Pros and Cons of Living in Canada

Americans often revere Canada to the point that we’ve all heard someone say, “I’m moving to Canada” in response to US elections and foreign policy. There are many terrific aspects of living in Canada, but as with anywhere else in the world, there are some notable downsides. No place will be perfect, but knowing more about what to expect will help someone considering taking up residence in Canada to make a more informed choice. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of living in Canada.

Reasons To Live in Canada

1.) Canada has a Booming Economy

Canada sports the 10th largest economy in the world, and it continues to grow steadily. Known for their economic freedoms, Canada makes it easier than most countries to start a business. In fact, in 2020, it was named the 10th best country to start a business. Except for periodic recessions, Canada also has one of the lowest unemployment rates on earth. 

2.) Encouraged Diversity

Canadians have a worldwide reputation for being friendly and welcoming. By high engagement in progressive politics and policies, Canada encourages a diverse culture, bringing many people from all over the world, creating a melting pot. Expats moving to Canada will find that many of the communities are inclined to accept people from abroad, which, in turn, helps the newer citizens adjust to living in Canada more quickly.

3.) Healthcare And Social Programs

 The Canadian government is vastly involved in taking care of its citizens. This includes providing exceptional healthcare, which covers almost all facets of medication and treatment for citizens. Canada also focuses a lot on educational investments to help its citizens train for the acquisition of high paying jobs once they graduate. The system is primarily structured around putting citizens’ needs first and treating them fairly.

4.) Low Crime Rate

Canada ranks as one of the lowest in the world in terms of crime rates per capita, with significantly lower violent crimes and fewer misdemeanors than most other countries. Canda has 1.76 homicides per 100,00 people each year.  Comparatively, America has almost three times the rate at 4.96 per 100,000 people each year.  

5.) Cheaper Rent Prices

 By and large, the rent prices in Canada are low. By comparison to the United States, rent is 26% cheaper in Canada. There are some exceptions, of course, such as in large metropolitan areas. However, many smaller towns have lower rent prices to help people make the most of their finances. While taxes are higher to account for healthcare needs, most citizens have enough money to attribute to discretionary funds for other living activities.

6.) Good Education System

 Canada invests a lot in their education system. Some Canadian cities rank as some of the best in the world when it comes to education. College educations are far cheaper than in other countries. On average, a Canadian college student will pay around $5,000 per year. By comparison, American students pay $32,000 per year on average.  

7.) Rarely Involved In Global Conflicts

Some people accuse Canadians of being overly friendly. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, but ironically it translates to their global policies. Canada has been involved in wars, but usually as a supplemental, back-up power to another country in conflict. They have never triggered a worldwide conflict and have not been engaged in large scale wars since World War Two.

8.) Work-Life Balance

Canadians place a high value on spending quality time with their loved ones. The country, therefore, holds a high value on work-life balance. There are no national holidays in August in Canada, so the country designates the first Monday in August as a civic holiday to give people an extra day to spend with family.

9.) Beautiful Nature

Canada has some of the most gorgeous natural scenery in the world. There is a vast majority of outdoor activities promoted and available in Canada, and the country puts a high value on maintaining their regional natural beauty.

Reasons not to Live in Canada

1.) Long-Term Care And Elective Procedures 

The health care system in Canada is excellent, but it’s not perfect. There are instances where the system gets unfairly demonized, but there are other aspects where there is a grain of truth buried in the propaganda. For example, patients in need of long term care and elective procedures often come into the problem of long wait times of availability, with their particular needs not prioritized as much as they might need them to be by the country’s healthcare system.

2.) Government Control

One of the biggest concerns people have with living in Canada is the government’s vast involvement in people’s lives, from healthcare to restrictions on speech. This is mostly perception, though, particularly among conservative Americans. Outside of healthcare, the Canadian government’s role in society is similar to America’s.  

3.) Cost of Living and High Taxes

The cost of living in Canada is high. The taxes are high to account for national healthcare. Working wages are higher in Canada, but that is often offset by the cost of products and services being higher as well. Some of the taxes and tariffs incurred in Canada make it preferable for some Canadians to travel across the US border to get furniture, clothes, and other various goods at lower prices.

4.) Environmental Impact

Canada is working its way to weaning itself off of coal dependence, but it’s not there yet. As one of the top oil producers globally, it is one of the top ten largest greenhouse gas producers globally. The country’s vast need for coal resources has them making a fairly significant environmental impact. In recent years, however, the country has tried very hard to move away from a coal-based industry.

5.) Cold Climate

Moving to Canada can be a climate shock for many people. The definition of “cold weather” takes on a new meaning at the northern latitudes that make up most of Canada. The vast majority of Canadian residences are within 80 to 100 miles of the United States border. Some cities, like Vancouver, enjoy a comfortable position where the Rocky mountain range keeps a significant amount of the frost and cold out of the city, keeping the climate surprisingly mild.

Alan Behrens
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