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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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