Canada uses the Canadian dollar as currency. The $1 coin is known as a ‘loonie’ as it has the image of a loon bird, and the $2 coin is colloquially referred to as a ‘toonie’.
If you plan on using your Australian credit cards or bankcards in Canada, don’t forget to alert your bank before you go for security purposes to avoid your card being cancelled for unknown overseas transactions, and to check what international withdrawal fees might apply to your cards.
You can easily access your own cash overseas by using the Key To The World travel money card, which is available through Escape Travel and allows you to pre-load funds onto the card in your desired currency. The card holds up to 10 different currencies, including Canadian dollars, and can be used like a credit card for goods and services, or to withdraw cash from an ATM just like your regular debit card. When loading funds onto the card you set the exchange rate, so you don’t need to worry if the exchange rates vary while you’re away.
ATMs are easily accessible and found all over Canada; especially outside banks, on main streets, in shopping centres and at petrol stations and transport hubs. Be aware that when withdrawing money from overseas ATMs, international withdrawal fees are charged, and can be very expensive. Ask your bank for information on their international withdrawal fees before your trip.
It’s a good idea to carry a mixture of money options when you travel to Canada, including cash for small items and tips. You can pre-purchase Canadian dollars from Travel Money Oz before travelling to avoid paying international transfer fees and commissions.
Similar to the USA, Canada also has an established system of tipping, especially in restaurants and bars. To avoid a social faux pas, as a guide, tip your wait staff 15 to 20 per cent of the total bill, 15 per cent for taxi drivers, and $1 per bag for hotel porters.