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In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources

 

Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Consult the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website
Consult the Canadian Border Services Agency
Diplomatic Representations
Canadian Offices Abroad
 
IATA Travel Center
 

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Organizing Your Trip

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 Vancouver (skytrain), Calgary (CT train), Edmonton (LRT), Toronto (subway), Ottawa (O-Train), and Montreal (metro). Suburban trains run frequently at rush hours. Driving around is often difficult and it is sometimes preferable for a foreign visitor to take a taxi.
Maps of Urban Networks
Map of the Montreal metro
ATM suburban train network
Map of the Toronto subway
Map of the Ottawa network
Map of the network of the Capital of Quebec

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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
Air transport: there are 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.
Rail transport: Via Rail has several journeys a day between large Canadian cities and even 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

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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 List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling 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.
Road Maps
Greyhound
Find an Itinerary
Via Michelin
Google Maps

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Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
There are more than 154 historical sites listed in Canada.
Parks : 34 national and 82 historical national parks.
Montreal : the old quarter; the Cathedral-Basilica of Mary Queen of the World which is a copy of St Peter's in Rome; the Olympic park.
Cultural
Canada has more than 2900 museums. There are also many festivals and events, about 267 a year spread over all Canadian cities.
Nature
Canada is so immense that it overflows with natural beauty. More than 42 national parks, marine conservation areas, especially in the St Lawrence river, the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls and the Montmorency Falls. For further information, consult the Parks Canada website.
UNESCO has named 14 Canadian jewels World Heritage Sites.
Religious
Canada's religious heritage is concentrated especially in Quebec where the Catholic religion had a strong foothold. Some of its churches are part of the religious heritage. Please consult the website of the Corporation for religious heritage and tourism.
Thermal
The hot springs of the Canadian Rockies are very well-known and managed by Parks Canada.
Beach
There are many kilometers of beaches on the Pacific coast, the Atlantic coast, the Bay of Chaleur, the Gaspé Peninsula, Georgian Bay, the Thousand Islands region in the St Lawrence river, the Magdalen Islands.
Winter Sports
Thanks to our climate, our chains of mountains, our vast expanses of land and frozen lakes, you can practice downhill skiing, cross-country skiing or ski touring, snowboarding, ski-pulka, sledding or tube sliding, paraski, skating, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, etc.
To practice skiing you can go to British Columbia in the Rockies, or to Quebec in the Laurentians and the Appalachians.
Outdoor Activities
There are plenty of outdoor activities all year round in Canada. Winter and summer there are many festivals or events: Festivals and events in Quebec ; Festivals Alberta.
Possible summer activities are: whale and beaver watching, sea and river canoeing, rafting, black bear watching, contact with wolves, Quad bike riding, horse riding, fishing, hunting, diving, canoe, rowboat, motor boat or sail boat trips.
Shopping
Tourists especially want to taste and buy our famous maple syrup. They also like to taste the renowned "Smoked Meat", and "Ribs", or "BBQ Chicken".
Tourism Organizations
Canadian Tourism Commission
Canada Keep Exploring
Travel Guide To Canada

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
No requirements.
International Hospitals
The staff in Canadian hospitals generally speak English and French, but some health care professionals in the province of Quebec may speak only French.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Canada Border Services Agency
The World Health Organization
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
Canada Safety Council
 

Emergency Numbers

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

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa (GMT -5 in winter, GMT-4 in summer)
It is %T:%M %A In Edmonton, Calgary (GMT -7 in winter, GMT -6 in summer)
It is %T:%M %A In Whitehorse, Vancouver (GMT -8 in winter, GMT -7 in summer)
Summer Time Period
Summer time from March to November.
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
The summer period begins with spring weather in April or May, when the snow melts. The hottest months are from the end of June to the beginning of September. As for the autumn, it is the most beautiful season in Quebec, when natural beauty is magnificent for walking in the mountains.
The months of April and November are the 2 least interesting months for visiting Canada. April because spring has not completely come, the snow has sometimes not totally melted, road cleaning and repairs are not finished. November because the trees have lost all their leaves, the weather is grey, it often rains and sometimes it snows already.
For Further Information
Environment Canada
Authentik Canada
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

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Eating

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 the poutine (see further on). Places like le Saguenay, and Lac St-Jean in Quebec are known for their tourtières called "cipâte or cipaille", made of game or beef and pork, covered in pastry. One of the traditional dishes is the pâté chinois (sheppard pie), made of cooked, seasoned ground beef, with sweet corn and mashed potatoes. For about 30 years the Quebec dish par excellence has been the "poutine", made of fried potatoes, gravy and cheese curds. In the Maritime Provinces as well as Quebec, fish and seafood are very popular. From May to July, people enjoy the 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. There is a great variety of dishes in addition to all this, thanks to the arrival of the many immigrants who brought their culinary traditions with them and learned to adapt them to the country's tastes.
Drinks
The production of local wine is growing: vineyards and orchards in Quebec, in the region of Niagara and in the Okanagan Valley where several types of wine are produced, as well as our specialties: ice wine and ice cider.
Dietary Restrictions
There are no dietary restrictions in the country.

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Canadian dollar
ISO Code
CAD
To Obtain Domestic Currency
There are bureaux de change in all airports and in town centers. 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 taken: American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Most stores will take the American dollar, 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, and this is also true for restaurants.

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Speaking

Official Language
There are 2 official languages, English and French.
Other Languages Spoken
Chinese 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: German, Italian, Ukrainian, Dutch, Polish, Asian and Middle Eastern languages.
Business Language
English is used most. All government departments must be bilingual in English and French.
Getting Some Knowledge
Please consult the following website for French-speaking Quebec expressions.
Free Translation Tools
Voila : Translator of phrases, words and websites
La toile du Québec : Free on-line translator of texts and Internet pages (to French from English, German and vice versa)
Foreignword : Portal for languages

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Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
Gîtes et auberges du passant (Certified Bed & Breakfasts and Country Inns)
Canada Bed and Breakfast accommodations
Hostelling International Canada
Hotel-guides.us
Hotel Association of Canada
My Studio Montreal
Homelidays
Fédération québécoise de camping et caravaning
Canadream
Campingcaravaning.ca
Canada Revenue Agency
Lodging Tax
To Find an Apartment
Sia
Du Proprio
Remax Real Estate Group
Century 21
Boardwalk

Canada Annonces
Immobilier Canada
Just Landed
To Find a Job
Jobboom
Canadajobs
Monster
Beljob
Aide Emploi
Workopolis

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Last Updates: October 2014