They may swear a lot, but Burlington, Oakville top list of cities that say ‘sorry’


Published August 17, 2023 at 5:06 pm

When it comes to saying "sorry," Burlington and Oakville top the list of which Canadian cities apologize the most according to a recent survey of over 1,500 residents in the 44 largest cities in Canada put together by Preply. PEXELS PHOTO

When it comes to cursing, Burlington and Oakville are right up there among the Canadian cities that swear the most.

That good thing is both Burlington and Oakville are among the most likely to say “sorry.” Now, while you’ll find neither on the list for those Canadian cities considered the rudest, both make the list when it comes to being the rudest in the Greater Toronto Area.

This is all according to a recent survey of over 15 residents in the 44 largest cities in Canada put together by Preply, a language and learning app and e-learning platform.

Residents in the cities were asked them how often they see common rude behaviors, how often they swear, and what they think of the stereotype that Canadians are polite.

The data was then put together to determine which cities are the rudest and most polite on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the rudest.

While Canadians have earned the stereotype of being really polite, like most we do have our moments when we get a little testy.

And let’s just say local residents don’t hold back when it comes swearing. We might want to wash out a few mouths with soap in Burlington here and there.

The city leads all of Canada with an average of 15 curses per day, just ahead of the 14 hurled every 24 hours by Guelph. Hearing Burlington tops the list is sure to bring a smile out of their neighbours to the east in Oakville, but the town situated on the shores of Lake Ontario isn’t far behind with a ranking of seventh and 11 swears per day.

Now Canadians are rarely hesitant to be the ones to say “I’m sorry” and one guesses with all the swearing being hurled around, perhaps it’s no surprise Burlington and Oakville are right there when it comes to apologizing.

Burlington tops the list of Canadian cities with residents spitting out “sorry” 18 times a day, while Oakville is right behind them with 15 times they step forward and say “sorry.”

The most polite city in Canada? That’s just up Highway 7 in Markham with an average rudeness score of just 2.91. Oakville can take pride that they place 8th on the list with a score of 4.46.

On the other hand, you don’t have to go far to find what city is the rudest in Canada. Vaughan, the “city above Toronto” easily tops the list with a score of 8.05. That’s ahead of Coquitlam, B.C. (7.85), Brampton (7.05), Surrey, B.C. (6.91) and Windsor (6.88) to round out the top five.

Other key findings included:

  • Over four in five Canadians agree with the stereotype that Canadians are polite
  • The most common rude behaviors in Canada include being absorbed by your phone in public, being noisy in public and not letting people merge in traffic
  • Markham, Saguenay, and Cape Breton are the most polite cities
  • Canadians swear nine times per day on average, but Burlingtonians swear the most
  • On average, Canadians apologize nine times per day

The survey was conducted from July 24 to 28, 2023. A residency of at least 12 months was required to participate in the survey conducted by Censuswide.

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