Quick Facts

Get up to speed about the region

Vancouver is Canada’s most vibrant city on the edge of nature. Nestled between the Coast Mountain Range and Pacific Ocean, it is a destination where visitors can ski in the morning and sail in the afternoon. 

Vancouver has been named the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Visas

Citizens of all countries EXCEPT the following require a visa to visit Canada:

  • Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas
  • Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, British citizens (at home and abroad), Brunei
  • Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia 
  • Finland, France
  • Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR
  • Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy
  • Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg
  • Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway
  • Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Republic of Korea
  • St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland
  • United States, Western Samoa

View visa requirements from the Canada Immigration website


Currency

The Canadian Dollar (CAD) is the currency for Canada. 

Money and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks and moneychangers. Major credit cards and direct deposit from bank cards (Interac) are accepted at almost all retail outlets.

Many retailers also accept traveller’s cheques, but it is best to enquire whether the retailer will accept specific traveller’s cheques before you make a purchase.

Here are the most recent exchange rates for some common currencies.

CAD 1.00 equals:

Exchange Rates Currency
0.93 US Dollar (USD)

Taxes

There are three levels of taxation that affect visitors to Vancouver.

There is a 10% tax charged on accommodation and liquor.

For the majority of other goods and services, there is a 7% provincial sales tax (PST) plus the 5% federal goods and services tax (GST). 

There are a number of exemptions and complexities to the way those taxes are applied, particularly where food is involved. PST, for instance, is not applied to food and children's clothing.

Visitors will also be taxed an additional 1.5% on hotel accommodations for a Destination Marketing Fee (DMF). This means a total of 16.5% on overnight accommodations.


Tipping

Tipping is common practice in North America.

The tip should be proportionate with the quality of service received at any restaurant or hotel. Visitors are advised that the standard tip in most restaurants is 15%.

Some properties and resort hotels include tips or gratuities with tour groups to simplify bookkeeping (check with your tour guide).

This will usually include gratuities for housekeeping, bell service and food service. If meals are included in the price, the customary gratuity will be calculated at 15%.


Business Hours

Bank Hours
9am - 5pm, Monday through Friday
10am - 3pm, Saturday
ATMs are available 24 hours.

Office Hours
8.30am - 4.30pm, Monday through Friday (Government)
9am - 5pm, Monday through Friday (Commercial)
9am - 2pm, Saturday (Commercial)

Shop Hours
9 / 10am - 8 / 10pm, Monday through Saturday.
11am - 7pm, Sunday
It is best to check the hours of a particular store or location in advance.


Public Health

Individual travellers are advised to obtain their own personal health, luggage or other travel insurance as desired.

However, regardless of financial status or healthcare coverage, British Columbia hospitals will not refuse treatment to those who require it. A fee will be charged depending on the service given.


Dress

Vancouver enjoys mild weather year-round. Summer months require shorts or light pants and short-sleeve shirt. Evenings may be cooler. Light pants and long-sleeve shirt or light sweater are suitable for autumn.

Winters are mild and wet. Dress to stay dry – you'll need warm clothes, a raincoat and an umbrella. Waterproof footwear is always a good idea.

Spring requires light clothing with a sweater for the evenings.


Weather

Vancouver has three distinct weather seasons.

The autumn and spring are generally mild with temperatures ranging from 13ºC / 55.4ºF to 21ºC / 69.8ºF. Evenings will cool down significantly.

Summers are generally warm with light breezes and temperatures ranging from 23ºC / 73.4ºF to 35ºC / 95ºF.

Winters are generally mild and bring more rain than snow. Temperatures range from 7ºC / 44.6ºF to 12ºC / 53.6ºF.

Today

Sunny

Sunshine and nice

High: 24°C / 75°F
Low: 13°C / 55°F

Tomorrow

Sunny

Sunny and pleasant

High: 24°C / 75°F
Low: 13°C / 55°F
Thursday:
Sunny High: 24°C / 75°F Low: 15°C / 59°F
Friday:
Sunny High: 24°C / 75°F Low: 15°C / 59°F
Local Climate
Month High Low
Jan 6ºC 1ºC
Feb 8ºC 1ºC
Mar 9ºC 1ºC
Apr 12ºC 4ºC
May 16ºC 8ºC
Jun 19ºC 11ºC
Jul 22ºC 12ºC
Aug 22ºC 13ºC
Sep 18ºC 10ºC
Oct 13ºC 6ºC
Nov 9ºC 3ºC
Dec 6ºC 1ºC
Facts

Population
2 million

Language
English and French

Time Zone
GMT - 8 hours

Measures
Metric System

Voltage
110 volts

Plug Type
 

Mobile Phones
CDMA 450 – 800 Kbps GSM / GPRS – 2.5G 3G