Getting Around

By Plane

Getting around Canada is as easy as hearing 'eh before you even get out of the airport. Cities and towns across Canada are linked by Air Canada and its affiliates, as well as by other carriers such as Westjet. Low fares are available, you just have to fly no frills, darling.

Main Airports:

Toronto Lester B. Pearson (YYZ): 18 miles from city

Ottawa Intl (YOW): 11 miles from city

Montréal Trudeau (YUL): 14 miles from city

Halifax (YHZ): 26 miles from city

Calgary (YYC): 11 miles from city

Edmonton (YEG): 19 miles from city

Vancouver (YVR): 9 miles from city

St. John's (YYT): 5 miles from city

Winnipeg (YWG): 4 miles from city

All Airports offer bus and taxi transport to city centre.

By Train

If you want to travel and see Canada the way it was meant to been see, then hop a train. The Canadian, operated by VIA Rail, is one of the most memorable ways to see the country. It runs between Toronto and Vancouver in three days. Other VIA Rail services link communities across the country. You can also opt for a two-day, all-daylight trip aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, travelling between Vancouver and Jasper, Banff or Calgary.

By Bus

Perhaps not so glamorous, but economical and comfortable, you can travel across Canada by bus thanks to a network of intercity bus routes that spans the entire country.

By Car

Want a bit more freedom to veer off the beaten path? Whether you rent or drive your own vehicle, Canada's vast network of well-maintained roads and highways will take you anywhere you want to go. A car trip is an ideal way to experience the country's landscape, people and culture on your own terms and at your own speed.

If you're visiting from the US, your American driver's license is valid in Canada. If you are visiting from outside the United States, you must apply for an International Driving Permit from the Automobile Association in your country of origin. This will allow you to drive in Canada and rent a car here.

The minimum rental age for a car is generally 25, 0r 21 with a major credit card. Always check with the rental company prior to travel.

Traffic rules to be Aware of:

  • Seat belts are compulsory.
  • In the province of Quebec, road signs are written solely in French.
  • Canadians drive on the right of the road.
  • Some major streets in several of Canada's larger cities contain lanes known as "Diamond Lanes". Their uses vary from place to place, however, they are generally reserved for local buses and sometimes taxis and/or bicycles. These lanes will nearly always be the right lane, and other vehicles are not allowed to travel in them. However, they may use them to turn at the next intersection. There will usually be a sign indicating which vehicles are allowed to the Diamond lanes and when, but if there is no sign it is generally best to stay out of the lane as fines for misuse can be hefty.
  • Canadians use the metric system for measurements (hence speed is quoted in kilometres per hour, and distances in kilometres).
  • In many areas of Canada (with the exception of Montreal) it is legal to turn right (after stopping) on a red light, so be careful when crossing the street on foot.
  • Many secondary (less busy) intersections that are four (or three) way stops have no traffic lights, but have stop signs instead. You must bring your car to a complete stop and let everyone that stopped before you go first. If two cars arrive at the intersection at the same time, the car to the right has precedence.
  • In Canada, you must always yield to a police car, fire truck, or ambulance when their emergency lights are flashing - if they are approaching from behind, you must pull to the right and stop. In many jurisdictions, motorists are also required to slow down and move into a non-adjacent lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle.
  • It is illegal to park in front of a fire hydrant.
  • Beware: In British Columbia, a (slow) flashing green light means the traffic light is green (you can go) but it is controlled by the pedestrian. The light will remain flashing green until a pedestrian pushes the button to cross the street. When you see a flashing green light, traffic coming towards you will also see a flashing green light. In Ontario, Québec and Nova Scotia, a (fast) flashing green light indicates advanced turn, signaling the driver can make a left hand turn across oncoming traffic because oncoming traffic has a red light.
  • At crosswalks and corners, the pedestrian has the right of way.
  • Some provinces have drink-drive limits of 0.05%. The national Criminal Code limit is 0.08% - a foreign national exceeding this can expect to be deported.
  • During winter, a flashing blue light usually identifies a snow removal vehicle (e.g. snowplough) and drivers should stay far back when following. Snow removal vehicals in the four western provinces use amber, orange, or red lights. While it is legal to pass one of these vehicles, it may be safer to stay behind and travel on the cleared road.
  • In certain provinces of the country, the fines for using a mobile handset while driving can be very steep. Using them while stopped is prohibited as well.

For people with disabilities, many accommodations, most attractions and transportation systems within Canada are accessible.

Still have questions? Visit the Canadian Tourism Commission for more information on traveling to Canada.