So you want to move to Canada but are unsure if it’s a good place to live? As expats who’ve lived in Canada for over four years, we’ll share what we came to love about this country.
If you’re from the Western world like us, you may not find Canada all that different. It’s fairly easy to adjust.
Our main priority for moving here was a working holiday adventure and getting a taste of Canadian life. And so we’ve traveled across the country from the West to the East and lived in three different provinces.
We enjoyed it so much that we decided to transition to a permanent visa. So yes, from our perspective, Canada is a good place to live.
Although no country is perfect, there are many reasons why we decided to stay here. Read on to discover 15 reasons to move to Canada.
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Reasons to Move to Canada
I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to outdoors, Canada is hard to beat.
The lakes in Canada are postcard-perfect and literally around every corner.
If you like an outdoorsy lifestyle, you’ll love Canada.
After a long winter of hibernation, we like to make the most of Canadian summers by enjoying activities in the great outdoors.
From hiking and camping to kayaking, skiing, swimming, boating, fishing, road-tripping and cycling, the options are countless.
When you think of Canada, the first thing that probably comes to mind are snowy peaks, but that’s not the full picture.
Canada also has many beautiful sandy beaches and coastal areas, especially in Atlantic Canada or British Columbia. You can even surf here in Tofino or Lawrence Town!
Google Mystic Beach in Canada. It’s a “secret beach” with a waterfall pouring down straight from beautiful rock formations.
And even though hibernation in winter is cozy, six or more months of colder weather is not enough to stop a real Canuck from playing outdoors.
Winter means outdoor activities like skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and more.
Some people venture out on frozen lakes, place a wooden hut on the ice, drill a hole or two in the ice and cast a fishing rod in the water. Such is the ritual of ice fishing.
2.Diversity & Multiculturalism
Canada is a diverse and tolerant country. In fact, Canada as it is known today would not exist if it weren’t for immigrants, both past and present.
Canadian cities are so multicultural that you’ll find literally any nation or religion you can think of here. That means everyone is bound to find a community they can feel comfortable in. It’s fairly easy to make friends in Canada.
Smaller towns tend to be less diverse, but on the other hand, they also have friendlier closely-knit communities. When everyone knows everyone in a small city, you’re less likely to feel isolated.
Another indirect benefit of multiculturalism is diverse cuisine.
For example, Vancouver is said to have one of the best Asian restaurants outside Asia. That’s thanks to the large Asian expat community who lives there.
While living in Halifax and feeling homesick, I popped into a local European deli store and found everything from pierogis to poppy seed rolls.
3.Abundant Job Opportunities
Over the last few years, Canadian economy has often outperformed those of the other G8 countries, which include France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United States, Russia and the UK.
While Canada has no magic elixir to avoid inflation, the economy keeps growing, and the job market is booming. However, due to inflation and increasing housing costs, many expats need to work side hustles to keep up with expenses.
Getting a high-paying job in Canada is a big part of having an enjoyable lifestyle.
With the baby boomer generation retiring, Canadians need to fill an important gap, especially for skilled trades and blue-collar jobs.
Getting into trades is the career path that my partner transitioned to since moving to Canada.
As a skilled worker, he can get a job offer in any province or town. All it takes is one email.
Safety is an important factor when it comes to quality of life. Canada is safer than most places in the world.
In over four years of living here, we haven’t had any negative experiences around safety. (knocking on the wood)
Statistically, Canada ranks in the top 10 safest countries in the world and the major cities have one of the lowest crime rates.
For example, Toronto compared to New York, the two largest cities in Canada and the US is much safer.
The only exceptions are frequent scammy phone calls and scammers on the Facebook marketplace trying to exploit newcomers.
Finding a rental place in Canada can be challenging, especially in certain cities that experience the housing shortage. A common scam is posting a fake apartment and asking for a deposit upfront to secure the place.
So yes, don’t send any deposit unless you’ve seen the apartment in person or on video chat.
Another benefit of living in Canada is cleanliness.
The quality of air and water here is exceptionally good.
The cities are also well looked after. That’s thanks to a robust garbage disposal and recycling system and strict laws regarding littering.
If you’re a nature lover, like us, you’ll appreciate the fact that Canadians are doing their best to keep the environment clean.
6. Beautiful Scenery
Canada is a beautiful and vast country with incredible natural beauty. It has 37 national parks.
We were lucky to live in Canmore, close to Banff National Park and had all the mountains and wildlife right at our doorstep. It was an amazing experience.
The scenery is breathtaking, no matter which Canadian province you choose.
The places that really left a lasting impression on us are the azure lakes in the Canadian Rockies, the Highway 99 road trip, wineries in Okanagan Valley and Vancouver Island.
And I have yet to see Newfoundland and the Northern territories. On my Canadian bucket list, I have a whale-watching tour, seeing polar bears and northern lights.
Canada offers endless walking and hiking trails.
When you come to Canada, you will hear a lot about ‘cottage country’. Everyone seems to love the rustic getaways in the woods.
We love it too. Minus the mosquitos and pesky black flies in the summer.
Before moving to Canada, we’ve traveled to 50+ countries. Yet, Canada has one of the friendliest and most welcoming people we’ve ever come across!
There is a stereotype about Canadian people that they always say sorry and thank you, and I find it to be true. It’s not the same style of politeness as British; it’s different.
If you bump into someone, everyone says sorry, no matter who was at fault.
The cashiers or neighbors often strike up small chats with you and people greet you when you meet them hiking.
Every time we visit the US, the contrast in people-friendliness seems even more apparent. Even the Canadian border officers are way friendlier, from our experience.
Canada is by far America’s “nicer” neighbor.
8.English Speaking country
English is the official language in Canada, and that makes relocation so much easier.
Well, not the only official language. If you decided to move to Quebec, you would find yourself in a predominantly French-speaking province.
You’d also discover that Canadian French, known as Quebecois (in Quebec) or Acadien (in New Brunswick, which is the only officially bilingual province) is quite different from French spoken in France.
But except for those two provinces, the rest of the country is English.
British English is the basis for Canadian English, and its influence is evident in the spelling of words.
It is hard to deny, however, that when spoken, Canadian English sounds more like American English.
I don’t know how about you but I find American English easier to understand thanks to all the Hollywood movies compared to British English.
As immigrants, we felt welcome in Canada from the moment we stepped off the airplane in Edmonton, Alberta.
Because Canada is so diverse, you can blend in instantly.
Canadians never treated us like outsiders, which is one of the biggest reasons we love living here.
It makes a big difference when integrating into your new home country.
To give you a comparison. We also spent some time living in Ecuador, and locals always see you as a gringo (foreigner), no matter how long you live there.
Another plus is Canada’s welcoming immigration policies.
As a foreigner, you have many immigration programs to gain a temporary work permit or permanent residency through Express Entry.
10.High quality of life
Canada keeps ranking in the top 10 best countries worldwide year after year. In 2023, it was rated as second best, right after Switzerland.
There are many factors that influence the quality of life. It’s the income, economic stability, clean environment, safety, lifestyle, etc. And Canada ticks many boxes.
Canada is also known for strong social securities. Old age pensions, family allowance, unemployment insurance, child benefits and welfare are just some of the programs in Canada’s extensive social security network.
The flip side of that is higher taxes. Someone has to pay for all the government programs people need and enjoy.
I mean, no one likes to pay high taxes, and Canadians are no exception.
Although I love hot weather, prior to moving to Canada, I lived in Dubai for three years. There you seem to have only two seasons – warm summer and hot summer.
It was enjoyable, but after a while, you start missing the changing seasons and lush greenery. And surprisingly, I even missed the rain.
If you decide to live in Vancouver or Halifax, you definitely won’t have that problem. It rains a lot there which also means it’s amazingly lush.
Ironically, now I have the opposite problem. One of the most popular Canadian nicknames is Great White North and for a reason. The snowy weather can last from November to April, pretty much half a year.
But Canada is not only about cold winters. You get four distinct seasons.
The Canadian autumn season is short but especially beautiful when all the maple trees turn red. The air is crisp, and cafes smell like pumpkin spice.
You probably don’t think of warm weather when you think of Canada, but summers are very pleasant here. Depending on the province, temperatures can range from mild to hot.
The winters are cold and seem way too long all across Canada, with a few exceptions. One of those exceptions are winters in Vancouver, Victoria, Halifax or Okanagan.
However, Canadians know how to make the most of every season and that includes winter.
12.Great Worldwide Reputation
Canada has a stellar reputation in the world.
It’s known for its fairness, tolerance, human rights, acceptance of refugees and maintaining excellent diplomatic relations with other countries.
That’s why Canadians don’t need visas to visit most countries in the world.
Anyone you speak to seems to have a positive opinion about Canada and Canadians.
And rightly so. Canadians respect other cultures and are super polite.
13.Easy to get citizenship
Immigrating to Canada and all the visa paperwork is a time-consuming and costly process, but compared to the US or other first-world countries, it’s much more accessible.
To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, you must be a permanent resident of Canada, having lived in the country for at least three out of the past five years and having filed your taxes.
There are also other requirements, such as demonstrating proficiency in English or French and passing a knowledge test about Canada.
Overall, Canada has an open-door immigration policy that encourages people worldwide to settle in this beautiful country.
All these factors make Canada a desirable place to live and work, making it one of the best countries in the world for expats.
If you get a Canadian passport, it opens the doors to more than 180 destinations worldwide.
The Canadian healthcare system operates on the principle of universality, ensuring that all Canadian citizens and residents have access to free healthcare regardless of their income or social status.
In other words, every person has the fundamental right to receive free basic medical care, with a few exceptions.
Prescription and non-prescription drugs, dental care, certain tests, nursing homes and vision care are examples of costs people must cover out of their own pockets or with additional private insurance.
Some provinces partially cover prescription drugs and, for the most part, Canadian government covers prescriptions for the elderly and people on social assistance.
Universal medical coverage was first introduced in Saskatchewan in the early 1960s and the first Medical Care Act was legislated in 1968.
To be precise, health care isn’t exactly free. It’s covered by income tax.
Luckily, we only had to use the hospital once due to a work injury and it was nice to receive the treatment free of charge.
There is a lot to praise about the Canadian healthcare system but also a lot to criticize. I dive more into the negatives in the pros and cons of living in Canada post.
Primary and secondary education is free in Canada, ensuring that everyone will get a basic education.
Moreover, many Canadian universities have a strong reputation worldwide.
Canada has 40-plus universities offering every possible study program you can think of. Some of the most prestigious are the University of Toronto, McGill University, the University of Waterloo and the University of Alberta.
The only downside is high tuition fees, especially if you’re an international student. Foreign students often pay three times more than Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Final Verdict: Is Canada a Good Place to Live?
All in all, Canada is a great place to live that is accepting of newcomers and easygoing. It isn’t difficult to adapt to life here. Most people enjoy living and working in Canada, including us.
Canada offers excellent living standards, beautiful nature and a generous social security system. There are also many opportunities for career advancement and education.
The lengthy cold winters may be challenging at times but even that has its own charm.
Living in Canada has been an amazing experience so far, and we can’t wait to see what else this country has in store for us.
Is it better to lie in Canada or the US?
While the USA offers better salaries, Canada has better healthcare, safety and social benefits. It’s also much easier to immigrate to Canada than the US. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Both countries offer a high quality of life and plenty of opportunities for education and work.
Is there a downside to living in Canada?
One of the main downsides of living in Canada is the high cost of living. The housing and rental prices in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver are incredibly high. Furthermore, the income taxes are quite high in Canada.
Is it cheaper to live in Canada or the US?
Overall, Canada is more affordable than the US, but the US has higher average salaries. Comparing the cost of living in both countries is tricky because it varies greatly within each city. It’s also important to consider the hidden costs and savings of public goods and services such as healthcare.
Why people are moving to Canada?
People are moving to Canada for many reasons. Canada is the first world country with immigration-friendly policies, abundant job opportunities, a relatively strong economy and a high standard of living. Or they simply fancy a lifestyle change and Canadian outdoors.
Is it worth moving to Canada from the USA?
The three major benefits that Canada offers compared to the US are – a public health care system, lower crime rates, better worldwide reputation, lower cost of living and tuition fees and more social securities. Overall, both countries offer a high standard of living.