Vancouver: Useful Information

A multicultural metropolis with snowcapped crags, city-hugging beaches and waterfront forests

Vancouver Useful Information

- Most Vancouver establishments accept US dollars and Japanese yen, and usually offer reasonable exchange rates.

- Canadian dollar coins are know as ‘Loonies’, supposedly because they feature the Loon bird. A two dollar coin is a ‘Toonie’


- There are three types of tax affecting visitors to Vancouver: a 10% tax charged on accommodation and alcohol, a 7% provincial sales tax (PST) charged on almost all other goods and services plus the 5% federal goods and services tax (GST).

- There is an official Tourism Vancouver visitor information centre in the middle of Vancouver at the Plaza Level, Waterfront Centre, 200 Burrard Street. There are also information outlets at Vancouver International Airport and the Peace Arch border crossing. A seasonal infocentre operates at the cruise ship terminal at Canada Place.


- Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone. Daylight savings time is in effect from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.

- Vancouver will be hosting the Winter Olympic Games in February 2010.


- In an emergency, call 911 for police, ambulance or fire brigade.

- UK citizens don’t need a visa to enter Canada, only a valid passport, which entitles them to stay for up to six months.


- Mains water is safe and clean to drink.

- You need to be 19 or over to drink alcohol in Vancouver. Photo I.D is required in order to purchase alcohol or to enter nightclubs serving alcohol.


- Tipping is customary in Vancouver. In bars and restaurants it is expected that you will tip between 15% and 20%