Traveling to Canada? You’re going to need to know a bit about the currency that you’ll be using while you’re there. Canada uses the Canadian dollar, which is symbolized by either CAD or C$. When making purchases in Canada, expect to at least have to pay one type of sales tax per transaction. It’s safer to assume that every purchase is worth at least 15% more than the listed price. Although the tax rates can be lower, it’s better to err on the side of caution. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Exchange rates

Exchange rates
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The currency has been known to float as opposed to most major currencies and is pegged at about 70 to 80 cents per one USD as of 2016. In previous years, such as 2009 and 2014, the two currencies were almost on par with each other, with the Canadian dollar just below its U.S. counterpart. During the 1980s and 1990s, however, the CAD was significantly lower. It goes without saying that those who use American currency will find profit when shopping in Canada when the CAD’s value is lower (subject to sales tax). To know the actual exchange rate at the time you’ll be visiting, make sure to check the banks and similar financial institutions.

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2.Bills and coins

Bills and coins
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Canadian dollar bills are printed in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. There used to be $1 and $2 bills, but they’ve since been replaced with coins. In contrast to the green and white American dollar bills, Canadian bills are known to be brightly colored – a fact that most Canadians are proud of, on top of having better beer than the Americans.

Canadian dollar bills are also made of polymer bank notes, a change that they made in 2011 to address counterfeiting tactics. The polymer notes tend to be slippery and stick together easily though, so you might have problems stacking those bills.

The $1 and $2 Canadian coins are called the Loonie and Toonie, respectively. This is because the $1 coins have a picture of a loon in them, while the $2 are two-toned.

Aside from those two, they also have the 25 cent quarter, 10 cent dime, 5 cent nickel, and the 1 cent penny. However, use and circulation of the penny has been phased out for a while now. In fact, most purchases have been rounded off to the nearest nickel since 2014. You might want to hold on to any pennies you might have in your possession as a keepsake.

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3.Can you use US currency in Canada?

Can you use US currency in Canada?
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Of course, though not always. It goes without saying that it’s more convenient to use Canada’s own currency since you don’t have to deal with exchange rates and fees. But in some major areas, like border towns and those with major tourist attractions, the U.S. dollar is accepted by most retailers. Rural destinations, however, will require you to produce the local currency, so it’s better to just bring some with you whenever you travel to Canada.

Exchanging currencies – Airports, banks, shopping malls, and border crossings always have currency exchange kiosks where you can buy or sell CAD. Depending on their location, the rates can vary, but they are usually not as favorable as getting your money changed at a bank.

If you’re using debit or credit cards, remember that your bank has its own exchange rates, which is done automatically upon transacting. Keep in mind as well that this exchange rate is on top of the fees for the transaction.

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4.Traveler’s checks

Traveler’s checks
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In some cases, it might be cheaper to buy traveler’s checks from your bank instead of bringing Canadian dollars in cash. They’re as good as money and don’t usually involve any additional fees for reimbursements.

One thing to keep in mind is that the cost of traveling to Canada is pretty much the same as in the U.S., especially when considered on a day-to-day basis. This means you can safely stick to your usual spending habits without worrying about accidentally spending more cash than you should.

More importantly, it cannot be stressed enough that it’s always better to have different modes of payment when traveling to another country. Canada is no exception to this, so make sure you’ve got your money in the form of cash, coins, checks, and credit or debit cards. You never know when you’ll need any mode of payment since merchants and retailers might have their own preferences. Being prepared to pay in any method will make your trips a lot more convenient, which is essentially a good thing.

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5.Bringing money to Canada

Bringing money to Canada
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A good rule of thumb when traveling is to bring a bit of cash and mostly debit and credit cards. Most ATMs across Canada (which are very easy to find) accept these cards, so you don’t need to rely too much on having cash on hand. But you will need some cash for convenience when making small purchases. In case you need to use an ATM machine to withdraw money, make sure you maximize the amount you withdraw to cut down on the withdrawal fees, which you’ll incur for each transaction.

The good thing about credit cards is that they’re arguably the safest and most practical way of carrying money. For one thing, they will ensure you’ll have money to spend in case of emergencies. Most banks will offer good exchange rates and the transaction fees are normally worth the convenience. You’ll also get a record of all your purchases to help you keep track of your expenses during your trip – something we often forget to do, especially when we’re dealing with a currency that’s not our own. Just be careful not to overspend though since, unlike debit cards, credit cards are used as cash advances. It also helps that most, if not all, US and UK Visa and MasterCard brands are honored in Canada.

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Canadian Money - A Quick Guide for U.S. Travelers



Canadian Provinces

Canada has a total of 10 provinces (plus three northern territories). The three territories up north are Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest Territories. What makes a territory different from a province is mainly its form of governance. In alphabetical order, the 10 provinces are:

- Alberta

- British Columbia

- Manitoba

- New Brunswick

- Newfoundland and Labrador

- Nova Scotia

- Ontario

- Prince Edward Island

- Quebec

- Saskatchewan

Territories have powers delegated to them from the Parliament of Canada and are grouped together under one federal government. Provinces, however, have their own constitutional powers. This does create some inequality in local autonomy but is currently being rectified by giving local governments more power.

In any case, each of these provinces and territories has its own attractions for drawing in tourists and visitors, and most tourist programs are often composed of outdoor activities like hiking and camping.

British Columbia

Bordering the Pacific Ocean, British Columbia or B.C. is Canada’s westernmost province. It is filled with coastal islands, mountains, and some of the most temperate places in Canada. This kind of environment attracts kayakers, mountain bikers, skiers, and similar adventurers from all over the world.

Major cities of B.C. include Vancouver, Kelowna, and Whistler. Its provincial capital is Victoria. British Columbia is known for its fishing, skiing, golf, whale watching, and many other outdoor adventures. It is also known for the wine region of Okanagan.

Alberta

Sharing the Canadian Rocky Mountain Range with British Columbia, Alberta is the first of Canada’s three Prairie Provinces. It is also a famous destination for skiing and hiking. It is also Canada’s supply and service hub for its many northern resource industries, such as crude oil.

Alberta also has a rich cowboy culture, which they show off at the annual Calgary Stampede. Other things Alberta is known for are the Edmonton Mall, Edmonton Folk Festival, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, and the Rocky Mountains. Calgary, Jasper, and Banff are some of its major cities. Its provincial capital is Edmonton.

Saskatchewan

The next of the three Prairie Provinces is Saskatchewan, and since it’s the middle of the three, it’s landlocked, with the majority of the population living within the southern parts such as Regina and Saskatoon. Saskatchewan has thriving agriculture, natural gas, mining, and oil industries. Its major cities include Saskatoon and Prince Albert, while Regina is its provincial capital. The region is also popular for outdoor adventures as well as fishing and hunting.

Manitoba

Completing the three Prairie Provinces is Manitoba, which also happens to be Canada’s longitudinal center. Much like its middle counterpart Saskatchewan, most of the people who live in this region are from the southern areas. Meanwhile, the north is home to the Arctic tundra and the rocks of the Canadian Shield, leaving it largely uninhabited. Manitoba has also been the home of the Metis and other Aboriginal Canadians for over 6,000 years. Today they continue to greatly influence the province’s culture.

Major cities of Manitoba include Churchill and Winnipeg, the capital. One interesting fact about Manitoba is that it’s called the polar bear capital of the world. It is also known for two festivals, the Festival du Voyageur in winter and the food and cultural festival Folklorama.

Ontario

The most populous province of Canada, Ontario is home to approximately 40% of the country’s overall population, the majority of which reside to the south of the province near Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls. Ontario is also the financial capital of Toronto, while Ottawa is the federal capital. Ontario is known to tourists for Algonquin Park, the Niagara wine region, the CN Tower, the Bruce Trail, and many lakes and forests.

Quebec

After Ontario, the second-most populous province in Canada is Quebec, most of its residents are of the French-speaking demographic. In fact, it is the biggest province in terms of land area, with most residents living near the St. Lawrence River and near Montreal. Visitors come here for the number of attractions, including great ski resorts, the historic Plains of Abraham, and Old Montreal.

New Brunswick

Another type of province in Canada comprise the Maritime Provinces, the first of which is New Brunswick, a water-bound cluster along the east coast south of Quebec and along the US state of Maine. Its provincial capital is Fredericton and some of its major cities include St. John and Moncton. As a maritime province, New Brunswick is known for its many lighthouses, beautiful coastlines, and specific attractions like the Appalachian Range and the Bay of Fundy.

Nova Scotia

Aside from being one of the three Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia is also the second smallest province. Despite its size, however, it is also Canada’s second most densely populated province. Its capital is Halifax and its major cities include Peggy’s Cove, Sydney, and Wolfville. Tourists are drawn to Nova Scotia for its Celtic culture, lobster dinners, coastline views, scenic drives, and specific attractions like the Annapolis Valley, the Fortress of Louisburg, and the Cabot Trail.

Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.)

The last of Canada’s three maritime provinces is Prince Edward Island, which is actually composed of 232 islands, with the largest of them having the same name as the province. It is also the smallest of all the Canadian provinces, both in terms of land area and population. Its capital is Charlottetown. The province is visited by outsiders for its mussels, which are a local delicacy. P.E.I. itself is known for Anne of Green Gables, a novel written by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Newfoundland and Labrador

This is the easternmost province of Canada and sits on the North Atlantic coast. Its name is derived from the fact that it comprises the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador. About 90% of the people who live there reside in Newfoundland and the surrounding islands. Its capital is St. John’s and people know it for Gros Morne National Park, whale watching, icebergs, and friendly people.

Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut

Of the three territories, Yukon is the smallest and lies the furthest west, while Northwest Territories is the most populous. The largest of the three is Nunavut.

Canada is known to be a nice country to visit overall, but hopefully this list will help you keep in mind that every province has its own charm.

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US-Canada Border - a Quick Guide

If you’re not entirely sure what to expect when crossing the border between the United States and Canada, it’s worth to take some time to get prepared for it. This is particularly true if this is your first time to do go to Canada by car. In order to help you out, we have compiled a list of helpful tips.

1. Know What You are Allowed to Take Across the Border

Getting caught with the wrong items in your car can get you in a lot of trouble. For example, cannabis is still illegal in Canada as of this writing (April 2018), except for medicinal purposes. This means that if you get caught trying to move it across the border, you can get arrested. This is why it’s a good idea to get informed about what you can and can’t bring to Canada.

Of course, it’s needless to say, things like guns are prohibited along with fresh food and plants. Meanwhile, tobacco and alcohol are allowed but only in very specific quantities before they are considered illegal.

These are just a few basic examples but there is an extensive list of restrictions that you need to be aware of before attempting to cross the border. If you’re not sure if certain items are allowed, don't hesitate to look it up online. The list of restrictions changes periodically so make sure to always stay up to date with it.

2. Check Your Trunk

Speaking of restrictions, you may want to check and possibly empty your trunk before leaving because you could already be carrying items that might raise suspicion. Border guards are always on the lookout for signs of illegal activity.

3. Cooperate with the Border Officer

If you want the process to go quickly and smoothly it’s a good idea to ask all passengers to pass their IDs to the driver beforehand so they can be shown to the border office when the time comes. It’s also wise and polite to turn off radios and even cell phones, as well as removing your sunglasses before reaching the verification booth.

4. Get Ready to Answer Some Questions

Border officers will ask you a series of routine questions upon arriving at the booth. There’s no need to be nervous because these are very simple questions that are strictly related to the purpose and duration of your visit to Canada. For example, you can expect the officers to ask how long you plan to stay in Canada and why you are visiting. They will also want to know the address you’ll be living at, just in case something goes wrong and they need to get in touch with you.

5. Roll Down the Windows

Borders officers will want to see and possibly speak to every passenger in the car, not just the driver. It’s a good idea to roll down all the windows beforehand so that the officers can take a good look at everybody in the car and address them if necessary.

6. Be Ready to Present Your Car Registration

Illegal activities involving vehicles happen all the time at the border so officials are trained to immediately spot anything suspicious. Show them that you don’t have anything to hide by preparing your car registration beforehand and presenting it to them when asked.

7. Don’t Throw Away Your Receipts

You’ve probably done a bit of shopping while you were in the US and may want to bring some things back home with you. That won’t be a problem in most cases but it’s a good idea to keep all receipts regardless just in case you need to show them to the border officers. Canada taxes certain items differently than the US so a lot of people try to cross the border just so they can buy items that are cheaper in the states and then sell them back home. Needless to say, the border officers want to prevent that.

8. Be Aware of Border Wait Times

Some border crossings are more popular than others. If you want to save some time, make sure to consult the estimated waiting times for the border you are trying to cross.

Even better, check out multiple border crossings to see which one would be the best option for you. There are many websites out there that will provide you with this kind of information. Just Google it and you might be able to find a crossing without any traffic.

9. Prepare a Note if You are Transporting Children Who are Not Your Own

If you’re looking to take your niece or nephew on a little trip across the border you’ll need to make a few preparations. Specifically, you’ll need to have a note written by the parents or the guardians which gives them permission to leave the country.

This also applies if you’re with your child but the other parent is not traveling with you. Make sure to get a note from the other parent, which should include the parent’s name along with contact information.

10. Bring the Correct Form of Identification

Aside from children, anyone visiting Canada must carry with them a form of identification such as a passport. You should know that getting a passport is not that difficult these days.

All non-American, as well as non-Canadian citizens, who aren’t permanent residents of this country, are required to have a password on them when crossing the border.

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Canada Temperature

With a population of over 36 million and a total surface area of approximately 3.85 square miles (nearly 10 million square kilometers), Canada is an enormous country. It's actually the second biggest country in the world in terms of surface area. This means that the weather in one part of Canada can differ greatly to a city in another part of the country.

The climate and temperatures in Canada vary enormously, with Arctic climates in the northernmost areas but continental climate types covering large parts of the rest of the country and even oceanic and Mediterranean climates in some small parts of Canada. If you’re planning a trip to Canada, it’s important to know where you’re going and what the weather will be like. With that in mind, here is the average temperature information for ten of Canada’s major cities, per month. Places to Visit in Canada

January High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

· Toronto weather: – 29 (-2)/15 (-9)

· Montreal – 23 (-5)/7 (-14)

· Vancouver – 44 (7)/35 (1)

· Calgary – 30 (-1)/8 (-13)

· Edmonton – 18 (-8)/-2 (-19)

· Ottawa – 23 (-5)/5 (-15)

· Winnipeg – 12 (-11)/-7 (-21)

· Halifax – 30 (-1)/16 (-9)

· Yellowknife – -9 (-23)/-24 (-31)

· St. John’s – 31 (-1)/17 (-8)

February High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 30 (-1)/14 (-10)

Montreal – 27 (-13)/9 (-3)

Vancouver – 46 (8)/34 (1)

Calgary – 36 (2)/10 (-12)

Edmonton – 25 (-4)/3 (-16)

Ottawa – 25 (-4)/9 (-13)

Winnipeg – 16 (-9)/-4 (-20)

Halifax – 30 (-1)/14 (-10)

Yellowknife – -2 (-19)/-18 (-28)

St. John’s – 32 (0)/18 (-8)

March High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 39 (4)/25 (-4)

Montreal – 35 (2)/21 (-6)

Vancouver – 55 (13)/41 (5)

Calgary – 41 (5)/19 (-7)

Edmonton – 34 (1)/19 (-7)

Ottawa – 36 (2)/21 (-6)

Winnipeg – 30 (-1)/12 (-11)

Halifax – 37 (3)/23 (-5)

Yellowknife – 10 (-12)/-11 (-24)

St. John’s – 34 (1)/23 (-5)

April High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 53 (11)/34 (1)

Montreal – 52 (11)/34 (1)

Vancouver – 55 (13)/41 (5)

Calgary – 52 (11)/30 (-1)

Edmonton – 48 (9)/27 (-3)

Ottawa – 54 (15)/37 (3)

Winnipeg – 48 (9)/28 (-3)

Halifax – 48 (9)/34 (1)

Yellowknife – 30 (-1)/9 (-13)

St. John’s – 41 (5)/30 (-1)

May High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 64 (18)/43 (6)

Montreal – 66 (19)/45 (7)

Vancouver – 61 (16)/46 (8)

Calgary – 61 (16)/37 (3)

Edmonton – 63 (17)/37 (3)

Ottawa – 66 (19)/45 (7)

Winnipeg – 66 (19)/41 (5)

Halifax – 59 (15)/39 (4)

Yellowknife – 50 (10)/32 (0)

St. John’s – 50 (10)/34 (1)

June High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 75 (24)/52 (11)

Montreal – 73 (23)/55 (13)

Vancouver – 66 (19)/52 (11)

Calgary – 68 (20)/46 (8)

Edmonton – 70 (21)/45 (7)

Ottawa – 75 (24)/54 (12)

Winnipeg – 73 (23)/50 (10)

Halifax – 68 (20)/48 (9)

Yellowknife – 64 (18)/46 (8)

St. John’s – 61 (16)/43 (6)

July High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 81 (27)/57 (14)

Montreal – 79 (26)/61 (16)

Vancouver – 72 (22)/57 (14)

Calgary – 74 (23)/50 (10)

Edmonton – 73 (23)/48 (9)

Ottawa – 80 (27)/60 (16)

Winnipeg – 79 (26)/56 (14)

Halifax – 73 (23)/55 (13)

Yellowknife – 70 (21)/54 (12)

St. John’s – 69 (21)/52 (11)

August High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 79 (26)/55 (13)

Montreal – 77 (25)/54 (12)

Vancouver – 72 (22)/55 (13)

Calgary – 75 (24)/48 (9)

Edmonton – 72 (22)/46 (8)

Ottawa – 77 (25)/54 (12)

Winnipeg – 77 (25)/54 (12)

Halifax – 73 (23)/55 (13)

Yellowknife – 64 (18)/50 (10)

St. John’s – 68 (20)/51 (11)

September High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 70 (21)/49 (9)

Montreal – 68 (20)/49 (9)

Vancouver – 64 (18)/50 (10)

Calgary – 68 (20)/39 (4)

Edmonton – 63 (17)/37 (3)

Ottawa – 68 (20)/49 (9)

Winnipeg – 66 (19)/43 (6)

Halifax – 66 (19)/49 (9)

Yellowknife – 50 (10)/37 (3)

St. John’s – 62 (16)/46 (8)

October High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 57 (14)/39 (4)

Montreal – 55 (13)/39 (4)

Vancouver – 57 (14)/43 (6)

Calgary – 55 (13)/30 (-1)

Edmonton – 52 (11)/30 (-1)

Ottawa – 55 (13)/37 (3)

Winnipeg – 52 (11)/32 (0)

Halifax – 55 (13)/39 (4)

Yellowknife – 34 (1)/27 (-3)

St. John’s – 52 (11)/37 (3)

November High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 45 (7)/32 (0)

Montreal – 41 (5)/30 (-1)

Vancouver – 48 (9)/37 (3)

Calgary – 41 (5)/18 (-8)

Edmonton – 32 (0)/14 (-10)

Ottawa – 41 (5)/28 (-2)

Winnipeg – 32 (0)/18 (-8)

Halifax – 45 (7)/32 (0)

Yellowknife – 14 (-10)/0 (-18)

St. John’s – 43 (6)/32 (0)

December High/Low Temperatures for Major Cities in Canada in °F (°C)

Toronto: – 32 (0)/21 (-6)

Montreal – 28 (-2)/14 (-10)

Vancouver – 43 (6)/34 (1)

Calgary – 34 (1)/9 (-13)

Edmonton – 21 (-6)/1 (-17)

Ottawa – 27 (-3)/12 (-11)

Winnipeg – 15 (-9)/0 (-18)

Halifax – 34 (1)/21 (-6)

Yellowknife – -2 (-19)/-17 (-27)

St. John’s – 36 (2)/25 (-4)

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