What Is The Tipping Culture Like In Canada? Do You Need To Tip?

Whenever the travel bug bites and I visit a new destination, I always do a quick Google search of the tipping culture. While some countries and industries rely heavily on tips, others seem almost offended by the gesture. To avoid any social no-nos when visiting Canada, read our tipping guide.
Canada’s famed maple leaf: Lewis Parsons | Unsplash

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Canada’s tipping culture has seen significant changes since the Covid-19 pandemic, with many locals tipping more than they did pre-Pandemic. These findings are bolstered by Restaurant Canada, which notes that “44 % of Canadians are now leaving higher gratuities” in the post-lockdown world. This new phenomenon has been dubbed ‘tip-flation.’

So, with all that said, what are the tipping norms in Canada? Let’s have a look by sector!

In Restaurants

Tipping between 15 – 20 % is the norm in restaurants and bars. Photo: Patrick Tomasso | Unsplash

Tipping in Canadian restaurants is a cultural norm, with most locals tipping between 15 and 20% of their bill. While not legally required or mandatory, it is the done thing, and not doing so would undoubtedly signal a social faux pas. If the service is fantastic and you have a world-class experience, you can always tip a little more. If, however, your meal isn’t so dazzling, be sure to take it up with management rather than denying your server of their tip. After all, they’ve served you!

In Bars

Much like in a restaurant, you can tip bartenders around 15 – 20 % of your total bill. The friendlier you are with your tips, the more likely it is that you’ll get served quickly on a busy night.

In Hotels

Tipping in hotels is also commonplace when visiting Canada. Leaving gratuity shows hotel staff that you appreciate their efforts, and since some hospitality workers earn minimum wage, it can make a huge difference. As a general rule, hotel patrons should usually tip room service around 15 % of their bill (much like in a restaurant) and leave a couple of Canadian dollars ($3-$5) per night for housekeepers. You can tip your concierge between $3 – $20 depending on the service and duration of your stay, and if someone carries your bags, around $2 per bag will suffice.

Whether you’re in a big city like Toronto or a smaller locale, tipping is the way to go. Photo: Mwangi Gatheca | Unsplash

Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers, including Lyft or Uber drivers, should also get a tip. Generally speaking, around 10 – 20 % off your ride fare is the norm. If a driver goes above and beyond – helping with bags, fitting a child seat, or giving you top travel tips – consider tipping a little more.

Haircuts And Beauty Treatments

Those who enjoy beauty and wellness treatments, such as haircuts, facials, manicures, waxes, and massages, usually tip around 10 % of the total bill. This token of appreciation shows gratitude to the therapist, allowing them to make a little extra on the treatment.

The Tipping Point

Tipping is always appreciated in Canada. Photo: Blake Wisz | Unsplash

Tipping in Canada is definitely the norm, and tipping culture has accelerated since the pandemic. Tipping is a tangible way to show your appreciation and can make a massive difference to those receiving a gratuity. While tips aren’t mandatory and should always be at your discretion based on the service, not tipping is considered pretty rude in Canada and should be avoided at all costs!

If you are thinking of visiting South Africa, Iceland, or Germany, check out our tipping guides for these destinations too.


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