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Currency Information

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If you're travelling to Canada, it's helpful to know a little about the money that you'll be using when you're there.


  • All of Canada uses the Canadian Dollar.
  • Most places, especially those near the Canada / U.S. border, will also accept U.S. dollars, but exchange rates may vary or be unfavourable.
  • Bills are commonly available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar. The $1 and $2 bills have been replaced with coins (the loonie and the twoonie....see image below).
  • Canadian bills are brightly coloured, making them easy to distinguish from one another. All American bills, on the other hand, are green. (Along with better beer, the fact that we have introduced colour to our money is a point of cultural pride for Canadians.) Check the current Canadian rate of exchange.
  • Canadian coins are available in 1¢(Penny), 5¢(Nickel), 10¢(Dime), 25¢(Quarter), 50¢ (not common), $1(Loonie) and $2(Twoonie) denominations.


Canadian coin denominations


  • Currency can exchanged at banks, currency exchanges and in some cases, your hotel.
  • Canadian banks in Whistler include: the Royal Bank, the TD (Toronto Dominion)Bank, Scotia Bank, CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) (ATM ONLY), North Shore Credit Union.


  • Interac / Debit / Bank card purchases are available at most restaurants, hotels and retail outlets and at any bank or ATM machine, you can withdraw Canadian funds from a foreign currency account.
  • Major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, are widely accepted.

Sales Tax

  • Visitors to Canada may give their restaurant or shopping receipts a double take if unfamiliar with the Canadian tax rate for goods and services. For example, in Vancouver, a $100Cdn shopping spree becomes $112Cdn after tax.
  • The good news is that visitors may apply to get a refund on the taxes they have paid while in Canada. Learn how to get your visitor tax refund.
  • The tax that consumers pay for goods and services (except those considered exempt) varies across Canada. The minimum amount that visitors will pay is 7% and the most is 15%.
  • In British Columbia, the tax applied is referred to as the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) at 12%. For every one dollar, .12¢ is added.


  • Tipping works much as it does in the U.S.
  • A 15% - 20% gratuity is standard at most restaurants. Tip based on service.
  • Taxi drivers, baggage porters, valet drivers, and salon employees, such as hair stylists, also appreciate tips.

Some Typical Canadian Prices

  • Large Coffee: $2
  • Specialty Coffee: $4 - $5
  • Glass of wine at bar / restaurant: $5 - $9+
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