Common Canadian Customs

Common Canadian Customs


Coming to Canada can be an eye-opener for many. The change in scenery, diversity, and weather tends to differ from what non-Canadians are used to. Though some customs and traditions in Canada may vary depending on the region and community, if you ask a Canadian if they did or participated in something from this list, chances are, they have. Read on and familiarize yourself with all things Canada!  

Standing on the right side of the escalator: Standing on the right side of the escalator is one of the most notable practices found across the country! Standing on the right allows those in a hurry to pass on the left. It may seem like a small detail, but it is a fundamental aspect of Canadian culture and reflects the country’s emphasis on politeness and consideration for others.

Small talk: Canadians are known for being friendly and approachable, which often manifest as small talk. Whether it is a casual conversation with a stranger on the bus, or a more formal exchange with a colleague at work, small talk is a way for Canadians to connect with others and build relationships. This reflects the country’s strong sense of community and its emphasis on social cohesion. One popular subject for small talk is the weather!

Hockey: This is one of the customs in Canada that only some participate in but still support. Hocket is Canada’s national sport and is deeply ingrained in the country’s culture. Whether it’s the NHL, minor league, or amateur leagues, hocky is a big part of Canadian traditions. It is a way to come together and bond.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is a stable in Canadian households. It’s an important part of the country cultural heritage and economy. It is used in traditional Canadian dishes, such as pancakes and baked beans. It’s also a popular ingredient in desserts such as pies and tarts. Maple syrup is often viewed as a symbol of Canada and of the country’s natural beauty and abundance.

Always apologizing: Canadians tend to apologize frequently. Whether bumping into someone on the street or holding up the line, it’s not uncommon to hear “sorry” from a Canadian. Canadians try to avoid conflicts and maintain a peaceful atmosphere. Apologizing is a way of saying that you are aware of your actions and don’t want to cause any harm. It’s just another way that Canadians express their friendly and polite nature!

Outdoors: Whether it is hiking, skiing, camping, or fishing, most Canadians love the outdoors. It’s understandable. Who wouldn’t love to see the vast wilderness and diverse landscape, which includes mountains, forest, lakes, and rivers? It doesn’t matter what season it is; there’s always something to enjoy outdoors!

Poutine: A beloved Canadian traditional dish consists of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. This comforting dish can be found at almost every corner in Canada due to its popularity. Poutine is a dish that can be enjoyed anytime, whether as a late-night snack or a hearty breakfast (with maple syrup). This Canadian staple brings people together and reflects the country's diverse cultural influences.

Canada Day: July 1st is Canada’s national holiday and marks the country’s birthday. It is a day of celebration and national pride. We celebrate this day by hosting parades, concerts, and fireworks. Canada Day is usually when all Canadians come together to celebrate their country and its history.  

Canadian traditions and customs are diverse and varied, but they all share a common thread of politeness, community, and a love for the country’s natural beauty and diversity. 

To learn more about living in Canada, email

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