For so many reasons moving abroad can be an appealing prospect. You can move to follow love, for work, for school, or just to get a fresh start somewhere new. But moving is an enormous undertaking, particularly when you are moving to a completely new country. Each country has pros and cons but Canada is a strong option, particularly for U.S. ex-pats. Canada is the Western Hemisphere’s largest country and the world’s second-largest country after Russia. Montreal, Canada’s second-largest city after Toronto, is also the world’s second-largest city after Paris to have a French-speaking population.
There’s a lot attracting new residents to the Great White North with beautiful landscapes, a global healthcare and progressive policy. Yet there are downsides, as elsewhere, too. Scroll on to read more about the pros and cons of living in Canada.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Living in Canada
- Cons of Living in Canada
Pros of Living in Canada
It is known to us all that Canada’s universal health-care program is not really free. Each province is responsible for implementing this benefit of living here, which usually cost a single individual around $5,000 a year.
Families generally pay around $9,000 per household for access. This premium is equivalent to what the health insurance premiums are for Americans and is cheaper than what you’ll see in similar programs countries. You may go to the hospital, visit the emergency department, and obtain other medical services as part of the procedure, without having to pay a direct charge.
2. Low Crime Rate
With a ranking of 39.03, Canada was ranked 53rd highest in the world for its rate of crime in 2018. The United States earned a 55.84 ranking which placed the country for this issue as the 30th-highest in the world.
In the United States, the crime rate is around 40% higher than in Canada. This is also the disparity between these two North American countries that you can find in drug use. In the United States, women are 16 times more likely to suffer from sexual harassment compared to Canada.
In Canada, the per capita overall crime rate is currently 94 per cent higher than in the United States because of the lower population rates. Since 1991, crime rates have been steadily decreasing and violent crime is a decline, so overall the country is one of the best places to live in today’s world.
3. Employment Opportunities
The Canadian government continues to emphasize the need to attract foreign workers to the nation in order to continue with economic growth and skill shortages in many industries. Canada’s approach to immigration is nothing new-but what has changed over the past two years is the state of the rest of the world. While unemployment remains on the increase elsewhere, Canada remains largely unaffected.
Perhaps foreigners with the expertise and experience behind them can find that Canada’s economic climate could be more accepting than those nations badly hit by the global recession.
4. Affordable Education
The Canadian public-school program is similar to that of the United States, where students can apply in K-12 without requiring donations from their parents. Joining a college or university in the country is marginally higher than it is for students in Europe, but obtaining an advanced degree in Canada is much easier than it is in the United States every year.
Also, Canada is only one of a number of nations that feature in the Top 10 for math, literacy, and science. The country also has the largest proportion of working-age adults in the world who underwent higher education: 55 % compared to the developed world’s 35 % average.
5. Growing Economy
Canada now boasts the world’s 10th largest economy. This is also a nation where a free-market economy is embraced wherever possible, ensuring that people have plenty of economic freedoms at their fingertips.
If you want to start a company while living here, then in no time will it be a simple procedure that will get you up and off the ground. Unless you want more of a conventional work opportunity, than the country’s unemployment rate is much lower than in other parts of the world.
6. Welcoming and Respected
Canadians have a reputation worldwide for being polite, kind and welcoming. Even though there are always exceptions to any rule, most Canadians are warm and friendly also when they know you ‘re an immigrant or a visitor. People will stop in the grocery store to chat with you, while you’re taking a walk, or even during travel to Walmart.
There is a strong sense of community in this country that you will encounter which is a refreshing change of pace if you come from an atmosphere that values individuality above all else.
On the world stage, too, Canada is well respected due in part to its progressive policies. It’s rarely involved in global conflicts and its people while living in peace in very different ways.
7. Great Outdoors
Canada’s natural scenery is as diverse as its population from oceans to lakes, rivers, and the snow-covered tundra provides all the majestic beauty you may like.
Canada provides a whole range of outdoor activities. If you live in a place like Nova Scotia on the east coast, you’ll have convenient access to the ocean for fishing and boating. The country’s central portion provides great opportunities for hunting. The nation as a whole provides great opportunities for hiking. Canada as a whole offers a lot of natural beauty to discover with a bustling wildlife population.
8. Low Rent
Living north of the border is about 26 % cheaper when you average the cost of rent in Canada in all cities compared to the media data provided in the U.S. Even though some cities are more expensive than others such as Toronto and Vancouver, you can find lots of small towns where living is very affordable.
While taxes are higher to compensate for the needs of health care, most households have more disposable funds for sports, investments or general savings.
Cons of Living in Canada
Indeed, Canada’s health-care system is both a pro and a con. Although it is admired that residents can be provided with basic and essential treatment at no cost, elective procedures and long-term care can have long waiting times, particularly in larger towns.
Rural provinces often fail to allow people open to healthcare services as there is just so many resources to go around. In an entire city, there may only be 1-2 providers because it’s such a rural place. Though in that situation you can fly to the nearest care provider, some of the care you receive may be delayed. Sometimes long-term care, special needs, and elective procedures can have long waiting times. If you live in a big urban area, you can consider this problem too.
2. Government Control
Most Canadians believe that their rules of government appear to bypass the choices they can make about their lives. Local residents tell that they would prefer if there were lesser rules to follow in almost every survey.
Even minor items, such as the amount of trans fat in a restaurant meal, are determined by the government. Most citizens see Canadian laws as over-reaching and would prefer to obey fewer restrictions and less government intervention in their lives. If you don’t mind or think these problems are important, then this downside doesn’t seem like much of a concern. If you choose to make your own decisions, then this problem may be a definite setback.
3. Expensive Lifestyle
The costs you will face when living in Canada are much higher compared to living in other countries. Food represents a considerable expense.
Furthermore, even after adjusting for the favourable exchange rates that occur, clothing is still around 20 % more expensive. The differences could be even bigger depending on where you choose to live in the country. Many households are able to control their expenses and continue, but most consider that the expenses are at best equal to their current situation. Taxes are fairly low (though they support public healthcare), and rents continue to be high, especially in larger cities such as Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.
Unless you live right near the coast, Canada ‘s northern position means it has a cooler atmosphere than you’ll find in other countries across the globe. Winter is a real thing here and if you stay in the northern areas or territories it will last for up to 8 months. Others may say that the snow improves the landscape’s natural beauty, but it really doesn’t matter if you can’t even make it out to enjoy it outside.
In December the average high temperature is 0 degrees in Yellowknife, NT. When you reach January this drops to -2. During these months the average low varies from -13 to an unprecedented -17. On the scale of Fahrenheit, you will hit the 70s in July but you will continue to bundle up for much of the year.
5. Unfavourable Exchange Rate
The exchange rate for Canadian money, with the exception of 2011-2013, was not favourable in comparison with other developed countries around the world. The current exchange rate has 1 Canadian dollar equivalent to $0.75 with the American greenback.
That can make online shopping for things rather difficult unless you’re using a domestically based retailer. Some residents try to get around this issue by holding accounts that contain Canadian and US dollars and then shopping across the border when they can. Point Roberts, based south of Vancouver, also generates a legal income by handling postal boxes for Canadians to reduce their liabilities in this way.
6. Challenging Immigration Process
Canada currently has one of the world’s toughest set of immigration rules. Each year, only 250,000 people are permitted to travel and that number includes any refugees that the government wants to accept.
Even if you just want to work for a short period in Canada, the fees can be higher than $1,500, which makes getting a job less beneficial. Skilled workers are always a priority, but if you fail to show that you can bring value to the economy, it may be a challenge to get approval to move on permanently. This disadvantage can be avoided if there are direct family members who already live in Canada or are Canadian citizens and who can sponsor your request.
A move to Canada is only something many people dream of. Despite the drawbacks of the country, the quality of life and spectacular scenery make Canada an attractive home to so many people around the world.
If you are still considering moving to Canada, this information should help you to understand what to expect from your new home. Best wishes with your move anywhere you end up.