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Tipping Etiquette When You’re on Vacation in Canada

Tipping is rarely mandatory, but it is both appreciated and expected in many situations. This is because some employers pay their workers less, recognizing that they will earn extra during their shifts. Thus, in some cases, not tipping could mean stiffing that person a decent wage.

Restaurant Staff

Tipping at restaurants is a universal custom. In most countries, Canada included, the average tip falls between 15 and 20 percent. If the restaurant tips out to the kitchen, you may want to increase this range to ensure both parties benefit.

Hotel Staff

Various people come together to make a hotel function. Some of those people, such as the concierge and management, do not require tips. However, the staff with whom you interact regularly do. For example:

  • Tip the bellman or bellwoman, also called a porter in some countries, one to five dollars per bag;
  • Tip the housekeeper two to three dollars per day, plus a departing gift of five or more dollars (a note alongside the tip goes a long way);
  • Tip the staff delivering room service unless the tip has been worked into the cost of the meal and/or amenity;
  • Tip the valet five to 10 dollars when picking up your vehicle.

Other Service Providers

Counter-service establishments like cafes and ice cream shops put out tip jars for extra support from their patrons. Travellers to Canada sometimes feel obligated to chip in, but tipping counter-service workers is optional. That said, beauty shops like salons and spas do expect tips. How much depends on your level of satisfaction, but most people go north of 10 percent.

Other service providers you should tip 10 to 20 percent are cab drivers and shuttle operators. Interestingly, ride-share programs like Uber defy this convention and eliminate tipping altogether. When taking tours, though, it’s customary to tip both the guide and the driver.