Useful Information

For useful information regarding your journey to Vancouver and a few travel tips for while you are here, please click on the tabs below.


The Canadian Dollar (CAD) is the official currency in Canada. All major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops and restaurants.

Canadian one dollar coin (“loonie”) ($) = 100 cents
Canadian two dollar coin (“toonie”) ($) = 200 cents
Notes are in denominations of $1000, $100, $50, $20, $10, $5
Coins are in denominations of $2, $1, $0.50, $0.25, $0.10, $0.05
Many tourist-friendly businesses choose to accept American currency as a courtesy to American visitors, but US dollars are legally a foreign currency in Canada, not a secondary currency. Businesses that choose to accept US dollars choose their own exchange rate, and they will only give back change in Canadian dollars.

Machines where you have to insert coins or bills including vending machines, laundry machines, pay phones, public transit ticket machines, parking meters, etc. will only accept Canadian dollars or coins.


All presentations at the STI & HIV 2019 World Congress will be in English. There will be no simultaneous translation.

Time Zone

Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone (UTC-8).


Restaurant tipping is left to the customer’s discretion, but the customary amount is 10%-15%. Many restaurants automatically add a tip or gratuity (up to 18%) to the bill for groups larger than 6 people. It is also customary to tip bell service for luggage handling, housekeeping, and taxi drivers.


Vancouver has a moderate, oceanic climate. Protected by the mountains and warmed by the Pacific ocean currents, Vancouver is one of the warmest cities in Canada. Although Vancouver has a reputation for rain, it actually ranks as the 9th rainiest location in Canada. Vancouver’s wettest months are November and December with an average precipitation of 182mm. July and August are the driest months in Vancouver, with an average of just 41mm of precipitation.

Electricity and Power

The standard Canadian AC power supply comes at 110V (60Hz) and utilizes the NEMA 1-15p and NEMA 5-15p outlet standard (pictured above). Please bring a travel adapter and/or transformer for your electronic devices (such as laptops and smartphones) and small appliances (such as electric razors, hair dryers, and irons) if you require them.

Emergency and Safety

Vancouver remains one of the safest cities in Canada. However, it is always advisable to know about local safety services in the unlikely event of an emergency.

In the event of a health, safety, or criminal emergency, dial 9-1-1.

It is also advised to know the location and contact number of your country's embassy in the event that your travel documents are lost.

Measurement System

Canada officially adopted the metric system in the 1970s. However, Canadians typically use a hybrid of metric and Imperial units in day-to-day life, depending on the situation.

Temperatures are measured almost exclusively in degrees Celsius. Speed limits in Canada are listed as kilometres per hour (km/h). Volumes are typically measured in millilitres and litres. Distances are typically measured in centimetres, metres, and kilometres, but also as inches and feet. Weights are typically measured in both kilograms and pounds.

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