Is Canada really such a wonderful nation to live in as an expatriate, or are there reasons to reconsider relocation?
Canada is one of the most often considered relocation destinations with Britons who are specifically seeking a new life abroad in a country where they can find work easily, earn a decent income and have a high standard of living.
The nation certainly has more plus points in its favour than it does negative issues, and therefore if you’re a would-be emigrating expatriate actively contemplating Canada as your destination of choice, we can appreciate that you need to narrow down your search and find out where to make a new home abroad in Canada for you and your family.
The nation is vast – and it does represent massive opportunity for immigrants, so using in depth research from Money Sense, Canada’s own personal finance website, we’re going to highlight the 5 best places to live in Canada. We’ll detail the opportunities on offer in each town or city, and comment on why you might like to live in a given community.
Why Expatriate and Move to Canada?
Canada often ranks at the top of lifestyle lists as compiled by the likes of the UN for example, because it offers employment opportunities, it has decent standards of healthcare and education, it’s a first world nation with a positive immigration policy, and because the quality of life available can be excellent for those earning a decent salary.
Middle class Canadians can usually afford to live in detached real estate – and property costs tend to be cheaper in Canada than they are in the UK, partly because the country is so vast that there is not a restriction on space! Having said that, in the most built up areas where there is intense demand for space for business and residential real estate, of course costs can be higher.
The one downside of Canada most often quoted is the climate – but despite what many people think, all of Canada is not covered in a blanket of snow for up to 6 months of the year! It’s a case of looking at the nation, examining weather patterns and finding a part of Canada where you believe you could cope with perhaps harsher winter weather conditions than we’re typically used to in the UK.
Two things to also remember about Canada’s winters are that the nation is fully geared up to cope with snow and ice and therefore infrastructure does not fail as it does in the UK when there’s a single snow flurry. Secondly, life is structured around the winter weather with its snow and ice so that sports and community events for example, embrace the conditions and make the most of the weather.
According to the 2010 MoneySense survey of the best places to live in Canada, the following are the top 5 destinations in the nation: Ottawa-Gatineau, Kingston, Burlington, Fredericton and Moncton.
The survey ranked towns and cities across the entire nation according to detailed criteria in the following categories: - prosperity, housing, lifestyle, crime, health and weather. For the complete statistical breakdown visit MoneySense, but for an overview of the top 5 destinations for would-be emigrating expatriates, read on: -
- We recently covered this destination in depth for Shelter Offshore readers so read: ‘Living in Ottawa: is it the Best City to Live in in Canada?’ for a complete and detailed breakdown of the pros and cons of this particular destination.
- This is a stunning city with excellent lifestyle attractions for expatriates, and yet it is perhaps lesser known because it’s not an international tourism destination of note.
Located in Ontario, it’s a city on a liveable scale – in other words it has all the amenities and attractions of big city living such as employment and entertainment prospects aplenty, but it is smaller and more compact than Canada’s famous metropolises. As a result it makes for a much more community-orientated destination.
There are private and public sector jobs available, and according to the local economic development corporation: “Kingston resident’s benefit from a superior quality of life and we’re proud to share it. We benefit from short commute times to work, great walking and bike paths throughout the downtown and along the waterfront, access to lakes and cottage country within a 20-minute drive and exceptional nightlife activities with great dining options, dancing, live music and theatre.”
- Also located in Ontario, the city of Burlington sits at the south-western end of Lake Ontario and is perhaps a perfect place for those who want big city living in close proximity to nature and the great outdoors.
The city has a broad economic base, which adds to its economic stability, and it ensures there are consistently job prospects available across multiple sectors. The lifestyle available is good, with plenty of schools, colleges and healthcare facilities available to residents. What’s more, there are many attractive sights to visit and plenty going on in Burlington.
From the 115 parks you can visit across the city to the museums, and from the many annual festivals that residents enjoy to the excellent and diverse shopping opportunities.
If you want a clean, culturally rich and economically strong city with excellent infrastructure, consider Burlington.
- This is the capital city of New Brunswick and as a result, there are plenty of public sector jobs available! The city also benefits from strong IT and commercial sectors, and according to the MoneySense survey it’s average unemployment rate is as low as 4.7%...good news for expats contemplating a relocation to Canada to find work.
In terms of its lifestyle offerings, it’s an attractive city with interesting architecture and plenty of ‘life.’ Fredericton is considered an important cultural, artistic and educational centre for the province, and it has 2 universities and plenty of arts centres and recreation activities on offer.
The city has climbed in the MoneySense rankings since 2009, and continues to positively develop and thrive as a strong community.
- Voted Canada’s most courteous city by Readers Digest and one of the best places to live and work in Canada by one of Canada’s top magazines, Chatelaine, Moncton in New Brunswick has a lot of positive factors in its favour as a destination to consider for expats.
It has one of the lowest cost of living environments in Canada for example, and residents enjoy a very short average commute time. What’s more, less than half an hour outside the city and you reach New Brunswick’s Northumberland Coast, where you find the warmest beaches north of Virginia!
The city has 2 world-class hospitals, 3 universities, multiple parks and landscaped outdoor areas for recreation, the largest indoor and outdoor entertainment facilities in Atlantic Canada, and it has been chosen by thousands of immigrants from across Canada and beyond for migration over the past decade.
It’s not difficult to see why Canada is such an exceptionally popular choice with would-be expatriates, particularly those from the UK who don’t want to have to encounter a language barrier when they move abroad.
The only real ‘problem’ with Canada is that it’s such a vast nation that you have to spend time researching the different provinces to find an area where you would be comfortable living – and then there are so many excellent cities, towns and communities to choose from that it can be hard to narrow your search down to just one!
We hope the above has introduced you to some of the best lifestyle destinations in this fabulous nation, and perhaps your next step should be visiting parts of Canada where you feel you could make a new home abroad.
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