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Travel Guide: Discover Canada

Allianz Global Assistance - Travel Guides: Discover Canada

Canada is a beautiful country full of diverse people, food, climates and landscapes.

If you love the great outdoors you will love Canada — from snowboarding and off-road biking in the mountain ranges to surfing along the coastline and rafting down the rivers. There’s also stunning scenery, charming towns and unique wildlife from coast to coast. Canada shares a land border with the USA and a maritime border with Greenland.

Being so large, Canada crosses over 5 different time zones from UTC-3 in St Johns to the East to UTC-8 in Vancouver in the West.

Relevant Information and Demographics

Emergency Number Dial 911

Main Ethnic Groups

Canadian 32%
English 20%
French 16%

Main Religion Roman Catholic 39%
Other Christian 28%
Islam 3%
Geographic Facts Capital City: Ottawa
Largest City: Toronto (2.7 million)

Culture and customs

Canada is a culturally diverse country that prides itself on equality, respect and tolerance. They are socially conscious and have strong conventions of social etiquette.  

  • Canadians don’t like being seen as an extension of the USA, so try not to blend them into one country when talking to locals.
  • It’s best to avoid using the word ‘eskimo’ as it may be offensive to some. The preferred term to describe native people is ‘First Nations’.
  • If you are visiting someone’s home be sure to take your shoes off.

Words to know

  • Loonie = A nickname for a dollar coin
  • Bonjour = “Hello” in French
  • Merci = “Thank you” in French
  • Toque = A knit cap
  • Two-four = A case of beer containing 24 bottles

Allianz Global Assistance - Travel Guides: Discover Canada

General travel advice

Best time to visit
It really depends on what you’re planning to do when you get there! In Winter, Canada becomes a ski resort, while in Summer the sunshine and warm weather thaw the country making it great for other outdoor adventures like climbing and mountain biking.

Canada has four main seasons throughout the year which offer changing landscapes, temperatures and activities. The weather varies across this country due to its large size. Temperatures below are averages for Toronto:

Jun to Sep
11° / 30°

Sep to Nov
11° / 20°

Nov to Mar
-3° / 5°

Mar to Jun
0° / 8°

Renting a car is one of the best ways to see Canada, but in the big cities you can find plenty of taxis, buses and trains. However, some buses and trains are commuter-focused and may not run late at night or on weekends. Another option for travelling between cities is the extensive network of domestic flights.

Key Facts

Dialing code +1

Visas - Nationals from some countries may need a visa prior to landing in Canada as tourists, while other countries' citizens may need only an ETA.

Language - English and French

Currency - Canadian Dollar

The drinking age in Canada is 18 or 19 depending on the region.

Tipping - Customary in Canada. In restaurants: 15% for average service and up to 25% for great service. 15% is okay for other services.

Drive on the right side of the road.

Electrical / Device: Electrical / device: 120V Type A or B plug. 

World records

  • Canadian inventor Catalin Alexandru Duru’s propeller-based hoverboard travelled a total distance of 275.9m in 2015.
  • The world’s largest street hockey tournament consisted of 5,360 teams and 35,970 players.


Allianz Global Assistance - National icons are the Maple leaf, Beavers and ‘Mounties’.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd. Photography Credits: Serjio74, Mariemily Photos, LesPalenik,

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Travel insurance does not cover everything. Please refer to the policy wording for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies and administered by Allianz Global Assistance. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd. Please note that remuneration may be payable to the distributor of this insurance. 

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