Exchange - Daily Life in Vancouver


Emergency Numbers

While we hope you won't need to use these numbers, it is important that you know who to call in case of an emergency.


Ambulance 911 or 0
Fire 911 or 0
Police 911 or 0


Getting around Metro Vancouver is pretty straight forward. With bus, skytrain, and seabus there are plenty of ways to get around. Visit the translink website to learn about transit in Vancouver, to plan your trip or to view bus schedules and service updates.

While on the road, you can call 604-953-3333 for detailed transit information or text 33333 with your bus stop number (located at the top of the bus stop sign) for the next arriving bus times.


Currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widely available. Travellers Cheques in Canadian Dollars are also widely accepted but are more suitable for when you first arrive after which time you might want to open a bank account.

Banking hours are Mon-Fri 9:30am to 4/5pm with extended hours in some locations. To set up a bank account, the procedures are a little different for each institution. Most of them will require you to present some ID (passport) and supply them with a mailing address. Some of the banks may request a letter of recommendation from Kwantlen. If this is require, the International Exchange Office would be happy to supply you with one. Some of the larger banking chains in Vancouver are:

TD Canada Trust
Bank of Montreal
Royal Bank
Coast Capital Savings

Call or visit a branch of the bank you wish to do business with to find out how to set up an account. 

Cell Phones

If you would like to have a cell phone while you are here you can purchase a pay as you go sim card and insert it into your current phone (phone must be capable of functioning in North America) or you can enroll in a monthly plan. Some of the phone companies in Vancouver are:

ChatR Mobile
Freedom Mobile
Virgin Mobile

Compare Mobile Plans
Check if your phone will work on Canadian Mobile Carriers


Hours vary but most retail stores and malls are open 6 days a week from 9 or 10am until around 6pm. Stores are usually open until 9pm on Fridays. On Sunday stores are either closed or have restricted hours usually from 11-5pm.

Grocery Stores

Most larger grocery stores are open from 8 until midnight seven days a week. Smaller stores usually close around 10.


The post office is usually open from 8:30-4:30 but hours are extended in some locations. Click here to locate a post office.

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