Fact file: Canada

Did you know?
Trivial Pursuit was devised by two Canadians in the 1980s - since then more than 50 million games have been sold.
Language
English, French and 53 native languages.
Visas
None required for UK residents.
Getting there
Main international airports are in Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax and Toronto. Flights from London are regular. Access from the US is plentiful and straightforward.
Flying time from London
Depends on your destination, but probably around eight hours.
Getting around
The bus network is cheaper and far more extensive than the trains. Internal flights can be expensive but necessary. The best way to see the country is to hire a car.
Currency
Canadian dollar
Costs
Approximate costs but things will vary between states: pint of beer £2 (a three pint pitcher is better value at about £5), roll of film £3, moderate restaurant meal £5-£7, litre of petrol 40p, short taxi ride £2.50-£3.50.
Weather
The warmest areas are along the US border, British Columbia's south and central coasts and southern Ontario. Summer temperatures are in the mid and upper-20Cs (70Fs). British Columbia gets the warmest summers and most sunshine, while Ontario and Quebec have warm summers with not much rain. Summers in the Yukon and Northwest Territories can be pleasantly warm and have very long daylight hours. Canadian winters are long and in most of the country temperatures drop to -18C (-7F). Generally, the further north, the more snow.
Time difference
Due to Canada's size there are six different time zones. At one extreme, Newfoundland Standard Time is three and a half hours behind GMT. At the other, Pacific Standard Time is eight hours behind GMT.
International dialling code from the UK
00 1
Voltage
110V - bring an adaptor.
Opening hours
Shops are similar to UK. In shopping malls some stores will open until 9pm. Sunday opening varies. Banks open Mon-Thurs 10am to 4.30pm and until 5 or 6pm on Friday. Post offices open Mon-Fri usually from 9am to 5pm.
Health - Before you go
No jabs needed. Take out good travel insurance.
Health - When you are there
No major problems here. If you're out in the wilds don't drink lake and river water without asking the ranger about the quality (if you're in a national park) or purifying it.
Warnings
Be polite to bears. Don't leave food in your tent which will attract them and other critters.
Emergency
Police/medical Tel 911. British Embassy High Commission, 80 Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ont, K1P 5K7. Tel: 613 237 1530.
Customs
If you need the loo, ask for the bathroom, washroom or restroom - don't use that nasty word toilet!
Pets
Canada is now part of the PETS travel scheme so you avoid subjecting your pooch to six months in quarantine on return to England. That said, it's not as easy as just turning up at the airport. Speak to your vet as it can take a few months to set up.
Tipping
10-15% of the bill. Particularly useful for winning good service in bars. If a service charge is on the bill, no tip is necessary.
Tourist office
Visit Canada, PO Box 5396, Northampton, NN1 2FA. Tel. 0906 871 5000 (60p a minute).


Telephone

+44 (0) 203 696 2870

Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm

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