The Rudest Cities in Canada, Revealed: Are Canadians as Polite as the Stereotype Suggests?

Canadians have long held a reputation for their politeness, with the stereotype of excessive apologizing being particularly prominent. But is this reputation based in reality, or is it merely a myth? To uncover the truth, Preply, an online tutoring service, conducted a survey involving over 1,500 residents across 44 of Canada’s largest cities. The aim was to identify which cities break the polite stereotype and to shed light on common rude behaviors and swearing habits. Here’s what the survey revealed.

Key Findings:

  1. Politeness Stereotype: Over four in five Canadians (83%) agree with the stereotype that Canadians are polite.
  2. Rudest Cities: The top three rudest cities in Canada, ranked on a scale from one to ten (ten being the rudest), are Vaughan (8.05), Coquitlam (7.85), and Brampton (7.05).
  3. Common Rude Behaviors: The most prevalent rude behaviors in Canada include being absorbed by your phone in public (scored 6.77), being noisy in public (5.00), and not letting people merge in traffic (4.90).
  4. Most Polite Cities: In contrast, the most polite cities in Canada are Markham (2.91), Saguenay (3.87), and Cape Breton (3.88).
  5. Swearing Habits: On average, Canadians swear nine times per day. However, Burlington residents top the list, swearing an average of 15 times per day.
  6. Apologizing Frequency: Canadians apologize an average of nine times per day, with Burlington leading with 18 apologies daily.

Rudest Cities in Detail:

  1. Vaughan: This city takes the title of Canada’s rudest, with a rudeness score of 8.05. Traffic congestion may contribute to the frustration here.
  2. Coquitlam: Coquitlam ranks as the second rudest city, possibly due to its damp climate and challenging terrain.
  3. Brampton: Brampton secures the third spot in rudeness, likely due to similar traffic issues as Vaughan.

Politeness in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA):

  • The GTA shows a stark contrast in rudeness levels. Markham (2.91) and Oakville (4.46) emerge as the most polite, while Toronto itself scores just above the national average at 5.91.

Common Rude Behaviors by City:

  • Vaughan is the worst offender for being absorbed by phones in public.
  • Coquitlam ranks high for residents talking on the phone at checkouts or spitting in public.

Cities That Swear the Most:

  • Burlington leads in swearing, with an average of 15 swear words used per day.

Cities That Apologize the Most:

  • Burlington tops the list again, with 18 apologies per day.

While the study reveals some cities in Canada that may be ruder than others, it reaffirms Canada’s reputation for politeness. With an average rudeness score of 5.41 on a scale from one to ten, and a strong tendency to apologize frequently, the polite Canadian stereotype holds true. Preply, recognizing the importance of language and cultural understanding, offers a community of Canadian English tutors to help non-native speakers grasp both language and cultural nuances.

The survey, conducted by Censuswide from July 24 to 28, 2023, involved 1,518 Canadian residents in 44 cities, with a minimum residency requirement of 12 months. To calculate rudeness scores, participants were asked to rate the frequency of 26 common disrespectful behaviors in their cities. Swearing and apologizing habits were also assessed. Participants were questioned about their views on the accuracy of the Canadian politeness stereotype.

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