Air Travel to Vancouver
Vancouver is located on the West Coast of Canada and is the largest
city in British Columbia. There are direct flights to Vancouver
International Airport from international destinations and most
major US cities, depending on the airline. We suggest that you call
your travel agent immediately and ask them to negotiate the best
airfare for your trip.
See the Customs Information section on this
website for details on the Airport Improvement Fee (departure tax)
from Vancouver International Airport.
Travel from Seattle (Washington State, USA) to Vancouver
If you are planning on flying into or out of Seattle you may wish
to check out the Quick
Shuttle Express Bus Service. This service operates between SeaTac
Airport and downtown Vancouver with stops in downtown Seattle, Bellingham
and at Vancouver Airport. The trip takes approximately 4.5 hours
from SeaTac Airport to downtown Vancouver.
British Columbia has a number of border crossings on its southern
boundary with the United States. From Seattle, you can drive up
Highway I-5 to the border, then Highway 99 directly into the heart
of Vancouver. Driving time for this 180 mile trip is approximately
3.5 hours. During rush hour or on weekends, it can take over 4 hours
to make the trip.
Climate and clothing
What to wear: Warmed by off-shore currents and protected
by the Coast Mountains, Vancouver enjoys pleasant fall temperatures
that are rarely cold. October daytime temperatures linger around
13°Celsius (56° Fahrenheit). Evenings are a bit cooler so
it's best to pack a warm jacket or a light coat.
Casual attire is appropriate for all conference sessions and for
most evening events.
The program planning committee, the Modernist Studies Association,
the University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University
will accept no liability for personal injuries sustained or for
loss or damage to property belonging to delegates either during
or as a result of the meeting.
In emergency situations, you can contact the local police, ambulance
service, fire department and other emergency services by calling
911, where available, or by dialing the numbers for local police
and ambulance services listed in the front of all local telephone
Be wise and plan ahead: Visitors to Canada should have medical
protection coverage. Canadian government health plans do not cover
non-residents visiting Canada. Purchase health insurance before
The facts about our money: The monetary system in Canada is based
on dollars and cents. All prices quoted on this website are in Canadian
International currencies (American dollars, pounds Sterling, etc.)
can be exchanged at any bank, or at the International Currency Exchange
at the Vancouver International Airport.
Major credit and charge cards are readily accepted in Canada including
American Express, MasterCard and VISA. ATM machines (automated teller
machines) are also widely available in banks and retail areas.
Conference participants are advised to use a credit card wherever
possible to take advantage of the best exchange rates. When changing
funds into Canadian dollars do so at a bank or foreign currency
exchange outlet where you will receive the prevailing rate of exchange.
Many places will accept US dollars but they set their own exchange
rate or accept US dollars at par.
Most business hours are 8:30 am – 4:30 pm or 9:00 am –
5:00 pm. Most shops are open 9:00 am – 6:00 pm or 10:00 am
– 6:00 pm, Monday through Wednesday and Saturdays, with many
staying open until 9:00 pm on Thursday and Friday evenings. Many
shops are open on Sundays, generally from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
As a non-resident visitor, you can claim a refund for goods and
services tax (GST), currently 7%, paid on eligible goods and/or
short-term accommodation while visiting Canada. Save your receipts
for submission to Revenue Canada.
Hotels charge a 10% hotel tax that is not refundable.
Provincial sales tax is 7.5%. There is no sales tax on food or restaurant
meals. If a visitor purchases goods and has them shipped by the
vendor directly to his or her home location outside of Canada, no
taxes are charged. (This is subject to availability and dependant
on whether the vendor offers this option).
Entry into Canada
The following information is provided to assist visitors in crossing
Canadian borders with ease and minimal delays.
All visitors should carry a valid passport. In addition to a passport,
there are a number of countries whose citizens also require a visa
to enter Canada. Because visa requirements for countries change,
we suggest that you visit the Canada Customs website or call the
Canadian Consulate or Embassy in your country at least a couple
of months before your visit to check on document requirements.
Have your papers ready when you arrive in Canada:
All visitors and residents who arrive by air have to complete a
Customs Declaration form that is handed in to an Immigration Officer
when you go through Canada Customs and Immigration. You can help
make the immigration interview as short as possible by answering
all questions simply and honestly. You should have your passport
and other documents ready and with you rather than in your luggage.
Departure from Canada
Visitors departing Vancouver International Airport for US destinations
should note that they clear US Immigration and Customs at Vancouver
Airport. Please make sure that you leave enough time to clear customs
before your flight departs. It is recommended that you allow no
less than half an hour after you check in for your flight to clear
US customs and proceed to your departure date.
Airport Improvement Fee
Everyone flying out of Vancouver International Airport has to pay
the Airport Improvement Fee (AIF). The cost is $10 for domestic
flights (including the US and Mexico), $15 for international flights.
Things to do in Vancouver
No Vancouver visit is complete without:
• a browse through the curio shops in Chinatown, the second
largest in North America, before sitting down to a delicious restaurant
• riding the SeaBus across Vancouver’s inner harbour
to Lonsdale Quay Market for shopping and dining (the SeaBus terminal
is located across the street from Simon Fraser University’s
• a day of waterfront sightseeing on Granville Island with
its fascinating collection of restaurants, theatres, artists’
studios and farmers’ market;
• a visit to Stanley Park, a 1000-acre park, located in the
heart of Vancouver. The flat 6.2 mile Seawall surrounding the park
is perfect for walking, jogging, biking and for enjoying spectacular
• walking the cobbled streets of Gastown with its many restaurants
and shops. A must-visit photo op is the Steam Clock;
• shopping, shopping and more shopping. At Leone’s at
Sinclair Centre, in Gastown, on Robson Street or at the Pacific
Centre Mall, visit Canada’s own high fashion store, Holt Renfrew;
• a visit to the CN IMAX Theatre at Canada Place;
• enjoying some evening entertainment at one of our theatres,
sports stadiums or arenas.
Tourism Links and Information
• Tourism Vancouver www.tourismvancouver.com/docs/visit/index.html
• Tourism BC www.hellobc.com
• BC Passport www.bcpassport.com
• BC Travel www.travel.bc.ca
• BC Ferries www.bcferries.bc.ca
• Vancouver Public Transit www.translink.bc.ca
• Washington State Ferries www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries
Customs and Revenue Information
• Canada Customs and Revenue
for visitor information.
• Currency Conversion
• Refunds of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/tax/nonresidents/visitors/index-e.html
• Granville Island www.granvilleisland.com
Shopping, Farmers’ Market and good restaurants, arts venues
for music and live theatre, and roving street performers.
• Science World www.scienceworld.bc.ca/newsite/info
• Vancouver Aquarium and Marine Science Centre www.vanaqua.org
• Vancouver Museum www.vanmuseum.bc.ca
• Vancouver Art Gallery www.vanartgallery.bc.ca
• Vancouver Space Centre www.hrmacmillanspacecentre.com
• Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/parks.
Highlights include Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, Queen Elizabeth
Park Gardens, and Stanley Park, which is North America's third largest
urban park (over 1000 acres).
• Local Vancouver Weather Forecast from Environment Canada
• Local Vancouver Weather Forecast from the Weather Network
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