Welcome to Canada
It’s hard to put a pin in a country that spans six time zones, but suffice it to say, you’ll find everything you’re seeking in this massive coast-to-coast destination. Known for its friendliness as much for its natural beauty, Canada is one gigantic traveler’s playground.
Outdoor enthusiasts flock to world-class ski resorts and classic national parks in the Canadian Rockies, while culture seekers zone in on the vibrant culinary, art and music scenes in the cosmopolitan cities of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. There are polar bears up north, pink-sand beaches in the Maritimes and whales off the Pacific coast. There are Celtic festivals in Cape Breton Island, a historic walled city in Quebec and a renowned fringe film festival in Edmonton.
Go hiking in search of moose, visit a rain forested indigenous villages on Haida Gwaii and dine decadently on that most Canadian of treats, poutine (French fries smothered with gravy and cheese curds). Coast to coast, Canada boasts an embarrassment of riches.
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Need To Know
- Canada boasts the longest coastline in the world at 150,993 miles around the shores of 52,455 islands. (And there are literally millions of lakes.)
- Don’t like snakes? Reconsider your trip to Manitoba, home to the world’s largest concentration of snakes. Every spring, about 70,000 snakes come out of hibernation across the prairie.
- Canada also contains the polar bear capital of the world – Churchill, in northern Manitoba. Approximately 15,500 of the world’s 25,000 polar bears are found here. They’re able to easily access frozen Hudson Bay, their winter home.
- Think about this the next time you make pancakes. Seventy-one percent of the world’s maple syrup comes from Canada, but 91 percent of that syrup production happens in the province of Quebec alone.
- Canadians say sorry like they mean it, but it won’t hold up in court. Known for their friendly, apologetic manner, Canadians are so polite and say sorry so much that an Apology Act was passed in 2009. The law states that an apology will not be considered in court as “an admission of fault or liability in connection with the matter to which the words or actions relate.”
Canada’s official languages are French and English.
When To Go
The best time to go to Canada depends entirely on what activity you’d like to pursue. If you’re seeking ski and snowshoes locales, the snowy winter months are perfect. For those who want to visit national parks, hike, fish and paddle, the summer is ideal on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, as well as the lakes of Ontario and the Northern Territories. Fall is spectacular in eastern Canada, when the leaves turn all shades of red, orange and gold.
Vancouver International Airport
Toronto Pearson International Airport
Halifax Stanfield International Airport
Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Ottawa McDonald-Cartier International Airport
Calgary International Airport
Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
Edmonton International Airport
Montreal Saint-Hubert Airport
Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport
Passport must be valid at time of entry for three months beyond arrival date.
Visa Required By US Citizen?
None required for stays of 180 days or less
The CDC recommends the following vaccines for most travelers when visiting Canada: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Rabies.
Power plugs and sockets: types A and B. Standard voltage: 120V. Frequency: 60Hz.
Official local currency: Canadian Dollar
Driving in Canada is similar to driving in the United States, although distances and speeds are posted in kilometers per hours. Some signs, particularly in the province of Quebec, are only in French.
There are numerous international airports spread throughout Canada. Visitors may also drive across the border at US border cities, such as Seattle, Washington, and Buffalo, New York, but expect traffic and extended waits during peak travel times.
Major cities have excellent public transportation networks, including bus, metro and taxi service. Public transportation is not readily available into and around national parks.
Valid US driver’s license required.
US Embassy Info
U.S. Embassy Ottawa
490 Sussex Drive
Ontario, K1N 1G8
Telephone: +(613) 688-5335
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(613) 238-5335
Fax: +(613) 688-3082
Local Visitor Info
Provincial Tourist Offices
Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism, www.newfoundlandlabrador.com
Northwest Territories Tourism, www.spectacularnwt.com
Nunavut Tourism, www.nunavuttourism.com
Ontario Tourism, www.ontariotravel.net
Prince Edward Island Tourism, www.tourismpei.com
Tourism British Columbia, www.hellobc.com
Tourism New Brunswick, www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca
Tourism Nova Scotia, www.novascotia.com
Tourism Saskatchewan, www.tourismsaskatchewan.com
Tourism Quebec, www.quebecoriginal.com/en
Travel Alberta, www.travelalberta.com
Travel Manitoba, www.travelmanitoba.com
Yukon Department of Tourism, www.travelyukon.com
Local Emergency Phone Numbers
General Emergency: 911
Safety and Security
Canada generally has a lower crime rate than the United States, yet violent crimes occur throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Do not leave unattended possessions in a vehicle, even in the trunk. Pickpockets may target tourists in popular attraction areas.
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