Being Australian, tipping is not a customary part of my culture. When I arrived in Canada I didn’t understand the tipping system and often found myself confused! I was over-tipping regularly, and on other occasions forgetting to tip as I had no idea it was expected. To save you making the same mistake as me, I have put together a short guide on tipping in Canada.
In most cases, a 15% – %20 tip is reasonable. In addition, below is more information on when to tip in Canada, and how much.
In general, tipping in Canada is expected when you are receiving services from restaurants, hairdressers, taxi drivers, hotel employees, and other service providers.
Tipping hospitality staff in Canada
You are expected to tip in Canada at restaurants, bars, cafes, cafeterias, ice cream shops, bakeries and for food delivery.
Tipping at a restaurant in Canada
At a restaurant in Canada, 15% of the bill is expected as a tip. A 20%+ tip is given for exceptional service. Sometimes the tip is automatically added to the bill, so make sure you check to see if it was automatically added, to avoid tipping twice.
Tipping your Bartender in Canada
In Canada, you generally tip your bartender between 50cents – $2 per drink, or 15%-20%. You will find that it is usually easiest to tip your change.
Tipping at cafes in Canada
At coffee shops, ice cream shops and cafeterias, a tip is expected for good service. 15% – 20% of the bill is more than acceptable.
Tipping for food delivery in Canada
10% of the bill is a generous tip for food delivery in Canada.
Tipping Coat check in Canada
$1 to $2 per coat is expected as a tip in Canada.
Canadians will not expect you to tip for counter service. You will sometimes see tip jars. You can tip if you receive exceptional service, but it isn’t customary to do so.
Tipping Hotel Staff in Canada
There are a number of hotel staff that expect a tip in Canada. I suggest making sure you travel with plenty of cash, there is nothing more awkward than having none when it comes time to tip.
Tipping the Doorman in Canada
You can tip the doorman $2 if they hail a taxi for you.
Tipping the Bellman in Canada
In general, $2 to $5 per bag is a generous tip for a bellman in Canada.
Tipping the housekeeper in Canada
You are expected to tip the housekeeper in Canada. $2 to $5 per day is reasonable, or you can tip a lump sum at end of your stay. I prefer to tip daily in case the housekeeper changes. You can leave the tip on the bed or bedside table.
Tipping for Room Service in Canada
Be sure to check whether a tip is included in the cost of room service, as it is not necessary to tip on top of this. Otherwise, 15% is common, or $2 to $5 if the staff member is delivering a no-cost item, like extra pillows.
Tipping Valet Parking in Canada
Typically, a $5 to $10 tip when picking up your car is acceptable. Some people also tip when leaving the car. I recommend a $5 tip on drop off and pick up.
Tipping the Concierge in Canada
Tipping the concierge is not usual, but if you are particularly pleased with your service, a tip at the end of your stay will no doubt be welcomed.
Tipping other service workers in Canada
These are the people I most commonly forget to tip. The taxi driver, the hairdresser and my tour guides.
Tipping at the Salon / Hairdresser in Canada
A tip of 15% to 20% for hair stylists, beauticians, and masseurs is typical. It is also appreciated if you tip the person who blows dry your hair as well as the one who washes it at $5 to $10 each.
Tipping Tour Guides in Canada
If the service was good, it is customary to tip the tour guide and driver 10% – 15% of the cost of the trip to show your appreciation.
Tipping for Transport in Canada
Tipping Taxi Drivers in Canada
A tip between 10% to 20% of the fare is expected. For example, a good tip would be $2 on an $8 fare (easy to round up to a $10 bill) or approximately $5 or $6 on a $40 fare.
Tipping the Airport/hotel shuttle driver
Not everyone tips these drivers, but a $2 tip is always welcomed.
As you can see, many service workers expect tips in Canada, so it is very important to travel with cash.
Remember: Service employees are paid a low minimum wage and are often offered no benefits. A tip can go a long way in the life of a local. Even if tipping isn’t part of your culture, it is essential that you tip when you are in Canada.