Why is parking expensive in Canada?

Canada / Practical Tips

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  • Entry and exit
  • flight
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  • accommodation
  • Money matters
  • health
  • preparation
  • Behavioral advice

  • General country information


    The capital of Canada is Ottawa.


    The German embassy is located in Ottawa and can be reached as follows:
    Address: Ottawa 1 Waverley Street, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0T8
    Phone: +1 613 232 11 01
    Fax: +1 613 594 93 30
    Postal address: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, P.O. Box 379, Postal Station "A", Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8V4, Canada

    There are other German consulates in the following cities:
    Montreal (+1 514 931 22 77)
    Toronto (+1 416 925 28 13)
    Vancouver (+1 604 684 83 77)
    Calgary (+1 403 265 62 66)
    Edmonton (+1 780 434 04 30)
    Halifax (+1 902 420 15 99)
    St. John's (+1 709 739 97 27)
    Winnipeg (+1 204 957 44 80)

    Consulate of Switzerland:
    Consulate General Vancouver
    Consulate General of Switzerland
    World Trade Center
    790-999 Canada Place
    Vancouver, BC, V6C 3E1
    Phone: +1 604 684 2231

    Emergency call

    The national emergency number is 911.
    Emergency calls are free from payphones. In a few exceptions, the emergency service can be reached via 0 (operator). This is always a helpful point of contact. In emergencies during your stay, you should immediately contact the nearest German agency, whose address can be found on the website www.embassiesabroad.com. The local Canadian police are also happy to help.


    Canada and Alaska are as safe (or unsafe) as Central Europe is used to. In the big cities and in many Indian reservations, a higher crime rate is recorded than in the rural regions.

    Climate and travel time

    A trip to Canada is already possible in May, but depending on the region you still have to expect snow and in some places the sidewalks are still quite folded up. In June the weather can be quite summery or at least spring-like. You are in front of the largest flow of tourists and usually have no contact with the possible effects of forest fires. The latter occur sometimes more, sometimes less strongly in the summer months of July and August. These months are considered the main travel season and so you will meet some tourists, especially at the main sights. September is still a very nice month to travel, but it can get a bit fresher in proportion. Snowfall can occur again, especially when traveling through the Rocky Mountains. In eastern Canada, however, you can also marvel at the autumn colors of the so-called Indian Summer from mid-September to mid-October.

    The mosquitoes are usually most present in June. In time, along with summer, all kinds of mosquitoes wake up. There are fewer and fewer over July and August. In September they are largely calm. Basically, of course, their presence also depends heavily on the weather, in particular on the previous rain and the environment.

    On Newfoundland it is sometimes still quite cold from June to July, but you can see a lot of icebergs and some whales because they arrive at this time. The first mosquitoes are already waking up. Between July and August you can see a lot of whales and only a few icebergs, but the number of mosquitoes is also increasing. In September it is slowly getting colder again, so that the mosquitoes are withdrawing, the trees are slowly becoming colorful, the icebergs have almost all melted, and the whales are returning home to the south.
    Via the website IcebergFinder.com you can check in real time where icebergs are currently to be found and view photos of icebergs that other travelers have uploaded in the current year.

    Time zone

    With the exception of Saskatchewan, Canada changes to daylight saving time on the last Sunday in April and normal time on the last Saturday in October. Since the changeover does not completely match the European changeover in terms of data, the following information deviates by one hour for short weeks in spring and autumn.

    Canada has a total of six different time zones:
    Pacific Time (PST) in British Columbia and Yukon (- 9 hours),
    Mountain Time (MST) in Alberta, Northwest Territories and West Saskatchewan (-8 hours),
    Central Time (CST) in Manitoba, Eastern Saskatchewan and Western Ontario (- 7 hours),
    Eastern Time (EST) in Central and Western Ontario and Quebec (- 6 hours),
    Atlantic Time (AST) in Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (- 5 hours)
    and Newfoundland Time (NST) in Newfoundland (-4:30 hours).

    You can also get a good overview on the website www.zeit Zonen.de

    Cost of living

    The Federal Statistical Office of Canada publishes current information and figures, broken down by region (www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/start). The additional costs in Canada are estimated to be 10-20% higher than in Germany.

    electricity and water

    Alternating current (110-120 volts, 60 Hertz) comes from the grid. Devices from Germany must be switchable. You also need an adapter for the flat plug common in North America, which is available in Germany in every electrical outlet.

    mass and weight

    In Canada, as in Europe, the metric system applies.

    Costs on site

    Gasoline costs, if necessary costs for rental cars (see rental car conditions, e.g. one-way rental, permits, child seats etc.), if applicable, fees for border crossings, if applicable, food costs, costs for self-booked excursions on site, private expenses (e.g. costs for souvenirs, medicines, etc.) ), Tips, if applicable entrance fees, if applicable visa fees, if applicable parking fees, if applicable transport costs (e.g. taxi, bus, train, ferry)

    Entry and exit

    Travel documents and formalities

    For all citizens of countries without a visa requirement, an online-based travel permit must be obtained in good time before the start of the journey for all departures (does not apply to arrivals by car or ship). The "eTA" called travel authorization (Electronic Travel Authorization) must be applied for by every traveler - including children - from a country without a visa requirement at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp, who enter Canada want to or stay in the transit area (change trains).
    The cost is 7 CAD per person. The "eTA" is valid for 5 years. Please make sure that you book the eTA via http://www.cic.gc.ca. There are numerous Visa providers that are significantly more expensive!

    Note: In the confirmation of the ETA, the validity of the entry permit is listed and not the validity of the passport. If the passport is valid for less than 5 years, the entry permit ends one day before the passport expires.

    Please note that incorrect or incomplete information when registering for the eTA will lead to exclusion from promotion. We recommend that you only use the official link provided by the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) for registration.

    A valid passport, an email address and a credit card are required to pay the fee. Please note that the online form for applying for the eTA travel permit is currently only available in English or French.
    A translation into German can be found at the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/eta/german.pdf

    You need a valid passport (this must be valid for the duration of your stay in Canada), you should have sufficient funds for your stay in the country, and your return to your home country must be secured (return ticket or similar). Individuals under the age of 18 traveling alone or with one parent must have a copy of their birth certificate and a certified letter from one or both parents or legal representatives (in English or French) confirming that they are allowed to travel to Canada and where they are will be in Canada (address). Children up to the age of 16 can either be entered in the family pass or travel with their own child ID. From the age of 10, this ID must be provided with a photo. Young people over 16 years of age need a German passport.

    Who is excluded from the eTA system?
    Visitors entering Canada by sea or land.
    Citizen of the United States of America.
    Temporary or permanent residents of Canada who have a valid Canadian visa.

    Check eTA status

    The confirmation of your visa application does not have to be carried with you, as the eTA is electronically linked to the passport.

    For flight routings via the USA, it is essential to note:
    If your flight takes you through an airport in the USA, you must also apply for an electronic entry permit for the USA! Even if you just change trains!

    Entry permit for the USA
    All travelers from countries participating in the "Visa Waiver" program (including Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands) must use the internet for a fee-based electronic Apply for an entry permit.
    This is called the "Electronic System for Travel Authorization" (ESTA for short).
    Please apply for the ESTA as early as possible, but at least 72 hours before departure, on the following website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov
    A German version is available. However, the answers must be in English.

    Further information is available on the websites of the Federal Foreign Office: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de and the German US Embassy: http://www.germany.info/embassy

    The cost of the ESTA is currently USD 14.00 per person and can only be paid by credit card when you submit your application. Please make sure that the amount has really been debited from your credit card account, otherwise the ESTA may be invalid and entry will be refused!
    On entry, digital fingerprints will be taken and a digital photo will be created.
    Entry by land from Canada or Mexico is also possible as part of the “Visa Waiver” program.

    Important innovations since February 18, 2016
    German citizens who have been in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen or Somalia since March 1st, 2011, regardless of the reason (including study trips, for example), or who have dual citizenship with one of these countries, are eligible for a visa Waiver Program (ESTA) are excluded with immediate effect and must apply for a tourist visa in advance at the American embassy or consulate to enter the USA.
    ESTA entry permits that have already been issued for this group of people are invalid!
    Unfortunately, the process of obtaining a visa is time-consuming. You can find detailed information on this on the following website: http://ustraveldocs.com/de
    An appointment has to be made online with the responsible consulate and the essential documents have to be filled out; payment is also processed there. Every applicant must visit the consulate personally at the agreed time.


    Domestic flight

    On domestic flights usually NO baggage allowance is included if the domestic flight ticket is booked independently of the intercontinental flight! For this, a fee must be paid at the airport or during online check-in according to the principle of low-cost airlines in Germany. Baggage fees usually have to be paid by credit card and vary depending on the duration of the flight and the airline. Therefore, whenever possible, Umfulana books the domestic flights together with the intercontinental flights in a single ticket.


    (International driving licence

    All Canadian provinces have signed an agreement with Germany to recognize the German national car driver's license. The German driver's license can be used for tourist or visiting stays in Canada for up to three months, in the province of British Columbia even up to six months. As a precaution, it is recommended that you also have an international driver's license with you. Important: the international driving license is only valid in connection with the EU credit card driving license.

    Visitors who stay in Canada for more than six months must exchange their driver's license in Canada for a Canadian driver's license, whereby the German driver's license is retained by the Canadian authority for the duration of the stay.

    Conduct in traffic

    The general traffic regulations in Canada are largely the same as in Europe. It is driven on the right. The traffic signs are easy to understand. Distances and speed limits are displayed in metrics. In many provinces it is mandatory to turn on the vehicle's headlights during the day, especially just before sunset and immediately after sunrise. Seat belts are compulsory in Canada. Adults are responsible for ensuring that children under the age of 16 are properly buckled up. Turning right at red lights is allowed, except in some parts of Québec.

    Speed ​​limit

    In general, the speed is limited to 100 km / h on motorways and 50 km / h in built-up areas.


    While parking outside of big cities is usually uncomplicated, you have to pay particular attention to the parking rules, especially in large cities. Please pay attention to the street signs at each point anew, as the rules can be very different depending on the province, city and street. Often permits are required in order to be able to park on the street overnight, for example. Where necessary and possible for us, we reserve parking spaces for you in advance.

    Should parking on the street become relevant, please observe the traffic regulations. Here are some of these important rules that should be observed everywhere in Canada:
    Please do not park within three meters of a hydrant. Parking in disabled parking spaces is also punishable by high fines. Parking is also prohibited on or within 100 meters of a bridge. Parking near (six meters) entrances that are open to the public (entrances to hotels, theaters or public buildings) is also not permitted. Parking in front of crossings is not permitted within a radius of nine meters and a distance of 15 meters must be observed in front of traffic lights, as well as in front of level crossings.

    Since the rules can differ depending on the province, city and street, it is generally advisable to find out about the local and current rules on the Internet or from the hosts.


    Due to the lower gasoline tax, gasoline is significantly cheaper than in Germany. Current gasoline prices can be found at www.benzinpreis.de. The petrol must be paid for at the cashier or directly at the petrol pump before the tank is filled.
    Please never start your daily stages with an almost empty tank, but fill up again in the respective towns / cities. Depending on the route, it may happen that there is no refueling facility for a longer distance.

    Petrol stations with price information can be found at: www.gasbuddy.com


    There are two toll routes in Canada. The Coquihalla Highway between Hope (east of Vancouver) and Merritt and between Merritt and Kamloops (total length 195 kilometers) and Highway 407, which leads north of Toronto 40 kilometers from east to west. You need a credit card to pay here.


    Information about the current traffic situation and possible disabilities can be found here:
    Alberta (www.511.alberta.ca), British Columbia (www.drivebc.ca)

    Navigation devices

    The best option is usually a navigation system. Often one can be borrowed with a rental car; a good alternative is to download software for your smartphone. "HERE Maps" offers a free service. A search is not possible offline, but you can already query the geodata via WLAN in the hotel and save it as a favorite. HERE Maps navigation isn't very detailed. TomTom or Navigon offer more detailed directions for an annual fee. If you already have a navigation system, you can download the relevant maps in advance.


    Check in

    The hosts usually expect you to arrive in the afternoon (from 4 p.m. unless a different check-in time is specified in your records). If you plan to arrive after dark, please let your hosts know.


    The Gaspesie Peninsula has a French touch through and through and this is also reflected in the size of the beds. Queen beds (140x200) are usually the standard size.


    In some regions and cities, it is very difficult and / or expensive for hosts to obtain licenses for the use of the kitchen in the guest business. This applies to your own use of the kitchen, for example.for breakfast preparation, as well as for the provision of the kitchen to the guests.
    That is why we also offer accommodation without meals, which may be shown in your documents. In some cases a refrigerator and / or microwave is available, and in other cases a kitchen is available for cooking. Some accommodations cannot offer any of these variants. As a rule, however, there are opportunities for shopping and dining in the nearby towns.


    It is not common practice everywhere in Canada for rooms to be cleaned daily during your stay. Sometimes the beds are made or the towels changed, but sometimes the rooms are only entered upon express request in order to protect the privacy of the guests. If you would like a cleaning service, please clarify this with your hosts. On the other hand, it is also welcomed in many houses or is even compulsory to take off your street shoes at the house entrance. It is therefore advisable to pack a pair of slippers.

    Money matters


    Many banks have ATMs where you can withdraw money around the clock using an EC card (only cards with Maestro symbols!). This works with all ATMs that are marked with the Maestro symbol. In Canada there is often "cirrus" above it. Deutsche Bank customers can withdraw money free of charge at any of the Scotiabank branches.

    Means of payment

    Cash is less important in payment transactions than in Europe. You can pay for this almost everywhere with a credit card. The major credit cards (Eurocard and Visa) are accepted practically everywhere (in restaurants, shops, supermarkets, accommodation, at petrol stations, etc.). Travelers checks are accepted by hotels, banks, stores, and gas stations. Eurochecks are not accepted. Amounts of money with an equivalent value of up to CAD 10,000 may be imported duty-free. Larger amounts must be registered with the Canada Border Services Agency.


    Health insurance

    Medical care in Canada is generally considered exemplary. However, the daily rates for a hospital stay are significantly higher than those in Germany, and for foreign guests there is often a surcharge on the invoice amount. We therefore strongly recommend that you take out travel health insurance for Canada. Visitors who are dependent on the use of a specific medication should bring a copy of their prescription with them so that a Canadian doctor can prescribe the correct medication in an emergency. It is recommended that you carry a doctor's confirmation of the composition and urgency of the drugs with you when you import drugs. The letter should be in English or French.


    No vaccinations are required to enter Canada.


    Mosquitos are abundant in Canadian forests from June to September, but unlike their tropical relatives, they do not transmit diseases. A good mosquito spray should therefore urgently in your luggage!

    The number of mosquitoes depends primarily on the abundance of water (precipitation and snowmelt) in spring and summer. And the area you are in. The remedies available in North America are expected to be more effective than common in Europe. However, it can make sense to test these agents (e.g. "OFF-DEEP WOODS") for their skin tolerance before frequent use, as they can sometimes cause skin irritation due to the high concentration of active ingredients. Normally, however, you will get by in the southern and central regions of British Columbia and Alberta without a special insect repellent. A note for anyone traveling to the mountains in autumn: after the first frost, you will usually get rid of the insects.

    Drinking water

    Tap water can be consumed almost anywhere. If not, this is usually indicated by a sign such as "non potable" or "no drinking". In the wild, it is not advisable to enjoy the water. You can never be sure what quality it actually is. On trekking tours, the water has to be boiled or treated with special tablets, such as those available in any outdoor shop or drugstore.



    Clothing is informal and casual on almost all occasions. The wilderness is never far away in all of Canada, so you are always well equipped with jeans and hiking boots. In summer you can also get by with lighter clothing. A light jacket or sweater is recommended for cooler evenings, also because of the mosquitoes. In the mountains and on the coast it can always be cool and windy. Rain is also always possible, so a rain jacket is indispensable. Those who travel between October and April need warm winter clothing. Never forget sunscreen! In the larger cities, you can also wear a jacket or evening dress in the theater or in some more elegant restaurants. But you don't have to.

    In Canada, it is customary to take off your street shoes at the entrance to an accommodation / apartment and exchange them for slippers. Therefore these belong in your luggage!


    The National Park Concept of Canada (Parcs Canada) pursues two goals: to ensure the protection of nature and historically significant sites from commercial exploitation and to preserve a recreational and leisure landscape for the population. There are 43 national parks and over 100 historical sites to manage. The visit to the national parks is therefore chargeable. You can buy a day pass (single or group ticket) at the entrance of the respective national park or, depending on how many days you want to spend in the national park, the Parcs Canada Discovery Pass is worthwhile for a stay of 7 days or more. This is valid for one year and applies to all National Parks and National Historic Sites operated by Parks Canada. Attach the Park Pass to the inside of the windshield so that it is clearly visible or hang it on the inside mirror. The current prices, conditions and advance reservations can be found at: www.commandesparcs-parksorders.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/parksb2c/discovery-pass (Google entry: Discovery Pass Canada)

    In Canada it is customary to take off your street shoes at the entrance of an accommodation / apartment and exchange them for slippers (if possible with soft soles or thick stockings, no Birkenstock shoes or similar). Therefore, these belong in your luggage.

    To phone

    The prefix for Canada is 001.
    If you want to call home from Canada, the area code for Europe is 011, for Germany it is 01149.

    If you want to use your mobile phone in Canada, it is best to find out about the possibilities and conditions from your provider (T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2, etc.) before leaving. There is also a GMS network in Canada, but this network operates throughout North America on the frequency range around 1,900 MHz. Therefore, you either need a special mobile phone or a tri-band device that supports both the European standards of 900 and 1,800 MHz and the North American standard of 1,900 MHz.

    Telephone calls from hotel rooms are relatively expensive, as the hotel charges a surcharge for the mediation. In order to get the transfer, one dials the 0 and is connected to an operator who connects or provides further assistance.

    It is cheaper to make calls with a pre-paid calling card that is available in all gift shops in Canada and is available from CAD 10. This means that you can make calls from private lines without incurring costs for the owner. You simply dial the free number of the calling card provider and enter your scratched pin number.

    Make calls on Skype
    Another inexpensive telephony option is Skype. You can not only make calls from Skype to Skype via Skype, but you can also purchase credit with which it is possible to call German landline or mobile phones at low cost. Since all B & Bs and hotels usually have either a LAN or Wifi (in Canada also free of charge in every Visitor’s center) connection, this is also a viable option.

    Behavioral advice

    Alcohol and cigarettes

    Canada is a non-smoking friendly country. Smoking is strictly prohibited in public buildings. These include offices, shops, public transport or airports. Most restaurants have separate areas for smokers, but some are completely smoke-free. This also applies to all accommodations. Smoking is usually only permitted outdoors. If you want to smoke, you should ask your hosts where the best place is.


    In Canada, it is customary to tip for services rendered. Some restaurants include a so-called "service charge" on the bill. The tip is therefore already included in the consumption price. However, service fees are usually not included on bills. About 15-20% is common. Taxi drivers get around 15% of the fare and usually CAD 1 is reasonable to carry one piece of luggage.