Tips for Travelling in Ontario

From weather to currency, here are a few helpful tips and things to keep in mind when travelling in Ontario.


Credit cards are accepted by most businesses, but it’s a good idea to carry some Canadian cash. ATMs, located in banks and retail areas, dispense Canadian currency. A bank or currency exchange outlet can change your funds to Canadian dollars. Banks are generally open Monday to Friday, with some open on weekends. Use the Bank of Canada’s currency converter to view daily exchange rates.

Familiarize yourself with the security features of Canadian banknotes, by visiting the Bank of Canada's website.

Ontario has a 13% HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) applicable to most goods, purchased gifts, food/beverages, and services. 8% of the HST is the provincial portion and 5% is the federal portion.

A tip of 15-20% at bars and restaurants is customary. Tips are also given to tour guides, taxi drivers, and for spa treatments and haircuts. Porters at airports, railway stations, and hotels generally expect $1-2 per item of luggage.

Units of Measurements

Canada uses the metric system for measuring distance, length, temperature, volume and weight, with units including kilometre, metre, liter and gram.  


Ontario's climate is considered continental, with temperatures ranging from humid in the south, with chilly winters and warm summers, to sub-Arctic in the north. Due to Ontario's size, temperatures may vary tremendously from region to region. Temperatures are officially measured in degrees Celsius (C). 
On average, the coldest month of the year is January and the warmest is July. In summer, temperatures can soar above 30 C (86 F), while in winter they can drop to below -13 C (9 F), and often colder in the north.

Weather Reports

Visit the Weather Network or Environment Canada for current Ontario weather update and local forecasts.

The Great Lakes Marine Forecast includes marine forecasts (temperatures, wind speeds, wave heights, visibility) along with weather warnings for various regions in Ontario (May - October).

Ski and Snow Reports

Snow reports and ski/snowboard conditions for major ski resorts in Ontario are available through Ski Ontario from December through to March.

Public Holidays 

Following is a list of public holidays in Ontario:

  • New Year's Day, January 1 
  • Family Day, 3rd Monday in February 
  • Good Friday, 2 days prior to Easter Sunday 
  • Easter Sunday, 1st Sunday after the Paschal full moon 
  • Victoria Day, May 20, last Monday preceding May 25 
  • Canada Day, July 1 
  • Civic Holiday, 1st Monday in August 
  • Labour Day, September 2 
  • Canadian Thanksgiving, 2nd Monday in October 
  • Remembrance Day, November 11 
  • Christmas Day, December 25 
  • Boxing Day, December 26

Most banks and post offices close on these holidays; be sure to check ahead.

Bringing Pets into Ontario 

All animals are subject to veterinary inspection on arrival in Canada, and information about this procedure is available through Canada Food Inspection Agency. If evidence or suspicion of disease is found, the animals may be refused entry.

Dogs and domestic cats entering Canada from the United States will need certification, signed by a licensed veterinarian, that they have been vaccinated against rabies during the preceding 36-month period. This also applies to visitors wishing to bring a dog or domestic cat into Canada from a country other than the United States.

Currently Ontario has a ban on the import of pit bull terrier breeds into the province.

Last updated: April 13, 2022

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