How to Spot a Canadian

Tracking down Canadians one toque at a time.

About this Site...

Canadians are a tricky people to distinguish. They are often able to blend into a society and appear to be American, British, French or any other number of nationalities. This site will provide you with some tips and tricks to help you recognize a Canadian no matter where you are.


This site is for entertainment purposes only. "How to Spot a Canadian" is filled with humour, satire, hyperbole, parody and sarcasm. All statements here should be taken with a grain of salt or a bottle of maple syrup, whatever the case may be.

They Like Beavers

You can tell a lot about a country by its national animal. The United States uses the bald eagle: a large bird of prey. The United Kingdom has a lion: an imposing carnivore. China has a dragon, Germany has an eagle, India has a Bengal tiger, Italy has a wolf. All of these animals are strong, proud and majestic. They are regal. They show the world that the country is question is large, grand and impressive.

Canada has a beaver.

Beavers are large rodents. Of course, they're not the largest rodents. No, choosing the largest of a species would be very un-Canadian. No, beavers are the second-largest rodents in the world. They are very slow on land and they frighten easily. They would probably lose in a fight to any of the other national animals listed above.

Well, that's not entirely true. Dragons are fictional. Even a beaver could beat up a fictional creature. It would be a close fight though.

However, what beavers lack in size, strength and imposing physical stature they make up in ingenuity.

A beaver dam is a pretty impressive structure. Beavers are hard workers and quite intelligent. The dams that they build are quite strong and beavers are able to build new dams or repair damaged ones quite quickly. Beavers work together with other beavers in order to build their dams.

Small, hard working, social and intelligent?

Yes, it makes sense that the beaver is Canada's national animal.

Of course, those traits are not the reason why the beaver is the national animal. No, like many other great symbols, the beaver is a martyr. When the Europeans originally began settling Canada, the fur trade was very important. More often than not it was beaver pelts that were being traded.

That's right, it was in death that the beaver became the symbol of Canada.

The conversation that decided this designation must have been completely bizarre:

“So... this country needs a national animal.”
“Hmm... you know that little annoying rodent we've been killing for a while now? How about that?”
“Works for me! Well, now that we're done with that, let's play hockey.”

And thus, with that ridiculous conversation, the beaver was given its iconic status.

Yes, that conversation is pretty much verbatim.
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  1. nonamedufus said...

    I always thought Eddie Shack was our national animal. Oh well.

  2. Kelly said...

    In actuality, any Canadian who has spent any time in a canoe detested beavers who's dams make travel by canoe very difficult.

  3. Anonymous said...

    beaver spotting is definitely a Canadian thing.

  4. Hindleyite said...

    They are also good at building dams. Hmm.

  5. Maureen said...

    Ahahahaha! Yep. And I like their tails that can whap out Morse Code to warn others...

    What? Isn't that true???


  6. Maureen said...

    Oh, and by the by... am linking you on MY Canadian blog.

    (I'd say "eh!" here, but since I am a true Canuck, I don't have to...)

  7. said...

    I feel that an in depth study on the usage of Morse code by beavers is necessary.

  8. expei said...

    i quite agree but we would need to verify that the tails are all of the same quality and texture to insure the same sounds mean the same thing to everyone.

  9. CANADIANS ROCK said...

    We do not spot beavers... we shoot them thank you very much. We do not all say Eh by the way! & not all of us like watching hockey all the time.

  10. Anonymous said...

    This was a GREAT post! Oh Beavers. And yes their dams are annoying to canoe over but they make up for it with their delishious tails!

    ALSO! I would also like to point out that a beaver could kick some ass by spitting on ANY of those animals and giving them BEAVER FEVER! Giardiasis forever!!!

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