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Quick Guide to Tipping Customs in Canada

In tipping customs on September 28, 2010 at 9:44 am

Tipping in Canada is ambiguous to the tipping customs in the United States. Like most countries in the world, tipping is customary for some services in Canada including restaurants, hotels, resorts, cabs, shuttles, salons, massage centers…and a host of other services.

Mentioned below is a brief guide to tipping for specific services. The specified amounts are in Canadian Dollars.

Tipping for Transportation

  • Cabs: Tip can range between 10% – 20% of the total fare.
  • Airport or Hotel Shuttle: Generally, it is not customary to tip shuttle drivers. But, you can offer a tip of $1 or $2 if you feel that the driver was helpful and friendly.

Tipping at Hotels and Resorts

It is not an established rule that every hotel in Canada should have a bellman or a concierge. You may choose to stay at budget hotels where there is just one caretaker, who is probably asleep behind his desk. In this case, you need not worry about the tip. However, if you prefer to stay at a fancy or luxurious hotel, tipping is customary.

  • Doorman: $1 or $2 if he hails a cab or helps with the luggage.
  • Bellman: $1 or $2 per bag or $5 for two bags that he carries. They also appreciate gratuities for extra services such as ice delivery.
  • Chambermaid: $2 – $5 per day or a lump sum at the end of your stay. It with be considerate to pay more if you room is messier than usual.
  • Room Service: Verify whether gratuity is included in the bill, which is the tip considered under the cost of room service. If it is not included, give 15% of the bill as tip. In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, the gratuities can be calculated simply by noting the amount of sales tax that is printed on the receipt.
  • Concierge: Depending on how pleased you are with the level of service, you can tip at the end of your stay, starting from a minimum of $2.
  • Parking Valet: $1-$2 when picking up your car. Tip more if the weather is unfavourable.

Tipping at Restaurants

  • Waiter: Typically, 15% – 20% of the untaxed bill amount.
  • Bartender or Cocktail Waitress: Unlike the American custom of tipping a dollar per drink, Canadians tip a standard 10% – 20% of the total bill. Alternatively, the “keep the change” custom is accepted.
  • Coat Check: Normally, $1 – $2.

Tipping at Salons or Massage Centres

Tipping 15% – 20% of the untaxed total is standard for hair stylists, beauticians, and masseurs. You can also tip $5 – $10 to the person who blows your hair dry and also to  the one who washes it clean.

Tips sum up to a significant contribution in the overall income of people working on a minimum wage. Hence, it is customary to pay tip and it also shows appreciation for good service!

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What makes Canada one of the coolest places for immigration

In immigration on September 8, 2010 at 10:02 am

Canada Immigration

It is interesting to note that a recent survey held in June 2010 analyzed data from 148 countries’ and concluded that 48 per cent of migrants aged 25-44 would choose Canada over the United States. Younger survey participants chose the US over Canada. The analysis also found that Canada was favored by 59 per cent of those who had completed secondary education.

The researches claim that higher education levels resulted in potential migrants being more aware of opportunities offered by Canada and greater knowledge of the country itself.

Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies says that Canada has a stronger support system and that the difference in national median income and immigrant income in the United States is substantial.

An article from the New York Times written way back in the December of 1872 is headlined “Immigrants Emigrating – Why they prefer the United States – Hardships of Backwoods Farming – political appointments, etc”. Immigrants in the 1870’s entered Canada during the shipping season and every year when the season ended, the flow of immigrants would cease. The story now, over a century later, shows a one hundred and eighty degree turnaround.  Since the world has shrunk thanks to various modes of affordable travel, immigrants can migrate any time of the year. A major influx of immigrants occurs just before the beginning of the academic year, in the months of July and August. This supports the fact that for most immigrants, education and consequent career development is of utmost importance. Immigrants migrate from their native countries in the hope of better opportunities and a better life. Today, older academically inclined immigrants choose Canada for better job prospects and financial support.

Immigration to Canada

Canada is financially friendly towards newcomers. The Immigrant Settlement and Adaption program helps immigrants resolve doubts regarding banking queries and other economic factors in Canada. Loan related queries are solved by the Immigration Loans Programs as are queries about medical examination, travel related costs and paperwork required to get things done.

Immigrant statistics can be found at http://www.canadaimmigrants.com/statistics.asp

The year 2008 saw arrival of 250,000 new immigrants into Canada and the influx is showing an upward trend. This is a number that certainly cannot be ignored and the corporate world too is waking up to the fact. The bank of Montreal offers special incentives and financial assistance to immigrants and if this is beneficial, others will follow suit.

Canada is taking all the right steps to woo immigrants. As recently as July 2010, the Canadian Government said it would fund projects for the settlement of new immigrants in Canada. Two projects have been announced so far. One is the “Ethno-Racial Mentoring program” which is aimed at helping young immigrants adjust and will be based in Ontario’s London area. The other is ‘The Civic Awareness Project’. This program is meant to help immigrants from ethnic groups, to gain knowledge about Canada’s history and way of living. These immigrants will receive CA$300,000 over a period of four years. Another positive step in this direction is funding of almost $60 million allocated as part of the 2010 Jobs and Growth Budget, part of which goes towards the Skills Link and Career Focus projects. Saskatchewan will benefit from the Skills Link as they will receive $330,000 which will be used to help young people improve their skills and seek better job opportunities. The participation of immigrants in their resident communities helps in accelerating the growth and development of the Canadian economy directly or indirectly. Going by the commendable efforts of the Canadian Government, it looks like even the 15-24 years bracket of survey participants will soon begin to prefer Canada to the United States.

Of course, at the end of the day it is the warmth of the Canadian locals who will determine how many immigrants stay back and sing praises of the country that attract their fellowmen. Canada has a great support system in place and is capable of handling and honing skilled labour from foreign countries which will ultimately aid its own development.

O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command.” are lyrics every Canadian definitely and truly identifies with. Soon, so will immigrants.

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