Canada

Quick Facts

Region: North America

Population:
34,040,000

Religion:

Although about 77% of Canadians claim to be Christians, there is no official religion in Canada. Because of its multicural society, most global religions are represented in Canada.

Language:

Canada is bilingual with both English and French being recognised by the Canadian Constitution as 'official languages'. Province-wise, Quebec's official language is French, but elsewhere it is English. New Brunswick is the only Canadian province that has both English and French as its official languages.

Area (sq. km):
9,984,670 square meters

Time:

Canada uses six primary time zones. From east to west they are Newfoundland Time Zone (GMT minus 3.5 hrs), Atlantic Time Zone (GMT minus 4 hrs), Eastern Time (GMT minus 5 hrs), Central Time Zone (GMT minus 6 hrs), Mountain Time Zone (GMT minus 7 hrs) and the Pacific Time Zone (GMT minus 8 hrs). The Canadian Rockies are in the Mountain Time Zone. In most of Canada, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 am. local time on the second Sunday in March. On the first Sunday in November areas on Daylight Saving Time return to Standard Time at 2 am. During Daylight Saving Time, turn your clocks ahead one hour.

When To Travel

Canada's climate is not as cold all year around as some may believe. In winter, temperatures fall below freezing point throughout most of Canada. But the south-western coast has a relatively mild climate. Along the Arctic Circle, mean temperatures are below freezing for seven months a year. During the summer months the southern provinces often experience high levels of humidity and temperatures that can surpass 30 degrees Celsius regularly. Western and south-eastern Canada experience high rainfall, but the Prairies are dry with 250 mm to 500 mm of rain every year.

All our tours in Canada are outdoors-oriented and run only in the warmer months of June, July, August and September.

Useful Travel Facts

Telephone:

The international dialling code for Canada is +1.

Electricity:

If you are bringing along any plug-in appliances you should take an international adapter with you. Canada's electrical supply and electrical outlets (sockets, wall plugs) are the same as those of the United States. The electrical supply is 110 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). Two-pronged flat blade plugs (same as USA) and three-pronged ones with the added ground are both used in Canada. Most sockets can accommodate both types of plugs.

Food:

There is a wide variety of cuisine available in Canada, depending on the region that you are in. Most of the original dishes reflect the early settlers of Canada - the indigenous First Nations people, the French and the English. As the country grew to become a multicultural melting-pot, the choices of food available grew. A couple of food items have become uniquely linked with Canada to the extent that they are unofficially recognised as 'national foods'. One is 'poutine', a fast food that consist of French fries and cheese curds covered with a brown sauce or gravy. The other is Maple syrup, usually used as a topping on pancakes. Notable mentions must also be made of butter tarts, Montreal-style smoked meat, salmon jerky, Montreal-style bagels and Nanaimo bars (a dessert cookie that consist of chocolate and a layer of vanilla or butter icing).

Transport:

All of our private vehicles are designed to ensure safety and comfort. Features include: - Ford ‘High-tops’ featuring raised ceilings for more headroom - ‘Captain’s Seats’ with head and arm rests - Space for 15+ people, but maximum group size is 13 - Open centre aisle floor plan, making it easier when getting in and out at those many photo opportunities - No barrier between front and passenger area for easy communication - Large windows for excellent visibility - iPod connectors and charging sockets - Air-conditioning - Custom-built trailer for bags and camping gear (if required) - The size of our vehicles allows us to reach more remote destinations not accessible to larger vehicles

Visa: At the time of writing, Australians, Americans, British, New Zealanders and most European nationals do not require a visa for Canada. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.

Useful Words & Phrases

French

Hello: Bonjour
Good Bye: Au revoir
Please: S’il-vous-plait
Thank You: Merci
You're Welcome: Je vous en prie
Yes: Oui
No: Non
Excuse me (request): Excusez-moi
Sorry: Pardon
How are you? (formal): Comment allez-vous
How are you? (informal): Ça va
Do you speak English?: Parlez-vous anglais
I don’t understand: Je ne comprends pas
What is your name?: Comment vous appelez vous?
My name is...: Je m’appelle...
Where is...: Où est...
I’d like...: Je voudrais...
How much is it?: Combien ça coûte?
Which way to...: Comment faire pour aller...
City centre: le centre-ville
Train station: la gare
Bank: la banque
Toilet: les toilettes
Exchange office: un bureau de change
1: un
2: deux
3: trois
4: quatre
5: cinq
6: six
7: sept
8: huit
9: neuf
10: dix
20: vingt
50: cinquante
100: cent

Further Reading

City to City – Jan Morris Wild Is Always There: Canada Through the Eyes of Foreign Writers – Greg Gatenby (edited by) Maple Leaf Rag: Travels Across Canada – Stephen Brook Native Peoples and Cultures of Canada – Allan Macmillan Who Has Seen The Wind – W.O. Mitchell Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town: Stephen Leacock The Klondike Quest – Pierre Berton The Promised Land – Pierre Berton Ribbon of Highway: The Trans Canada Highway Coast to Coast by Bus – Kildare Dobbs