Skip To Content
  • canadacoasttocoast badge

Think You Know Cape Breton? This Is What Islanders Wish Mainland Canadians Knew About Us

Lord tunderin' Jeezus, b'y!

You know all about Cape Bretoners. We’re fun, friendly, and good with a fiddle, right? Not always! This is what Capers wish the rest of Canada knew about us and our island.

1. We aren't all musically gifted.

Giphy: @NBC

The world’s greatest fiddlers and bagpipers call Cape Breton home, but that doesn’t mean we’re all musical savants. Plenty of us are bad singers, abysmal dancers, and utterly inept musicians. Please don’t demand that we lead the charge at any mainland party.

2. We like some quiet time (really!).

Giphy: @CBC

Sure, we love kicking up our heels at a kitchen party, but you’re just as likely to find us with our heads in a book or newspaper. Cape Breton boasts an impressive number of publications, covering everything from investigative journalism to folklore. Some of the best include An Rubha Gaelic Folklife Magazine, Ku’Ku’Kwes Independent Indigenous News, and The Cape Breton Post.

3. Mainland jokes don’t phase us.

4. The Cabot Trail is just the beginning.

5. Speaking of which…make sure you go the right way.

6. Making fun of our accent? Joke’s on you.

Giphy: @Fox

Accent? What accent? In the words of Paul Campbell, a hockey writer and Cape Bretoner living in Ontario: “The biggest secret the mainlanders don’t know is that Cape Bretoners speak entirely without an accent when among our own people... We only use it when among strangers to identify fellow Cape Bretoners. It helps us keep our secrets.”

7. We’re as confused as you are about “bungalow” cottages.

8. We don’t know your wife’s cousin from Sydney.

Giph: @CBC

Cape Bretoners are a well-connected bunch, but when it comes to identifying your wife’s cousin from Sydney or the husband of your former secretary who might have been from Chéticamp, we’re at a loss. But we’re sure they’re fine folks.

9. We love tourists…most of the time.

Giphy: @Netflix

We’re thrilled you find our island so quaint and our mannerisms so friendly, but, really, we have no idea if there is a ceilidh (aka a kitchen party, to those of you who don't speak Gaelic) tonight. We’re watching hockey like everyone else.

10. Our pastimes are better than your pastimes.

Giphy: @HBO

Cape Bretoners love bingo, bridge, tarabish, cribbage, and washer toss, but nothing compares with meat darts. For a small charitable donation, you enjoy a night of darts, and the winners get prize packs of the butcher’s finest. Despite the sinister-sounding name, meat darts is wholesome, community-focused fun.

11. And our desserts are better too.

12. We’ve got bottle blues.

Facebook: CapeBretonsIronBrew / Via Facebook: CapeBretonsIronBrew

Capers have a fondness for the bottle in an unexpected way. For more than a century, Cape Bretoners drank Iron Brew (later packaged as Irn Bru), a brown soft drink with spicy, fruity undertones. Though discontinued for nearly 20 years, the yearning continues.

13. Our roots are deep and diverse.

14. And finally...we’re not all Newfoundlanders who ran out of money on the way to Toronto.

Eduardo Fonseca Arraes / Getty Images, Roberto Machado Noa / Getty Images

Newfoundlanders WISH they lived on an island as beautiful as ours. However, if by chance some wayward Newfoundlanders manage to drift down to what we Capers like to call "God's Country," we'll treat them like everyone else: Invite them over for a scoff, and show them a roarin' good time. Maybe we're Canada's friendliest people after all.

This fall, BuzzFeed Canada is taking you on a virtual trip from coast to coast. Check out how BuzzFeed is highlighting different provinces and territories while bringing you more Canada content!

coast to coast illustration that says nova scotia
Carmen Capri / BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form