If this is your first time in Canada you are in for a treat. Described by the New York Times as the #1 destination in 2017, it is a treasure trove of landscapes, stunning scenery, wide open spaces, and the friendliest people you can imagine.
Like any country it has rules and regulations, so take a few minutes and get acquainted with the most important stuff that will keep you carefree and enjoying our wonderful country.
- Your passport must have at least 6 months to run after your return flight.
- Visas are not required for British citizens.
- Medical or dental treatment can be expensive, so ensure that you have arranged adequate travel insurance.
- You must have a current driving licence for renting a car – it’s recommended that you obtain an International Driving Permit prior to arrival, but it is not essential. (Check requirements with your car rental company)
On the Road
- Speed limits, unless otherwise posted – dual carriageways and motorways (100kmh or 62mph), on a two-lane highway (80kmh or 50mph) and in towns (50kmh or 30mph). Be very cautious in school zones and small towns, where posted speeds may be very slow.
- On-the-spot speeding fines are levied at the road side – fines are often posted on billboards on the highways and even minor roads.
- If you use the 407 ETR (Electronic Toll Route), a quicker route if you are heading east of Toronto, expect to be billed by your car rental company a month or so after you get home (as well as the toll fee an additional £3.50 per use is the norm as rental agencies charge a hefty admin fee).
- If a school bus is stopped with its lights flashing, traffic in both directions must stop to allow children to cross the road in front of the bus, unless the road is dual carriageway with a central reservation (median).
- A 4-way or All-way junction often encountered in urban and rural areas, is where all vehicles must stop at the junction and the first to arrive at the junction is the first to move off – you need to be aware of your position in the queue so you don’t miss your turn. Although the concept is very simple, be careful.
- It is an offence to use any motorised vehicle (including boats and snowmobiles) whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Traffic must give way to buses and coaches merging from the right.
- Unless indicated to the contrary, you can turn right on a red light. You must give way to traffic approaching from the left.
- Although you’d never believe it by looking around, eating, drinking and using a cell phone other than ’hands-free’ all qualify as ‘driving while distracted’ and will incur a hefty fine.
- New from Jan 1, 2016 – At a pedestrian crossover (indicated by a black X on a yellow background above the crossover or on either side of the crossover) or any school crossing where a crossing guard with a stop sign is present, vehicles are to remain stationary until all pedestrians have reached the other side.
Out and About
- It is an offence in Ontario to consume alcohol in a public place such as a park or public beach. No alcohol can be carried or consumed on any vessel that does not have permanent sleeping accommodation and toilet facilities. These regulations are strictly enforced particularly on the larger lakes where you may be stopped by the marine police patrol.
- It is also an offence to carry opened cases of beer or part-bottles of wine or spirits in your car – even in the boot (trunk)!
- No fires are to be lit outdoors if there are fire restrictions in place – the fine is hefty ($1,000 and up) for doing so. Your cottage guide will have instructions on how to check the current fire risk status.
- Visitors to Canada who wish to fish must first obtain a licence. Information on where to get a fishing licence is in the cottage guide.
- The law requires one approved life jacket or PFD (Personal Floatation Device) per person to be on board any boat together with a bailer, waterproof flashlight (torch), whistle and throwing line. Boating without these safety items on board can result in a hefty fine.
At the Cottage
- Cottage septic systems are designed to cope with human waste and toilet tissue only. Sanitary products, nappies and Q-tips WILL cause a blockage.
- Recycling garbage is mandatory in Canada. Follow the instructions in your cottage guide for disposal of garbage.
- Long-distance call charges that occur during your stay will be recovered from your security deposit. Use of credit or calling cards is encouraged.
- If there is Wifi at your cottage there may be usage limits and going over them is costly. Check the Wifi access limits before you book.
- Please follow any ‘rules of the cottage’ closely, as they are there to ensure you have a problem free and enjoyable stay.