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15 Canadian Stereotypes: What’s True and What’s Way Off Base

Some would call us the nicest people on Earth, Canadians. But do we all say “eh”? Here is what you need to know about Canadian stereotypes.

Canadian Stereotypes

As a Canadian, I know all about the stereotypes we’re given. I didn’t believe them until I went on a trip to Europe, where I noticed no one apologized for bumping into you and you locked your front door during the day. I started thinking, where the fuck am I from? Some fuddy-duddy country? People lock their doors here! But then I realized, the stereotypes about Canadians are probably the best ones to have. We’re friendly, we’re relaxed and we say sorry. I mean, most people wish they had Canadian stereotypes in their country.

The truth about Canadian stereotypes

But it’s time that I showed you all the Canadian stereotypes. Some will make me cringe and if you were Canadian, you’d be shaking your head in dismay as well.

So let’s get these Canadian stereotypes out in the open and debunked. Because if there’s one thing you should know, it’s that I don’t live in an igloo.

I’m sorry, eh.

#1 It’s winter 365 days a year. It’s not. Sure, some parts have horrible winters and sometimes they reach cities like Vancouver, but just like the rest of the world, we have spring, summer, and fall. But do believe me when I say, when it gets cold, it gets f*cking cold. [Read: Cozy date ideas for when it’s freezing outside]

#2 We all know each other. We don’t. Don’t ask me if I know Tom from Montreal. I don’t. You may think that Canada is small, but it’s actually really big. Though there are only 33 million people living in Canada, we’re spread out from coast to coast. So, sorry. Sorry, Tom.

#3 We love our social freedom. Who wouldn’t love free healthcare, gay marriage, subsidized college/university, and the ability to smoke weed in public? Most Canadians do lean towards the left when it comes to funding social programs. Though Canada isn’t all chipper, we do have poverty and wealth inequality just like many other countries.

#4 We say “aboot.” I don’t know about this one. I say about. However, people tell me I say aboot. This apparently comes from our British ancestry. Over time, our accent changed and we developed the Canadian accent which includes saying about like “aboot”. Though, I still think we say about. [Read: The 26 naughtiest things to say in a foreign language]

#5 We all speak French. We don’t. Unless it’s that phrase from the Lady Marmalade song, “Voulez vous coucher avec moi?” Thanks, Christina Aguilera. But no, sadly, we don’t all know how to speak French. I did learn it in school since it’s our second language. However, the only place where people speak French is in Quebec.

#6 We all smoke weed. Well, it’s not my fault we grow some of the best weed in the world. What did you think we were going to do, let it go to waste? The marijuana industry in Canada is huge.

I’m from Vancouver, so, naturally, I must say that B.C. bud is the best bud in the world. If you smoke weed in public, nothing is going to happen to you. It’s relaxed when it comes to that.

#7 Tim Hortons. Hmm, how do I put this? Tim Hortons is like America’s Starbucks. Okay, we have Starbucks as well, but Tim Hortons is like “the average Joe” place to get coffee and donuts.

Canadians aren’t pretentious, we just want an honest cup of coffee and a glazed donut. If you ever make it to Tim Hortons and order a coffee, ask for a “double-double.” That’s a little Canadian slang for double cream, double sugar. What a rush of knowledge.

#8 It’s all about the good ole hockey game. Sure, we have other sports like soccer, curling, ringette. But our true love is hockey. Even if you’re not a fan, when they Playoffs start, you pick a team and cheer them on. This doesn’t mean we can all skate though. I can’t even stand on ice. So though we love the sport, most of us appreciate from off the ice.

#9 We apologize for everything. I didn’t know that other countries don’t apologize or thank their bus drivers while getting off the bus. I only found that out after I went overseas and saw that no one gave a fuck.

But in Canada, we apologize for everything, even if we didn’t do it. You know you’re truly Canadian when two people bump into each other and they both start apologizing. [Read: How to be an adult: 15 mature ways to grow up and behave like one]

#10 We’re proud we’re not Americans. Have you seen what’s going on down there? I would like to say proudly, that we were always proud to not be American. We just chose not to announce it obnoxiously. If you ask a Canadian if they’re American, trust me, they’ll nicely correct you. Maybe even cringe at the mistake you made. But then they’ll apologize.

 #11 “Eh”. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. We say eh. I believe it’s the first word we learn coming out of our mother’s womb. I say eh at the end of almost every sentence or when I’m asking a question. It’s similar to American’s saying “huh”, but it’s better. Eh is sweet, it’s cheeky, and homey. You can’t offend someone when you use eh at the end of your sentence. [Read: How to make yourself happy: 20 habits of incredibly happy people]

#12 Maple syrup on everything. Maple syrup is an essential in any Canadian home. Next to the ketchup is the maple syrup. That little bottle of tree juice is the best thing that’s ever touched my lips. You can put it on pancakes, waffles, bacon. You can put that shit on everything. If you’ve never tried maple syrup, well, that’s a crying shame.

#13 We live in igloos. We don’t. Maybe some people up in the tundra do, however, I live in a wooden house. Gasp! Yes, we have wooden houses! I hear this stereotype so much that I don’t even laugh at it anymore, I’m more concerned about this person’s level of education. Where would we keep our laptops if we lived in an igloo? Plus, our maple syrup would freeze!

#14 We don’t feel cold. This is partially true. I don’t feel coldness anymore. Maybe it’s due to my pathetic dating life or maybe it’s because I’m used to cold Canadian winters.

However, most people live along the Canadian border and not up in the tundra. So, most people don’t know what true coldness is, but, we sure don’t bundle up like our neighbors down south *a.k.a. the USA*. [Read: 20 perfectly romantic winter breaks]

#15 Everyone owns a toque. If you’re not sure what a toque is, well, do you know what a beanie is? It pains me to say beanie as it’s the most unattractive word to use for a winter hat. The minute you step into Canadian territory, you’ll see a plethora of toques on people’s heads. It not only keeps our heads warm but have you seen us? We look hot in them.

[Read: 15 reasons why you should travel at least once a year]

Sure, these Canadian stereotypes are a little odd. But, God damnit, after writing about these stereotypes, I realize I’m proud to be Canadian.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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