Canada x America are essentially the same things as the rest of the world. Some inside might disagree. Being a proud Canadian, it’s simple to understand the differences between the “Great White North” and the “Land of the Free.” No matter your vantage point—North, South, or across an entire continent—important it’s to understand the cultural similarities and differences between Canada x America.
Both of us are incredibly proud of our nations.
Anyone from the United States will tell you their country is the best in the world if you ask them. If you ask them, anyone from Canada will gush endlessly about how wonderful it is to live there. We both have great pride in our respective nations and aren’t afraid to brag about them.
In all honesty, both nations are pretty awesome. We both have adorable children who adore wearing the stars and stripes or red maple leaves, as well as freedom, diversity, acceptance, and a forward-thinking attitude.
The two official languages of Canada
Spanish is a popular language in America, but it is not one of the official languages. Instead, many people learn and speak only one language as they grow up.
English and French are the official languages of Canada. Every child must enroll in second-language classes at school (French as a second language for English speakers in most of the country and English as a second language for French speakers in Quebec).
If you ever forget that Canada is a bilingual nation, picture our lovely Celine Dion with her traditional French accent living in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. You’ll remember that. This is one of the biggest difference of Canada x America.
University tuition is lower in Canada.
The cost of education in the US is one of its biggest issues. A degree costs students tens of thousands of dollars, whereas it is practically free in Canada.
Although the United States is home to some of the world’s top universities, including Harvard and Yale, you’ll likely pay close to $30,000 per year for your Bachelor’s degree even if you attend a local college. Therefore, the majority of students who are not eligible for scholarships graduate with a diploma and nearly $100,000 in debt.
In Canada, residents receive tuition discounts, and a year of undergraduate study costs about $3000. (even at the top schools in the country).
We are both literate, intelligent, and powerful nations.
Both nations perform admirably in terms of literacy rates, general education, and street smarts. Canada completes the top ten nations with the highest levels of intelligence (Singapore is ranked first, just so you know), and New York is ranked as the world’s smartest city.
You might wonder what makes these nations and major cities intelligent when we see grown men struggling to answer questions from the 5th grade. Forbes claims that it involves a combination of cultivating and attracting talent, a strong economy, a supportive environment, global reach, and cutting-edge technology.
Longer maternity leave in Canada
In Canada, moms enjoy great conditions. We are entitled to one year of government-paid maternity leave, with the option to extend it for an additional year at a reduced percentage of our pay. Most mothers I know take at least a year, if not longer! For the full 12 months they are away from work, mom (or dad, since parental leave can be split however you like) continues to receive a portion of their salary, typically between 80-55%. A mother can take 17 weeks of paid maternity leave as a minimum.
It’s very different in the US. The person who pays new parents is their employer, not the government. Additionally, American new parents receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave instead of 12 months. The employer has discretion over that. I think this is one of the important about difference of Canada x America.
Hockey is more prevalent in Canada than football.
I watch the Super Bowl once a year, mostly for the halftime show and the commercials, but being a Canuck, you can’t help but have a soft spot for hockey.
The stakes are higher when we watch a hockey game because it is one of only two leagues we share with America (the other being MLB and the NHL). Our soccer league plays in a stadium that is always three-quarters full, our football league lacks excitement, and not all major cities have MLB baseball teams. As a result, our nation as a whole is rather uninterested.
NHL, however! Oh, man. We’re that passionate, like our cousins to the south with their favorite football teams, that parents buy onesies and hockey jerseys for their home team before their babies are even born.
Our stars are also your stars and vice versa.
Canada is pleased to introduce America to its beloved celebrities. When you look at celebrities like Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling, you might not even realize they are Canadian. They appear so Hollywood, right? For example, I recently learned that Matthew Perry and Seth Rogen are both Canadian comedians! However, that only serves to highlight how similar our cultures actually are.
Bieber, Drake, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, and Alessia Cara are just a few of the top performers on the radio who are Canadian. Your celebrities are our celebrities because our entertainment systems are so integrated, and it’s nice that it works both ways once in a while.
Rainbow plastic vs green paper money
The most intelligent thing created was not paper money. I lost money in my dirty jeans’ pockets countless times when I didn’t mean to when they were being laundered. Simply put, plastic money is much safer. There is also the urban legend that it smells like maple syrup.
The green and papery money of the USA is much less interesting to look at Phone our money. You can play with monopoly money all you want, but it’s simple to find what you’re looking for, and Canadian money is more durable.
Our approaches to immigrants vary.
Canada attracts more immigrants than the US does. This is what caused the cultural diversity of the Canadian population to increase. Around 20% of Canadians were born outside of the country, and nearly 45% are second-generation immigrants. On the other hand, only 13% of people in the United States were born abroad, and there are more older families there.
Tips At Restaurants Are Generally The Same In Both Countries
The price listed on restaurant menus may not be the price that customers will actually pay in the Canada x America because taxes will be added to the total when they receive their bill, but patrons should still plan to leave a 15% to 20% tip for good service in both countries. It is important to note, though, that restaurants in the US and Canada both have welcoming staff members who provide top-notch service.
Canadians consume milk from bags.
Milk in bags makes sense. Why waste a carton or plastic jug when you can fill these thin bags with milk? Before people started asking about it and commenting that it was strange, I had no idea this was not a thing in other nations.
Typically, a household will purchase 3 transparent bags containing 4 liters of milk, or slightly more than one gallon. Every house has a rigid milk container made of plastic. After inserting the bag so that it protrudes slightly from the milk container, you cut the corner of the load off to create a small pouring hole. Again, when that’s all you’ve ever known, it just makes sense.
The same brands and styles will be visible.
Many of the same brands can be found if you travel from Canada to America or from America to Canada. Although some country-specific retailers have never crossed the border, many well-known names like Nike, Old Navy, Gap, and Michael Kors are readily available in both. Forever 21 and H&M are favorites among younger women. Each major city in both countries has a Walmart or Costco. Most importantly, Amazon dominates the globe, particularly in Canada x America.
You won’t notice much difference when looking out your car window at nearby stores, whether you’re driving through Ontario or Burlington.
Ultimately, the two nations appear comparable, possibly even a second look. Only when you examine the finer points, do you begin to recognize our differences.