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Is Canada a Good Place to Live? Pros and Cons

Gloria Stanfield
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by Gloria Stanfield

Canada is an amazing country with beautiful landscapes, major cities, and a good quality of life in general. That being said, living there does have its downsides, as with any part of the world.

In this article, we take a look at the pros and cons of living in Canada, and discuss whether or not Canada is a good place to live.

Let’s jump right into it!

People Walking on Canadian Street
People Walking on Canadian Street

Pros of Living in Canada

Here’s a list of the pros of living in Canada:

1. Most Canadians Are Happy

It’s comforting to know that the majority of citizens are happy to live in Canada. That’s a good starting point when thinking about moving!

2. Canada Actually Has Four Seasons

The weather in Canada gifts four distinct seasons. If you enjoy the summer sun, autumn leaves, spring flowers, and winter snow, you won’t have to sacrifice any of them in Canada.

With an actual winter, it’s a hotspot country for winter sports. Many people move to Canada specifically for the quality of snow for snow sports.

This wonderfully varied climate makes Canada easier to live in as you’ll never be stuck in one weather pattern for too long so it keeps daily life interesting.

3. Canada Has Universal Healthcare

If you’re sick of paying extremely high rates for health insurance in your home country, Canada offers an excellent solution: universal healthcare!

The Canadian government provides free healthcare rather than making Canadian citizens pay astronomical rates for basic health services.

4. Canada’s Crime Rates Are Low

Compared to other countries, Canada has extremely low crime rates. These rates are decreasing each year, which is a good sign for the future.

The strict gun control laws are surely appealing to many, as well.

5. Canada’s Economy Is Growing

Moving to a new country is often accompanied by finding a new job. It’s important to ensure that you’ll be able to find work when moving to Canada.

With the Canadian economy growing in the past few years, there is a solid job market. Individuals can expect great job opportunities across some major industries.

The market forecasts expect that this will continue in the upcoming years.

6. Stunning Nature in Canada

As the second largest country in the world, Canada boasts some of the most stunning natural landscapes.

On the western side of the country, the natural beauty ranges from the temperate rainforest on Vancouver Island to the majestic rocky mountains.

Banff National Park, located in the rocky mountains, draws in visitors from all over the world and surely should not be missed if you find yourself in western Canada.

On the eastern side of Canada, Niagara Falls is a bucket list item for many.

These natural wonders will surely have you writing out the long list of the 37 national parks that Canada has to offer. A list that could only be completed by living in Canada!

7. Free Primary and Secondary Education

Public schools in Canada are free, so every child is entitled to education from the age of 4 to 18. This is appealing to anyone considering bringing or having a family in Canada.

There is the option of private schools, as well, for those interested in a different type of education.

As for higher education, Canadian students have much lower tuition fees compared to their southern neighbors. The low tuition fees and quality education that Canadian Universities offer is definitely a cost-benefit for raising a family in this country.

The fees for international students are higher, so it is not an easy move to get cheap tuition. You must be a Canadian resident to receive these benefits.

8. It’s a Very Multicultural Country

Canadian culture is more than just poutine and hockey; it’s an incredibly diverse country with people from all around the world transplanting there.

You don’t need to be worried about being the only expat when you live in Canada!

Cons of Living in Canada

Here’s a list of the cons of living in Canada:

1. Houses Are Expensive

Depending on where you want to live, the cost of a house can be difficult to achieve. This can make living in Canada long-term difficult without the opportunity to save money for a home.

Canadian cities are significantly more expensive than rural areas and small towns. Vancouver’s average house price is above $1 million CAD, while smaller towns like Fredericton average under $200,000 CAD.

2. Jobs and Immigration Require Canadian Work Experience

While the market is growing, professional organizations tend to favor Canadian work experience. If you’ve only worked abroad, it may be hard to get a foot in the door at many companies.

The good news is that many regions are implementing policies to remove this bias.

3. Cost of Living and Taxes Are High in Canada

Canada is a relatively expensive country to live in with high taxes and housing costs.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment ranges quite a bit across the different regions. British Columbia is the most expensive at $2583 CAD, but Edmonton is only $1241 on average.

The taxes do cover things that would otherwise add to the emergency expenses, such as health care. Taxes are a trade-off and everyone feels different about what is more important.

The cost of living excluding the rental costs is estimated to be around $800 CAD for a single person.

4. Sales Tax Isn’t Included in Prices

Additional costs that annoy many people are the sales tax and service fees. These aren’t included in the price in Canada when listed.

While this may seem like a small thing, the money does add up and it requires a shift in mentality when making purchases.

5. Canada Doesn’t Recognize International Credit

When you move, your credit history does not transfer from your home country. This may affect your ability to get loans and credit cards.

It’s important to understand the implications of this financial fresh start before moving. Some banks may be open to discussion on this, though, if it’s extremely important to your move.

6. Immigration Process

The actual immigration process to move to Canada can be difficult and long. There are numerous visas that may get you there for work or study, but establishing permanent residency takes years to achieve.

After that, becoming a Canadian citizen is an entirely new and timely process.

Visas and processing times in Canada are infamously expensive and long.

7. Some Areas Primarily Speak French

If you’re not familiar with speaking French, you may struggle to live in some areas of Canada, like Quebec. Otherwise, all other areas of Canada speak English as their primary language.

Verdict: Is Living in Canada the Right Move for You?

Many people would call Canada one of the best countries in the world. In fact, a US News report actually ranked it the best country in the world to live in.

The big cities and vast green space create an endless playground for life in Canada. With the high quality of life, low crime rate, and endless beauty, it’s no wonder you’re thinking about it!

It’s important to consider the cons, such as the cost of living, before moving to Canada. Life there is great for many and could be for you too!

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