If you are thinking of moving to Canada, this all-in-one guide will give you the info that you need to know. Moving is a complicated process, but at Palmers we do everything that we can to make it easier for you, and one of the best first steps is reading this guide.
Canada is a highly developed country that many people love for its liberal values and breathtaking natural beauty. If you are planning on moving to Canada and haven’t decided whereabouts in this country you would like to move, here’s a rundown–
Canada is divided into non-overlapping territories called provinces and states. There are ten provinces (Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and Saskatchewan). And there are three territories (Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories). The six largest cities in order of population size are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa the capital.
There are a lot of options in Canada as you can see, but we will simplify this large landmass for you. Canada has quite a cold climate, but for obvious Arctic reasons, the northern side of the country is colder than the south. In a large part because of this, the population density is heavily weighted towards the south side which contains all of the major cities that we listed.
Canada As An Expat Destination
Canada has a large immigrant population, totalling over 1/5th of the population. And this statistic is rapidly growing as reports say that 300,000 immigrants are to be granted access to the country in 2017.
Most expats who are drawn to Canada are attracted by the democratic, liberal values of this highly developed country. Canada is in the top 10 countries for countless statistics and is ranked as 2nd in the world for standard of living (Source). One of the aspects where Canada excels is healthcare. Canada has one of the most advanced, well-funded healthcare systems in the world and this was a large source of its grade for its liveability index. It also has a relatively sparse population across its large landmass abundant in natural resources, and this accounts for a lot of its prosperity.
Should I pack my own belongings when relocating to Canada?
If you pack your own items for your relocation to Canada, you will find that you are more likely to have delays through customs and face more rigorous inspections upon your arrival in Canada.
If you decide to pack yourself, you should ensure you provide details about the items in each box to help Canadian customs in inspecting your goods and will help avoid delays. If you have a large load to send, we recommend using Palmers to ensure your belongings are cleared and handled with minimal hassle to you.
Moving your car to Canada
If you are moving your car or motorbike to Canada, there are a number of customs criteria that you need to meet. Your car will be sent to our Canadian partner’s depot and can be collected from there following customs clearance. Canadians drive on the left-hand side so you are able to use your Australian vehicle in Canada once it is registered.
You will need to provide evidence that you have either lived or plan to live in Canada for at least one year. A copy of your passport with a date stamp showing when you arrived in Canada or a copy of your lease agreement or current living situation.
Moving your boat to Canada
If you are moving your boat to Canada, you will have to go through a similar process as you would if you were moving your car. Customs and Quarantine will need to inspect your boat carefully as it could have been exposed to marine life. You will also need to register the boat in Canada and make sure you have to proper license to drive it in Canadian waters.
Relocating your pet to Canada
When moving your pet to Canada it is best to use a pet transportation service like Palmers that is registered and is able to make all arrangements to make the process as smooth as possible. This makes it less stressful for your pet and means your pet will get through customs quick and easily.
List Of The Top Canadian Cities To Move To
- Toronto, Ontario
- Montreal, Quebec
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Calgary, Alberta
- Edmonton, Alberta
- Ottawa–Gatineau, Ontario/Quebec
- Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Quebec City, Quebec
- Hamilton, Ontario
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
The national languages of Canada are English and French. Most Canadians know English but ~30% also know French. French is the mother tongue of ~20% of Canadians, but 80% of people in Quebec. Most people in Quebec still know English. It is peculiar that Canada has two official languages but this is because it was colonised by both the French and British.
Canada’s climate ranges from continental in the south to arctic in the north. For the majority of cities, which are in the south, temperatures range from 15°C in Summer too -2°C in Winter. For northern locations like the city of Iqaluit, the yearly average temperature is -10°C.
Cost Of Living
Canada has a remarkably low cost of living for a country that is so developed. Consumer prices are even lower than Australia, accommodation is much cheaper, but salaries are also quite a bit lower. Taxes are higher in Canada than Australia. It’s hard to decide from this which country is better to live in financially. It depends on which city you are moving to and your lifestyle. The welfare that you qualify for and what amount is an individual factor that will always differ.
Expat Job And Career Opportunities
Expats working in Canada are required to have a permanent residence visa or temporary work visa, and this is a recent requirement. The intention of temporary work visas is to allow expats to fill the jobs that Canadians aren’t filling on their own, and this is the main basis on which these visas are awarded.
The job market in Canada is largely services, but also has a strong focus on natural resources—fishing, mining and forestry. In Quebec, job seekers may be expected to know French.
Canada has one of the best education systems in the world. It is well-funded and based on the sound values of equality. Anti-racial and indigenous studies are a key learning requirement. Education is compulsory up to the age of 16. Canada’s university system is just as advanced and in fact, Canada has the highest tertiary enrolment percentages in the world.
Canada’s private schools only hold 5.6% of students, as opposed to ~40% in Australia. Also, Canada doesn’t have a selective school system, which is another boon for equality.
Like Australia, Canada has a Medicare system that provides almost universal coverage irrespective of the ability to pay. This is yet another reason why Canada is a country that is a leader in equality. Canada’s healthcare system is even more public than Australia’s. Fewer people opt for the private healthcare option and doctors are actually not allowed to charge for their services.
5 Tips For Moving To Canada
- Pack your coats. It is not unusual for temperatures in Canada to go below 0°C.
- Remember your manners. Canadian culture places a high value on politeness. This often makes communication less direct than in other countries.
- Beware of wild animals. When exploring Canada’s would-renown natural environments, keep in mind that these areas are shared with grizzly bears, polar bears, cougars, moose and various other large creatures. If you see one of these, of course, you can admire their beauty, but don’t touch, antagonise, use flash, approach or unlock the doors. If it’s a bear you should probably not linger for very long.
- No smoking in public places. This means that you can’t some in restaurants, in the yard of your apartment complex or even in parks.
- Don’t forget the tip. Canada is a country where tipping is such a crucial part of a culture that it is an expected part of people’s wages. 15% is generally accepted across taxis, bars, hairdressers, etc.