8 Signs You’re Truly Canadian

In honour of Canada Day, I’ve put together a little list of signs that you are truly a Canadian:

1. Hockey sticks –  At this very moment you can locate one or more hockey sticks in your car/trunk/garage/shed/basement/closet/garden and you’ve used said hockey stick to play hockey (whether ice or street), but also to: shoo racoons from your garbage, retrieve hat/ball or whatever your kid accidentally threw in a tree, to stake your tomato plants or start your car.  And yes, that last one actually happened to me.  A couple of years ago while I was at Play It  Again Sports buying my kid skates (I know, so Canadian.  Did I mention it was August?) my car wouldn’t start so I called a mechanic-friend who swung by to help (he was out running errands with his family).  A jammed starter was the culprit.  He asked if I had anything in the car that he could use to hit the starter. Enter said hockey stick.  Or maybe it was snow brush… either way, this was a ridiculously Canadian story.  And FYI – he got my car started!

Our current collection in the garage. I count 7 sticks, including 1 goalie stick. There are more in our basement and hall closet, trust me.

2. Timbits – you know what they are, you’ve enjoyed them on coffee breaks and road trips, you love that they only cost 10 cents and you would never, ever call them doughnut holes.  I recently had to explain to some American colleagues what they were when I was describing a clever campaign Tim Horton’s had put on.  I’d used the word timbit so naturally that I was surprised when they all interrupted to ask me to explain what it was.


3. Regina – you know it’s the capital of Saskatchewan.  You might even be from here.  You know it can be -35c for a week straight in the winter and +35c for a week straight in the summer.  And you stopped giggling about what it rhymes with in the fourth grade.

4. Newfie jokes – you know at least one.  And if you find yourself short on Newfie jokes, you can always ask a Newfie.  I have yet to meet a Newfie who couldn’t offer up a good one.  (And you know what a Newfie is and I don’t have to explain it here.)

5. Bagged milk – now I realize this may not be ‘truly’ Canadian, and a bit more of an Ontario/Quebec thing, but it is rather unique.  Some years ago a colleague of mine moved to Canada and we had a ‘bagged milk discussion’.  She finally said “I’ve never bought bagged milk, just the small 1 litre carton because I’m single and don’t need that much milk.  But I don’t get it? The bag of milk is HUGE!’  My Canadian colleagues and I scratched our heads a bit and then I said, “You know there are three bags in the one bag, right?”  She had no idea.  I’m still chuckling over that one to this day.

Two bags of milk with the holder. Oh so practical.

6. Snow – you know everything about it.  How to remove it, how to hire someone to remove it, where to park when it’s being removed.  Everything.  Back in February I was on a business trip in the UK.  When my driver found out I was from Canada, he naturally asked about the weather.  I said it was snowing when I left.  He said, it must be fun to make snowmen and throw snowballs all the time.  I said, it wasn’t that kind of snow.  He was confused.  You’re not.  You know exactly what I mean.

7. Free shipping – maybe there’s free shipping, but most likely not.  You don’t normally read fine-print, but when it comes to shipping you ALWAYS read the fine print.   No true Canadian would ever assume that shipping is free.  Especially when ordering/buying something from the US.  And when it’s not free?  Yup… you  have it shipped to your Aunt in Kentucky or your hotel in Orlando just so you can get the free shipping.

8. Canadian Tire money – like the hockey stick, can similarly be found in your wallet or glovebox or junk drawer or bottom of purse or desk or really, let’s be honest, all of those locations.  You have an usual compulsion to collect it but not use it.  And when in another country, the thought has crossed your mind to actually try and pass it off as real Canadian currency.  But you didn’t.  Cuz that wouldn’t be very Canadian.

And you’ve always wondered who the old guy is on the money, and where you can get yourself a cool hat like his…

Happy Canada Day!!