Canada is a beloved country with happy locals and visiting tourists each year. People from all over the world visit places like Toronto, Montreal and others in Canada. Much like any country, there are stereotypes for the residents of Canada that call it their homes. The stereotypes are always a mixed bag of things that miss the mark and those that have some truth behind them.
We will look at both instances of the things people believe about Canadians from outside of country. The stereotypes that ring true are things you’ll eventually likely notice about your friends from Canada. Others that miss the mark will leave you scratching your head wondering how they became popular urban legends. Find out what goes into the reputation of the average person from Canada. These are five stereotypes about Canadians that are false along with five that have some truth in them.
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10 False: Saying the phrase "eh" all the time
Any comedy shows with someone doing an impression of a Canadian is likely to include the phrase “eh” in a joking manner. Many people from Canada do use the expression in everyday lingo, but it’s not as common for it to be as popular as it is.
The phrase is more likely to be heard in Canada, but Canadians rarely use it when having conversations with those that aren’t using it. This stereotype is like the American stereotype of people using the word “dude” at the end of every sentence which is just not true.
9 Kinda true: Kind people
The people in Canada have the stereotype of being kinder than folks in the United States and most other countries. This stereotype is hit or miss like any generalization, but the nature of Canadians is typically to be cordial and generous when interacting with others.
Even athletes in professional sports have claimed that the fans that talk trash do it kinder than the American cities they visit as the road team. Canada clearly values manners and that’s why Canadians are viewed as kind unicorns when transplanting elsewhere where folks are colder to each other.
8 False: Putting maple syrup on everything
The love of maple syrup is a strong stereotype about Canadians often discussed in television shows, movies and other forms of pop culture. It’s a running joke that people from Canada loving pouring the condiment over any food.
That just isn’t true as most Canadians only like it on the standard breakfast food items like pancakes and waffles. Some go as far as to include maple syrup on breakfast meats. However, Canadians aren’t just pouring it over steak or hamburgers. The health of the country’s average resident would be far worse if that was the case.
7 Kinda true: Loves hockey
The top sport in Canada is clearly hockey and has been for many years. Canadians grow up playing hockey at a young age as one of the primary team sports. Fans view every major game as a live or die scenario with diehard fans across the board.
The NHL reigns supreme with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks all representing Canada. National pride is sky high during the Winter Olympics whenever Canada tries to bring home the hockey gold.
6 False: Basketball has taken over
The past few years of success for the Toronto Raptors have made the NBA a huge part of Canada sports. Toronto recently won their first-ever NBA Championship in 2019 defeating the Golden State Warriors with superstar Kawhi Leonard leading the way in his one season there.
The belief is that basketball is approaching the hockey level of fandom in Canada considering how many fans watched the games live in Jurassic Park as a group activity. Even with the rise of fans, basketball is nowhere close to hockey. Canadians will watch hockey even if their team is awful while basketball has improved due to the team’s success.
5 Kinda true: Tim Hortons fandom
The love of Tim Hortons for Canadians is something that Americans can’t relate to. Popular coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts do have great success, but people will be fine having their coffee anywhere that makes it good enough and provides a comfortable environment.
Tim Hortons is a chain that Canadians believe to have the best coffee in the world. It is a beloved hangout spot where friends meet after work or sleep-deprived employees need a pick me up before heading into the office. The average person from Canada will reference missing Tim Hortons when leaving the country.
4 False: Speaking French
There is an outside belief that Canadians all have the advantage of learning both English and French at a young age. French is common in the province of Quebec where people do speak it as the primary language. However, that is among the few parts of the country where French is common.
Most other places in Canada speak English as the only language used daily. The small sample size of people from Quebec often leads to non-Canadians believing they all know perfect French and English each.
3 Kinda true: Used to cold weather
The cold nature of Canada is completely true as one must brave bitterly cold winters if residing there. Average temperatures in Canada during the winter sees -5 to -15°C in January and February each year. Canadians must brave the cold weather to commute for their daily schedule.
Most people from Canada are able to adapt to winters in the Northeast area of the United States if moving due to how cold they are used to. The American winters are a bit difficult, but Canada takes it to another level that makes the stereotype of the cold weather true.
2 False: Everything covered with free health care
The stereotype out there is that Canadians easily get access to free health care and don’t ever have to worry about any health issues hurting their pockets. This is true in the extent of check-ups and operations getting covered under universal health care.
However, there are things that will require payment from the person if they don’t have insurance from an employer. Canadians would have to pay for chiropractor visits, dentistry services and other aspects of health care that are not free under the universal plan.
1 Kinda true: Proud of poutine
Food culture all over the world makes it hard for one place to come up with something special that remains tied to the country without expanding as much elsewhere. Poutine stands out as one food dish that is based in Canada and viewed as second-rate when trying elsewhere.
French fries and cheese curds are the base of the dish topped with gravy and potentially other cheese sauces. The dish works to perfect success as a delicious quick bite to enjoy in Canada. Poutine is served in other countries, but it just never comes out the same nor does it find the same success as Canada. The love for poutine is clearly a top tier stereotype that remains true.