Some Things Are Just Different in Canada?

17 Dec
English: Map of Canada

Map of Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


No matter where you travel  to, you will find the differences between home and where you visit. Canada has its own style.  Because we are neighbours, we are sometimes put in the same “box” as the United States.  But even though we are all in North America, we certainly differ in a few ways.  What am I rambling on about?


Well, there’s the grammar.  We are more like the British, finishing “or” words as “our”.  For example, “neighbour” and “colour”.  There’s the check / cheque, and centre / center.


There’s also different pronunciation.  For instance, we pronounce “roof” as in “oof”, the Americans pronounce it as “rough”.


There’s food and drink differences too.  I’ve yet to taste New York’s pretzels with mustard; and I would guess not too many Americans are familiar with Poutines or Beaver Tails.  Lay’s potato chips join in the difference: Flavours only available in Canada are Ketchup, Baked creamy dill, Dill pickle, Smokey bacon, Sea salt and pepper, Old-fashioned ketchup.  They also only sell  Roasted Chicken and Fries ‘n gravy (only in western Canada), and Old-fashioned barbecue (only in western Canada).


I remember that on my last trip to the United States, I asked for vinegar for my fries (a given here in Canada) and not only did I get a funny look, but the best they could offer was cider — not the same.  Other treats that are hard to find elsewhere?  Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp, Mr. Big, Wunderbar, and Bounty chocolate bars.


Then there’s a difference in Pop /Soda drinks:  We use sugar, where the Americans use corn syrup.  Believe me, that makes a big difference!


I’m sure you can find other differences as well … Let me know what you think.  And if you also know of differences with other countries, let us know.




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44 responses to “Some Things Are Just Different in Canada?

  1. seaangel4444

    January 7, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    My goodness can I relate to this post! *LOL* I am a Canadian who lives in Chicago! I am always amazed by the differences between ‘my home and native land’ and ‘Chicagoland’ (or the US, for that matter). Excellent post and as equally excellent blog! I am happy to have found it and now follow as well! 🙂

    • tkmorin

      January 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      I’m glad you are enjoying my blog. I’m also pleased to hear about Canada vs U.S. / Chicago … I enjoy hearing from readers!

      Happy New Year to you and yours! 🙂

      • seaangel4444

        January 7, 2014 at 5:47 pm

        Happy New Year to you, too! I’ll be doing some reblogging from your great site, with your permission! As I just started my blog a few days ago, “The Chicago Files”, I am sure my readers will be thrilled to read your posts at Bize Size Canada!!! Yeay!!! 🙂

        • tkmorin

          January 7, 2014 at 5:50 pm

          Please, go for it! I hope your followers find it interesting as well! 🙂

          • seaangel4444

            January 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm

            Thank you so much! I know they will! And vice-versa if you find yourself so inclined! 🙂

          • tkmorin

            January 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm

            Thank you! 🙂

      • seaangel4444

        January 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm

        Oh, it will be fun comparing notes!! *LOL*

        • tkmorin

          January 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm

          I’m looking forward to it! 🙂

  2. PD

    December 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Where I come from in the US, we pronounce it oof…the Midwest says ough, though ;p

    • tkmorin

      December 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Ummm … I feel silly for generalizing, I should know better. Still, I find it interesting. Thank you for taking the time to comment, PD! It’s much appreciated.

      • PD

        December 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

        Given what Americans have to say about Canada, I’m hardly inclined to judge! (And my friends give me crap for pronunciation. I maintain they’re wrong.)


  3. Michael Patton

    December 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Yes, there’s differences! Canada is relatively sane, compared to the U.S. I’ve done a fair amount of hitchhiking in Canada, but I would never hitchhike in the lower 48 of the U.S. I’ve spoken to Australians traveling in both countries, and often they welcome the calm of Canada after being in the U.S. That’s not to say I don’t LOVE my country. However, you can love someone and still admit their shortcomings.

    • tkmorin

      December 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      Thank you, Michael! That’s very interesting … I hadn’t thought of the hitchhiking aspect. … and calrm? Cool! 🙂

  4. Shelli@howsitgoingeh?

    December 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    There are SO many differences between the US + Canada! I still get culture shock living in Vancouver! And I still giggle when my husband says something is “skookum” or that he was really “choked”. And I always pause when ordering breakfast at a restaurant + the waitress asks if I want white or brown bread. I’ve never heard it called “brown bread” in my life!

    • tkmorin

      December 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Really? Wow, that’s interesting. “Skookum” is not one I’ve heard before. Choked, oh yeah, especially, believe it or not, during some really touching ads! LOL What would you call the “brown bread”?

      • Shelli@howsitgoingeh?

        December 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm

        In the US they just ask, “White or Wheat?”.

        • tkmorin

          December 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm

          Wow, Shelli, that’s interesting! Seriously. Some things we take for granted, eh? Just last night I watched a Maclean’s tv show about “Canadisms” and the guy asked Americans if they knew the definition of some Canadian terminology (ie tuque, two-four …) and it was amazing to me. Thank you for that, I appreciate it!

  5. L. Marie

    December 18, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I’m well familiar with Lay’s Potato Chips. 🙂 And you’re right: there’s a big difference between sugar and corn syrup. 😀

  6. dtkcopywriting

    December 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Here’s something I’ve always wondered about. I grew up in Southern Ontario and lived there til I was 25. Whenever I passed someone on the street, I always made brief eye contact. I live in Southern Maryland now near the DC border and that is considered a challenge. After ten years here, I still fight the urge to do it. My question: was I wrong to do it even in Canada? Do Canadians, by and large, make more eye contact with strangers than the average American does?

    • tkmorin

      December 18, 2013 at 10:08 am

      I don’t know about the comparison (I haven’t travelled that much) but I certainly make eye contact whenever possible. A smile or a nod usually follows when the eye contact is made. Good question, though … 🙂

    • Vanessa Dawne

      December 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      I grew up in small-time Calgary where we always greeted others with a howdy or slight nod — I don’t think it’s so true now in the big cities but come out to the small towns & we always say hi. 😉

      • tkmorin

        December 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm

        Nice invite! Thank you … And for the comment, as well! 🙂

        • Vanessa Dawne

          December 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm

          hee hee, come on out any time 😉 and you’re welcome — I LUV this Canadiana site!

          • tkmorin

            December 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm

            I’m really happy to hear that! 🙂

      • dtkcopywriting

        December 19, 2013 at 10:38 am

        I know mid-Westerners who are like that too. Maybe it’s just people between New York and DC are suspicious of everybody.

        • Vanessa Dawne

          December 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm

          I wonder if it’s more of a large-population thing? I thought the change really happened in Calgary after the ’88 Olympics when the city became more of a metropolitan. When you consider the largest population of both countries has always been that eastern strip, it would make sense ‘friendly’ might be replaced with ‘suspicion’. 😉

  7. dtkcopywriting

    December 18, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I saw a graphic the other day of 55 Canadianisms that apparently confuse Americans and people of other countries. Eavestrough was on the list, which I found odd (but the wordpress spellchecker doesn’t like it either). Once, when I was vacationing with my parents in Maryland, I asked a waitress in a restaurant where the bathroom was. She balked: “You wanna take a bath?” I consented to use “restroom” with a disgruntled sigh. I was 17. I live in Maryland now and it hasn’t happened again. I think I just find the bathrooms by myself now.

    • tkmorin

      December 18, 2013 at 10:06 am

      LOL I realized while reading your comment that I usually ask for the washroom. I wonder where that fits? 🙂

      Do you remember where you saw the graphic of Canadianisms? I think I’d really like to read that!

      • dtkcopywriting

        December 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

        I saw it on the dreaded Facebook and can’t find it anywhere else. It’s a little hard to read but brought back some memories. Robertson screwdrivers! Dish cloth! Homo milk!

        • tkmorin

          December 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

          Oh that’s great! I wonder why “thong” is there? Homo milk, my favourite (it’s also my first choice in milk). 🙂

          • dtkcopywriting

            December 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

            I missed thong. Another thing about Canadian milk: it comes in bags. It’s like an intelligence test to get it into the milk jug. Nothing like that in the States. No intelligence tests at breakfast.

          • tkmorin

            December 19, 2013 at 10:54 am

            … and yet, it’s a way to get your day started right! LOL Yes, I’ve learned that cutting the opening has to be just right or a mess follows! 🙂

          • dtkcopywriting

            December 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

            You are so right!

  8. weggieboy

    December 18, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Occasionally, Lays puts out flavors in the US that may or may not join the standards. Among them was ketchup-flavored chips. I am a ketchup lover (“Ew! Ketchup on steak!?” “Ew! Ketchup on scrambled eggs!?” “Ew! Ketchup on mashed potatoes!?” …and so on.) but the ketchup-flavored chips were a step too far for me. On the other hand vinegar and sea salt flavored chips were very tasty, but, apparently, not a success in this market: I haven’t seen them lately. They had a cheeseburger-flavored on for a time, too, that was blah.

    Pronunciation varies a bit more than that (roof-rough) from you and within the US, but is sufficient to alert you (or us) to an alien in our land when we hear it. Ha!

    • tkmorin

      December 18, 2013 at 10:02 am

      LOL! So much for disguise, eh? I just cannot imagine cheeseburger-flavoured chips! And, I should point out, I love Ketchup too!! Don’t forget it’s great with shepherd’s pie, too! Thanks for the comment, appreciated! 🙂

  9. seeker

    December 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    One thing in US of A, everything is SUPER size. Here in BC, just enough food on the plate. Definitely, the accent is very noticeable when listening to my american cousins.

    • tkmorin

      December 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Cool! Thank you, P! That’s the kind of comments I love to read … 🙂

  10. furrylittlegnome

    December 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    As a native of Vermont, Canadian influence is everywhere. In some spots, signs are in, both, French and English and we pronounce “roof” with the “oof”. We know what poutine is and no one would think twice if you asked for vinegar for your fries!

    • tkmorin

      December 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      I’ll know what to order next time I go to Vermont! Thanks for dropping by! I missed your visits! 🙂

  11. Peter Smith

    December 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Old Fashioned BBQ, Fries and Gravy are both available here in NS. Also all our pop out east is made with syrup not sugar. Only sugar ones we get are when they have the throw back pepsi available!

    Great blog, love reading!

    • tkmorin

      December 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Ah great! Thank you for commenting … I love to read readers’ thoughts! 🙂


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