CANADIAN AFFAIR - THE TRAVEL EXPERTS

Canada vs UK

Which do you prefer?

Canada and the UK are two countries with strong historical links, many of which still exist today. After all, Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch of both countries. However, there are some truly distinct differences between the nations which is perhaps not surprising considering the geographical distance between them plus the massive disparity in size between both lands.

map of canada

When you consider the lifestyle of the two nations, you can quickly see that being a Canadian is indeed very different from being a Brit!

Zoë Dawes, the author behind The Quirky Traveller , shares her opinion on Canada’s lifestyle: “It’s got a winning combination of British and French influences wrapped up in a unique country with its very own diverse history, sports and activities, culture, cuisine and landscape and most importantly, people.”

And we haven’t even mentioned the weather and geographical diversity of Canada, lending itself to everything from sunny days on the beach to snowboarding in the mountains! The UK can’t quite compete, which has led many Brits to look across the pond at their cousins with envy.

In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at the differences alluded to, contrasting and comparing Canada to the UK, and seeing why some Brits might wish they could spend a little more time in the Great White North.

With exciting family holidays to Canada available, there are plenty of opportunities to plan multiple visits. Let’s take a look!

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Traditions and culture

While Canada and the UK have a lot in common, there are indeed distinct differences between the two—many of which are evident when you start to look at traditions and culture.

Hospitality and friendliness are a great example of this, with Canadians being widely known around the world for being incredibly polite and welcoming, ranking even above the Brits.

In a survey of the friendliest countries by InterNations, Canada ranks inside the top 10, with the UK placing outside the top 50. After one visit across the pond, Brits will find themselves quickly booking their next holiday to Canada, thanks to the friendly and helpful attitude of locals.

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Food

The food and cuisine of a country tend to be connected to its geographical landscape, as well as the animals that are native to it. In the UK, you will see a lot of pork, lamb, beef, and chicken-based dishes (with favourites being the likes of shepherd’s pie and roast beef, as well as taking advantage of the nation’s island status, often resulting in its infamous fish and chips. But how does Canada compare?

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Sport

Something that Canada and the UK certainly have in common is the fact that both countries are proud sporting nations and are home to some of the world’s most gifted sports stars. From hockey and curling to lacrosse and rugby league, sport is a big deal for our cousins across the Atlantic.

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Lifestyle

A report recently deemed Canada to have the best quality of life!

In the U.S News and World Report’s 2019 Best Countries Report, produced with the BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 20,300 respondents from 36 countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa were asked to score 80 countries based on 65 attributes.

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Wildlife

Canada boasts some of the world’s greatest untamed lands and wilderness and is home to a range of impressive animals. It is the last stronghold for animals such as black, brown (or grizzly), and polar bears. Off the nutrient-rich waters of Newfoundland and BC, you’ll find whale species like orcas and humpbacks.

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Traditions and culture

Happy Canadians

While Canada and the UK have a lot in common, there are indeed distinct differences between the two—many of which are evident when you start to look at traditions and culture. Hospitality and friendliness are a great example of this, with Canadians being widely known around the world for being incredibly polite and welcoming, ranking even above the Brits.


maple leaf bullet point Canada is renowned for its friendliness

In a survey of the friendliest countries by InterNations , Canada ranks inside the top 10, with the UK placing outside the top 50. After one visit across the pond, Brits will find themselves quickly booking their next holiday to Canada, holiday to Canada, thanks to the friendly and helpful attitude of locals.

Lia & Jeremy Garcia, the travel bloggers behind Practical Wanderlust , tell us how the people in Canada made them fall in love with the country.

“I find that the quality of life in Canada is due almost entirely to the people who live there. In my experience, Canadians are kind, generous, friendly people who are always willing to go out of their way to help a complete stranger. In the USA, where I live, friendliness and courtesy to strangers are uncommon these days, and it was incredibly refreshing.

“In my visits to Canada, I've experienced everything from a stranger paying for my coffee to a stranger handing me the rest of their parking pass to cover my parking, not to mention the kind and generous interactions with everyone from taxi drivers to servers! It's so refreshing to experience a basic level of respect and universal kindness.

maple leaf bullet point Canadians celebrate their culture


While many people across the world are proud of their countries, Canada certainly ranks highly in this regard and enjoys celebrating this fact with fantastic traditions such as the Calgary Stampede , which is an annual event that celebrates culture, heritage, and community spirit with concerts, rodeos, and parades.

This ten-day event is billed as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’ and attracts a massive one million plus visitors per year. Want to see what all the fuss is about for yourself? Take a look at our guide for where to stay in Calgary .

But at the top of your bucket list should be to get some photographs of the lake that has captured the imagination of famous artists and mountaineers for centuries.

maple leaf bullet point The great outdoors

One truly defining characteristic of Canada is its vast open spaces, meaning that exploring the great outdoors is an integral part of Canadian culture.

Alexandra, from the Vancouver lifestyle blog To Vogue or Bust , mentioned this to us when speaking about her favourite Canadian traditions:

“Being originally Québécoise before moving to Vancouver as a child, I have early memories of rolling up strips of still-hot maple syrup on snow! I think Canadian traditions are very much centred around the outdoors: camping, going to my cabin on the Sunshine Coast, canoeing or kayaking and going hiking are everyday things for those of us lucky enough to live here on the west coast, and they're all such distinct Canadian traditions.”

Vanessa from the travel blog We Are Travel Girls , has lived in London and spent time in Canada, coming to love both countries, and thinks that while wildlife and wilderness are factors in the cultures of both, the UK has a more city centred culture than Canada:

“Canadians have a deep respect for their wilderness and wildlife. The great outdoors is a huge part of Canadian culture and embodies who Canadians are on many levels. The few times I have travelled through Canada I was in awe of the natural beauty there.”


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Opportunities like this are truly few and far between in the UK and hardly comparable to what is available in Canada. So, for visiting Brits, this is certainly something to be taken advantage of. We asked Alexandra from ‘To Vogue or Bust’ what she thinks are some of the best ways to do so:

“There are just so many things to explore, whether it's the skiing of Whistler, hikes on the North Shore mountains, paddle boarding in False Creek, or even just a long leisurely bike ride along the Stanley Park sea wall.

“The biggest mistake I see visitors doing when visiting Vancouver, in particular, is just limiting themselves to wandering around the downtown area.

“Having said that, cities like Toronto and Montréal (and of course, Vancouver) among others have a lot to offer from a metropolitan standpoint as well, and I think they all really represent a lot of amazing arts and cultures.

“There's a very distinct Canadian element to a lot of our arts and cultures that feels very universalist of cultures/religions, along with a respect for nature that is very uniquely Canadian. I think it has something to do with having the sweeping, stunning landscapes all around us (often even in cities) along with our mosaic of cultures.”

Forbidden Vancouver , helps visitors explore the culture and history of the city with walking tours. and, as such, the team spoke to us about the best way visitors can immerse themselves in Canadian culture during their time in Vancouver:

“The best way to experience Canadian culture is to meet and spend time with Canadians,” they said. “We really are a friendly bunch! Vancouver is a beautiful and super diverse modern city, but with a fascinating history. People here really take pride in their hometown and you'll find locals love to share their city with visitors.

“Joining one of our many tours will give visitors the chance to hear a local's perspective. In my experience, the tour guide community in Vancouver is super passionate and engaged and the range of tours available means there's a chance for everyone to experience a dose of Canadian culture!”

maple leaf bullet point Culture of Canada's Indigenous Peoples


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One huge distinction between Canada and the UK is the Indigenous presence in Canada. Canada’s Indigenous peoples—the original inhabitants of the land and often referred to as First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples—make up nearly 5% of the population.

As a result, the Indigenous peoples play an important part of Canada’s culture and, of course, have their own unique traditions (some of which you can read about in our article: Insight into Canada’s First Nations).

Jaime Morse from Indigenous Walks , who puts together guided walks through Downtown Ottawa from an Indigenous perspective, spoke to us about the role Indigenous people and their history play in Canada’s culture. Jaime told us that while this is an important part of Canada’s culture, more can be done in terms of tourism:

“With over 865 First Nation reserves, urban territories, Inuit communities, urban destinations and rural destinations plus Métis Settlements, eco-tourism, non-Indigenous and Indigenous tourism-focused companies, there’s quite a lot to think about.

“In British Columbia, there’s a big inclusion of Indigenous cultures, whereas in somewhere like Ottawa, it’s quite a minimal aspect of Ottawa tourism.” Jaime certainly think there is a lot of potential here and with a huge number of museums/events welcoming tourists to learn more about Indigenous culture, there’s a lot to look forward to. For example, the whole village of Alert Bay in British Columbia is home to Indigenous peoples and they even have a culture centre dedicated to their history.

maple leaf bullet point Canada Day


canada day


Another integral part of Canadian culture and a yearly tradition is Canada Day. Taking place on 1st July, this holiday commemorates the coming together of Canada’s three provinces as one nation in 1867. Celebrated as Canada’s birthday both in Canada and around the world, this is certainly a tradition that can’t be experienced in the UK.

Canadians commemorate the occasion with outdoor events like parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues fireworks, music and much more. The day is something to look forward to and a chance for Canadians to come together and rejoice as a nation.

You can read all about Canada Day and how to celebrate this fantastic occasion in our article: What is Canada Day and where should I go to celebrate it?

maple leaf bullet point Thanksgiving


thanksgiving


Many people associate Thanksgiving with the United States, but Canada also has its own Thanksgiving celebration. We Brits, of course, get to enjoy family get-togethers and feasts for the likes of Easter and Christmas, but missing out on Thanksgiving is certainly a sore point and another point in Canada’s column.

Canada’s Thanksgiving tradition isn’t identical to that in the USA, although turkey still plays an integral role. Taking place on the second Monday of October, the feast looks to celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year and has been a holiday since 1879.

Foods traditionally served during Thanksgiving include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, and pumpkin pie. Canadian football is also a part of the celebration, with what is known as the Thanksgiving Day Classic, a doubleheader held by the Canadian Football League nationally televised on the occasion.

maple leaf bullet point French culture and traditions

Something that makes Canada a truly unique place to live is its strong French culture, with many inhabitants speaking the language fluently. French Canadians trace their ancestry to French colonists who settled in Canada from the 17th century onward.

French is actually the mother tongue of 7.2 million Canadians (about 20% of the population), with the majority of native speakers living in Québec.

This obviously has a significant effect on Canadian culture, especially in regions with a large presence of French native speakers. As such, many French customs and traditions can be found in Canada, including everything from cuisine, greetings, and celebrations such as the New France Festival, which celebrates the arrival of the first Europeans and includes costumes, gourmet, artistic, and culinary events.

Don’t forget to take a look at some of our fantastic holidays to Canada if you feel inspired to visit.

Food

pancakes

The food and cuisine of a country tend to be connected to its geographical landscape, as well as the animals that are native to it. In the UK, you will see a lot of pork, lamb, beef, and chicken-based dishes (with favourites being the likes of shepherd’s pie and roast beef, as well as taking advantage of the nation’s island status, often resulting in its infamous fish and chips. But how does Canada compare>

Karen Anderson, CEO of Alberta Food Tours , gave us her opinion of what makes Canadian Food so special and distinctive:

“Canadian food reflects the natural beauty and the massive amount of land our country is blessed with. From the fresh fisheries of our three coasts to the bison, beef, vegetables and grains that thrive on the great plains to grape growing regions in Niagara and British Columbia (BC), we are blessed with abundance.”

But how can visitors to Alberta get the best of its much-praised culinary scene? Karen offers the following advice: “Alberta has seven signature foods: beef, bison, canola, honey red fife wheat, root vegetables and saskatoon berries, which are not to be missed. Our food tours make sure your experience is all hits and no misses plus you'll have a friendly knowledgeable guide to make recommendations as well. Pro tip: Alberta grows world-class barley and visitors can taste its goodness in over 120 craft breweries and dozens of distilleries!”


maple leaf bullet point Cultural influences on Canadian cuisine

Another aspect that has greatly influenced Canada’s food scene is the country’s diversity, bringing many different dining habits to the table.

This is something that Diana Chan, from the Canadian food and travel blog, Foodology , highlighted when speaking to us about what makes Canadian food distinctive, particularly its exceptional Asian cuisine:

“Canadian cuisine varies from west to east coast and what makes it so special is its diversity. We are the second biggest country in terms of land mass, welcoming more than 17 million immigrants since 1867. Diversity has played a role in forming the history of our country and also our food. It is not just the typical poutine, ketchup chips, butter tarts, or Montréal Smoked Meat. We have some of the best Chinese, Japanese and Korean food outside of Asia.”

Diana also offers a top tip for how visiting Brits can best experience Canada’s unique food scene: “Whichever province you decide to visit in Canada, the best way to experience the culinary scene is to ask a local what their recommendations are. There are a lot of hidden gems that are family-run restaurants with huge passion behind the food that they craft.”

Mayssam from the Montréal food and travel blog Will Travel For Food spoke to us about how the climate and sourcing of foods help create Canada’s distinctive culinary scene: “What makes Canadian cuisine so distinctive is our unique climate and access to regional plants that don't grow anywhere else.

“Canadian chefs are relying more and more on foraging wild edibles and local species to include in their cuisine, from heirloom varieties of grains and vegetables that are being regrown and brought back to wild indigenous plants that are being rediscovered.”

Chloe Gunning, from the UK travel blog Wanderlust Chloe , has spent time in Canada during her travels and has come away with great affection for the country, including the food:

“I love how diverse the food scene is in Canada. I visited Montréal early this year, where there's an amazing mix of cuisines. Over a few days, we ate steak frites, Vietnamese pho, spicy kebabs, tangy ceviche, healthy poke bowls and of course plenty of Canada's finest poutine!”.


SEE MORE

  • Eat like a local in Toronto
  • Eat like a local in Ottawa
  • Best food tours in Canada

  • maple leaf bullet point Canada rules breakfast

    When it comes to breakfast, there truly is no contest between the two nations. While we Brits enjoy our toast and cereal, occasional shaking things up with a big old fry-up, the delicious offerings that are commonplace in Canada help it to truly rule the breakfast scene.

    Taking advantage of the waffles and fluffy pancakes on offer at Canada’s many restaurants and pancake houses is something many Brits dream of. While we can try our best to recreate these dishes at home, nothing beats an authentic Canadian breakfast, especially when it comes to maple syrup.


    SEE MORE

  • Canadian Pancake Guide

  • maple leaf bullet point Healthy eating habits

    Another distinguishing feature between Canada and the UK when it comes to food is the healthy eating habits. While Canada has many delicious treats that can be enjoyed for those who have a sweet tooth, the country ranks well in Forks National Historic Site when it comes to eating habits.

    While Canada isn’t light years ahead of the UK on the list, it does sit in 16th place compared to Britain’s 19th place. So, visitors to Canada can relax in the knowledge that there is plenty of healthy offerings to be found to go alongside those maple syrup-soaked pancakes we all crave so much.

    maple leaf bullet point Eating out





    One category that Canada certainly excels in is its wonderful eating out scene. While we Brits certainly have some terrific options available to us, and we all have our favourite local chippy, the sheer variety and diversity of options on offer in Canada is something to behold. From world-class restaurants and diners replete with mouth-watering comfort food to sugar shacks, there is so much to enjoy.

    If you transport a food-loving Brit to Canada, they will truly be in paradise. But what about specifics? We spoke to Calgary based food lover Tanya from the blog Eat With Me Canada , who offered some of her top picks for where to eat in her home town:

    “Calgary is a city filled with a vast array of restaurants that represent so much more than just Alberta beef. You can find French patisseries, Italian pizzerias, Indian delicacies, vegan delights, street food, handmade gelato, Korean BBQ, Chinese hot pot and amazing Japanese sashimi, just to name a few. You can eat in the dark (a sensory experience one must try!), standing on a street corner, or watching the city go by from a rotating restaurant high up in the sky. While it's truly unfair to list just a handful of restaurants one must try in Calgary, here are a few of my favourites:


    - Q Haute for a unique and artistic sensory experience (and you get a tour of the kitchen!)

    - River Cafe for a beautiful summer brunch on the patio

    - Shokunin for traditional Japanese dishes and a photo op with Chef Darren MacLean from Netflix's The Chef's Table

    - Foreign Concept for delicious and creative Asian fusion

    - The King Eddie for traditional southern comfort food and live music”



    shack

    Image credit: Le Relais des Pins



    Le Relais de Pins in Québec provides a friendly atmosphere for a delicious friendly atmosphere for a delicious bite to eat, allowing guests to sample their maple products while learning about the maple syrup craft itself.

    Speaking to us about what makes sugar shacks such a big part of Canada’s food scene, the team at Le Relais des Pins said: “Maple syrup season has always been a reason to celebrate. It has historically announced the start of spring and the end of the rough winter.

    “Families were big and maple syrup producers used to invite everyone in their house for a meal so everything was put on the table and people would serve themselves. It is tradition to party during maple syrup season with family and friends around a big table full of food with music such as accordion, violin and guitar. It is a part of our history and that is why we still celebrate it every year and that it is a big part of our food scene.

    “We offer a typical Canadian experience to our customers so everyone, from locals to people from all around the world can live a true experience as our ancestors used to.

    “People can come all year round to taste our fresh homemade products and eat maple taffy, even in summer. Dancing and live music are also available. You can even join the musician with traditional wooden spoons. It is also possible to bring back souvenirs and maple products from our gift shop.”

    maple leaf bullet point Popular dishes


    poutine


    We Brits certainly have some favourite dishes that we look forward to eating, depending on where you are in the country.

    A recent study has revealed Britain's favourite family meals, and these were the top five:


    1. Spaghetti Bolognese

    2. Pizza

    3. Roast chicken

    4. Fish fingers

    5. Fish and chips



    Tanya from ‘Eat With Me Canada’ offered her input on some of the most popular Canadian dishes that visitors should look to try: “If you're visiting the west coast of Canada you must indulge on the seafood and fish; smoked sockeye salmon, wild halibut (best served with wild BC mushrooms) and spot prawns. Get a little more earthy in the interior with elk, bison or venison.

    “The creativity that many chefs apply to the more 'gamier' meats these days makes the meat so much more enjoyable than it used to be. If you're travelling through Québec, you must try poutine of course; however, cities like Calgary now pay homage to the famously Canadian dish of fries (chips), cheese curds and gravy with their own annual 'poutine week'. Any trip to the east coast must involve eating a few lobster rolls, some famous Digby scallops and a donair from Halifax.”



    indian

    Image credit: Heather on Her Travels



    Heather, from the travel, culture and food blog Heather on Her Travels , is a UK based travel blogger that has fond memories of her time visiting Canada . She spoke to us about the country’s food scene and highlighted poutine as a Canadian dish that she has a lot of love for:

    “Poutine is a typical Canadian dish that you really want to eat on a freezing day, when the carb-heavy dish of fries, curd cheese and gravy, makes a welcome warmer. What I found interesting was how all the top Canadian chefs love to create their own variations of poutine that are often a lot tastier and more interesting.

    “In Montréal, we spotted foie gras poutine from the top local restaurant Au Pied du Cochon and in Victoria, I tried a delicious Indian variation from VJ's Sutra in the food market, with cassava fries, creamy paneer and butter chicken sauce.”

    Chloe from ‘Wanderlust Chloe’ also has some top recommendations for foods to try in Canada, highlighting some seasonal food that she really enjoyed during her visit: “I love some of the dishes you get in the mountain areas in winter.

    “I remember a beautiful lodge we stayed at in the Rockies served a delicious afternoon snack featuring charcuterie boards of locally cured meats and delicious cheeses, plus tasty homemade cakes. It was freezing outside but eating that by the log fire made us feel warm and cosy again!”

    As you can see, there is quite a difference between the two nations and if you like the sound of Canada over the UK, perhaps you are a secret Canadian!

    Don't forget to take a look at some of our fantastic holidays to Canada if you feel inspired to visit.

    The Sport Scene

    icehockey

    Something that Canada and the UK certainly have in common is the fact that both countries are proud sporting nations and are home to some of the world’s most gifted sports stars. From hockey and curling to lacrosse and rugby league, sport is a big deal for our cousins across the Atlantic.

    In fact, Sport Canada revealed that 27% of all Canadians aged 15 and older regularly participated in sports in 2016, while 86% of people played sport recreationally and 14% played competitively.

    When you visit Canada there aren’t many better experiences to be had than either playing or watching a popular Canadian sport. However, the most distinct difference between the UK and Canada is the most popular sports. Here we take you through those loved by Canadians compared to the most popular in Britain.


    maple leaf bullet point Ice hockey vs football

    Ice hockey is the beating heart of Canada after being invented in the country, but has now become popular across the rest of the world and sees the brightest talents from Europe travel to Canada and the US to compete in the National Hockey League .

    The NHL is made up of 31 franchises and seven of the teams are Canadian. All of the teams are competing for the famous Stanley Cup, which is the oldest existing trophy to be given to a professional sports team and is awarded to the winner of the playoff.

    If you’ve never seen or played this fun sport, ice hockey has two teams made up of six players and regular matches consist of three 20-minute periods. The aim of the game is to shoot the puck into the opposition goal.

    The season in the NHL runs from October through to June, ending with the playoff system. The playoffs see the best 16 teams in the league compete against each other until there is one remaining team.>/p>

    Football in the UK (known as soccer in Canada) has many similar traits to ice hockey in the UK. It’s the most popular sport and originated in England.

    Football is an 11-aside game, but the premise is the same in the fact that both teams are aiming to score goals in the opposition’s goal, albeit with their foot and not a stick!


    - Toronto Maple Leafs

    - Ottawa Senators

    - Montréal Canadiens

    - Winnipeg Jets

    - Edmonton Oilers

    - Calgary Flames

    - Vancouver Canucks


    SEE ALSO:

  • A guide to Canada's sports teams

  • maple leaf bullet point Lacrosse vs cricket


    lacrosse


    Lacrosse is Canada's national summer sport. In April 2019, it was announced that the sport will be in the 2021 Canada Summer Games, and in November 2018, it was announced that lacrosse received provisional recognition from the International Olympic Committee.

    This team sport is played with a stick and ball as players use the head of the lacrosse stick to carry, pass, catch and shoot into a goal.

    Being so popular, it should come as little surprise that Canada is the defending gold medallists at two world championships and will be hosting world championships later in 2019.

    Jane Clapham, the executive director of the Canadian Lacrosse Association , told us about why she loves the sport: “Lacrosse, Canada’s national summer sport, started as the Creator’s Game. This fast, fun, uniting sport has a long and rich history in our country. The passionate lacrosse community in Canada can be seen from the grassroots level to our medal-winning national teams.

    “Team Canada has done exceptionally well on the lacrosse world stage. This year, Canada is excited to host two world championships—the Women’s Field Lacrosse U19 World Championship in Peterborough, Ontario, and the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship in Langley, BC.”

    Cricket is a hugely popular sport to play and watch in the summer months in the UK. The bat-and-ball sport is played between two teams of 11 players on a field and in the middle of the pitch is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end. It’s much slower than lacrosse and is a non-contact sport.

    Another major difference between these two sports is the length of games, with a typical lacrosse game taking 60-minutes, which includes four quarters of 15-minutes. Test match cricket, on the other hand, can take up to five-days with play generally starting mid-morning and ending in the early evening, depending on the light./p>

    maple leaf bullet point Other popular sports in Canada


    There are lots of other sports that are extremely popular in Canada and here we give you a snapshot of some others that you can enjoy during your family holidays to Canada .


    maple leaf bullet point Curling



    You may have seen it on TV during the Winter Olympics or heard someone talking about it, but what is curling and why is it so popular in Canada?

    The aim of the game is for players to slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area. The two teams, which comprise of four players each, take turns to slide the stones towards the target area. Each team has eight stones and the team with the highest score wins.

    Al Cameron, the director of communication & media relations at Curling Canada , said: “Canada is a very active nation year-round, but one of the traits about Canadians is that they embrace participating in winter activities when much of the rest of the world prefers to remain indoors by the fire. Canada loves its snow and ice sports, which is a big reason why we're so good at them!

    “Canada has nearly 1,000 curling centres from coast to coast, and one of their defining characteristics is their inclusive and welcoming nature. All ages, abilities and backgrounds are welcomed and embraced, regardless of whether you're a curling veteran or taking part for the very first time. There will always be someone available to give you some helpful instruction. Curling is the most social sport around, the only team sport in which the participants shake hands before AND after the game, and it's understood that the winning team will buy the loser a round in the lounge to help ease the pain!”

    Curling is not as popular in the UK as it is across the pond. This is demonstrated in the fact that there are just 22 rinks in Scotland and only one dedicated in England. Despite this, the UK did win its first winter gold since Torvill and Dean in the curling at Salt Lake in 2002.


    maple leaf bullet point Rugby League


    rugby

    A sport that has been growing in Canada exponentially over recent years is Rugby League and this spike in popularity can, in part, be put down to the Toronto Wolfpack .

    Rugby League is huge in the north of England, especially Yorkshire and Lancashire where the game originated, but in the rest of the country, the likes of football (soccer), rugby union and cricket overtake it in the popularity stakes.

    In Canada, this fast-paced, all-action sport is growing, and this is shown by the fact that Toronto Wolfpack’s opening two games of 2019 drew a combined crowd of almost 18,000 fans.

    Jon Pallett, Toronto Wolfpack Head of Marketing and Communications, says, “It is inspiring to see the support on display in a market not historically known for the patronage of rugby. Our home opener was a record crowd for Championship Rugby League and shows that the sport is only growing in popularity each year.

    “We take part in several events each year that aim to continue this growth, including strengthening the grassroots levels of the sport through kids clinics that draw hundreds of excited future rugby participants.”

    These efforts are clearly benefiting the sport and at the national level, the Canadian National Rugby League team have been experiencing a resurgence following the creation of a new governing body, Canada Rugby League, in 2010. This is demonstrated in the fact that the side draws crowds in the thousands and has been steadily improving, with a birth in the 2025 World Cup already secured.


    fan

    If you want to experience how this sport is becoming even more popular in Canada, then you need to watch a Toronto Wolfpack game. Jon Pallett tells us why he’d recommend you watch a game this summer: “The Toronto Wolfpack game day experience has rapidly become a dominant fixture on the Toronto summer calendar. Featuring top quality entertainment before, during and after each fixture, fan-favourite beer garden, family-friendly atmosphere, pitch-side viewing options and world-class on-field competition, no trip to Toronto is complete without a day in the sun at Lamport Stadium.

    “Easily accessible from downtown Toronto, Liberty Village provides the perfect launch pad for any fan wishing to explore one of the most iconic cities on Earth either before or after a Wolfpack contest. A ticket to see the Wolfpack is an opportunity to dive into the culture of this incredible location.

    “Toronto is a city widely regarded for its knowledgeable and passionate involvement with sport of all kinds. The people of this great city have welcomed the Wolfpack and helped turn our match day experience into something that reflects Toronto and contributes to a rich sporting history.

    “Over 9,000 fans turn out to watch our games and they are treated to a family-friendly day out featuring live music, elite-standard professional rugby, a wide array of unique entertainment and an atmosphere that turns Liberty Village into the best party under the sun in Toronto.”

    Don’t forget to take a look at some of our fantastic Canada holidays if you feel inspired to visit.

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    Lifestyle

    lifestyle

    A report recently deemed Canada to have the best quality of life!

    In the U.S News and World Report’s 2019 Best Countries Report , produced with the BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 20,300 respondents from 36 countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa were asked to score 80 countries based on 65 attributes.

    As well as being ranked number one in the quality of life section for the fourth consecutive year, Canada came out third in the overall best countries in the world.

    In comparison, the UK was ranked 12th in the list for quality of life and came 13th in the best countries overall rankings. The study looks at the following factors when deciding on the quality of life:

    -Economically stable

    -A good job market

    -Affordable

    -Safe

    -Politically-stable

    -Family-friendly

    -Well-developed public education system

    -Income equality

    But there’s so much more to the lifestyle in this majestic country and you will be able to experience this as part of a Canada tour . So what makes Canada rank so highly for its quality of life? We take a look at some of its traits.


    maple leaf bullet point It's a great place to relax

    If you’re ready to recharge and looking for a relaxing holiday, then Canada is a great place to visit as its lifestyle is renowned for being relaxing.

    Travel blogger Zoë Dawes from The Quirky Traveller says: “The lifestyle is very relaxed, making the most of the outdoors and amazing natural world, which is more exciting than the UK.

    “The RV road trip from Vancouver to Calgary through the Rockies is one of the best things I have ever done. So many unforgettable experiences in two weeks from beautiful, modern Vancouver with its café culture and stunning architecture to wild west Calgary via the desert in Osoyoos and the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains. We saw bears, moose, sea eagles and elk, visited First Nation sites and learnt about Canada’s rich heritage. We ate delicious, fresh local food and visited innovative micro-breweries and wineries all in a warm, welcoming, safe and friendly atmosphere.

    “If I was 20 years younger I would most definitely move to Canada, at least for a few years. It’s got a lively, forward-looking outlook, there’s no language problem, a great place for kids to grow up and with so much to see and do – and bears , I’d never get bored!” RV road trip from Vancouver to Calgary through the Rockies is one of the best things I have ever done. So many unforgettable experiences in two weeks from beautiful, modern Vancouver with its café culture and stunning architecture to wild west Calgary via the desert in Osoyoos and the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains. We saw bears, moose, sea eagles and elk, visited First Nation sites and learnt about Canada’s rich heritage. We ate delicious, fresh local food and visited innovative micro-breweries and wineries all in a warm, welcoming, safe and friendly atmosphere.

    maple leaf bullet point Its outdoor lifestyle



    itsoutdoor

    As discussed, Canada is well-known for its outdoors and its incredible scenery, both being important to culture in Canada, but these are also a big part of a Canadian’s lifestyle.

    Hannah from the travel blog That Adventurer moved from the UK to Canada and said Canada’s outdoor lifestyle was a huge factor in her decision. “I was living in London before and it's pretty difficult to get outside of the city due to traffic and costs. However, living in Vancouver I'm just steps from the beach and only 30 minutes from the mountains, the city itself is also so green that you feel like you're constantly surrounded by nature. For me, it's that that makes the lifestyle in Canada so great!

    “Again, it's got to be the outdoors lifestyle. Especially in the summer the city just comes alive with people running the seawall, rollerblading, cycling, playing volleyball...the list is almost endless. My first visit to Vancouver was when I moved here, and I fell in love with it straight away - a pretty sunset on Kitsilano Beach can make anyone fall in love with the city!”

    Sarah from the Family Travel Times blog agrees that what makes Canada’s lifestyle so great compared to the UK is the beauty of its countryside.

    “We had always wanted to go to Canada, attracted by the beauty of the country, the outdoors, the history and the friendliness and tolerance of the people there.

    “We'd love to go back! The Rockies is on our wish list. We'd really like to make full use of the outdoors as we were mainly in cities this time.”

    Micki Kosman from The Barefoot Nomad also thinks what makes Canada’s lifestyle so different from the UK is the access to nature.

    “For me, a large part of the great quality of life in Canada comes from easy access to nature. We live in a mid-size Canadian mountain city, and a hike in nature is only a four block walk away, we can be at a secluded campsite in a 20-minute drive, and the beach and waterfront are only a 15-minute drive. Our lifestyle is very much geared to being outdoors in nature, where we spend time hiking, camping, kayaking and biking. Most of Canada's cities are like this, especially Vancouver, where you can be outdoors in Stanley Park's 400 hectares of hundred-year-old cedars and oceanfront wilderness that's steps away from the city's downtown.”

    maple leaf bullet point Its diverse landscape



    diverselandscape

    As we’ve already mentioned, Canada’s outdoorsy lifestyle is one of the main attractions. Mix in its vibrant cities and other fantastic experiences and you have a country that offers everything you would want on a holiday.

    You could go on a city break or try to see the natural beauty on offer by going on a car hire holiday in Canada .

    It’s this variety that Linda from Retired and Travelling loved during her trip: “Canada can offer such a variety of lifestyles and environments. There are large cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal that rival cities around the world for things to see, foodie delights and entertainment.

    “But just outside the major cities, you can escape to stunning natural beauty. There are great oceans on the east and west coast. The west coast mountains are stunning and the trip from Calgary to Vancouver is a trip of a lifetime.

    “Canada is a massive country so you either need to plan a long visit to explore it all. Or, come back often.”

    Don’t forget to take a look at some of our fantastic holidays to Canada if you feel inspired to visit.

    Wildlife

    polar bear

    Canada boasts some of the world’s greatest untamed lands and wilderness and is home to a range of impressive animals. It is the last stronghold for animals such as black, brown (or grizzly), and polar bears. Off the nutrient-rich waters of Newfoundland and BC, you’ll find whale species like orcas and humpbacks.

    Gary Bembridge, a travel blogger based in London and shares his adventures on the Tips for Travellers blog , tells us why the wildlife in Canada is so impressive compared to the UK.

    “The wilderness. Canada is so vast and has enormous distant and remote places with remarkable wildlife you cannot see in the UK like grizzly bears and Canadian Moose. Impressive and large beasts that you can sometimes even spot from trains crossing the country. These animals live so distantly from human settlements and so are truly wild.”

    Here we list some of the most incredible animals you can see in Canada.

    maple leaf bullet point Bears


    Fun fact: Polar bears are actually classified as marine mammals


    kermodebear


    While the only bears you can see in the UK are in captivity, there is ample opportunity to see a variety of bears in Canada.

    Polar bears can be seen in Churchill in Manitoba and there are lots of polar bear watching tours that allow you to get a close-up look at these majestic animals. The polar bear is the largest land carnivore in North America and can often weigh between 400-600kg.

    Grizzly Bears and black bears are two other iconic symbols of Canada’s wilderness. Grizzlies concave faces, hump on their shoulders and long claws make them very distinctive, while the smaller black bears have black fur and eat a variety of plants and fruit as well as salmon, young deer and moose calves.

    A unique bear that can only be seen in Canada is the Kermode bear (also known as Spirit bear). Living in the Great Bear Rainforest in BC, these bears are a rare subspecies of American black bear.

    SEE ALSO:

  • Wildlife in Canada: 11 animals you could meet
  • The Bear Necessities of Canada: An Insider's Guide to Bear Watching

  • maple leaf bullet point Whales and other marine animals


    Fun fact: Orcas are actually part of the dolphin family


    There are more than 30 species living around Canada’s 202,000 km of coastline, but BC is a great destination to see these giants.

    During your visit, you can see a variety of species and in BC, you can see killer whales year-round. Humpback whales are also a hugely popular sight to see in Canada and they will spend their summers in Canada’s waters.

    Minke whales are regularly spotted around Canada, but wildlife lovers can also see fin whales and gray whales as well as other marine animals such as harbour seals, Dall’s porpoise, harp seals, hooded seals, elephant seals, Steller and California sea lions.

    Heather, from ‘Heather on Her Travels’, has also spent time enjoying the majestic wildlife in Canada, and gave this recommendation for visiting Victoria : “Humpbacks and orcas can be seen from April to October. Not only do you have a good chance of seeing whales as we did, but the marine naturalist guides on board Orca Spirit Adventures add a lot of insight and point out the seals, bald eagles and sea lions for an all-round nature experience.”

    There are lots of whale watching tours available and if you are booked onto one of our popular Alaska cruises you’ll be able to see some of these whales here too.


    SEE ALSO:

  • Everything you want to know about whale watching in Canada

  • maple leaf bullet point Moose


    Fun fact: Moose can swim underwater to eat aquatic plants.


    moose

    Arguably the most iconic animal associated with Canada is the moose, which is the largest member of the deer family.

    Male moose are recognisable because of their huge antlers, muzzles and long faces.

    Moose are commonly seen roaming Canadian forests and while they are a very laid-back animal they can become aggressive if they feel threatened.

    There are lots of amazing animals you can see in Canada and here we’ve listed some of the other animals you can see:

    -Caribou

    -White-tailed deer

    -Bald eagle

    -Wolves

    -Cougars

    -Bison

    maple leaf bullet point Great places in Canada to see these animals


    Jasper National Park


    Jasper National Park isn’t just home to the beautiful Canadian Rockies, but an abundance of wildlife too.

    As Vanessa from ‘We Are Travel Girls’ mentioned earlier, wildlife plays a significant part in Canada’s culture. Having spent time seeing some of it for herself at the glorious Jasper National Park, she spoke to us about what makes this location so special and unique: “Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies is an incredible place to see wildlife because of it's pristine, rugged beauty. Native wildlife includes elk, moose, bighorn sheep and bears. Over 53 species of mammals make Jasper their home. Some of the small mammals include squirrels, marmots, beavers, weasels, pika and porcupines. If you are visiting Canada, I highly suggest exploring the wonders of Jasper National Park.”


    Prince Albert National Park


    Another national park in Canada we recommend visiting is the Prince Albert National Park. Here, you can go on a scenic drive or hike, where you’re virtually guaranteed to see its diverse wildlife species.

    Sturgeon River Ranch , who offer horseback rides into Prince Albert National Park tell us a bit about the wildlife you can expect to see here.

    “The park is almost 1,000,000 acres and has no vehicle access on our west side. It’s home to six different ungulate species including wild bison, mule deer, whitetail deer, caribou, moose and elk. Then we have cougars, wolves, coyotes and bears for predators combined with an abundance of different birds and marine animals.

    “The west side of the Prince Albert National Park is accessed only by hiking, biking or horseback riding and is home to Canada’s only free-ranging herd of wild plains bison within their historic habitat.”


    Knight Inlet Lodge


    knightinlet

    If you want to view bears, then a holiday at the Knight Inlet Lodge is a great place to visit. The lodge is situated right in the heart of Canada's m'st famous grizzly bear habitat and during your stay, you can enjoy a range of activities and tours.

    ‘Tips for Travellers’ Gary Bembridge also has a YouTube channel and during his trip to Canada, he stayed at the lodge.

    He tells us why it is a place to view wildlife: “The best and most memorable was flying to Knight Inlet Lodge in a Fjord in the Northwest. It’s a floating lodge that can only be reached by float plane from Vancouver Island. You get to cruise along their inlets and see bears and their offspring. In the salmon season, there are viewing platforms to watch the bears plucking the fish from the rs. You also often see whales and other marine animals. It is so distant and in the wilds.”

    Don’t forget to take a look at some of our fantastic family holidays to Canada and during his trip to Canada, he stayed at the lodge.

    Personality test: Canada vs UK

    Learn more about Canada by taking our super-quick quiz and find out if you have more Canadian or British traits.


    Competition: Win holiday vouchers to Canada!

    To celebrate the glories of Canada — and to give those who are starting to think the country might be a better fit for them — we are excited to be giving away £500 worth of holiday vouchers for you to spend on a package holiday of your choice*.

    Simply fill in the entry form below with your name and email address to enter. A winner will be chosen at random and sent their prize! It’s as simple as that.

    The deadline for entry is 19th August 2019.

    All entrants must opt-in to receive the Canadian Affair newsletter.

    *Excludes flight only trips

    How does Canada compare to the UK?

    Well, we hope you have enjoyed this thorough investigation into the differences between Canada and the UK and are now perhaps a little further down the road in determining which country better appeals to your tastes and desires! If you haven’t already, don’t forget to take the above test to see which nation your personality is more in line with. Then, make sure to enter our competition for your chance to win some holiday vouchers to Canada! Perfect if you have decided that you would rather be a Canadian than a Brit.

    If all this has left you inspired for future travel plans, or if you want to get a head start on deciding what to use your prize on, take a look at some of the incredible Canada holidays we have available.

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