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Important packing tips

Prepare your documents

  • Translate your documents

    Have all of your important documents translated into English and bring copies (it can be very expensive to have this done in Canada). These are the documents we recommend you bring:

    • birth certificate
    • driver's license (especially if you intend on getting a Canadian license) and driving history
    • immunization record 
    • marriage certificate (if applicable)

    To find out which documents you will need at the airport, visit the Arriving in Canada section.

Driving in Canada

  • International Driver's Licence

    If you want to drive when you get to Canada, you may want to get an International Driver's Licence in your home country. This will allow you to drive in Canada for 60 days. When the 60 days are over, if you want to continue to drive, you will need to get an Ontario Driver's Licence.

    To find out more about how you can transfer your driving experience and which documents you should translate into English and bring to get an Ontario Driver's licence, visit the Ministry of Transportation website.

Mobile phone

  • Try to unlock your phone

    Your cell phone is probably fixed to your service provider. If you try to leave that company, your phone won't work because it's locked. If you travel to another country and try to use another company's cell phone service on your old phone, that won't work either because your phone is locked.

    However, your phone may not be locked. Depending on what kind of phone you have and which company you purchase your cell phone service from, you might be able to unlock your phone. Then, you'll have the freedom to use the same phone with different companies, or switch phone numbers and service accounts. 

    Before you come to Canada, speak with your cell phone company to see if it is possible to unlock your phone. It can sometimes be challenging to get a phone when in Canada, especially right away. If you have an unlocked phone, you may be able to get a pay-as-you-go plan (easier to get) instead of a monthly plan. Monthly plans require that you sign a one- or two-year contract; you will be charged high fees if you break the contract early. Contracts also usually require you to use a credit card.

Items to purchase and/or pack

  • Power adaptors

    Purchase a power adaptor or transformer for your computer and/or electronic equipment. You may be able to find one once you arrive in Canada, but you won't have it right away, which can make your first few days challenging.

    Canada's electrical supply and electrical outlets (sockets, wall plugs) are the same as those in the United States.

    The electrical supply is 110 volts and 60 hertz (cycles per second).

  • Pack for Canadian weather

    Pack for all four seasons

    Canada has four seasons, so make sure you pack for warm, cool and cold weather.

    Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are cool with temperatures ranging from 7 to 20 degrees Celsius.

    Summer in Canada (June to August) can range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius.

    Winter (December to February) can be quite cold with temperatures ranging from -25 to 5 degrees Celsius. Whatever season you arrive in, be prepared for the weather at that time.

  • Toiletries and bedding

    Depending on where you stay, you may not have things like linens, towels, blankets, pillows or shampoo when you arrive. Consider this in your planning.

  • Check your baggage allowance

    Carry-on luggage

    Pack some clothing and all your valuables in your carry-on luggage. In the event that your luggage is lost on your flight, you will at least have a change of clothes and all of your valuable items.

    Check the baggage allowance

    Check the baggage allowance for the airline you are traveling with. Each airline has different rules about how much luggage you are allowed to have and the cost of extra baggage. Please note: If you have any connecting flights, the baggage rules of one of the flights you are on may not be the same as the connecting flight, so be sure to check the baggage allowance for all airlines you are traveling with.

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