35 Things Only True Canadians Know


By: Ashley Linkletter

7 Min Quiz

Image: vitapix/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Do you feel confident in your knowledge of all things Canadian? These aren't your standard facts about important historical figures or the dates of battles and victories past — this is a deep dive into Canadiana in all its unabashed, patriotic glory. Questions will range from the familiar to the slightly obscure. The more you love Canadian trivia, the better you'll fare on this quiz. For example, how well do you really know your Canadian sketch comedy? Can you take it all the way back to French class in grade school, where a solid month of the school year was dedicated to the Quebec Winter Carnaval? World records, inventors and fast food franchises are just a handful of the topics covered here, but if you're a part of the True North, strong and free, you'll have no problem getting through even the trickiest questions on the quiz.

Trust your Canadian instincts, and, more importantly, have fun with your answers. If you get stuck, you'll discover something new and wonderful about Canada, not just as a country but also as a collection of remarkable human beings. Yes, Canadians are polite, and we like hockey, but we also have a rich culture to draw from — whether it's about nostalgia or about looking forward to Canada's future in a swiftly changing world.

Are you ready? It's time to discover if you're a true Canadian who's curious about everything the country represents. 

"The Kids in the Hall" are well-known in Canada for their irreverent, off-the-wall sketch comedy, not to mention their recurring characters. Which of the following characters did NOT appear on the show?

Anyone who's seen "The Kids in the Hall" knows it's impossible to forget the Chicken Lady, Cabbage Head and (especially) the Head Crusher. The group was formed in 1984. Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Scott Thompson and Mark McKinney quickly became Canadian counterculture icons in the '80s and '90s — and continue into the 21st century.


What is the name of the now defunct Canadian department store that advertised "the lowest price is the law"?

Founded in 1931, Zellers was a Canadian department store known for low prices, along with in-store eateries called the Zellers Family Restaurant. In 2012, Zellers took first place in the "Canada's Worst Customer Service" category after they were investigated by CBC Television's "Marketplace" — a sign of things to come in the near future.


Fans of the TV show "Road to Avonlea" waited eagerly each week to see which actress play Sara Stanley?

Spunky and determined, the character of Sara Stanley was played by Canadian actress Sarah Polley from 1990 to 1996. Polley would go on to star in films such as "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Go" before moving into the role of award-winning director, documentarian and writer. She recently adapted Margaret Atwood's novel "Alias Grace" for the small screen.


What is the name of Canada's passenger train service?

If you need to travel anywhere by train in Canada, you'll be booking tickets with VIA Rail, a railway service that operates over 500 passenger trains weekly. Although the trains run across eight provinces and over 12,500 kilometres of track, VIA Rail owns only 3% of the track it uses — almost all of the remaining track is owned by the Canadian National Railway.


Grilled cheese sandwiches are universal; the accompaniments, not so much. What do Canadians like to dip their grilled cheese into?

Ketchup in Canada is slightly sweeter than its American counterpart, containing liquid cane sugar in place of the high fructose corn syrup found in versions from the United States. While most Canadians grow up enjoying this sweet and salty combination, Americans are more likely to dunk their grilled cheese in more savoury tomato soup.


If you live in Ontario, Quebec or the Maritimes, how do you probably buy milk?

Looking to buy milk in the eastern part of Canada? Chances are you'll find it in bags in the dairy aisle — just look for a large bag containing three smaller bags, totalling 4 litres. These bags can' t be resealed, so how do you get the milk out of the bags? You'll need a plastic jug and a pair of scissors to snip the corner off the bag. Then all you need to do is pour!


Which iconic Canadian store features a beaver as part of its logo?

In 1973, Roots Canada opened its first location in Toronto, where it began selling shoes made by Boa Shoe Company. Since then, the Canada-specific company has expanded its inventory (and store numbers) to sell leather goods (purses, belts and messenger bags), athletic clothing and ultra-comfortable leisurewear.


One of the best things about travelling to other countries is checking out the chip selection. Which of the following chip flavours is specific to Canada?

The ultimate chip experience, all dressed potato chips are coated in sour cream and onion, salt and vinegar, barbecue and ketchup flavouring. And yes, ketchup chips are also a uniquely Canadian junk food! Invented in 1978 by two brothers in Laurierville, Quebec, all dressed chips are a must-try culinary experience for adventurous foodies!


When you hear a Canadian talking about their Ski-Doo, what are they talking about?

A Ski-Doo (pronounced: "skih-doo") is a type of snowmobile made by Bombardier Recreational Products, aka BRP. The Ski-Doo name is so famous it has become a ubiquitous term for all recreational snowmobiles on the market, despite the Ski-Doo's original usage by land surveyors, trappers, medics and missionaries when it was introduced to Canadians in 1959.


This chocolate and confectionery store is named after one of Canada's greatest war heroes. What is it called?

Where do you go when you're at the shopping mall and you need a scoop of ice cream or a bar of gourmet milk chocolate? Laura Secord, of course! Named after the war hero of the same name, Secord is celebrated for having courageously walked 32 kilometres from American-occupied territory to warn the British of an impending attack during the War of 1812.


Which toy-filled candy eggs are contraband once they've crossed the Canada/U.S. border into the States?

Made by Italian confectionery company Ferrero, a Kinder Surprise is a milk chocolate egg that encases a plastic toy-filled capsule. Although Kinder Surprises are enjoyed by children and the young at heart all over the world, the United States, United Kingdom and Chile have all instituted bans on Kinder Surprise due to choking concerns.


How many time zones does Canada have?

Canada has a grand total of six time zones: Newfoundland Time Zone, Atlantic Time Zone, Eastern Time Zone, Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone and the Pacific Time Zone (moving from east to west).


Everyone says they're coming to this fast-casual restaurant for the chicken, but it's really the sauce they're after! What is the name of this restaurant?

Although the place is famous for its rotisserie style chicken, Swiss Chalet lovers get even more excited about the signature sauce which accompanies the meal. Die-hard fans purchase the sauce as a powdered mix for emergencies. Although there were a select number of Swiss Chalet restaurants in the States throughout the '90s, the head office closed all non-Canadian locations in 2000.


If someone tells you they've "gotta have KD," what are they talking about?

Kraft Dinner goes by many different names, including Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, depending on where you live, but in Canada it will always be called KD. Out of the 7 million boxes purchased worldwide every week, Canadians buy almost 2 million. While many Canadians are KD purists, some people like to add cut-up hot dogs or ketchup to their KD.


This Canadian co-op carries everything you need for your next big outdoor adventure. What is it called?

Founded in Vancouver in 1971, Mountain Equipment Co-op (or MEC, as most people call it) is an exclusively Canadian company that sells everything from tents to bikes to hiking shoes. Each customer is required to buy a $5 lifetime membership to shop at the store, with over 5.4 million memberships currently in use.


Which grocery store brand is easily identified by its colour, not its name?

Canadians know to look for No Name products when they need generic food items — a feat made even easier by the immediately recognizable bright yellow packaging. Since 1978, No Name products have graced the shelves of Loblaws, No Frills, Zehrs, Shoppers Drug Mart, valu-mart and more.


In Canada, this popular candy is made of chocolate — but in the States it's a different candy altogether. What is the name of the candy with two identies?

It turns out the discrepancy between chocolate Smarties and candy Smarties comes down to different manufacturers. Chocolate Smarties are made by Nestle and distributed all over the world — except in the United States, where the name Smarties is owned by the Smarties Candy Company.


There's a good reason why this soapy chewing gum never caught on outside of Canada. The misleading name of this gum is called what?

Always a horrible choice, Thrills gum looks just like regular gum but tastes like floral dish soap. The package literally says it "still tastes like soap!" While some gum lovers claim to appreciate the taste of Thrills, it's more of a novelty than an actual popular chewing gum in Canada.


Which magazine puts out an annual ranking of Canadian universities?

Maclean's releases their Guide to Canadian Universities every year — it's an important tool for anyone considering applying to university. Since the guide has become more popular, many universities have refused to directly answer any questions pertaining to the rankings. As a result, Maclean's has had to rely on third party data.


Which province chooses to opt out of Daylight Savings Time?

If you guessed Saskatchewan, you really know your stuff! The province eschews Daylight Savings Time in favour of a year-round time clock. (Some parts of Saskatchewan have made it official, while other locations have adopted the practice unofficially.) A few sections of Quebec and British Columbia also stay on Standard Time all year long.


Which super-famous superhero was co-created by a Canadian?

Superman has several ties to Canada, beginning with the fact that he was co-created by Canadian artist Joe Shuster while he was attending high school in Cleveland. The Daily Planet, the paper where Clark Kent works, is based on the Toronto Star, and the city of Metropolis is based on Toronto,


How many Canadian cities have a population larger than 1 million?

Despite its size, most of Canada is sparsely populated. Only six of its cities can claim a population larger than 1 million people. In order from largest population to smallest, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa are Canada's biggest cities by population.


Which Canadian beach can claim the title of longest freshwater beach in the world?

The warm, shallow waters of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park are home to the world's longest freshwater beach. Situated on the southern end of Georgian Bay, Wasaga Beach is comprised of eight beaches, which total 14 kilometres from one end to the other.


Generally speaking, Canada has a cold climate. However, some places are colder than others. Where was the coldest temperature in Canada recorded?

There's Canada cold, and then there's serious Canada cold: on February 3, 1947, thanks to subzero winds blowing in from Siberia, the temperature dipped to a frigid -63°C in the small village of Snag, Yukon.


In Canada, this extremely rare weather phenomenon only occurs where the prairies meet the Rockies. What is the name of this meteorological marvel?

Anyone who lives in Calgary or the surrounding area knows about chinooks: a regular occurring weather phenomenon in which a warm, dry wind descends upon the city. As the warm wind hits the cold air, the temperature can shift drastically in a matter of hours or even minutes — the record is -19°C to 22°C in an hour.


Baseball player Arthur Irwin is credited with inventing which essential part of the game?

As a professional baseball player, Irwin is credited with having invented the baseball glove in 1883 after he broke two fingers catching the ball with his bare hands. Although some doubt Irwin's invention claims, he was making and selling leather baseball gloves within two weeks of his finger injury.


You'll recognize this Canadian author, thanks to titles such as "The Paper Bag Princess" and "Love You Forever." What is name of this children's writer?

With over 71 million copies of his books on shelves in North America alone, Robert Munsch is an incredibly important figure in the world of children's literature. Munsch retired in 2008, after suffering a stroke, but was known for appearing at nursery schools unannounced to read his books. The works of Munsch and Dr. Seuss are stolen more often than any other books at the Toronto Public Library.


If you've ever played a competitive round of this board game, you'll know it's anything but trivial. What is the name of this quiz-based game?

The game of Trivial Pursuit was created out of sheer luck: friends Chris Haney and Scott Abbott couldn't follow through with their original Scrabble plan because of a few missing pieces, so they made up the game of Trivial Pursuit. Trivial Pursuit was officially released in 1981 and has remained a staple of family game nights ever since.


Which province joined the Canadian Confederation most recently?

Newfoundland officially became a part of the Canadian Confederation in 1949; its name was changed to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001. When Newfoundland joined Canada, it gained the right to have representation in the senate and the House of Commons.


Talk about a nation of coffee lovers! Approximately how many coffees does Tim Hortons serve each year?

You read that right! Every year Tim Hortons serves an estimated 2 billion cups of coffee — almost all of them to Canadian customers. In fact, about 15% of Canadians make Tim Hortons a daily habit, which isn't difficult when there are 3,500 locations in Canada.


What is the name of Canada's smallest province?

Prince Edward Island is Canada's tiniest province, coming in at only 225 kilometres long and 65 kilometres wide. P.E.I. is so small it makes up a microscopic 0.1% of Canada's total landmass and has a total population of just over 157,000, as of 2019.


Which of the following world records is NOT held by a Canadian (or group of Canadians)?

Canada set the world record for largest ice cream cake, made in Toronto and weighing about 10 tonnes. Canada also boasts the record for world's longest beaver dam, measuring in at 850 metres — so big it can be seen from space — and the world's largest maple leaf, measuring 53x52 centimetres. However, Canadians don't consume the most ice cream per capita; that honor goes to New Zealand.


Thanks to its thriving film industry, Vancouver has been given which nickname?

Walk down any random street in Vancouver (also known as Hollywood North) on any given day, and the chances are high you'll stumble onto a live film set. Thanks to its unique blend of ocean views, rainforests, mountain ranges and varied architecture, Vancouver and the surrounding area can be easily transformed into locales from all over the world.


Although Canada has a small population for its size, it's home to the fifth-largest city in North America. What is the name of the city?

Toronto, Ontario, is North America's fifth-largest city by population. As of 2019, Toronto is approaching the 3 million mark, although it still sits behind Mexico City, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.


Who is the official mascot of the Quebec Winter Carnaval?

Many Canadians who grew up attending French class in school will remember learning all about Bonhomme (or bonhomme de neige, which means "snowman") and the annual Carnaval de Quebec. Held once a year in Quebec City, this important French-Canadian and Métis cultural event features — amongst many other things — a masquerade ball, racing events and snow sculpting contests.


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