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Shopping in Canada

Shopping in Canada

Shopping in Canada offers more than the usual tourist fare of Mountie dolls and maple leaf T-shirts. Visitors can choose from a wide range of products, and buy everything from electronic equipment to clothes and jewelry.
There is also a variety of goods unique to the country – maple syrup from Quebec, smoked salmon from British Columbia, and cowboy boots from Alberta, to name a few. Native art inspired by centuries-old tradition, includes carvings by west-coast peoples and Inuit paintings and tapestries.
In each major city there are covered malls, chainstores, specialty shops, and galleries, as well as street markets to explore. In country areas, beautifully-made crafts by local people can be found. Be aware that sales taxes are added to the price of many items.
Store hours vary, but in larger cities most stores are open by 9am and close between 5pm and 9pm. However, some grocery and variety stores are open 24 hours a day, and in major towns several pharmacies are also open for 24 hours. In most towns, stores have late closing until 9pm on Friday evening.
However, in smaller towns and villages you should not expect any store, including the gas station, to be open after 6pm. Sunday openings are increasing: usually hours run from noon to 5pm but vary from province to province. Check first, as many may be closed in rural areas.

Most Canadian stores accept all major credit cards, with VISA and Master-Card being the most popular.
Some stores require a minimum purchase in order to use the card. They may limit the use of cards during summer and winter sales. Direct payments, or “Switch” transactions, are also widely used, with point-of-sale terminals for bank cards available in most supermarkets and department stores. Travelers’ checks are readily accepted with proper identification; a valid passport or driver’s license are the usually accepted forms. US dollars are the only non-Canadian currency accepted in department stores. Bear in mind that the exchange rate is usually lower, sometimes as much as 15 percent, than a bank will give. Large stores may offer money-changing facilities within the store.

Canadians love to curse the national Goods and Services Tax (GST), which currently runs at 7 percent. It is added to most retail transactions; the major exception is basic food items. Visitors who are nonresident in Canada can apply for a GST rebate on most goods within 60 days of purchase.
This excludes restaurant bills, drinks, tobacco, or transportation expenses. Refund forms are available in airports, duty free stores, hotels, and most Canadian Embassies. Include original receipts when sending the application to Revenue Canada as photocopies are not accepted.
In addition to the GST, most provinces add a provincial sales tax, varying from 5–12 percent, on meals and store bought items. Alberta, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories do not impose this tax, and Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland offer rebates to non-residents.

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Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario Founded in 1900, the Art Gallery of Ontario holds one of Canada’s most extensive collections of fine art and modern sculpture. This modern structure houses European works by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, van Gogh and Picasso, a superb collection of Canadian art, including the Group of Seven work, Inuit art, and the world’s largest public collection of works by British sculptor Henry Moore. The gallery is currently undergoing expansion, designed by architect Frank Gehry, to accommodate an unprecedented gift of 2,000 works from a private collection. Renovation will continue until 2008. Henry Moore Sculpture Opened in 1974, the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre houses the world’s largest public collection of his works, including Draped Reclining Figure (1952 –3). Floor Burger (1962) Claes Oldenburg’s giant hamburger is made of painted sailcloth and foam rubber and is an iconic work of the Pop Art movement. Gallery Facade The gallery was reopened in 1993 after four years of architectural renovation that unified a range of styles, from Georgian to Modernist. Outside, the stern Henry Moore bronze, Large Two Forms (1966 –9), dominates the forecourt. The West Wind (1917) Tom Thomson’s painting inspired a distinctive Canadian style exemplified by the “Group of Seven.” Inuit Collection The gallery houses the world’s third largest collection of Inuit art. Made from soapstone, whalebone, and sinew, this piece, Shaman with Spirit Helper (1972) is by Karoo Ashevak. Peasants’ Wedding (date unknown) The gallery’s renowned European collection includes this exuberant work (detail shown) by Brueghel the Younger (1564 –1638). Gallery Guide The Upper Level houses several excellent collections of Canadian painting, with works by the “Group of Seven”, and Inuit art. The Upper Level also houses the Henry Moore Centre, which is home to Moore’s sculptures, bronzes, and plaster casts, as well as over 700 prints and drawings. European art is found on the ground floor. STAR SIGHTS . The West Wind by Tom Thomson . Henry Moore Sculpture Centre . Inuit Collection Edit this page

Entertainment in Canada

Entertainment In Canada
Entertainment in Canada boasts all the sophistication tourists have come to expect from a major North American country, coupled with delightful rural entertainments in relaxing local venues. Covering mainstream world-class productions in Ottawa and the larger cities, Canada also offers the latest in alternative acts and traditional artforms, particularly in its exceptional folk music heritage.

In the 1600s French settlers in Canada either imported religious paintings or commissioned stock subjects to adorn their new churches. Only Samuel de Champlain, the “Father of New France”, stands out for his sketches of the Huron tribe. After the English conquest in the 1760s, art moved from religion to matters of politics, the land, and the people.

Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Montreal are the four top theater centers in Canada (most of their productions are in English). Homegrown talent mixes here with shows imported from Europe and the US. Musicals and classical theater are always popular and tend to be fine quality. Shakespeare is popular, but there is a wide spectrum of shows – a stylish revival of the 1980s hit Fame was a long-running success in Toronto in the late 1990s. The main theaters listed opposite have a principal season from November to May, but summer attractions are on the increase. Musicals and historical reconstructions are always strong family entertainment; the best-known is the musical Anne of Green Gables, performed year-round since the 1950s in Charlottetown