Canada Travel

Canada Series: Life In Canada As An Australian.

April 26, 2017

Much like backpacking around Europe, Canada has become a right of passage for many Australians. Moving overseas can be a little daunting as you don’t always know what to expect. When I first arrived in Canada there were a few things I had no idea about so keep reading below for my insider knowledge!


Life In Canada As An Australian



Living costs, especially in major cities *cough Vancouver*, mountain towns and ski areas, you’ll be seeing prices above or around the Australian average, however, you’ll only be earning about half your usual income. The minimum wage in Alberta is currently $12.20. For seasonal work, you’re looking at earning between $12.20 to $15.00 an hour. Food, car insurance and mechanic prices are higher, whereas, rent and petrol prices are lower. You will have to learn to shop smartly to be able to afford your living costs and still have money to have a good time on that minimum wage!



4 way stops…. Why Canada?! First of all, I’ll just start by saying they’re stupid. Where we would use a roundabout in Australia, Canadians use a 4 or 3 way stop sign. How this intersection works is basically first in best dressed, so if there are four cars approaching the intersection, whoever is the first to reach it and come to a stop gets to go first. What happens if you arrive at the same time? You stare at each other awkwardly until someone either goes or politely waves to the other to go ahead.  Another little road tip is you are allowed to turn at a red light if it is safe to do so and you are not crossing traffic.



50 cent and 20 cent coins don’t exist here. If you’re working at a till, aka register, you will need to get used to this. Another thing to take note of in Canadian money is $5 notes are blue so don’t accidentally give someone a $5 note when they really should be getting $10 which are purple… Oops!



Tipping here is mandatory so you can expect a grumpy waiter if you don’t! The tipping standard is between 15-20% of the total bill before tax. You can tip more or less depending on your experience.



This one gets me every time! Unlike most countries, Canada doesn’t include tax in their sale prices so you will never know the final cost until it’s all scanned through at the register.


Was there anything surprising to you when you first arrived? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Reply Elisabeth Bunch May 1, 2017 at 6:53 am

    These are some great tips! I live in the USA right by the Canadian border, and I love making weekend trips up to explore the country. There is still so much to see though! I’m dreaming of exploring Banff next 🙂

    • Reply whitepetal May 1, 2017 at 8:26 am

      I’m currently living in Canmore which is just 20 minutes away from Banff! It’s such a beautiful area, definitely worth a trip!

  • Reply Riley May 1, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I love Canada. I’ve only been to Victoria and Vancouver briefly but I love it there and hope to go back. Fortunately it’s not too different for us in the US. Great post!

  • Reply Heather F May 2, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I love to travel, and have been blessed to do quite a bit of it. It is fun to hear about the differences and how annoying they can be 🙂

  • Reply Orion May 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

    I always forget that a lot of other places have tax added in … I automatically add 13% in my head because of how long I’ve been doing it. 🙂

  • Reply Jessica Lam May 15, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    This is so funny, I never knew these things were so strange for non-Canadians! I’m from Toronto haha.

  • Reply lau May 16, 2017 at 6:18 am

    very nice post! I have never been to Canada but it looks wonderful


  • Reply Abbie May 16, 2017 at 5:52 am

    This was so much fun for me to read. I’m from the US, and so Canada isn’t thaaat much different, but when I visited there were definitely little things that I was like whoa what!! That’s why I love traveling so much!

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