Canada Communication

Phone

The international country code for Canada is 1. Area codes and local phone numbers are basically the same as used in the United States. Of the major national carriers, Bell Mobility and TELUS operate national CDMA networks and a more modern UMTS (WDCMA/HSPDA) network. Rogers Wireless operates a GSM network. Note that quad-band/world phones may still not be compatible with Bell and TELUS's HSDPA network, but they should work on Rogers.

All of the major national carriers offer pre-paid SIM cards with start-up packages in the range of $75 with a specified amount of airtime included. Prepaid plans usually have a per minute rate of $0.25, but many have "evenings and weekends" add-ons for around $30/month.

Visitors from outside North America will be surprised to learn that Canadian carriers charge for incoming calls, either by using a plan's included minutes, or at a rate of $0.25 to $0.35/minute. In addition, if you are outside of your phone number's local calling area when answering a call, you will be charged long distance on top of the air time charge. This means that answering an incoming call outside of the phone's local calling area can cost you up to $0.70/minute.

Language

English and French are the only two official languages in Canada. Canada's federal government practices official bilingualism, and two languages have equal status. Ontario has the largest French-speaking population outside Quebec. In Quebec, one can get by with English in the major cities and tourist destinations, but some knowledge of French is useful for reading road signs as well as travels off the beaten path, and almost essential in many rural areas. It may also be useful to know at least a few basic French phrases in the larger cities, where some attempt by travellers to communicate in French is often appreciated.

There are also dozens of aboriginal languages spoken by Canadians of aboriginal descent. Of these, only the Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibway languages have a large enough population of fluent speakers to be considered viable to survive in the long term. Inuktitut is the majority language in Nunavut, and is one of three official languages in the territory.

Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish , German and Italian.

Internet

Wi-Fi access is common in cities and can be found at most coffee shops, public libraries, and some restaurants. Most airports and certain VIA Rail stations also offer free Wi-Fi in passenger areas.

Check this website for a list of free Wi-Fi: http://www.wififreespot.com/can.php