UK to Canada power adapters - what kind of power adapter do you need for a Canadian power outlet?

Canadian power outlet

What adapter do I need for Canada?

You'll need to bring a Type A plug adapter to Canada if your plug doesn't fit in a Canadian power outlet.

The type of power adapter, power converter or charger that you'll need to bring when visiting Canada all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to power with a Canadian power outlet. If you're unsure of what voltage your device can use then please read the section below on how can you tell if you have a dual voltage device first.

  • If you're travelling to Canada from the US then all US devices and appliances should charge without a power converter or an adapter. One suggestion however is to pack a USB travel power adapter as it will allow you to power multiple devices by only packing one power charger.
  • If your device can run on 120 volts or is dual voltage and your plug fits in a Canadian power outlet then it should work in Canada without needing anything else.
  • If your device can run on 120 volts or is dual voltage but your plug doesn't fit in a Canadian power outlet then you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Canada such a Type A plug adapter. A plug adapter for Canada (or power adapter) will change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Canada, but isn't designed to change the voltage from 120 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 120 volts and isn't dual voltage you will also need a power converter for Canada to convert the voltage from 120 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Canada if the power converter doesn't use the correct Type A plug adapter.
  • If you simply want to power one or more USB devices such as mobile phones or tablets then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it should be dual voltage, but ensure that you choose to bring a USB travel adapter which has a Type A plug adapter otherwise you'll also need to bring along a suitable plug adapter for Canada[3] [AD]
  • An increase in use of a phone during a vacation to Canada can leave you with a flat battery quickly, we recommend bringing a power bank if you wish to keep your phone or other USB powered devices charged throughout the day whilst travelling to an unknown country.

Warning: If your device won't handle 120 volts you run a risk of a blown fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your device in Canada check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Canada power adapters

Power adapters for Canada

If you are packing for a vacation it's helpful to know if you can charge any essential devices such as mobile phones or laptop computers when you're there. But, by not knowing which power socket is used in Canada you are more likely to bring the wrong power charger, meaning having to buy or borrow a potentially expensive power adaptor when you're there that might not be compatible. Complicated combinations of standards and plugs can all cause confusion when planning on travelling to a different country especially for the first time traveller. This isn't as complex as it appears, with only a handful of different types of plug sockets being used throughout the world this guide shows exactly what you'll need in advance to power your device in Canada. This page contains links to useful instructions showing how to power your devices when staying in Canada by using their 120 volt 60Hz A Type Canadian wall outlet, with the Canadians using NEMA 1-15 P ungrounded plugs for wall outlets. Power adapters change depending on which area you're taking a trip to so please read our Wiki Connections travel power adapters list for a full list of powering devices in different countries.

What is the best power adapter for Canada?

The best power adapter for Canada will be a Type A power adapter which is suitable for powering any 120 volt appliance or device. [3] [AD]

What is the best power adapter for Canada?

What is a power adapter?

Power adapters are small and lightweight plastic adapters that allow a Canadian power outlet to accept a different type of power plug from a foreign region. [5]

Do I need a plug adapter in Canada?

If the shape of the plug outlet in Canada is different to the shape of the Canadian power outlet then you will need a power adapter.

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter for Canada enables a visitor from a different country to use their own electronic appliances and devices in Canada by altering the shape of the plug to fit the power outlet.

Can a power adapter change the voltage in Canada?

A power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 120 volt Canadian power outlet and can't convert to a different voltage. If you wish to safely use any 220-240 volt device you also need to bring a step up power converter.

Where to buy a power adapter for Canada in the UK

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where to buy a power adapter for Canada in the UK

Canada to UK power adapters will most likely be available to buy in the UK from airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Luton, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Birmingham prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists such as WH Smith, Dixons or Boots but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices.

It will be more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. UK high street electrical shops, newsagents and chemists such as Currys PC World, WH Smith or Boots normally typically only sell popular types of travel adapters covering a limited number of countries however for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online. In January 2019 we checked 2 high street branches of WH Smiths without seeing any power adapters available to purchase and 1 branch of Boots only had a pack of European adapters available.

Where to buy a power adapter in Canada

Arriving at an airport

Where to buy a power adapter in Canada

On arrival power adapters could be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

Electrical adapters for Canada

Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip kit

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Capable of charging more than one appliance or device concurrently via one plug socket, costing £35-£40.
  • You will find certain types of power strips have voltage conversation for low wattage electronics (for example cameras). Even if the appliance isn't dual voltage it can still be used in Canada when using just a travel power strip. This makes a travel power strip a lightweight and cheap substitute for a dedicated power converter.
  • Typical models will also feature a number of USB ports.
  • The voltage from power outlets in certain areas could fluctuate, a power surge might damage your delicate devices. There are some travel power strips which include a built in surge protector to protect any device from being overloaded by an unstable power grid.
  • It will potentially still be of use in your home country.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • The conversion on travel power strips doesn't convert higher wattage appliances such as curling irons or hair straighteners.
  • Because of the size and weight of a travel power strip it might be too bulky for hand luggage.
  • A travel power strip could be considered excessive if you only have a small number of appliances and devices that need powering. [6] [AD]
  • Power strip models for sale in the UK only include type B, F, G and I plug adapters so you may need to use it along with an additional plug adapter to work in some countries.
Power Plug Adapters

An easy to use Type A plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Affordable, prices under £3.
  • Lightweight and small.
  • Straightforward design makes it simple to operate.
  • Using a Type A plug adapter will be ideal for Canada.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • Only modifies the shape of the plug to fit in a Type A Canadian power outlet but doesn't change the voltage. So if your device doesn't work with 120 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll still need to pack a separate voltage converter.
  • 1 plug adapter per appliance - for each separate device or appliance you will also need to pack a separate power plug adapter.
  • Some hotel rooms might only have one wall outlet available, therefore you will only be able to power a single appliance at once.
  • If you need to charge a USB device then you also need to pack a domestic USB charger.
  • Should you intend to visit more than just Canada then you might need to bring along multiple plug adapter types for other countries. [3] [AD]
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB travel wall charger

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Ideal for situations when you only need to power devices which are USB powered.
  • Instead of packing multiple domestic power chargers you will only have to bring a single unit which costs roughly under £15.
  • Supplied with swappable adapter heads which means they can be used in a large number of countries. The interchangeable adapter heads are typically lightweight and small which makes them easy to fit into hand luggage.
  • Travel USB wall chargers should also include a surge protector to protect any device from being overpowered by an unstable power grid in some countries.
  • When you return to your home country the charger could still work.
  • The swappable heads will fit into Types A/B, E/F, G and I power outlets so will work in Canada.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • They only have USB ports so you can't power any electrical appliances, just USB ones. [7] [AD]
Universal Travel Power Adapters

A universal travel adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Typical models are designed to function in around 150 countries.
  • All-in-one design which is both lightweight and small, £15-£20.
  • There are some models which have multiple charging ports for USB electronics.
  • Straightforward operation.
  • Some models include a surge protector built in which will protect any device from being overpowered by unstable power grids in some countries.
  • The pins retract so don't get caught against other items in your baggage.
  • It will be of use back at home as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so should work with a Canadian power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • A universal adapter will overload when used with a high power appliance such as clothes irons, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, kettles, curling irons or hair dryers.
  • The internal moving parts such as pins and shutters could be fragile on some universal travel power adapters which might make them prone to jamming whilst abroad.
  • Will only provide power to one plug.
  • Might not work in some countries - models might not work in certain countries with less popular power outlet types.
  • Lacking a built in voltage converter will mean it isn't suitable for non-120 volt electrical devices. [8] [AD]
Plug Adapter Sets

Plug adapter sets

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices roughly £5-£10 an adapter set will typically work out more reasonable than buying multiple individual power plug adapter types costing almost £10 each.
  • By bringing every type of plug adapter ensures that you are covered for every country and not just a Canadian power outlet.
  • The most flexible option for anyone travelling to multiple locations.
  • Set includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N adapters so should be suitable with a Canadian power outlet.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Not flexible - before any trip you will need to decide which adapters to bring in advance, or alternatively bring every adapter type with you.
  • Lots individual items to pack.
  • With just a single working plug adapter the remaining power adapters will be redundant.
  • Not every power adapter types are typically included (especially rarer ones), so ensure that your set has an adapter which works in Canada.
  • Each adapter only changes the shape of the plug but doesn't modify the actual voltage. [9] [AD]
Voltage Converters

Voltage converters offer surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • Only changes the 120 volts from a Canadian power outlet and won't change the shape of the plug to fit in a Canadian power outlet, so you will still be required to bring a suitable power adapter for Canada.
  • Expensive - £80-£90.
  • The weight of most models of voltage converters makes them unsuitable for hand luggage.
  • A voltage converter won't be of any use when get back home.
  • It is usually better value to purchase a dual voltage travel appliance than to buy an expensive voltage converter just to power your existing single voltage domestic appliance in an incompatible location.
  • If you plan to travel from the UK and go to Canada you will require a voltage converter as the voltage from a Canadian power outlet is 120 volts. [10] [AD]

Comparison of electrical adapters for Canada

Type A Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Canada Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included A A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 55+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type A Canadian power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Type A plug adapter required to fit in a Canadian power outlet Yes
Useful when you return to the UK Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 120 volt AC appliance in Canada Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Estimated price under £3 £15-£20 £10-£15 £35-£40 £5-£10 almost £110
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Canada power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Canada?

Type A power outlet

What plug sockets are used in Canada?

Type A plug outlets are used in Canada. The plug socket, technically called a type A power outlet, is recognised by 2 slots next to each other. [3] [AD]

How do I use a 220 volt appliance in Canada?

To use a 220V appliance in a Canadian power outlet you need to use a step up power converter.

What is the frequency used in a Canadian power outlet?

The frequency from a Canadian power outlet is 60 Hz. [11]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country

Is the power grid reliable in Canada?

Even though stable power can't be guaranteed, the power grid in Canada is classed as reliable as there is no history of persistent power failures.

What is access to electrical power in Canada like?

Access to electricity in Canada is excellent which covers the entire country.

Do I need a power bank for Canada?

Whilst power blackouts in Canada aren't regular and power is available to the entire population, visitors are still recommended to bring a portable charger to recharge mobiles.

  • For many the thought of being without their mobile leaves them anxious, particularly when being needed in an unknown location. During a trip to Canada increased use of mobile phones for storing calendars, taking pictures, getting directions, social network sharing and web browsing could drain power excessively. A flat smart phone battery could potentially leave you in an unknown location without sufficient power to make an emergency call or being able to use a sat nav app to get directions to your accommodation. Bringing along a portable charger to Canada lowers the risk as it allows you to keep your smart phone powered on the go.
  • Use at least a 10,000mAh power bank which can store enough energy to power over three full charging cycles and a 20,000mAh power bank should keep an average cell phone charged for up to 7 days depending on the usage and model of the phone. The mAh value (milli ampere-hours) describes the capacity of the battery giving an indication of the number of charge cycles the portable charger can achieve, and a higher number is more suitable for travellers.
  • If you want to charge your laptop with a portable charger in Canada and it it supports USB-C charging then use a portable charger for a laptop marked with PD (power delivery) and a model supplying at least 20 Wh.
  • Before travelling please note that some airlines won't let you bring batteries on an aircraft with more than 100 Wh of power and must be kept in carry-on luggage only.
  • Normal consumer power banks aren't designed for high wattage items that generate heat, but a rechargeable hair dryer or gas hair straighteners can be used for travelling.    [4] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [AD]
Do I need a power bank for Canada?
How well do solar powered chargers work in Canada?

Backpack with integrated solar panel

How well do solar powered chargers work in Canada?

Portable solar power banks can slowly recharge in sunlight however because of the weather in Canada and the restricted size of the solar panel it won't be dependable enough for travellers. Due to their reduced surface area of the cells a solar power bank needs to be left in powerful sunlight for an extended period of time to provide enough power for a single charge cycle, which might prove difficult to continually unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges between cloud cover.

  • Instead, the much larger cells used on a solar backpack will give the bag the ability to generate more power within a shorter period of time.
  • Phones that have been plugged directly into the USB charging port of a solar backpack will trickle charge the battery during sunny spells in Canada, however might be inconvenient to have a phone constantly tethered to the bag if it is to be needed constantly. A regular battery power bank plugged into a solar backpack can be continuously powered up inside the bag during sunlight, afterwards you can recharge the phone using the power bank without sunshine.
  • Due to the weather in Canada a bag should have the very minimum solar cell efficiency of at least 22%, be able to generate a minimum of 6 watts of power and includes a 10,000mAH power bank or greater.
  • They are found in backpack, rucksack and laptop messenger styles which makes them perfect for domestic, travel and work. Unlike regular rigid solar cells, the flexible and durable solar cells used in solar powered bags are designed to survive scratching and bending.  [4] [17] [18] [AD]

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Canada chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Canada?

When you are travelling to multiple countries then the best international travel charger for Canada is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger.

Because these chargers are supplied with interchangeable plugs and can handle from 100 - 240 volts it makes them ideal for over 100 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa simply by switching the heads over. If your device is compatible with Fast Charge (note not all USB devices do) then you will benefit from quicker charging times by using one of these types of USB travel chargers and additional compatibility with more power demanding devices. Unlike other travel adapters having a 4 port adapter means you can power multiple devices simultaneously without needing to bring multiple travel chargers for your trip. Only packing a single travel charger will keep the overall size and weight down, making it ideal to store in hand baggage whilst travelling and convenient for charging your devices at an airport or on a plane. Due to their flexibility these types of travel chargers can be used at home so when you're not on holiday they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple smartphones and tablets without using up an additional power outlet.

We recommend searching for this type of versatile travel charger at an electronics retailer; the multipurpose travel adapter illustrated is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger which has been successfully tested for charging multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries. [7] [AD]

What USB charger do I need for Canada?

Why use a travel USB charger for Canada?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you only need to bring one charger to charge multiple devices. This helps reduce the weight of your baggage by only bringing one USB wall charger rather than bringing several different USB chargers.
  • Travel USB power chargers will include swappable plug heads for different power outlet types. This is ideal when visiting different countries across North America which are likely to use different standards to Canada.
  • Good USB travel chargers are lightweight, compact and rugged; perfect for the rigors of travel rather than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be impossible to repair or replace in Canada.
  • USB travel chargers will accept the 120 volt power outlets in Canada along with other voltage standards in other countries.
  • There is a chance that some hotels in Canada only have one wall outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single wall outlet with all your devices rather than having to wait to recharge each device one by one.
  • Because of their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of travelling to an unknown destination as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets found in airports can be in short supply and demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets from other passengers during departure can be high, therefore a USB charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perfect.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a good quality travel charger allows for unexpected fluctuations and will prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded mobile phone in Canada might prove to be difficult and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers also incorporate a power outlet strip to allow you to plug in low powered devices such as laptops, however these will be unsuitable for high wattage appliances such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Read our section on using travel appliances in Canada for useful guidelines and advice on the most suitable power adapter for a high powered devices with a Canadian power outlet.
  • Certain mobile phones could pull more than the standard 500 milliamps supplied by a normal 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Quality USB chargers will support fast charging incase any of your devices need extra power.
  • When returning home travel USB power chargers can also be useful by recharging multiple cell phones every day using a single power outlet. [7] [AD]

What is the best USB charger for Canada?

A 4 port USB travel charger is the most compact option for travellers from any country wanting to recharge devices using USB, but for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs the following power adapters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power strips offer surge protection which is useful when visiting counties with unreliable power grids to prevent damage to any connected devices. These power adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering Continental Europe, North America, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel adaptor has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling compact option for travellers originating from America visiting Canada using 3 pin type B US plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Likewise having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from North America using type B plugs. This gives the same functionality as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet for almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting Canada. [7] [AD]

Power converters for Canada

What is a power converter for a Canadian power outlet?

Power converters enable you to use a 220, 230 or 240 volt electrical device with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter for Canada?

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet found in Canada, however an expensive and bulkier power converter will transform the voltage of 120 volts from a Canadian power outlet to work with a non-120 volt appliance. [19] [AD]

Do I need a power converter for Canada?

If you are visiting Canada from a different country ensure the device will accept a 120 volt power supply.

  • You need a step up power converter if you are travelling to Canada from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your device won't support 120 volts. Read the world power outlets page to see the voltage your country uses.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already own either a 120 volt single voltage appliance or one that is dual voltage.
  • Devices which originate from a different country which use a higher voltage (such as 230 volts) and used with 120 volts may take longer to charge or simply won't turn on. If your device slowly recharges or doesn't turn on when you are travelling to Canada from another region then check that it will work with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet or you will need to bring a step up power converter.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you wish to power a smaller electrical device such as a cell phone as these are normally designed for international use and dual voltage, however you should always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • If supplying power to appliances which draw more power or generate heat (such as hair dryers and curling irons) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter.
  • Purchasing a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance should be more cost effective and practical than investing in a heavier high wattage power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance in Canada.
  • Read our travel guides on how to use curling wands, clothes irons, hairdryers and hair straighteners with Canadian power outlets which includes guides on affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [10] [20] [AD]

What kind of converter do I need for Canada?

If you need to use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance in Canada you will need to buy a step up power converter[10] [AD]

What is the difference between a transformer and a converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a transformer and a converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 120 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Canada before plugging that into a Canadian power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage from 220-240v.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 220-240 volt appliance can now be used with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet. [10] [AD]

What voltage is used in Canada?

Canada uses 120 volts in their standard power outlets. [2]

https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/
How can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device?

The easiest method to tell if your device is dual or single voltage is to check for a sticker on the existing power plug, or on the appliance itself, normally near to where the power cord sits. This location might depend on the make or model of your unit but should also be written in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices might also say a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will normally say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

Substantiations

See the power adapter substantions section for more information on how we compared travel adapters (October 2018).

What type of adapter do you need for Canada?

Which type of plug adapter do you need for Canada?

The type of plug adapter or power converter which is best to bring to Canada is dependant on your requirements, so before choosing the right one to use we recommend using this checklist:

How many electrical items will you be packing for Canada?

Children might need to recharge devices

How many electrical items will you be packing for Canada?

  • List all the applicances and devices you intended on packing for Canada (including laptops, cell phones, tablets, eReaders, hair straighteners or clothes irons).
    • Remember to allow for more devices in the future. Are you thinking about purchasing a new tablet computer soon?
    • There is a growing amount of USB powered rechargeable devices such as electric shavers that use a USB port as their power source. The if you have to buy a new device it might use a USB adapter so please ensure your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these as well.
  • Will you be travelling with a partner who will need to recharge their iPads as well?
Will you only be planning on charging USB devices in Canada?

A USB cable

Will you only be planning on charging USB devices in Canada?

  • Should you only intend on using USB powered electronics such as mobile phones for Canada then it is recommended to just bring a travel USB wall charger.
  • If you only use a simple power plug adapter you will still need to bring the USB charger that was supplied with your device as well. [7] [AD]
What different types of electrical items do you need to charge with a Canadian power outlet?

A travel shaver

What different types of electrical items do you need to charge with a Canadian power outlet?

  • There are 3 different types of electrical devices:
    • Low wattage electrical items that plug into a power outlet - for example a camera.
    • High wattage appliances that plug into a power outlet - for example hair straighteners or clothes irons.
    • USB powered electrical devices that charge with a USB port - for example cellphones or tablets.
  • If you only intend to take just USB powered devices to Canada then you'll find that a simple travel USB charger is ideal as you will only have to pack that single charger whilst leaving your domestic chargers at home.
  • Travel power strips are built for providing power and voltage conversion for many low wattage devices of any voltage, however won't work with high wattage appliances (such as hair straighteners) that require voltage conversion.

Do your devices and appliances only work with a 120 volt power outlet?

Is Canada the only country you plan on visiting?

  • Single power adapters only typically work in a single country which they are built for, therefore if you need to visit multiple countries you may need to bring additional power adapters which can in turn add to the number of adapters you'll have to bring.
  • On the other hand travel USB wall chargers and universal travel adapters are designed for travelling to more than one country becuase of their interchangeable head system.
How many Canadian power outlets will be available?

Are multiple wall outlets available

How many Canadian power outlets will be available?

  • A hotel might only offer a single power outlet on the wall. This will present an inconvenience if charging up batteries of more than one electronic device overnight because you can only charge a single device at a time every few hours.
  • To recharge more than one device at the same time look to bringing a travel USB wall charger or a travel power strip which are capable of charging multiple USB ports and outlets. [6] [AD]

Are you planning to visit anywhere abroad in the future?

What is your budget?

  • A basic power adapter starts at under £10 which charges a single device from a Canadian power outlet (provided that works with 120 volts or it is dual voltage) but investing in roughly £15-£20 will allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously and be able to bring them to various countries.

Would you like to use your charger when returning to the UK?

Will you always have reliable access to electrical power?

  • The power in Canada is generally stable however if you plan to visit another country you may need an electrical adapter to protect your appliances. Voltage might often fluctuate in some other regions which could cause damage to your devices, so you will need to look for a power adapter which offers surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • You can prepare for countries with limited electricity and power cuts by using a solar backpack or portable charger.  [4] [4] [17] [AD]
Are you only bringing hand luggage?

Are you only using hand luggage

Are you only bringing hand luggage?

Are you flying long haul to get to Canada?

How long does it take to fly

Are you flying long haul to get to Canada?

  • If you're taking a longer trip to get to Canada it's worth thinking about packing an appropriate airport-friendly charger that works in different outlet types, one which is light enough to pack in carry-on luggage and can top up tablets and phones.
  • As not all flights have power outlets available for the public we recommend packing a travel portable charger which will recharge on the go. When you land you could have to rely on your phone for making a call, receiving messages, using sat nav to locate a hotel or recalling an itinerary; therefore it is recommended that your phone has enough battery power left. [4] [AD]

What can I connect to a Canadian power outlet

Travel appliances that can connect to a Canadian power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Canadian power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Canadian power outlet

Mobile phones which work with the Canadian power outlet

Apple iPhones that can be connected to a Canadian power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Canadian power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a Canadian power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Canadian power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travellers visiting Canada, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets[21]

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

We endeavour to ensure that links on this page are periodically checked and correct for suitability. This website may receive commissions for purchases made through links on this page. As an Amazon Associate WikiConnections earn from qualifying purchases. For more details please read the disclaimers page.

  1. Wikipedia - Canada entry on wikipedia.org.
  2. iec.ch - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, £2-£3
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go, costs £30-£35.
  5. Wikipedia - power adaptor
  6. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries, under £40
  7. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, estimated cost £10-£15
  8. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices, estimated cost £15-£20
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, costing around £5
  10. Step up power converter - A step up power converter allows a 220-240 volt appliance to be used in a 100-120 volt power outlet, under £90
  11. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  12. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered cordless blow dryer suitable for travelling, £70-£80.
  13. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, £30-£35.
  14. 10,000mAh portable charger - Lightweight 10000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for mobile phone charging, estimated price around £20.
  15. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days, priced at £30-£35.
  16. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, priced at £100-£110.
  17. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, estimated cost under £120
  18. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device, estimated cost around £25.
  19. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, estimated price under £110
  20. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, costing £100-£110.
  21. Wikipedia - AC power plugs and sockets -