Living As An Expat In Canada

Canada tops lists for many things. This may not come as a shock to anyone.

For many immigrants, Canada is often the preferred destination. This is also true for many international students who apply for student visas in hopes of being permanent residents of Canada.

Due to a prosperous economy, Canada is also an ideal place to set up shop. As a result, many business owners and investors have tried their luck in the Great White North.

Canada is everything foreign nationals would want in a country. Expats in Canada have experienced this first-hand.

Moving to Canada is always an exciting experience. That said, knowing more about life in Canada will pay dividends in enriching your experience in the country.

Are you moving to Canada as an expat? This article will tell you everything you need to know about living in Canada.

What Are Some Of The Best Things About Living In Canada?

Whenever a person chooses a country to which to relocate, four factors are paramount in the decision:

  • Quality of life
  • How easy it is to integrate into the culture
  • Work opportunities and conditions
  • How conducive the country is to a family

Canada does extremely well in these four areas.

The Quality Of Life In Canada Is Consistently Ranked Highly

For starters, Canada is one of the safest countries in the world.

In 2017, a report was done by Expat Insider to determine the best countries for expats. A part of this report was a comparison of the safest countries for expats. More than 60 countries were included in the list.

Canada was among the top 10 countries when it came to safety.

Canada also ranked well in other areas. One such are was the affordability of healthcare. Inter Nations confirmed this in 2016 and 2017. For these two consecutive years, more than 75% of expats in Canada interviewed found healthcare in Canada cheap and extensive in coverage.

The People In Canada Are Polite And Friendly


The ease of socialization and interaction is often an overlooked consideration. It should be one of the first things to be considered.

Canadians are known all over the world for their trademark politeness. While this may seem like nothing more than a sterotype, many have found this to be true.

Based on a survey done in 2017, 80% of respondents found the people in Canada pleasant and accomodating. As well, language barriers did not seem to be a factor since English is one of the national languages of the country.

Even for those with less than perfect English skills, interaction was not difficult. Immigrant communities present in Canada act as less-insular cultural enclaves on which immigrants could fall back.

Work Opportunities Abound In The Country

It is no secret that a vast majority of Canadians are nearing the age of retirement. As a result, many companies in the county are looking to address manpower deficits in any way possible.

For both expats and immigrants, this is is welcoming news. As well, the Canadian government provides support in many ways to make finding employment possible for both expats and immigrants.

Often, work is not a major problem for expats since many are sent by the multinational companies for which they work.

Primary Education Is Affordable In Canada

Many expats come to Canada with their families. For this reason, the educational needs of children is in the mind of many expats.

Luckily, K-12 education in Canada is one of the most affordable in the world. In many Canadian provinces, schooing until the 12th grade is subsidized by the Canadian government. This means that, for the most part, primary schooling is free.

In Canada, the government does not sacrifice quality to cut costs. In short, not only is education affordable in Canada. It is also of a high quality, making it one of the best in the developed world.

What Are Some Considerations When Living In Canada As An Expat?

Now that you know some of the best things about Canada, you may want to know certain aspects of life you are bound to experience in the country.

Canadian Weather

person walking by the street on a chilly Canadian  Weather

Different people will have different opinions about the weather conditions of Canada. Mainly, this is due to location. Canadian provinces in the Southern part of the country generally have milder weather.

The weather in provinces like Ontario and British Columbia is generally not as cold compared to provinces and territories up North.

On the other hand, in places like Yukon, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Northwest Territories, days and nights could be very chilly.

Hence, the best thing you could do when moving to Canada is doing your research on the province’s weather conditions and packing accordingly.

Here is an article that will tell you what to do when you are moving to the chillier parts of Canada.

National Identification

In any country, residents need to have at least some piece identification.

In Canada, this piece of identification is the social insurance number or SIN. It is a nine-digit number that allows the government to identify you. As well, it allows you access to numerous government services.

The SIN does more than provide access to public services. It is a number that legitimizes your stay in Canada. You need to have your SIN in order to:

  • Work
  • Open a bank account
  • Look for housing

Needless to say, it is a very important number to secure upon your arrival.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the SIN and how to get one.

Getting A Bank Account

Of course, even as an expat, you need to keep your money somewhere. Canadian banks are among the most reliable and safest in the world. With numerous locations across the country, getting access to your money is not going to be a problem.

As mentioned earlier, you need your SIN to open a bank account. In this article, you will learn how to open a bank account as well as the best banks in which to open one.

Transportation Options

Canada is a large country. In fact, it is the second-largest country in the world. That said, transportation should be a consideration of yours.

Public transportation in many Canadian cities are efficient and on-time. This makes bus and train schedules reliable enough for everyone.

It is possible to drive if you prefer. Here is something to consider:

You need a driver’s license in Canada to drive, even as an expat.

Different provinces have different policies and procedures for getting a driver’s license. Processing times and the types of licenses also vary to a degree. Hence, if you know the province to which you are moving, you may want to look into that provinces laws for driver’s licenses.

This article has information on driver’s licenses in Canada.

Taxes For Goods And Services

Let’s face it.

Nobody enjoys paying through the nose for taxes. Be that as it may, you have to be aware of the taxes you would have to pay in Canada.

As an employee, your income taxes will automatically deducted. This is why you need a SIN. It is also your tax identification number.

Taxes are generally paid through the goods and seervices you purchase. At the time of writing, there are three different types of taxes for goods and services:

  • Goods and services tax (GST) which is 5%
  • Provincial sales tax (PST) which ranges from 4% to 9%
  • Harmonious sales tax (HST) which is currently 15% (in Ontario, it is 13%)

The GST is a tax that applies to all goods and services sold in Canada. There are differences when it comes to the PST and HST. In several provinces like Alberta and Manitoba, the GST and PST are combined. In the Maritimes, only the HST is paid.

Hence, the additional taxes for goods and services can make prices for one product different across the country.

Housing And Accommodation

Likely, you will be renting. You could choose to rent an apartment closer tothe city centre or farther way from it.

Location is vital to choosing accomodation since it will determine your convenience as well as your rent every month. Generally, the closer your accommodation is to the city centre, the more expensive it is going to be.

Here is an article about looking for an apartment in Toronto, Ontario.


As an expat, you could look forward to experiencing many great things about Canada.

Choose Canada, and you will be living in one of the safest and healthiest countries in the developed world. As well, you will living amongst people who will welcome you into the community- one which is in harmony as well as diverse.

Canada is a great move not just for you but also for your family. Living as an expat in Canada, you will likely want to stay indefinitely.

Choose Canada Magazine

Each member of our team at Choose Canada Magazine has been in Canada for over five years, and has helped dozens of people worldwide find their life in Canada.

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