The financial systems of some countries fared materially better than others during the global financial crisis of 2007-09. The performance of the Canadian banking system during this period was relatively strong. Using a case study approach together with empirical analysis, we assess some of the factors that contributed to this favourable outcome with a view to drawing useful lessons for regulatory reform. We argue that an important contributor to positive bank performance was a solid approach to risk management on the part of the Canadian banking system, an approach that was actively fostered by the domestic authorities. Efforts to buttress risk management were favourably influenced by several stressful yet instructive episodes in Canadian financial history. The 2007-09 crisis experience suggests a need to make risk management a pervasive element of financial system culture and emphasizes the importance of robust liquidity management.