The United States shares a border with its neighbor to the north, Canada, that’s 5,525 miles long – or if you happen to be Canadian, that’s 8,891 kilometers – not that anybody really uses kilometers, mind you. Did you know that our border with Canada is the longest unprotected border in the world? I’ll bet there are a lot of things you don’t know about our friendly neighbor to the north.
As someone who has been married to a Canadian for 25 years, I am an expert on appreciating the subtle cultural differences between our two nations. I continue to be surprised by how little most Americans know about the great nation of Canada. When asked, What’s the capital of Canada?, 55% of Americans guessed Toronto. Another 25% chose Montreal. And 15% responded, Could you repeat the question? The correct answer, of course, is Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
Many Americans think of Canadians as beer-swilling, hockey-playing, toque-headed, parka-wearing moose-hunters, whose favorite food is a beaver tail pastry, covered in maple syrup. In reality, only a small minority of Canadians are moose hunters. Most prefer to hunt caribou. The true picture of Canada is much more nuanced and includes Royal Canadian Mounties officiating curling matches on floating pack ice.
The sad truth is that most Americans know next to nothing about our next-door neighbors to the north. Time to set the record straight. Here are seven widespread myths (only two of which I’ve been spreading) about Canada and Canadians.