Stuffs Canadians Don't Like (Part 1)

Canadian Cookies at the Byward Market

Cana­dian Cook­ies at the Byward Market

Every­body knows that Cana­di­ans are peace­ful and polite peo­ple. Yet, I noticed my fel­low cit­i­zens can be quite annoyed by a few things… that are Cana­dian in essence.

Dis­claimer: this post is to be read with your morning/ after­noon cof­fee. It is not meant to be taken lit­er­ally. I know some Cana­di­ans are going to dis­agree (but I’m sure they will apol­o­gize about disagreeing).

So, in the spirit of Stuffs Cana­di­ans Like and Stuffs Cana­di­ans Like (Part 2), here the list of Stuffs Cana­di­ans Don’t Like.

Peo­ple who loi­ter: the first time I vis­ited a Tim Hor­tons, I noticed this sign on the wall that read: “please, no loi­ter­ing”. I stared at it for ten good min­utes (basi­cally wait­ing for my extra hot cof­fee to be drink­able). I had no clue what it meant. I had never seen the word “loi­ter­ing” before and I think my mind made a funny con­nec­tion with “lit­ter­ing”. But in fact, these no-so-friendly signs are meant to keep peo­ple from hang­ing out around a busi­ness if they aren’t there to do busi­ness. So gulp your junk food down and leave. Even bet­ter: don’t come in, just order from the win­dow of your car and drive away. Gosh, these North Amer­i­cans are so efficient!

Hav­ing too much snow/ too lit­tle snow: the world is appar­ently laugh­ing at us because there wasn’t much snow in Van­cou­ver dur­ing the Olympic Games. “Canada’s mild cli­mate leaves Win­ter Olympics short of snow” said the Guardian, the British news­pa­per. “Still no snow!” said another news­pa­per. Or “Van­cou­ver Forced to Import Snow to Win­ter Olympics” — and that’s when the rest of the world started laugh­ing. Indeed, this win­ter has been very mild so far through­out the coun­try. Now, just look at win­ter 2007-08: “Cold­est win­ter in 15 years”, “A Never-Ending Win­ter”, “Record snow fall for win­ter 2007–2008″… you got it, that win­ter, we had way too much snow. It’s hard to keep Cana­di­ans happy: too lit­tle snow and the coun­try may lose its infor­mal title of “win­ter­land”, too much snow and Cana­di­ans are all feed­ing to Florida. Few are con­tent with the weather in this country.

Being mis­taken for Amer­i­can (or being called a “Cana­dian” for some Québe­cers): the story goes that Cana­di­ans sew Cana­dian flags on their back­pack to avoid being mis­taken for Amer­i­cans (arguably, Amer­i­cans some­times also put the Cana­dian flag on their back­pack just to get peo­ple to think they’re not Amer­i­can). Most Cana­di­ans defend their cul­ture fiercely and hate to be mis­taken for Amer­i­can just because they hap­pen to speak Eng­lish, watch a hun­dred of US chan­nels and live by the bor­der. Inci­den­tally, don’t call a Que­be­cer a Cana­dian: some may throw maple syrup at your face and “tabernac’” you. Sure, they carry a Cana­dian pass­port… just don’t remind them.

Their cell phone com­pa­nies: cell phone plans in Canada are high­way rob­bery. You sign up for three years (three years!) and you get to pay for pretty much every­thing: incom­ing calls, check­ing your voice­mail, hav­ing a voice­mail, call dis­play… heck, there are even monthly fees to access the 911 ser­vice! I hated cell phone com­pa­nies in Europe but I hate them even more in Canada. And trust me, I’m not the only one!

Crit­i­cism on the lack of secu­rity mea­sures along Canada’s side of bor­der with the USA: accord­ing to Wash­ing­ton, any­time a ter­ror­ism enter the USA, it’s through Canada. Don’t ask me how, don’t ask me why. Appar­ently, Canada bor­der offi­cers wave every­body through (not quite my expe­ri­ence but any­way…), say­ing “have a good trip, eh”. Now, when US bor­der secu­rity gets tougher, Cana­di­ans usu­ally have no choice but to fol­low suit. For instance, any­one cross­ing the bor­der by land must now show a pass­port. And guess what hap­pens? Amer­i­cans com­plain! “Oh, but I used to get in with just my birth certificate/ my dri­ver license / a let­ter from Uncle Sam!”It’s only Canada and I’m only going there for a short visit, do I really need to apply for a pass­port?”. Go fig­ure. Mean­while, cross­ing the bor­der these days can be a pain in the ass.

How about you? As Cana­di­ans, what annoys you? And what are the stuffs peo­ple don’t like in your coun­try?


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Oh and I for­got most impor­tantly, you are so right about cell phones. I hate the ser­vice here. I loved it in Europe. They are more advanced and they also have bet­ter, cheaper ser­vice… So much bun­dled all in one!
    .-= expatraveler´s last blog ..Werid Weather =-.

  2. Pingback: Stuffs Canadians Don't Like (Part II) | Correr Es Mi Destino

  3. Being a Quèbe­cious i have to agree about what you say. ( im still not Cana­dian) but we are friendly. For exam­ple if some­one steps on my feet although I shouldnt I will apoligize.

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