Liquids in Canada: Common Metric Volumes

Converting Ounces and Gallons to Liters and Milliliters on Your Trip

Milk in baby bottles
amana productions inc / Getty Images

Unlike the United States, Canada uses the metric system for measuring temperatures, lengths, and volumes, and most commonplace liquids like gasoline and certain beverages are measured in liters and milliliters.

Although most liquids in Canada are measured on the metric system, you'll find that Canadians are well-versed in using the Imperial ounces and gallons the U.S. uses, too. For Instance, bottled sodas in Canada are measured in ounces, but milk is sold by the liter in individual clear plastic sealed bags that you can take home and transfer to a jug for serving.

Common liquor measurements include a Canadian "twenty-sixer," which is a regular-sized bottle measuring 750 milliliters or 25 ounces; an American "handle," which is the largest-sized bottle measuring 1.75 liters or 59 ounces; and a dual-culture "forty," which is a 1.14-liter or 40-ounce bottle of beer.

Converting Canadian Volumes to American Measurements

If you're traveling to Canada, you may get a bit confused when filling up the gas tank or trying to buy a certain quantity of liquor, so you should learn how to convert from Canada's metric volume to America's Imperial volume measurement system.

Fortunately, converting measurements from the metric system to the Imperial system is relatively straightforward. Use the following equivalents to figure out how much of a liquid you're getting in Canada in American measurements:

  • 1 liter =  .2642 gallons (U.S.)
  • 1 gallon (U.S.) = 3.7854 liters
  • 1 milliliter = .0338 fluid ounces (U.S.)
  • 1 fluid ounce (U.S.) = 29.5735 milliliters

Other common metric to Imperial equivalents you'll need to know when visiting Canada include converting grams and kilograms to ounces and pounds for weight, Celsius to Fahrenheit for temperature, kilometers per hour to miles per hour for speed, and meters and kilometers to yards and miles for distance.

Common Volumes in Canada

Before you set out for your trip to Canada, you should familiarize yourself with these common items you might find that will be measured in fluid milliliters and liters instead of ounces and gallons. From carry-on allowances for your flight to filling up your gas tank in your rental car, these will help you understand Canadian measurements:

Volume MeasurementMilliliters or LitersOunces or Gallons
Carry-on luggage liquid allowance per container on airplanes90 ml3 oz
Can of soda or a "mickey" of alcohol355 ml12 oz
Regular-size bottle of liquor or wine, a "twenty-sixer" in Canada750 ml25 oz
Large-size bottle of liquor, a "forty ouncer" in Canada1.14 liter39 oz
Largest bottle of booze, a "handle" in U.S. and "sixty ouncer" in Canada1.75 liter59 oz
Gas is sold in liters and is much more expensive than in the US.1 liter.26 gallon (U.S.)
An Imperial gallon is slightly larger than a U.S. gallon1 liter.22 Imperial gallon