When you think of Canada, the first things you’ll think of will usually be its natural beauty, maple syrup and national parks. But what is Canada really famous for?

Matthew G. Bailey, who was born and raised in Canada and is the founder and editor-in-chief for Must Do Canada, explains some of the things he associates with Canada.

"I associate many things with Canada, including friendly people, nature, ice hockey, wildlife, road trips, beautiful landscapes, maple syrup, Northern lights, winter and diversity of people

“All of these things make up Canada in many ways. We're a nation of immigration and for the most part, I think we all value the strength that diversity has given us. We also have a massive land mass with very little population, which allows for a lot of wild nature and wildlife. Due to the safety and wide open spaces, it's also the perfect country for adventure travel and road trips. We're known worldwide for being great at hockey, having cold winters, and maple syrup. All of these things and a lot more make Canada what it is.”

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a guide to some of the different things this magnificent country is famed for.

Unyielding politeness

In some parts of the world it’s not very easy to get an apology, but in Canada apologies will fly in from all directions.

Canadians will even apologise if they are not at fault! This politeness doesn’t just represent one province in Canada; it transcends boundaries and is evident across the whole country.

If you have booked flights to Calgary, Toronto or Vancouver you will notice that everyone is unerringly polite. It makes travel in Canada that much easier, as you know you’ll be welcomed as a tourist and will never need to feel embarrassed or worried to ask for help and directions.

This is something that Canadian Charles Kosman, the blogger behind Barefoot Nomad, thinks is a cultural tendency.

He says, “After all my travels, returning home to Canada is still a treat. Not only can I get poutine and perogies at nearly every other restaurant, but Canadians are known the world over for our unfailing politeness.

Please starts every other sentence and there are more thank-yous and you're welcomes than are often appropriate. It's so ingrained in our culture that at times it's hard to remember that it isn't the case in many other countries. That's why coming home to Canada makes you feel good conversing with just about everyone here.

“Though there are polite people the world over, saying please and thank you is ingrained into every Canadian at a young age. It costs nothing to say yet it provides so much to those receiving it. You can say that Canada is rich in social pleasantries.”

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is most definitely something Canada is famous for, with around 80 per cent of the world’s maple syrup produced in Canada. Quebec is by far the largest producer thanks to its abundance of maple trees. The tree sap is collected and reduced to produce the syrup, in a process that was first discovered by Canada’s indigenous peoples and has been refined over the centuries.

The natural sweetener can be found all over Canada and in cookbooks and pantries the world over, but what it is most famous for is its delicious contribution to your pancakes.

Pure Maple From Canada shares some great maple syrup recipes that you can use at home, from desserts to main meals.

Recommended recipe: Baby pumpkin cheesecakes

One such recipe that you could easily make at home is the baby pumpkin cheesecake.

Ingredients for base:

  •  1/2 cup graham cracker (digestives) or chocolate cookie crumbs (chocolate sprinkles)
  •  2 tablespoons pure maple syrup from Canada
  •  2 tablespoons butter, melted - lessen as needed

Ingredients for filling:

  •  12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  •  3/4 cup pure maple syrup from Canada
  •  2 large eggs
  •  1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/8 teaspoon allspice

Pure Maple From Canada says to make the crust you need to mix the crumbs, maple syrup and butter together and split between the cups of a cupcake tray, then bake the mixture for 8-10 minutes.

You need to blend the cream cheese and maple syrup together, then add the eggs and mix it in an electric mixer until smooth to make the filling.

For the next step, “Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), salt and allspice and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into a large measuring cup or container with a pour spout and divide among the cups to 3/4 full.”

To finish just bake the cakes for 16 to 20 minutes and then remove from the oven, and cool for 30 minutes.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey in Canada is like football in the UK: it’s huge.

It is Canada’s official national winter sport and the country is regarded as the birthplace of ice hockey, with the first game believed to have been played in Montreal in the 1870s. Canadians look at the sport as their own and over the last century, innumerable men, women and children will have played hockey at varying levels or watched the sport.

The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy in North American sports and was introduced in 1893 by Lord Stanley of Preston. It is now the championship trophy awarded to the National Hockey League playoff winner.

Canadian men’s and women’s teams are serial winners of the world championships and the Olympics. The national team’s main rivals are considered to be the USA and Russia.

Canada’s famous ice hockey teams

There are hockey teams all across Canada, but the country’s principal cities are home to the most famous teams. See how many of these prestigious teams sound familiar:

 Montreal Canadiens

 Ottawa Senators

 Toronto Maple Leafs

 Calgary Flames

 Edmonton Oilers

 Vancouver Canucks

Northern Lights

Canada has lots of vast untouched wilderness areas that are perfect for seeing the greatest light show on earth: the northern lights, or aurora borealis as they are also known.

Although countries like Iceland, Finland and Norway receive a lot of attention for being great places to spot the lights, Canada is actually an excellent choice. Much of the country’s northern reaches are close to the Arctic Circle and fall within the auroral oval (the zones around the poles where the lights are visible).

The northern lights attract people from all over the world on holidays to Canada to catch a glimpse of those vibrant purples, greens, reds and yellows dancing in the sky.

In our article about the best places to see the northern lights in Canada we share a list of the top 5 destinations. These included Whitehorse in the Yukon, Churchill in Manitoba, Kuujjuaq in Quebec, Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories and Edmonton in Alberta.

Nature, wildlife and beautiful landscapes

A winter image with a turquoise lake in the foreground

Canada is full of incredible outdoor wonders and is famed for its natural beauty. Its varied coastlines are one source of its enviable natural beauty. Canada is home to the world’s largest coastline (202,080 km long to be precise) stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

Canada also has more lakes than all other countries in the world combined. It is therefore unsurprising that these lakes are world-famous and the likes of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are some of the most photographed places on earth.

As our wildlife in Canada article explains, the country is home to a number of spectacular animals. So if you’ve dreamt of seeing polar bears, grizzly bears and killer whales all in one holiday, then Canada is the place to visit.

Canada is famous for protecting its natural places with 40 national parks across the country and countless more provincial parks. These parks offer the best wildlife viewing opportunities and activities from hiking and kayaking to mountain biking and zip lining.

Canada’s greatest national parks are full of beautiful natural sights that showcase the stunning environment that’s on offer to you on your holiday. Some of the most visited and popular national parks in the country are Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and Thousand Island National Park to name just a few.

If you'd like to visit Canada for yourself, just click the link to view our Canada holidays

Road trips

Rugged and vast, Canada is a road-tripper’s dream.

There are so many drives to pick from and you can hire a car and travel at your own pace to drink in the scenery along the way.

There’s mountains, beaches, coastlines, rainforests, cities and lots more that you can take in during a drive through the country.

In an article on The Culture Trip, Hayley Simpson, says, “As the world’s second largest country—with the world’s most extensive coastline—Canada is made for road tripping. It’s easy to head off the beaten path in this largely uninhabited country, which is what road trips are all about.”

Recommended drives

There are so many stunning drives you can do that take in the country’s beautiful landscapes, but here are some of the best:

- Icefields Parkway, Alberta

- The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

- Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia

- Regina to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

- Viking Trail, Newfoundland and Labrador

Latest Articles

Let's make your dream holiday to Canada a reality

Our expert team have travelled Canada from coast to coast and can't wait to share their personalised recommendations with you.

Get in touch

Our commitment to responsible travel

We are committed to sustainable travel from carbon offsetting to supporting local communities and so much more.

Find out more

Follow Us for offers & inspiration