Happy Canada Day/July 4th
You Know You’re in Canada When …

Yes indeedy. It’s Canada Day! In Canada. In America, it’s just Friday. Which is still a pretty special occasion and certainly reason to celebrate.

In honour of our fine and happy holiday I thought I’d introduce you to people named Ryan who you may not have known were Canadian.

Like Ryan Reynolds.  And Ryan Gosling.

Hmm.  Well there’s that list done with.  How ’bout this …

You know you’re in Canada when …


Please, if you wouldn’t mind, could you continue reading this list?  Even if you don’t think it’s the best list ever, I’d really appreciate it if you did.  If you have the time.  Thanks.  Thank you.   Thanks a lot.  I appreciate it.  Thanks.  Sorry.

Radio stations are playing 35% Canadian content.  That means one more Shania Twain and 2 more Celine Dion songs a day than you’d normally hear.

You  hear rumours about a guy going to jail for 2-3 years for using “Imitation, maple flavoured syrup.”.  Which is just that.  A rumour.  The crime is actually punishable by death.

People keep asking you why you say house funny.

You realize “A” is not just the beginning of the alphabet.  If confused as to the correct time to use the word “eh”, substitute it every time you would normally say “huh”.

You order a soda the waiter brings you seltzer water.

I’m sorry … is this list too long?  Sorry.

You’re in the longest traffic jam you’ve ever been in and it’s in a Tim Horton’s drive through.

You meet a girl at the grocery store whose cousin used to date the guy whose daughter’s father  sharpened Wayne Gretzky’s skates.  And people are impressed.

Everyone’s Halloween costume incorporates mittens.

The whole family gathers around the television and cheers when an American show mentions Canada.  We’re thankful, even if they are making fun of us.

A lazy weekend consists of stacking your Canadian Tire money in order of cash value.

You bump into someone on the street hard enough to knock them over and they say they’re sorry.

Even your pool has a heater.

People seem unsure as to how the political system actually works but can tell you exactly which rock star Margaret Trudeau had “an association with”. (ex-wife of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau)

Everyone around you is denying the fact that Pamela Anderson is Canadian.

One out of 5 guys can open a beer with a body part.  One out of every 7 women can do the same.

On this first long weekend of the summer you’re invited to a BBQ, not a cookout.


Have a great long weekend to all my Canadian and American readers!  For the rest of the world … have a good weekend, eh!





  1. Alicia says:

    My favourite is

    “I’m sorry”
    “Really it’sokay, stop saying sorry”
    “Okay, sorry”
    “stop it!”

    hehe we just can’t help ourselves.

  2. Sara says:

    Yay! Another Texan here who loves Canada. I *HATE* the cold, but would adore to live in Banff for just one year. We visited a couple years ago when the aspen were at their golden height – quite possibly one of the most beautiful places I will ever see in my lifetime! We are scheming when and how we can go back. Vancouver and PEI are on our travel wish list too. What else should we add?

    • Sara says:

      One thing I did note in Banff – I don’t think we actually met any Canadians. Everyone who lived there seemed to be from elsewhere in the world. :)Can’t say I blame them.

      • Patti says:

        The Bruce Penninsula. Amazingly breathtaking and awesome. Ontario has a lot of gems! If you like caves, and crystal clear (cold, but swimmable in the summer) water, gorgeous views and sunsets that make Monet look like an amatuer, go there!

        Also – Algonquin. It’s nice, great hiking and camping, although, as far as I’m concerned – the Bruce has more sights that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. :)

  3. We had a Canadian come to stay with us and up until then, truly, I thought the “eh” thing was just a rumor. Or at least just a line from Strange Brew. (yeah, I remember that. Sad.) But nope, “ehs” were like the periods in her sentences. I had to retrain my kids after she left.
    (yah is more acceptable here in Minnesota)

    I’m newish to your blog, but I’m so glad to have discovered. yah.

  4. You go to the washroom when you have to pee, when it is chilly out you may wear a toque and you can’t walk around with your handgun.

  5. Trysha says:

    Oh yeah, you guys gave us Nickleback. Not one of your finest exports, Canada.

  6. kate says:

    Good list Karen!

    Another Canadian thing so many streets/parks/buildings are named after English historical places or people.

    We’re currently saving our Canadian Tire money to buy camping gear!

    Hope you have a great Canada Day Weekend! We are in London (Ontario, Canada!).

  7. Leanne says:

    Linda. The “cheese goo” that comes individually sliced doesn’t count as cheese in my book. ;) You are right. The only way to ever trick yourself into eating it is to hide it between bread and cook it so the gooeyness makes sense. :)

    And Karen.. yes… I am getting married in two days. It’s not my fault that my baby needs to nurse causing me to go to my computer and shamelessly stalk… er… follow your blog. ;) (PS… my dress still isn’t quite done. Is that a problem? lol)

  8. Linda says:

    Leanne – American cheese is just Kraft singles in Canada…my family calls it flat cheese or I call it fake cheese. ;) We only use it for grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Karen – I’m a displaced Canadian and I love reading your blog for posts like this and even in the everyday ones there are subtle Canadian things like all the PC organics products you photograph…and I like hearing about how the weather is there when I’m not there.

    I’m currently in Boston staying in a condo and when I got here I asked if they had a BBQ. I meant one I could use to cook dinner. They said “yep on the 30th” and I thought they meant the 30th floor but there aren’t 30 floors. They meant on the 30th of June. They call the BBQ the event but the actual thing you cook on is a grill – which they don’t have for us to use sadly.

  9. Leanne says:

    I lived in New Brunswick for a year and I couldn’t get over the fact that milk came in bags. It’s the weirdest thing I ever saw. And then you have to buy a special pitcher for the bags. Why? I don’t get it. Also I couldn’t find American cheese. That’s just wrong. Hockey is a religion there. My tv only picked up French signals so now, years later, I still get the french version of commercials like Subway stuck in my head. Sometimes they mixed french and english in the same sentence and sometimes they made words up. Loonies and Toonies aren’t just cartoons in Canada… Boxing Day is fun… kilometers not miles… Magnetic Hill.. Pizza Delight (but that Donero sauce? ick.) but Tim Hortens… Mmmm… Oh Canada. :) (I really have *got* to go work on my wedding dress. please stop being interesting.)

    • Karen says:

      Leanne – Yes. Aren’t you getting married in a day or two? You should probably concentrate on that, LOL. ~ karen

  10. Teri says:

    So, this list requires me to ask what body part you can open a beer with.

  11. Jilly says:

    PS: Happy cooping, Karen!

  12. “even your pool has a heater2
    he, he. Reminds me of here! Even my bed has a heater, electric blanket, and we’re still using it, every night!
    Have a wonderful Canada weekend!

  13. Jilly says:

    A few more Canadians: Alanis Morrisette, Tom Cavanagh, and Bare Naked Ladies! (The latter has nothing to do with Pam Anderson, btw.) Grew up in NY a few hours south of Ontatio;back in the day we listened to Triumph, Rush, and Chiliwack(!) on the radio. And Bob & Doug Mackenzie, of course!

    Spent many family vacays in eastern Canada and can’t agree more that it’s a beautiful country with lovely – and really polite – people. My folks are “up there” now visiting friends. I long to see the west coast.

    Happy Canada Day to the Canucks, and Happy 4th of July to the Yanks!

  14. Shauna says:

    After all the work she’s had done, I’m pretty sure most of Pamela’s new parts come from the U.S. (or China maybe?), so Canadians are probably correct to deny she is ‘from’ there any longer;)

    Happy Canada Day!

    p.s.: those of us on the West coast of the U.S. say BBQ not cookout. I think that may be a Southern thing. I’ve never in my life used the word(s) cookout.

    Signing off from Sunny & Hot San Diego

  15. Trysha says:

    Georges St Pierre…I love Canada.

  16. I’ve been to Canada once (Stratford and also Niagara Falls) and I’d love to go back and visit more places. Specifically PEI. Someday! Anyway, I loved that trip and enjoyed all Canadian things in general and I’m hoping for Tim Horton’s to eventually open in the states. Happy Canada Day!

    • Carol says:

      Kristen, I live in southeastern Michigan, and there have been Tim Horton’s here for years! (and I love it!) Not sure how far they’ve expanded beyond us, but I’m sure they’ll get to you eventually. :)

  17. Ellen says:

    Happy Canada Day from Ottawa!! No, I’m not braving record crowds to see the royals, but I had jets fly over my backyard at noon, & I’ll walk down to the river tonight to see the fireworks. Great, eh?
    Loved the mittens + Halloween costumes, & of course you have to have a heater in your pool. Even birdbaths have them in the winter -true.
    Thanks for reading this. Sorry if there are errors..

  18. Kate S. says:

    Hey, I’m from Arizona and I say BBQ, not “cookout.”

  19. Amy in StL says:

    Happy Canada Day! I was just wondering why my office was so empty today and I’ll bet my co-workers are celebrating Canada Day today. So are gov’t offices and such closed up there today like they are Monday for Independence day?

  20. Erika says:

    Karen, are you familiar with the, now sadly cancelled, show Wonderfalls? They had an epi where the two kids were trying to smuggle their family’s maid back into Canada because they found out she was in America illegally, and the animated cow creamer keeps talking to the girl? Very funny show!

    • Karen says:

      It rings a bell but I can’t quite place it. My bf would know. I’ll ask him if I’ve seen it, LOL. ~ karen

  21. Paulina J! says:

    Happy Canada Day! I’ve never been, but the hubster and I might be taking a trip next year. By the way, when Americans make fun of Canada is because we’re jealous ;) (specially of your healthcare, sigh).

    Did you see the 30 Rock episode where Jack and Avery are in Canada and she’s about to have the baby? It’s hilarious.

  22. Kim says:

    Happy Canada Day from Washington.. State… I grew up 30 min from the border of British Columbia and used to love going up to visit. Especially when I was only 19 and I could drink across the border! :) I will be very close this weekend celebrating the 4th of July on Lake Oosoyoos, which is half in Washington, half in British Columbia. I’ll make sure to celebrate Canada Day too! Have a great weekend!

  23. Kasia says:

    With the whole international theme going on, I was looking for the sidebar you used to have the shows who from what country is looking at your site and when! I always found that fascinating!

    Happy Canada Day! (I have to ask though, being an American who can be a bit uninformed on things, what is the reason historically, for the Day?)

    • Karen says:

      Kasia – Basically … it’s Canada’s birthday. The anniversary of the union of some of our provinces is the short story behind it. ~ k

  24. Happy Belated Canada Day darlin’ !! :)

  25. Erika says:

    Oohhh, and two more of my favorite Canadians, in addition to you, of course! Steve Smith and Mag Ruffman!

    • Karen says:

      Erika – I’ve met them both. Mag was really, really nice and helpful to me regarding a television matter once. ~ karen

      • Erika says:

        Her book “How Hard Can It Be?” is a real hoot to read – both times. And I’ve found that I really miss The Red Green Show now that I don’t have cable anymore.

  26. Erika says:

    Happy Canada Day, Karen! When I get home tonight I’ll read some Tanya Huff in celebration. :) I’m American, but I am fascinated by how many times Canada seems to crop up in my life – a show I’m watching or a book I’m reading, or a blog I’m following…

    Love the list! By the by… wouldn’t the ‘guy whose daughter’s father’ actually be the ‘the guy’? Unless of course, he’s a stepfather. :)

  27. shauna says:

    Jim Carey, Leslie Nielson(who’s and all time classic!!). Pamela IS NOT Canadian!! (Unless you want to refer to her pre work – but then she looks nothing like she does now!!). And I’m pretty sure saying nasty things about Timmies is treason in this country, not everyone likes it…. But we pretend to keep the mobs with pitch forks off us!! Once you get the mobs out of the igloo’s and on a run it’s hard to stop them!! Happy Canada Day eh!!

  28. Holly says:

    Karen, I consider you one lucky gal if you get more Shania and Celine that we do in the U.S. I unabashadely loooove them.
    P.S. Country Living Magazine did a piece on building a chicken coop! Did you know that? I’m sure yours is better: http://www.countryliving.com/outdoor/outdoor-living/ultimate-chicken-coop#fbIndex1

    • Karen says:

      Holly – I’m actually very familiar with that coop! I’ve emailed back and forth with Heather, the owner of that particular coop a few times! My chicken coop is based on a combination of hers and 2 other coops. I hadn’t seen that article though and I loved it! Thanks. ~ karen

  29. Christina says:

    My favorite quotes about Canada:

    “If people in this country take Sarah Palin seriously I’m moving to Canada”
    “If people in this country take Donald Trump seriously I’m moving to Canada”

    You get the idea. Canada is my beacon of hope. I threaten to move there every week during election season. I am not alone. Canada, we appreciate you.
    Unfortunately I can’t get behind Tim Horton’s. Maybe I just had a bad experience but that is by far the worst coffee I’ve ever had. Hands down.
    Sorry. But all your other stuff is cool :)

    • Jody says:

      I live on a Canadien/ upper Michigan border. Tim’s in Canada is great. I went to one in Michigan’s lower penninsula (Down state to Upper Peninsula & Northern Ontario folks) The coffee there was bad!

  30. Cheryl in Wisconsin says:

    Hey, there’s no British royalty in my country today, so it must mean . . . Canada rocks! (Well, you guys would rock regardless of the royal participation.) If my employer ever releases me long enough to enjoy an actual vacation I’d travel north, across the border. Have a great weekend!

  31. Another Karen says:

    A couple more of my favorite Canadians: Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. And you, of course.

    Happy Canada Day!

    p.s. For us lazy Americans, got any July 4 decorations coming up?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Another Karen – I do not. But if I come across anything fantastic on the Internet over the next day or so I’ll post the link! ~ karen

  32. Aimee says:

    Maybe someone has already asked you this, but will you see Prince William and Catherine while they’re in Canada? I’m sure its all you’re hearing about there right now… haha

    • Karen says:

      Aimee – LOL. I’m not following it very closely but I don’t know if they’re swinging around these parts. I know they’ll be in Ottawa but that’s 6 hours away from where I am. Anyhooo I have a coop to build, so there’s no time for royals unless they plan on helping me build it. I’ll probably not regret seeking them out but for now I’m coop, coop, coop. ~ karen

  33. Jacqui says:

    Brilliant, as always! Happy Canada Day from Kentucky!
    I’m going to dig out my Canadian flag, fly it high and and later drink one 24th of a two/four but not opened with a body part!

  34. Nathalie says:

    Happy Canada Day!

    Bonne Fête Canada!

    from one of the many in line at Timmies for a double double.

  35. Wendy says:

    Happy Canada Day from Montreal! (Home of The Jazz Fest, and The Just For Laughs Comedy Fest, and The Fringe Fest, and The Fest Fest LOL!)
    Just wanted to say that the part about the traffic jam at Tim Horton’s is totally true! The morning line up at our local Timmy’s for your large double double blocks a whole lane of traffic! It’s ridonk!

  36. Rosalie says:

    Happy Canada from a Canadian living in South Carolina. I miss Canadian content on the radio.

  37. Hahahaha. I am moving to Calgary from England later this year. I can’t wait! Happy Canada Day!

  38. Lois Black says:

    I’m a Texan and I LOVE Canada. Beautiful country, great people. Many creative people who share with all of us. Keep it coming.

  39. Sharon says:

    What is Canadian Tire money, and does Canada Day celebrate any special historical event? (You can guess I’m an American.)

    • Karen says:

      Sharon – Canadian Tire is a hardware store in Canada and for every dollar you spend there they give you a percentage back in “Canadian Tire” money. It’s cash, paper money (even a nickel is in the form of a paper bill). The money can only be spent at Canadian Tire stores. EVERYONE has a stack of it. :) I currently have around $200 in Canadian Tire money! Canada Day is basically Canada’s birthday, celebrating a joining together of our provinces into a country. That is the very short version of the story. :) ~ karen

  40. Happy Canada Day from beautiful PEI !! We are all awaiting Will & Kate’s arrival on Sunday..shining & buffing the white sand beaches!!

  41. Just a normal weekend in the UK. But thanks for wishing me a good time. Happy Canada Karen – are you celebrating in style?

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Perfecting Pru! I will be celebrating by finally hanging my Canada flag on my front porch, building a chicken coop and I am currently making potato salad for a BBQ here later tonight. (to be served with homemade hamburgers, corn on the cob, BBQ shrimp and whatever else I can scrounge up! ~ karen

  42. Branwen says:

    Happy Canada Day. I didn’t even know that such a day existed until now. Hope everyone on the other side of the great lake has a lovely day. Greetings from The Netherlands.
    ps. We talk about the weather a lot to.
    ps ps.And we also say BBQ, what the H**l is a cookout anyways?

    • Karen says:

      Branwen – Americans *sometimes* refer to a BBQ as a cookout. Cause they’re cooking outside. Thanks for the greetings for The Netherlands! ~ karen

    • Tonia says:

      In the southern US where I live we often call it a cookout or just say that we are grilling out. BBQ is a specific food item like barbeque pork or ribs. If you have never had real southern barbeque you are missing out on some good eatin’ :)

  43. Leena says:

    Happy Canada day to you!
    I’ve read your blog for some time and have had some good laughs from it. Thanks for writing in such a humoristic style.

    I’m Finnish and you know Finnish and Canadians have something in common? Pamela Anderson claims to have Finnish ancestry and we try to deny that.

  44. Karina Anne says:

    Happy Canada Day! Wish we were over there to celebrate too, Canada is our second home, we love it!
    btw we brits talk about the weather a lot too, it’s a national obsession.

    Best wishes from Sunny Suffolk, England

  45. brie says:

    Happy Canada from London, UK! Gosh, I miss it. And I miss many of those things you mentioned, I’m from Brantford (home of Wayne Gretsky), my Kiwi fiance teases me all the time for how I say ‘house’ and our pool definitely has a heater. I think I’ll send this to all our international friends who are travelling to Canada this summer to celebrate our wedding with us!

  46. Jen says:

    Happy Canada Day to you from the Maritimes! Sunny and warm for today…which means bring a hoody along just in case. I loved your Ryan list….YUM! My biggest Canadian crush right now…Jian Gomeshi. Thoughts?

    • Karen says:

      Jen – I met Jian a few times while I was working for MuchMoreMusic. He was very nice. I approve. ~ karen

  47. magali says:

    hahahaha @ traffic jam at Tim Horton’s!!!!

  48. Lauren says:

    Happy Canada Day from Winnipeg! Hope your weather will be good there (and everywhere). We are supposed to get rain all day, but clearing in the evening for fireworks. Yeah!

    See, another Canadian thing- we talk about the weather ALOT!


    • Karen says:

      Lauren – That was going to make my list! Somehow I left it out. Sorry. :) ~ karen

    • Ali says:

      Every Sunday my Dad (Canadian) calls me and we spend 5 – 10 minutes talking about the weather. I have actually discussed this with my sister and its the same for her. I thought our dad was just not a good conversationalist. I find out from this tho its just in his blood.

      Maybe that also explains all my thank yous and apologizing. My SO actually yelled at me the other day for apologizing too much. Now I know why.

  49. Jamieson says:

    You are my golden blog babe as always! Though I will still claim Pamela Anderson, please. Party on, Garth, and take off,eh.
    Some time I’ll gibe you my iTunes list of sometimes surprising Canadians, including the glancing ones like Oliver Platt and Howard Jones.
    Happy Canada Day, eh.

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