Canada: Supermarkets

It's been a long time since I began what would be a series of articles about Canada, an article on Internet shopping in Canada. For a long time this show ended up being a single article, so I guess I finally came time to publish a second article. This will be on our supermarket shopping. Whether you'll be a week or a year in Canada, You probably enter into a supermarket at some point, then speak here of some differences and some tips. How many items are, I decided to separate them by topic to facilitate.

Safeway, o supermercado onde eu fazia a maioria das compras

Safeway, the supermarket where I did most of the shopping


One of the first noticeable differences in almost all Canadian trade is that the prices are the labels on the shelves and do not include taxes. Thus, when you pass through the box you will notice that all products will be increased by 5% Concerning the federal tax (GST). In the province where I was (Alberta), it was only, but in other provinces there is also the provincial tax, which is PST (around 7%). There provinces substitutem GST and PST for a single station called HST.

Unlike Canada, taxes in Brazil are always embedded in the price, This has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you always know the exact amount you will pay, the downside is that we have no idea how much the government robs us daily, and is no small thing. In Canada you know exactly how much you are paying tax on your purchase, everything is properly described on the invoice (Prosecutor to note). And Canadians gastam enough with taxes, as well as Brazilians, a diferença é que lá o governo gasta adequadamente, then health, education, security, etc. are things that actually exist, unlike Brazil.

Around the time I was in Canada I remember few establishments where the GST was already included in the price displayed. They are: the Subway, I bought some local ice cream cone, etc. Outside food, the only place that I remember GST built into the price is a Gift Shop on the square where the City Hall in Edmonton. It was there that I acquired this from chaveirinho Edmonton Oilers, the hockey team of the city. The hockey is to Canada as soon as football is to Brazil.

Chaveirinho do Edmonton Oilers, um dos raros produtos que já trazia o imposto incluído no preço da etiqueta

Chaveirinho the Edmonton Oilers, one of those rare products that has brought the tax included in the price tag

Note that addition of GST, PST, HST or some products may have specific taxes. Right now I'm just reminding me of a: soft drinks and other products in cans or PET bottle. They are all plus a tax to encourage recycling of this material. Apparently this tax is refunded (I do not know whether wholly or partially) when they are returned to recycling centers. I do not remember exactly how much is this rate, but it is high enough that establishments have specific garbage cans and PET scans use a container that has only a narrow opening at the top to move the can or bottle. And the door to remove them is with a padlock to prevent someone remove this material from inside, due to its high value. One of the tips (actually a request, almost an order) Landlords da intervener (person who rents a property) was always separate cans and bottles from trash, to prevent residents of the street (homeless people) open and spread all the garbage in search of them.

Speaking of trash, a curiosity: there he is placed at the back of houses, because there is always an alley (which is not a street, is not on the maps, nor has the name / numbering) cutting each bloco, separating the fund houses adjacent streets. It is usually in these alleys that are built entries of garages, so that when walking the streets you hardly see the houses garage. Em Edmonton, The waste is collected once per week in summer, and once every two weeks in winter. In Brazil is common garbage to be collected two or three times per week. But we must consider that there the remains of food do not spoil here as, because of the much colder climate. Consider also that, as those garbage bags are placed in the back of the houses, usually in specific containers, they can be placed on any day, without risk of being spread dogs and cats, because there are no loose dogs and cats streets.

Rua de um bairro residencial

Street of a residential neighborhood

E a viela no fundo das casas

And lanes in I found homes

But we are talking supermarkets, then comes to ramble about other things and go to the next item.


Pay for your purchases seems to have no major difference with regard to Brazil. Most of my purchases used international credit cards, issued in Brazil, no problem, rather than happens in online purchases only cards issued in Canada are accepted. On no occasion have asked any document to accept my card, but it is good to be with my passport in my pocket as it can be ordered. Moreover, the passport should always be in your pocket, since it is the only valid identification when you're in foreign lands. But I confess that I only used my load when going to the bank or somewhere far from home, which was not the case from day to day I was walking to college.

The traditional question we always hear in Brazil: “Debit or credit?” something to pay with card is not heard in Canada. I think there are always credit cards only credit (not really know if there are debit cards there, should not be too common). When the attendant sees a Visa logo, Mastercard, American Express, etc. he already knows that this credit card.

Before traveling, several people told me to change traveler's checks (traveler’s cheques) in supermarkets and other outlets was something trivial in Canada. Perhaps this is true for cities like Toronto. But in Edmonton, capital of the province of Alberta, travelers checks only were exchanged in banks. Fortunately some banks exchange travelers checks at no charge, even without bank account. And Who is Australian and is used with long lines every time you go to the bank, this is the most amazing: is rare catch queue in banks in Canada. Most of the time I went to the bank I was seen immediately. At one time or another all the attendants were busy, but there was no one waiting, then quickly went the first and only queue, and soon after attended. I was always very well attended by staff, always very friendly and helpful. Some banks have special hours, some work or until 20hs 21hs (8pm e 9pm por lá) on some days of the week, or even running Saturday. Those revolving doors also do not exist there, and I was not aware of any assault on any occasion. My traveler's checks were all exchanged CIBC, and the necessary documents were only the passport plus a second document any (used to CNH Brazilian).

Scenes of the next chapter

When I started this article I made a list of some items, and for each one of them I would write a two-paragraph. I've noticed that I end up writing much more than that and enter other concurrent issues, then I guess divide the article into parts. I'll ending by the party here 1. Wait for the items to be discussed in the next part of this article:

  • Take a Penny, Leave a Penny
  • Supermarket Cards
  • Pharmacy
  • Fruits
  • Rice and Beans
  • Chocolates and sweets in general
  • Butchery
  • Other foods
  • Exchanges

And I'm ending here, fulfill the promise by starting to talk about shopping in supermarkets. There are still other matters: differences in transit, security (in Brazil there, lá are), food, climate, housing, costumes, etc. One day I can complete. Até a próxima parte… 🙂

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Permanent link to this article:

Sign up
Notify about
more new top rated
Inline Feedbacks
See all reviews

I enjoyed this article very, despite more articles about Canada ahead, I was already wanting to live there… lol
I'm awaiting the next articles.


But you didn't say no-name supermarket. I was wondering to put on my map. Thank you

We would like to know what you think, Leave your commentx