Tim Hortons, Hockey, and Maple Syrup: Discussing Iconic Canadian Stereotypes

Ellison ClaptonRevisado porKateryna Protsenko / más sobre Proceso editorial7 min
Creado: Mar 20, 2024Última actualización: Mar 29, 2024
Canadian Stereotypes

Almost every country in the world has some stereotypes about it. For example, many people believe Americans are obsessed with fast food, British people only drink tea, and Australians live with pet kangaroos. Today, we are going up north and will discuss the most common Canadian stereotypes to find which ones are actually true, and which are not. So buckle up, and let’s dive right in!

Stereotypical Canadian Things That Are Entirely Incorrect

Before we start, let’s quickly understand what the stereotype is in general. In layman’s terms, it is a common belief about a certain category or group of people or things. Sometimes, they are partly true, and in some cases – absolutely not. So, what are some stereotypical Canadian things that are mostly incorrect?

Maple Syrup Madness

This is probably one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about Canada. Many people believe that maple syrup is the thing that comes in every Canadian dish, whether it’s sweet, sour, or salty. However, the only truth about it is that Canada is the largest importer of this product in the world. But, of course, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing people eat there. Moreover, most Canadians don’t even like maple syrup!

Frozen Fantasies and Igloo Illusions

Yes, Canada is indeed a northern country, so sometimes, especially during the winter, it becomes quite cold there. However, there is a common stereotype that it is always freezing there, which is, of course, not true. And imagine that, some people even think that Canadians live in igloos, which is definitely false!

The Case of the Oot and Aboot

It is not a surprise that the Canadian accent differs from American, British, and other English accents. And while some things do sound entirely different, it doesn’t go for the words “out” and “about.” Although there is our favorite joke about this Canadian myth (when one man says, “It’s a boot,” and the other one asks, “Aboot what?”), we can assure you that this stereotype is mostly not true.

Productive Ice-Skating

This one is quite hilarious and also not entirely wrong. Some people think that during winter, Canadians prefer ice-skating to their jobs to traditional means of transportation. And while it doesn’t work for anyone, some people, especially in Ottawa and Winnipeg, actually like to skate to their workplaces! Of course, it is more of an exception to the rule, but it’s still fascinating and fun.

Harmonious Life with Polar Bears

Another common myth about Canada is that polar bears freely walk in most cities and towns. And it is not true. Although over half of the population of this animal lives in the country, they don’t just coexist with people. However, there is an exception! The small town of Churchill in Manitoba is known for being the polar bear capital of the world! And there, these animals can actually be seen hanging out on the streets.

Parlez-vous français?

The last fact in our list of stereotypes of Canadians is that almost every person in the country speaks French. And it is no wonder why – this language is official in Canada, alongside English. However, despite studying it in schools, roughly 20% of the population can actually speak it, compared to 75% speaking English.


Legit Stereotypes About Canadians

As you can see, there are many stereotypes about Canada that are hilariously untrue. But, of course, there are some common beliefs that might be considered accurate. However, keep in mind that they are still stereotypes; hence, they don’t work for anyone without an exception. So, with that being said, let’s find out some trustworthy beliefs about Canada.

Pucks, Passion, and the Great Canadian Pastime

We all know that Canadians love hockey. It is even considered a country’s national winter sport. Canada has produced numerous legendary hockey players and teams, and hockey is played at various levels across the country, from backyard rinks to professional leagues. So, yes, there is truth to this stereotype, as this sport holds a special place in the hearts of many Canadians.


If you’ve ever heard a Canadian speaking casually in real life or in the movies, you’ve probably noticed how often they use this exclamation at the end of the sentence or question. While it’s not necessarily true that all Canadians use “eh” frequently, it’s not uncommon to hear it in casual conversation within the country. It can serve as a way to seek agreement or confirmation, similar to “right?” or “don’t you think?” in other English-speaking cultures.

Daily Tim Hortons

This popular Canadian coffee and fast-food chain, named after a famous hockey player, is indeed another cultural phenomenon in Canada. The chain’s wide presence across the country, from urban centers to remote towns, makes it a convenient and familiar choice for many Canadians. And again, while not every citizen visits Tim Hortons daily, it’s certainly a common routine for many, particularly for their morning coffee fix or grabbing a quick bite to eat.

Politeness and Apologies

The last one definitely has some truth to it, as Canadian culture places a high value on courtesy, respect, and consideration for others. People there tend to be polite in their communication. Additionally, apologizing, even for minor inconveniences or things beyond one’s control, is also common in Canadian social interactions. 

Learn More About Cultural Canadian Things With Promova

Understanding stereotypes about different countries may be important for general knowledge, allowing you to understand various cultures and customs better. With Promova, you can learn stereotypical Canadian things and other important features, useful not only for comprehensive understanding but also for mastering foreign languages.

Promova is an international language-learning platform that can help you learn English and many other tongues. Here, you can find a lot of useful materials created by passionate language professionals. Within the platform, you can find many features, so it won’t be difficult to find something suitable for yourself. 

  1. Personal and group lessons with experienced tutors. Whether you prefer to study alone or with a group of fellow students, Promova has got you covered. You can enjoy different approaches based on your current proficiency level, studying goals, and general interests.
  2. Free Conversation Club. If your goal is to master speaking skills, this option is perfect for you. Here, you can discuss numerous exciting topics with other language learners, while practicing speaking at the same time.
  3. The Promova app. For those who prefer to study alone, Promova offers a convenient application. Here, you can learn English, French, German, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and many other languages.
  4. Free trial lesson. If you are still hesitating, don’t worry! You can always book a one-on-one free trial lesson, which will help you familiarize yourself with our studying process before coming up with the final decision.

As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from! Each can be the perfect start for your language journey or a great addition to your current fluency level. So whether you’re just beginning your path or have already achieved some vital language-learning milestones, you should definitely give Promova a try!


To sum up, we can say that although these Canada stereotypes might look fun and harmless at first glance, you need to be quite considerate when using them in front of actual Canadians. It is essential to remember that they can spread misconceptions and overlook the diversity and complexity of the country’s society. Therefore, don’t forget to be mindful, respectful, and informed when discussing Canadian culture, and always appreciate its diversity.


Why do stereotypes about countries exist?

National stereotypes exist due to various factors. These include historical events that impact the perception of a particular country and its citizens, pop culture and media influence, which often portray people from different areas according to common stereotypes, and even cultural differences.

Are stereotypes about countries good or bad?

If we were the ones to decide, we’d say that they have a rather negative impact. Although most stereotypes are harmless, they can still offend people from a particular country. And also, let’s not forget that we live in a diverse world. Hence, it is not very appropriate to generalize about all people according to some doubtful beliefs.

What are some common stereotypes about other countries?

Oh, there are so many of them! Almost every country in the world has at least one national stereotype. For example, when it comes to Germany, many believe that people out there are very efficient, disciplined, and sometimes even strict, and they also drink a lot of beer. Italians are known for being loud and emotional and using expressive hand gestures. Also, many people think that Jamaicans like to smoke pot, and Argentinians can’t imagine their lives without meat and are huge fans of Diego Maradona.

Can stereotypes change over time?

Indeed! While they can be deeply ingrained into the culture, they are not unchangeable. They can adjust due to various factors, like shifts in cultural attitudes, changes in political landscapes, increased exposure to diverse perspectives, and efforts to challenge stereotypes through education and awareness campaigns.