Top 10 Canadian Stereotypes That Are Actually True

Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean.

There are many common Canadian stereotypes we’re all tired of hearing. Whether it’s that all Canadian citizens eat exclusively at Tim Hortons, all Canadians play hockey or all Canadians live in igloos, these misconceptions about Canadians are played out – but hilarious! In honor of Canada’s 150th Anniversary on July 1st, 2017, WatchMojo counts down ten stereotypes of Canada that are pretty funny.

Special thanks to our users Erik Zarins, drewbrown, marvel14, coolfun11, meldigsthestrokes and Bilal Kaakati for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Stereotypes%20of%20Canada

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Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean.

Top 10 Canadian Stereotypes That Are Mostly True


Come along as we investigate the elusive, often misunderstood, mysterious people of the Great White North. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Stereotypes of Canada.

For this list, we’re looking at the most popular myths and most widespread stereotypes about Canada and Canadians. This is all in good fun, of course, so if you don’t like it, take off hoser!

#10: Canadians Live Off of Tim Hortons

Geez, you get one big coffee franchise in your country, and the whole world starts thinking it’s your primary source of sustenance. It’s true: few chains are more prolific in the Great White North than Tim Horton’s: as of 2013, Canada’s homegrown coffee franchise had over 3000 locations nationwide; more than double the 1,400 McDonald’s franchises in the country in 2014. But while Tim’s reigns supreme when it comes to Double-Doubles, Iced Capps, bagels and doughnuts, Canadians don’t really go there for their meals. Even so, Timmy’s is inextricably linked to Canadiana. After all: nothing’s more Canadian than a fast-food restaurant founded by a hockey player.

#9: All Canadians Are (or Dress Like) Lumberjacks

Canada’s lumber industry is a big one, playing a major role in the country’s economy… but they’ve kept up with technological advancements, and therefore, very little actual axe swinging takes place. You likely have many machine operators and sawmill workers… but outside of lumberjack competitions, very few people employed in the logging industry would call themselves “lumberjacks” unless they’re trying to get laid. However, lumberjack fashion…is a bit more of a gray area: we’re all for the plaid shirts, cozy scarves and well-worn jeans. Plus, lumber-beards are great during those long Canadian winters. Bring on the lumbersexuals, eh!

#8: All Canadian Police Officers Wear Mountie Uniforms

On the subject of Canadian fashion, most cops in Canada dress similarly to their American counterparts: they’re the boys and girls in blue. Sure, Dudley Do-Right was a Mountie and helped popularize that particular garb, but he’s far from representative of law enforcement across the nation. The “baggy on top, straight at the bottom” dark blue pants (called jodhpurs), bright red jacket and campaign hat are only worn by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or “Mounties” for short. And even then, Mounties only wear this outfit, known as the “Red Serge,” on formal occasions – as you can imagine, it’s not the ideal crime-fighting outfit. For day-to-day operations, they sport much more conventional police attire.

#7: Canadians Put Maple Syrup on Everything

Maple syrup is delicious. Given that it comes from maple trees, and that the “maple leaf” is the symbol of Canada, Canadians have no one to blame but themselves for this stereotype. The average probably Canadian wouldn’t be caught dead putting “pancake syrup” on their flapjacks or waffles – that artificial stuff is pretty much sacrilege in syrup country. But… most Canadians aren’t taking shots of maple syrup and whiskey at the bar, or mixing it into their breakfast cereal either. Maple syrup is much more of a Quebec obsession than a Canada-wide one, but even in that province, tourists visiting from abroad are much more likely to abuse the sweet stuff than locals.

#6: Canadians Have Pet Polar Bears, Moose and/or Beavers

No, contrary to popular belief, Canadians are not master exotic pet wranglers. Keeping a polar bear is like keeping a pet lion or tiger, as in; it’s a terrible idea for the average individual and the quickest route to the ER or morgue. Moose, which can grow up to 5 feet tall, weigh up to 1600 lb and walk away from an accident with an SUV, would make equally terrible pets. Beavers are admittedly kinda cute, and sure, a few oddballs may keep one as a pet, but they’re hardly common in households, and would likely wreak havoc on hardwood furniture. In fact, the average Canadian probably hasn’t even seen many of these animals outside of a zoo.

#5: Canadians Live in Igloos

This stereotype is a pretty outdated one, so hopefully the average non-Canadian person knows it’s false. But to any remaining believers: you realize that Canadians have electricity, right? And cars, and televisions, and, like… skyscrapers and stuff? They also have a major lumber industry – meaning plenty of wood to build homes. Oh, Canada also gets a little season called “summer,” bringing with it all the usual summer fun, like warm weather and a distinct lack of snow – the crucial ingredient needed to build an igloo. In short, the average Canadian does not live in an igloo and has likely never even spent a night in one.

#4: All Canadians Play Hockey

To be fair, Canadians do kind of kill it when it comes to hockey. Despite the fact that American NHL franchises outnumber Canadian teams by more than 3 to 1, roughly half of the players in the National Hockey League are Canadian. We’d be lying if we said that hockey isn’t incredibly popular in Canada, and it is inseparably intertwined with the nation’s cultural identity. The world’s first recorded, organized indoor hockey game took place in Montreal, a city that would go on to form what’s considered the first official hockey club. However, kids in Canada play football more than hockey for the same reason football’s so popular around the world – it’s much more affordable and accessible.

#3: Canadians Apologize WAY Too Much

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if this were true, not only in Canada, but everywhere? Imagine a society where people always took responsibility for things rather than passing the buck. Sadly, this overly apologetic utopia remains a fantasy, even in Canada. Yes, Canadians do apologize a lot, often saying “sorry” instead of “excuse me.” If two Canadians bump into one another, they’re both likely to apologize. But this tendency to constantly apologize, or the accompanying myth that all Canadians are super nice, is only limited to benign situations. Canadians still argue, have road rage, get into fights and stubbornly refuse to apologize. Any visitors would do well to remember that – sorry, but it’s the truth.

#2: Canada Is Always Cold

We already touched on this when setting the whole “igloo thing” straight, but Canada is not an eternally frigid wasteland of ice and snow. Yes, the sparsely populated far north is quite cold – like, it literally reaches into the arctic. And across the board, Canadian winters can result in many feet (or centimeters) of snow, as well as months upon months of subzero temperatures. But Canadian summers get plenty hot. The average high during the summer months in major Canadian cities like Montreal and Toronto reaches into the high 70s and low 80s – or, for you Canadians out there, the high-20s/low-30s. No one’s gonna call Canada a tropical paradise, but “always cold” is an unfair assessment of its weather.

#1: All Canadians Say “Eh” a Lot

Some Canadians do say “eh”... quite often. But a quick tip for travellers: they don’t find it interesting when you point it out. That’s a great way to get punched by a Canadian and then hear him or her NOT apologize. “Eh” is often used in the same context that Americans say “huh?” or “right?” – at the end of a sentence as a way to invite a confirmation. It can also be used to replace “pardon?” In reality, many cultures have an equivalent interjection. In Canada, the use of “eh” is very regional – some populations use it frequently, others almost never. After all, Canada’s a big country, eh?
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