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A person hiking in Alberta at the top of a summit

Coming to Canada

How far is a km? What are the regulations pertaining to customs and duty? And why is the iced tea so sweet? Get all the info you need to prepare for Canada.

Coming to Canada

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No matter how you are arriving in Canada, carry valid travel papers.

To Get Into Canada

Customs & duty

Like any country, we have rules about what you can bring in or out of Canada. But don’t worry, they aren’t that complicated.

What are you bringing into Canada?

What are you bringing back home?

  • After 48 hours you can take back $800 US worth of merchandise, duty free, monthly. If you're travelling as a family, you may combine your personal exemptions for visits over 48 hours.
  • If your stay is less than 48 hours, or if the $800 US allowance or part of it has been used within the previous 30 days, an exemption of $200 is allowed.
  • For more information on US border crossing and duty requirements and limits, please visit the U.S. CustomsExternal Link Title.
  • Locate the nearest customs office by visiting the Canada Border Services AgencyExternal Link Title.


Similar to American money, except a lot more colorful.

Canadian Money

  • is a dollar ($) currency.
  • is usually at a lower value than American money. To see the current exchange rate, please visit the Bank of CanadaExternal Link Title.
  • has a $1 and $2 coin called the loonie and toonie (seriously).
Illustrations Created with Sketch. OUNCE LITRE YARD KILOMETER FEET POUNDS


Canada uses the metric system. Mostly. Well, sometimes. It depends really. Don’t worry, you’ll catch on.

The Metric System?

  • Canada used the Imperial system before 1970.
  • Canadians are generally familiar with the Imperial system. Except for Fahrenheit. That one is confusing. Canadians use degrees Celsius.



Canadian time zones. Basically the same as mainland American time zones. After all, Canada is directly above America (except Canada goes a little further east).

Timezones? TV Zones.

  • If your favorite TV show is on at 7:00pm in New York, Boston, Philadelphia or Detroit, then it’s on at 7:00pm in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec. And it’s on at 4:00pm in Los Angeles and Vancouver.
  • The exceptions are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI. They're 1 hour ahead of Eastern Time. And Newfoundland is 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of Eastern Time (oddly enough).
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Language & culture

Americans and Canadians are very close in language and in culture. But, like the finer things in life, it's all in the details.

Say what?

  • French is an official language and is spoken in every province, but the highest concentration of native French speakers is in Quebec.
  • There are hundreds of languages in use in Canada.
  • You can travel just about anywhere in Canada using only English.


Canadian weather varies greatly from region to region and season to season. From rainforest to desert and everything in between, Canada has it.


  • Vancouver has an average high of 77? (25?) with 8 beaches within the city where you can enjoy the sun.
  • Enjoy a cold drink on a restaurant or cafe patio in Montreal in style with average highs of 79? (26?).
  • Dive into Lake Ontario at Toronto as average highs of 79? (26?) make for perfect sunbathing and swimming weather.
  • For more weather info, check out the Environment Canada websiteExternal Link Title.


  • Grab your snowboard as Whistler Blackcomb near Vancouver gets 38.5 feet of snow on average each year at the summit.
  • Lace them up and join 19,000 daily visitors in skating along 4.8 miles of frozen urban river on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.
  • Quebec City is cold in January and February, but it’s perfect for snow sculptures, snow baths, night parades and parties of the world-renowned Winter Carnival.

Getting around

How far is a km? What are the regulations pertaining to customs and duty?

 Get all the info you need to prepare for Canada.