I'm not too sure if you'll be going through deep snow on a mountain hike or navigating icy sidewalks in Stanley Park & Vancouver, but it's worth almost any price to not get hurt falling down on vacation.
Stores in Canada like Canadian Tire & Wal-Mart sell slip-on "traction aids" that are especially good for ice and hard snow, the kind most often seen on sidewalks & parking lots, like these:
Sub Zero Full-foot Ice Cleats About $15. Good reviews currently, 4.1 out of 5, in 8 reviews.
MaxxDry GripOns Traction Spikes About $22. 1.4 out of 5, in 5 reviews.
They're hopefully a lot cheaper than two pairs of really nice (expensive) boots or snowshoes.
The nice thing about stores like Canadian Tire & Wal-Mart are that if you're not satisfied (with just about anything) you can return it for a refund. They don't return snow chains for tires, so definitely check before purchase.
- And for any "bits of metal on your soles" like these, be extra careful if you're walking on a hard smooth surface like inside a mall or a store, I did that once and it was just like walking on ice, almost fell down on a bare dry hard floor. The alternative result could be the metal does dig into the store's floor, and that's not good either.
If you'll be walking on ice & hard snow it's a good idea to practice an "ice walk" - walk on any snow as if it really is slippery ice, usually shorter steps & stay more balanced. Then even if all the snow seems "grippy" but when you hit the one patch that really is slippery you won't fall down.
On soft deep snow the above will still add some traction just from the big "rubber band" grabbing some snow, but the spikes would be too small to add much traction.
If you do want "real" snow shoes Costco in Canada even sells them online (Snowshoes category on Costco.ca) maybe inside a few stores too (and Costco will return almost anything, they may even accept returns back in Australia for items bought in Canada, but I'm not at all sure on that, somewhat helpful link). They're currently $260 to $110 (Canadian), or if children's will work they're $85-$75.
Some at Costco even come with poles, these are $179 (Canadian).
I looked at Costco Australia's website but I guess they don't have online shopping set up yet.