Unless you have a huge mattress inside a walled fortress, you are going to need a bank account in Canada.
Most employers will either pay you by direct deposit into a bank account, or they will write you a cheque which you can later cash or deposit into your bank account.
Honestly, it’s not rocket science, you must have opened a bank account in your home country at some stage.
Here is a list of what you will need to bring with you when you open a bank account in Canada:
1. Proof that you are you, i.e. Passport, work permit, credit cards.
2. Some money to put in your account when you open it. (Maybe $100)
3. Your SIN (see our section on SINs) or “Acknowledgement of Application Letter”
4. Permanent address in Canada – use your hostel if you don’t have a place yet. You can change it later.
Then you just have to choose which bank. There are 5 main banks in Canada (“The Big 5”) that will have cash machines and branches almost anywhere you go.
- Toronto Dominion (TD Canada Trust)
- Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- Bank of Montreal (BMO)
Banking hours in Canada
Bank hours in Canada will generally be similar to your home country. They open Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm.
Fridays most are open until 6 pm. If you are planning to work 9-5 pm in Canada, this might not be ideal, but some do open for a few hours on Saturday so check this out.
That said, most banks will give you an ATM card for use in the cash machines. Using this you can withdraw and deposit cash, pay bills and check your balance.
Also, ask about online banking when choosing your bank – you should be able to do most things that way nowadays.
Last but not least, there will be banking charges just as with your banks at home. These will vary from bank to bank so consider this if you expect to be making a lot of transactions.
Also, note that if your account is with one bank and you are using your card in the ATM of another – charges will apply.