Canada's climate varies widely, depending on the season and location. Summers are very pleasant across the country, with highs around 25 C. Winters are cold and snowy across the country, with the exception of southern British Columbia, which has mild winters with rain instead of snow. Spring and fall, weather in Vancouver - and elsewhere around the country - is tough to predict and you will want to plan for both warm and cold weather.
Casual wear is acceptable most of the time. Some establishments (nightclubs and bars) have a 'no jeans, no running shoes policy'.
All major credit cards are widely accepted throughout Canada. Bank machines can be found everywhere and debit cards are also widely used. If you are using a foreign card at a bank machine, your money will be disbursed in Canadian funds.
Financial institutions will provide a credible rate of exchange when switching your currency for Canadian dollars.
110 Volts, 60 cycles AC
Entry Into Canada
For detailed information on Canada's entry requirements, please refer to the Government of Canada's website for more information.
As of January 23, 2007, travelers to and from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States. This requirement will apply to all air travel and will be extended to all land and sea border crossings beginning June 1st, 2009.
For more information, visit the US Department of State's travel website.
Transport Canada has directed all airports to increase security measures. These regulations include restrictions on the purchase and consumption of liquids. Please visit YVR website for further information.
Changes to Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Visitor Rebate Program
On March 19, 2007, the Government of Canada confirmed their intention to eliminate the GST/HST Visitor Rebate Program and announced the introduction of the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program.
For more information, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
Canadian hospital and medical services are excellent. It is recommended that visitors to Canada obtain traveler's health insurance before leaving their country because health insurance plans often do not extend coverage for services received outside the country of residence.
Visitors may find that they have either no health insurance or that they have inadequate coverage once in Canada. Visitors taking medicine prescribed by a doctor should bring a copy of the prescription, in case it needs to be renewed by a doctor in Canada.
|New Year's Day||January 1|
|Easter|| March or April|
|Victoria Day|| May |
|Canada Day|| July 1|
|Civic Holiday|| August |
|Labour Day|| September |
|Christmas Day|| December 25|
|Boxing Day|| December 26|
Shipping to Canada
Canadian customs brokers or a Canada Customs office can provide information on transportation companies that offer efficient service for time-sensitive meeting materials or exhibit goods.
Canada has six time zones: Newfoundland (3.5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time), Atlantic (4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time), Eastern (5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time), Central (6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time), Mountain (7 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time) and Pacific (8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time).
Tips or service charges are not usually added to a bill in Canada. In general, a tip of up to 15% of the sub-total (before taxes) is given. This applies to waiters, waitresses, barbers and hairdressers, taxi drivers, etc. At hotels, airports and railway stations, bellhops, doormen, redcaps (porters), etc. are generally paid $1-$2 per item of luggage.
Canadian tap water is among the cleanest in the world and is very safe to drink.