Fire and rescue services
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
The crime rate in Canada is similar to Australia.
Crime is more likely in larger cities.
Petty crime like pickpocketing can happen at tourist spots and hotels and on public transport.
Theft from unattended cars is common in larger cities.
As in Australia, credit card scams and fraud can happen.
To protect yourself from petty crime:
Canada has experienced isolated terror attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Bears and other dangerous wildlife live in forested areas.
To protect yourself if you plan to travel through these areas:
Winter sports can be dangerous, even fatal. Injuries are common.
Some mountainous areas of Alberta and British Columbia experience avalanches. It's unsafe to ski, snowboard and ride skidoos (snow mobiles) on closed trails.
If you plan to do a winter sport or activity:
To protect yourself in case of a natural disaster:
Temperatures in summer (June to August) can reach more than 30°C. Humidity can make the temperature feel 10 to 15°C higher. These conditions can generate severe storms and tornadoes, especially across the provinces of:
Tornadoes occur between April and September in many areas, including:
Temperatures in winter (December to February) of -20 to -30°C, with a wind-chill factor 10 to 15°C lower, are common in some areas. Heavy snowfalls, rain, ice and severe cold create dangerous outdoor conditions.
Hurricanes occur in the Atlantic provinces from June to November. The direction and strength of hurricanes can change suddenly.
If there's a hurricane or severe storm:
Severe weather may also affect access to ports.
To protect yourself if a hurricane is approaching:
Forest fires are common, particularly in warmer months from May to August.
To stay safe in fire season:
British Columbia is in an earthquake zone. Earthquakes have also happened in Quebec and Ontario.
Destructive tsunamis are rare but could happen if there's an earthquake in the Pacific Ocean.
If you're near the coast, move to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can if you:
Don't wait for official warnings.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Canada. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Contact Health Canada for rules that may apply to medications you wish to take or that may be detectable in your body.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Health risks in Canada are similar to those in Australia.
The standard of health facilities in Canada is similar to Australia.
You might not be able to access public health care unless you're a resident of a Canadian province. There's no reciprocal health care agreement between Australia and Canada.
Walk-in clinics are found in major cities. Many doctors won't take new patients.
Expect to pay up-front for medical services.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Check the local legal drinking age before buying or drinking alcohol. The legal age varies across the country.
The recreational use of marijuana (cannabis) is legal in Canada, subject to local restrictions.
Make sure you know the local cannabis laws about:
It's illegal to transport marijuana across Canada's international borders.
If you break the law, you can receive criminal penalties, including jail time.
Seek legal advice before entering into a surrogacy arrangement.
If you're arrested in Canada, you have the right to ask for access to the nearest Australian embassy or consulate.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Canada recognises dual nationality.
If you're a Canadian dual national, you must:
Dual nationals aren't eligible for an electronic travel authorisation (eTA).
Even if you're a dual national, you may not get free health care in Canada. See Health
Australian passport holders must apply for an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) before travelling to Canada by air.
If you arrive by car, bus, train, or boat you don’t need an ETA or a visitor visa, but you do need to bring the right travel documents.
If you overstay your visa, you may be detained or arrested.
If you have a criminal record, including a drink-driving conviction, you may not be allowed into Canada. Check Government of Canada for details.
Entry and exit conditions can change. Contact a Canadian embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
If you're travelling through the US, you must meet US entry and transit requirements. Check with an embassy or consulate of the United States.
Your child should carry a consent letter from non-travelling parents or guardians if they're travelling:
CBSA may question the child or accompanying adult about their status.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD).
You can change Australian dollars at commercial banks and exchange bureaus.
Declare all amounts over $C10,000. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted.
To drive in Canada, you'll need both:
Get an IDP before you leave Australia.
You can drive for up to 1 year with an IDP and your Australian licence. After that, you'll need a local driver's licence.
Heavy snowfalls, freezing rain and icy conditions make driving dangerous in winter. Car accidents happen more frequently in these conditions.
If you plan to drive in Canada:
Traffic laws can differ between provinces, but across Canada:
Your travel insurance policy may not cover you when riding a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet. Make sure your passenger does too.
Taxis are a safe mode of transport.
Ride sharing options are widely available.
Use the same safety precautions you would in Australia.
Many international cruise liners visit Canada.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Canada's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
The Arctic is vast and remote.
Access to search and rescue, evacuation and medical facilities may be limited. It can take several days for emergency help to arrive, especially in bad weather.
For your safety, before you book travel by ship:
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular help, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate.
Contact the Australian High Commission in Ottawa if you're in:
Australian High Commission, Ottawa
Suite 1301, 50 O'Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6L2 CANADA
Phone: (+1 613) 236 0841
Fax: (+1 613) 786 7621
Facebook: Australia in Canada
Contact the Australian Consulate-General in Toronto if you're in the Greater Toronto Area (the south-western corner of Ontario below Kingston).
Australian Consulate General, Toronto
Suite 1100, South Tower
175 Bloor Street East
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3R8 CANADA
Phone: (+1 416) 323 4280
Fax: (+1 416) 323 4295
Contact the Australian Consulate, Vancouver if you're in:
Australian Consulate, Vancouver
Suite 2050, 1075 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 3C9 CANADA
Phone: (+1 604) 694 6160
Fax: (+1 604) 684 1856
If you need other consular help:
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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