Etiquette

Canadians have a reputation for almost unnerving levels of politeness, which visitors should reciprocate whenever possible.

  • Greetings Expect locals to smile and say hello to you on the street, especially in smaller communities. It's important to respond in the same manner.
  • Queuing Canadians are natural line lovers; queue-jumping is frowned upon.
  • Small talk Expect everyone from shop assistants to restaurant servers to engage you in a few lines of chat. People are particularly effusive on Vancouver Island.
  • Homes Take your shoes off when entering someone's home.
  • Crossing roads Canadians are obedient users of pedestrian crossings. Jaywalking is frowned upon.
  • Public buses It's customary to thank the driver when getting off a bus.