We have put together a list of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions that we receive about traveling in Canada and specifically Winnipeg. If you do not find the answer to your questions please post a question to our community board and hopefully someone may be able to help you out. Have a question about Winnipeg? Try asking on our Community Forum.
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Taxes and Rebates
The Goods and Services Tax (GST)
All non-residents of Canada may apply for a rebate of the seven per cent Goods and Services Tax under the Visitors Rebate Program. The program also covers provincial sales taxes for Quebec. You qualify for a tax refund if:
- you are not a resident of Canada;
- you purchased eligible goods, accommodation or both;
- you paid GST/HST on these purchases;
- you have original receipts (original receipts for purchases of goods have to be validated, depending on how you travel when leaving Canada-see page 5 for more information on new validation procedures);
- each individual receipt for eligible goods shows a minimum purchase amount (before taxes) of CAN$50; and
- your purchase amounts (before taxes) total at least CAN$200 for eligible goods and accommodation.
To qualify for a refund of TVQ (Quebec) and PST (Manitoba), the same minimum amounts of $50 and $200 apply.
Certain individuals who live outside Canada, and who we deem to be resident in Canada under Canadian income tax laws, are not eligible to claim a tax refund for visitors. For example, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and employees of the federal and provincial governments have to pay tax on any taxable purchases they make when visiting Canada. They cannot claim a tax refund.
The claim period is one year from the date you purchased the goods or accommodation. If the seller ships the purchase outside of Canada directly you will not have to pay the GST and therefore you will not be able to claim a rebate. There is no GST rebate for meals, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, automotive fuels, services and certain other goods.
There is NO REFUND for tax you paid on:
- meals and beverages;
- wine, liquor, beer, or other alcoholic beverages;
- tobacco products;
- automotive fuels;
- transportation, such as air, train, or bus tickets, and car rentals;
- services, such as dry cleaning, shoe repairs, auto repairs, entertainment, and parking;
- professional services such as wedding or funeral services;
- rentals of travel trailers and all other recreational vehicles;
- cruise ship cabins or train berths;
- purchases of an interest in a time-share arrangement; and
goods consumed or left in Canada.
Manitoba Sales Tax
Retail sales tax is 8 per cent and restaurant tax is 8 per cent on food and 16 per cent on alcoholic beverages. Accommodation tax is 5 per cent. You may apply for a rebate of retail sales tax for purchases of at least $50 on one receipt. For more information you can call (613) 523-9760 or (915) 432-3509.
For complete details on claiming tax refunds please contact
Drinking and Driving
In Canada, it is a criminal offence to operate a motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft while impaired by alcohol or drugs. More than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood (.08%) is considered legally impaired. It is also a criminal offence to refuse to provide a breath or blood sample for testing when demanded by an officer.
Gasoline is sold by the litre in Canada. Four litres is approximately equivalent to one U.S. gallon.
Right Turn on Red
In Manitoba, motorists may make a right turn while the light is red, after coming to a complete stop. However please not that right turns on red lights are NOT permitted in Quebec.
In both Manitoba and Quebec law requires that everyone wears a seatbelt. Fines for not wearing them are very high in Canada. Small children must wear safety restraints and be seated in a car seat.
The speed limit is posted in kilometres. 100 km/h equals 60 miles per hour. In the city the speed limit is generally 50 km/h (30 mph) unless otherwise stated. In rural areas the speed limit is generally 80 km/h (50 mph) and on highways it is 100 km/h.
In both Manitoba and Quebec, no-fault insurance is in effect. Either municipal or provincial police should be called. When staying in Winnipeg, call 911.
Liquor Control Board of Manitoba (LCBO) outlets are sales agents for wines and spirits of Manitoba. Wine is also available at several individual wineries. Domestic beer may be purchased at The Beer Store. Both LCBO outlets and Beer Stores are open weekdays and Saturdays except for major holidays. Drinking hours are from 11am until 2am and the legal drinking age is 19 years. In Quebec, wines and liquors may be purchased in Societe des alcools du Quebec (SAQ) outlets. Beer and wine are available are also available at some grocery stores and convenience stores. Drinking hours are until 3am and the legal drinking age is 18 years.
Canadian postage must be used on all mail posted from any point in Canada. Check with the post office for current postal rates and classes of mail. Post office hours are 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Postal outlets are often located in pharmacies, retail stores, or shopping malls.
Financial Services and Banking Hours
Regular banking hours are Monday to Friday from 10am until 5pm (some branches until 8pm). Many banks are open Saturdays until 3pm, and closed Sundays and holidays. Most banks have 24-hour instant banking machines.
Travellers' cheques in Canadian dollars are the best way to carry currency. They are accepted everywhere. Major credit cards are also honoured in most business establishments.
The U.S. dollar has a favourable exchange rate in Canada. Most stores will give a good rate of exchange on the U.S. dollar. However, it is best to exchange any foreign currency to Canadian dollars upon arrival to Canada. This can be done at a bank or foreign exchange service.
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is focused on being a leader in promoting Winnipeg as the ideal place to live, work, invest and visit through economic development and tourism-related initiatives.
Heartland International Travel and Tours Ltd. has been a private sector Winnipeg inbound receptive tour operator since the company was founded on November 01, 2001.