Please note that this is only our understanding of these requirements. Do check the relevant authorities for current information.
All foreign visitors entering Canada must show a valid passport or an alternative legal travel document. Some may require visas to enter the country. You are required to know what documentation you need to cross the border (a driver's license is not sufficient to prove citizenship) and what items can not be taken across the border (such as certain plants and fruits). It is suggested that you bring your birth certificate too. Citizens from other countries may need additional documentation and should check with Immigration Canada in Ottawa or their local consulate. Passports are necessary for anyone entering the USA including returning US citizens.
For Customs or Immigration questions prior to arriving at the border:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Allow plenty of time to travel through border points.
When entering Canada travellers may bring duty-free gifts up to Cdn$60. See the Canada Customs link above for further import information.
When re-entering USA visitors may take back duty-free goods up to US$200, excluding alcohol and tobacco, if your stay has been less than 48 hours. For longer stays the personal exemption is US$800 including one litre of alcohol and 200 cigarettes.
Money and taxes.
Most banks are open Monday to Saturday, except downtown where ATM machines are best. Convert your currency. Most businesses accept Visa, Mastercard, Canadian cash. A few accept American Express. The use of travellers cheques is rare.
Sales taxes. 7% PST (Provincial Sales Tax) and 5% GST (federal Goods and Services Tax) apply to most purchases in British Columbia.
BC is on Pacific Daylight Time from the first Sunday in April to the first Sunday in October, the same as Seattle and Los Angeles. The clocks are advanced 1 hour from Pacific Standard Time.