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Canada versus United States culture

Outlier

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I am in southern Ontario and I find that the culture here is very similar to the states below. I do realize that Canada has it it’s own unique cultures in different provinces, and especially up north which are far removed from southern ontario. The States has differences depending where you are geographically too.

In my experience, anytime I’ve been in the states there hasn’t really been a significant difference in the environments or people compared to what I see in Ontario. Our politics are a bit different, or a lot really. Our systems of governments are different. But overall, the towns in the cities look about the same, the people look the same, the stores are very similar, the streets look the same, our media is the same so culturally we are very similar. This is just in regards to southern Ontario.

This is my experience having been in both Canada and the United States many times. However I am in a bubble here being entirely from southern Ontario without much experience travelling elsewhere within Canada. Does anybody have any input here? Anybody from northern Canada or out east or west want to give any input? Or anybody at all.

What do you Americans think about us Canadians culturally? if you’ve been here can you describe the differences that you noticed?

I’m asking this to educate myself because I am likely very ignorant here. To promote a new type of discussion in this forum, and start a debate on a subject I think could fire some people up.

I do realize the politics are extremely different and find that the United States politics are very extreme compared to ours. Canadian politics are boring comparatively, because its not all played up like some reality show on a red carpet. Out politicians are granted full privacy here, no TMZ style shit happening here. Some Canadians actually want more transparency from their politicians and meanwhile, the USA politics are all this fucked smoke show. I barely believe a thing I hear from the US except that its totally broken and corrupt at the head.

Having said all of that that, I’m hoping to keep this discussion as apolitical ad possible, and more focussed on the cultural differences. What do you guys think?

Heres a start. A friend and I drove into town to go to Walmart. Walmart is a shit hole but tue price is right. That experience is mutual between us.
 

JessFR

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Canadian culture is basically American culture but on a nice strong and very much needed antipsychotic. ;)

Also someone came alone with a cup full of British and accidentally spilled some into the culture. Similar to Australia except Australia didn't get nearly as strong an antipsychotic. They're on a baby antipsychotic, they're on seroquel, Canada's on Haldol or something.
 

Burnt Offerings

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I live in Alaska and have traveled fairly extensively throughout northwest Canada. The culture is basically the same, at least as far as the fundamentals go (nuclear families, capitalism, nation-state, English language etc.) The aesthetics are even similar, people dress the same from Alaska all the way down to Canada's southern border with the USA...

That's the only area of Canada I have direct, first hand experience with though...and as far east as Alberta...but I've never really explored most of Canada's middle or eastern regions. Actually I haven't explored eastern Canada at all, pretty much. Perhaps French Canada is a lot different?

I hear ya on the news thing though. That's an aspect of culture which really is different lol, I remember driving through Canada and thinking that you could use Canadian news bulletins as a treatment for insomnia...it's a very dramatic departure from the hysterical shriek of much of American news media. I did think that some of the reports regarding indigenous rights/native issues in Canada were somewhat interesting, though.
 

ions

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I took Intro to Canada my first semester in college. The guy teaching it was a loon but Jean Cretien was the PM at the time. It was a boring class. I got a C+, that's the Canadian A.

But you can learn a lot about Canada by watching Super Troopers 2.

It's a lot more progressive up dare so it seems. Niagara falls or thousand islands, that's about as far as we venture into Canada from here.
 

SunriseChampion

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Utah is fucking weird. I just had to say this.

I did a road trip a few years ago from San Francisco to Aspen via Reno and Salt Lake and then down to Vegas.

First of all, Utah is fucking weird. Have I mentioned this?

Ok, anyway, I felt quite a bit different, especially in Reno, which seemed sort of on edge....I don't know how to describe it.....weird vibe. The coolest person I met there other than my host was a guy from Hawai'i. I felt like I could relate to him more than to any of the locals I met. All of Nevada was sort of on edge it seemed. Very weird vibe.
Utah. Is fucking weird. The locals were all quite friendly, but in a weird way where it seemed like they were all possessed or acting. Then we got to Colorado and the first little village over the border we're getting fuel and the guy opposite starts chatting with us and it instantly felt like home. Very genuinely friendly vibe. Aspen as well. We were there in off-season so it wasn't "full of dicks" as we were told by the locals.
Felt quite at home there. As if i was visiting central Ontario. Super cool.
Vegas. Fuck me.....what a shithole. Actually kissed the ground outside the terminal building when we landed back in Toronto. I've never done that. Not even after almost dying/getting arrested in Cuba. That's how bad Vegas is.

So, out of California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado the one place I felt comfortably "at home" was Colorado. Everywhere else had a distinctly different and at times uncomfortable vibe.

I think there are indeed pretty siginificant differences.

For one, First Nations (that's what we call non-Inuit Native Americans here...I'm not even going to confuse people with the Metis) and Inuit people here seem to figure more prominently in our socio-political and cultural realms. Probably because they're close to 5% of the population. In the US, I think they're much less prominent demographically. They're defo less prominent socio-politically and culturally.

Then there's the prevalence of immigrants here. Recent immigrants make up a larger proportion of the population here than they do in the US. They may be concentrated in the larger cities for the most part, but there is significant dispersal throughout the country to the point that I think, with the exception of various rural areas of the country, their influence is significant.
For example, Mandarin language options on bank machines (and no, it's not for the benefit of tourists). In fact, Mandarin has almost de facto become Canada's third language, after the two official ones.

Which brings me to my nexts point: bilingualism. Canada is officially bilingual, meaning that all federal services are provided in French and English. New Brunswick is also officially bilingual and other provinces like Ontario and Manitoba but also the territories afford francophones extensive service rights in their language.
There are also francophone communities throughout the country, not just in Quebec. Northern New Brunswick. Southwest Nova Scotia. Winnipeg. Southwest Ontario (for example, Welland and Windsor), Northeast and Eastern Ontario, etc
Then there's Quebec itself which is a largely different culture even from Anglo Canada, never mind the US.

Maritime culture (the Maritimes being the four Atlantic provinces) is also quite unique. Even linguistically. Most prominently in Newfoundland and Labrador, which is probably due to their relative isolation but also their late arrival in Confederation (1949).

Going back to the immigrants here. Here in Toronto, our vernacular is very heavily influenced by immigrants....more like in the UK than what it is in the US. This is partly due to the high numbers of Caribbean immigrants here. I was born here and grew up here and when I went to school in Ottawa (which is also in southern Ontario, obviously) I was constantly asked by both locals and people from other parts of Canada, but mostly those from elsewhere in Canada, where I was from because of my accent. My accent! Wtf. Couldn't believe it.

Anyway, I think the similarities in our two cultures are often overstated.

It's kinda like we're the New Zealand to their Australia, I guess.

But I don't know.....I've been to Buffalo and Detroit......worlds apart.

I think the similarities in the OP are of a sort of "rust belt" town vibe, if anything.
 
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What do you Americans think about us Canadians culturally?
We think you are a joke. We think you are generic, and we call you America Junior. Americans never think about Canada or your culture. I personally think that we need to build a wall between the US and Canada and not Mexico to keep all your fucking cold air out! I’m about sick of that shit. I’ve traveled around Canada when I was kid and it was just weird. It kinda looked like America, but cheaper and fucking boring as shit. The people there remind me of the weird homeschool people, a little like Mormons with their obnoxious positivity and their weird shit brands of snacks. I can’t think of a single Canadian export that is better than the shit we make in America.

This is the most I ever thought about Canada or Canadian culture and probably the last time I will think of Canada. You are a non-consequential country in my opinion, and I have no desire to ever visit there again. Just being honest.
 

JessFR

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We think you are a joke. We think you are generic, and we call you America Junior. Americans never think about Canada or your culture. I personally think that we need to build a wall between the US and Canada and not Mexico to keep all your fucking cold air out! I’m about sick of that shit. I’ve traveled around Canada when I was kid and it was just weird. It kinda looked like America, but cheaper and fucking boring as shit. The people there remind me of the weird homeschool people, a little like Mormons with their obnoxious positivity and their weird shit brands of snacks. I can’t think of a single Canadian export that is better than the shit we make in America.

This is the most I ever thought about Canada or Canadian culture and probably the last time I will think of Canada. You are a non-consequential country in my opinion, and I have no desire to ever visit there again. Just being honest.

Yeah, saying Americans think canadas generic is too kind.

The real truth? For the most part Americans don't think about you at all, nor do they think about any foreign countries other than perhaps the ones we might be invading at the time.
 
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The real truth? For the most part Americans don't think about you at all, nor do they think about any foreign countries

That’s correct, and why should we give a shit about other countries. Even the shitty southern states and the flyover middle states are better than any other country in the world. I’ve lived all over the world growing up as the son of a US Naval commander, and everywhere else isn’t as good as America. I refuse to learn any other language other than American, because I don’t fucking have to learn any other language, thank god. The majority of the world has been licking our boots for well over 100 years now. We don’t need anything from any other country really. We have all the resources right here and is the reason why we are the richest and best country in the world. So goes American so goes the world, and everyone else in the world knows that. Anyone hoping that the US will destroy itself in another civil war is fooling themselves. We just got through a great test with Trump, and thankfully we didn’t lose this nation because of one horrible former president. His base is stupid and clearly not the majority of this country’s voters. We have already forgot about Trump and the whole world is breathing a giant sigh of relief with him now gone. Nobody really cares about his impeachment trial here. He’s long gone anyway and this trial is just for principle.
 

JessFR

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That’s correct, and why should we give a shit about other countries. Even the shitty southern states and the flyover middle states are better than any other country in the world. I’ve lived all over the world growing up as the son of a US Naval commander, and everywhere else isn’t as good as America. I refuse to learn any other language other than American, because I don’t fucking have to learn any other language, thank god. The majority of the world has been licking our boots for well over 100 years now. We don’t need anything from any other country really. We have all the resources right here and is the reason why we are the richest and best country in the world. So goes American so goes the world, and everyone else in the world knows that. Anyone hoping that the US will destroy itself in another civil war is fooling themselves. We just got through a great test with Trump, and thankfully we didn’t lose this nation because of one horrible former president. His base is stupid and clearly not the majority of this country’s voters. We have already forgot about Trump and the whole world is breathing a giant sigh of relief with him now gone. Nobody really cares about his impeachment trial here. He’s long gone anyway and this trial is just for principle.

This kinda nationalism is exactly what's gonna destroy us. In our hubris too many Americans can't see the impending disaster and the end of our empire even when it's staring us in the face.

It didn't have to be like this, but we became blinded by our own achievements, we stopped thinking greatness was something we had to work for and started thinking it was something owed to us through American exceptionalism.

It's sad. Makes you wonder if human nature ensures that no empire can ever truly last.
 

w01fg4ng

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Canada is like a slightly edgy, very sexy yet intelligent and independent woman.


Conservatives fear you. Liberals want to be you.
 
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This kinda nationalism is exactly what's gonna destroy us.
Couldn’t agree more, but there is nothing wrong with a little nationalism. Sure, we’ve rested on our laurels for way too long, but that’s about all we got right now. The type of relationships and alliances we need to rebuild right now are very important for us to remain relevant on the world stage. I just hope it’s not too late. We got really lucky with this election. I don’t think America could have survived another Trump term. I like where the US is now and feel that we might be able have a chance of being relevant for at least a few more years. I like the current administration. They are an elite group of pros that understand this reality all to clearly. Where we can shine is in a climate change economy, where the world will need us more than China.
 

JessFR

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Couldn’t agree more, but there is nothing wrong with a little nationalism. Sure, we’ve rested on our laurels for way too long, but that’s about all we got right now. The type of relationships and alliances we need to rebuild right now are very important for us to remain relevant on the world stage. I just hope it’s not too late. We got really lucky with this election. I don’t think America could have survived another Trump term. I like where the US is now and feel that we might be able have a chance of being relevant for at least a few more years. I like the current administration. They are an elite group of pros that understand this reality all to clearly. Where we can shine is in a climate change economy, where the world will need us more than China.

Yeah actually I generally agree with nearly all of that. All I'd say is that nationalism is nearly always a negative. Patriotism isn't, but nationalism is.

To be clear since I know these are somewhat vague terms, I'm essentially defining them to be that patriotism means you love your country, whereas nationalism is more about how your country is the best compared to everyone else.

America can't and shouldn't try and go it alone. We need to reinvest in our alliances if we want a secure future for, not just our interests, but the interests of the entire western democratic world.
 

ions

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Alliances with none. Commerce amongst all. We'd like a lot of labatt blue light beer. I'll give you....a lil blackout juice aka moonshine.

And there's the patriot act which is garbage. Or at least a lot like an aenema, but I still think I'd rather an enema than patriot act.
 

JackARoe

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I completely agree with the OP. I find Ontario and NY or Michigan to be very similar than say NY and South Carolina or Ontario as opposed to Alberta. I really do think the area makes it simailar and not the country. I live in NY but have lived in Ontario on permits and yeah, other than the money people are very similar. I can confirm I think people here just think of Canada as another state. I mean, even some Canadian humor hits on that. Mexico seems more of a different country.

Culterally I just think Canada needs a self defense law. I was told if someone breaks in while I sleep to not hurt them, especially if they are under 18. In the states it is implied that someone is out to hrm you if they enter your place uninvited. Other than that Ontario/NY are similar. Buffalo and Toronto look like to me.

I need to rewatch Canadian Bacon. One of my favorite John Candy movies.
 

Outlier

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@The Wizard of the Creek

I have definitely seen that and Ive seen Americsns who want to to flat out take over the country and make it a part of theirs too. What do you think about that?
 
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@The Wizard of the Creek

I have definitely seen that and Ive seen Americsns who want to to flat out take over the country and make it a part of theirs too. What do you think about that?
Nah, America loves our white Canadian brothers and sisters. We look at Canada as a place to escape if America goes to shit. Besides, with global warming we all might have to move closer to the North Poll. I don’t think you guys would mind, don’t ya know eh. Canada is adorable. Do you still have the Queen on your loony’s?
 

Outlier

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Nah, America loves our white Canadian brothers and sisters. We look at Canada as a place to escape if America goes to shit. Besides, with global warming we all might have to move closer to the North Poll. I don’t think you guys would mind, don’t ya know eh. Canada is adorable. Do you still have the Queen on your loony’s?
Yes we do.🤗
 

Shady's Fox

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I can only say what I know, I've been to Canada ya two times in my life, and a few in USA. Canada isn't that civilized as you might think, while isn't New York or Pennsylvania it doesn't mean shit -- there's still sinners too. First of all, meat meat yo brother I ate some meat and I swear I bought a few more to bring home above that you got tech locals which are very dedicated to their passion and they gonna fix ur shit rlly fuckin fast, I didn't see anything different other than forest and cold weather.
 

Gormur

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Canada has few people and big open space between people. That's probably the main thing. It's spread out but has big metropolitan cities where you're exposed to all kinds of different languages. Where I went to uni in Winnipeg, MB there's a French quarter, St. Boniface that has its own university and there are other communities like the Italian quarter, St. Andrew's College at UofM which is Ukrainian Orthodox. In downtown Winnipeg you can hear Ojibwe since there's a sizable Native population there

This seems different from the rest of Canada though (except for NWT, Nunavut and Quebec or NB) where it's basically anglophone with a smattering of East Indian and Hong Kongers/Mainland Chinese immigrants. Also, Canadian weather is windy. The Windy City has nothing on Winnipeg where semi-trucks routinely flip on the highways, also it's much colder than any US city I know of even though the summers are just as miserable; 35C with biting flies and mosquitoes everywhere

Also TV is different. I remember watching this French channel from Quebec that showed nudity and stuff like Trailer Park Boys was on at around the same time. After a certain time, it's allowed on some channels. The drinking age is 18 or 19 and basically alcohol and food taste better, although the selection at stores can be limited

I almost forgot the most important difference. The police are hardly around, maybe in a seedy area and they don't generally bother innocent people. They were called when I had an illegal party in a classroom one summer but just let me off with a warning; you're allowed to drink in dorms since it's an apartment under the law but not outside of that except at the restaurant and campus bar

Also, I used to get stoned in the computer lab and nothing ever happened except once when security happened by and I was wanking to porn on a PC that was facing the door so they could see in. That was hilarious though because they couldn't figure out who I was while on the phone, so I just slowly walked away back to residence


Winnipeg, Manitoba block heaters
 
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SunriseChampion

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I personally think that we need to build a wall between the US and Canada and not Mexico to keep all your fucking cold air out!

Fucking please do! When this idea was bandied about around 5 or 6 years ago, I wanted it to happen so bad because of the serious engineering that would have to go into bisecting the Great Lakes.....which I'm sure the handful of American politicos who were all about it failed to take into account.

Anyway, I demand to see the Great Lakes Wall built....I'll gladly pay for that feat of engineering.
 
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