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The 10 Most Canadian Things

The 10 Most Canadian Things

Hey there, friend! Are you ready to dive into the world of all things Canuck? You’ve come to the right place!

If you can’t get enough of the land of maple syrup and hockey, we’ve compiled this awesome list of the top most Canadian things that’ll make you feel like an honorary Canadian in no time.

Whether you’re a true native or just visiting the Great White North, these items are must-see (and must-try) experiences! So, grab some Timbits and your warmest toque, because we’re about to embark on a trip across this beautiful country—so read on!

Ice Hockey

Alright, folks, let’s talk about ice hockey—or, as our Canadian friends call it, just hockey,” because when you’re in the Great White North, there’s no other kind. It’s undeniable that hockey is massive in Canada, and for good reason!

Not only has this mighty sport been around since the 1800s, but it has also helped shape Canadian identity and culture. Inuit ancestors even played a game called “akgitujjut”, which was a form of field hockey, in the colder months.

Canadians are born with skates on their feet and sticks in their hands, and it’s often said the country’s number one export is hockey superstars—do names like Wayne Gretzky, Crosby, and Orr ring any bells?

Fun fact: The Hockey Hall of Fame is located in none other than Toronto! If you ever visit, don’t miss the chance to see hockey legend exhibits and tons of frozen historic goodness.

Local Tip: For an authentic hockey experience, catch a game at your local rink and cheer on your hometown team.

Maple Syrup

Now, where would we be without a hefty pour of that golden goodness, maple syrup? This quintessential Canadian product has its roots in Indigenous peoples, who first introduced the early settlers to the art of tapping maple trees.

Nowadays, Canada produces more than 70% of the world’s maple syrup, with Quebec dominating the scene. Sure, pancakes and waffles love it, but Canadians know this all-natural sweetness is perfect for so many recipes.

Oh, and don’t skip out on experiencing a true sugar shack during maple season! Grab some flannels and join the maple syrup festivities, where you can taste this syrupy treat straight from the source.

Local Tip: Ask around for the best sugar shack recommendations, or better yet, visit a few to experience different atmospheres and production methods.

Canadian Wildlife (Moose, Beaver, Loons)

Now, you can’t talk about Canada without giving a big shout-out to the glorious wildlife that calls this place home. 

The iconic moose can be found gracing everything from carvings to t-shirts, not to mention posing majestically for tourists near the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

But let’s not forget Canada’s official national animal, the beaver—the hardworking, dam-building, and oh-so-industrious representative of the country.

Last but not least, the loon’s hauntingly beautiful call can be heard across the thousands of lakes in Canada, encapsulating the pristine mystery of the Canadian wilderness.

Local Tip: Keep an eye out for these fantastic creatures, and be sure to snap an Instagram-worthy pic while respecting their natural habitat.
And to boost your chances of spotting wildlife, visit a national or provincial park and ask park rangers for the best viewing spots.

The Canadian Rockies

I bet you didn’t think we could talk about anything more Canadian than hockey, did you? Well, hold onto your toques, friends, because next up we’ve got the breathtaking Canadian Rockies.

This mountain range stretches across Alberta and British Columbia and is one of Canada’s most cherished highlights. Just think of the quintessential Canadian postcard: snow-covered peaks with crystal-clear turquoise lakes resting calmly at their feet.

The Rockies are that image brought to life. Imagine the rush of adrenaline as you trek through the mountains and the peace as you soak in the incredible vistas from their peaks.

And, in fact, the Rockies date back over 100 million years, carved out by natural forces. They’re not just beautiful; they’re a testament to the stunning history and resilience of Mother Nature.

Local Tip: When in the Rockies, take the scenic route! Drive the Icefields Parkway for some of the best views around.

Poutine

Now, let’s shift gears and go from the majestic to the downright mouthwatering: poutine. Originating from rural Quebec in the 1950s, this humble dish of fries, cheese curds, and gravy has ascended to become an iconic symbol of Canadian cuisine.

Over time, there have been endless poutine variations, but no matter the mix-ins, at its heart, poutine remains an endearing staple that perfectly illustrates Canada’s blend of cultures.

Sure, it’s often dubbed “late-night drunk food,” but Canadians know that poutine doesn’t discriminate; it’s delightfully delicious at any time of the day. Whether you’re having it at a fancy restaurant or a streetside food truck, it just… hits the spot!

Local Tip: Avoid the chains when trying poutine. Instead, look for locally owned joints, diners, and chip trucks for the real deal!

Tim Hortons

Oh, Timmy, how do we love you? Let’s count the ways! This ubiquitous coffee chain was started by—you guessed it—a hockey player named Tim Horton back in 1964.

Canadians’ love for “Tim’s” goes beyond its coffee and doughnuts. It’s about the sense of community you feel when catching up with friends over a ‘double-double or biting into the warmth of a ‘Timbit’ on a brisk Canadian morning.

Tim Hortons has become as ingrained in the Canadian landscape as the maple leaf itself. With a location in nearly every town, it’s a symbol of Canadian hospitality, and it’s no surprise that they’ve nicknamed it “Canada’s Favorite Coffee”.

Local Tip: Skip the big cities and visit a Tim Hortons in a small town for a real taste of that good ol’ Canadian conviviality.

Lacrosse

When you hear “Canada” and “sports,” your mind might immediately jump to ice hockey. But guess what, folks? Canada’s got another national sport up its sleeve: lacrosse!

That’s right, it’s been around since the 1850s, offering a thrilling alternative for those who are more into short shorts than, well, ice. 

Originally played by Indigenous peoples, lacrosse was dubbed “the Creator’s game,” acting as a form of both entertainment and spiritual fulfillment. Lacrosse today is a dynamic, fast-paced game. 

It’s no wonder that this contact sport has grabbed the hearts of Canadians and held them tight. Catch a game if you can, and while you’re at it, see if you can score a sweet goal yourself.

Local Tip: Amateur and professional lacrosse games featuring skilled and passionate players are a must-see if you want to appreciate this incredible sport.

Caesars

The cocktail world would be different without Canada’s gift to mixology: the Caesar.

Invented in Calgary, Alberta, back in 1969 by bartender Walter Chell, the Caesar is a delicious concoction of vodka, Clamato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, all rimmed with celery salt and garnished with a celery stalk. 

It’s practically a meal in a glass! This savory cocktail has earned its place as the go-to brunch drink throughout Canada, casting its tomatoey and briny red coat over the Great White North. 

Grab a glass, enjoy a couple of sips, and toast to Canada’s favorite cocktail!

Local Tip: For a unique Caesar, hit up a spot that boasts a creative and diverse Caesar menu loaded with tasty garnishes and funky twists.

Nanaimo Bars

Now, where would our journey into Canadiana be without a foray into dessert territory? Enter the Nanaimo Bar, a no-bake dessert bar hailing from the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia.

It’s got three luscious layers, starting with a chocolate and coconut crust, a creamy custard filling in the middle, and a rich chocolate ganache on top. Swoon-worthy, eh?

These indulgent sweet treats have become a staple in Canadian bakeries, potlucks, and special events. Go ahead, grab a Nanaimo bar, and let the chocolaty goodness envelop your senses.

Local Tip: When in British Columbia, make a stop in Nanaimo itself to taste the original bars. They embrace their Nanaimo bar legacy with an array of themed treats!

The Great White North

What do you get when you combine a vast, diverse, and frosty nation? You’ve guessed it—the Great White North!

This affectionate nickname for Canada nods to the country’s cold winters and expansive, snowy landscapes. It truly encapsulates the geographic enormity of the country while also evoking a sense of Canadian pride and identity.

Whether you’re trekking through snow-capped mountains in winter or marveling at the Northern Lights on a crisp night, there’s no denying the magical beauty of Canada’s frosty landscape. 

Embrace the cold and let the spirit of the Great White North fill your heart!

Local Tip: To experience Canada’s truly remarkable winter landscapes, bundle up and visit one of the country’s many winter festivals, like Québec City’s Carnaval de Québec.
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