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US currency

Buffalo, New York
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134 posts
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US currency

We will be in Toronto this weekend. Do i need to exchange my US dollars for canadian money?

Niagara Falls, ON
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for Niagara Falls
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1. Re: US currency

Well, if Canadians were going to NYC, would you advise them to change to U.S. currency, or just use their Canadian money?

Probably most places WILL accept U.S. money but, since it is not legal tender in Canada and they are doing so as a courtesy, they are free to charge whatever exchange rate they choose, so it could be par or it could be 20¢ on a dollar. Best thing is to use a credit card or exchange cash at a bank or reputable currency exchange.

West Grey, Ontario
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for Toronto
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2. Re: US currency

Hi blkllem;

When a Canadian business accepts US cash it is actually a hassle for them, as they will have to pay to exchange it at their bank.

To be respectful to your host country, when in Rome...

Many businesses will accept American currency as a courtesy to American tourists. Businesses that choose to accept US dollars set their own exchange rate, so you may find the rate different from store to store, and the rate will NOT be in your favour. You will receive your change in Canadian funds. Coins, as a general rule, are accepted at face value…at par.

Automated equipment, i.e. vending machines, public transit machines, parking meters, etc - basically anything where you insert coins / bills... will only accept Canadian currency.

Most places will take credit cards, however there may be fees over and above the exchange rate charged by the credit card issuer. Some credit cards have a Foreign Usage Fee tacked on for usage outside of the issuing country. Check with your card issuer for exact details.

You could always use your bank card to withdraw money from an ATM. Check with your bank to find which Canadian banks they have an agreement with and then utilize that Canadian bank’s ATM for the fewest / cheapest fees & surcharges.

For some money saving tips, have a look at the traveller article “Canada – Banks & Money” here on TA.

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g153339-s601/Canada:Ba…

Best Regards

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: US currency

For exchanging cash, Guardian Currency Exchange has excellent rates and is conveniently located at Dundas Square. But credit cards are the most convenient, and using your debit card at an ATM to withdraw cash works too.

Burlington, Canada
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4. Re: US currency

Any bank (there's one on almost every corner) will change your US$ to CDN$. As mentioned, ATM's will also work as is the option of using your credit card. If you're near Dundas Square do what Matt suggests and hit the Guardian Currency Exchange. (located at Dundas and Yonge).

detroit
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for Niagara Falls
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5. Re: US currency

The way the Canadian dollar has been going up, maybe in a couple years your Canadian dollars will be more then welcome in NYC--at par, lol

The US dollar is now a bit below par vs the Canadian dollar, so I don't believe it be too welcome in Toronto--least not at par--if so take it, ha ha.

ATM's offer the fairest exchange rates

Edited: 03 May 2012, 16:52
Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: US currency

People get way too obsessed with par. It's just a number; they're still separate currencies. (If orange prices hit parity with apple prices, it wouldn't mean you could start substituting oranges in apple pie recipes!)

I do understand why we get these questions -- the US dollar is truly global in a way that other currencies aren't. It's estimated that two-thirds of US paper money is circulating _outside_ the US. But the simple answer is that local currency is preferred around here, and usually a better deal too.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: US currency

I'd say it is always better to get CAD....though a 20% loss would be rare around town, 5% to 10% is a definite possibility.

Toronto, Canada
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310 posts
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8. Re: US currency

I can tell you that *expecting* your US money to be taken here would be very off-putting to many people. Only very tourist-oriented businesses would simply take the money. Others might refuse or be very crabby about it.

You can get Canadian money from an ATM. That would be easiest, if you can't use your credit card.

Toronto, Ontario
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for Toronto
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9. Re: US currency

Blkllem, as you see, a bit of a hornet's nest of a question. It's not you...this is not the first time the query has come up, and it always generates a bit of Canadian nationalism on the forum.

This is Canada. While we are neighbours to the US and while you are a great trading partner to Canada, we do have different customs (for instance, see the spelling of "neighbours"), governance and currencies.

The bottom line of travelling to ANY other country than one's own, no matter what their location or relation to the US: take about 1 days' worth of spending in that country's currency, just in case. You just never know what situation may arise that will call for an ability to pay in cash.

So, for instance, if you're going to be here for 4 days, consider having about $100 cash in Canadian currency. You might get into a cab that doesn't have a credit card machine; you might want a bottle of water in a convenience store, you get my drift. Regardless of where you go...you are going to receive change for your money in Canadian currency anyway, so one way or another...you're gonna have our pretty Canadian dollars in your wallet! So you might as well have some on the way in, and then you don't have to worry about being taken advantage of by someone who is going to charge you 10% or 15% on your US dollar because it's a pain for them to have to exchange it.

Buffalo, New York
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10. Re: US currency

Thanks everyone. As you all suggested we exchanged our US money as soon as we got to Toronto. Guess i should have known better. Canada is just so close to us (we're from Buffalo) that we forget its a different country.