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Looking to better prepare yourself before your Canadian holiday? Use the frequently asked questions below to better understand our geographies, climates and traveling customs.
In Banff and Jasper, we have temporarily closed operations at some attractions and hotels. International travel to Canada is currently restricted. Please see our complete information page for more information on our response to the crisis.
A passport valid until at least the day after you return from Canada is required.
International visitors to Canada (not US citizens or US permanent residents) must carry a valid passport and, if required, a visa. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for a full listing of countries whose citizens require visas to enter Canada.
All other visitors should contact their Canadian consulate or embassy to learn what documents are required.
To learn more about Canadian customs regulations, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.
Each child under 18 years of age must have their own passport, identification such as a birth certificate, proof of citizenship or student visa. A letter of permission is required from the parents of any children accompanying travellers who do not have legal custody of the children. If only one parent is travelling with the child, a letter of authorization from the other custodial parent is required allowing the child to be taken out of the country. If this is impossible, we recommend carrying a letter from a solicitor or a death certificate if applicable.
Customs officers are often looking for missing children and may ask questions about the children who are travelling with you.
Travellers with disabilities in Canada have more options and resources for exploring the country than ever before. Visit Canada's Persons with Disabilities Online website for information on accessibility in Canada.
For details about accessible transportation in Canada and links to resources for travellers with special needs, visit Access to Travel.
No. Parks Canada requires all adult visitors to Canada’s national parks to buy a permit for the duration of their stay to support visitor services and facilities. Day Passes or a yearly Discovery Pass are available to buy in-person at Parks Canada's park gates and information centres in Banff and Jasper. Admission for youth 17 and under is free.
Gifts valued at $60 CDN or less each may be brought into Canada duty free and tax free. If you bring in gifts worth more than $60 CDN, they will be subject to duty on the excess amount. Alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and advertising materials do not qualify as gifts.
You can bring in limited quantities of alcohol if you meet the minimum age requirements of the province or territory where you enter Canada (see below). These items must accompany you on your arrival. Minimum ages for the importation of alcoholic beverages are 18 years for Alberta, Manitoba and Québec and 19 years for Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador. For more information on bringing in alcohol and tobacco to Canada, please visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.
Many agricultural items are restricted or prohibited entry to Canada. Canadian law requires that you declare all agricultural products you bring into Canada to customs officers when you arrive, whether it is by land, water or air. Permission is required to import plants to Canada, with the exception of houseplants from the United States. See the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more information. Handguns and weapons, such as mace and pepper spray, are prohibited from entering Canada. In addition, some fruits, vegetables, honey, eggs, meats, dairy products and plants from other countries cannot be brought into Canada. For more information, please consult the Canada Border Services Agency website.
Canada encompasses six of the world's 24 time zones. From east to west, they are: Newfoundland Standard Time Zone, Atlantic Standard Time Zone, Eastern Standard Time Zone, Central Standard Time Zone, Mountain Standard Time Zone and Pacific Standard Time Zone.
Pacific Time, Canada's westernmost time zone, is 8 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time during the observance of Standard Time; it is 7 hours behind during Daylight Saving Time. The easternmost time zone is Newfoundland Time, which is 4-1/2 hours ahead of Pacific Time.
Canadians celebrate several national (federally established) statutory holidays, in addition to various statutory holidays established by the provinces and territories. See National Statutory holiday dates.
As of 2017, the population of Canada was 36,708,083 according to Statistics Canada.
9,976,000 square kilometres (3,851,755 square miles).
Driving is on the right hand side of the road. Pedestrians have the right of way and in certain provinces you can turn right on a red signal. There is also a 4-way stop. This is a cross road intersection where the right of way is given to the first to arrive at a complete stop at the cross road intersection.
A 5% goods and services tax (GST) or 12% harmonized servcie tax (HST in B.C. - this combines the GST & PST) that is levied on most goods and services. This tax is generally not included in the price labels of things in shops but levied at the check out counter. Tax can be reclaimed on certain articles.
The climate in Canada varies across the country, and according to the season. There are four distinct seasons in all regions, but actual temperatures and humidity vary.
Rockies and other Mountain Areas: The greatest variation of temperatures is to be found in the mountains. Mountain temperatures average from -16 degrees Celsius in the winter to 24 degrees Celsius during the summer. However, when visiting the Rockies, be sure to have layers of comfortable clothing available in case of a sudden change in weather conditions (in the mountains, even summer evenings tend to be cool). If you are planning on walks or hikes, bring sturdy shoes and a warm jacket. If you plan to visit the Rockies in the winter, come dressed for snow - make sure your outer clothing is warm and wind/water repellant.
While we can't guarantee it, there is always a likely possibility of seeing wildlife when visiting any of Canada's National Parks.
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