These Symbols of Canada Are More Than Stereotypes

What are the things that people most associate with Canada?

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

01 of 09

The Canoe

Algonquin Morning
abstractstudio.ca / 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

Hockey

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

The Great Outdoors

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

Beer

Beer
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.

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