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Visiting Canada - A Visitor's Guide

Currency
The current value of the Canadian dollar in relation to other international currencies makes the Canadian Rockies one of the most value packed destinations in the world. Major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted by most establishments.

Visitors can exchange their currency at Canadian banks, trust companies, credit unions or foreign exchange brokers. Some hotels, merchants and restaurants accept US currency - but the exchange rate may be lower than that posted by financial institutions.

Map of Canada
Goods and Services Tax (5%)
GST is a value-added tax similar to that used in many other countries. Foreign visitors can claim GST rebates on paid goods which they take out of Canada within 60 days of purchase and on accommodation (less than a 30-day stay per location). Claims can be made by submitting receipts (each receipt must total at least $50 before taxes). Non-eligible items include meals, entertainment, alcohol, vehicle rentals, gas and any good consumed or left in Canada. Forms are available at most hotels, stores, restaurants and attractions.

For more information contact:
Canadian Tax Refund
P. O. Box 42090, Vancouver, BC V6P 6S6, Canada
Fax: 604-261-7009
www.canadiantaxrefund.com

Customs and Duty-Free Allowance
In Alberta visitors to Canada may bring in free of duties a maximum of 1.5 litres of wines, 1.14 litres of liquor (40 oz.), or 24x355 ml cans or bottles (8.5 litres) of beer or ale, as long as you meet the minimum age of 18 years. Your personal baggage can also include up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams of manufactured tobacco, and 200 tobacco sticks. Visitors importing such items must be over 18 years of age. Visitors may bring sporting equipment and personal goods for their own use by declaring them at entry.

Entry Regulations for Visitors
U.S. citizens and permanent residents require a passport to fly in or out of Canada. If crossing by land, no passport is required, but two pieces of identification to prove citizenship are, including:

  • Driver's license
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of citizenship
  • Certificate of naturalization

Children may travel with only birth certificates. Residents of countries other than the U.S. must carry a valid passport. Visitors from some countries may also require a visa or other documentation. Please check with the nearest Canadian consulate well in advance of your departure. All visitors should carry proof of citizenship.

For more information, visit the Canadian Border Services Website: www.cbsa.gc.ca

Parks Canada logoNational Park Regulations
Please help protect the natural beauty of Canada's parks by
respecting the following regulations.

It is against the law to collect natural objects including flowers, plants, rocks, antlers and artifacts. It is illegal to entice or feed wildlife (it can also be very dangerous!). Fisherman must have a national parks fishing license and hunting is prohibited. THE USE OF FIREARMS WITHIN NATIONAL PARKS IS PROHIBITED.

Park Entry Fees
A Family Day Pass for up to seven people in a vehicle is $19.60 a day. Annual National Parks of Canada passes for a Family/Group (up to 7) are $136.40; these are multi-park passes that allow entry to all national parks in Canada. Single adult day passes are $9.80.  Single adult annual passes are $67.70.  Large group commercial rates can be arranged in advance through Parks Canada. Details can be obtained by writing:

Banff National Park
PO Box 900, Banff, Alberta, Canada T0L 0C0
Phone: (403) 762-1550
www.pc.gc.ca/banff
www.pc.gc.ca/jasper

Metric
Everything in Canada is measured in metric units, though many stores use both metric and Imperial systems. Speed limits and distances are in kilometres. For example, within the Park the highway speed limit is 90 kilometres per hour (km/hr), equivalent to 55 miles per hour (mph). With regard to temperatures, 20 degrees Celsius is about 68 degrees Fahrenheit; 30°C is 80°F; 10°C is 50°F; and 0°C is 32°F. Gas is sold by the litre and there are 3.8 litres in a U.S. gallon.

Luggage

What to Pack
Please keep in mind that you are visiting the Rocky Mountains where the weather can change quite frequently therefore, we suggest that you dress in layers.

Be prepared by packing sweaters or sweatshirts and at least a light jacket for evening outings.


The winter months are cold and dry however we do receive numerous Chinooks, which are warm winds that bring mild temperatures.

While packing take into consideration the different activities that you are interested in and pack accordingly. A very warm winter jacket is a definite must and don't forget your hat, mitts or gloves, scarf and boots. There is usually a cold snap that occurs during the end of December and early January so be prepared if you are travelling during this time.

Weather
The weather in the Canadian Rockies changes frequently due to the high elevation and rugged topography. The summer months are generally warm with low humidity and daylight hours stretching to 11:00 p.m. in June. Warm Chinook winds bring spring-like conditions during the winter and the spring is fabulous for skiing and also taking part in activities like golfing, biking and hiking.

Month
High
Low
January
-5.3C
23F
-14.9C
5F
February
0.1C
30F
-11.3C
12F
March
3.8C
38F
-7.9C
16F
April
9.0C
48F
-2.8C
27F
May
14.2C
55F
1.5C
34F
June
18.7C
66F
5.4C
41F
July
22.1C
71F
7.4C
45F
August
21.6C
70F
6.8C
44F
September
16.1C
60F
2.7C
38F
October
10.1C
50F
-1.1C
31F
November
0.5C
30F
-8.2C
16F
December
-5.3C
23F
-13.8C
5F




 
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