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Canada | Travel Information Travel Pictures

Canada Totem PoleWelcome to Canada, my home and native land! Have a look at some travel information planning tips to help you plan your trip to this very large country.

How long to Drive from Ontario to BC

To drive the 9,500 kilometers or 5,900 miles between Toronto, Ontario (middle of country) and Vancouver, British Columbia (West coast ) will take about 5-7 days; To fly from Toronto to Vancouver takes about 5 hours.

(Kilometers? Miles? Canada uses the metric system; stores usually post both pounds and kilograms, inches and meters; gallons and liters.)

If you are planning a one week holiday, consider travel ONLY in the east OR only in central Canada OR only in the West.

  • Two Weeks Holiday Central Canada (Ontario, Quebec) you'll have time to visit Niagara Falls and Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
  • If you have two weeks holiday or longer In Ontario and Quebec, you have time to travel to the East coast provinces. To drive straight through from Toronto to Saint John New Brunswick takes about 16-20 hours; it's a 2.5-3 hour flight.
  • For a one week trip to Western provinces -- British Columbia, Alberta Allow 7-10 days to explore Vancouver, Whistler, the Okanagan, and the Rocky Mountains national parks in and around Banff and Jasper.
  • Two weeks in B.C. allows travel to Vancouver Island (see Port Hardy BC and the Sunshine Coast).

To plan your trip:

To plan your trip and help you get around when you get here, buy a current map atlas Canada, USA & Mexico (3 in 1!) and a good guidebook like Mobil travel guide for all Canada,USA & Mexico with information on 9 Canadian provinces (no Newfoundland) OR the new Lonely Planet Canada guide OR this new Fodor's Canada 2008 Gold guide. Travel guide books all include regional maps and information, and last for many years.

Toronto Ontario is one of our biggest and most interesting cities. There's always something to see or do, be it the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Place. . . the list goes on! It’s not difficult to find a good, cozy Toronto hotel in the heart of the city and close to all the excitement, so book one if you've got the time and spend a few days in Ontario's capital.

What Languages do they speak in Canada? Officially bilingual (English and French), with English spoken almost everywhere.

  • Quebec and New Brunswick speak more French; Non-French speakers may need a language phrasebook.
  • In cites that have a sizable immigrant populations, like Mississauga, Ontario, you can hear more than 14 different languages spoken.
  • In Vancouver (with Hong Kong immigrants) and Toronto (Mainland China and Hong Kong immigrants), there is a corresponding increase in those who speak Chinese languages. (See the Mississauga Chinese Center)

Canada Niagara falls Ontario cable car over Niagara  Gorge

Moving to Canada? See my page on buy homes in Canada.

Train travel: Passenger trains are operated by VIA Rail (web site offered in 7 languages).

This is not the cheapest way to travel across the country. Check the rates and schedules to help you decide. If you are visiting British Columbia, check out the Rocky Mountaineer rail tours between B.C. and Alberta

Airlines in Canada The main carriers are Air Canada and West Jet. Traveler reviews tend to rank WestJet domestic (internal) flights higher than Air Canada domestic (internal) flights in terms of service and price.

However, Air Canada flies to many smaller Canadian towns, not served by other carriers. There are also a number of regional carriers that only operate in one or two provinces. Travel from Canada to or from the United Kingdom in spring and summer, and you'll find more flights offered.

Tourist Visa Do I need a visa? Visitor visas and other visas are handled by the Canadian government Citizenship and Immigration (English). See Do I need a visa? Page.

What money do they use in Canada? The Canadian dollar (CAD) is the official currency in Canada, and is at or above par with (about the same value as) the American dollar (USD). Rates fluctuate.

Travelers Checks / travellers checks: Change checks at banks, many of which are open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays to Wednesdays and Saturdays, and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Most banks are closed Sundays and holidays.

ATMs are widely available, and the ATMs associated with banks offer the best rates. Many businesses will accept U.S. dollars, and they will post the exchange rate they use. See Travel Currency tips page for more travel money tips.

Canada Food - fiddlehead fernsFood :  What to Eat in Canada Most larger centers and even many smaller ones have foods from around the world, like at these Mississauga Ontario restaurants.

Some wild foods in Canada include lots of berries, wild asparagus and fiddlehead ferns, found in some parts of Canada (B.C., Ontario and the Maritimes -- east coast).

What do I pack for a trip to Canada? Packing for Canada depends on what time of year, and which part of Canada you will visit. See travel packing and What to Pack Canada Winter.

Best time to travel to Canada ?

  • Spring Fall: For touring and sightseeing, the shoulder seasons Fall (September, October) and Spring (May and June) usually have good weather, though it may vary year to year, and by location.
  • Summer: Many attractions like boat tours at Niagara Falls and national parks are open only during the summer months -- June, July and August. Summer is high season, and air fares and hotels are expensive.
  • Winter: Ski hills are open across the country, depending on weather, from mid-November to late March or early April. See also Canada Snow page. Check with individual resorts before you book.

What side of the road do they drive on in Canada? In Canada they drive on the right. If you are planning to drive to or in Canada, and your vehicle Does Not have GPS, you may want to get a handheld GPS (see handheld GPS systems) to bring with you.

Travel Health Shots etc. Make sure your vaccinations are current, and check for current news around the time you plan to travel. Generally the water is safe to drink. See Public Health Canada pages for detailed information. See my travel documents tips here.

More pictures of Canada on my Blog :