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Taxes, tipping & money Tips (6)

U.S. Currency Is Widely Accepted

I read online that most businesses in Vancouver, no longer want to accept U.S. currency, well, this is not true. I went to convenient stores, clothing stores, department stores, markets, restaurants, fast foods, museums, and NO WHERE did I have trouble paying with U.S. currency. This was a life saver for me, because I had no idea where to exchange my currency, so I was stuck with American Dollars.
I have no idea how accepted they are, the further you get from the border, but I didn't have any problem paying with them in Vancouver. And every time I paid with U.S. currency, they would always give me my change, in Canadian currency, so I ended up having a few on hand. The exchange rate is almost equal, so it's much easier to just pay with U.S. dollars, than looking for a place to exchange them.

briantravelman's Profile Photo
Jul 16, 2014

Vistor Rebate Program

All visitors may claim a refund of the goods and services tax (GST) and/or, the harmonized sales tax (HST) which they paid on eligible goods, must provide proof that they exported their goods from Canada. This is referred to as Proof of Export.

Proof of Export began at Canada's nine major international airports. Non-resident visitors departing from one of these airports, must have their goods available for inspection and their original receipts validated by a Canada Customs official as they leave Canada.

sunnywong's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2011

Using US dollars in Vancouver

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.

Carmanah's Profile Photo
Jun 30, 2008

Debit and Credit Cards

Major credit cards (especially Visa and Mastercard) are accepted at most vendors in Canada. I recommend using a credit card for any purchase over $10 as you will usually get a favorable exchange rate from your own bank.

Debit cards, however, work differently in Canada than in the States. If you aren't Canadian yours probably won't work or will at least confuse the cashier. Even if your debit card has a Mastercard or Visa logo the cashier may attempt to use the debit system with your card and fail.

To get by without confusion, just use your regular credit card or cash.

Dec 28, 2006
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Tip your Waiter please!

Ok as a frustrated waitress at times I would like to talk about tipping in Vancouver.. In Canada it is customary to add usually at least 10-15% from your bill to tip your waiter. If they have done an extraordinary job, I reccomend 20%. In the restaurant I worked in we had to tip out kitchen staff etc out of our sales.. so in otherwords if we made little or no money in tips.. we still had to tip out on the sale! So basically it is possible that we would lose money for serving a table that didnt tip well.. So please be kind, tip your waiter/waitress!! :)

krista_l_08's Profile Photo
Nov 14, 2006

Restaurant tipping

I only just realized that in other places in the world, people don't tip their waiter/waitress in a restaurant.

To do that in Vancouver would be scandalous! It would be considered very very rude not to tip at a restaurant (buffet is a little different, since you serve yourself). The only case in which you normally wouldn't tip would be if you got atrocious service and were offended.

10% is standard, up to 20% if it's really good service!

ct-bound's Profile Photo
Apr 02, 2004

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Things To Do in Vancouver

Things to do

South Granville Rise

South Granville (also called "South Granville Rise") is an upscale shopping district south of downtown Vancouver. The heart of South Granville's commercial area spans along Granville Street between...
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Things to do

VanDusen Botanical Gardens

Vancouver's wet climate produces some of the most lush gardens in North America. Because of the climate and the mild temperatures, Vancouver's gardens are vibrant and green year round. This is unlike...
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Things to do

Bloedel Conservatory

The Bloedel Conservatory is a small round building located in Queen Elizabeth Park. I had read another Mother's review of it online and figured it would be a great place to spend an afternoon with our...
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Things to do

Queen Elizabeth Park

The Bloedel Conservatory is located in Queen Elizabeth Park at the top of Little Mountain. It is a large dome overlooking the city and the mountains. Inside this dome is a large temperature controlled...
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Things to do

Totem Poles

Located in the northeast area of Stanley Park, the First Nations artwork area is most famous for its totem poles. However, there are also several other pieces of artwork here. This includes a Story...
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Things to do

Granville Island

Enjoyed all of the restaurants & shops. This was a real foodie paradise with markets, gourmet shops and all sorts of items cooking. We took a water taxi to Granville and the trolley back to our hotel.
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Getting to Vancouver


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