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Canada has two official languages, English and French. Although more than 85 percent of French-speaking Canadians live in Québec, there are substantial Francophone populations in other provinces, particularly Ontario and New Brunswick. French is the sole official language of the province of Québec and New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province.

Basic Vocabulary

Hello Bonjour
Goodbye Au revoir
Please S'il vous plaît
Thank you Marci
You are welcome Bienvenue
Sorry Pardon / Désolé
My name is … Je m'appel


Holidays in Quebec (QC), Ontario (ON), Alberta (AL) and British Columbia (BC)


Day Observed





New Year’s Day

January 1

Family Day

Third Monday in February (2nd in BC)


Good Friday

Friday before Easter Sunday


Easter Monday

Monday after Easter Sunday




Victoria Day(National Patriots Day in QC)

Monday preceding May 25


La Fête Nationale du Québec (St. Jean Baptiste Day)

June 23, 24




Canada Day

July 1

Civic Holiday

First Monday in August

Labour Day

First Monday in September


Second Monday in October

Remembrance Day

November 11

Christmas Day

December 25

Boxing Day

December 26

Time Zones

Canadian Time Zones

Standard Time Zones Daylight Saving Time Zones
Newfoundland Standard Time (NST) = UTC -3.30 Newfoundland Standard Time (NDT) = UTC -2.30
Atlantic Standard Time (AST) – UTC -4 Atlantic Standard Time (ADT) – UTC -3
Eastern Standard Time (EST) = UTC -5 (Ottawa, Montréal, Toronto) Eastern Standard Time (EDT) = UTC -4 (Ottawa, Montréal, Toronto)
Central Standard Time (CST) = UTC -6 Central Standard Time (CDT) = UTC -5
Mountain Standard Time (MST) = UTC-7 (Calgary, Edmonton) Mountain Standard Time (MDT) = UTC-6 (Calgary, Edmonton)
Pacific Standard Time (PST) = UTC -8 ( Vancouver) Pacific Standard Time (PDT) = UTC -7 ( Vancouver)

Electrical Supply

Canada's electrical supply is 110 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second) and, like most of North America, Canada uses connectors standardized by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. The ungrounded outlet has two parallel slots (NEMA 1-15, Type A). The grounded NEMA 5-15, Type B outlet, has two parallel slots and a slot for a ground pin.

Area Codes

Canadian telephone numbers have ten digits, including a three-digit area code. Each Canadian city or region has a distinct area code, which lets the individual know from where an incoming text or call is coming. The area codes for the major Canadian cities are as follows:

Area codes for the major Canadian cities

City Area Code
Ottawa 613 or 343
Toronto 416, 647, or 437
Montreal 514 or 438
Calgary 403
Edmonton 780
Vancouver 604, 778 or 236

Measurement System

Canada adopted the metric system in 1970 and, today, Canadians commonly measure temperature in degrees Celsius, length in metres, weight in grams and volume in litres. In many sectors of the Canadian economy, however, imperial measurements are still used. This is typical for hardware stores, where wood is still measured and sold in feet and inches and capacities (volumes) are expressed in gallons.

Conversion table for most commonly used units:

Imperial Units Metric Units
1 Inch [in] 2,54 centimeters [cm]
1 Foot [ft] = 12 in 0.3048 meters [m]
1 Mile 1.6093 kilometers [km]
1 Gallon [gal] 4.5461 liters [l]
1 Pint [pt] = 20 fluid ounces [fl oz] 0.5683 liters [l]
1 Pound [lb] 0.4536 kilograms [kg]
1 Ounce [oz] 28.35 grams [g]