12 Things About Canada That Americans Need To Know About

Canada and America’s history goes way beyond just being neighbors. Canada’s complex relationship with America has influenced a lot of its history, culture, and economy. Still, Americans are unaware of many Canadian customs.

After a lot of secondary research online and talking to some of our Canadian friends here are some things we discovered. According to Canadians these are some areas Americans need to educate themselves more about Canada.

The Similarity In Speech

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Whenever an American tries to mimic a Canadian person, they tend to throw in the expression “eh.” However, Americans also have a similar speech problem. Many Canadians think that they don’t say “eh,” they do say “huh” quite a lot.

The Vastness Of Canada

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Many Americans might not know about Canada’s vast size, traveling across the country could present logistical challenges. Touring cities like Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver on consecutive days isn’t practical due to the distances. Americans planning to visit should check Canada’s geography first.

The Politeness Dilema

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It is widely recognized that Canadians often say ‘Sorry’. This practice is so common that it’s habitual rather than heartfelt. However, this frequent use of the apology is a reflection of their cultural politeness rather than insincerity. Visitors should view this trait as an aspect of Canadian decorum.

No US Dollars

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If you are planning to use cash in Canada, make sure you convert the currency. Many Americans think Canadians will be happy to accept the US dollar as it is higher in value, but it’s untrue.

While many Canadian merchants accept US dollars, most Canadians prefer to be paid in local currency. It is also better for Americans as merchants often set their own exchange rate, so you might be in loss. You have to have the Canadian official currency for smaller rural areas and things like local cab fare and laundromats. Therefore, it is best for both to stick to the Canadian dollar when using cash.

Shoes Off Inside

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Unlike Americans, Canadians don’t wear their outdoor shoes indoors. It is a common practice in most Asian countries. It is done to eliminate germs and potentially toxic things coming inside the house.

If you are visiting a Canadian friend’s house, take off your shoes before entering. However, if you feel uncomfortable walking barefoot, bring your pair of washable slippers or nonslip socks. As weird as it may sound to Americans, in Canada, it is quite common to bring slippers whenever visiting someone’s home for a stay.

Island Confusion

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Americans often get confused about Nova Scotia being an island. It is not. Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories, and it coasts the North Atlantic Ocean. So it is a coastal region, simple. Now, there is an island in Nova Scotia that most Americans refer to as Nova Scotia Island. It’s called Cape Breton Island, Which is a part of the Nova Scotia province; however, that doesn’t mean Nova Scotia is an island.

Unimaginable Wildfires

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Many Americans are curious about the severity of Canadian wildfires. Due to their size and remote locations, Canadian wildfires can be massive and hard to control. While not all fires can be fully extinguished immediately, Canadian firefighters focus on several aspects. These include protecting towns, critical infrastructure, and natural parks by managing fire impacts rather than attempting futile large-scale suppression.

Ski Crowd

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Whistler’s Blackcomb resort remains a prime destination for snow activities in July. The place offers Canadians a cool respite during the summer heat. While locals and tourists, including many Americans, flock to enjoy this spot, it can lead to crowded conditions. Now, that’s something Canadians don’t enjoy, as the locals often don’t get to visit the place.

Racism Exists

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Unfortunately, racism and color discrimination is still a thing in Canada. Canada is a multicultural place, and people may seem very polite, but there is still a division between Canadians and other races.

Different Traffic Rules

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Traffic rules in Canada are different from what is in America. This might sound like a big deal, but not many Americans don’t know that Canada has different traffic rules for different Provinces. So if someone decides to drive themselves, it is best to learn about the traffic rules of that particular province.

The Different Scale

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The scaling units in Canada are different from those in America. All Americans should know this before traveling to Canada to avoid any confusion. Canadians follow the metric system. Therefore, there is a huge difference between 80 kilometers/ hour and 80 miles/hour.

Free Hospital Stay

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This is something Americans can only dream of, but in Canada, hospital stay costs are zero. Canadian hospitals are nonprofit and funded by tax payers. Canadian healthcare is free for Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, and those with Canadian work visas.

The Beer War

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Canadians are known for their politeness except when it comes to rooting for their favorite beverage. There is a friendly rivalry with Americans about which country’s beer is stronger. This debate is always lighthearted but enthusiastic. When talking about beer, it’s important to know that Canadians are passionate about their local varieties. They deeply care about their brewing traditions.

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