Safety Tips in Canada

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Canada

  • Danger! High cell phone charges

    by surbon514 Written Jul 15, 2012

    Due in part to a relatively small market in a huge country, cellphone data and voice rates are astronomically high throughout Canada. Bringing your own phone with you from another country will cost you $1.50 a minute for voice calls and $10 MB of data if you're lucky!

    Note to American visitors: Don't forget, your 'unlimited plan' doesn't work at all in Canada. Verizon does have a Canada plan, but you must specifically ask for it or you will still be roaming at the highest rates in the world.

    The good news is, payphones are still found throughout Canada and there are many cheap phonecards depending on what country you want to call. Any convienience store (dépanneur in Québec) can help you pick one!

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo


    by davidjo Written Mar 29, 2012

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    While camping be careful of bears who are found in most parts of Canada. The common brown bear can be dangerous although some people approach them and give them apples, which is kind of stupid. The grizzly bear is deadly and shouldn't be approached. Camp grounds will have warning signs up, also tamper proof trash cans, but remember not to keep food in your tent as you might find a bear ripping the tent apart during the night. If you don't have your own car it is better to hang the food up a tree by using a rope.

    Related to:
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    • Backpacking
    • National/State Park

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  • mickeyboy07's Profile Photo

    Canadian Winter's

    by mickeyboy07 Written Jan 14, 2012

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    Winter in Canada can be very hard and cruel and extremelly cold.The Eastern provinces of Ontario and Quebec as well as the Prairy Provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba can see snow as early as October and sometimes it lasts well into the spring,with severe temperatures on the prairies reaching minus 20 and below.Thankfully British Colombia doesent get half as much snow as the rest of Canada due to the warm Pacific current.Never the less bad winters still do occur here as well.The scenery in the winter can be spectacular with snow covered mountains and trees.The photos below are a just a few that i took on the East coast of Vancouver Island during the winter of 1995-96.
    If you are travelling by car in the snow in rural areas be sure to be well prepared,even on short journeys,the weather can turn nasty within a few short minutes so always carry these important items.A shovel,Flashlight,Blanket,Mobile phone,water and if you can some food,you never know when you might need it.

    Snow at my Grans place,Duncan,B.C. Looking towards the mainland Me at the side of the highway Beautiful views Taken from the Malahat highway,Vancouver Island
    Related to:
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    by garyback Written Oct 4, 2010

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    For those considering traveling to Nunavut through a licensed tour operator or outfitter, I recently read a rather disturbing newspaper article in the Kivalliq News (August 25, 2010) involving a case where the Nunavut Government pulled the operating license of a long-term eco-tourism operator right on their opening day and without notice, and subsequently ruined the pre-paid holidays of nearly 40 people booked. I am scheduled for a tour to Nunavut in 2011, so this definitely caught my attention. From what I have been able to find out, this unprecedented maneuver appears to have been done without any solid basis or as result of any investigation. What's even worse, this may have forced the tour operator into insolvency, and the Government of Nunavut is apparently not intending to pay back the tourists whose holidays have been wrecked by their actions.

    Having traveled to the Canadian Arctic several times previously, I have noticed a definite distain by both the Governments and tourism departments towards eco-tourism development in both Nunavut and the NWT; and if this sort of thing can be done to one tour operator, it can also be done to another without notice as well…

    Seems it may be sort of like a police state in the Far North - eh?

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  • TTC (Toronto Transit Commision) subway

    by Lipstic Written Jul 25, 2010

    Caution should always be used when on public transit, however the subways are not dangerous as some other posters have stated. No mater what public area you happen to be in there is always the threat of someone mugging you or random homeless people talking to you. Its a fact of metropolitan cities.

    With that stated keep these safety tips in mind:

    Follow directions announced in stations and posted on signs.
    When entering stations look around, be aware of your surroundings and the people in the stations.
    Look for help buttons; in the stations they are usually highlighted with a blue light, on the train it self press the yellow strip.

    If you feel like someone is following you or you just feel uncomfortable with the people around you wait until the next stop and move to the next car.

    On the side of the train you will see a round light sticking out if this is on it indicates there is a driver in that car (usually 2 drivers per train).

    Don't rush the doors! You could get hurt and it annoys everyone!

    ESCALATORS: Stand RIGHT! Walk LEFT! Please don't make me move you! I'm not on vacation and can't take my time waiting for you to figure things out, you are welcome to take your time just be considerate of others. If you see someone walking up the escalator and you and your friends have rudely taken up both sides MOVE!(this doesn't apply to the single line escalators in union station)

    Be nice, help those with strollers, give your seats to those who may have a harder time standing than you.

    Hold on, if you're not used to riding on trains and subways hold on to the bars not the handles and brace yourself.

    Related to:
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    • Trains

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Annoying tourists

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 21, 2009

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    No danger, but a real annoyance. Though our Canada journey was great, one thing really put us off: The behaviour of foreign tourists in the national parks (less so the local visitors). There really are only a few rules on how to behave there, but even those are constantly ignored. A few examples:

    1. On the Mt. Edith Cavell meadows - hike three tourists (from the accent I`d say they were from Switzerland) were having a lunch in the mountain meadows. Now almost every 500 meters along the path big signs show that the alpine vegetation is fragile and easily destroyed and hikers must stay on the path at all times. The signs also reminds all hikers - with photographs - that because of visitors strolling off the path, much plants had been destroyed in recent years, so that the park authorities had to lots of path-rebuilding and re-planting. For those who can`t read English, icons show that it is forbidden to step on the meadows. When we saw them sitting there, we said in no uncertain terms that they should get off the meadows very quickly, as the meadows are a no-go-area, and explained why. They did not. We asked them why they chose to ignore the park rules, they said they didn`t know about them and nobody told them (simply ridiculous, there were signs and icons everywhere). Mistaking us for Canadians, they even complained about Canadians not being very friendly. These people should never-ever be allowed to enter a national park again. I will report this incident to the park authorities, too, knowing that they probably can`t do much about it.

    2. Dogs are to be held on the leash at all times in National Park, and there are some areas where dogs are completely forbidden (like Caribou recovery zones or areas where bears with cubs are known to live). We saw lots of people walking their dogs off-leash and sometimes ignoring the no-dog-zones, too. I simply don`t get it. Why can`t they walk their doggies in their residential areas ? Even a leashed dog will scare away wildlife.

    3. Tourists smoking (!) in National Park areas, woods etc.

    4. Tourists ignoring the warnings not to cross the security barriere at Columbia Icefields glacier, instead walking on the Glacier, sometimes with their kids.

    5. Tourists stopping their cars abruptly on the driving lane once they see a wild animal. Tourists getting out of their car and approaching or even feeding wild animals to get a better photo shot.

    A lot of tourists behave as if they own the National Parks and behave real stupid or reckless. As I see it, there are only two solutions: First, the park authorities should send staff on the most popular hiking trails on a regular basis to fine tourists who violate park rules on the spot and maybe even deny them further entry into the national park. Second, every responsible tourists should instantly critisize the behaviour of those who don`t follow park rules and not just ignore them.

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  • bocmaxima's Profile Photo

    Because, yeah, it's a foreign country

    by bocmaxima Written Mar 30, 2009

    As an American, you often don't think about the fact that Canada is a different country. I mean, sure they use the metric system, have different money and some pretty wacky accents, but it looks and feels very, very similar to the US.
    A few things that surprised me, in that I just didn't think about them, when coming into Canada:
    - Cell phones: If your cell phone works, you're likely going to have to pay an excessive roaming charge for use of it in Canada. It doesn't matter who you call, it's the fact that you're on the Canadian networks. My provider charges $0.70/minute. If I pay an extra $3 per month though, that goes down to $0.20/minute.
    - Debit cards: I was worried about paying fees at ATMs but determined that I could use my debit card and get cash back at supermarkets, like I usually do. Nope. For whatever reason, this does not work, and your debit card is seen as a credit card. It'll run it, but you can't get cash off of it.
    - Money across the borders: If you end up with some extra Canadian cash, keep in mind that money changers generally won't take coins, and Canadians have a lot of coins. I found that a lot of places on the US side will also take paper CA$ and give you change in US$. Also, a $1 coin in Canada is a "loony." Yeah...

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    The Canadian hooded villain

    by MichaelFalk1969 Written Sep 11, 2008

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    Canada has many scenic yellow traffic signs that warn you of moose, elk, big-horn-sheep and other wildlife crossing, but this sign has to be the most hilarious of all. On many public parking lots, this warning says that valuables in cars should be kept out of sight of potential thiefs, but the cartoonlike figure of the hooded, "Zorro"-like villain breaking and entering the car wins the price for weirdest traffic sign in my humble opinion.

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Bedwells Falls Hike - Strathcona National Park

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Sep 11, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This hike (trailhead at the end of Buttle Lake) which is often recommended can only be reached by a 5 km gravel road. In most guide-books, it says "four wheel-drive suggested", so you could get the wrong impression that this road is manageable with a normal vehicle. It is not. The way is steep, dotted with deep potholes and sharp stones, and without a suitable vehicle you run a great risk of breaking your axle or getting a flat tyre. We gave up halfway, because we feared our car would break down in the middle of the wilderness. We didn`t see too many other vehicles along the way, so it would take some time to get help in case you need it. Better try this road only if you trust your vehicle or if you have a 4WD-car.

    Related to:
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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Downtown Eastside Vancouver

    by MichaelFalk1969 Written Sep 9, 2008

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    Do not go there - rather take a taxi or a bus if you want to go from Gastown to Chinatown and vice versa. Several other readers already commented on this ill-reputed neighbourhood, so I`ll keep it short. The distance between Gastown and Chinatown is only a few blocks, but those are full with seedy characters, street bums, drug addicts and prostitutes. Even in daylight the Downtown Eastside is considered unsafe. Apart from this area, Vancouver felt pretty safe to me.

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Wildlife Jams

    by MichaelFalk1969 Written Sep 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wildlife is often spotted along the road, especially elk, deer, and big-horn sheep. Lots of drivers instantly stop on the highway when they see wildlife or drive abruptly on the side lane without indicating. This can be quite dangerous, so always keep enough distance to the car before you, indicate when driving onto the side lane, be careful when when re-entering traffic, and keep distance to the animals.

    Many ignore the rule that one should not leave the car and approach the animals for a better photo. This should not be done - animals, especially bears or elk deer, can be very dangerous. Even if animals are not likely to react agressive, people leaving their cars scare the animals away while people sitting in cars are usually ignored.

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  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    Using US dollars in Canada

    by Carmanah Updated Jun 28, 2008

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    A lot of tourist-friendly businesses choose to accept American currency as a courtesy to American tourists, but US dollars are legally a foreign currency in Canada, not a secondary currency. What this means is that businesses that choose to accept US dollars choose their own exchange rate, and they will only give back change in Canadian dollars, as it's what they're legally able to do. Infrastructure in Canada - vending machines, laundry machines, pay phones, public transit ticket machines, parking meters - basically anything where you insert coins/bills... will only accept Canadian dollars/coins.

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  • mikehorne's Profile Photo

    BEARS in the rockies

    by mikehorne Written Jul 20, 2007

    wewere told of a story at Lake louise :

    to keep the parks in the mountains clean there are large bins with fold over tops, one day a woman was throwing some rubbish in one of the bins when she open the lid she had the shock of staring into the brown eyes of a Black bear? she lived, the next one was not so lucky...!, driving from Lake louise north towards the Ice Fields Parkway the road is a wide single carrigeway with forrest bordering the roads, one spring (when the bears are most hungry as they have just come out of hibernation) a bear was spotted between the road and the forrest, a european tourist (female) made the fatal mistake of getting out of her car and walking over to the bear, when the bear retreated to the forrest the woman followed, a couple of minutes later blood curdeling screemes were heard from the forrest as onlookers raced to her calls and chased the bear off, they pulled her to safety and rushed her to hospital but she died of her injuries before she arrived at hoispital, a couple of days later a park ranger recovered her camera, on the film was 12 shots of the bear getting closer, the last shot was of a bloodied limb......! B E W A R E

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  • sweetgurl6973's Profile Photo

    Toronto, Subways

    by sweetgurl6973 Written May 28, 2007

    Women, please be careful on the subways at nite. If you are travelling alone or with another girl friend, keep an eye out. I normally feel safe in Toronto but when I have been on the subway at nite, I have run into problems with homeless or mentally ill people.

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  • u4me2byte's Profile Photo


    by u4me2byte Updated Dec 29, 2006

    Ok if your driving into Manitoba.
    Beware!! If you have any kind of record like a DUI they will not let you into the province.
    That happened to me on 12/27/2006. We visited my son in North Dakota. We wanted to check out Canada well we could not get in cause I had an arrest record from over 15 years ago and the wife had a DUI. They told us we could not enter because we were felons. Soo if you would like to check out Manitoba Be aware if you have a record you will not be allowed in!!!
    Be safe and have fun!!

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    • Family Travel

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