When it comes to tipping in Canada, we follow very similar customs as you would find in the USA. Aside from situations wherein a gratuity is automatically charged by an establishment, always remember that tipping is your choice. Sometimes the service is worth a tip, but other times it is not. Below is a list of what is considered normal for tipping procedures in Canada.

Please note that all amounts shown below are in Canadian Dollars(CAD). If you wish to tip or pay for things in US Dollars(USD) it is generally accepted, however, it will be treated as $1 USD = $1 CAD when in reality the exchange rate is approximately $1 USD ≅ $1.25 to $1.30 CAD. This means that you will be overpaying by a significant margin.

If you wish to exchange money for Canadian Dollars, it is recommended that you do so at your bank before leaving home, or at a bank in Canada as airports will offer you a poor exchange rate.

Tipping By Type of Service in Canada:

Tipping for these services will require cash, either CAD or USD:

Bellhops: $5.00 for luggage handling

Housekeeping: $3.00 – $5.00 per night (leave in your room with a note)

Concierge: $5.00 – $10.00 for exceptional, or extra service

Tipping for these services can be done by cash, either CAD or USD, or card:

For sit-down service in a restaurant:
15% on the total bill for good service
20% on the total bill for exceptional service

Some restaurants may charge an automatic 15% gratuity for foreign guests or for small groups. If you have a bad restaurant experience, many people — especially those in the food service industry — feel quite strongly that refusing to tip is not the best way to respond. If there are issues with your food or service in a restaurant, tell your server right away so they can remedy the situation. In many restaurants, servers are required to “tip out” – that is, to give a percentage of their total sales to cover tips for hostesses and similar service staff. Since their “tip out” is based on total sales, not on what you leave them, if you do not tip a server they could lose money on the time they spent serving you.

For takeaway service:

Tipping is not expected but is appreciated. No more than 10% of the total bill.

Tipping for these services will mostly require cash, either CAD or USD:

Motorcoach Tour Guides: $10.00 – $20.00 per couple

Private Tour Guides: $50.00 per couple per day on a private tour

Taxi Drivers: 10% of your service cost (fares payable by credit card but most prefer cash when possible)
*In more remote locations such as Port Hardy and Prince Rupert cash is strongly recommended for taxis as they don’t all carry card machines

Gratuities have been pre-paid at the time of booking as part of your Rocky Mountaineer train ticket. It is no longer necessary to tip the staff onboard this train.

Gratuities can be paid at the time service is received on VIA trains as the staff that are attending to you at the beginning of your trip may be different than those attending to you at the end. *On multi-day trips aboard the Canadian train, the staff will change when you reach Winnipeg. Tipping for these services will mostly require cash, either CAD or USD:

Room Attendants: $5.00 per day, per passenger, directly to the attendant or left in your cabin with a note before you go to dinner service

Dining Car: $3.00 – $5.00 per meal, per passenger, upon completion of your meal
*This can be paid by card if you have purchased an item at an additional cost

Onboard the Canadian Train it is also good to have cash on hand for snacks and drink purchases. Credit cards are accepted onboard, however, a credit card imprinter will be used to take a copy of the card which will be charged at the end of your trip as it is not possible to use payment terminals in the remote areas this train travels through.

For additional information, you can view our Frequently Asked Questions here: