You Know You’re Canadian When… Ten Things That Happen When People Realize You’re Canadian

I’ve been studying abroad in Chile for some time now and I thought I would share my ten favorite responses I get when people realize I’m from Canada. If you’re a Canadian traveler you have probably heard some of these before as well.

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1. “Vancouver or Toronto?”

Panorama Park, Vancouver, British Columbia
Panorama Park, Vancouver



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These are the two cities people are most likely to know about that are in Canada. And yes I mean the only two cities. So when people ask “Where in Canada are you from?” I usually tell them I’m “five hours inland from Vancouver.” Otherwise they will simply say, “Oh you’re from Canada! Are you from Vancouver or Toronto?”

2. “How cold is it there?”

You Know You're Canadian When
Near Kinsol Trestle on Vancouver Island BC; Photo by Arturo Padilla

I get this one a lot. And I usually like to brag about how Kelowna gets 40 degree Celsius summers, and at times -20 degree Celsius winters. Obviously people get pretty shocked when they hear that the temperature drops so low… but they’re usually more shocked when they found out that Canada can actually be warm too.

3. You Know You’re Canadian When You Get Frustrated with this Question: “Who is the president?”

No I’m sorry, Canada has a Prime Minister. Not a President.

4. “Is it true that you’re like, really nice?”

I actually got asked this the other day and all I could say was, “Well I don’t know about all Canadians, but I like to think I am.”

5. “What’s typical Canadian’ food like?”

The Naked Cafe Kelowna Vegan Poutine
Vegan poutine from The Naked Cafe, Kelowna, BC

My Chilean host family asked me about Canada’s traditional foods and all I could say was, “Um… poutine… bannock…maple syrup…?”

6. “Do all Canadians look like you?”

I got asked by a Chilean last week if all Canadians have blonde hair and blue eyes like me. Chile is a country that is not very racially diverse, so when someone from another country visits, it’s usually noticeable and the fact that Canada is so racially diverse is not a well-known fact here.

7. You Know You’re Canadian When Your Friends Call You “Hoser” Instead of by Your Name

Some of my American friends asked me if people in Canada say the word “hoser” a lot. They don’t. I didn’t even know what that was until someone asked me. Only Americans and people who watch How I Met Your Mother a lot say that about us.

8. “Eh?” 

You Know You're Canadian When
Kayaking in my hometown of Kelowna, BC, Canada

Ok I’ll admit it, this one I have used, but not very often and people don’t say it as often as you would think.

9. “National Dance?”

We aren’t as cool as Chile and Argentina. I’m pretty sure we don’t have a national dance. And if we do, it is not well known. At all.

10. People will believe whatever you say about Canada

I was at a party a few weeks ago for this Chilean guy’s birthday and I drew a picture of a unicorn and gave it to him telling him it was a Canadian tradition to have a unicorn of some sort on your birthday. They all believed me. I told them I was joking after but it was pretty funny.

These are just a select few things that have happened when people find out that I’m Canadian. Are you a Canadian traveler too? What are some of the weirdest things people have assumed about you based on your nationality? Leave a comment below!

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About The Author

April Thompson

April is the founder and main author for Just Leaving Footprints. She has written for numerous blogs and publications such as Explore Magazine and Snow Pak. April loves writing about sustainable tourism, and promoting other sustainable travelers on her Facebook Group and Instagram Community, Ladies for Sustainable Travel. Currently, April is living and teaching English in Mexico City with her husband Arturo and they don’t plan on stopping their travels anytime soon.

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