12 Etiquette Lessons Americans Should Learn From Canada Slideshow

Canadians know that being nice, tolerant, kind, and polite can go a long way in making society better. They'll also be the first to bring their host or hostess a gift or crack a joke when things are starting to get a little out of hand. And being able to defuse tension can certainly go a long way (especially these days). So, for these things and other etiquette lessons Americans should learn from Canadians, click through our slideshow.

Be Nice

Canadians are notoriously kind to everyone they meet and are the first to greet a stranger. Take a note from our friends up north and give a friendly wave to someone, even if you don't know them. You just might make a new friend!

Bring a Host Gift

In the U.S., bringing a bottle of wine or dessert to a dinner party is a thing reserved (largely) for more formal affairs, but it's the norm in Canada. Next time you're invited to a friend's house, don't forget the bubbly. You'll probably get to indulge in it too, and that's certainly not a bad thing.

Cut the Tension With Humor

Some of the world's funniest people, such as Mike Myers, Lorne Michaels, Will Arnett, and Jim Carrey are from Canada. Canadians know the value of a good joke. So, don't be afraid to flex your funny bone.

It Helps to Speak a Second Language

Thanks to Quebec, Canada actually has two official languages on the book: English and French. (The U.S., it may be helpful to remember, officially has none.) Many Canadians speak at least a little bit of French to pay respect to the Québécois. As the U.S. becomes increasingly diverse, learning a second language is a great skill to have to effectively communicate with your neighbors. It doesn't matter if you learn Spanish, French, Chinese, or something else, but a second language is invaluable.

Feel Free to Pass on Food

In the U.S., guests are often expected to eat whatever they're offered. Even if you don't like something, ya just choke it down. In Canada, people aren't afraid to pass on a dish they know they won't like. It's considered wasteful to take something you won't eat and thoroughly enjoy.

Leave Famous Folks Alone

Canada is home to some of the world's biggest stars, like Drake, Justin Bieber, and Celine Dion. But, when they're back in their home country, they're able to walk around and lead normal lives. Remember: Celebrities are people too. Stop swarming them just so you can get a selfie.

Politeness Is Key

Canadians are notoriously polite. They'll be the first to say please, thank you, and cheers. Take a note from the Canadians (and Southerners) and be more considerate and polite. Other people will probably like you more.

Respect Nature

Canadians are really into preserving their vast natural landscapes, and that's certainly a mindfulness than Americans should pick up on. Consider making your parties more eco-friendly, take up some environmental causes, compost, and recycle.

Respect Other People’s Cultures

Canada has the highest percentage of foreign-born citizens of any G8 nation, so on any given weekend, you'll find parades and festivals highlighting another part of the world. These people live in harmony and learn about one another. And we should all be able to get along, shouldn't we?

Say ‘Sorry’

It's a bit of a punchline that Canadians will say "sore-ee" at every little thing. But you know what? Owning up to your wrongs isn't really a bad thing! Put your pride aside and apologize a little more. You don't need to say "sorry" to a chair after you bump into it, but saying that to another human will increase your politeness by leaps and bounds.

Take Off Your Hat and/or Sunglasses

In Canada, it's considered rude to wear a hat or sunglasses when you're talking to another person, and we totally get why. Making eye contact allows you to connect with another person and removing your hat shows that you have respect for your conversation partner.


Because Canada is a diverse land filled with respect, Canadians are also far more tolerant (generally speaking) than Americans. They realize people come in all shapes and sizes and aren't going to discriminate someone based on sexuality, race, or religion. That's something we can all agree on as a good thing, right?