Information about Canada

Comparison of temperatures

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Ottawa-6-32101924262520145-2
London68911152021201915107

Form of government:

Federal constitutional monarchy, parliament with 2 chambers; (Lower House / House of Commons: 338 seats; Senate: 105 seats); Parliamentary government system with majority voting system (direct mandate). The Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II. The Head of Government is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Capital:

Ottawa (Province of Ontario), 934,243 or 1,323,783 inhabitants (Ottawa-Gatineau region, Provinces of Ontario and Quebec)

Religion:

Christianity (67.3%), Islam (3.2%), Judaism (1.0%), Hinduism (1.5%), Buddhism (1.1%), Sikhism (1.4%), non religious (23.9%)

Language:

English | French

Climate:

Continental climate with cold, long winters and hot summers; maritime climate in the coastal provinces

Local time:

The time difference to the time zone in the UK (GMT) is -5 hours in summer and in winter.

Electricity:

The mains voltage is 120 V, 60 Hz. You will need an adapter and voltage converter for Canada. Be especially careful with certain equipment due to the difference in frequency.

Making telephone calls:

For telephone calls to the UK, please dial the country code 0044 first. For telephone calls to Canada, please dial the country code 001 first. Omit the first zero in the area code.

Country and people:

Taxes / tips will need to be added to the advertised prices of services. Generally speaking, local living costs are similar to those of Switzerland. Tips in restaurants should be between 15 and 20 % of the bill, but no less than 10 %. When you receive a bill, check whether a 15 % service charge has already been deducted. If this is the case, you do not need to leave an additional tip. The recommended tips for coach drivers is CAD 3 / day and for tour guides CAD 5 / day.

Entry requirements for British citizens:

British Citizens don’t usually need a visa to visit Canada for short periods.
Visitors travelling to Canada by air are now expected to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada. If you’re visiting Canada you’ll need an eTA to board your flight unless you’re otherwise exempted (for example, if you have a valid Canadian visa or a permanent resident card). If you have British-Canadian dual nationality you won’t be able to apply for an eTA and you’ll need to present a valid Canadian passport to board your flight to Canada. For more  information about the eTA system, and to apply online, visit the official Canadian government website: https://www.canada.ca/en.
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Canada. You can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation using an ETD. Nationals of other countries are advised to inquire at the Canadian High Commission about the entry requirements applicable to them.
Whilst we endeavour to provide guidance where necessary, we can not be responsible for any problems encountered (whether at any point of entry or elsewhere) in the event that passport and visa requirements are not satisfied.

Tour guides:

Your expert tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information about the country, people, history, culture, etc., and offer advice and assistance for organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that Canada has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people.

Additional packages:

Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras. We recommend booking the following packages:
Cultural & gourmet package:
The package includes half-board, i.e. 6× delicious evening meals and the ”First Nations village incl. tour and evening meal“ excursion, plus the ”Sugar Shacks with live music, tour and evening meal“ excursion: only £189 per person.
Explorer package:
The package includes a visit of the CN Tower, boat trip 1,000 Islands National Park, boat trip Niagara Falls and wine tour / wine tasting: only £119 per person.

Currency:

The unit of currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). 1 CAD = 100 cents. Exchange rate (as at May 2019): 1 GBP = 1.71 CAD; 1 CAD = 0.59 GBP.

Banks/Credit cards:

Common credit cards such as VISA, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are widely accepted. EC cards from Maestro or Cirrus are also accepted as means of payment in many places. You should however be aware of and take into account the fees that such cards may charge. Please note: Travellers paying with their bank cards or wishing to withdraw money abroad should ask their bank or credit provider about using their card before they travel. Money can be exchanged at banks, at officially licensed money institutions and in exchange kiosks. Businesses, hotels and restaurants may exchange money, however the rate is usually much worse than at an official financial institution. Opening hours for banks: Mon – Fri 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 / 5 p.m.

Customs regulations:

Import: 1.1 litres of spirits, 1.5 l of wine, 8 litres of beer in bottles / cans (these must be reported at customs) and 200 cigarettes are duty-free. Currency: Means of payment worth CAD 10,000 and above must be declared. No food may be imported (no apples, bananas, etc.). There is a ban on importing pornographic material or hate-inciting propaganda. The import of weapons must be declared on arrival. Further customs information regarding the import of goods can be obtained from the embassy of your destination country. This is the only place from which to obtain legally correct and binding information.
The customs regulations for the UK can be viewed on the British Customs Web site www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Safety instructions:

We recommend making a photocopy of your passport before you travel and carrying this separately from you passport. If your passport is lost, this must be reported to the Canadian Police with a copy of the passport.

Special criminal provisions:

The consumption of alcohol on the street is prohibited in Canada. During Canadian public holidays, there is a ban on alcohol at camp sites and in national / provincial parks. Smoking in and outside public buildings, means of transport, shopping centres, restaurants and bars, etc. is forbidden in Canada.

Medical information:

As in the neighbouring USA, the West Nile Fever season begins in Canada from May. This is a flu-like illness that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that are mostly active at night. Severe complications – including fatalities – can occur. Older people and people with weakened immune systems especially should protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Vaccinations: The standard vaccinations for children and adults in accordance with the information provided by the National Travel Health Network and Centre should be checked before undertaking any travel and updated if necessary (see https://nathnac.net/).

Medical care:

Sanitary and hygiene regulations are largely similar to those in the UK. If necessary, you can go to a „walk-in clinic“ and in an emergency go directly to the Accident & Emergency Unit of a hospital. Treatment is expensive, however, and with the exception of immediate and necessary treatment for life-threatening conditions, is usually only provided following advance payment. Health insurance including Canada is therefore strongly recommended, as is the carrying of a credit card that has a high chargeable balance. The tap water is drinkable, however it contains a relatively high amount of chlorine. The supply of medications in Canada is good. Prescription medications can be obtained with a Canadian prescription. Non-perishable British specialist medications can be brought with you in the required quantities but must be accompanied by a copy of the prescription. Customers should ensure that they are physically and psychologically fit for undertaking the selected trip and make the necessary queries concerning the level of physical and psychological fitness required. Please observe that the excursions are accessible by foot only and that the buses used for the roundtrip are not customised to transport wheelchairs or similar devices.

All information is subject to change/Last updated: June 2020


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