Canada’s currency is the Canadian dollar (CAD). While you are able to pay with credit cards almost everywhere, many people still use cash (coins and bills) to pay with. It’s a good idea to always carry a bit of cash with you.
For instance, on the city bus you can only pay with coins and must have the exact change, (unless you have a bus pass).
The coins have nicknames, or popular names:
- The one-dollar coin is called a Loonie because of the bird on the coin (a loon)
- The 2-dollar coin is called a Toonie
- 25 cents is a Quarter
- 10 cents is a Dime
- 5 cents is a Nickel
One of the more difficult things to get used to is that the 5-cent coin is bigger than the 10-cent coin. This will take some getting used to when you first start paying with coins.
Canada has stopped making the one-cent, also known as a penny, in May 2012, and stopped the use of the penny in February 2013. When paying cash any purchase or price that does not end in a five or a zero will be rounded up or down. So, if something costs $1.01 or $1.02 the price becomes $1.00. If something costs $1.03 or $1.04, it becomes $1.05.
For any electronic transactions (credit card and debit card), cheques, and money orders, nothing will change. A $1.03 purchase will cost $1.03.
It will be good to have some cash with you when you arrive; we recommend you bring around $250.00CAD in cash with you.