces are stronger than what I’ve seen in the border communities of Ontario.
A unique aspect of these connection are the reciprocity agreements for tuition between the various jurisdictions that cross International lines.
Minnesota Public Radio recently covered the agreement between Minnesota and Manitoba that allows residents of both jurisdictions to attend public universities on either side of the border at the “in-state/in-province” tuition rate.