For many years, people in America and Canada have carried an ongoing debate about how certain things should be done. To America, certain things are weird and outlandish. In Canada, certain things Americans do, don't make sense and are a tad weird. However, both of these countries having different methods of going about things doesn't make either one wrong -- Just different! We're going into 20 of the most debated topics that are fired between both citizens and discussing, in-depth, both sides of the border.
Some of these "versus" debate is silly while others are what make each country different entirely, but they're all things that are familiar to both Canadians and Americans. It might get ugly, it might be surprising, but we can guarantee you, it'll be a fun journey. If nothing else, you'll learn some fun facts about the opposite country that you may not have known prior to reading this article. If you're planning on visiting one of these countries in the future, then you'll already be one step ahead -- And you'll know whether or not to say "eh", "huh", and what to expect when you ask for a pizza with all the toppings. Don't know what we mean? Keeping reading to get the inside scoop on everyday life in these two drastically different countries.
19 Bagged Milk vs. Milk Cartons
In the US, bagged milk is not something that's seen very often. In fact, it's not something that's seen at all... Milk in America comes in paper cartons which has two jobs: To properly seal the milk for a week or several, depending on the type of milk, and to prevent sunlight from penetrating the container and affecting the product. In Canada, many stores sell milk in bags because it just stays fresh, can be stored in various ways, and is kept fresh with a vacuum seal. The biggest question is how to pour it once the bag has been opened, which has officially been answered in the photo above... Now, the only question is which country has better cereal?
18 No Middle School vs. Mandatory Middle School
Just because Canada doesn't have middle schools doesn't mean that they simply skip grades six through nine. Instead, Canada breaks their education down into grade (elementary) school and high school. In the US, grade school usually runs from kindergarten to fifth grade before kids will enter middle school in sixth grade. Around ninth or tenth grade, kids will graduate and go onto high school, where they'll finish up and go to college -- or university, as it's referred to in Canada. Which method of school system works better is usually personal opinion but, for the most part, the education is very similar.
17 Gravy-Soaked Poutine vs. "Disco" Fries
Unless you're hanging out in upstate New York or Vermont, chances are that you're not likely to run into poutine -- Which is basically God's culinary gift to earth. Poutine consists of warm, crunchy french fries underneath squeaky cheese curds, covered with a river of steaming gravy. The combination is pure magic and should really be served everywhere. In the US, you might find something called disco fries, which is almost the same thing. Rather, you'll end up with similar fries that are covered with gravy and then topped with melted mozzarella. It doesn't take a culinary expert to tell you which one is probably better.
16 Tim Horton's Coffee vs. Starbucks Coffee
Starbucks might as well be the national symbol of America since these coffee shops are everywhere and have become so ingrained in American culture. What's referred to as "basic" by the current generation, consists of a plethora of flavored coffees and drinks, most with an espresso base to start. Tim Horton's, which is what you'll find all over most parts of Canada, is their go-to for a coffee fix. Here, you'll find some good, 'ol fashioned coffee that just tastes delicious. Depending on whether you enjoy crazy flavored lattes or can appreciate a good cup of unflavored Joe, either of these is great options.
15 Two National Languages vs. One Language: English
In America, there's not much need to have more than one national language. What was once referred to as the "melting pot" gave birth to one universal language that was created in order for everyone to understand each other. In Canada, as we're sure you've heard of the term French-Canadian, there's a need for two major languages. Quebec is home to many French-speakers as is Montreal, however, Nova Scotia sees plenty of English-speakers as it's a hot spot for those who make the big move north of the border. While the school systems in America do teach other languages such as Spanish, French, Russian, German, and even Latin, the national language isn't changing anytime soon.
14 Maple Syrup On Everything vs. Maple Syrup On Pancakes And Waffles Only
The only exception to this rule is Vermont, which we might as well just call "mini Canada" at this point. Vermont makes its own maple syrup, similar to how Canada makes it and mass produces it to pour on virtually anything. It's been rumored that they even have a backup plan to supply the world with syrup should we ever find ourselves an apocalyptic scenario -- Now, that's what we call being serious about the maple tree. Additionally, while Canadians enjoy maple syrup in plenty of dishes, in the US, people really only reach for it during breakfast time.
13 Loonie And Toonie Coins vs. Actual Dollar Bills
We're not talking about Loony-Toons -- we're talking about actual coins that bear the same names. The toonie is simply just a two-dollar coin, similar to how the US once had a half-dollar coin and the loonie refers to a one-dollar coin. In the US, coins are very rarely produced or used. However, these coins are highly coveted since only a limited number were produced during their time of use. The American half-dollar is a rarity as well and will go for a pretty penny (no pun intended), but fell out of commission much earlier on.
12 Thanksgiving In October vs. Thanksgiving In November
The biggest holiday the US sees in October is Halloween, which is more of a Hallmark and just-for-fun holiday than something that's nationally celebrated. Halloween is a combination of several traditions, taken from several different cultures, resulting in an Americanized excuse for a candy overload. The month of October means something different for Canadians, who celebrate Thanksgiving this month, when it's celebrated nationwide. The US celebrates almost exactly one month later, when it is also nationally recognized as a formal holiday and most places are closed on this day.
11 Mac 'n Cheese Toppings: Ketchup vs. Breadcrumbs
This is completely personal preference but it's a blast to debate. First of all, we should clarify that mac 'n cheese isn't called "Kraft mac 'n cheese" in Canada -- It's called a KD or a "Kraft dinner". The ingredient list is also slightly different, which could explain why the dish is eaten with such drastically different condiment choices. In America, you'll see that most mac 'n cheese dishes are covered with a layer of breadcrumbs to add to what's already a carb-city meal. In Canada, you'll find that most people eat their cheesy pasta with a spritz of ketchup over the top.
10 Canadian Bacon vs. Strips Of Bacon
Hilariously enough, while sliced bacon is prevalent in America, you will still be served Eggs Benedict with a slice of Canadian bacon rather than the previously mentioned bacon. In Canada, you can also get both, but their version of this back-slab is similar to a thick slice of ham. This meat is from the back of the pig and is often much, much more lean than the bacon that Americans know, which is from a larger portion of slab bacon. Both are usually cured (although they can be smoked) and are prepared in very much the same way -- fried or baked.
9 Hockey vs. Baseball
America takes their sports very, very seriously. There are entire Sundays and Monday nights devoted to football, weeknights devoted to baseball games, and pub hops devoted to hockey. Sports broadcasting is a major career and athletes make absurd paychecks and devote their entire lives to ensuring their skills are continually perfected. In Canada, the emphasis on sports just isn't the same. While hockey is popular and fans are very serious about their games, the passion is nowhere near how it is in the US. Additionally, sports such as lacrosse as well as winter sports share the spotlight and are more popular than baseball or football.
8 Caramilk Candy vs. Snickers
If you live in the US, it's likely that you've never even seen this candy in your life. Caramilks, along with several other delicious chocolately goodies, are not permitted to be sold in the US. Rather, America has things such as Snickers, Twix, Kit-Kats, Reeses, etc. The Cadbury brand as a whole is much more popular in Europe than it is in the US, and the most you'll find in America are Cadbury eggs. While it is seemingly unfair, it's not unusual for one country to have different types of candy and chocolate than the next. For example, in Australia, you'll find that candy is called "lollies" and doesn't look anything like the candy we're used to on the opposite side of the globe.
7 Canadian Winter vs. American Winter
Canada is often the brunt of many a winter-themed joke, especially in America. While the US has states that see brutal winters such as upstate New York, Minnesota, Maine, etc., Canada sees harsh winters all over. These temperatures and frigid conditions become even more harsh the further north you go, however, Canadians are fully-equipped to deal with them. In the US, Americans are a bit sheltered from temperatures that dip below zero, while Canadians consider parkas to be a routine part of life when it comes to their winter months. It's an amusing, yet undeniable difference between the two.
6 Using The Metric System vs. No Metric System
Prepare to be confused -- We're talking measuring systems. When it comes to the metric system, the US is actually the country that's a bit off-kilter with its unit of measurement. The metric system is widely accepted all over the world whereas the US chooses to avoid it, likely due to the preference for smaller, more easily computed measurements for architecture and construction. It can be much easier sometimes to measure a wall's height in terms of feet rather than yards, since there's less chance of decimal numbers which means complicated equations. Either that, or the US just does what it does best in its insistence on standing out.
5 Nationwide Sweet Tea vs. The Sweet Tea Debate
The only place in the US where you'll find sweet tea is below the Mason-Dixon line, where all southerners insist that there's no other way to take tea. Heck, half of them probably have tea running through their veins at this point. Iced tea is fairly popular in Canada too, though -- But the debate on whether it should be sweetened or not is a bit simpler. To Canadians, there's no such thing as unsweetened tea. For the sugar lovers out there this will come as a relief since we know that tea isn't worth drinking if it doesn't have enough sugar at the bottom to form another sugar cube.
4 "Eh" vs. "Huh"
Perhaps the most important and heated debate of the whole "Canada vs. the US" debate is the argument over saying "eh" versus "huh"... Just kidding! It is a common topic, though, so we figured we'd finally shed some light on it. There's really no logical reason behind why each country leans toward their specific sentence-ender, but it certainly makes for a telling conversation when figuring out who the American is and who's the Canadian. You will find, however, that Canadians are very specific about how their "eh" is pronounced and when it's used. Similarly, New Yorkers won't hesitate to call you out on the incorrect usage of "huh".
3 Saying "Cheers" As Goodbye vs. "Cheers" In Celebration
Canadians take a page from Europe for this one, which is exactly where their custom of saying, "cheers!" comes from. Rather than simply saying it to signal a celebratory event or notion, Canadians will say "cheers" as a "goodbye". They'll do this regardless of whether they're speaking to someone in person or on the phone and if you think about it, it's a bit of a nicer way to say farewell than just saying "bye". In America, "cheers" is simply an act and nothing more, and it's rare that Americans will actually say "cheers" as they clink their glasses together. While Canadians are giving their friends and uplifting farewell, the US throws out a "see ya later" instead.
2 Canadian Money vs. American Money
When it comes to coloring in the rainbow, there's really no comparison between American and Canadian money. While both have important historical figureheads on them, there's a very obvious distinction between the two. American money has recently been altered to include certain reflected colors, but Canadian money is just downright pretty. Each dollar is a different, vibrant shade, which makes it easy to discern one amount from the next. American money is a bit more... Well, boring, to say the least. It's very uniform, but not very much fun to look at... It sure is fun to spend, though!
1 All-Dressed Pizza vs. Pizza With Everything
Just like you'll have certain differences between north, south, western, and eastern America in foods and their names, you'll notice differences between American and Canadian foods, too. Take pizza, for instance. In the US -- it doesn't matter where in the US -- if you ask for a "pizza with everything", you'll get a pizza that has every topping possible on it. In Canada, you'll need to ask for an "all-dressed pizza", which is made slightly different, but still means the same thing. Whereas the US piles all of their toppings on top of the cheese, Canada uses cheese as a blanket, with each ingredient tucked neatly underneath. We don't care which way it's served, pizza is pizza.
References: list25.com, thisisinsider.com