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Travelling in Canada
This section provides some basic information to make your travel within Canada more enjoyable. If you wish to get further information on a given subject, you can use the addresses, phone numbers and links of provincial or national agencies that we have provided in our "Tourism Information" page.

You can also find other travel information in the "Travel Canada" website at http://www.travelcanada.ca

Border Crossing As a visitor to Canada, you are permitted to bring (free of duty) in a reasonable number of personal effects, a four-day supply of food, and a full tank of gas. All visitors aged 19 or over may also import for personal consumption up to 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes and 200g (8 oz) of tobacco, up to 1.14 litres (40 oz) of spirits or wine, or in lieu 8.5 litres (288 oz) of beer or ale. All goods purchased, received or acquired abroad must be declared.

All revolvers, pistols, fully automatic firearms and other weapons, and self-defense sprays such as, pepper spray and mace are prohibited entry into Canada. All firearms (ie: hunting rifles, shotguns) and personal protection devices (ie: stun guns, mace, pepper spray) must be declared. Sporting equipment such as fishing tackle, boats, outboard motors, camping gear, golf clubs, as well as tape recorders, stereos, cameras, etc. to be used by the individual while in Canada should be declared when entering the country and exported when leaving the country. For more information, Click here to link to the website click here.

CAA / AAA The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) has its national office at 1775 Courtwood Crescent, Ottawa, Ontario K2C 3J2. CAA clubs provide the same services for the American Automobile Association (AAA) members as do the AAA clubs in the Unites States.
 
Currency exchange Normally, the best exchange rates on foreign money can be obtained at major financial institutions. Currency exchange services is also available at certain provincial Visitor Information Centers located along the Canada-USA border.

Duty-free shopping Information pamphlets are available at the customs offices along the Canada-USA border. Duty-free shops are located at major Canada-USA border crossings.  

Emergencies Most areas within Canada offer a "911" service. If you have an emergency, get to a phone and simply dial "911" and an operator will assist you.

Fishing Separate licenses are required for saltwater and freshwater fishing. Saltwater licenses are issued by the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans; freshwater licenses are issued by the provincial Ministry of the Environment, Lands and Parks. Both types of licenses can be purchased at sporting goods stores and other fishing retailers as well as most Government Agents' offices. A specific license is required in National Parks and can be purchased at the Park Headquarters at each Park site.

For more information, Click here to link to the website click here.

Goods and Services
(GST) Tax
GST is a 5% federal tax that is charged on most goods & services sold or provided in Canada. It is separate & distinct from Provincial Sales Tax (PST) which varies between 7% and 9%. When you buy goods for export, you can claim a GST exemption on your purchases. When taking the goods with you, you pay the tax at the time of sale, but you can claim a full rebate if the goods are taken out of the province within 30 days. Note that there is no refund for GST you pay on meals and beverages; wine, liquor, beer, and other alcoholic beverages; tobacco products; transportation such as air, train or bus tickets and car rentals; services such as dry cleaning, shoe repair, auto repairs, entertainment, etc.; rentals of campsites, tents and houseboats; rentals of travel trailers and all other recreational vehicles; cruise ship cabins or train berths; automotive fuels; or goods consumed or left in Canada.

For more information, Click here to link to the website click here or call toll-free from anywhere in Canada, 1-800-668-4748 (1-800-66VISIT). If you are outside Canada, call 1-902-432-5608.

Hospitals Visitors are advised to obtain health insurance before coming to Canada. Check your policy; many health insurance plans only provide partial coverage for services rendered outside the borders of the policy holder's country of residence. Hospitals in Canada are marked by a Hospital logo on road signs. Once you're at your destination, you should always look in the local telephone directory for the hospital nearest you!

Metric system The metric system adopted by Canada in 1980 can be summarized as follows.

Canada

US

Distance  1 kilometer (km)
1 meter (m)
5/8th of a mile
39.37 inches (in)
Weight    1 kilogram (kg) 2.2 pounds
Volume 1 litre  0.264 US gallons
0.219 Imperial gallons
Temperature 0° Celsius
100° Celsius
32° Fahrenheit
212° Fahrenheit

Motor Vehicles Vehicles and trailers not exceeding 2.6 meters (8' 6") in width are permitted into Canada for touring purposes for periods up to 12 months and without payment of customs fees. Motor vehicle registration forms should be carried, and if the vehicle is rented from a company, a copy of the rental agreement bearing an endorsement to the effect that the rented vehicle is permitted entry into Canada should also be carried. Canadian residents cannot bring in a rented vehicle from the US.

Drivers' licenses, whether from any state of the US or from other countries, and international drivers' licenses, are valid in Canada.

Passports and Visas
All visitors arriving in Canada require a passport and a valid Visa (if coming from a country from which one is required) with the exception of United States citizens/permanent  residents. US Canadian highway scenecitizens / permanent residents do not require passports or visas but must provide an identification such a birth certificate, a proof of citizenship/naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status as well as a photo ID. Permanent US residents must also bring their permanent resident cards. If you are a citizen of another country residing in the United States, you must also bring your Alien Registration Receipt Card. All children under 18 accompanied by an adult must bring written permission of a parent or guardian to travel in Canada.

Click here
for more information.


Pets
Domestic pets arriving from outside Canada must be accompanied by a certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian. The certificate must clearly identify each animal and certify that it has been vaccinated against rabies within the preceding three (3) years.  For more information, Click here to link to the website click here.

Private Aircrafts
Pleasure Boats

Prior to departure from the US, all visitors are required to contact Canadian Customs Border Services at 1-888-226-7277.

Customs Border Services of Revenue Canada, along with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, offer a pre-approval program for Canadian and US citizens/residents. Please call the CANPASS Enrollment Centre at (604) 535-9346 for more information.

Radar detectors In most Canadian provinces, the carrying (transporting) of radar detectors in vehicles is prohibited whether the device is in use and connected or not.

Seat belts
Seat belts are mandatory for drivers and passengers. Children under 5 years of age and under 18 kilograms (40 lbs.) must be in an infant carrier or approved child restraint.

Speed limits
In most Canadian provinces, the speed limit is 100 km/hr (60 mph) on highways (unless indicated otherwise) and 50 km/hr (30 mph) in urban districts (unless indicated otherwise).

Canadian speed conversion chart

Statutory holidays
2016 2017 2018
New Year's Day
January 1 January 1 January 1
Good Friday
March 25 April 14 March 30
Victoria Day
May 23 May 22 May 21
St-Jean Baptiste (QC only)
June 24  June 24  June 24 
Canada Day
July 1 July 1 July 1
Civic Holiday
August 1 August 7 August 6
Labor Day 
September 5 September 4 September 3
Thanksgiving Day
October 10 October 9 October 8
Remembrance Day
November 11 November 11 November 11
Christmas 
December 25 December 25 December 25
Boxing Day
December 26  December 26  December 26 

Time zones
Canada operates on two time zones; the Standard Time Zones (winter) and the Daylight Saving Time Zones (summer) . Clocks are turned forward by one hour on the first Sunday in April and turned back on the last Sunday of October. Click on the links above to view maps showing the zones.

Vehicle Towing 
Regulations
When a vehicle or trailer weighing 1,400 kilograms (3,087 pounds) or more is towed behind a recreational vehicle, the towed vehicle must be outfitted with functional braking and emergency breakaway devices which apply the brakes at the end of the axles. As well, one or more safety chains must be attached which can hold the weight of the towed vehicle. To find out more about towing regulations (by province), click here.


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