Latest News

When traveling are you mistaken for an American?

Bill Fox

Bill Fox

By Bill Fox/Columnist

My Snowbird friends for the most part, have now left town for warmer climates. I recall a few years back, when I went to Europe I had a Canadian flag pin on my Tilley Hat and another on my coat. I thought it strange at the time that some Americans would offer me money for my Canadian pins. I would not find that so strange today.

With all the similarities with our southern neighbours, I think it is worth pointing out some obvious and not so obvious differences for my American friends and family.

  • If you’re shopping at Home Depot, and someone who doesn’t work there offers you assistance, they likely are a Canadian.
  • If you’ve worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you are a Canadian.
  • If ‘vacation’ in the winter, means going anywhere south for the week, you may be a Canadian.
  • If you measure distance in hours, you are a Canadian.
  • If you can drive 90 kilometres an hour (not miles per hour) through two feet of snow, during a raging blizzard, without flinching, you are a Canadian.
  • If you carry jumper-cables in your car, and your spouse knows how to use them, you are a Canadian.
  • If you designed your child’s Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you are a Canadian.
  • If the speed limit on the highway is 100 kilometres per hour, and you’re going 120 kilometres per hour, you are a Canadian.
  • If you find driving is better in the winter because all the potholes are filled with snow, you are a Canadian.
  • If you know all four seasons as “almost-winter”, winter, “still-winter”, and “road construction”, you are a Canadian.
  • If you have more miles on your snow blower than your lawn mower, you are a Canadian.
  • If you think of minus two degrees is “a little chilly”, you are a Canadian.

And finally the following wrap it up:

  • You understand the sentence: “Could you please pass me a serviette, I just spilled my poutine.”
  • You eat chocolate bars instead of candy bars.
  • You drink pop, not soda.
  • You talk about the weather with strangers and friends alike.
  • You drive on a highway, not a freeway.
  • You know what a Robertson screwdriver is.
  • You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers
  • You know that Thrills are something to chew and “taste like soap.”
  • You know that Mounties “don’t always look like that.”
  • You wonder why there isn’t a five dollar coin yet.
  • You fill in the missing u’s from labor, honor, and color.
  • You are excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.
  • You know what a toque is.
  • You know how to pronounce and spell “Saskatchewan”.
  • You recognize CPP, RSP, and CCM
  • You brag to Americansthat Shania Twain, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion and more, are Canadians.
  • You’ve had your tongue frozen to something.
  • Your snow blower gets stuck on the roof.
  • You frequently clean grease off your barbeque so the bears won’t prowl on your deck.
  • The municipality buys a zamboni before a bus.

If you could relate to at least half of these, then you definitely are Canadian and proud to be, and you don’t have to say sorry to anyone who asks.

I’m at if you would like to add to my list.