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Travel Tips

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There is a lot that can be forgotten or unknown when travelling. This section will give you some inside tips, facts and information about what to expect when travelling to Niagara. Everything from laws around alcohol and tobacco to currency and holidays is explained.  Being fully prepared for your vacation will let you relax and enjoy all that Niagara has to offer. Trust us, you don’t want to miss a thing.

Alcohol

The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19. Anyone 19 years of age or older may purchase alcohol from government liquor stores known as LCBO stores or The Beer Stores. These stores are open daily, including some holidays.

Drinking hours in licensed establishments are from 11am to 2am. It is an offence to consume alcohol anywhere other than in a residence or on licensed premises.

It is illegal to drive any motorized vehicle while impaired. This includes cars, trucks, All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) snowmobiles and boats. Charges may be laid under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Currency

The currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar. While in Niagara, many establishments will accept American money, it is recommended that visitors use Canadian funds, to ensure the best possible exchange rate. Currency exchange offices are located at most Ontario Travel Information Centres, Duty Free Shop locations, most hotels and around Niagara. They offer a good rate of exchange and are open daily.

Click here for an easy to use currency converter.

Driving Laws

Here are list of traffic guidelines that may differ from what you are use to.

Automobile Rentals

Locations for rental offices vary and are often scattered throughout our communities. For a list of the main car rental companies in Niagara, please click here. Minimum age for renters varies for each company but is usually between 21 and 25. A valid credit card is often required.

Driving Documents

A valid driver’s licence from any country is good in Canada for three months, but you may want to get an International Driver’s Licence before your trip, for extra identification. If you are driving to Niagara from the United States, bring your vehicle registration forms and a free Canadian Non-Resident Insurance Card from your insurance agent or the policy itself. If you are driving a borrowed car, please bring a letter of permission signed by the owner.

Right Turns on Red Lights

In Ontario, you can turn right at a red light unless otherwise indicated. You must come to a complete stop first and then proceed with caution when the way is clear.

Seatbelts

Ontario law requires everyone in the car to wear their seatbelts properly (comprises of the lap belt and the shoulder belt). Children weighing less than 18kg (40lbs) must be properly restrained with an appropriate child safety seat.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are posted in Kilometres per hour (km/h). Highways have a speed limit of 100 km/h (or 62 miles per hour), rural highways and country roads are 80 km/h (or 49 miles per hour) and intercity roads have a speed limit of 50 km/h (or 31 miles per hour). These limits are implied unless otherwise indicated.

Gambling in Ontario

Gambling laws in Ontario indicate you must be a minimum of 19 years of age to enter a casino. To purchase lottery tickets or Proline tickets you must be 18 years of age or older. Underage people cannot claim a prize.

Public Holidays

Here is a list of all the holidays in Ontario for 2014:

  • New Year’s Day- January 1
  • Family Day- February 20
  • Good Friday- April 6
  • Easter Monday- April 9
  • Victoria Day- May 21
  • Canada Day- July 1
  • Civic Holiday- August 6
  • Labour Day- September 3
  • Canadian Thanksgiving- October 8
  • Remembrance Day- November 11
  • Christmas Day- December 25
  • Boxing Day- December 26

Most banks, trust companies, credit unions, post offices and government offices are closed on these holidays.

Sales Tax

Ontario has a 13% HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) that combined and replaced the former PST (Provincial Sales Tax of 8%) and GST (Goods and Service Tax of 5%). This tax is applicable to most goods, purchased gifts, food/beverages and services in Ontario.

Click here for a list of what is and what is not taxable.

More Ontario travel information can be found at www.ontariotravel.net

 

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