Over the years Canadians have been pegged by the world as hockey-loving, polar bear-riding, poutine-eating, toque-wearing northerners who love to apologize and say “eh” a lot.
Those stereotypes are as old as the Gatineau Hills in Quebec, but surely there’s got to be some truth to them, right?
We might not be riding polar bears to work, but you’ve got to admit that as Canadians we do, at times, give in to some of those widely-held oversimplified ideas of ourselves. In fact, we might even be kind of proud of them.
So in the spirit of Canada’s big 150th birthday, here are some of the most Canadian statistics you’ll ever read – figures that reinforce six Canadian stereotypes that just so happen to be true.
1. We’re all about the maple syrup
Sure Canada is known for a few tasty eats like poutine and Nanaimo bars, but if there’s one Canadians can’t get enough of, it’s maple syrup.
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada is the world’s largest exporter of maple syrup products. In 2015, alone, those exports were valued at $360 million.
That same year Canada produced 8,908 gallons of maple syrup – 91 per cent of which was produced in Quebec – across 10,847 maple farms.
I guess you can say we’re experts in the sticky stuff.
2. Hockey fanatics
We love to play it, watch it and talk about it – and when hockey season starts, there’s not much else occupying our time.
To put our love for the game into perspective, Sportsnet reported that nearly three-quarters of Canadians watched at least part of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this NHL season. That’s 26 million viewers.
The most watched game was game seven of the Eastern Conference final between the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins as it pulled in an average of 4.29 million viewers. You can’t blame us, it was a high stakes match.
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But fans didn’t only pile around the television, they showed their support in the stands as well.
According to ESPN, the Montreal Canadiens saw the second-highest attendance from fans in the league with a total of 872,808 people (the Chicago Blackhawks took the top spot by only a modest margin of 19,019 fans in attendance).
The Toronto Maple Leafs rounded out the top five for fan attendance this season with a total of 809,519 people (that’s an average of 19,744 fans per game).
3. Merciless winters
Winters in Canada are no joke.
In fact, the village of Snag in the Yukon holds the lowest temperature ever recorded in Canada and North America. The record temperature was -63°C and it took place on Feb. 3, 1947, The Weather Network says.
The record for the greatest single-day snowfall in Canada, however, goes to Tahtsa Lake, B.C.. The area received 145 centimetres of snow on Feb. 11, 1999, according to The Weather Network.
Did you know that the Eureka research weather base on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, which sits on the 80th parallel, is one of the world’s coldest inhabited places? The average annual temperature hovers around -20°C but drops to -40°C in the winter, The Telegraph reports.
But our winters are brutal and can even be deadly. Environment and Climate Change Canada records more than 80 deaths every year attributable to over-exposure to the cold in Canada.
4. Sorry, not sorry
Another thing we’re known for as Canadians is our chronic need to apologize all the time. What’s with that?
Whatever the reason is, it’s helped us gain the title as one of the friendliest countries in the world in a 2016 survey report by InterNations. We didn’t top the list, but we did snag the number 12 spot for being the best country to make friends according to expats.
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We also regard ourselves as polite people. In a 2014 Ipsos Reid and Historica Canada poll, 92 per cent of Canadians believe that Canadians are polite people.
We’re not going to be sorry for bragging about that one.
5. Timmies run
If you ever want to experience what true love is like, ask a Canadian about Tim Hortons.
We’re dedicated to our relationship with the franchise. Just how dedicated? According to Tim Hortons, about 15 per cent of Canadians visit one of the 3,500 Tim Hortons locations in Canada every day.
And did you know that our favourite coffee shop serves more than 2 billion cups of coffee each year? That’s a lot of coffee.
6. An ode to beer
When we’re not drinking coffee, we’re downing some beer.
According to Beer Canada, Canadians per capita consumer of beer in 2015 was 63.34 litres per person – putting Canada as number 25 on the list of the top 25 per capita beer countries in the world.
But we don’t just consume any beer. Oh no, we have standards and we stick to Canadian beer. Actually, 85 per cent of all beer consumed in Canada is made here in our home country.