7 Things Americans Get Wrong About Canada & No, We Don't Say 'Eh' After Every Sentence

And the Mounties aren't always in red uniforms. 🇨🇦

A Canadian and U.S. flag. Right: Canadian hockey fans celebrating.

A Canadian and U.S. flag. Right: Canadian hockey fans celebrating.

Every Canadian probably knows the experience of meeting someone from south of the border and having to deal with their somewhat silly questions.

In fact, there are some common Canadian stereotypes that we've all had to hear about from our American neighbours.

From our accents to our weather, some of these stereotypes about Canada may have a bit of truth to them, but a lot aren't so accurate.

To get an idea of what our siblings to the south get wrong about Canada, I asked some of my American friends what they thought about Canada before visiting, while also mining some of my own experience dealing with the children of Uncle Sam.

Here are some of the most common things Americans get wrong about Canada and Canadians.

We don't say "eh" after every sentence

Americans seem to think that as soon as they cross the border, every third word out of people's mouths is going to be "eh."

But, speak to a Canadian and you'll find that we talk relatively normally, not like cartoon characters.

While we will still say "eh" at the end of sentences, it's usually to indicate a question, to check if you agree or just as an exclamation.

What we don't do is use it like a period at the end of a sentence!

Health care isn't perfect

It seems like Canadian health care is known to Americans as this perfect system.

And while it's much better than the for-profit system that the U.S. has, it's not without its faults.

Most Canadians will tell you that, while you don't have to pay to go to the doctor, there's a good chance you'll be contending with long wait times.

And while Americans have to shell out, they do get speedy service.

Plus, our single-payer health care system doesn't include mental health, dental and pharmaceuticals.

We're not all polite

Another stereotype about the country is that everyone is super polite and nice.

So, imagine the surprise of our Yankee neighbours coming up here and realizing that we, just like every other nation in the world, have nice people along with assholes.

Granted you might hear a bit more "please" and "thank yous," but that's probably about it.

The RCMP aren't always wearing the red uniforms

Another common thing you see in cartoons and other media is the classic Mountie in a red jacket, sporting big puffy pants and a brown hat.

But it's not often you see that up here.

Nowadays, you'll only ever really see the Mounties (a.k.a. the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) gussied up in modern police wear — blue shirts, dark pants and a bulletproof vest.

They're not really rolling up to crime scenes in wool jackets from the 1800s unfortunately.

However, you can see the Red Serge (the official name of the uniform) during special ceremonies, certain parades and more as a piece of dress or formal wear.

There are cowboys up here too

Around the world, cowboys are definitely associated with the American South and Southwest. That is, places like Texas, New Mexico and similar locales.

Well, we hate to break it to you, America, but Canada has our own cowboys.

Heck, one of the nation's biggest cities, Calgary, has a whole jubilee dedicated to cowboy and farm culture called the Calgary Stampede.

Granted, our cowboys just have to bundle up a little bit more once winter rolls around.

Hockey isn't as big as you think (but it's still big)

Another prevalent idea about Canada is that we're all hockey-obsessed sports fans. And while there definitely is a whole lot of hockey up in Canada, it's not something every single person is into.

Believe it or not, you can walk down the street on the night of an NHL game and actually see people not watching the game.

Heck, I'm Canadian and I'm not really a fan of hockey, much to the chagrin of my dad.

This goes for curling as well. While Canada does have a lot of curling, it's still a pretty niche sport that only appeals to a small subset of the population, even during the Olympics.

It's not a frozen wasteland!

Those south of the border might think that Canada is a giant frozen wasteland.

And while huge swaths of Canada are near or above the Arctic Circle, even those parts aren't frozen all year round.

Come to a city like Toronto in August and you'll find out firsthand that Canada can get really hot, and muggy.

Heck, we even have literal deserts in British Columbia and Badlands in Alberta!

Vancouver often doesn't even get snow for more than a few days in the winter.

Hopefully, this rundown can help you inform your American friends of what they might be getting wrong when they make their next trip up to Canada.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Tristan Wheeler
Tristan Wheeler was a Creator for Narcity Media focused on money and budgets and is based in Toronto, Ontario.