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Electricity in Vancouver

Electricity in Vancouver

A time-lapse glow of Downtown Vancouver by night from Lonsdale Quay. Photo by Kieron Saunders.

Vancouver and the rest of Canada uses the same electricity voltage as in the United States, which is 110V.

There are two types of sockets here. Some have just two pins, whereas some have two pins plus a round pin underneath. Hence they will look like this:

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or like this:

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If you’re coming from a country with different shaped pins, you’ll need to bring a plug converter with you. But, be advised that these aren’t particularly easy to find in Vancouver, so you’re better off buying one in your home country, or perhaps at the airport where you’re more likely to find them.

Also bear in mind the differences in voltage. Some electrical equipment, such as camera and laptop chargers are usually dual voltage, this means that provided you have a plug socket converter these should charge up just fine. Look at the charger and see what it says, laptops often say ‘100 – 240 volts’ hence it is suitable for use in countries which have a voltage anywhere between 100V and 240V.

However, be sure to check before leaving home as not all chargers are dual voltage – cell (mobile) phone chargers for example, are not always, and whilst they may appear to be charging they will be doing so well below their normal performance levels, and hence could take days to become properly charged. One suggestion as a way around this is to buy an in-car charger. Car batteries all work on 12V, and hence if you plug in your car charger bought in a different country, it should have no problems here in Vancouver.

Do bear in mind, that even if you have a plug converter, general electrical items which are not operating on 110V will not work without the use of a transformer. Hair dryers for example, will not work, so if a hair dryer is important to you, try to find a hotel which has one included!