Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada. While French and English are the two official languages of Canada, in Vancouver, English is the primary business and common language.
All persons entering Canada must fill out a declaration for Canada Customs. Each visitor over the age of 19 may import, duty free, a maximum of 40 ounces (1.1 litres) of liquor or wine, or 288 ounces (8.5 litres) of beer or ale, up to 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes and 8 ounces (200 grams) of tobacco.
For entry requirements regarding travel visas for Canada, contact Immigration Canada at 1-888-242-2100 (in Canada) or visit their website at www.cic.gc.ca. For travellers outside Canada, please contact the nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or consulate in your region.
Outlets and voltage (110 volts) are the same as in the United States. The frequency of electrical current in Canada is 60 Hz. For visitors from other countries, an adaptor may be required for electrical appliances.
Feel free to tip in proportion to your satisfaction with the service. Tips are seldom added to bills, and you will be informed if they are included as part of your tour package. Vancouver restaurants occasionally add a service charge, in which case there is no need for an additional tip, unless the service is exceptional.
The following rates serve only as a guideline:
- 15% on meals
- $2 for each piece of luggage carried by a porter
- $3 per day for chambermaids if you stay beyond two or three days
5% GST is applicable for most transactions, while an additional 7% PST is levied on accommodation and souvenirs as well as 10% PST for alcoholic beverages.
For guest accommodation, there is a Destination Marketing Fee (DMF) of 1.3% of the room rate and Municipal & Regional District Tax (MRDT) of 2% of the room rate plus the DMF.
Certain travel services, such as public transit fares, BC Ferries fares, basic groceries and international travel by air, rail, bus or ship originating from British Columbia are tax-exempt.
Vancouver enjoys one of the most temperate climates in Canada, with above-average rainfall, a mild winter and a warm, pleasant summer.
Ambulance, Fire and Police: 911