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Now we’re the bad guys: boorish Canadian hockey fans leave Buffalonians unimpressed and under-tipped

During the World Junior Hockey Competition in Buffalo earlier this month, things got a bit out of hand—and we’re not just talking about the winning Russian hockey team, either. Apparently, even we normally modest, likable Canucks went a bit crazy with the late-hour bars and the hot wings. It got so bad that Donn Esmonde, a Buffalo News columnist, put his pen to paper to bash us.

I am not sure if it was the insufferable sense of hockey superiority, or the pre-and post-game beers, but this tournament brought out the inner lout in a lot of Canadians. Arrogant, loud, drunk, obnoxious — if I didn’t know better, I would have thought that they were, well, Americans.

From the guy arrested for punching an American fan at the USA-Canada game, to the sea of red that adopted any team that the USA played, to the drunken red-clad louts at the New Year’s Eve ball drop (staggering, middle-aged, red-clad lady I saw clutching a half-empty bottle of vodka, this means you), to the legions of lousy tippers at bars and restaurants — a lot of Canadians wore out their welcome long before Russia shattered their gold medal dreams. Believe me, there were not a lot of Buffalonians crying over that outcome.

Lousy tips? That doesn’t sound like us. No, wait, Esmonde’s got our number right there. Clearly, Canadians need to learn how to blend in with the locals better—drink worse beer, come home with bronze and leave a decent gratuity at the end of it all.

Some Toronto writers are responding with more of a “no, you suck!” attitude. The Star’s Cathal Kelly writes, “One of your own players—Ducks prospect and Team U.S.A. forward Emerson Etem—called Buffalo a ‘ghost town’ and ‘the worst city ever.’  And you’re angry at us? Seriously?” Of course, if we lived in the “worst city ever”—and more than a few Canadians think we do—we’d be angry at outsiders coming in and making a mess of things.

Dear Buffalo: we’ll make it better when UFC comes to Toronto. Buffalonians can come here, drink our superior beer and tip our servers more generously. We dare you.

• Disillusioned by northern neighbors [Buffalo News]
• Kelly: Canadian world junior fans criticized in Buffalo [Toronto Star]

(Image: Doug Kerr)

  • Adam

    Perhaps there is a relation between poor service and poor tipping, I wonder if they ever thought of that? Seeing that we are used to a high level of service from our great servers here in Canada, it wouldn’t surprise me…

  • “Frenchie” McFarlane

    “Let me just say that I went down to Bufalo, “Murica” for 3 games of the WJC, and I felt robbed. Yes, every nite after the games I went searching for those “5-alarmers” in Cheektowaga, Tonawanda, Salamanca & “Salmonella”, and guess what? no fires! what a rip-off! I always believed that Irv Weinstein himself (with a little gasoline help from Com. Tom & Promo the robot) set those fires around 10:45 PM, just in time for the 11:00 PM Eyewitness News. I’m never goin back there, instead I’ll catch my local “3-alarmers” in beautiful downtown Scarberia”!!

  • Kate

    I have worked in service for 10 years in Toronto and we ALWAYS know when we are serving American’s! This article is very hard to belive??? Soooooooooooo sorry America, if you got a taste of your own medicine. Chill out. Here’s a challenge for you… try acting like normal human beings when your in our city. Hey why not try tipping? Maybe even saying please and thank you? How about not starting fights in our bars and using your inside voices, when inside.

  • The_Flash

    Buffalo is the armpit of America. If I had to spend more than 1 hour there I would turn to the bottle as well. Not Canadian’s fault…Buffalo brings out the worst in ALL people

  • schill

    Canadians do have a rep for being bad tippers. The standard in the U.S. is 18-20% on good service, I find most Canadians tip 15% or less.

    Still better than Europeans that either don’t tip or leave some coins.

  • Dan

    I am an American and have been working with Canadians for over 15 years, and have found that Donn Esmonde is right on the money when it comes to the arrogant and brash Canadians.

  • 15 percent

    Your servers and bartenders are paid minimum wage…ours are not.Everything is cheaper in restaurants in the U.S. because of this..please remember this.

  • TheAvatarofSet

    Nice way to personify the very arrogance they were talking about. Good job, you’ve perpetuated the stereotype.