Canadian Tower Climbers

tower climbers in canadaA large portion of the tower climbers in the United States are from Canada. Canada also has a thriving tower climbing industry. After all, there are many cell phone towers in the Canadian provinces. The biggest difference between what tower climbers do in the United States and what tower climbers do in the United States is the environment in which they work.

In case it has escaped anyone’s attention, Canada is generally colder than most of the US. And unlike the United States there are places in Canada which are far from habitable to the average human. The majority of cell towers in Canada reside in the southern provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec. This sounds like a lot of territory, and to some extant it is, but the upper reaches of Canada are left largely out of the cell tower equation.

This being said, it does not mean that provinces like the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not have cell phone towers, but the further was goes into the northern parts of Canada, the fewer that are found. These individual towers still need to be maintained and tested on a regular basis. The job of a tower climber is already dangerous but in the cold, sweeping Canadian winds, extra precautions must be taken.

In a place like Nunavut, several of the towers can only be reached by a combination of boat, plane, and/or dogsled. This is an arctic travel destination for many tourists, but for a tower climber it means weeks away from their families in the arctic circle. It also means seeing a part of the world which few have ever laid eyes on. The sense of adventure inspires many to tackle the climb in these extreme environments.
Another difference between tower climbing in Canada and the US is that while the US has citizens who speak different languages while the official language remains English. In the Canadian province of Quebec the official language is French. In New Brunswick both English and French are the official languages. For those working within these two provinces, they will be expected to be fluent in French, plain and simple. Even in the other provinces, those who speak French will be common business associates.

In the US, there is a Federal regulatory agencies which governs the rules and requirements for tower climbers. So, if a tower climber previously worked in Texas and moved to Massachusetts, there would be training for the new company but they would not have to relearn the rules and regulations pertaining to their job.

In Canada, each province has their own regulations and bodies which govern tower climbers. If a tower climber moves from the province of Quebec to British Columbia, it may require them to receive recertification before they can begin work. Also, if a tower climber moves from Canada to the US or vice versa, they will need to re-attain certifications. Even so, there are some things, like common sense, that are universal and will apply to the job no matter where someone works.