Guide to Driving in Canada

Canada is the home of stunning landscapes and various reliefs. Driving in this country can be either relaxing or very stressful. However, if you do take some precautions and respect the driving rules, everything will be alright. Roads are in excellent shape, although in some mountain areas you should expect imperfections like bumps and holes. Be aware that during the winter, especially in the North of Canada, roads are likely to be covered with snow. It’s mandatory to use winter tires and it’s also recommended to have snow chains standing by. In certain areas like Quebec or Ontario the traffic is not that smooth all day long. You could encounter traffic jams. Parking is marked by indicators which have a white P on a blue background. They are often accompanied by text. You shouldn’t risk and park where it’s not allowed otherwise your car may be towed. Another thing you should now is that turning right on a red light is not allowed unless there’s a flashing green arrow pointing towards the right-hand side. Always remember that traffic is on the right side of the road and overtakes are on the left.

Police cars in Canada look like the ones seen on TV or in videogames: they are white with blue and red stripes on the sides. The light beacons and the word ‘POLICE’ are also on duty. In most of the provinces like Ontario and Quebec, your domestic license, if it’s in English, will be enough. However, in other provinces you are prompted to change your current license with a Canadian one. This can be achieved at any police station.

Essential Driving Information

  • Regardless the province you’re driving in, the dipped beam must be used at all times when the visibility conditions are not the best. However, in some states you may be prompted to use the dipped beam during the whole day.
  • It’s considered illegal to use the mobile phones while driving unless your car has a hands-free system and your phone is attached to it.
  • Seatbelts are compulsory for all the passengers inside a car. The driver is responsible with the safety of all the passengers.
  • Note that roads are really long and petrol stations are located from 50-100 km away from each other. Have some extra fuel and some food and water, just in case.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 50kmh (30mph)
Main Road: 80kmh (50mph)
Motorway: 110kmh (68mph)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 911
Ambulance: 911
Firefighters: 911
From a Mobile: 112
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 16
Alcohol Limit: Varies, but often 0.05%
Petrol Price: €0.95/litre
Diesel Price: €0.85/litre
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