Entry Requirements into Canada
Visitors must have valid travel documents to enter the country. Document requirements vary depending on which country you’re travelling from. For more information visit: cbsa.gc.ca
Note: Canada introduced a new entry requirement, known as the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid visa. Entry requirements for other methods of travel (land and sea) have not changed. Eligible travelers can apply online for an eTA. This entry is now mandatory, and travelers will need an eTA before they can board a flight to Canada.
Toronto offers visitors world-class products at reasonable prices. The favourable exchange rate doesn’t hurt either. The Canadian Dollar is Toronto’s currency with coins called loonies ($1) and toonies ($2) for denominations under $5. U.S. Dollars are accepted in many Toronto establishments, however you’ll receive change in Canadian funds and exchange rates differ from merchant to merchant.
You’ll find cash ATM machines all over the city, including all banks, most hotels and shopping centres. Credit cards are also accepted at all major retailers. Currency exchange is available at kiosks in the city and at the airport, and most recently the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada have agreed to accept Chinese mobile payment options: WeChat Pay and Alipay.
Taxes & Tipping
The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is a 13% tax that is applied to most purchases of taxable supplies of goods and services in the Province of Ontario. The HST consists of a 5% federal portion and an 8% retail sales tax portion.
If you’re happy with the service you receive, a 15 to 20% tip on the pre-tax bill is a standard expression of appreciation. Note that some restaurants automatically add this gratuity when serving large groups, so be sure to check your bill. Tips are also expected for services such as haircuts, shoe shines, and taxi rides. 15 to 20% is standard for these services as well.
Easy to Access
Toronto has 2 international airports with over 1,400 daily flights from all over the world:
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is Canada’s primary airport with travel connections to every continent and also ranks among the top 30 world airports for passenger traffic and aircraft movement. Travel easily from Toronto Pearson to the downtown core in less than 25 minutes with the UP Express train that connects to Union Station: upexpress.com.
- Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) is located right in the downtown core and is served by both Air Canada and Porter Airlines, with flights to Canadian and U.S. destinations.
Canada has two official languages: English and French. In addition to these, the top 5 languages spoken in Toronto are Mandarin, Italian, Tamil, Portuguese, and Spanish. Since 50% of the city’s population was born outside of Canada, 180 languages and dialects are spoken in Toronto.
Mobile Roaming & Pre-Planning
If you’ll be frequently using your phone during travels, you may want to consider options that’ll keep heavy costs at bay. Check with your service provider for travel packs. Toronto offers lots of free Wi-Fi in public spaces that help in reducing your data usage. Another option to consider are mobile rentals.
Four Season City
Toronto wears all seasons well. Here are the average seasonal temperatures you can expect and what to pack accordingly:
|Season||Min. Temperature||Max. Temperature|
|Winter||-15°C (5°F)||2°C (35.6°F)|
|Spring||1°C (33.8°F)||17°C (62.6°F)|
|Summer||20°C (68°F)||30°C (86°F)|
|Autumn||15°C (59°F)||-1°C (30.2°F)|
Getting Around Town
Explore Toronto with one of North America’s best transport systems, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). With subways, buses, and streetcars at every corner, getting around the city is a breeze. A single fare takes you anywhere, on a one-way trip. You can transfer between subways, streetcars and buses, and always keep your transfer as proof of payment.
GO Transit is Ontario’s inter-regional bus and train service. It links Toronto with its surrounding Greater Toronto Areas and beyond. Go Trains and buses mainly depart from Toronto’s Union Station at regular intervals throughout the day.
Other forms of transportation include taxis – there are a handful of taxi companies in Toronto – as well as Uber, Lyft and Bike Share Toronto. Toronto has cycling paths throughout the city that can get you where you’re going safely.