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Victoria's Finest Bed and Breakfasts

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Victoria and BC Canada travel information

Travel information for visitors to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada provided by the members of Victoria's Finest Bed and Breakfasts.

This includes
 - Canada customs,
 - Canadian holidays information.
 - Victoria weather
 - and other practical points for visitors.

Customs and Immigration Information

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:
Canada Customs
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Allow plenty of time to travel through border points.

Duty-free allowances.
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.

Time Zones.
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.

Canada travel information

  • The use of seat belts, child restraints and motorcycle and bicycle helmets are mandatory in B.C.
  • BC has strict drink driving laws.
  • Canada uses the Metric System of Weights and Measures.
  • Weather is given in degrees Celsius.
  • Gasoline (petrol) is sold by the litre
  • Grocery items are in grams and kilograms
  • Road speeds and distances are posted in kilometres. In BC you can turn right at a red light unless signed otherwise.
  • 120v/60c voltage electricity is used.
  • Click to view Victoria maps - also for Vancouver, Island and British Columbia

Canadian Public Holidays

Allow extra time for ferry travel and border crossings.
New Years Day - January 1
Good Friday - Friday before Easter
Easter Sunday - Sunday following the first full moon after Vernal Equinox (work that out!)
Easter Monday - Not an official holiday, but many places are closed
Victoria Day - third Monday in May
Canada Day - July 1
BC Day - first Monday in August
Labour Day - first Monday in September
Thanksgiving - second Monday in October
Remembrance Day - November 11
Christmas - December 25
Boxing Day - December 26

Victoria weather

Average daily maximum temperatures in Victoria:

C (Centigrade) or F  (Fahrenheit)
January 6.5 or 44
February 8.4 or 47
March 10.2 or 50
April 12.9 or 55
May 16.3 or 61
June 19.3 or 67
July 21.8 or 71
August 21.8 or 71
September 19.1 or 67
October 14.1 or 57
November 9.4 or 49
December 6.8 or 45

Here's a handy formula to convert Celcius (used in Canada) to Fahrenheit: multiply the Celcius by two, deduct 10%, add 32; eg 30C x 2 = 60 - 10% = 56 + 32 = 86F.

Victoria receives half the rainfall of Vancouver BC or Seattle! During the winter Victoria receives one or two minor snowfalls. Most of the rainfall is from November to April. Summers can be rain-free for weeks at a time and the temperature is pleasant yet not too hot enough to require air-conditioning. Mosquitoes are not troublesome here (rarely seen!).

Victoria BC travel information page


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