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Canada Travel Tips

Overview of Canada Travel Tips

Canada Travel Tips are offered to assist those traveling on business or for pleasure to this land of stark contrasts from natural wilderness to modern metropolitan centers.  Fortunately, Canada has a developed infrastructure that allows visitors to easily access its local towns and cities.  Canada has something for everyone: the beauty of the towns bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the culture rich cities in Canada's heartland, the endless agricultural land of the Prairies, the wonders of the Rockies and the Pacific Ocean on the west coast.   For those interested in exporting to this market, Canada's diversity in land and in its people results in endless opportunities.

Photo Credits: Sunset at Toronto Condo - Neil Ta

Eight Canada Travel Tips

  1. Travel Documents

    There was a time when traveling to Canada especially crossing the Canada U.S. border was a simple thing.  You hear stories about Canadians or Americans crossing the border to go on their shopping spree with nothing more than their driver licenses and credit cards. However, the Sept 11, 2001 event forever changed that freedom enjoyed by citizens from both countries.

    Today, virtually all visitors to Canada (even those from the U.S.) must carry a valid passport.  You also need to demonstrate that you plan to return to your home country and you have enough money to sustain you during your stay in Canada.

    You may also need a temporary resident visa, depending on your country of citizenship.  Most citizens from developed nations do not require a travel visa to visit Canada.  However, that list of countries is constantly changing.  To see the latest list, visit the government's Citizenship and Immigration Canada website:
    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp
  2. Canada Immigrant Program

    Canada has an Immigrant program to attract experienced business people and  help drive its economy.  Three classes of business people are viewed as favorable to obtain immigration status: entrepreneurs, investors and the self-employed.

    Entrepreneurs will come to Canada to start a business that will employ one or more Canadians.  The rules for investors with money to invest in Canada vary by province but they range from $150,000 to $250,000 Canadian dollars.  The self-employed are those visitors who will come into the country and contribute to the economy. They are typically people who are sports figures, artist, farmers or community business owners.
  3. Getting Here

    If you are traveling to Canada by plane, you will most likely land in one of the three cities of either Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. These cities are the domestic hubs for international carriers such as British Airways, SAS, Air France and virtually all U.S. carriers.  Within Canada, Air Canada is the dominate national airline.  Westjet is a newcomer to the Canadian travel scene by offering friendly service and low prices since 1996.  You can book most of your travel to Canada using the dominate travel sites of Travelocity and Expedia but Westjet sells tickets only on its own website.
  4. Business Visitors Entering Canada

    If you are a visitor to Canada conducting business, you may temporarily import goods to Canada duty-free.  Goods that qualify are trade tools, broadcast or media equipment, sports equipment and display goods.  Your income source must come from outside of Canada.   These rules are designed for business people who are involved in professions that are international in scope.  They need to enter to Canada to do their job.

5.   GST Refunds

Travelers to Canada are entitled to receiving a refund on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid on goods purchased from Canada. Rebate forms are available from customs, duty free shops and some retailers in tourist areas.  The forms must be submitted within 60 days of your departure from Canada.  You will need all your original receipts plus there is a $200 minimum on total value of goods prior to submission.

6.   Dining Tips

As a visitor to Canada, you can virtually experience food from every country and every culture in any major metropolitan center.  You may want Moroccan food one night but perhaps Indonesian food another night.  The Canadians do have local Canadian foods but they vary by region.  

In the Maritime provinces, you will enjoy the finest seafood available due to the proximity to the Atlantic ocean.  You will find all you can eat shrimp, Atlantic salmon, and lobster smorgasbords in local diners. Quebec's influence by the French will offer you rotisserie chicken, smoked beef, poutine (fried potatoes with cheese and gravy).  The western provinces are full of farms with famous beef steaks while British Columbia will give you a taste of the Pacific Salmon.  Then you can engage in a debate with the locals on which tastes better  - salmon from the Atlantic or the Pacific.  Canada is also famous for its local wines grown from the Niagara region of the province of Ontario.

7.   Smokers Beware

If you are visiting Canada as a smoker, join the one fourth of the Canadian population and be aware of where and when you can smoke.  Canada has similar smoking laws to the United States banning smoking indoors in virtually all public buildings.  However, some municipalities are taking it one step further.  Cities such as Winnipeg, Manitoba are prohibiting even smokers to congregate outside of the buildings near doorways for fear of the drifting smoke entering the building.  So check before you light up.

8.   Fishing

Canada is renowned for its sports fishing due to its abundance of natural lakes and streams.  Whether you are looking for that king size trout or salmon, Canada offers some of the best fishing spots in the world.  As a visitor, you will need a fishing license from the provincial government department responsible for the fisheries.   If you plan to fish in one of Canada's national parks, you will need a license available at the park.  If you are planning to visit a province that is near the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, you can choose freshwater or saltwater fishing.  A separate license is required if you decide to do both.

These Canada Travel Tips will help you navigate this vast and diverse land. Whether you are here to look for import from China opportunities or just to enjoy the unique opportunities that Canada has to offer.  Enjoy yourself!