Being polite for a Canadian is like talking. Being able to do small talk is the same. You can spend hours talking about the weather and such.

Everyone(well not everyone, but 90+%) is polite. This is taught at every level of the education system.

This can create a problem for newcomers coming from cultures where the level of politeness indicates a level of affection. They may think that someone is fond of them when this is not the case and can lead to a misunderstanding( a north american word for problem or conflict :-) ).

So, how then, do you measure affection? How do you know someone likes you, and not just being nice and polite?

Quoting a professional in the field: Canadian culture is an information based culture. The more concrete the information is - the more affection the person has towards you.

Example - a person you just met tells you that you can buy many things in dollarama. This is rather general. This is small talk. No personal affection there.

A person you just met, tells you that you should buy a specific product in dollarama because it is sold for twice as much everywhere else. This is a sign of small affection.