You can’t seem to choose one of the best places to live in Canada? If you’re getting ready to leave the United States and move up north, it’s no wonder you feel a bit confused and overwhelmed. International relocation is a rather significant step and, naturally, you want to get it all right. It is crucial that you explore several options to be able to make a fully informed decision. You’re about to uproot your entire life and start anew in this or that area. So, it should be the one that meets all your expectations and where you feel at home.
To reach the best possible decision depending on your particular situation, you’d like some questions answered first. For instance, you’re probably wondering, Where is a good place to live in the North? Which city is best in Canada for living? Which is the best city to live and work in Canada? We are here to answer these and other questions and help you make a shortlist of the best destinations to consider when moving to Canada in 2020.
How to Prepare for Your International Relocation to Canada?
When relocating abroad, people tend to think that international relocation is necessarily troublesome. However, when you prepare for it accordingly and plan everything on time, it can be smooth and enjoyable. Thus, we are here to mention some of the crucial steps to take to relocate to the Great White North before we move on to highlight the top-ranked places to consider.
The good news is that you’ve chosen a welcoming destination, always ready to accept newcomers. The requirements are not nearly as strict as in many other countries, so it won’t take you long to organize your move. You only need to spend three years here to apply for citizenship, so it won’t be long before you become a resident, either.
For now, you’re wondering how to immigrate to Canada, to begin with. As it happens with every international relocation, it is crucial first to take care of the most important documents needed to travel abroad. If you’re in a hurry and want to immigrate as soon as possible, be sure you check whether you can apply for Express Entry.
Are You Eligible for Express Entry?
There are different requirements depending on the type of visa you’re applying for, but one of the fastest ways to immigrate is through Express Entry application. Based on your skills, you should check if you’re eligible to apply for one of these three programs for skilled workers:
• Federal Skilled Worker Program
• Federal Skilled Trades Program
• Canadian Experience Class
Documents needed for Express Entry program will probably include the following:
• Valid passport
• Written job offer
• Language test results
• Medical exam results
• Report of education credential assessment
• Proof of funds
If you think you have a chance, be sure to find out more details on how Express Entry works and get ready on time. In addition to express immigration, this system is worth considering for job opportunities. Namely, provinces and territories may recruit candidates from the Express Entry pool. Speaking of employment, let’s see how important it is to land a job before you relocate.
Look Through Job Opportunities to Find Employment Before You Move
When you’re relocating abroad, it’s too much of a risk to cross the border without a solid job offer waiting for you. The Great White North is no exception. The estimated unemployment rate is 5.6%, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find employment. Nonetheless, you’ll be much safer if you land a job before you get started with your relocation.
With its highly developed and diverse economy, it seems that the Great White North has jobs for everyone. Of course, there are still some sectors that are more developed than others. Some of the major industries include manufacturing, energy, agriculture, mining, and service industry. Considering that this country has the world’s longest coastline, it comes as no surprise that fishing is among significant sectors, too.
Get Ready for the High Cost of Living in Most Places in Canada
The top-notch quality of life comes at a price. Thus, you should plan your budget carefully and save up some money to offset the relatively high cost of living in Canada. As it usually happens, on average, the cost of living is the highest in a big metropolis, such as Toronto and Vancouver. In case you can’t afford to live in such a metropolis and you’re looking for the cheapest place to live in Canada, you should stick to smaller towns. Naturally, there are various advantages and disadvantages of living in different areas. So, you should determine your priorities and calculate where you should go to get your money’s worth.
Speaking of different places, let’s take a look at our list of the best cities to live in Canada. If you were wondering how to create a shortlist, to begin with, here are some of the top recommended destinations you should include.
Explore a Variety of Employment Opportunities in Burlington
You’ve picked an excellent country if you’re looking to climb the career ladder, now you just need to choose the right area, too. When it comes to employment, among other major cities, Burlington, Ontario, has a wide range of employment opportunities. If you land a job there, you can count on excellent pension and benefits, mobile working arrangements, as well as flexible working hours. When you find something that interests you and matches your skills, be sure to send your resume online.
With household income above average for the Hamilton census metropolitan area, you don’t have to worry about the cost of living. In addition to top-notch job opportunities, Burlington is also an excellent destination to be close to nature. Located at the south-western end of Lake Ontario, it boasts a variety of outdoor spaces to enjoy your free time. In addition to the waterfront, there are also many parks and hiking trails that you’ll definitely want to check out.
Enjoy Peaceful Suburban Life in Oakville, Ontario
Are you relocating with kids, and you’re looking for a spot where you can enjoy a peaceful suburban feel? If you’re thinking about moving to Ontario, and you’re looking for tranquility, Oakville is probably the right choice for you. This charming suburban town offers a slower pace and access to breathtaking natural wonders. But, it is also located close to Toronto – this dynamic metropolis is only about a 40-minute drive away. Moreover, the town is only an hour away from Niagara Falls and the US border, making it not just one of the best places to live in Ontario, but in the whole Great White North, as well.
With a population of about 200,000, Oakville, in fact, is not that small a town, but the small-town feel is perfectly preserved along with the big-city amenities. For many, this is the perfect combination. Do you feel the same way? If so, you shouldn’t hesitate – there is no doubt that Oakville will meet your expectations. It might be time to start thinking about what to pack and even book international moving services.
Find Affordable Housing in Ottawa
How could we not mention a country’s capital, right? Especially when it’s such a desirable capital such as Ottawa. From clean streets to low unemployment and poverty rates, there are many reasons why so many people flock to some of the Ottawa neighborhoods from all around the world. As a result, Ottawa has become a rather diverse community where everyone is welcome and fits in easily. It draws a large number of young population, especially those relocating to Ottawa for education at its two prestigious universities – the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.
There’s one more thing that attracts newcomers to the capital – the possibility to find an affordable home. Namely, the cost of living in Ottawa is rather high, but there are affordable options, too. According to Numbeo, the average rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the center is about $1,800. As you move towards the outskirts, naturally, the average rent is even lower. So, you can rent a flat of the same size for about $1,400 outside of the center.
Immerse Yourself in Beautiful Nature in St. Albert, Alberta
St. Albert in Alberta is a fantastic option for all nature lovers. Primarily known for its ample green spaces and marvelous landscapes everywhere you look, this town offers a variety of outdoor activities. If you enjoy cycling, you’ll be happy to hear that there are over 85 km of bike trails alongside the Sturgeon River. Whatever you choose to do here, you can be sure of one thing – you’ll get to enjoy a relaxed pace of life without missing anything a big metropolis has to offer.
Keep in mind that there’s more to this beautiful town to nature and outdoor activities. It also has a strong economy that attracts Canadians and immigrants alike. The chance to land a well-paid job and be surrounded by stunning nature, alongside high-quality schools and healthcare system, have made St. Albert rather popular. Here are some facts about this more and more desirable town:
Population: over 65,000
Unemployment rate: 6.60%
Median household income: $119,900 per year
Speaking of peaceful destinations suitable for raising a family, we should also mention Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, so let’s learn a bit more about it.
Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec Is One of the Best Places to Live in Canada With Kids
Have you considered moving to Montreal, Quebec? If you’re that dissuaded by the language barrier (Quebec is a predominantly French-speaking province) and this is a viable option for you, the off-island suburb of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville might be perfect. Named the absolute best place to raise kids in 2017, this Montreal neighborhood is the way to go if you’re relocating with your family. From daycare costs to the quality of education and safety, there are quite a few reasons why you should consider making this town your future home.
You’ll also be happy to hear that housing is not that expensive, and the unemployment rate is 5%. So, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville is right for you, too, not just for your children. Nestled on the slopes of Mont Saint-Bruno and the south bank of the Saint Lawrence River, the town has many outdoor spaces to enjoy. Speaking of things to do in Montreal and beyond – go for a walk around the national park Saint-Bruno, ski Mont Saint-Bruno during winter, or take your kids to a recreation center if it’s too cold. Whatever you do, you’ll love Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, that’s for sure.
Take Advantage of Favorable Location of Toronto, Ont
For those of you who don’t mind the hustle and bustle of the most populous city in the country, the choice is clear – head straight to Toronto. Living in Toronto comes with a wide range of advantages, starting with its favorable location on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. Being just across the border with the US, with access to Atlantic shipping, this metropolis has become an important international trading center.
In addition to that, due to its location, it has a favorable climate, too. The difference is noticeable compared to many other areas, which means a lot in the Great White North. Summers are warm and humid but be sure you bring warm clothes for the cold winter months.
If this is your chosen destination, it might be time to look through a guide to Toronto neighborhoods to pick the right part of it. There are many fantastic options. It all boils down to your expectations and personal preferences.
Enjoy Free Time on Eight Beaches by the Ocean in Vancouver, British Columbia
For those of you who are not that thrilled about the cold weather, we have some good news – this BC seaport is the right choice for you. Often recognized for having the most favorable weather conditions in the entire country, living in Vancouver is the way to go if you prefer mild climate. Heavy snowfalls can occur but are rare, so you don’t have to worry about inclement weather. Instead, head straight to the beach.
You’ll be thrilled to hear that there are eight beautiful beaches where you can enjoy your free time. This coastal seaport city offers a range of fun outdoor activities, from hiking and bicycling to beach volleyball and tennis. Whatever Vancouver neighborhood you pick and whatever you do there, one thing’s for sure – you’ll enjoy breathtaking scenery everywhere you look.
If you’ve picked this destination because you want to work in Vancouver, you’ve made an excellent choice employment-wise, too. There are many excellent job opportunities in various sectors, primarily in technology, trade, and tourism.
Become a Part of the Community of Westmount, Que
With low crime rates and a welcoming community, Westmount is another destination worth considering to be your future home. This is one of the most desirable residential areas and one of the most affluent and best neighborhoods in Montreal. A small town with a population of just under 20,000, Westmount is an excellent choice for those looking to be a part of a small community and raise their kids in a safe neighborhood. It is located on the island of Montreal, so it boasts beautiful outdoor spaces, including nearby beaches.
Now, just because this is a small town, you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that there’s nothing to do around here. On the contrary – there are lovely parks to spend your free time, museums and galleries, as well as architectural buildings to admire. And if you begin to miss the hustle and bustle of a big metropolis, downtown Montreal is just a short drive away.
Save a Few Bucks in Abbotsford, BC
Are you looking to save some money, or you simply can’t afford to live in a sprawling metropolis? You’ll be happy to hear about the low cost of living in this small town in British Columbia. If you imagine your perfect home in a small town in the countryside, Abbotsford is the right choice. In Abbotsford, the pace is slow, locals uphold traditional values, and you get to enjoy the breathtaking views of the British Columbia coast.
Considering that it is located only an hour east of Vancouver, you don’t have to worry about being too far away from a more developed area. One of the main reasons why people flock here is affordable housing. A place like that would cost you an arm and a leg in Vancouver is rather affordable in Abbotsford, and you’re still close enough to this metropolis.
Get in Touch With Wildlife in Banff, Alta
How do you like the idea of living within a national park? That’s possible if you opt for Banff, Alberta. Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park. Living in such surroundings comes with a lot of exciting opportunities to explore wildlife, but it also means that you’ll need to obey some rather strict rules. For instance, you must not feed wildlife. Your dog must be on the leash at all times, and, naturally, you’re not allowed to take anything out of the park, such as a rock or a flower. These guidelines are so strict that there are, in fact, established eligibility requirements that one must meet in order to become a resident.
Keep in mind, though, that the cost of living is rather high here, especially when it comes to accommodation. According to Numbeo, the average rent for a three-bedroom apartment is about $2,300. Due to such costs, many choose to share their accommodation with someone.
Take Part in a Variety of Outdoor Activities in Victoria, BC
The capital of British Columbia is, without a doubt, one of the most attractive destinations for several reasons. In addition to stunning scenery and moderate climate, Victoria has an excellent standard of living, competitive salaries, as well as diverse culture. Since it experiences a sub-Mediterranean climate, you get to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities almost all year round. Its nickname “The Garden City” tells enough of how many beautiful gardens there are in Victoria, with the Butchart Gardens being among the most famous.
In addition to enjoying numerous, paradise-like gardens all around the area, you can also go hiking, cycling, or kayaking. You shouldn’t miss whale watching, either. And if you want to explore the West Coast, you should find out more about Pacific Marine Circle Route.
Be Close to the Rocky Mountains and National Parks in Calgary, Alta
Are you looking for a job in engineering, construction, technology, or the energy sector? But you’d also like to stay in touch with nature? Living in Calgary offers this perfect combination. Surrounded by natural beauty everywhere you look and offering fantastic job opportunities, Calgary is growing more and more popular. It is situated just east of Canadian Rocky Mountains, at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River.
Among many other exciting things to do in Calgary, you shouldn’t miss paying a visit to the nearby national parks. You should also visit the Calgary Zoo and say hello to penguins and enjoy the view from the Calgary Tower.
Choose Surrey to Stay Close to the US Border
As one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Surrey has become a rather popular destination. It is located just north of the US border, so if you don’t want to go too far away, this might be the perfect solution for you. This urban area is an ideal mix of a fast-paced community with an abundance of greenery and natural beauties. There are many employment opportunities, too, so finding your dream job there shouldn’t be much of a problem. If you pick Surrey, be sure you plan your budget carefully, as the costs are increasing, especially when it comes to housing.
Why Should You Pick Canada
Before you get to choose one area or another, you should be sure that you have picked the right destination. So, you might be wondering, is the Great White North really the right choice for you? in case you’re having any doubts or second thoughts, remember that this is one of the most popular expat destinations for a reason.
One of the things that most love about this beautiful nation is diversity. We are talking about one of the most diverse nations in the entire world. Thus, you shouldn’t worry too much about fitting in. Such multicultural melting pot is excellent for meeting new people, cultures, and enjoying your exploration along the way. Of course, you can always keep in touch with your friends when moving abroad, but it’s good to know that you can easily make new ones, too.
Another major perk of living here is economic stability. With one of the strongest economies worldwide, this country is the right choice for those looking to pursue a career abroad.
Now, let’s see what other reasons there are for picking this destination over any other in the world.
Best Cities to Live in Canada Offer a High Level of Safety
Considering Canada’s low crime rates, we can see that this is, without a doubt, one of the safest countries you could’ve picked. Compared to the US, gun ownership is almost four times lower. The explanation behind such a significant difference lies partly in the fact that Canadians simply feel safe. The police system is highly reliable, easy to contact, and quick to respond, so even if there were some issues, you don’t have to worry.
One of the safest areas you can choose is Saguenay in Quebec (it is among the ten safest cities in the country). However, keep in mind that 95% of the residents here are French speakers. So, if you don’t speak French, this might be an issue. Or not – how about you start learning French before your international relocation to Canada? Breaking the language barrier might seem frustrating at first glance. But, just remember that living in an area where you don’t understand 95% of the people around you is much more of an issue.
Count on Top-Notch Education for Your Children
Those of you moving with kids abroad will be happy to hear about the top-notch education here. Not only does education meet the highest standards, but it is also accessible regardless of one’s background. Namely, all Canadian residents are eligible for free public schooling from the age of five to the age of 19. Your children, as expat students, can still attend public schools for free if they have a residence permit. If not, you’ll be required to pay tuition fee, which is appointed by the competent province or territory.
In addition to public schooling, there are also excellent private and international schools for those who can afford them. Many of these are located in major cities, so if you eventually opt for this type of education, be sure you move to one of the largest cities.
Rely on Universal Healthcare
Do you want to hear some good news? All Canadian residents are entitled to free public healthcare. All you need to do is provide your Health Insurance Card as proof of your residence, and then enjoy all the benefits. Keep in mind, though, that it will probably take about three months to obtain your Health Insurance Card. Thus, be sure you have some other insurance to cover you right upon arrival. In case of an emergency, hospitals in all provinces and territories will provide you with the necessary help even without the card.
Not only do you get free access to healthcare, but you can rely on one of the top healthcare systems in the entire world. From the facilities alone to the staff and treatment methods, you can expect only the best when you get there. Since help is available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay big money to get it, it comes as no surprise that this is one of the fairest healthcare systems in the world.
Are You Ready for the Great White North?
As you can see, there are plenty of fantastic options if you’re ready to start anew in the Great White North in 2020. If you need help with the international relocation process alone, remember that you can always count on professional movers to give you a hand. In case you don’t have time to pack, ask for professional packing services. Do you need to get your car shipped, too? Don’t worry about it – you can ask for overseas vehicle shipping. Do not hesitate to ask for help to be able to enjoy the journey to your chosen destination.