Vettel was well aware of the many Prancing Pony flags in the packed grandstands at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve as he kept the lead from pole position and coasted to victory on Sunday.
It was Ferrari's first win in Canada since 2004 and came from their first pole there in 17 years.
"The meaning of Ferrari in this country is huge, with the history", said Vettel, a four time F1 champion when he raced for Red Bull Renault.
Sebastian Vettel recaptures championship lead with Canadian Grand Prix victory
Kimi Raikkonen, in the second Ferrari, was sixth.
There was joy for both Force India drivers, though, as they both made it to Q3 for the second race running, so Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez will start either side of ninth-placed Carlos Sainz.
"It's like when a race is stopped and can't be restarted, you take it back prior to the lap where the red flag was given". "I was just anxious that people don't jump on the track and start celebrating". It means a lot.
"I think it's probably not a question for us".
"They've been waiting long enough for Ferrari to win here", Vettel said.
The race began in near-perfect conditions with an air temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and the track at 45 as the lights went out.
Villeneuve, from Berthierville, Que., claimed his first Formula One victory on what was then called Circuit Ile Notre-Dame in 1978 in a Ferrari.
The Toro Rosso was launched into the air, wrecking both cars.
"Thanks to the team, thanks for fixing the auto yesterday after I hit the wall a little bit".
The Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas will also start in the front row.
But the German's 50th career victory which left him on 121 points after seven races, was marked with some consternation when the chequered flag was waved a lap early by model Winnie Harlow.
Fernando Alonso would have hoped to make Q3 in his 300th Grand Prix weekend, but he had to settle for P14 after finishing Q2 more than a second off the pace. "No power, no gears", said the Spaniard. He didn't reply even to the apology from his race engineer: "Sorry, mate".
But Hamilton, so often the master here in Montreal, had to settle for fifth on a weekend to forget for the defending champion and his team.