Arthur Black’s Views on Canadian Identity and Differences from Americans

Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
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Arthur Black is a very opinionated man. In his essays about Canada, he has many short pieces about the differences between Canadians and Americans. He states how there is never anything bad said about Canada, and that Canada could even be considered a “wallflower”. In his essay Canadian Passion Not Flagging, Black talks about how the Americans wave their flag and Canadians do not. Americans have their flag everywhere; hanging inside malls, and even at the gas stations. In his essay Canada: Too Polite to Live, it says how the American Declaration of Independence demands life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Canadians have settled for peace, order, and good government. Another difference between Americans and Canadians according to Arthur Black is that the Americans know much more about their countries history than Canadians know about theirs. Toronto is definitely not one of Arthur Black’s favourite places to be. He explains in the essay Toronto: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time, Black says how “it doesn’t have the easy beauty of Vancouver, or the joire de vivre of Montreal. It lacks the architectural grace of Ottawa and the mountainscape backdrop of Calgary”.

Black says it feels fast, brittle, cold, and arrogant, and that it is all about money. He says how Torontonians do not look like they are having a good time, and at sporting events the fans are much quieter than other cities in Canada. Arthur Black also says how Toronto people do not really care about the meaning of things; they just want it to be productive. Black says how they think ‘The Rock’ (massive slab of Muskoka granite) is a waste of space in the downtown park. It is pointless and they would rather have something there that would make money.

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Toronto would not be the place Arthur would choose to live in for the rest of his life. Arthur Black would define Canada as a lot of things. He says how Canadians don’t know their own national anthem, and in the article O Cana-a-do (re, mi) Arthur talks about how if a Canadian is accused of being an American, they will fight until it is proven otherwise. Also, to be Canadian, it is almost a must to have an interest in hockey. Hockey is the one sport Canada can safely say they are the best at. People from Canada know a different level of cold than places like the USA.

In the article A Samaritan with Jumper Cables, Black says how “this aint a country; this is winter. ” Also in that article, he tells some stories about how polite and kind people from Canada are and how if the car spun off the road or ran out of gas, Canadians would be there to help right away. Arthur Black’s main classification of Canada is polite, and that is most likely the rest of the world’s opinion also. Your Canada Winter in Canada is much different than winter in other countries. For one, it is much longer.

Winter lasts about six to eight months, and it can be unbearably cold. The days are significantly shorter than summer, which makes it that much harder to wake up for the day at school or at work. Having to shovel the driveway isn’t Canadians favorite pastime at seven in the morning when they are going to be late for work. Also what needs to be taken into account is making sure the car is plugged in during the night. When that is forgotten in the cold days of winter, it is pretty hard to get anywhere because no car would start if it was sitting outside.

The season of winter in Canada isn’t all bad though, it is very pretty at times. Waking up and looking out the window to a fresh blanket of snow is one of the greatest sights for a Canadian. Also, sitting by the fire place with it white outside, drinking a warm cup of cocoa is the best on a snowy day. Winter for Canadians also means hockey. Whether it is hockey in a rink or shinny on a frozen pond, Canadians love their hockey. For many Canadians, being active in winter is an important part of enjoying life.

There are many other outdoor winter activities, including skiing, ice fishing, walking, skating and tobogganing, amongst others. Winter also means Christmas. Christmas is the longest break for students in school, so it is a much anticipated holiday. It seems like everyone is in a much better mood when Christmas is coming, it might be because they get to see family and they get time to put up their feet and relax. Sometimes people from other countries will ask “how do you tell people apart when they bundle themselves with a winter jacket”, but the truth is, that’s exactly how to tell people apart.

People around the city get to know what jacket others have, and that becomes their identity. It sure saves a lot of time picking out an outfit to wear for the day when a winter jacket ends up covering it up anyways. The cold winter days are also a great time to catch up on the missed TV shows. In the summer, there is always something to do because the days are bright so long. In winter, it gets dark at around six, which leaves plenty of time to catch up on favorite TV seasons. Canadians are winter experts and know how to make it the best it can possibly be.

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Arthur Black’s Views on Canadian Identity and Differences from Americans. (2016, Dec 17). Retrieved from

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