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.

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Their National Hero is Honoured in Chocolate

The War of 1812 saw American forces battle with the British. We've already talked about how the war led to the creation of the Star Spangled Banner and the birth of Canadian pyromania. What we haven't mentioned was that a popular Canadian symbol was born during this time as well.

In 1813 American soldiers invaded what is now Canada. While they were there, they used several civilian homes as sleeping quarters their troops. One of these homes was Laura Secord's. While the American officers stayed in her home they discussed plans for a surprise attack. Apparently they incorrectly assumed that the British were deaf as they talked about their secret plans loudly enough for Laura Secord to overheard them. She decided that the British army needed to know about the plans.

Laura walked over 30 kilometres through dangerous terrain to tell the British troops the plan. With the information she gave them the British were able to attack the Americans and defeat them.

Laura Secord's heroism was so great that Canada later presented her with the country's highest honour: having a chocolate store named after her. It isn't widely known, but chocolate recognition is the greatest award a Canadian can be given. If someone argues this point with you, they are clearly lying and they do not understand history. The fact that no other Canadian heroes have a chocolate company named after them shows how truly prestigious this honour is.

Laura Secord Chocolates sells a wide variety of high quality, expensive chocolate. Many pieces of chocolate have an image of Laura imprinted on them. Any true Canadian will proudly salute the chocolate before taking a huge bite out of Laura's head. Canadians will then proceed to eat far too many chocolates and make themselves sick. It's a ritual of respect and thanksgiving. Honestly.

Of course, the Americans did get the last laugh in this matter.

In 2004 Laura Secord was purchased by US-based private equity investment groups Gordon Brothers Group and LLC and EG Capital Group making Laura Secord an American-owned company.

Laura was also honoured with a Heritage Minute. Thanks to that Heritage Minute, "Take me to Fitzgibbon" has become an iconic Canadian line. There is no word as to when the line will be purchased by an American company.
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Missed Posting This Before Yesterday...

It's still very good:

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A Sports Show Changing Its Theme Song Was On Their National News - For Weeks

Saying that hockey is popular in Canada would be pointless. That statement would be right up there with saying water is wet, the sun is hot and beavers are awesome.

Everyone knows that Canadians love their hockey. However, many non-Canadians don't know how far this obsession stretches.

Hockey Night In Canada is a very popular Canadian television program. It has aired on the CBC for over 50 years and, due to Canada's love affair with hockey, it has become a Canadian institution. The show introduced a new theme song in 1986. Fittingly, the song was called "The Hockey Theme."

This all sounds completely normal so far, right?

Yes. But then it gets weird.

Due to the popularity of hockey and the sport's close connection to the Canadian identity, the song eventually became known unofficially as "Canada's second national anthem." Patriotism and hockey are very, very closely linked in Canada. The fact that the show was frequently sponsored by beer companies completed the circle. A hockey show sponsored by a beer company would definitely become a Canadian symbol.

Now, you would think that the theme to a TV show being equated to a national anthem would be as bizarre as this situation gets, right?


You see, Canadians are a very strange people. They latched onto this theme and they loved it. They REALLY loved it. They played it at weddings. They played it at concerts. They used it as their cell phone ringtones. It was THAT big.

Then, at the end of the 2008 NHL hockey season, the CBC's license to use the song ran out. The CBC, a publicly funded institution, was not able to afford the new, increased asking price for the song. They announced that the following season of Hockey Night in Canada would feature a new theme that would be chosen by a nationwide contest.

Then all hell broke loose.

It was as if every Canadian had been suddenly punched in the stomach. They were hurt. They were confused. They were angry. Their stomachs hurt. Canadians didn't want a new song. They wanted "The Hockey Theme." National campaigns to "save the theme" were set up. It was near pandemonium. The theme song change was the topic of every call-in show, every water cooler conversation and every social gathering you can think of. You can mess with a lot of things in Canada - politics, religion, the bear population - but messing with this theme song was going too far. Canadians wanted the song back.

Of course, all attempts failed and the CBC set out to find a new song.

Rival network CTV ended up "saving the song" when they paid the increased asking price, but Canadians were still upset. A hockey game on CBC wasn't the same without that song. It would never be the same! The very nature of television viewing was forever altered!

Then the puck dropped for the next season and everyone went back to watching the games.

That's how Canadians get angry. In a civilized, organized manner where they eventually end up just going with the flow.
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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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Do you have your own unique way of spotting Canadians? If you'd like to share it with us, please contact us by email. We're always looking for new tips!