Useful Info (Visa Information)

Visa Information

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an eTA, for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa. Entry requirements for other methods of travel (land, sea) have not changed.

As of March 15, 2016, it is mandatory for all travelers to apply for an eTA before they can board a flight to Canada. Find out more about Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Visitors to Canada require a valid passport and may require a visitor’s visa. For information on visa requirements and exemptions please check with the nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

To check online – go to: and click “Visit” from the menu.

Attendees from the USA may check entry/exit requirements to Canada outlined in the U.S. Department of State Consular Information website. Proof of citizenship must be provided.

Banks and Currency

Banks and branches typically operate Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm, although most provide access to 24-hour ATMS.

Canada’s currency is the Canadian dollar, and common bank notes available are in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. ATMS typically dispense $20 bills. For denominations under $5, coins are utilized. As there is no $0.01 coin, totals and change are rounded up or down to the nearest $0.05. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted; American Express is accepted at most major retailers, but not all. Currency exchanges are available in the airport, at kiosks within the city and at local banks.


In Canada, the standard frequency is 60 Hz and voltage is 120V, so many European devices may require a converter. Any electrical devices from outside North America will also require a plug adapter. Power plugs in Canada are standard to North American plugs (plug and socket type A and B).

Emergency Phone Numbers

The telephone number for emergency services (police, fire or ambulance) in Canada is 911.


Canada is a constitutional monarchy and operates as a parliamentary democracy.  Each province in Canada has its own separate provincial government; the government of Ontario is based in Toronto, with authority over the province’s education, healthcare, justice system and more.


No vaccinations are required or recommended for entry to Canada.

The nearest hospital to the G-I-N Conference venue is St. Michael’s Hospital, located at 30 Bond Street (apprx. 20 minute walk) which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For minor injuries, walk-in clinics in the downtown core are generally open from 7:30am to 6pm. 

The closest pharmacy is Rexall, located at 88 Queens Quay West (apprx. 6 minute walk) is open 7 days a week until 7pm.

Local Time

During the G-I-N Conference, Toronto will observe Eastern Standard Time (EDT), which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)


In Toronto, it is against the law to smoke within 9 metres of the entrance or exit of any public building. Smoking indoors is prohibited, including in conference venues, hotel rooms, pubs or restaurants.


A Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 13% is applied to most purchases of taxable supplies of goods and services in the Province of Ontario. The HST consists of a 5% federal portion and an 8% retail sales tax portion.


Service workers in Ontario often receive less than the standard minimum wage and rely on tips to supplement their income. A 15-20% tip on the pre-tax bill is a standard expression of appreciation when dining out in the city. Large groups may be charged gratuity automatically.

Tips are also expected for other services, including haircuts, shoe-shines and taxi rides.


Toronto’s weather in October is cool yet comfortable. Daily highs are typically around 15 degrees Celsius, while lows are around 8 degrees Celsius. Precipitation is typically minimal during this time of year, although there may be rainfall. Snow will only be experienced at this time of year in the northern parts of the country.

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