Canadian Culture | Life in Canada - (2023)

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Clothing Language in Canada Religion First Meetings

Business Meetings Relocating to Canada Multiculturalism and Diversity Love for the environment Order and Space

Festivals and Cultural Attractions

As a multicultural country, Canada has many exciting festivals and cultural attractions that take place throughout the year. If you are new to Canada or a particular province, there are many ways of finding out where the latest activities are taking place. Have a look in your local newspaper,


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Places of Worship

Multicultural Canada is focused on ensuring that all religions and beliefs are celebrated and represented in their communities. There many associations, Mosques, Sikhs, churches, and chapels across Canada, with most of them encouraging community outreach and hosting social events.


Religious Rights

The IRCC, together with the Canadian government, stands for equal rights across multicultural Canada. Canada is recognized globally for its leadership on human rights issues and takes principled positions to promote Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance throughout the world.


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Every February, all Canadians are welcome to enjoy the festivities and celebrations of Black History Month. This tribute to black Canadians of the past and present celebrates the achievements and contributions of individuals that have made an incredibly positive contribution to the economy and prosperity of Canada.



Settling into a new country can be difficult, but there are many resources, groups, and associations that can help you feel right at home. Canada is a multicultural country, where people from all over the world, boasting different backgrounds, languages, and ethnicities have created communities to support newcomers.


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Canada is a country in the northern half of North America. Its territory extends across the width of the continent, and it is therefore flanked by the Pacific Ocean to its west and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. To the north, Canada is bordered by the Arctic Ocean, and to the south by the United States. By surface area, Canada is the second-largest country in the world.

Should you be looking to travel, live, relocate, or do business in the sovereign state, we will give you a helpful head start on understanding Canada's culture and its thriving multiculturalism.

Local culture & language

The Canadian culture has been primarily influenced by the various European cultures and traditions of its constituent nationalities, particularly British and French culture. There are also influences from the cultures of its indigenous peoples, and from the neighboring USA. Core Canadian values include fairness, equality, inclusiveness, and social justice. This is evidenced by the country’s approach to governance, which includes public health care, higher taxation to promote the redistribution of wealth, the legalization of same-sex marriage, the abolition of capital punishment, and the suppression of far-right politics.

Canada generally has a very open and accepting attitude towards other cultures and religions.


Canadian clothing is very much like that of the United States and most other western countries. The main thing to note is that it can get very, very cold in large parts of the country (with temperatures getting as low as -40C in some northern areas), so make sure you wrap up warm.

Language in Canada

The 2 official languages in Canada are English and French, with first language English having the vast majority of speakers at around 60%. Due to Canada’s historically welcoming attitude to immigrants, the overall language mix spoken in the country is very diverse, with reasonable populations speaking Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish, German, and Italian, amongst others. Canada is also home to a selection of aboriginal languages, which are spoken by the relatively small populations of indigenous peoples who reside there. Unfortunately, due to the very low numbers of native speakers, the majority of these languages are not expected to be able to survive for more than a few generations.

Etiquette & Customs

Canadians are generally polite, tolerant, and relatively informal. As with any large country, there is a great amount of variation in customs and etiquette from one region to the next. The most obvious difference is in the province of Quebec, which has more French influence than the British. As a result, it is not uncommon for people to greet each other by kissing each other’s cheeks, left and right, rather than the handshake popular in the rest of the country.

Canadians are generally very polite, and it is important to remember your manners if you want to get on well with people. If you are dining with locals, then table manners are fairly informal, and you need not worry about refusing particular dishes or asking questions about the food. Do make sure to say please and thank you. If you are invited to someone’s home for a meal, it is considered polite to bring a small gift such as a bottle of wine or some chocolates.

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The range of religions practiced in Canada is as diverse as its inhabitants, and freedom of religion is a constitutionally protected right. Christianity is the most prevalent, with around 65% of the population as adherents. Atheism has also been increasing steadily in recent decades, and around 24% of Canadians now state that they have no religious affiliation.

Business meeting advice (if doing business in Canada)

First Meetings

Business practices and culture vary across Canada from region to region, so make sure you read up on the area that you will be visiting before you go.

Shaking hands is the standard here. People may make judgments about you based on your handshake, so make sure that it is firm and that you maintain eye contact during the greeting. Business cards are usually exchanged, and it would be a good idea to have cards translated with both French and English information.

Business Meetings

In Canada, the normal workday is from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. However, many people prefer meetings in the morning to in the afternoon. The dress code for business is usually formal, with suits and ties commonly expected.

Business communication in Canada is as much as you would expect based on their national values. Great store is set by allowing everyone to be free to express their own opinion, and decisions will generally only be made once all facts and opinions have been taken into consideration. Both positive and negative comments will be presented in a straightforward way, and when communicating through email or over the phone, keep communication brief and factual.

Punctuality is important in Canada. Being slightly late in a social context may be considered acceptable, but in business being on time should be a priority.

When talking with Canadians, avoid referencing the USA or comparing your experience of Canada to any experience you may have of the States. Canadians often feel that they are overlooked by foreigners in favor of their more populous and more globally culturally dominant neighbors, and by talking about the USA you risk irritating them.

Relocating to Canada

Due, at least in part, to the country’s welcoming attitude towards immigrants, Canada is becoming an increasingly popular destination for people looking to relocate. If you are thinking of moving to Canada, here are a few things that you might want to consider:

You should be aware that the cost of living in Canada is higher than in most of the rest of the world. Property prices in major urban centers such as Vancouver and Toronto average are currently amongst some of the highest in the western world. The price of groceries may also be higher than you might think due to the fact that Canada relies heavily on imports, and the same is true of petrol and alcohol, which are both heavily taxed.

Although Canada generally welcomes immigrants, you still need to go through the correct process before coming to ensure that you are residing in the country legally. Be prepared for this process to be time-consuming, as it is not uncommon for it to take 6 months in between completing your application and receiving a response.

Multiculturalism and Diversity

Historically, Canada began developing into a strong nation by welcoming immigrants. Today, it continues to value the richness and diversity that various cultures contribute to society. In 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. This affirmed people’s rights to maintain their unique cultural identity and promoting cross-cultural understanding and harmony.

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Love for the environment

Canadians bear a strong pride in their rich and bountiful resources and have a deep-seated respect for the environment. You will see this in how they appreciate nature and revel in camping. They also maintain their parks and open spaces and adopt and follow environment-friendly policies.

Order and Space

Canadians value order and preserving their personal space. They also value personal privacy. It will be wise to keep away from discussions of salary, family life, weight, religion, and other personal topics. It is also understood that a person has rights over his/her own property, so make sure to ask permission before using anything that is not yours. Disruptive behaviour, such as cutting in line, speaking out of turn, shouting, and talking loudly is definitely frowned upon. Decorum is part of keeping order and respecting other people’s space.

Canadians are known to be some of the most polite, tactful, and peace-loving human beings on the planet. In fact, a stereotypical Canadian is depicted as one who apologizes despite not being at fault. As you can tell from the above information to a certain extent this is true.


What are 5 things that define Canadian culture? ›

Here is the top 5 of Canadian Culture:
  • Polite and friendly. This is probably the most basic fact about Canadians. ...
  • Both multicultural and nationalist. As you may know, Canada is a a very large country; the second biggest in the world. ...
  • Canadian food. ...
  • Everyone Matters. ...
  • Respect for the Indigenous.
Jan 30, 2020

What is the main culture of Canada? ›

In its broadest sense, Canadian culture is a mixture of British, French, and American influences, all of which blend and sometimes compete in every aspect of cultural life, from filmmaking and writing to cooking and playing sports. Other peoples have added distinctive elements to this mixture.

How would you describe Canadian culture? ›

Known as 'the just society', Canada's culture is underpinned by its tolerance, respect and community-orientation. Canadians are generally individualistic , yet they also emphasise and value everyone's contribution to their community.

What is Canadian lifestyle? ›

Canadians do share important values such as pride, a belief in equality and diversity, and respect for all individuals. It is these values that make Canada known as a friendly, peace-loving, and secure place in which to live.

What are some Canadian habits? ›

12 Habits You Can't Help Picking Up If You Live in Canada
  • Staying on the right side. Although Canadians are too polite to say anything, don't walk on the left in Canada! ...
  • Eating KD. Kraft Dinner's (KD) packaged macaroni and cheese is the unofficial national dish of Canada. ...
  • Snowy sidewalks. ...
  • Card is king. ...
  • All about hockey.
Aug 16, 2017

What are the key values of Canadian culture? ›

There are shared values—openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first post-national state.

What is Canada's culture food? ›

Illustrating the French influence, much of Canadian cuisine is rich and heavily spiced. It's also often heavy in carbohydrates, such as bread and potatoes, as well as game meats, such as hare and venison. Unsurprisingly, due to the cold climate, it also features a wide array of soups and stews.

What are the three main cultures in Canada? ›

Canada's history of settlement and colonization has resulted in a multicultural society made up of three founding peoples – Indigenous, French, and British – and of many other racial and ethnic groups. The Indigenous peoples include First Nations (Status and Non‑Status Indians), Métis and Inuit.

How do Canadian people behave? ›

In general, Canadians are a mostly friendly, unpretentious people who value honesty, sensitivity, empathy and humility in their relationships with friends and strangers, as well as respect for the privacy and individualism of others.

How is Canadian culture different from American? ›

Americans are generally more sociable, patriotic, conservative, religious, and traditional. Canadians are more restrained and at the same time more liberal.

What is a typical Canadian personality? ›

Canadians are known to be some of the most polite, tactful, and peace-loving human beings on the planet. In fact, a stereotypical Canadian is depicted as one who apologizes despite not being at fault. To a certain extent, this is true. The society greatly values tolerance, humility as well as non-violence.

How do you say hello in Canadian? ›

How to Say Hello in Canada – FAQs. How do Canadians say hello? Most Canadians will simply say “hello,” with French Canadians sticking to the usual greeting of “Bonjour”.

What do Canadian people love? ›

You'll find most Canadians seem to have at least one passion that allows them to enjoy the great outdoors, from skiing and snowboarding to hiking, mountain-biking, rock-climbing, camping, canoeing and snow-shoeing.

What time is dinner in Canada? ›

Further north in Canada, meals are typically between 6-7pm, and in places like Toronto, the most popular restaurant booking timings are between 7:30—9pm. It's a lot more relaxed.

What is the most common Canadian stereotype? ›

Setting the Record Straight on 10 Classic Canadian Stereotypes
  • We Know Everyone Living Here and their Best Friends. ...
  • Everything and Everyone Runs on Tim Hortons. ...
  • There are Polar Bears Everywhere. ...
  • Winter Lasts Forever. ...
  • We All Live in the Middle of Nowhere (Barrhaven, or as we call it, Far-haven) ...
  • There's Nothing to Do.

What are some symbols of Canadian culture? ›

Over the past century, the following symbols have been formally adopted by the Government of Canada and are now considered official symbols of our country.
  • The beaver. ...
  • The Coat of Arms. ...
  • The Maple Leaf Tartan.
  • The maple tree.
  • The national anthem.
  • The national flag.
  • The national horse.
  • The national sports.
Jun 5, 2020

What is a typical Canadian family? ›

The average Canadian family has classically been understood as a nuclear family with their extended family living separately. This remains the most common family unit; however, it can no longer be an exact social expectation.

What are things only Canadians have? ›

12 niche things only Canadians would know
  • Zellers. Once upon a time there was Zellers. ...
  • Ketchup Chips. Canadians have unique taste, and that includes chip flavours. ...
  • Maple Taffy. ...
  • Canadian Tire Money. ...
  • Chesterfield. ...
  • We have the best snacks. ...
  • President's Choice. ...
  • Swiss Chalet.
Jul 1, 2022

What is a Canadian breakfast? ›

Traditional breakfast foods in Canada are cooked eggs, fried pork sausages or bacon, fried or deep-fried potatoes, toasted bread, pancakes (or egg-battered French Toast) and syrup, cereals, or hot oatmeal.

What is Canada's traditional clothing? ›

Also traditional garments in Canada correspond with the weather conditions and climate in this part of the world. That's why traditional Canadian pieces of clothing are: parkas, tuques, ojibwa shirts, mittens, ear muffs and so on.

What is a Canadian drink? ›

9 Uniquely Canadian Beverages
  • Bloody Caesar. This Canadian drink concoction is made using vodka, Clamato juice, seasoning (usually Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco, but sometimes horseradish) and garnish. ...
  • Coureur des bois, Maple Cream Liqueur. ...
  • Caribou. ...
  • Screech. ...
  • Ice Wine. ...
  • Sussex Golden Ginger Ale. ...
  • Canadian Beer. ...
  • Canadian Whisky.

How many cultures does Canada have? ›

There are over 200 distinct cultures in Canada. The nation is often defined as a "cultural mosaic" with a greater mix of people from diverse backgrounds than almost anywhere else on Earth. Canada encourages its people to hold closely to their traditions and culture.

How do you show respect in Canada? ›

In general, Canadians are more reserved and polite than Americans, and take matters of etiquette a little more seriously. Shake hands and introduce yourself when meeting Canadians for the first time. Always shake hands firmly when meeting or departing. Eye contact is important.

What do most Canadians do for a living? ›

Wondering what most of us are doing for a living? The most commonly held job for Canadians is Retail Sales Person. That ranks as the top job for women in this country, the number two most frequently held for men, and the most popular occupation overall.

What are 3 weird but true facts about Canada? ›

7 Surprising Canada Facts You Probably Didn't Know
  • “Eh” is a real word! ...
  • Superman was co-created by a Canadian! ...
  • Canada has less gravity than anywhere else in the world! ...
  • Over 20% of Canada's population is foreign-born! ...
  • Canada is the most educated country in the world. ...
  • Santa Claus's official address is in Canada.
May 16, 2019

What is the most unique thing in Canada? ›

Final facts
  • Canada has the longest coastline in the world.
  • Canada is home to more than half of the world's lakes.
  • The literacy rate is 99 per cent.
  • Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city (after Paris)
  • Canada has the world's longest non-military border.
  • Almost 90 per cent of Canada is uninhabited.
Aug 6, 2020

How long is the winter in Canada? ›

What are the winter months in Canada? Winter months are generally December, January, and February. Although winter weather can start in November and last through late March or early April, making it a total of approximately five to six months of chilly weather.

What is Canada's favorite hobby? ›

The displayed data on hobbies & activities shows results of the Statista Global Consumer Survey conducted in Canada in 2022. Some 39 percent of respondents answered the question "What are your personal hobbies and activities?" with "Cooking & baking".

What makes Canada so happy? ›

One is due to the fact that Canadians are satisfied in their lives due to good health, income, safety and racial acceptance no matter the background. They also have strong social ties with families, friends and co-workers that keeps them happy.

What do Canadians do for fun? ›

Canadians enjoy very active lifestyles and frequently participate in both indoor and outdoor activities year round. Some of the more popular activities include soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, rock climbing, dance, hiking, camping, cycling, skiing/snowboarding and water sports.

What are the 5 Canadian values? ›

There are shared values—openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice.

How do Canadians behave? ›

In general, Canadians are a mostly friendly, unpretentious people who value honesty, sensitivity, empathy and humility in their relationships with friends and strangers, as well as respect for the privacy and individualism of others.

What do Canadians believe in? ›

Religion in Canada encompasses a wide range of groups and beliefs. Christianity is the largest religion in Canada, with Catholicism being its largest denomination. Christians, representing 53.3% of the population in 2021, are followed by people having no religion at 34.6% of the total population.


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