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Appliances
Arts and Entertainment
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Education
Environment
Furniture
Hockey in Canada
Internet
Mobile Telephones
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Olympics 2010
Pension Plans
Pets
Public Holidays
Public Transportation
Registered Retirement Savings Plans
Shopping
Sports and Recreation
Telephone
Television
Time Zones in Canada

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Appliances

Canada operates on a 110 volt electrical system. In most cases appliances that run on 220 volts will not operate in Canada. Certain appliances may have a dual control switch to cater for both systems and some people choose to use a transformer that facilitates using the different system. Many newcomers to Canada find that it is more efficient to sell their appliances before arriving and then purchase new ones here.

Most homes, both purchased and rented are provided with a stove, fridge, washing machine, dryer and in many instances a dishwasher and microwave oven as well. Appliances can be purchased from stores like Canadian Tire and Future Shop.
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Arts and Entertainment

The entertainment industry in Canada is growing at a steady rate with many Canadian artists becoming acknowledged and celebrated internationally, such as rock n roll pioneer Neil Young; Vancouverites Bryan Adams and Michael Bublé; International Pop Superstar Celine Dion; award winning comedian Jim Carrey; and the ever popular blonde Pamela Anderson; as well as many other famous Canadians. Canada plays a significant role in the film and music industry and has adopted the title of “North Hollywood”
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Banking

There are currently 54 banks in Canada with the six largest controlling 90% of bank assets. Banking activities are regulated and there are strict regulations that govern the flow of information between divisions and subsidiaries. The "big six" include Royal Bank, CIBC, TD Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank and National Bank. You do not need to be a resident of Canada to open a bank account in Canada. The banking industry is Canada is sophisticated and the banks compete for business by offering a variety of banking packages. Also, see Credit Unions below.
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Credit Unions

Credit Unions offer many of the services that banks and trust companies provide and you would be able to operate a chequing or savings account in a similar way to a bank. Credit Unions are similar in concept to so-called "building societies" in some countries and are created by their members as cooperatives. Many people do not operate deposit accounts with banks, preferring to operate their finances including savings and chequing accounts through a credit union.
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Education

Canadians place great importance on learning, and have developed a first-rate education system with high standards. Kindergarten to Grade 12 education is publicly funded and free to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents until the end of secondary school — normally, age 18. Canadian teenagers consistently rank among the best in the world on international tests of reading, science and math - a testament to the outstanding quality of Canadian schools.
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Environment

Canadians pride themselves on their clean and healthy environment. Reducing garbage by recycling, eliminating pollution by carpooling, purchasing emissions-reduced vehicles and enforcing laws against littering are just some of the ways Canadians help keep their Canada cleaner. The Canadian Government also encourages its citizens about keeping Canada clean by funding environmental programs and passing several laws. 17 million Canadians (nearly 2/3 of us) have access to recycling.
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Furniture

Canadians generally tend to prefer more contemporary styled furniture, with emphasis on quality when purchasing household furniture, therefore the price of furniture in Canada may be higher than that of other countries. Some of the Furniture stores that Canadians shop at are stores like The Brick and IKEA. You may be able to purchase furniture for reasonable prices at discount warehouses but it may be best to plan on bringing your own furniture to Canada.
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Hockey in Canada

Canadians are passionate about Ice Hockey. The game has spread internationally since its rules were first codified in 1875, and it remains one of Canada's most popular winter sports. The original teams of the National Hockey League (NHL) were all Canadian; the league's champion is awarded the Stanley Cup. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Cannucks are two of the best hockey teams in the NHL. Many of the game's best players are Canadians, with Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe being widely held as two of the greatest hockey players of all time. Toronto is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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Internet

Internet usage in Canada is ranked one of the highest in the world. Internet connection via telephone line has become almost obsolete and most Canadians have upgraded to faster connections using cable and DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) therefore they are connected 24/7 with instant information at their fingertips.
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Mobile Telephones

If you bring your foreign cell phone to Canada, it may not work. There are two different systems for cell phones in Canada; CDMA and GSM, and they operate in the 800, 850 and 1900 MHz frequency range. Canada has a variety of mobile network providers that have perks such as free phones if you sign up with that company for service
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Newspapers

Canadians enjoy their newspapers and each of the major cities in Canada has one or more newspapers reporting on both national and local events. There are also national newspapers sold across the country. It is not unusual to see Canadians sipping coffee in a coffee shop with the newspaper spread out in front of them. Local news is always interesting and Canadians are also keen to know what's happening on the other side of Canada. The Toronto Sun serves the Toronto area, the Vancouver Sun serves Vancouver and surrounding areas, the Calgary Herald provides news from Alberta and The Gazette covers the Montreal area. There are many more city newspapers. The Globe and Mail is a national newspaper - a great source for business news.
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Olympics 2010

On July 2nd, 2003 Vancouver was chosen as the host city for the XXI Olympic Winter Games in the year 2010. Vancouver is proud to be the Host City of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
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Pension Plans

There are two types of pension plans in Canada: trusteed pension plans; and the CPP or QPP. Trusteed pension plan contributions are made by the employers and employees to the trustee who governs the pension plan. These kind of plans are typical of the kind of plan that operates in many countries where employers and their employees contribute to a plan in anticipation that it will provide them some kind of income when they retire.

The Canada Pension Plan is a compulsory pension plan for all employees nationwide except in Quebec where it is mandatory to contribute to the Quebec Pension Plan. Contributions are made by employers and employees. In addition to retirement income, benefits include death, disability, and widow's and orphans's pensions. Also, see RRSP'S below.
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Pets

Canadians are "crazy" about their pets, especially dogs and cats, and there are even canine cafes to take dogs to! There are also big "hypermarket" style stores catering purely for the needs of your pets, and you can even take the "family" with you to the pet store when you go shopping. They'll love it!

With respect to bringing dogs, cats, birds and other animals to Canada, visit Canadian Pet Imports

It would also be a good idea to contact one of the local, international removal companies and ask them to refer you to one of the pet travel agencies they use. The pet travel agencies should be able to provide the most up to date information, the certificates that you need from a vet, as well as the cost.
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Public Holidays

Canada shares similar statutory (public) and non-statutory holidays as some other countries around the world. There are National Public holidays and Provincial Public holidays-where each province has its own special date. Canadian National Holidays for 2006 are:

New Year’s Day January 1
Good Friday April 14
Easter Monday April 17
Victoria Day May 22
Canada Day July 1
Thanksgiving Day September 4
Remembrance Day November 11
Christmas Day December 25
Boxing Day December 26

Some Provincial Holidays are:
Alberta – Family Day Third Monday of February
Newfoundland – Discovery Day June 24
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Public Transportation

Public Transportation in Canada is safe and secure, efficient, affordable, integrated and environmentally friendly. There are many types of Public Transportation services in Canada. Each city has its own unique design. Every city and town has a bus system. In larger cities such as Toronto or Vancouver, a railway system is incorporated into the city to make traveling to suburban areas easier. Toronto has an underground subway system called the Subway/RT along with Streetcars. Vancouver has a railway system that runs above ground and overhead traffic called the Skytrain. Vancouver is a city surrounded by water and has a unique ferry and water-bus system also.
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Registered Retirement Savings Plans

There is an incentive which the government of Canada offers in the form of a significant tax break to encourage people to save for retirement. You are permitted to contribute a certain percentage of your earned income each year to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and the amount of this contribution is effectively not included in your taxable income for the respective tax year. The amount for the 2004 tax year is limited to 18% of earned income up to a maximum of $15 500.00.
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Shopping

Shopping in Canada is all about convenience, with most stores open late and seven days a week and some even open 24 hours a day. Canada has an abundance of shopping centres with big chain stores that have everything from food and clothing to hardware all under one roof. Inflation is low in Canada and therefore prices remain low and reasonable for the consumer. Stores are very competitive in Canada and offer their customers discount cards along with an additional discount day once a month.
Zellers
Save on Foods
The Real Canadian Superstore
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Sports and Recreation

Canadians believe that Sports and recreation contribute to citizens' physical and mental health and allow them to express themselves and develop individually and as a group. Canadians participate in a wide array of sports and other recreational activities. Sports play an important role in Canadian communities, largely the result of the country's well-coordinated network of governmental and non-governmental agencies devoted to physical education.
For more than a century, sports, recreation and parks have been prominently in Canada's urban policies. The objectives guiding public policy in these areas have evolved, influenced by the changing role of government in Canada. For example, parks can serve to improve public health in our cities. One of the objectives behind Montréal's Mount Royal Park, like Stanley Park in Vancouver, was to oxygenate the city and offer citizens a place to relax. City parks can also serve as places for recreation.
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Telephone

Canada has been a connected nation for many years. The use of basic telephone and cable services have been and remain amongst the highest in the world, with steady growth in the wireless telecommunications industry. With a variety of telephone service companies to choose from, Canadians can choose their service provider therefore the cost of service remains competitive with local telephone calls being free and long distance charges low. Calling cards are an option for long distance calling with rates as low as $0.03 per minute.
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Television

There are 3 types of television service in Canada: Cable, Digital Cable, and Satellite. The cost of basic cable is low with more than 30 channels. Additional packages can be purchased for just a few more dollars which provides access to hundreds of more channels. Television providers also offer Internet service via cable.
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Time Zones in Canada

Canada operates on 4 time zones. When business people in Vancouver are for example, beginning their work day at 9.00am in the morning, their colleagues in Toronto are breaking for lunch where it is 12 noon. When doing both business and arranging personal affairs, this unique situation has to be kept in mind and sometimes means careful planning. On the first Sunday of April, clocks in Canada are turned forward by one hour and turned back by one hour on the last Sunday of October. More information on the time in specific cities can be found here.
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