We have put together a list of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions that we receive about traveling in Canada and specifically Ottawa. If you do not find the answer to your questions please post a question to our community board and hopefully someone may be able to help you out. Have a question about Ottawa? Try asking on our Community Forum.
Choose from these Ottawa Travel Tips:
Whether you are resident or non-resident in Canada, it is worth familiarising yourself with the Canadian tax system and staying afloat of current legislation. Whether you are an individual filing a tax return or budding entrepreneur wanting to register a business, the Canada Revenue Agency (Revenue Canada) is the authority, providing comprehensive, up-to-date and accurate information.
GST and HST
On most goods or services sold or provided in Canada, the GST (the Goods Services Tax) will be added to your purchase. In New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia, the GST has been blended with the provincial sales tax and is called the HST. For the rates of each province, see GST/HST rates
In certain circumstances you may be eligible for a rebate on GST or HST paid. To see if this applies to you, go here: Are you eligible to file a general rebate application?
Fast Facts for 2012:
Federal income tax rates
- 15% on the first $42,707 of taxable income, +
- 22% on the next $42,707 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over
- $42,707 up to $85,414), +
- 26% on the next $46,992 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $85,414 up to $132,406), +
- 29% of taxable income over $132,406.
Provincial income tax rates
- 5.05% on the first $39,020 of taxable income, +
- 9.15% on the next $39,023 +
- 11.16% on the amount over $78,043
For all other concerns or queries regarding your taxes, go to the Revenue Canada website and use their handy navigation tools to find the information you need. Alternatively, you can call 1-800-267-6999.
Drinking and Driving
In Canada, it is a criminal offence to operate a motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft while impaired by alcohol or drugs. More than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood (.08%) is considered legally impaired. It is also a criminal offence to refuse to provide a breath or blood sample for testing when demanded by an officer.
Gasoline is sold by the litre in Canada. Four litres is approximately equivalent to one U.S. gallon.
Right Turn on Red
In Ontario, motorists may make a right turn while the light is red, after coming to a complete stop. However please not that right turns on red lights are NOT permitted in Quebec.
In both Ontario and Quebec law requires that everyone wears a seatbelt. Fines for not wearing them are very high in Canada. Small children must wear safety restraints and be seated in a car seat.
The speed limit is posted in kilometres. 100 km/h equals 60 miles per hour. In the city the speed limit is generally 50 km/h (30 mph) unless otherwise stated. In rural areas the speed limit is generally 80 km/h (50 mph) and on highways it is 100 km/h.
In both Ontario and Quebec, no-fault insurance is in effect. Either municipal or provincial police should be called. When staying in Ottawa, call 911.
Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) outlets are sales agents for wines and spirits of Ontario. Wine is also available at several individual wineries. Domestic beer may be purchased at The Beer Store. Both LCBO outlets and Beer Stores are open weekdays and Saturdays except for major holidays. Drinking hours are from 11am until 2am and the legal drinking age is 19 years. In Quebec, wines and liquors may be purchased in Societe des alcools du Quebec (SAQ) outlets. Beer and wine are available are also available at some grocery stores and convenience stores. Drinking hours are until 3am and the legal drinking age is 18 years.
Canadian postage must be used on all mail posted from any point in Canada. Check with the post office for current postal rates and classes of mail. Post office hours are 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Postal outlets are often located in pharmacies, retail stores, or shopping malls.
Financial Services and Banking Hours
Regular banking hours are Monday to Friday from 10am until 5pm (some branches until 8pm). Many banks are open Saturdays until 3pm, and closed Sundays and holidays. Most banks have 24-hour instant banking machines.
Travellers' cheques in Canadian dollars are the best way to carry currency. They are accepted everywhere. Major credit cards are also honoured in most business establishments.
The U.S. dollar has a favourable exchange rate in Canada. Most stores will give a good rate of exchange on the U.S. dollar. However, it is best to exchange any foreign currency to Canadian dollars upon arrival to Canada. This can be done at a bank or foreign exchange service.