15 Things to Never Do in Canada

Ephraim Obare
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Welcome, dear reader, to our intriguing guide on Canadian culture, “15 Things to Never Do in Canada”. Before you immerse yourself in the beauty of the Northern Lights or drool over stacks of syrup-drenched pancakes, it’s crucial to know that Canada, like any country, has unique social norms.

This guide is your secret weapon to avoid embarrassing faux pas or uncomfortable situations. So please sit back, grab your favorite mug of hot cocoa, and let’s dive into the wonderfully complex world of Canadian do’s and don’ts.

Travel Times in Canada: Don’t Underestimate Them

Travel Times in Canada: Don’t Underestimate Them
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Here’s one for all you road-trippers: Don’t let the map fool you regarding Canadian distances. Canada is the second largest country in the world, with a land mass close to 10 million square kilometers. So, Vancouver and Halifax may look like neighbors on your GPS, but remember, you’re crossing six time zones to get there.

You wouldn’t want to arrive late for that dinner reservation, eh? So, remember, in Canada, distance is a deceptive beast. Always allow more travel time than you think you’ll need—extra points for packing an extra snack or two. We hear Canadian road trip munchies are a thing.

Do Not Litter

Do Not Litter
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You might think it’s a universal concept, but let us reiterate to be safer – don’t drop wrappers, cans, or ‘accidentally’ forget your picnic remains in Canada’s pristine parks. Canadians are fiercely protective of their natural beauty, and littering is a no-go misdemeanor that may lead to harsh sideways glances or a potentially hefty fine at worst.

Plus, who wants to be remembered as the one who tarnished the Great White North’s wilderness? So, be a good sport and hold onto your trash until you find a bin.

Avoid Roaming Around With a Canadian Flag on Your Truck, EH?

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Alright, here’s a heads-up, buddy. In Canada, flaunting a humongous Canadian flag on your truck isn’t considered cool, right? It’s not that Canadians aren’t patriotic; they are.

But they like to keep their love for their maple-leaf-adorned flag a tad more subtle and less in-your-face. So, save yourself from unnecessary side-eyes and keep that flag-waving confined to Canada Day and sports events, okay?

Ditch Those Shoes at the Door! Why Track Dirt Inside?

Ditch Those Shoes at the Door! Why Track Dirt Inside?
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Don’t be that rude guest who roams around with shoes on when visiting a Canadian home. Canadians are known for their cleanliness and love for their pristine carpets. So show respect and leave your muddied, snow-covered shoes at the door.

It’s not just a cleanliness thing – it’s about being polite. After all, why bring the outdoors indoors, especially when it’s -20°C and snowing?

Don’t Confuse French Canadian Culture With French Culture

Don’t Confuse French Canadian Culture With French Culture
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Let’s get one thing straight: France and Quebec might share a language, but that doesn’t mean you can combine their cultures. No, no, no. Remember, when venturing into the land of poutine and Cirque du Soleil, don’t assume baguettes and berets are a part of their everyday life.

French Canadians have a unique, vibrant heritage, and not to be confused with their cousins across the pond.

Don’t Label Our Indigenous Population as Indians

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Ah, Canada – the land of polite people, breathtaking landscapes, and a tapestry of cultures. Now, there’s one thing you’ve got to remember, folks: referring to our Indigenous population as “Indians” is a major no-no.

This term is outdated and incorrect, referring to Columbus’ geographical mix-up. So, when referring to the first peoples of Canada, stick to “First Nations,” “Inuit,” or “Métis.” Get it right, and you’ll be one step closer to not accidentally offending your Canadian buddies.

Never Underestimate the Weather

Never Underestimate the Weather
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Never underestimate the Canadian weather – it’s as unpredictable as a hockey game in overtime! One day, you’re sipping hot cocoa, enjoying the picturesque snowfall, and the next, you’re sunbathing at the beach, slathered in SPF 50.

The weather here is a master of surprises and can freeze you like a popsicle or roast you like a marshmallow. So, pack your suitcase with both your winter parka and summer shorts. Remember, the weather can change in Canada faster than a beaver can build a dam!

Beware: Not Everyone Here Is a Walking Ball of Sunshine and Rainbows

Beware: Not Everyone Here Is a Walking Ball of Sunshine and Rainbows
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Contrary to popular belief, not every Canadian you’ll meet is a walking, talking embodiment of sunshine and rainbows. Sure, the land is known for its “Nice Guy” international reputation, but let’s not kid ourselves.

It’s a country of over 37 million individuals, after all. Like any other place on earth, you’ll encounter various personalities – the good, the bad, and the downright frosty. So, don’t be surprised if someone doesn’t respond to your “How’s it going, eh?” with an ear-to-ear grin. It’s not you; it’s just real life!

We’re Not Americans in Disguise, nor Is Everything Here a Slice of America! Don’t Jump to Conclusions!

We’re Not Americans in Disguise, nor Is Everything Here a Slice of America! Don’t Jump to Conclusions!
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Oh, Dear traveler, let’s get one thing straight: Canadians are not a group of American doppelgängers living in the north, and Canada is not the 51st state. You might find similarities between us – our love for sports, irresistible fast-food chains, and even our accents can sometimes sound a bit alike.

But remember, it’s like comparing a beaver to a bald eagle; both are majestic in their own right but are not the same species! So, refrain from assuming everything here echoes the Star-Spangled Banner. Canada has a unique flair that’s as wide and diverse as its landscape.

Don’t Cut Your Milk Bag Unless It’s Secured in a Pitcher. Milk Comes in Bags

Don’t Cut Your Milk Bag Unless It’s Secured in a Pitcher. Milk Comes in Bags
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You might think you’ve mastered the art of dairy, but don’t break out the scissors just yet! In Canada, milk doesn’t play by the rules of boring old cartons or jugs. Instead, it struts its ‘utterly’ fabulous self in bags. Yes, you heard about suitable bags!

Before you go on a slicing spree, remember to secure this bagged potion in a pitcher. You wouldn’t want a milky catastrophe on your hands, would you? It’s like wrangling a maple syrup-drenched beaver – messy, sticky, and oh-so-Canadian!

Don’t Forget To Say “Please” and “Thank You”

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Alright, let’s talk manners. Maybe it’s all the fresh air and natural beauty that makes Canadians so polite, but forgetting to say “please” and “thank you” in Canada is akin to forgetting your pants at home—it’s just not done.

These magic words are fundamental to daily interactions in this land of maple syrup and hockey. So, remember to drop a “please” when asking for that famous poutine and a “thank you” when it’s handed over. Believe us, it’s more than just lovely etiquette—it’s a Canadian way of life!

Don’t Mistake the National Animal

Don’t Mistake the National Animal
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You might be thrilled to spot a mighty bald eagle soaring overhead as you trek through Canada’s vast wilderness. While it’s an impressive sight to behold, don’t be caught calling this majestic bird the national animal of Canada. That esteemed title goes to the adorable, industrious, and oh-so-Canadian beaver. Mistaking the two might earn you some disapproving “ehs” from the locals.

So remember, while the eagle might rule the sky, the beaver reigns supreme in Canada. The beaver is a symbol of Canada’s unity. Calling it a rat is a blunder you don’t want to make.

Don’t Think All Canadians Speak French

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While we’re at it, here’s a myth that needs busting: Canada isn’t a French-speaking country where everyone says “Bonjour!” and “Merci.” Quebec is known for its French-speaking flair. New Brunswick is officially bilingual, but if you stroll through Vancouver or Toronto expecting a symphony of “S’il vous plaît” and “Excusez-moi,” you’ll be sorely disappointed. In reality, the majority of Canadians are English speakers.

So, unless you’re in Francophone regions, don’t assume your high-school French will be your saving grace.

Don’t Forget to Tip

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Don’t let the friendly smiles and polite “ehs” fool you – Canadians take their tipping seriously. Skipping out on gratuity in Canada is a cardinal sin, equivalent to declaring that you don’t like hockey or have never heard of Celine Dion.

Whether it’s a cabbie’s ride, a hairstylist’s magic touch, or a waiter’s impeccable service – 15-20% is the standard rule of thumb. So, keep those loonies and toonies handy, and let’s keep Canada polite, shall we?

Never Dismiss Hockey

Never Dismiss Hockey
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Never, and I mean never, dismiss hockey. You see, hockey in Canada isn’t just a game – it’s a religion, a lifestyle, a waking thought. Picture this: You’re out to dinner and casually express that you’re not into hockey.

The room will go quiet, forks will pause mid-air, and you’ll suddenly face a sea of incredulous faces. So, when in Canada, remember to speak of hockey with the reverence it deserves or prepare to be ice-shoveled out of the conversation.

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Author

  • Ephraim Obare

    Ephraim Obare is a versatile member of the Frenz Hub writing team, bringing a rich background in economics to his work. An avid swimmer, reader, and cyclist, Ephraim blends analytical insights with his diverse interests.

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