Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lifestyle Canada

Time difference

There are six time zones on Canadian soil. When it is 18h in France it is 12 in Quebec and Ontario; 13h in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Manitoba 11h; 10h in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories West 9am in the Yukon and British Columbia.

Beware, some parks in British Columbia (Revelstoke, Glacier, Yoho and Kootenay) align the Mountain time (so Alberta) and 1h less than the rest of the province.

Electricity

As the United States, generally: 110-115 volts and 60 periods (in France: 220 volts, 50 cycles).
Caution: if you buy the equipment on site, allow the adapter and the power converter suitable. The U.S. electrical plugs are two flat pins.

Are advised to bring an adapter. Also check if your devices accept either the 110 and 220 volts. If this is not the case, do not forget to bring a converter. If you forget, you can get an adapter at the airport, the reception of most hotels, or in an electronics store, but it is much less true for converters.

Language

English and French are the official languages
​​of Canada. On paper at least. For the great dream of the former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, staunch supporter of bilingualism and the desirability of French-speaking Quebec in the federation, only really materialized in the government under federal jurisdiction (customs, airports, parks national positions ...).

Daily, so do not expect you to make yourself understood in French everywhere, except perhaps in Ottawa (Ontario): the capital of the country has made exemplary efforts, and most of its inhabitants are bilingual.

There is a francophone minority in Ontario (4.8% of Ontario's population). Other Francophone communities, partly descended from French-Canadian settlers of the nineteenth century, are located throughout the West, especially in British Columbia and Manitoba.

A growing number of Quebecers make their way West and especially in Vancouver, with warmer winters, but unfortunately many are losing their language the way. Generally, you will need to get by in English, not to mention that the emphasis by most obviously resembles that of American neighbors than the British one.

Post

Most offices are open Monday to Friday from 9h to 17h, and often on Saturday mornings. Have at least 1 week for granny gets your card. Postage for Europe at $ 1.75 for a card or letter of maximum 30 g.

Every item is at the post office (general delivery) must be claimed by the addressee (in person) within 2 weeks. In large cities, though no specific post office is indicated, go to the central office to get your mail.

Tobacco

It is strictly forbidden to smoke in public buildings and even within 3 m of their doors and windows. This also applies to transportation, restaurants, bars, nightclubs ... except of course the terrace.

The law changes slightly from one province to another: for example, Alberta has not allowed to smoke on the terrace of a restaurant. English Canada is one of the most fiercely anti-tobacco in the world.

Telephone and telecommunications

Phone

- From France to Canada: 00 (tone) + 1 + area code + number to 7 digits.

- From Canada to France: 011 + 33 + number (without the leading 0).

- In some provinces / cities, as in Ontario and Vancouver, dial the telephone code systematically before the 7-digit number, even for a local call. For long distance, dial 1, then the calling code and the 7-digit number.
- The toll free numbers within the country begin with 1-800, 1-855, 1-866, 1-877 and 1-888.

- Prepaid telephone cards (calling cards): as in Europe, there are ranges of call for very low rates, some in Canada, for other countries. Special dial indicated, then the code previously scraped and the subscriber number. For cars, first insert a 25-cent coin, which will be returned at the end of the call. At the beginning of each call, a voicemail tells you the available balance in minutes.

Check the communication time available for the chosen destination but also the existence of any connection charges (connection fees). When they exist, they will penalize those with a little call frequently. This remains on knowing the best deals on the international offer up 1000 minutes (almost 17h) for $ 5!

Bell cards (the big traditional network) are more expensive, but we do not have a lot of numbers to dial.

- Public phones: they are still used everywhere. They work with coins.

- Also avoid calling your hotel often very, very expensive.

Mobile Phone
The backpacker who will not lose contact with his tribe can use its own mobile phone in Canada (provided it is at least tri-band) with the "World." However, some areas are poorly covered by the network, and then, beware of the steep bill when you get home!

Better, if you have many calls on the spot, buy your arrival a local prepaid SIM card at one of the local operators. It then assigns you a local phone number and a little airtime. Before signing the contract, try, if possible, the SIM card of the seller in your phone - previously released - to see if it is compatible.

Internet

You can access the Internet in a few "cyber" (rates of around 5 $ / hr) and in public libraries, where it is often free. Hostels and hotels also have almost all ordis (paid in the first, often free in seconds) at available. As for wifi, it is present almost everywhere, provided you have a laptop or iPhone with you ...

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