- Participants Coming to Canada
The following sections give you information on keeping in touch while you’re here ...with employers ...with friends ...and, with family back home!
Steps to setting up an at-home telephone service in Canada:
- Choose your service provider e.g. - Bell Canada, Rogers, Telus, Shaw etc.
- Rent or buy a telephone handset
- Schedule an installation appointment. Make sure you give the company your full address and instructions on the room(s) where you want your telephone installed.
- Be prepared to pay a $200 - $300 deposit. Valid identification is also sometimes required in order to set up a new account.
- Decide which extra features you want attached to your phone plan (i.e. voice mail, call display, etc.). You will pay extra for these on top of the flat monthly amount you pay for basic phone service.
- You may wish to shop around for long-distance plans in order to get the best deal. It is not necessary to choose a long-distance plan from the same company where you have your basic phone service.
Pay Phones & Calling Cards
- Most local calls cost between 25 and 50 cents for any duration.
- Purchasing phone cards for long distance calls can be cheaper than using the phone company’s service.
- Credit cards can be used at pay phones to pay for long distance calls as well.
Cell Phones / Mobile Phones
If you come from outside of North America, it is likely your current mobile phone won’t work here - or using it will become prohibitively expensive. However, if you have a GSM phone, you’ll only need to purchase a new SIM card, not a new phone.
If you choose to purchase a new mobile phone, the following information can help you choose your provider and service package:
- Choose your mobile phone company. Many offer a range of services, features and rate plans.
- Choose your mobile service plan. Note: you will probably be billed for both incoming and outgoing calls.
- Buy a mobile phone. This will cost between $75 to $100.
- You can purchase Pay-As-You-Go cards that cost about $25 for 60 minutes of talk time within Canada.
- Many companies now offer month-to-month billing plans that don’t require you to sign a contract.
The following are the most well-known mobile phone companies in Canada:
How To Make Telephone Calls In Canada
Making calls from your landline or mobile phone? The following dialing rules apply:
- Local Calls: Dial 3-digit area code + 7-digit phone number
- Long Distance Calls (within North America): Dial 1 + 3-digit area code + 7-digit phone number
- Long Distance Calls (overseas): Dial 011 + country code + city code + local number
- Directory Assistance For Local Numbers: Dial 411 (you will be charged for this service)
- Directory Assistance for Long Distance Numbers: Dial 1 + area code + 555 1212 (you will be charged for this service)
- Operator: Dial 0
- Emergency: Dial 9-1-1
Canada Post outlets are located inside many drug stores and convenience stores. Mail is home delivered from Monday to Friday. Large packages, however, are held at your local post office for you to pick up. You will receive a notice in the mail indicating a parcel is being held. Bring this notice with you along with some identification in order to claim it. Canada Post will hold parcels for up to 2 weeks.
In small towns, mail is not delivered to individual homes. Residents must pick up their mail at the local post office. Mail is kept in general delivery for one week only.
Postal rates are the same for both envelopes and postcards. You must include the six-character postal code on anything you mail.
- One standard letter anywhere in Canada is 61 cents
- One standard letter to the United States in 1.05 cents
- One standard letter overseas is $1.80
Canada spans six time zones. All provinces, except Saskatchewan, switch between daylight saving time and standard time to make optimal use of daylight throughout the year. In early March, clocks are set one hour ahead; in mid-October, clocks are set back one hour.
Download the full Guide For Participants Coming To Canada (PDF* 223 KB) brochure.
For more information about International Experience Canada, please contact us.