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Customs & Traditions in Canada

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Home> Countries> North America> Canada> Customs & Traditions

Canada is a multicultural country whose culture is formed from a variety of influences. Here are Canada's Traditions & Costumes...

General Etiquette

  • Always say “please” when asking someone for help and "Thank you" after that.

  • It is often considered impolite to ask a direct question about someone’s salary, wealth, weight, or age.

  • Asking personal questions about one’s marriage or relationship can also be seen as an invasion of privacy.

  • Similarly, some people become very uncomfortable when asked about their political point of view or who they voted for.

  • Spitting in public is considered rude.

  • If there is a line for something, always queue and wait for your turn.

  • To call over a waiter or person of service, do not wave or yell. Instead, keep an eye out for them until they make eye contact, and then nod or raise your hand.

  • You can also gently say “excuse me” as they pass by.

  • Yelling, crying and anger in public are not appropriate behaviors in public.

  • It is very rude to speak with your mouth full of food.

  • If someone is using the ATM in front of you, divert your gaze away from them and stand away to give them privacy.

  • Canadians are quite patient and are therefore unlikely to appear pushy or frantic for a time in casual situations.

  • Canadian are very punctual people.

  • It is not appropriate to be late more than 10-15 minutes to an appointment without warning the person in advance.

  • Respect the multicultural nature of their country.

  • If you do something inappropriate, it can be good to apologize for them, Canadians are generally open to forgiving those who acknowledge their mistakes.

  • Do not point at people.

  • Do not confuse Canada with the US.

  • It is best not to initiate discussions about Quebec separatism, politics, sex, or religion because it can be considered distasteful and rude.


  • Until the middle of the 20th Century, most families in Canada were run by married couples but, by 2010, most of the couples choosing to cohabit rather than to marry.

  • The Canadian family has changed during the last thirty years so, there has been an increase in the number of single mothers due to the increase in divorce rates.