For information on getting a letter of invitation and links for Canadian VISA regulations Click Here.
Ottawa Transportation (Aiport, Downtown)
The Westin Ottawa offers convenient transportation options to make your stay easier and more rewarding. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you can travel to and from our hotel with ease. Below is some useful information for your next trip to downtown Ottawa.
The Shaw Centre (Venue), hotels (Westin Ottawa, Lord Elgin, Novotel, Les Suites) are located 16 km from Ottawa International Airport, easily accessible via taxi, and private or public transportation.
Allante Limousine: Travel in style to and from Shaw Centre. Allante Limousine offers 24 hour service including transportation around Ottawa as well as to and from the airport.
We recommend reserving 24 hours in advance
Fee: Pricing varies. CAD $151.57 for 1.5 hours of service
Taxis: Taxis are stationed outside the airport at all times. For transportation to the airport, our hotel is happy to arrange a taxi to pick you up.
Ride time: 30-40 minutes
Fee: CAD $35-$40
Public Transportation: OC Transpo serves the greater Ottawa area and offers affordable transportation. This includes transportation from the Airport to Downtown.
Fee: CAD $3
To get to and from Ottawa Airport the #97 bus runs from just outside the main entrance/exit into Downtown (and beyond to Bayshore) with a peak frequency of about every 12 minutes during the day. The service commences about 4.30 am from Hurdman out to the airport and finishes about 2.30 am with a fastest journey time of about 20 minutes. However, given that buses can be delayed getting into and out of Downtown, the usual daytime journey will take about half an hour and also note that some of the peak-period #97 services will not actually go all the way, terminating at South Keys. Website: www.octranspo.com
Will shops in Canada accept traveller's checks?
In major Canadian cities and tourist areas traveller's checks are accepted. The rate of exchange is calculated on the daily rate of exchange shown on the newspapers.
ATMs and Debit Cards
Can I use my Credit Card/Debit Card in Canada?
Yes. Most reputable establishments will accept major credit cards. Those establishments accepting credit cards will post the logos in their front windows.
Are there ATMs in Canada? Are the ATMs multilingual?
Yes. There are ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) in Canada, there are many to be found in the large cities and even in small towns. Most of the machines prompt the user for the preferred language at the beginning of the transaction (English or French are typical choices). You will easily find an ATM which you can operate without having to know English. Using a credit or debit card or your local bank's ATM card is very easy. First, locate the corresponding symbol (VISA, electronic cash, etc.) on the ATM and on your card to ensure the card is usable on that particular unit. If you are unsure about the compatibility or the banking systems, contact your credit card company or local bank. Note that on most ATMs, the keys/digits are not inscribed with the corresponding letters (e.g. 2 and A,B,C). In case you have memorized your PIN as a word, you should make sure that you know the numbers as well.
Banks in Canada are open Monday through Friday (mainly from 9:00 a.m. to noon and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) and closed all day on Saturday and Sunday and on national holidays. Traveller's checks can be exchanged for European currency at most hotels and shops and at the foreign exchange offices in main railway stations and at the airports.
The monetary currency is the Canadian dollar which is divided as follows: bills of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollars; coins of 1, 2 Canadian and of 1, 5, 10, 25 cents. To find the current exchange rate, please visit The Universal Currency Converter.
You can obtain Canadian dollars through any bank, ATM machines, or exchange office at airports, and railway stations in the main cities in Canada. It is recommended to have a small amount of cash on hand upon arrival in Canada for immediate expenses, i.e. taxies, public transportation.
Vaccination CertificateNo vaccinations are required to enter Canada.
Healthcare and Medical Assistance
People requiring urgent medical care should go to the nearest hospital emergency room (airports and many train stations also have medical teams and first aid facilities). Those with serious illnesses or allergies should always carry a special note from their physicians certifying in detail the treatments in progress or that may be necessary. Pharmacies generally follow shops times (approx. from 9 am – 5 pm daily, Monday to Saturday) Night-time service is provided on a shift basis. Business hours and night shifts are displayed outside of each pharmacy or medical centre (they are also published in local papers). Before departure, it is advisable to procure a document certifying coverage by the national health-care service.
Tips are customary in Canada, but not essential. The tradition of the tip remains impervious to change, even though cafe or restaurant prices include both cover charge and service. A typical tip for good service in taxis and restaurants would be some 10%. On paying the bill, if it is paid in cash it is a matter of leaving a few notes from the change, When using a credit card, there are two possibilities: if the total on the credit card slip is the same as the bill, again leave some notes as a tip; but if the amount or the total are blank, simply round up the total to include the tip when signing the credit card slip.
Emergency Telephone Numbers
Police, Fire & Emergency 911
Directory Assistance: 411
Public telephones are available throughout Canada. Public phone booths either work with Canadian coins or with phone cards which may be purchased at any convenience or newsstand shop.
Stamps may be purchased at the Post Office (Post) and at convenience stores. Always check at the counter for the exact fare to the country of destination. Post Offices are usually open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm daily, Monday to Friday.
The small appliance electrical outlets in Canada are 110-120Volt at 60Hz (AC, alternating current). This implies that a transformer (with the appropriate plug adapter) may be needed to change the electricity supplied to what is needed by your small appliance. Outlets accept the North American NEMA 5-15 grounded type (a NEMA 1-15 will fit) plugs. A transformer and plug adapter can be obtained either before leaving your country or at an electrical appliance shop in Canada.
Laundry and Dry Cleaners
Most hotels have laundry and dry cleaning facilities. If the hotel does not provide these services, the desk clerk can direct you to the nearest laundry.
Most shops are open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
There are no restrictions on gifts purchased in Canada except for antiques and works of art. These require the authorization.For more information please have a look here.