I'm a novice user, just stopping in to say hello.
Is there anything special I need to know about mapping in Canada vs Europe? Are the tags essentially the same?
Welcome to OSM.
Have a look at the Canadian mailing list http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-ca for a robust discussion with other mappers in / interested in Canada.
The tags are essentially the same. Canada may have more sport=curling and amenity=cafe;name="Tim Hortons" but otherwise tags are the same.