Canada is known for its beautiful, mountainous landscapes, glaciers, beaches, and rainforests. It is not surprising that this country is one of the biggest tourist destinations and continues to pull visitors from all around the world.
Are you planning to visit Canada soon? As a tourist, you will be using a lot of services and interacting with a lot of service staff. This raises the question of tipping. How much exactly are you supposed to tip in Canada?
Here are some important things to keep in mind about tipping in Canada. Keep this handy during your travel to avoid needlessly overspending or being hated by staff for under-tipping!
General Tipping Info
Tipping in Canada works a lot like it does in other countries. It is expected but not required when you receive services. This applies not only to employees in common tourist facilities, such as hotels and restaurants, but also to hairdressers, manicurists, and similar service staff.
Service employees in Canada mostly have low pays and rely on tips to make a decent living. The minimum hourly base pay for service staff is barely enough to maintain a household, and tips amounting to around 15% to 20% of your bill, which is the standard in Canada, is generally enough to bump staff’s pay enough to a good level.
However, this percentage range does not apply to all establishments. There are still different customary amounts per service type. Here are some of them (All amounts in Canadian dollars). Do take note that Canadian businesses typically do not include gratuities in their bill, so these amounts go on top of your total.
Resorts and Hotels
Valet - Parking valets are generally tipped upon the guest’s pick up of their car. However, you are free to tip right when you leave your car with the valet. The usual amount ranges from $5 to $10.
Bellman - The common amount is $2 to $5 for each bag.
Room Service - Room service is generally not tipped anymore because the added cost is usually already in the room service bill. But if that is not the case or if you are given no-cost items like additional towels, you can also tip. The typical amounts are around 15% for room service and $2 to $5 when you are brought items.
Concierge - The concierge is generally not tipped, but you are welcome to do so if you are very pleased with their service.
Doorman - Tip around $2 when they get you a cab.
Chambermaid - You can tip your maid every day or at the end of your stay. Typically, guests in Canada pay chambermaids $2 to $5 for each day. Give them a lump sum payment if you choose to pay just before you leave.
Coat Check - Tip $1 to $2 for each coat.
Restaurant Server - The typical tip amount is 15% to 20% of the total bill before sales tax. However, diners usually give more.
Cafe Server - Cafe wait staff are generally asked to just keep the change, but the standard is around 10% to 20%.
Sommelier - Sommeliers are not commonly tipped, but they do get part of the gratuity you add to your total payment.
Bartender - Bar patrons typically just ask bartenders to keep the change. The standard, however, is 10% to 20%. Many tip $1 per drink, similar to the US.
Shuttle Service - Particularly helpful or friendly shuttle drivers for airports and hotels deserve $2 tips at least.
Cabs - Taxi drivers are typically given 10% to 20% of the total fare.
Hairstylists, beauticians, masseurs - The commonly accepted tip amount is $15 to $20 of the total bill before sales tax. Consider tipping the staff that wash and blow-dry your hair also.
A Few Reminders
Never forget to tip. As mentioned, service staff in Canada (and in many other countries around the world, really) are paid low hourly wages.
If you can, tip in Canadian money. Having to convert your money to Canadian dollars means added effort and possibly cost on the staff’s part.
Tip even when the service is bad. Feel free to let the manager know if you were not satisfied with their service. However, still do leave a tip. If the problem is with the staff themselves, tip the lowest standard amount or percentage instead of leaving no tip at all.
In summary, tipping is very much welcome in Canada but certainly not required. Establishments typically do not include gratuities in the bill, so you are generally expected to add tips on top of your payment.