flag Canada Canada: In the Country

In this page: Accommodation | Eating Out | Getting Around | Time and Time Difference | Climate | Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems | Paying | Speaking | Emergency Numbers | Communications

 

Accommodation

Bed & Breakfasts, Country Inns
All price categories. Usually propose bed and breakfast.
Canada Bed and Breakfast accommodations
Youth Hostels
Very economical, for teenage and young adult travelers. Bedroom and shared communal areas such as bathroom, sitting room, kitchen.
Hostelling International Canada
Motels
Economical, generally located on the edge of towns and villages.
Hotel-guides.us
Hotels
1 star (economical) to 4 or 5 stars (luxury)
Hotel Association of Canada
Furnished Apartments Rentals
Short term apartment rental, temporary housing or vacation rentals.
My Studio Montreal
Chalets, Cottages, Houses in the country
Can be rented weekly, monthly or for the season
Homelidays
Camping & Caravanning
Canada has many camping and caravanning sites, either private or governmental, located in the provincial parks. Depending on the equipment, tent or camper, prices vary.
Fédération québécoise de camping et caravaning
Canadream
Camping Québec
Hotel Rules
Rates are per night, or per room and vary according to the number of people. Tax is not included. Added taxes are 5% GST (federal goods and services tax) or HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) + provincial tax + a lodging tax which varies from province to province. In Quebec, taxes are 2 CAD per overnight stay or 3% of the rental price of the unit.
It is customary to leave a tip for the chambermaid when you depart, and to give the porter a tip, about 1 CAD per suitcase.
For Further Information
Canada Revenue Agency
Lodging Tax
 

Price Indications

Economy Room 23 CAD to 70 CAD
Medium Price Room 80 CAD to 150 CAD
Good Quality Room 150 CAD and +

Source: Lonely Planet

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Eating Out

Categories of Restaurant
 
  • Fast Foods
Fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, subs, sodas, coffees, muffins, doughnuts, sandwiches, etc.
  • Breakfast and dinner (lunchtime) specialties
Egg-based dishes, with fruit, toast, pancakes, muffins, etc.
  • Brasseries
Cooked food, steaks, beers and wines.
  • Family Restaurants
Daily menus, set menus noon and evening
  • Specialty Restaurants
Italian, Greek, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Seafood, Fondues, etc.
  • Gastronomic Restaurants
Elaborate dishes. This type of catering is more widespread in Quebec.
  • Sugar shacks
Traditional Canadian food, served with maple syrup. Usually open during the sugar season (March - beginning of April). Some shacks open all year if a reservation is made.
Rules For Eating Out
The prices displayed never include tax or service. The taxes are added to the bill and the service is left to the customer's discretion which is generally about 15%. The taxes are: GST 5% or HST 13%, provincial taxes between 7 and 7.5% and taxes on alcohol, but only in certain provinces.
 

Price Indications

Economy Meal from 8 CAD
Medium Price Meal Between 15 CAD and 35 CAD
Good Quality Meal from 35 CAD and +
 
Food Specialties
Inspired by French, British, American or Native American cooking, typical Canadian cuisine adapts to the seasons. Each region has its unique recipes, made with local products: from the tourtière (meat pie) to the pain banique (Native American bread), from maple syrup to poutine (see below). Places like le Saguenay, and Lac St-Jean in Quebec are known for their tourtières called 'cipâte or cipaille', which is made with game or beef and pork and covered in pastry. One of the traditional dishes is the pâté chinois (sheppard's pie), which is made with cooked, seasoned ground beef, with sweet corn and mashed potatoes. 'Poutine', a dish of fried potatoes, gravy and cheese curds has been the Quebec dish par excellence for the past 30 years. In the Maritime Provinces, as well as in Quebec, fish and seafood are very popular. From May to July, people enjoy lobster from the Magdalen Islands and New Brunswick. Alberta and the Great Plains Provinces are well-known for the quality of their beef, served grilled or braised. The arrival of the many immigrants who brought their culinary traditions with them and learned to adapt them to the country's tastes, which provides even greater diversity to local cuisine in Canada.
Drinks
The production of local wine is growing: several types of wines, and local specialities such as ice wine and ice cider are produced in vineyards and orchards in Quebec, in the region of Niagara and in the Okanagan Valley.
Dietary Restrictions
There are no dietary restrictions in the country.
Table Manners
The Canadians are influenced by the United States, especially in English-speaking Canada, as regards table manners. In Quebec, where European influence is more marked, it is common to wish each other "bon appétit" before starting the meal. We also clink our glasses to wish each other "Santé" (Good health) or "Tchin Tchin" (Cheers) when we have an aperitif or at the beginning of a meal when wine is served.

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Getting Around

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
Many cities have a network of public transport services which includes a bus network, and also streetcars, sea buses and trains in some cities. The major cities have a subway/metro or a light rapid transit service including in Vancouver (skytrain), Calgary (CT train), Edmonton (LRT), Toronto (subway), Ottawa (O-Train), and Montreal (metro). Suburban trains run frequently at rush hours. Getting around by car is often difficult and it is sometimes preferable for foreign visitors to take a taxi.
Maps of Urban Networks
Map of the Montreal metro
Map of the Toronto subway
Map of the Ottawa network
Map of the network of the Capital of Quebec
Urban Transport Agencies
STCUM
GO Transit
Toronto Transit Commission
Transport network of the Capital of Quebec
Find an Itinerary
Itinerary in Montreal
Itinerary in Ottawa
Itinerary in Quebec
Taxi Companies
FIDO TAXI
 

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Montreal - Pierre Elliott Trudeau/Dorval (YUL) 16 km / 9 miles CAD 35-45 / 25-40 min CAD 13 / 25-50 min Available Available
Toronto - Pearson Intl (YYZ) 27 km / 17 miles CAD 45-55 / 30 min CAD 16.95 / 45 min - Available
 

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
The air transport system offers many daily domestic flights between Canadian cities. They are generally punctual, except when weather conditions are bad. In Quebec, several airline companies have domestic links between most of the large urban areas.
The rail transport system, Via Rail, makes several journeys a day between large Canadian cities and even offers flat-fee tickets to cross Canada from one ocean to the other.
The bus network works well and has links between the towns of each province.
Rail Companies
Via Rail
 

Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Air Canada Major yes Yes
Westjet Low cost yes Yes
Air Canada Jazz Major yes Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

 
 
 

Travelling By Yourself

Recommendation
Urban areas in Canada are very far apart. In some fairly uninhabited parts, it is not unusual to drive for 100 km without finding a service station, a store or a motel. The roads are generally very good but when you venture into remote rural areas, you often find roads which are not asphalted. The average speed drops then from 90 to 50 km/h. The highway code and people's driving habits are somewhat particular and it is in your interest to have them explained to you before you start driving.
Driver's License
The provincial driver's license (recognized everywhere in Canada). Some provinces automatically recognize foreign driver's licenses. The international license is accepted.
Conditions For Renting a Vehicle
You must be at least 21 (25 in some cases), have a major credit card, and have had your license for more than 12 months. An international driver's license is necessary if the driver's license does not use the Roman alphabet. Travelers renting cars in winter should make sure that they are equipped with winter tires (mandatory in Quebec).
Rental Agencies
Budget
Alamo
Discount
National
Thrifty
Enterprise
Tolls or Taxes
You have to pay on most of the bridges between Canada and the United States which cross the St Lawrence river (about 3 CAD). Some provinces have toll bridges such as the Confederation Bridge, and roads such as the Express Toll Route 407, the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 5 (Coquihalla Highway).
Road Maps
Greyhound
Find an Itinerary
Via Michelin
Google Maps
Traffic Conditions Online
Highway conditions by province
Météomedia, traffic
Parking Facilities
In French-speaking Canada, we use the word "Stationnement" to talk about a "Parking lot". These "stationnements" are indicated by the letter "P" and you mostly have to pay for them. It is imperative to read the signs about parking in the streets of Canadian towns very carefully; they are not always very clear, and sometimes 3 signs with different information may be located in the same area. In winter it is prohibited to use some parking lots in order to facilitate snow clearance. There are pay points in quite a few places, but some towns still use parking meters.
 

Rules of the Road

Minimum Driving Age
16, with written consent from someone with parental authority for under 18s.
Side of the Road For Driving
Right
Speed Limits
30 km/h in a school zone, 50 km/h. in town, 70 km/h. on bridges and some rural roads, 90 km/h. on secondary roads, 100 km/h on highways.
Safety Belts
Obligatory
Permitted Amount of Alcohol in the Blood
The permitted alcohol level according to the Criminal Code is 0.08g per 100ml of blood.
National Roads Organizations
Transport Canada

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Time and Time Difference

Current Local Time
It is %T:%M %A In Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa
It is %T:%M %A In Edmonton, Calgary
It is %T:%M %A In Whitehorse, Vancouver
Summer Time
Summer time from March to November.
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

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Climate

 
Type of Climate
The summer period begins with spring weather in April or May, when the snow melts. The hottest period is from the end of June to the beginning of September. As for the autumn, it is the most beautiful season in Quebec, when the regions natural beauty provides a magnificent environment for walking in the mountains.
The months of April and November are considered at least interesting months for visiting Canada. In April it is not quite spring, the snow has sometimes not completely melted, and road cleaning and repairs are often not finished. In November the trees have lost all their leaves, the weather is grey, and it often rains and sometimes it is already snowing.

For Further Information
Weather Canada
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

 

Climate

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Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems

System of Measurement Used
Metric system and English system.
Unit of Measurement of Temperature
Degree Celsius (°C)
 

Use our service Measurement converter.

 
Electricity
 
  • Voltage
110 volts
  • Frequency
60 Hz
Type of Electric Socket
Type A and B
Type of Telephone Socket
US RJ-11 phone plug
DVD Zoning
Zone 1

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Canadian dollar
ISO Code
CAD
To Obtain Domestic Currency
There are exchange offices in all airports and in town centres. Credit card companies automatically take a percentage of exchange transactions. ATMs are being used more and more instead of travelers checks.
Possible Means of Payment
The following credit cards are commonly accepted: American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Most stores will take American dollars, with a % fee or exchange rate which is higher or lower according to the value of the Canadian dollar.

Prices displayed do not include taxes, including in restaurants.

 

To Find a Cash Machine Where You Need, Use the ATM locator

 

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Speaking

Official Language
English and French
Other Languages Spoken
Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in Canada. More than 100 different languages were declared when an inventory was made of mother tongues. The list includes Chinese, German, Italian, Ukrainian, Dutch, Polish and various Asian and Middle Eastern languages. Aboriginal languages are also widely spoken in many regions.
Business Language
English is the most commonly spoken language in Canada. All government departments must be bilingual in English and French.
Getting Some Knowledge
Please consult the following website for French Quebecois expressions.
Free Translation Tools
Linguee : Translator of phrases, words and websites
Translation Bureau of Canada : The Translation Bureau is the federal organisation responsible for supporting the Government of Canada in its efforts to communicate with and provide services for Canadians in the official language of their choice.
Foreignword : Portal for languages
Traducteur Google : Free French-English-French traduction of texts and web pages
Grand dictionnaire terminologique : Free French-Engish-French dictionary with 3 billion terms

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Emergency Numbers

Police, fire deparment, ambulance 911
North America Directory Assistance 411
Relay services for hearing-impaired people 711

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Communications

Quality of Communications
It is easy to get landline or cell phone services.
The networks are well linked together. Nevertheless, in the country, mobile communications may be interrupted.
Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From Canada, Dial 011
To Make a Call to in Canada, Dial 1
Number of Digits of National Telephone Numbers
11
1 (if long distance) + regional code + subscriber's number
Mobile Telephone Standards
The IS41 standard of American origin (standard ANSI-41) and the GSM standard, defined in Europe by ETSI, are the most widespread.
National Mobile Phone Operators
Bell Mobilité, Rogers AT&T, Telus, Fido, Videotron.
 

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
.ca
.qc.com
National Internet Access Providers
Vidéotron
Bell Sympatico
Distributel
Acanac
Cogeco
Access in Public Places
Cybercafés and restaurants with WIFI.
Access in Hotels
Almost all hotels have cable or WIFI in the bedrooms and communal areas.

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Latest Update: June 2022