Throughout the generations, Canadian culture has a proud tradition of being incredibly rich and diverse; influenced not only by their North American neighbors but by their European friends and counterparts. With hundreds of influences that make up the wider Canadian culture, we’re seeing new and exciting trends in our nation’s make-up, which can only add a further dimension to life for Canadians.
Fast-growing Asian communities
Canada’s Asian population is on the rise, none more significantly than the Japanese population. In Toronto, for instance, the Japanese community is now one of the most active Asian communities. Although it only represents 1% of the city’s population, it’s becoming part of an increasingly vibrant suburban area for Toronto. The Japanese Canadian Culture Centre, built in 1964, is also widely recognized as one of the best examples of a cultural center in Canada, welcoming more than 200,000 people every year.
Advancements in technology are changing and reshaping consumer behaviors. Online shopping is par for the course among Canadian families today. According to a recent infographic by the Business Development Bank of Canada, three-quarters (75%) of Canadians are influenced by online reviews and ratings during the buying process. Bricks-and-mortar retailers are increasingly pressurized to compete with online retailers as smartphone users can quickly compare in-store prices with online deals. With Canadian e-commerce sales totaling $5.4bn in 2012, the forecasts suggest it could reach $10bn by the turn of the next decade.
The latest figures from the Canadian Gaming Association suggest that iGaming is a fast-emerging market throughout our nation, with a gross output totaling $31bn. The Canadian government has taken a relaxed stance towards iGaming, allowing individual provinces and territories to set their gaming laws at a state level. Quebec – the widely recognised hub of iGaming in Canada – became the inaugural state to grant licenses to iGaming operators, with many more poised to follow the same path and allow people access to real money games online with sites such as Lottoland, which offers a choice of six table games as well as live dealer table games that offer interaction with a human dealer online. With advancements in mobile tech and VR become ingrained into iGaming technology, it’s quite likely that these virtual gaming communities will dominate over the bricks-and-mortar casinos in the coming decades.
Health and wellness
The Canadian health and wellbeing sector has taken off in a big way. Acute awareness of health has completely transformed food demand and eating habits. According to the same infographic previously mentioned by the BDC, a third of Canadians are prepared to pay a premium for health-enhancing products. With a genuine shift toward wellness and more Canadians getting active, a new fitness culture is developing, with health-monitoring equipment and mobile apps more prevalent than ever before.
Soccer in Canada is now the most popular sport in terms of overall participation rate. Hosting the 2007 FIFA under-20 World Cup proved to be the kick-start the sport needed in the country, including the building of BMO Field. Toronto FC is now a key figure in the Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise, as well as Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps. The trio of Canadian MLS sides recorded the largest year-on-year attendance growth, with MLS itself becoming the sixth-biggest soccer league on the planet in terms of overall attendance. The next logical step for Canada would seem to be a bid to host the FIFA World Cup.
There is so much to be proud of in our great country and so much more to look forward to in the coming years.