Tipping in Canada: A Simple Guide

Tipping a bartender in Toronto
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Tipping culture varies greatly from country to country.

In Japan, for example, tipping would be considered rude.

In the US, not tipping would be considered rude!

Safe to say it’s important to understand the rules of tipping when visiting another country.

Whether you’re traveling to Canada for the first time or moving to the “Great White North”, as many like to call it, we’re here to educate you on customary tipping etiquette in Canada.

You certainly don’t have to follow these rules, but you can use them as a guideline.

Should You Tip in Canada?

Yes, it is customary to tip in Canada, particularly in the service industry.

These days, it’s common to tip 15-20% in restaurants.

This tip usually isn’t applied to your bill automatically, and it’s up to you to decide how much you would like to tip, if at all.

Did You Know?

Many restaurants will apply an automatic 18% tip for parties of 8 and over, so if you’re dining with a group, be sure to check your receipt to avoid double tipping.

The rules are more flexible for fast and casual eating and drinking.

When it comes to counter service (like if you were to go buy a quick coffee or fast food and see a tip jar), tipping is not expected, and it wouldn’t be considered rude not to tip.

Tipping in other service industries, such as hair and nail salons and taxi / Uber / ride-sharing services, is also expected.

Usually, 10-15% is a good amount for these types of services.

At hotels, it’s also customary to tip for valet service, and tip the person who brings your luggage up to your room.

Even a small amount is appreciated.

How Much Should You Tip in Canada?

The amount that it is customary to tip in Canada varies based on the service you’re getting.

Below, we’ve gone over some of the most common services the average person may be getting in Canada, and the customary tip associated with it.

Do you tip movers in Canada?

Many Canadians forget to tip movers, but typically, you should tip movers.

If you’re doing a basic move with just a few items and easy to assemble furniture, 10% is a good amount to tip.

If you’re doing a cross-country move or have more fragile items that require a lot of care and handling, 15-20% is a good amount.

Do you tip tattoo artists in Canada?

Tipping your tattoo artist is appreciated, but it’s not expected.

Tattoos in Canada are generally quite costly and Canadians may have to save for a while before getting inked.

If you are very happy with the service and feel like tipping your tattoo artist, you certainly can.

Do you tip at restaurants in Canada?

Typically, anywhere between 15-20% of your pre-tax bill total is a good amount for tipping servers at a restaurant.

Many servers are paid a low hourly wage and rely on tips to make up a large part of their pay, so it’s important to tip at restaurants when in Canada.

For bartenders, anywhere between 10-20% is much appreciated.

Do you tip at hotels in Canada?

When you’re staying at a hotel, each staff role would be tipped differently.

Typically, most Canadians don’t tip cleaners—but if you choose to, a few dollars a day is a reasonable amount, either once a day or as a lump sum at the end of your stay.

Concierges are generally decently paid, so tipping isn’t common—but if they go above and beyond, you can certainly tip them what you feel is enough.

For bellmans who help bring your bags up to your room, you should generally tip them anywhere between $1-$5 per bag, depending on how heavy or bulky your bags are.

If you order room service, you should treat it as if you’re at a restaurant.

A 15% tip is good for room service.

If a staff member brings you a pillow or other necessity, a tip isn’t expected, but you could give between $2-$5 if you’re feeling generous.

If you valet your car, it’s nice to offer about $5-$10 when you go to pick up your car.

Do you tip tour guides in Canada?

Tipping your tour guide is generally expected but still much appreciated.

If you’re joining a big group, a 10% tip is a good amount.

If it’s a private tour, you could consider increasing it to about 15% if you had a really positive experience.

Do you tip cab / uber / taxis in Canada?

In general, you should tip cabs, uber and taxi drivers.

10% of your fare is standard for good service, and anywhere from 10%-20% is appreciated if you were really happy with your service.

When it comes to tipping an airport shuttle, $2 is a good amount if your driver was nice and helpful.

Do you tip hairdressers in Canada?

Typically, hairdressers should be tipped anywhere between 15-20%.

If there are multiple people working on your hair, you can split the tip among them.

It’s also a nice gesture to tip the person who washes your hair $5-$10.

Do you tip in Montreal?

The same rules outlined above apply when visiting Montreal.

Expect to tip between 15-20% at restaurants, 10-20% for cabs, and 15-20% for any beauty services.

It is not required by law to tip, but it can be considered rude not to.

Do you tip in Vancouver?

The same rules outlined above apply when visiting Vancouver.

Expect to tip between 15-20% at restaurants, 10-20% for cabs, and 15-20% for any beauty services.

It is not required by law to tip, but it can be considered rude not to.

Do You Legally Have to Tip in Canada?

No, you do not legally have to tip in Canada.

However, many restaurants pay their employees a low hourly wage with the expectation that servers will make up the difference in tips.

Even then, tipping is a personal choice.

If you don’t want to leave a tip at any of the establishments we mentioned above, you don’t have to.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it customary to tip in Canada?
  • How much should you tip in Canada?
  • Why do you need to tip in Canada?
Tara Al-Khudairi

Tara Al-Khudairihas worked in the financial services industry since 2017. She graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Finance and is pursuing her CFA.

She has worked at a major Canadian financial institution in various client-facing advisory roles, starting as a bank teller and working up to a Client Services Associate within the Asset Management division. She specializes in simplifying concepts of personal finance for people of various financial backgrounds.

When she’s not examining the markets looking for the next SHOP.TO, she’s either practicing yoga, planning her next vacation, or has her nose buried deep in a book.