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Country Description: Canada is a highly developed stable democracy. Tourist facilities are widely available except in northern and wilderness areas, where they are less developed and can be vast distances apart.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: For information on entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of Canada at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20001, (202) 682-1740 or the nearest Canadian consulate in Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Juan or Seattle. Please note that due to international concern over child abduction, single parents, grandparents or guardians traveling with children often need proof of custody or notarized letters from the other parent authorizing travel. Anyone under age 18 and traveling alone should carry a letter from his/her parent or guardian authorizing the trip.

Medical Facilities: Good medical care is widely available. U.S. medical insurance may not be valid in Canada. Travelers have found that in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific Canadian coverage has proven useful. Further information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline (404) 332-4559 or visit the CDC home page on the Internet at

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: There is a higher incidence of criminal activity in urban areas. However, violent crimes such as murder, armed robbery, and rape are infrequent. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad" for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. Additional information on Canada can be found in the brochure "Tips for Travelers to Canada" or on the Consular Affairs Internet site at Both publications are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to Canadian laws while in Canada. Penalties for possession, use, and dealing in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Road and Traffic Information: Road safety is excellent. U.S. driver's licenses are valid in Canada. Proof of auto insurance is required. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense. Penalties are heavy and any prior conviction (no matter how long ago or how minor the infraction) is grounds for exclusion from Canada. A waiver of exclusion may be obtained from Canadian consulates in the United States, but requires several weeks. It is illegal to take automobile radar detectors into Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba or the Yukon and Northwest territories. The police will confiscate radar detectors, whether in use or not, and impose fines up to $1000.

Other Information: Firearms are strictly controlled. In general, handguns, pepper spray and mace are not permitted. Anyone wishing to bring hunting rifles can contact in advance the nearest Canadian consulate for detailed information and instructions. In all cases, travelers must declare to Canadian Customs authorities any firearms in their possession when entering Canada. If a traveler is denied permission to bring the firearm in, there are in many cases facilities near border crossings where firearms may be stored pending the traveler's return to the U.S. Canadian law requires that officials confiscate guns from those crossing the border who deny having guns in their possession. Confiscated guns are never returned.

Registration and Embassy/Consulate Locations: U.S. citizens who register in the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy or at a U.S. Consulate may obtain updated information on travel and security within Canada.

The U.S. Embassy is located in Ottawa, Ontario at 100 Wellington Street, telephone (613) 238-5335.

U.S. Consulates are located at:

Calgary, Alberta at 615 Macleod Trail SE, (403) 266-8962;

Halifax, Nova Scotia at Suite 910, Cogswell Tower, Scotia Square, (902) 429-2480;

Montreal, Quebec at 1155 St. Alexander Street, (514) 398-9695;

Quebec City, Quebec at 2 Place Terrasse Dufferin, (418) 692-2095;

Toronto, Ontario at 360 University Avenue, (416) 595-1700,

Vancouver, British Columbia at 1095 West Pender Street, (604) 685-4311.

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