Fire and rescue services
Exercise normal safety precautions in Canada.
Exercise normal safety precautions in Canada.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Ottawa and other Canadian cities experienced significant demonstrations in February 2022 against pandemic restrictions. Canadian authorities continue to monitor for further disruptions.
Avoid areas where protests occur due to the ongoing potential for unrest and violence:
The crime rate in Canada is similar to Australia.
Crime is more likely in larger cities.
Petty crime, like pickpocketing and bag-snatching, can happen at tourist spots, hotels, and 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:
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Canada's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre assesses the terrorism threat in Canada to be Medium, meaning that a violent act of terrorism could occur.
The principal terrorist threat in Canada is posed by individuals or groups inspired by violent and extremist ideologies - whether political, religious or ideological. In recent years, Canada has seen a small number of lone-actor violent incidents reportedly involving extremist ideologies.
Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners and places of worship.
To reduce your risk of being involved in a terrorist incident:
If there's an attack, leave the affected area as soon as it's safe to do so. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
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.
Avalanches can happen in mountainous regions, including Alberta and British Columbia. Always follow avalanche advice. It's unsafe to ski, snowboard or ride skidoos (snowmobiles) on closed trails.
You can get weather alerts at Weather Information - Environment Canada
If you plan to do a winter sport or activity:
Information, alerts and updates relating to natural disasters and significant severe weather events impacting Canada will be provided via the Australian High Commission and Smartraveller social media channels:
In the event of a natural disaster, our ability to provide consular assistance may be limited.
Prepare yourself by
Anticipate disruptions before, during and after a natural disaster(s).
Keep in contact with family and friends and let them know you're safe.
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.
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:
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:
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.
After a disaster
Travelling to areas affected by natural disasters and severe weather events can be dangerous.
If you plan to travel to a region after a natural disaster, check with your transport operator that services are operating.
Contact the place you intend to stay in and check other sources for details on local conditions.
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 thousands 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.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
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 medication 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:
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. Walk-in clinics are found in major cities. Many doctors won't take new patients.
Expect to pay up-front for medical services.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave Australia, and make sure it covers you for:
The Australian Government won't cover these costs, and Australia and Canada have no reciprocal healthcare agreement. This means that you aren't covered by Australian Medicare in Canada.
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.
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.
Check the local legal drinking age before buying or drinking alcohol. The legal age varies across the country.
Seek legal advice before entering into a surrogacy arrangement.
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
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
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 correct travel documents.
If you overstay your visa, you may be detained or arrested.
You may not be allowed into Canada if you have a criminal record, including a drink-driving conviction. 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.
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.
Check the latest entry, transit and exit requirements before you travel.
Travel to Australia
Contact your travel provider for the latest flight options to Australia. Ensure you meet third-country transit requirements before you depart Canada.
Travel via the United States
Contact the US Pre-clearance Office at the Canadian airport you're departing, to confirm that you'll be permitted to board your flight in Canada and transit through the United States.
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.
If you're entering Canada using your Australian passport, you must ensure you have a valid passport that does not expire within 6 months of your trip. Different rules may apply in countries that you plan to transit or visit on your way to Canada. Be sure to check the entry requirements of those countries.
Some countries and airlines don't follow this rule consistently. 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:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
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.
Various COVID-19 restrictions and public health prevention measures remain in place and vary by location.
To drive in Canada, you may need:
Get an IDP before you leave Australia.
You can drive for up to one year with an IDP and your Australian licence. After that, you'll need a local driver's licence. Requirements may vary in different provinces and states.
For details see Driving in Canada.
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:
You need a motorcycle licence to operate a motorcycle in Canada.
Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when using a motorbike, quad bike, ATV or similar vehicle, and always wear a helmet and 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.
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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