Welcome, fellow adventurers, to the magical land of maple syrup, hockey, and unfathomably polite people! Yes, we’re talking about Canada. But wait—before you pack your bags for the Great White North, getting clued up on a few local customs is crucial.
Because as friendly and welcoming as Canadians are, there are particular faux pas that might get you some side-eyes or, at worst, a polite yet firm correction. Here are 15 things to never do in Canada.
Ignore the Metric System
Canada uses the metric system, so prepare to think about kilometers and Celsius. According to World Atlas, only three countries use the Imperial system, and Canada isn’t one of them.
Underestimate the Winter
As novelist Margaret Atwood said, “In Canada, winter is a serious business.” Always dress warmly, even if you’re stepping out for a moment.
Neglect Wildlife Rules
Canada is home to diverse wildlife, and with more than 60% of the world’s polar bears (WWF), it’s crucial to respect and follow safety guidelines.
Forget to Tip
Tipping is customary in Canada. As reported by CBC, a tip of 15-20% on the pre-tax bill is standard for dining.
Disrespect the Environment
Canada is known for its sparkling lakes and vast forests. Littering or defacing natural spaces is highly frowned upon.
Think ‘Eh’ is a Stereotype
Canadians say, ‘eh.’ It’s not a stereotype; it’s a linguistic peculiarity.
Assume Health Care is Free for Visitors
While Canada does have universal healthcare, according to the Government of Canada, it doesn’t extend to tourists.
Call a Cottage a Cabin
In Canada, a vacation home by the lake is called a cottage, not a cabin.
Poutine is a national treasure. Denying it could be seen as an insult to the culinary prowess of the Great White North.
Disregard Ice Hockey
Ice Hockey isn’t just a sport in Canada; it’s a religion. The NHL reports that 60% of their players are Canadian.
Confuse Canada with America
Canadians take pride in their unique identity. They’re friendly neighbors, not the 51st state.
Forget to Say Sorry
Canadians are known for their politeness. A survey by Queen’s University shows Canadians apologize more than any other nation.
Neglect Road Safety in Winter
Canadian winters can be harsh, and road conditions are unpredictable. The CAA advises using winter tires for better traction.
Overlook First Nations Culture
Canada’s First Nations people have a rich and diverse culture. Ignoring it is to ignore a significant part of Canada’s heritage.
Underestimate the Size of Canada
Canada is vast. According to the World Bank, it’s the second-largest country in the world, so plan your travel times accordingly!
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