Canadian Stereotypes

There seem to be many stereotypes about Canada. Even the most experienced travelers aren’t sure much about Canada.

When people ask us about Canada, the topic of health care is often brought up. People often ask us about our identity and how we speak. We thought it would be a good idea to dispel any misconceptions we have about our homeland, The Great White North.

Stereotypes of Canada

Here are some top Canadian stereotypes that have been debunked or authenticated.

1. Canadians are Out and About Like Oot and Aboot

It isn’t true

This Stereotype is a Canadian stereotype that hits me every time. It’s a Canadian Stereotype that I find myself utterly unable to explain. They always do.

Canadians don’t say oot or aboot. It would be interesting to learn where this stereotype originated. Americans pronounce “out” differently than we do. It is pronounced more like an “owt”, while it is pronounced more like an “oat”. They pronounce it with a more open mouth and a more orch sound. We tend to be more closed in our pronunciation and lean more towards the word “oat”.

It is not right or wrong. Different accents are different in different parts of the world. Some people are more pronounced than others.

2. All Canadians can speak French

This Canadian stereotype does not hold true

This is one Canadian Stereotype that I wish was true. Quebec is the French-speaking province. There are many bilingual Canadians, but I fear that most of us aren’t.

Although we learn French in school and my school’s French curriculum is terrible, it is something that we all do. Growing up, I wanted to learn French. I was a hard worker in school, and I memorized all my verbs every single day.

Problem was, we kept learning the same French verbs up to my senior year of high school. I never got fluent. Now I’m an embarrassment to Corbeil, my last name.

3. Canada is always cold

This Canadian Stereotype does not exist

Canada enjoys a very hot summer, contrary to popular belief. Canada has four seasons. It is usually only freezing in the winter months of November to March for most parts.

Our temperatures regularly exceed 30o Celcius (86° Fahrenheit), and we have even reached 40 Celcius with humidity. Our air conditioners are turned up like in warmer tropical countries when we have heat alerts. British Columbia’s temperatures hit 46 degrees Celcius this year! (114 F)

Canada can get unbearably hot. Even the Arctic gets hot in summer! Another one of the Canadian Stereotypes, which is false.

4. Canadians skate to work

Sometimes, this is true.

The Rideau Canal’s winter months are when Ottawa is home to the largest skating rink in the world. The same is true for Winnipeg. This is the home of the longest skating rink in the world.

These waterways are popular for winter commutes. It is faster than driving, and you can get your morning workout in the process.

5. Hockey is a passion for all Canadians

OK, this is possible.

Most Canadians grew up in Canada and played hockey or learned to skate at some point. This is a strange fact that I don’t understand. Since 1993, Canada has not won the Stanley Cup! The cup hasn’t been won by Canada’s most well-known hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, since 1967.

We do win the Olympics often and win the world’s and junior’s a lot. These events are a big draw for Canadians. The whole country suddenly talks about hockey!

6. Skating is possible for all Canadians

Yes, that’s right!

Canada is a country I grew up in, and I’m sure you’ve been to the rink more than once. There are many public skating rinks in our cities where you can either play pick up hockey or just go around the track. Many parents have their children learn figure skating or hockey at an early age. Schools even offer skating lessons.

7. Tim Hortons Coffee: More than consumed

This stereotype is true

We stop at Tim Hortons when we go on road trips or to get coffee. A Timmies Run is a common thing in the workplace. It’s inexpensive and very addictive. It’s cheap and addictive.

8. Maple syrup is a favourite of all Canadians

Not true

Although we are the largest maple syrup producer in the world, most of it is exported. It is fun to snowshoe in winter through maple forests (where maple syrup can be tapped), but not everyone likes maple syrup. My house doesn’t have maple syrup! It is delicious on pancakes. Maple Syrup is the best pancake topping. Ever!

9. Polar Bears roam the Land

True

Canada has the highest number of Polar Bears, but it doesn’t live in harmony. Except in Churchill Manitoba, where the polar bears do indeed hang out downtown. They are free to roam the country in Churchill.

Fun Fact – In Churchill, no one locks their doors or cars to escape a polar bear. Polar bears can only be found in Canada’s far north.

10. Canadians are sorry

This is the truth

It’s not clear what it is about Canadian culture that makes them so apologetic. Always! Canada’s stereotype of sorry is very accurate. People always share their humorous “sorry stories” whenever we ask them on social media.

I have apologized to a tree that I stepped into. I have apologised to another person for bumping into me. We are sorry for everything. We might as well use the word sorry to describe Canada’s national language.

11. It is not good to have free health care

False!

Sorry, but free healthcare is good . If we feel unwell, we visit the doctor. We go to the emergency department free of charge if we have an accident. If we need open-heart surgery, we get it. Radiation treatment for cancer is also available. There are no bills and no worries. Yes, staff will take care of the victim of a car accident or heart attack if I visit the emergency room with a cut or minor injury. They won’t let anyone die. The severity of an injury is what determines how people are treated, not their bank balance.

12. Canadians support the imperial system

True to form.

Officially, Canadians use the metric system. However, we still use much of the Imperial system.

  • Canadians observe speed limits and measure lengths in metres. We measure heights in feet.
  • We measure the temperature in Celcius outside, but cook in Fahrenheit.
  • We weigh ourselves in pounds, but we buy our food by weight.

We like being weird. It makes us unique.

13. Canadians live in Igloos

It is not true

This question has been asked of me many times. Igloos are not common in areas like Inuvik or the Yukon, Nunavut and Nunavut. Igloos can be temporary shelters. The Inuit of northern Canada may use them as temporary shelter while they hunt. They live in warm homes with electricity and all the other necessities.

These are the Canadian Stereotypes that these two insane Canucks have debunked. What do you think Canada is? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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