CURRENCY AND BANKING
Canadian dollars and cents form the monetary system in Canada.
Although Canadians accept American money, visitors should exchange
their travelers cheques or cash for Canadian currency. Visitors will
receive the best rate of exchange at
Airport and border crossing exchange booths. Some banks charge a fee
to cash travelers cheques.
Normal banking hours are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with
extended hours including weekends at many locations.
Automated teller machines marked with the Plus or Interact symbol will
accept automated banking cards from outside Canada. Banks charge a
fee of 42 for international transactions. The visitors bank sets the
Most venues will accept major national or international credit cards
Visitors to Canada must pass through customs inspection at airports
and at border crossing points. The customs department assesses hourly
rates and mileage charges for customs inspections outside of normal
Citizens or permanent residents of the United States, entering or leaving Canada, do not
need a passport or visa. However, visitors should carry identification such
as a passport,
birth certificate, voters registration card, social security card or driver
's license to prove
People visiting from other countries must have a valid passport and possibly other
documentation. It is therefore important to check with the nearest Canadian
well in advance of a trip to Canada
Visitors can bring non-restricted sporting goods and personal baggage
into Canada, duty and tax-free, by declaring them on arrival to
customs officials. Register the serial numbers of equipment such as
cameras, bicycles, etc.
Visitors 18 years of age and older, may bring into Alberta, duty-free,
1.1 liter (40 ounces) of liquor or wine; or 24-355 ml cans or bottles
of beer or ale (24pints); or their equivalent.
Duty and taxes, plus provincial fees at the port of entry, apply to
any additional alcoholic beverages up to a maximum of nine liters.
Persons 18 years of age or over may bring into Alberta, duty-free,
50 cigars, 200 cigarettes and 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of manufactured tobacco.
Federal duty and taxes apply to additional quantities.
Canadian law prohibits revolvers, pistols, and fully-automatic weapons
from entering Canada. A visitor does not need a federal permit to
possess rifles, shotguns or fishing tackle but must provide Canada
Customs with serial numbers plus a description of each item. Two
hundred rounds of ammunition, for hunting purposed, can enter duty
free, if the owner is 16 or more years of age.
Friends or relatives living in Canada may receive gifts, Duty and
tax-free, from visitors or by mail, if the value of each gift does
not exceed $60 (Canadian funds). Tobacco products, alcoholic beverages
or advertising material may not be sent as gifts.
Gift packages sent by mail should say UNSOLICITED GIFT and indicate
the value. Regular duty and taxes will apply to gifts valued at more
than $60 (Canadian funds).
Non gift postal imports (i.e., mail order items) less than $20
Canadian, are duty free, but duty and taxes apply to anything over
Legal minimum age to purchase liquor in Alberta is 18. In British Columbia and
Saskatchewan the legal age is 19.
Canada uses the metric system for weights, measures and distances,
although the Imperial system is included in this guide (in
Distance 1km = 5/8 mile
1 km X .6 = approximately mileage
1 mi X 1.6 = approximately km
Weight: 1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs,
500 grams = 1.1 lbs
Liquid Volume (used for gas):
4.5 liters = 1 imperial gallon, 3.8 liters = 1 U.S. gallon
Canada uses the Celsius Temperature scale where the freezing
point = 0 degrees Celsius
To convert Celsius into Fahrenheit degrees: Fahrenheit
degrees = 9/5 X Centigrade degrees + 32
Up to 30 grams within Canada is 48 cents plus GST = 48 cents.
Up to 30 grams to the U.S. is 58 cents plus GST = 53 cents.
0 to 20 grams internationally is 92 cents plus GST =94 cents.
Over 30 grams within Canada and to the U.S., and over 20 grams
internationally, is determined by weight and size, plus GST.
All mail in Canada must include the postal code for each address.
Hotel front desks and postal outlets have postal code directories or
dial 1-800-267-1133 in Canada for postal code information.
Alberta has a five per cent hotel tax but no provincial sales tax.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The seven per cent federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) applies to
most goods and services. Foreign visitors may claim a full rebate of
the GST on non-consumable goods (items purchased in Canada that they
take out of the country within 60 days of purchase),
and on short-term accommodation. There is no rebate on consumable
items such as meals, liquor, tobacco, and gasoline.
To apply for a refund
Present your original receipts at a participating Canadian Duty Free
shops for a total cash refund of up to $500 Canadian when leaving
Mail a Completed refund application along with the original receipts
to the address on the application. Allow six to eight weeks for a
For further information contact
Revenue Canada, Customs & Excise Visitor Rebate Program
Ottawa, Canada K1A 1J5
Toll free in Canada 1-800-668-4748
Outside Canada: (613) 991-3346
Duty Free Shops at border crossings and airports have tax-free items
for sale to departing visitors. For questions regarding restrictions,
licenses or controls, check with customs officials.
The Provincial Ministry of Environment issues freshwater fishing
licenses at spotting goods stores, department stores, marinas, and
Canadian Parks Service Information Centers. The Federal Department of
Fisheries issues saltwater fishing licenses at the same outlets as
Hunters obtain licenses and any other details from the Ministry of
Environment, Government Agents or licensed offices. There is no
hunting within National Parks and Provincial Parks in Alberta.
Visitors to Canada should obtain travelers' health insurance before
leaving home because most health insurance coverage does not extend
outside the country of residence. Visitors may find they have either
no health insurance or inadequate coverage when in Canada.
Daily rates for hospital care vary from hospital to hospital and
province to province. Charges for adult in-patient care can start
at $900 per day; charges for children in specialized hospitals can
be higher still. In addition, some provinces impose a surcharge
of up to 30 per cent on care for non-residents. Visitors taking
prescription medication should bring a copy of the prescription for
renewal in Canada.
Canadian hospital and medical services are excellent. Alberta
hospitals will not refuse treatment to those requiring care,
regardless of their financial status or health care coverage.
|New Years Day|| Jan. 1||Jan 1|
|Good Friday||Mar 29||Apr. 2|
|Victoria Day||May 20||May 22|
|Canada Day||Jul. 1||Jul. 1|
|Heritage Day||Aug. 5||Aug. 5|
|Labor Day||Sept.2||Sept. 2|
|Thanksgiving Day||Oct. 14||Oct. 14|
|Remembrance Day||Nov. 11||Nov. 11|
|Christmas Day||Dec. 25||Dec. 25|
|Boxing Day||Dec . 26||Dec. 26|
Daily permit: $5 per person, Groups of 2 to 10 - Total of $10
Annual Permit for up to 10 people: $70 per year
(April 1 to March 31)
Tourists on group trips: $2 per day
Senior Citizens: Free annual permit to Canadian citizens.
Backcountry fees and permits
All persons staying overnight in the backcountry areas of the
National Parks require a permit.
During the summer season, each person pays $5 per night.
Fees apply to all the National Parks within Canada, except Pacific
Rim National Park in B.C., which has a different fee system.
Direct international dialing uses the following scheme in Canada:
Dial 011 + Country Code (1-5 digits) + Routing Code (1-5 digits) +
Local Number (2-9 digits). The operator (Dial 0) can give you the
Country Code and Routing Code for all international centers. Remember
the changes in time zones and connection may take up to 45 seconds.
Telephoning - Provincial Dialing Procedures
To dial within Canada between provinces, use the following method.
Dial 1 + Area Code (3 digits) + Local Number (7 digits).
To dial within Alberta:
dial 1 + 403 + Local Number
Tips or service charges are not usually added to a bill in Canada,
except for large parties or banquets. In general, tip 15 per cent of
the total amount. This applies to service attendants including waiters,
waitresses, barbers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, etc. pay bellhops,
doormen, redcaps (porters) etc. at hotels, airports and railway stations $1 per item of luggage.
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