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Cost of Living and Information on Life in Canada ....from GaramChai Canada

GaramChai Canada >> Cost of Living in Canada

Each Canadian province and territory has itís own individual policies, customs and lifestyle.

We hope that the general information provided in the following section of will give you a good indication of what you should be aware of when moving to your adopted homeland.

Money and Measurements | Banks & Banking in Canada | Taxes

Banks & Banking in Canada

Bank Accounts

You can open an account with any "Schedule I Banks". [Schedule I banks are domestic banks and are authorized under the Bank Act to accept deposits, which may be eligible for deposit insurance provided by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation.] It may be preferable to open an account with a large bank with a wider ATM and branches. For instance, BMO Bank of Montreal, CIBC, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank (The Bank of Nova Scotia) and TD Bank have nationwide presence. Most banks in Canada are usually open only Monday to Friday, daytime hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Banks offer a variety of services to their customers including currency exchange, safety deposit boxes for storage of passports, and savings accounts. Many Canadians use personal checks issued by banks as an efficient means to pay for services.

More about banking in Canada from Canadian Bankers Association (CBA). You may need the following documents while opening a bank account:

  • Passport,
  • Work Permit or Proof of immigrant status

Some banks may need additional documents for verification. After opening an account, you will have to deposit funds or Travellers Cheques before you can operate the account. While you are at the bank, collect the following information:

  • Your newly opened Bank Account number
  • ATM debit card to use the ATM
  • A few blank cheques - these are needed until you get your cheque book
  • Application form for the credit card (if you are eligible)

You would need a bank account, cheques and drafts for most financial transactions including renting an appartment. ATMs are especially easy to find in large cities, and are more convenient than credit cards and traveler's checks. You can usually use a regular bank card or a major credit card at ATMs to withdraw cash. It might also be possible to open a local account which would come with an ATM card. ATM cards can also be used at many stores in Canada to pay for items such as groceries and clothing.

Money and Measurements

The unit of currency is the Canadian dollar, which equals 100 cents. The Canadian dollar (sign: $; code: CAD) is the currency of Canada. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. Canadian currency notes are clearly marked and each denomination has a distinctive colour. The most common paper currency in Canada comes in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Coins appear in 1 cent (pennies), 5 cents (nickels), 10 cents (dimes), 25 cents (quarters), $1 (loonies) and $2 (twoonies) denominations.

All shops and businesses will accept Canadian currency, and some will accept United States currency in tourist areas. All other foreign currency must be converted.

More about Canadian Dollar on Wikipedia and Bank of Canada ó bank notes


The level of Taxation in Canada is average among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.Some provinces apply a provincial tax levy to goods and services. All provinces must apply the federal Goods & Services Tax (GST) of seven per cent to most purchases.

Federal taxes are collected by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), formerly known as "Revenue Canada" or the "Canada Customs and Revenue Agency". Under "Tax Collection Agreements", CRA collects and remits to the provinces:

Provincial personal income taxes on behalf of all provinces except Quebec, so that individuals outside of Quebec file only one set of tax forms each year for their federal and provincial income taxes.
Corporate taxes on behalf of all provinces except Quebec and Alberta.
The Ministère du revenu du Québec collects the GST in Quebec on behalf of the federal government, and remits it to Ottawa.

The provincial governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador no longer impose a provincial sales tax and in those provinces the federal government collects goods and services tax at a rate 8% higher than in the other provinces. The additional revenue from this "harmonized sales tax" is paid by the federal government to the three harmonizing provinces.

Free Tax filing for Canadians individuals: Review of StudioTax Software

Tax season is upon us and Canadian residents and all who earned money must file a Tax and Benefit Return for individuals by April 30 or June 15 (for self employed individuals) and their spouses or common-law partners. Here is a review of FREE StudioTax software that can be used for Individual tax filing in Canada. As per Canada's Revenue Agency (CRA) "the NETFILE transmission service is open from February 11, 2008, until September 30, 2008, for the electronic filing of your 2007 personal income tax and benefit return. Tax returns filed via NETFILE must first be prepared using one of the commercial tax preparation software packages or Web applications certified for NETFILE." In the special,, the author presents a Review of StudioTax 2007 that is available FREE for individuals. Check out the complete article

More about Taxation in Canada:


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This section of will attempt to address some of the Frequently Asked Questions on Life in Canada that immigrants, visitors and others from different cultures attempt to address. If you have any additional inputs or wish  to see more topics addressed, mail us at


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