8 Canadian icons and where to find them

Posted June 30, 2017 | Author Breanne Sewards

Canadian pride personified: a man proudly carries the flag to a rocky lakeside lookout, embracing the stunning landscape.
Paul Epp

Header photo by Paul Epp

HAPPY CANADA DAY MANITOBA 🍁🍁🍁! With 150 years under its belt, Canada has earned a style and way of living unlike any other country in the world. And while our diverse identity can’t be defined as just one thing, we thought we’d highlight a few of the more stereotypical (yet fun) sides of our nation with 8 of our favourite Canadian icons, and where to find them in Manitoba…


Shimmering gold Canadian loonie, a symbol of national currency and cultural identity.

Canada has some of the most interesting currency in the world. The loonie is our cherished one dollar coin, created in 1987 bearing images of a common (yet awesome) loon and Queen Elizabeth II. Today, the iconic coin is made in the Royal Canadian Mint, a treasure trove that also produces every single Canadian circulation coin – billions each year! Visit the Mint for a tour of the facility at 520 Lagimodière Blvd.


DYK: With the exception of Nunavut, all of Canada’s provinces and territories have regional tartans; a sure sign of the influence of Scottish settlers. Canada’s maple leaf tartan became an official national symbol in 2011, but all types of plaid seem to be accepted as a form of Canadiana. There are endless sources of such patterns in Manitoba, but Commonwealth Manufacturing stands out as an up-and-comer in Canadian culture with all aspects of design and construction performed right here in Manitoba.


These majestic beasts once roamed North American in the millions and were an important food source for the Indigenous people who inhabited the plains. They remain as the largest land mammal in North America and play a particularly significant role in Canada and more specifically, Manitoba, with our flag and Legislature both including the bison. See these massive animals on a bison safari at FortWhyte Alive or in the Lake Audy bison enclosure in Riding Mountain National Park.


What would Canada be without it’s delicious syrups? Probably much less sweet, that’s for sure. Most people associate Canada with the classic maple syrup – but there’s a new syrup on the rise! Rocky Lake Birchworks in The Pas creates some of the yummiest birch syrups in Manitoba, with future plans for conducting tours of their facilities.


Introduced by settlers in the 17th century, beer now plays an incredibly important role in our national identity . Moosehead is the largest full Canadian-owned brewer, while craft and micro breweries continue to gain traction across the country. Manitobans who want to dive into the beer scene can join into the Ales & Tales pub crawl in the Exchange District for a taste of local brews, or head to Neepawa for a facility tour of the popular Farmery Estate Brewery.

Butter tarts

Considered to be one of Canada’s quintessential desserts, the butter tart is a staple at any potluck occasion that involves a dessert tray. Traditional Canadian butter tarts consist of butter, sugar and eggs in a pastry shell; with the option of adding raisins, walnuts or pecans. Clever bakers have since then morphed this simple recipe to fit the needs of several desserts. Local business Shut Ur Pie Hole created their own rendition of the classic recipe in their pie-in-a-jar format.


It doesn’t matter if its summer, spring, winter or fall – Canadians love hockey. Ask any Canadian kid and chances are, they have fond memories of hitting the rink or catching the game with Dad. In Manitoba, the northern town of Flin Flon is known to have churned out countless numbers of future NHL stars from the Flin Flon Bombers team including Bobby Clarke, Reggie Leach and Mel Pearson. In our capital city of Winnipeg, 2011 was a particularly exciting year when we got our very own Winnipeg Jets back, and the fandom has been crazy ever since!

If you find yourself at The Forks today for Canada Day celebrations, head to the parking lot for ball hockey from noon to 8 pm.

Hudson’s Bay Company

#StripeSpotting has become a bit of a thing here in Canada, with the Hudson’s Bay iconic red, green and yellow stripes being practically synonymous with our country’s identity. Having been a fur trading business for a large chunk of its existence, the Hudson’s Bay Company holds a significant place in our history, incorporated in 1670 by English royal charter. To get a glimpse into this rich history, take the path less traveled on an epic journey to York Factory, the company’s hub, with Nelson River Adventures of Gillam, Manitoba.

About The Author

Hey! I'm Breanne, Editorial Content Specialist for Travel Manitoba. First to jump in the lake and last to make it down the River Trail. Lover of croissants, cats, and croissant-shaped cats. Got a story idea? Email me at bsewards@travelmanitoba.com.

Editorial Content Specialist