These Symbols of Canada Are More Than Stereotypes

What are the things that people most associate with Canada?

Hiking above a lake
Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

These symbols of Canada are the things most commonly associated with the country.

  • 01 of 09
    Algonquin Morning / Getty Images

    Once a major form of transportation for the fur traders and early Canadian explorers, today the canoe is used for recreation or on camping trips.

    You can canoe in almost every Canadian province and territory. Some hardcore adventurers own a canoe, but more practical for most is to just rent one from an outfitter.

  • 02 of 09


    Skating on a lake in Canada
    angela auclair / Getty Images

    It is hockey that brings millions of Canadians to their TVs set in winter, and hockey that gets parents up at the crack of dawn to get sons and daughters to the arena on time.

    Visitors to Canada can enjoy hockey by catching NHL games in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver. Tickets will range widely in price and availability. Toronto Maple Leaf tickets will be the most expensive and the most difficult to get and Ottawa probably the best bet for availability and affordability.

    If you're in Toronto, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a fun visit that offers interactive exhibits that are fun for kids and adults.

  • 03 of 09

    The Moose

    Bull moose, Alces alces, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
    John E Marriott / Getty Images

    This largest member of the deer family is found right across Canada in forested areas, especially near lakes. Those lucky enough to see a moose are amazed by their size: a mature bull stands as tall as a horse, weighs 600 kg (over 1,300 lbs) and has antlers that span up to 150 cm (5 ft).

    Some of the best opportunities to see moose are in Banff and Jasper in Alberta, Algonquin Park in Ontario and Quebec.

    If you choose a tour company that promises wildlife viewing, be sure to ask questions about their methods, such as if they entice the animals with food (setting food out for animals crosses an ethical standard and disrupts the animal's natural habitat) and how the animals are approached.

  • 04 of 09

    The Loon

    Loon in the Androscoggin River on a misty morning near Dummer, NH USA
    Cappi Thompson / Getty Images

    The sound of the loon has a special effect on Canadians. For the many of us who spent time around a lake in the summer at a cottage or camp, the stuttering, musical loon call brings us back to a peaceful, simpler time.

    The common loon is the most prominent of five species and can be found right across Canada around lakes. It is also the official bird of Ontario.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    The Mountie

    Royal Canadian Mounties
    Courtesy of Ottawa Tourism

    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, more commonly known as Mounties, is Canada's national police force. The force is easily identifiable by their red jacked, navy jodhpurs, brown boots, and hat.

    The RCMP provides federal policing service to all of Canada and policing services under contract to the three territories, eight provinces, more than 190 municipalities, 184 Aboriginal communities and three international airports. Ontario and Quebec - the country's most populous provinces - each have their own provincial police force.

  • 06 of 09

    The Maple Leaf

    Autumn colored maple leaf
    Creativ Studio Heinemann / Getty Images

    The maple leaf is the national symbol of Canada and appears on the national flag. The  maple leaf’s iconic place in Canada’s history stems from

    Maple trees are found across the country and famously turn brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red in autumn.

  • 07 of 09
    Hiking above a lake
    Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

    As the second biggest country in the world but with a population not even in the top 30 of countries worldwide (Canada's population is just over 36 million as of 2016), Canada has a lot of wide open space. More coastline than any other country, lakes, mountains and a diverse geography all lure millions of tourists from around the world to Canada for an outdoor vacation.

  • 08 of 09
    Dennis McColeman / Getty Images

    The excellence of beer brewed in Canada and Canadians' rabid consumption of it is undeniable.

    If you're a beer lover, be sure to try some local microbrews and craft beers, which are widely available at local pubs and restaurants.

    Most beer brands - including, ironically, Canadian - are owned by foreign corporations.  Moosehead is the largest Canadian-owned beer company

    Be sure to know the drinking age in Canada, which is 18 or 19, depending on the province.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    The Beaver

    Busy beaver
    Chase Dekker Wild-Life Images / Getty Images

    Like the eagle in the United States, the beaver plays the role of Canada’s national mascot. Whereas the eagle is a stern, majestic, soaring symbol, Canada's animal emblem is an unassuming, rarely spotted furry rodent.

    The beaver (actually the largest member of the rodent family) played a major role in Canadian history; trade of its pelt was a huge industry in the 17th and 18th centuries. The beaver is featured on many Canadian coats of arms, logos, and currency.​

    Beavers are found clear across Canada although catching a glimpse of one is difficult. However, you may easily see in forested areas near lakes and rivers the pointy stumps left over from beaver gnawing.