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Canada Travel Tips & Resources

What to Expect When Traveling to Canada

The name Canada is said to be derived from the Huron-Iroquois word Kanata, meaning village or settlement. Canada, the world’s second largest country (spread across six time zones) boasts vast unspoiled beauty. Canada has a total area of 9.9 million sq. km. and touches the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic oceans making it the country with the longest coastline (243,791 km. long). Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Over seven percent of the country is covered by freshwater.

Places to Visit in Canada

The West

The West

British Columbia and Alberta are extremely popular with travelers because of the wildlife and scenery that is found there. A favorite destination in Alberta and the Canadian Rockies is the Banff National Park. Banff and Lake Louise has a rich heritage as one of the world’s most awe-inspiring mountain destinations.

Manitoba

Manitoba

Northern Manitoba’s Hudson Bay is a huge draw. The remote town of Churchill, on the edge of the artic circle, is known as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World.’ It is a magnet for those seeking wildlife and nature experiences. Equally awe-inspiring are the thousands of beluga whales, which move into the warmer waters of the Churchill River estuary during July and August to calf and are a major summer attraction.

The Northern Territories

The Northern Territories

Though its igloos, icebergs, polar bears, seal hunters and Northern Lights are some of the country’s best-known symbols, it remains a region few will ever visit.  It is often referred to as the “Land of the Midnight Sun” because at the height of summer, daylight can last up to 24 hours. The North is difficult to get to but well worth the effort to see this iconic yet mysterious part of Canada.

Central Canada

Central Canada

While not the geographic center of Canada, the provinces of Quebec and are the most urbanized and industrialized areas of Canada, containing the country’s two largest cities, Toronto and Montreal, and the nation’s capital, Ottawa. Quebec, is the “taste of France” in Canada. Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada

The first part of Canada encountered by Europeans is Atlantic Canada, made up of the four most eastern Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. The area is also know as the Maritime provinces or simply “the Maritimes” (although this term actually excludes Newfoundland). In Atlantic Canada, you’ll encounter centuries-old culture and traditions that combining a unique mix of British, Scottish, Gaelic and French customs.

Traveler Resources

Common Costs
Combo meal in a fast food restaurant in Montreal $10.00 (CAD)
Daily Family / Group Admission to Bannf National Park $19.80 (CAD)
Taxi from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Downtown $50-60.00 (CAD)
Adult Admission to the Royal Ontario Museum $20.00 (CAD)
Quick Facts
Currency Canadian Dollar
Capital Ottawa
Largest City Toronto
Official Language English and French

U.S. Embassies & Travel Information

Canada

Canada Flag

490 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8 Canada
Tel: + 613-688-5335
Hours of Operation: M-F, 8:30AM – 5:00PM

About the Area

Canada’s English and French influences, alongside its huge immigrant influx (over a fifth of the country’s population are immigrants), have made it one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world. Canada is the first country in the world to adopt a policy of multiculturalism, embracing diversity and pluralism.

Travel Tips

  • U.S. citizens must carry a valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card to enter Canada
  • Canadian bank notes are commonly available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar denominations. The $1 and $2 bills have been replaced with coins.
  • Canadian coins include the $1 and $2 (known as the Loonie & Toonie, respectively), 25¢ quarter, 10¢ dime, 5¢ nickel and 1¢ penny although production of the penny has been stopped and its used phased out. Purchase totals have been rounded off to the nearest nickel to take pennies out of circulation.

Traveling to Canada and Need to Exchange Currency?

Additional Resources