Going to Canada's Wonderland - suggestions and do I need a passport?

Friday, April 1, 2011 12:50 AM

The exchange rate isn`t huge but you`ll probably pay 1.06 for 1 can. dollar depending on where you exchange. Your visa usually gives you the best rate. It`s just that your dollar is less than ours for a change. Also more to the point everthing costs more in canada. It`s not crazy but when we go across the border we are always amazed how cheap stuff is. I`ll give you some examples... Gas is by the litre here, but right now it`s about 5 bucks a gallon. Smokes are 10 bucks a pack (not that I smoke) But if you do keep in mind. groceries are about 20% higher. Restraunts are slightly more... oh and get this, a 24 of beer... $35-42. But it`s wayyyy better, if you`re a beer person. Parks aren`t way more at least, neither are hotels. Weed is half price here too ;) just kidding

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Friday, April 1, 2011 1:18 AM

Remember also that the sales tax is around 15%, about double what it is here in the US. As a foreigner you can techncally have soe of it refunded to you but you have to leap through flaming hoops to do it.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, April 1, 2011 4:02 AM

CoasterDemon said:
And of course, being a spinning head coaster geek, I start looking how far Nova Scotia is (FAR!) and other places I haven't been. May have to play part of this trip by ear.

Nova Scotia is beautiful but that would be a hell of a drive. We usually do a trip in the summer to NS and Prince Edward Island and always fly into Halifax. It would be at least two solid 10 - 12 hour days of driving. Montreal is about a 6 hour drive from Toronto depending on traffic.

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Friday, April 1, 2011 9:04 AM

^^^ Re: restaurants costing more, does one typically leave a tip in Canadian restaurants? I've only been to Canada once in my adult life so I wasn't sure. If wait staff are paid normal wages there, I'm sure they love having American customers leaving 15-20% extra. :)

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Friday, April 1, 2011 10:07 AM

^yes at tips. Cost of living is also higher in Canada, so part time @ minimum wage sucks

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Friday, April 1, 2011 9:55 PM

DKNY6363 said:
The exchange rate isn`t huge but you`ll probably pay 1.06 for 1 can. dollar depending on where you exchange. Your visa usually gives you the best rate.


... oh and get this, a 24 of beer... $35-42. But it`s wayyyy better, if you`re a beer person. Parks aren`t way more at least, neither are hotels. Weed is half price here too ;) just kidding

Visa? As in my Visa Charge Card? All this is Greek to me :)

Won't be looking for beer, but rather some local *recovery* meetings, instead. Thank god I don't drink anymore (not because of the cost).

Now that I am going to have a Passport soon - I figure it's time to get out to my long sought after Mind Bender rides! I know - REAL far....

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Friday, April 1, 2011 11:03 PM

Gator and I will make it to that mall someday. Somehow.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011 2:05 AM

Yes to the tips... in fact they seem to expect more here than in the us. But yea 15% is a resonable amount. The easiest way to figure a tip is the tax rate here is 13%, amd course it shows up on the bill. Just leave the tax amount again as the tip, and thats cool.

What I meant about the visa is any purchases you make you can use a US credit card and it will convert it for you on your next bill, and it doesn't take a big percent for itself like your bank will. Of course you will want some cash but the more you use credit the better off you will be.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011 3:56 AM

Check with the bank on your ATM card too. Certain US banks have agreements with Canadian banks for free ATM usage. For example, if you have a Bank of America card you can use it in any Scotiabank ATM machine up here without any additional fees. Scotiabank is pretty much everywhere so that would come in handy. My sister was visiting from the US and usually does the BofA/Scotia thing and but went to an out of network bank up here and it ended up costing about $8 extra in fees for the transaction.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011 9:02 AM

Just remembered a VERY important tip. There is a toll hwy that travels east, and your gps may have you take it to wonderland. It`s called the 407. Do NOT take the 407! A trip that would normally cost you a buck or two in the US will cost you 15 or so on the 407. You don`t pay at the time so you may think you`re getting away with one. But a bill will come in the mail. If you have a gps just reprogram it after the border to avoid toll roads. It could save you some time... but normally it would only save you a few minutes, and is not worth the $$.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011 2:30 PM

Another tip: From my personal experience, make sure you have hotel reservations for your first night in Canada before crossing the border, especially if you are crossing at night. They don't seem to take too kindly to people "winging it" the way I like to do sometimes. It makes you suspicious. ;)

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Saturday, April 2, 2011 4:43 PM

^I have a Road Atlas as my GPS :) I'll make note about the 407, thanks :)

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