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Canada

Capitale: Ottawa
Type of governement: Constitutional monarchy
Head of state: The Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Governor general Michaelle Jean.
Land area: 9 976 137 Km2 (2nd biggest country in the world after Russia).
Population: 32 805 000 inhabitants
Languages: English and French
Geographical make up: Canada is divided into 10 provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador et 3 territories (Northwest territories, Nunavut and Yukon).

Climate: temperate continental climate with distinct seasons, see the temperature averages as below :

Month/ City

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Montréal

-10

-7

-2

6

13

19

22

21

15

10

2

-5

Quebec

-12

-10

-4

3

11

16

20

19

13

7

0

-8

Ottawa

-5

-3

0

7

13

19

22

21

17

12

4

-2

Calgary

-10

-9

-4

3

10

13

17

15

10

5

-2

-12

Vancouver

3

4

6

10

12

16

18

17

15

10

6

4

 

Time zones: from –4h and –8h (GMT)

Currency: Canadian Dollar (1 euro= 1.40 $ CAD depending to the fluctuations).

Travelling season:
The high tourist season lasts from May to October. However, many people enjoy visiting Canada also on winter to enjoy the outdoor activities such as skiing, snow-biking, snowshoe hiking etc….

Public holidays:
January 1st: New Year’s day
March/April: Good Friday and Easter Monday
Monday preceding May 25th: Victoria Day
June 24th: St Jean – Quebec National Day
July 1st: Canada Day
1st Monday of September: Labour day
2nd Monday of October: Thanksgiving
Monday 11th: Remembrance Day
December 25th: Christmas
December 26th: boxing Day

Tips: In Canada it is highly recommended to give 1$ CAD/person to the guides of city tours, 3 $ CAD/person/day to the tour Leader and driver.
In the restaurants, in accordance with custom, you are strongly encourage to give tip equivalent to 15-20% of the bill before taxes.

Clothes to bring:
-Winter: big lined boots, gloves, scarves, hat and hot coats.
-Spring & fall: woollen clothes, anoraks and raincoats.
-Summer: light clothes and preferably in cotton, jacket or sweater for the evenings.
For the hiking in the National parks, make sure to have good shoes.

Circulation into the country:

Care hire: it is possible to hire cars to discover Canada even if the distances are vast.

Bus: an economic and practical way to travel, the companies Greyhound or Orléans Express serve the most of the Canadian cities.

Train: even if the railroad network is not that developed in Canada, it remains a good way to discover the landscapes from another point of view. The legendary train, the Canadian, will enable you to travel from the East to the West of Canada or the Rocky Mountaineer which makes the crossing in the heart of the picturesque view of the Rockies.

Health: no compulsory vaccination.

Electricity: 110 volts with American plugs. Make sure to have an adapter for flat plugs.

Opening hours: the offices and the stores are generally open from 9-10am to 5-6 pm during the week days (exept on thursdays and Friday evening, closing at 9 pm). Please note that the shops are also open on sundays. The supermarkets and groceries are open late in the evening in the big cities.

Shopping: the maple syrup, local beer, Ice wine and Ice cider, Indian handcraft. Please note that the prices in the shops, restaurants and other retailers are shown exclusive of taxes. You must add between 10% and 14% of taxes depending each province.

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