Electrical current is 110 volts, 60Hz. American style
flat two-pin plugs and one with a third round grounding pin are
The official languages are English and French
(predominantly in Quebec).
There is no service charge added to restaurant bills in Canada
and staff expect a tip of around 15%. Hairdressers and taxi drivers
are also usually tipped at the same rate, while bellhops, doormen,
porters and similar service providers at hotels, airports and
stations are generally paid $1 per item of luggage carried. Tour
guides and bus drivers should generally receive $3-$5 per day. It
has become more common for places with counter service to display
'tip jars', but in such cases tipping is not necessary.
Most visits to Canada are trouble-free. The country is
politically stable, but does share the common international risk of
terrorism. There have been no recent terrorism events. The crime
rate is low, but travellers are advised to take sensible
precautions to safeguard their belongings as they would anywhere.
Canada is prone to tornadoes between May and September.
Smoking bans have been implemented in Canada in enclosed public
places such as restaurants, bars and shopping malls.
The international access code for Canada is +1. The outgoing
code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for
the United Kingdom); the outgoing code is not necessary for calls
to the US and the Caribbean. The area code for Ottawa is (1)613,
and (1)416 for Toronto. Internet cafes are widely available. Most
international mobile phone companies have roaming agreements with
Canadian operators, however it may be cheaper to buy a
pay-as-you-go SIM card if visiting the country for long
Travellers to Canada are allowed to enter the country with the
following items without incurring custom duties: gifts to the value
of C$60 per recipient (excluding advertising material, tobacco and
alcoholic beverages); 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or cigarillos and
200g of tobacco or 200 tobacco sticks; 1.14 litres of liquor or
wine or 24 x 355ml bottles or cans of beer or ale. There are strict
regulations governing the import of the following: explosives,
endangered animal and plant species, items of heritage, fresh
foodstuffs and weapons. The plant Qhat (Khat) is illegal in Canada
and prison sentences are heavy.