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Visiting from Outside Ontario
 
Taxes

The provincial retail sales tax is 8%. In addition another tax is applied to most goods and services, the GST, which is applied at a rate of 7%. There is a program for visitors or tourists called the FOREIGN VISITOR REBATE (follow the link for details) which provides a rebate on GST taxes on certain expenditures of at least $50.00 for each item and a combined total of at least $200.00. Your receipts must be stamped before you leave the country at a duty free shop or Canada Customs. Any claim must be made within 60 days. Contact the government for the appropriate form and be sure you understand all the details before you visit. The Ontario Government has a similar plan for some purchases. Call 1-905-432-3332 from outside Canada or 1-800-263-7965 from within.

Tipping

Tipping is expected for good service at a rate of 10 to 15% of the before tax total.

Language

Canada's official languages are French and English. In Ontario the predominant language spoken is English.While you will hear French in Toronto, you'll find greater fluency in the eastern regions of the province, particularly in the Ottawa area.

Climate

Ontario's climate varies considerably (after all it's a huge place). In the extreme north you'll find Artic like conditions around the Hudson's and James Bay. As you move south, you generally find more precipitation and a milder climate. The southwestern region of the province, above Lake Erie and into the Windsor area is the most moderate, experiencing relatively mild winters with little snow. It's important to remember that blizzard conditions are possible in any area of the Province in the winter.

Average Temperature

Toronto has fairly mild winters for a Canadian city. The fact that it lies south of most of the rest of the country is a factor as is the moderating effects of the great lakes. For the most part summers are pleasant but it certainly can get hot and humid at times.

Month		High			Low
January		-1.1C (30.1F)		-7.7C (18.1F)
February	-0.3C (31.5F		-7.3C (18.9F)
March		 4.2C (39.5F)		-2.9C (26.7F)
April		11.9C (53.4F)		 3.2C (37.8F)
May		17.9C (64.3F)		 8.4C (47.2F)
June		24.2C (75.6F)		14.1C (57.4F)
July		26.8C (80.3F)		16.1C (62.3F)
August		25.9C (78.7F)		16.2C (61.2F)
September	21.6C (70.8F)		12.3C (54.2F)
October		15.5C (59.6F)		 7.1C (44.8F)
November	 7.8C (46.1F)		 1.8C (35.3F)
December	 1.2  (34.2F)		-4.8C (23.4F)	

While total snow accumulation in Toronto is often low, don't rule out the possiblity of a great blizzard, just like in the rest of Canada. If you're visiting in winter, take this into account when you do your planning. If your heading north or east of the city in the winter you will generally encounter greater snowfall so be prepared.

Holidays

Ontario shares the same holidays as the rest of Canada (see the VISITING CANADA section) with the addition of the Civic Holiday, which falls on the first Monday of August each year.

Driving

A valid drivers license from you country of residence is valid for up to three months in Ontario.Seat belts must be worn, by law, for adults and children over 40lb (18kg). The speed limits are as posted with freeways generally allowing speeds up to 100km/h (62.5 mph).You are permitted to turn right on red lights (once you've come to a stop and ascertained the way is clear) unless otherwise indicated. Ontario has photo radar so keep a light right foot. Ontario is particularly stringent about drinking and driving - don't! Snow is a possibility from October to April (sometimes yes, sometimes no, you never know!) particularly in the north so check road conditions and closures before setting out. More Information on Driving in Ontario.

Provincial Information

Government

Regional Information

Toronto Tourism Region - Southern Ontario

Weather

Toronto

Marine Forecast - Lake of the Woods, Lake Nipigon, Lake Nippising, Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence

Wind Chill

Air Quality

 

 

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