No matter how you are arriving in Canada, carry valid travel papers.
TO GET INTO CANADA
- You do need a passport or an equivalent travel document in order to enter Canada.
- For information on the NEXUS program, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
- For detailed information on entry requirements visit the Government of Canada's Requirements to Enter Canada page.
- Visit the Canada Border Services Agency to learn more about Canadian customs regulation.
Customs & Duty
Like any country, we have rules about what you can bring in or out of Canada. But don’t worry, they aren’t that complicated.
WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING INTO CANADA?
- For information on bringing in alcohol and tobacco to Canada, please visit the Canada Border Servces Agency.
- For information on bringing pets to Canada, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
- Visit the Canadian Firearms Program for more details about the import of firearms and ammunition.
- For information on bringing agricultural items into Canada, please consult the Canada Food Inspection Agency.
WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING BACK HOME?
- After 48 hours you can take back $800 US worth of merchandise, duty free, monthly. If you're travelling as a family, you may combine your personal exemptions for visits over 48 hours.
- If your stay is less than 48 hours, or if the $800 US allowance or part of it has been used within the previous 30 days, an exemption of $200 is allowed.
- For more information on US border crossing and duty requirements and limits, please visit the U.S. Customs.
- Locate the nearest customs office by visiting the Canada Border Services Agency.
Similar to American money, except a lot more colorful.
- is a dollar ($) currency.
- is usually at a lower value than American money. To see the current exchange rate, please visit the Bank of Canada.
- has a $1 and $2 coin called the loonie and toonie (seriously).
Canada uses the metric system. Mostly. Well, sometimes. It depends really. Don’t worry, you’ll catch on.
THE METRIC SYSTEM?
- Canada used the Imperial system before 1970.
- Canadians are generally familiar with the Imperial system. Except for Fahrenheit. That one is confusing. Canadians use degrees Celsius.
Canadian time zones. Basically the same as mainland American time zones. After all, Canada is directly above America (except Canada goes a little further east).
TIMEZONES? TV ZONES.
- If your favorite TV show is on at 7:00pm in New York, Boston, Philadelphia or Detroit, then it’s on at 7:00pm in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec. And it’s on at 4:00pm in Los Angeles and Vancouver.
- The exceptions are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI. They're 1 hour ahead of Eastern Time. And Newfoundland is 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of Eastern Time (oddly enough).
Language & Culture
Americans and Canadians are very close in language and in culture. But, like the finer things in life, it's all in the details.
- French is an official language and is spoken in every province, but the highest concentration of native French speakers is in Quebec.
- There are hundreds of languages in use in Canada.
- You can travel just about anywhere in Canada using only English.
Canadian weather varies greatly from region to region and season to season. From rainforest to desert and everything in between, Canada has it.
- Vancouver has an average high of 77℉ (25℃) with 8 beaches within the city where you can enjoy the sun.
- Enjoy a cold drink on a restaurant or cafe patio in Montreal in style with average highs of 79℉ (26℃).
- Dive into Lake Ontario at Toronto as average highs of 79℉ (26℃) make for perfect sunbathing and swimming weather.
- For more weather info, check out the Environment Canada website.
- Grab your snowboard as Whistler Blackcomb near Vancouver gets 38.5 feet of snow on average each year at the summit.
- Lace them up and join 19,000 daily visitors in skating along 4.8 miles of frozen urban river on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.
- Quebec City is cold in January and February, but it’s perfect for snow sculptures, snow baths, night parades and parties of the world-renowned Winter Carnival.