Every year, millions of foreigners flock to Canada as tourists and long-term, temporary residents. In 2011, Toronto alone welcomed 10 million visitors. This is unsurprising since there are plenty of cultural, historical, and tourist attractions to be seen in the country. Most foreign tourists arrive in Canada on a Tourist Visa is known as an electronic Travel Visa (ETA Canada), which permits stays of up to a maximum of six months. However, since 2011, parents and grandparents have been able to visit Canada on a Super Visa which allows for much longer stays than normal visas. Given the requirements involved in qualifying for this type of travel visa – the most difficult being the Super Visa insurance – parents and grandparents may as well take advantage of their longer stay to see more of Canada.
As is the case when visiting any country, foreigners will always fare better if they behave respectfully at all times. That being said, there are certain do’s and don’ts to follow when visiting Canada.
Be Curious, Not Rude
It is only natural that you will find some things odd that are considered normal in Canada. Public gathering places, expressions, food, habits, and customs will be different from yours. However, that does not give you the right to complain or make derogatory comments about the things that are different from what you are used to. For instance, Canadian bills are known for being very colorful. Yes, Canada’s currency may look like play money to some, but you should still refrain from making comments about it. It is still the national currency, and you will, of course, need to use it while you’re here. Besides, Canada’s currency reflects important events, people and symbols of the country’s history. Making fun of all these would be extremely rude.
It is fine to express fascination and curiosity about something you find strange and new. Canadians will not take offense to honest questions. Many may even be willing to show or tell you more about their culture.
Be Willing to Explore the Outdoors
Canadians are very proud of their country’s natural scenery. Despite being a wealthy, developed country with plenty of urban cities, Canada has managed to maintain the beauty, cleanliness, and natural state of places untouched by pollution and urbanization. As a tourist, you should explore these places and see them for yourself. Go for a hike or a road trip. It will also give you the opportunity to bond with the locals and learn more about their ways of living. Plus, just think how beautiful your photos and videos can be when you visit these places.
Explore Other Cities and Towns
Don’t just limit yourself to touring around the major cities. While the central business district in Toronto may be impressive, the beaches in Ontario, British Colombia, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island are also worth a visit. If you’re not a fan of the beach, you may want to visit the museums in Ottawa to soak up some Canadian Culture. You can also tour wineries in the Okanagan Valley, spend the night in Churchill, Manitoba and enjoy aurora borealis from November to March, or trek through national parks in the Rockies. If you’re planning to do some serious trekking, make sure you learn about the local terrain and wildlife beforehand so that you’re well prepared.