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From USA & Overseas


Welcome to Canada! We are glad you are considering our addiction treatment program. Americans have five important reasons to consider residential treatment at Sunshine Coast

1. First of all, treatment in Canada remains an affordable alternative, considering (1) liability insurance is not a significant cost factor in Canada, (2) staffing costs are typically lower in Canada than in the US, and (3) a favourable exchange rate.

2. Another consideration is length of stay. At Sunshine Coast Health Center, clients participate in a 42, 60, or 90 day program. In the United States, most program lengths are dictated by insurance companies and are set at 28 days.

3. Sunshine Coast Health Center is one of the few North American treatment centers located outside of California or Florida situated on oceanfront property. See the Campus Photo Gallery section for photos of our coastline.

4. Sunshine Coast Health Center is one of the few North American primary treatment centers that provide optional private accommodation (single occupancy) rooms.

5. A final consideration is that of client confidentiality. If you are concerned that your professional licensure is at risk by participating in treatment, consider coming to Canada. As a sovereign nation, Canada and the corporations that work within its boundaries are under no obligation to report to American authorities or licensing bodies.

(1) Note: For more information on the qualifications of our staff refer to the Meet our Staff section.

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Personal Travel Assistance

To facilitate clients arriving from the United States and overseas, Sunshine Coast Health Center offers complimentary travel assistance. Clients need not worry about changing planes, shuttling between terminals, or booking flights: a staff member will be there to ensure your trip to Sunshine Coast Health Center is hassle-free.

For more information on personal travel assistance please refer to the Air Travel Directions section.  

Your Money

It is recommended that you convert to Canadian funds after arriving in Canada. Banks and currency exchanges conveniently located in Vancouver Airport will give good exchange rates for a small fee.

Click on the Currency Converter to see how much further your dollar will go when in Canada.

Preparing for Your Stay

A pre-admission checklist is available by printing out Preparing for Your Stay, which includes a list of things to bring/not to bring.

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Travel by Air

For complete travel instructions by air to Vancouver and Powell River refer to the Air Travel Directions section.

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Travel by Car to Powell River

For travelers from Washington and Oregon preferring to make their own car travel arrangements to Powell River please refer to the Car Travel Directions section.

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Travel by Car from Seattle to the South Terminal in Vancouver

While a Sunshine Coast Health Center meet n’ greet representative is available to meet clients at the USA-Canada border, the following directions are provided for those that would prefer to make the drive without travel assistance. Please note that your destination is the South Terminal and NOT the Main Terminal at Vancouver Airport.:

  • Take I-5 NORTH to Exit 275 onto WA-543 North (have your identification ready)
  • WA-543 becomes 176 St. in Canada
  • Head NORTH on 176 St. to the first set of lights – 8th Avenue and turn LEFT
  • Merge RIGHT onto Provincial Route 99 N and go NORTH through Massey Tunnel
  • Take the Steveston Highway exit – EXIT 32 – (your first exit after the tunnel) and stay in the left lane once you are on the exit
  • Turn LEFT at the set of lights onto Steveston Highway
  • Go WEST on Steveston Highway to No. 2 Road (you will pass No. 5 Road, then No. 4 Road, then No. 3 Road, then Gilbert Road, then No. 2 Road)
  • Turn RIGHT heading NORTH on No. 2 Road (you will pass Williams, then Francis, then Blundell, then Granville, then Westminster then you will cross the No. 2 Road Bridge)
  • Turn LEFT at the first set of lights after the bridge onto Inglis Drive (McDonald’s will be on the left hand side)
  • Turn RIGHT on Cowley Crescent (Harbour Air terminal is on the left)
  • Find pay parking and enter South Terminal (taxi cabs will be parked out front)
  • Once inside South Terminal Building look for Pacific Coastal Airlines, Powell River check-in
  • Provide your confirmation number and show government-issued photo ID.

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When Entering Canada

Note that the documentation you require to enter Canada differs from what you require to return to the United States.

If you are a citizen of the United States, effective June 1, 2009, you need a passport to enter Canada. A second piece of identification such as a birth certificate or social security card would also be recommended.

If you are a permanent resident (as opposed to a citizen) of the United States, you must bring your permanent resident card (i.e. green card) with you.

For more information on admissibility into Canada, read the fact sheet called Managing Access to Canada.

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Documentation Requirements for Americans Returning to the USA

Documentation requirements vary depending on whether you are entering by air, land, or sea:

1. Air Travel

U.S. citizens traveling by air between the United States and Canada are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States.

2. Land and Sea Travel

Effective June 1, 2009, US. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have either a U.S. passport; a U.S. passport card; a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI; a valid Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business; or a valid U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders.

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Obtaining a US Passport

The US Department of State has information and services available to American citizens on obtaining, replacing or changing a passport. Visit the Passport Services Office for more information.

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Legal Issues

Crossing the border can sometimes be a concern for clients who have been previously charged with a misdemeanor or felony. With proper advance notice, Sunshine Coast Health Center has had a good success rate of securing passage for Americans arriving at Vancouver International Airport or the border crossing at Blaine, Washington. Even if you have previously been denied entry, we invite you to call our admissions staff to discuss your unique situation and how we can help.

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Travel Insurance

For clients arriving from the United States and overseas, travel insurance is recommended to cover unforeseen emergencies that require hospitalization. Travel insurance policy rates start at CAD $2 per day for clients 19 to 40 years old. If you prefer, Sunshine Coast Health Center can purchase travel insurance on your behalf. Please contact us toll-free at 1-866-487-9010 for further details.

Travel Contacts

For our American visitors, fly Alaska, United, Air Canada or Northwest Airlines from major destinations in the USA directly to Vancouver or via Seattle.

Air Canada – Call toll free 1-888-247-2262 from anywhere in North America

Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air  – Call toll free 1-800-252-7522 for flights to Vancouver

BC Ferries  Call toll free 1-888-724-5223 or 604-444-2890

Canada Border Services Agency  for information on entering Canada

Pacific Coastal Airlines  – Call toll free 1-800-663-2872 for flights to Powell River from Vancouver ¹

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) – for directions to YVR call 604-207-7077

(1) Note: Sunshine Coast Health Center has discount tickets available if we make the reservation on your behalf.

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Recent YouTube Videos


I would have never said that a year and a half could make such a difference. We went from crisis, near suicide, denial, stress, anxiety, pain, and suffering to joy, hope, pride, happiness, and health in such a short period of time. It’s still a long road ahead for my husband’s recovery, but we are prepared for it now. People are commenting on how lovely it is to see my children smile again. Doesn’t that just say it all. My children are smiling.

- Milly

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