last updated 2015 May 25
see also  witiger.com/internationalbusiness/globalization-of-markets.htm
see also  witiger.com/marketing/branding.htm
see also  witiger.com/internationalbusiness/brandinginternational.htm
see also  witiger.com/marketing/Canadian-Culture.htm
see also  witiger.com/ecommerce/OnlineBranding.htm

For the students of Prof. W. Tim G. Richardson, Toronto, Canada
.. This unit is used in
MGT C46 / MGS C46
CCT 322
MRK 200
. Not all of the material in this unit will be used in each of these courses; the amount of material covered will be indicated by the actual lecture given in class by the professor. Some courses cover this topic extensively, some courses deal with it briefly.
DISCLAIMER This is not intented to be a "complete" and detailed assessment of everthing about the Canadian cultural situation - 
  • 1st - it can't be done, we have too many opinions about "what is a Canadian" 
  • 2nd - "what is Canadian" is something that is not fixed in time, but is constantly changing each year as new Canadians arrive and mix with the existing population 
  • 3rd location - if you are in Manitoba and Saskatchewan you will have a different opinion on "what is Canadian" from someone who lives at Morningside and Sheppard in Scarborough
For example: Asian immigration: in recent years past it has been Chinese from China (speaking Mandarin), then before that Chinese from Hong Kong (speaking Cantonese) - depending on whether you are 22 or 42, you may have a different opinion on Chinese culture in Canada.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlQS859_-IU In MRK 200 a group of students made a fun video in the parking lot of the Seneca Markham campus talking about hockey and things to do with the sport and marketing

It is a 2 part video with the second part at the LCBO so be patient watching it.

Talking about Molson's.....
(of course, these students are over 19 ;-)

4 min 39 sec

Farhan S., Rhonda H., Neshanth M., Anil S.
with "hoser host" - Casey L


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1nvt9IYOo0 In MGTC46 in March at University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, we were discussing particular well known Canadian brands and ended up discussing how famous Canadian chocolate icon, Laura Secord (which many years ago was bought by the Americans) had recently been bought back by a Canadian company.

After a long discussion about the history of who Laura Secord was, and the chocolate business, many of the students expressed hunger for chocolate, so,... i promised to bring some in the following class, and this video shows i kept my promise.

The Canadian Consumer Market: Demographic and Economic Dimensions

Chpt 5 in the Shapiro, Wong, Perreault text used in MRK 200 discusses the demographic dimensions of the Canadian market - which was the impetus for this unit.


2004 chart
Canadian immigrants by country of origin 
- this information helps marketing people plan cultural aspects of marketing products and services

2013 Stats available

2013 Permanent residents by source country

2011 update

- foreign-born population 6.7 million
- the highest proportion among the G8 countries.

from the federal government ministry of
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

http://www.witiger.com/marketing/immigrantslanguage.gif Canadian immigrants by language (2004)
- this information helps marketing people plan the language of marketing communications

from the federal government ministry of
Citizenship and Immigration Canada




Things in Canadian culture you should know about to be able to successfully market to Canadian people
- Canada is not the same from coast to coast
- Canadians in the large multi-cultural cities of Toronto and Vancouver have muich different opinions about traditional Canadian values and heritage than Canadians in the small villages and farms in the smaller provinces
- one person put it this way "25 million Canadians DO NOT live in Toronto"
Tim Hortons - the national doughnut chain, is named after a famous dead Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player
- Canadians think they are the best ice hockey players in the world
The Canadian gov't has so much respect for Tim Horton's as a "Canadian institution" that they granted Timmies a special license to distribute the Remembrance Day Quarters in 2004
- a couple of years after we posted the comments about doughnuts, Able L., a UTM student in Feb 2006, found the following info off the CBC site
"There are more doughnut shops per capita in Canada than anywhere else on the planet. Canadians eat more doughnuts than any other country's citizens. Although the doughnut is often seen as an American icon, it has become Canada's unofficial national snack. The popularity of the deep fried treats has to do with Canada's love affair with coffee...Coffee and doughnuts go hand in hand. And since coffee is Canada's number one beverage, its partner in crime, the humble doughnut, ranks up there in popularity."
- Canadians in Toronto/ Vancouver are very VERY multi-cultural, Canadians in the small villages and rural areas are mostly white, Scotch/Irish
- Many white Canadians will describe themselves as Scottish-Canadian or Irish-Canadian even though it was their great-grandfather that came here, and not their grandfather or father
- Canadians are comfortable with the image of doughnut eating, hockey playing, ice fishing, SUV driving, rednecks
- the ability to deal with cold weather is a big part of being a "tough Canadian", black white or brown
  www.canadianaconnection.com/cca/headlines.html - about our red plaid work shirts


Things in Canadian culture you should know about to be able to successfully market to Canadian people

- due to large size of the country, Canadians feel free to establish social and business relationships by email or phone without even meeting face2face
- People give distances in times, not miles (1 hour to Port Hope from Toronto)
- Canadians are obsessed with comparing themselves to Americans
- Canadians consume more Kraft Dinner per capita than any other nationality on earth
- Canadians usually put vinegar on their chips (French Fries), rather than ketchup.
- many Canadians use mayo on their fries
- homo milk means Homogenized milk. Known in the States as whole milk
- poutine (pron. poo-TEEN) Quebecois specialty. French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy.
- Bloody Caesar Just like a Bloody Mary, except it's made with Clamato (clam and tomato) juice instead of plain tomato juice.
- you can't get Clamato juice easily in the U.S.
- Robertson screws Screws (for metal or wood) with a square hole in the top rather than a straight or X-shaped one.
- Many of Canada's cities and provinces have nicknames:
Vancouver = Hongcouver, Winnipeg = Winterpeg, Edmonton = Deadmonton
- Canadian Tire money can be used like real money at small stores in Western Canada
- Canada is one of the few countries in the world that will suspend, or delay, the national news because a hockey game went in to overtime
  www.canadianaconnection.com/cca/headlines.html - about our red plaid work shirts
Things about French- Canadian culture you should know 
You can't talk about Canadian culture without talking about French-Canadians too.

In Dec 2007 CanWest News Service reported that
"Proportion of francophones in Canada declines"

Journalist Meagan Fitzpatrick noted "Francophones are making up a smaller proportion of Canada's population"
Statistics Canada reported Dec 4th 2007 that for the first time in 75 years francophones dropped below 80 per cent of the population in Quebec.

Fitzpatrick  explains "According to data from the 2006 census, 22.1 per cent of Canada's population reported French as their mother tongue, down from 22.9 per cent in 2001. "

Statistics Canada said the numbers in Quebec can be explained by high immigration of people whose mother tongue is neither French or English

Influences of the Political / Legal / Regulatory Environment as a reflection of the Social-Cultural Environment
As reported in Maclean's magazine Feb 14th issue 2011, Quebec is becoming even more aggressive with its French language laws.

The Partis Quebecois (should it form the next government in the province of Quebec) has stated that each busines, even small businesses need to operate in French (language de travail) -which also means the employees have to speak to each other in French, EVEN if they are naturally both English speakers.

The PQ are also the same political party that suggested that lack of enough Quebec players on the Canadiens hockey team was "a deliberate move on the part of the federalists to starve Quebecers of a 'powerful symbol of identity' ".
As quoted in Maclean's Feb 14th 2011

Milk in Bags !
Things about Canadian culture you might not have thought was Canadian
Student Chris L. in MGTC44 at UTSC in Feb 2010 emailed to say

Hi Professor,


I found an interesting article on  Canadian culture and how Canadians drink milk.  According to this article, we (Canadians) are apparently the first ones to drink milk out of a plastic bag.  I had no idea that we were the only ones in the world to do this and never considered it weird to outsiders.   A student (Sheryl Ng ) from York University actually made a video (youtube.com/watch?v=VTPgd4HUk4w) showing how to pour a glass of milk and the troubles that go along with it. 

contributed by Student Chris L. in MGTC44 at UTSC in Feb 2010
Milk in Bags ! Things about Canadian culture you might not have thought was Canadian
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTPgd4HUk4w Chris added

She started getting interesting comments from around the world, ranging from “ew” to “what” and one person actually was concerned about health issues.  Apparently, Americans and the rest of the world drink it out of cartons and jugs only.  The article goes on to say that some countries has followed Canada to bag milk because they’re more environmental friendly, less production costs, and recycling issues; namely Israel, South Africa, Argentina, Hungary, and China

However, some commented have stated that this is only an Ontario and East-coast phenomenon.  The rest of Canada usually drink it out of cartons or jugs.  One funny comment was “They also cheer for the Leafs, so you can see where the problem begins”.  So there are discrepancies about the culture even within Canada as stated on your site. 

I hope you found this insightful and maybe it would be an addition to the Canadian culture page on your website. 
Regards, Chris

Chris, this is very interesting, i never thought about this and i have lived overseas in several countries and did not notice this until you mentioned it, thanks

Nova Scotia 
New Brunsick


pop 1.8 million

Things about Maritimers you should know 
(depending on who you talk to, Newfoundlanders (although geographically they are Maritimers) distinguish themselves as a seperate region)
- “Maritimers” have strong family values and a rich culture. Although very liberal minded, the outward culture is quite conservative preferring class to sass. 
- The residents tend to appreciate politeness and do not like “big city” brashness. 
- East coasters tend to be good-natured and love to laugh. It is not unusual for you to pass a stranger on the sidewalk and have them greet you with a smile and a “Hi, how are ya?” or “Great weather we’re havin’, eh?” As an advertiser, if you can make them laugh, it’s a good way to win their business.
Amy I.
more details from Amy at
I hope readers appreciate that the Scottish heritage of Nova Scotia is in the name:  Nova Scotia is latin for New Scotland - and the provincial flag is basically the flag of Scotland
contributed by Amy I. in MGTC44 Jan 2010
Canadian born abroad
Things about "New Canadians" you should know 
Statistics Canada published a report Dec 4th 2007 that revealed a number of things about the culture and language of Canada towards the end of the first decade of the new millenium

Eric Beauchesne of CanWest News Service wrote an article about the Stats Canada report and said
"Canada's foreign-born population grew four times as fast as that of the Canadian-born population during the first half of this decade to reach a 75-year high of nearly one in five people living here,"

Canada more international than the U.S.?

Statistics Canada's 2007 report reveals that Canada has a much higher proportion of foreign-born than the United States
- 20 %  in Canada compared to 12 % in the U.S.
- 6.7 million foreign-born in 2011 in Canada
1 in 5 Canadians foreign born 

(what is not counted in the U.S. score by the U.S. government is the %'age of "illegal aliens" which is considered a sensitive point in U.S. politics)
Among OECD countries, only Australia has a higher proportion of foreign-born than Canada.

Visible minorities

Nearly 6,264,800 people identified themselves as a member of a visible minority group. 

They represented 19 percent of the total population. Of these visible minorities, 31 percent were born in Canada and 65 percent were born outside the country and came to live in Canada as immigrants. 
West vs. East Beauchesne notes
"for the first time the foreign-born population from Asia and the Middle East in 2006 exceeded that from Europe."

"Newcomers from Europe, who use to make up the majority of new immigrants to Canada, accounted for just 16 % over the half decade, down from more than 60 per cent as recently as 1971."

Canadians born abroad
Things about "New Canadians" you should know 
Statistics Canada report Dec 4th 2007 

Almost everybody wants to live in the city

Toronto, Vancouver &  Montreal are home to 2/3rds of immigrants

Toronto accounts for 37% of the total immigrant population and 40% of recent immigrants.

- this means Toronto is growing in popularity with immigrants, compared to Vancouver or Montreal

- however, there is another way of thinking about it - for a country of 31 million people spread out over 6 times zones, it is interesting that 60% of new immigrants DO NOT come to Toronto - meaning the population of Canadians who do not live in Toronto is increasing steadily

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEsk8b09cQM&feature=related Canadian are too polite !!!!! ... NOT

see  youtube.com/watch?v=TEsk8b09cQM&feature=related

also, see American guy get "owned" in the office

the Quebec "I am not Canadian"

Stompin' Tom Connors

COMMENT Another reason for building this page is the hope that, by students sharing several things from each culture, we might find more things we have in common, which may contribute towards cultural harmony, as opposed to cultural misunderstandings.

Click on the scan below and you can read a 2006 article Prof. Richardson wrote about cultural diversity - this is a personal opinion and not part of the course work you need to know.

Prof. Richardson's article was written in response to a letter in the Toronto Star in June 2006 in which the writer (Omar Alghabra, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erindale) complained that there was not enough support for cultural diversity. Richardson replied saying that in his opinion, celebrating cultural diversity means emphasizing differences and if you want to "build a country" you should celebrate things we have in common, which would lead people to support and encourage each other.

We have the same analogy from professional sports and corporate management - if you want a strong team, or a productive company, everybody has to pull together and support each other - not "celebrate" their differences - IMHO.


http://www.witiger.com/marketing/Musictogether.pdf After I showed the students in MGTC44 (at UTSC) the article i wrote on "celebrating diversity", I challenged them to think of things that bring us together, instead of celebrating how different we are.

One student, Amy I. wrote a very interesting piece on music titled
The little things that bring us together…”
and I think it merits beging shared with the rest of the students.
Click on the screen capture to the left to see what she wrote in a PDF.
WTGR Jan 15th 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldri807QfCw&feature=related George Carlin on 

"Little things that bring us together"
(works in Sept 2010)

- the opposite of diversity

"Explicit" language
and hard core swearing

- but if you don't mind the "language", Carlin makes several interesting points, through his humour


Prof. W. Tim G. Richardson © www.witiger.com