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Leaving for Canada

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Practical A to Z

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Practical A to Z

Eating out

Travellers should remember that the restaurant prices indicated, like other prices, do not include either the national sales tax (5%) or provincial sales tax (6-8%). In addition to taxes, it is customary to leave a 12-15% tip, because service is practically never included in the bill. Porters are generally tipped €1/suitcase and chambermaids €1/night. It is also customary to tip taxicab drivers.


The voltage in Canada is 120V and 60Hz. European electrical appliances will require adaptors and flat-blade socket converters, both of which can be purchased from electronics stores and airports.

Embassies and consulates

British Embassy –80 Elgin Street, Ottawa K1P 5K7 – tél: 1 613 237 1530 – http://ukincanada.fco.gov.uk/

Irish Embassy – Suite1105, 130 Albert Street, Ottawa K1P 5G4 – tél: 1 613 233 6281 – http://www.embassyofireland.ca/


Also see Know before you go.

Emergencies: tél: 911. This central switchboard dispatches calls to the police, fire brigade or ambulance services. However many rural areas do not have a centralised emergency switchboard. In this case dial 0 and the operator will tell you which number to call.



The currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar .

Banks / exchange

Banks are open Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm; some banks are open on Saturday mornings.

You should have no difficulty locating an exchange office in the main towns. It is advisable to go to a specialised firm, such as Thomas Cook, for international transactions. Money can also be changed in banks.

Ask your own bank about withdrawal and credit card payment charges and the maximum withdrawal amount.

Credit cards and traveller’s cheques

Credit card payments are widely accepted, except in the most isolated regions. Travellers do not need to carry large amounts of cash with them, because ATMs are commonplace.

Traveller’s cheques are accepted in large hotels, some restaurants and department stores. Some banks levy a small tax on traveller’s cheques.

Budget / cost of living

The cost of living in Canada is roughly equivalent to that of the UK and Ireland.


Post offices are open Monday-Friday from 8am to 5.30pm; occasionally later in some places.

Public holidays

1 January

Good Friday

Easter Monday

Monday preceding 25 May – Victoria Day

1 July – Canada Day

1st Monday of September – Labour Day

2nd Monday of October – Thanksgiving

11 November – Remembrance Day

25 and 26 December

To which provincial public holidays should be added.


Opening hours

Shops are open Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm (some until 9pm on Thursday and Friday) and Saturdays from 9am-5pm. In most towns, shops are open Sunday afternoons.

Sales tax

The prices mentioned or indicated are not those you will actually pay. Canada imposes a 5% national tax (GST in English – TPS in French) on goods and services. The provinces (except Alberta) also levy a further 6-8% tax on some goods and services.


Calling Canada from abroad

00 + 1 (country code for Canada) + area code + number of the person.

Calling home from Canada

00 + country code. For the United Kingdom: 44; for Ireland: 353.

National calls

To call a number from within Canada, dial 1 + 3-digit area code + 7-digit number of the person.

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