Cost of Living in Canada

by Jose Marc Castro on August 10, 2009

costoflivingCANADACanada is one of the richest countries in the world. The per capita income is remarkably high and it is a distinguished member of the Group of Eight (G8) as well as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The economy is basically a free market and the government tends to apply statutes and policies less strict compared to the United Kingdom.

The per capita gross domestic product (GDP) is higher compared to other European countries. Comparatively, here are the prices in a nutshell,

  • The cost of living in Toronto is 30 percent lower than in London, UK.
  • The cost of living in Vancouver is 12 percent lower than in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • The cost of living in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is 5 percent lower than in Glasgow, UK.

At present, economists are worried about the declining unemployment rate although production and living standards are still considerably high.

Cost of living expenses in rural areas can be significantly low. However, living in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver can be very expensive. Canada’s mining, oiling and logging industries comprise the bulk of its financial support that keeps foreign debt almost nonexistent.

Migrating in Canada will cost much less for those who come from big urban cities in United Kingdom. Space and living conditions in Canada are excellent although getting private land will still be expensive. Only 12% of the land is inhabited and almost 18% of the overall population is comprised of immigrants from Europe and Asia.

As shared in Canada Expat Forum last August 23, 2009:

Apart from all of that we still love it, the kids love it, in our area there are clean small play parks, none are vandalised!! with slides, climbing frame etc, my husbands journey home is 20 minutes (was 60-90) and at a max 80kph (50 mph!). We are struggling until I can work as a nurse, but hopefully it will all work out, if you want more let me know

Food and Drink Costs in Canada

The Canadian food processing industry (NAICS 311) is one of the third largest companies and its biggest food industry. 3.7% of per capita GDP is attributed to the food processing industry and together with farming and agriculture makes up 6.3% of the country’s total GDP. Meat processing remains as the biggest financial source in the food industry.

Some of the products that Canada is known for are sausages, hotdogs, hamburgers and canned goods like meatloaf and corned beef. The farming industry has also helped a lot in contributing sales of frozen or canned vegetables and fruits like olives, pickles, corn, cherries and licorice.

As for drinks, Canada has a number of large breweries and wineries. Canadian beer and wine are popular among local residents and Americans. Some examples of well-exported beer products are from Quebec and Montreal. Food and drinks in Canada are priced fairly but not altogether cheap.

There are also baked goods and pastries available but these are also quite expensive especially in the big cities. Some people are able to acquire very affordable products like rice, corn, fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets. An average family of four spends around 300 to 400 euro every month for food and drinks.

There has been a bit of a worry though in light of the current financial downturn worldwide. A looming price war in the food business is welcome news for cash-strapped consumers. Grocers, on the other hand, may face some challenging times down the road, and shareholders seem to agree. In the long run, it would provide most benefit to buyers all throughout Canada.

Clothing and Accessories Costs in Canada

Canada invests a lot in the fashion industry so modernized street fashion can be seen everywhere. Buying clothes and accessories in branded shops is going to be expensive. There are also runway shows, fashion magazine debuts and designer premieres that showcase the latest trends. Canadians know how to dress for the occasion but most of the locals tend to dress casually. In almost all the major cities, people are more fashionable and usually wear private label clothing, jewelry and footwear.

There are however, affordable clothing due to the growth of Chinese imported products. Locally made items have decreased by almost 7% due to the heavy competition brought about by wares that can be bought in bulk and wholesale. Other convenience and factory outlets also released several cheap accessories spurring Canadians to continue shopping and spending as despite the current recession as spending statistics show comparing the fiscal years of 2008 and 2009. Clothes have also gotten larger in size since the obese and overweight population was foreseen to have increased drastically.

Housing Costs in Canada

Canada’s construction sector has constantly grown over the past five years. In smaller states like Ottawa and Alberta, mortgage rates have also increased which boosted the consumer price index (CPI). The national average is now at all time high. Inflation levels have been very promising since more immigrants are coming in giving an estimated 3% rise every year.

The increase prices of real estate have not dampened the homeownership zeal of Canadians. Canadians need to provide initial deposits with concurrent costs that could last as long as a lifetime. On the positive side, most citizens have an average of over 13% disposable income.

Living in big cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Ontario is expensive but the rising rates of mortgages in other fast-growing urban states only make a slight difference. Laws and regulations on homebuilding, lot ownership and rental differ between cities. The Canadian government does well by monitoring landlords not to overcharge for apartment and condominium rentals. On the average, about 40% of the normal working individual’s income goes to housing costs which includes utilities and gas and experts predictions of an upsurge in this market in the near future.

Services Costs in Canada

The Canadian government is very generous in giving social assistance to all citizens. There are benefits that help support payment for commodities, food, house repairs, medications, health care car repair and fuel as well as on education. Scholarship grants are available from several public and private institutions. Workers also receive insurance and benefits during medical and financial situations. Some older individuals who did not finish their college degrees are also given the opportunity to study for free.

One of the model health care programs has been Canada’s very own as various levels of government pay for 71% of the health care costs, much of it is publicly funded in the Canada Health Act.

Canada also has equalization rights wherein the government provides income redistribution for those earning less than what is required for the whole family to cope and survive comfortably. Taxation rates can be adjusted by the government provided that citizens request and provide sufficient evidence of low affordability status. Canada is one of the leading nations in the world when it comes to social groups and programs. This sentiment is shared on Canada Expat Forum last June 4,2009:

A quick search yields multiple answers, depending on what you are considering.

Per wiki:

  1. Norway
  2. Sweden
  3. Canada
  4. Belgium
  5. Australia
  6. United States
  7. Iceland
  8. Netherlands
  9. Japan
  10. Finland

However, the current world economy has caused major impacts to living conditions in the listed countries.

Employment Costs in Canada

Currently, unemployment rates in Canada are increasing and it has reached 4%, the highest in decades.

Since most Canadian-born citizens are moving to the United States to find higher paying jobs, skilled workers are in demand. The areas that need more hands are in the fields of engineering, construction, education and health care.

Overall, most cities are still doing quite well. Newfoundland and Labrador have high unemployment rates reaching 15% while other provinces almost have flawless records.

The service and trade industries are still the national providers of financial support. This ably supports a wide tax base at a rate of 30% for income earners and VAT at nearly 4%. Canada is the biggest producer of uranium in the world along with other minerals like gold and nickel. Agricultural products like wheat have also been on the rise in the past years.

{ 150 comments… read them below or add one }

L Mac February 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

The government of Canada does NOT give welare money for car repairs! You wish. Here in Vancouver a modest 1bedroom apt is mininum $900+ a month and 'welfare' gives a single person $530 a month to live on. $175more if you have children. This includes Rent, food, transportation, clothes,utilities, ect ect. People on Welfare in Canada cannot afford cars. They cannot afford the bus for a month! $2.25each way times 5days a week=$90 a month. Also minimum wage is $8.00-$860/hour. (Think resturant jobs, cleaning hotels, working in clothing stores ect) There are 35,000 homeless people in BC alone. If you're thinking of moving to Canada you better be a skilled worker and not expecting any handouts. or move to the rural areas where the racist uneducated live. Sorry to upset anyone or disapiont, but you should know the truth. If you don't earn at least $60, 000 a year you will most likely have to walk to work once in a while and miss a few meals. Government handouts are reserved for desperate situations and do not sustain a good quality of life. If you are prepared to get skilled, work hard, be part of your community, obey the law and save for the future,you will do well to move to our beautiful (but not perfect) country and we'd love to have all who are peaceful, hardworking, honest and want to share our way of life. We will welcome you with open arms.


Greg June 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Re: rural area/racist comment – I prefer to think of us as being those who have not been brainwashed by our government into thinking the current wave of immigration and the predominance of certain originating countries is good for Canada and our way of life. I don't think anyone can argue that most Canadians are suckers and have on many occasions been taken advantage of by many who immigrate here. They bring their baggage, disease, social problems and in many cases a way of life that is inconsistent with ours. Inconsistent with many who are civilized.
Examples: Tamil blocking of the Gardner (we should have water cannoned them and sent them home), Ruby Dhalla wanting to extend seniors benefits to immigrants ( why don't we all just take care of the worlds aged), Sikh daggers in our schools, Turbans in the RCMP, honor killings, the stealing of Vancouver by the orient and the list goes on. All the while this flood of people has increased housing costs for multi-generation Canadians and decreased our quality of health care and education due to overloading. No open arms here!


Al September 21, 2010 at 10:03 pm

It is worse in the uk, immigrants come here wiv no skill or legit documents to be here and some don’t speak english yet they get free housing and make more british homeless or jobless which is why we move to places like canada to work and not get any freebies and besides most white canadians are of british or european descent so don’t diss us we pay fair and square!


Tom October 12, 2010 at 10:04 am

Hi Al. I am honestly hoping you are not moving to Canada. Britts are ignorant and rude. Please remember that in canada you also will be the dirty immigrant ! ( as I am sure you think that immigrants are dirty and so on ).


may tartoussy October 29, 2010 at 10:13 am

To be honest and although I will be settling in Canada soon (I always wanted to come to Canada since I was young); I however, understand the frustration of having too many immigrants, especially that a lot of them truly bring thier social bagage and might want to abuse the system and benefits!!

I know that I want to become Canadian and contribute to the society with my experience that I gained in Dubai. This country is great and I do hope that immigrants uphold to the generous countries that received them such as UK and Canada…


Nina November 15, 2010 at 5:11 pm

a little off topic here..just out of do u compare dubai to canada? Do u find canada is better than dubai?

Ell May 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I can actually totally argue that. I mean, you are combining criminal acts with non criminal acts with political change with acts of protest in some kind of weird racist stew. I don't feel "taken advantage of" by immigrants. I don't actually mind that the Tamils had a one day protest that blocked a highway (for anyone confused – it was a five hour protest. Tamils do not simply block the highways on a daily basis for fun. It was happily resolved with no violence at all – a great success for the Toronto police force. Yay Bill Blair.) I view that as entirely consistent with civilization. Yay for peaceful protest. Killings of all kinds are illegal, and there is no movement in Canada to make it legal because of immigration. Daggers in schools are part of religious observance and are sealed into their cases and sewn into clothing. They are not weapons. Yay for tolerance that poses absolutely no risk to others. Turbans in the RCMP – ditto. Yay for tolerance that poses no risk to others. Vancouver happily has not been removed to anywhere and remains a part of Canada, and I personally don't mind if non-white people own property in Canada. Yay for not being racist. Housing costs are increased because of the removal of rent control, not because of immigration which is actually very controlled. Yay for not being uneducated about the issues one is ranting about. We happily have an excellent education system, and while our health care system is overloaded that is because of the volume of services available to all Canadians and a shortage of doctors, and not the responsibility of immigrants. Yay for knowing that one is talking about.


Anand June 5, 2011 at 2:15 am

Agreed, do not immigrate because you want to be on social welfare..what are u thinking?
When we decided to move – we make 2 decisions: 1) We want to be our business owners 2) We want a better life…

Do you think living on social welfare can achieve that…of course not, if all you are thinking is social welfare, please do not come to this great country.


Jeremiah November 28, 2011 at 2:00 am

Humorously subjective. If I were an immigrant I wouldn't be moving to Vancouver, but a sub-urban or even rural community where the cost of living is much lower. It is also much easier to find work in a rural community, and the comment that "where the racist uneducated live" (L Mac), is simply wrong. Racism is very low in Canada, likely one of the lowest in the world. However, I'm not about to find a source for statistical evidence at the moment. However, an anecdotal piece, I was raised in a rural community and I knew many people of oriental descent who thrived there. Our pharmacist was oriental and was very successful. There was also lots of work for the unskilled labourers. Don't listen to people like L Mac; they post their comments despite their ignorance, and unaware of the negative implications they can cause. Come here, it is a wonderful country.


Matt March 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Just an FYI Ontario is a province and not a city, in fact Toronto (the city) is located in Ontario (the province). I think the writer was looking to say Ottawa which is another large metropolitan area that has a high cost of living. Montreal aswell has a high cost of living, it is located in the French Province of Quebec but does have a large English population.


Sean November 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Québec is not a French Province, it is a francophone Province, France has nothing to do with Québec, it is part of Canada, just like all the other provinces.


Tarek March 28, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Despite the shortage in many fields of services – e.g. health care – you can hardly find a job in Canada even if you are a skilled worker, even after you passed through the tough & frustrating exams. and tests to prove your skills and experience. As a new commer I discovered that it ia really a tough and unhappy experience moving to Canada, I start questioning myselef why they are accepting us for immigration as skilled workers if they already know that we can not work there? I advice every one to think and revise his decision 1000000 times before moving over Canada


may October 29, 2010 at 10:17 am

Hi Tarek

I am moving to Canada end of this year, can you please tell me more about your experience? why you find it so hard??
what are your qualification that you cant find a job for??

please share


James November 12, 2010 at 4:34 am

Hi May,

I cannot speak for Tarek as everyone has different experiences but mine was different. I moved to Ontario a year ago in search a job in the environmental field to use my new degree. I am glad to say that I was successful and I now wok for an environmental consulting firm. Having come here from the UK I can say that so far things have been good and I am happy with my decision. I miss some of my old comforts (like the local pub) but things are cheaper here and the people are friendly. Hope this provides some insight.


tho December 12, 2011 at 9:20 am

hi tarek,iam thinking to move to canada as a skilled worker through consultancy.Is it a right decision? Iam in a dilema.Please help.


iceberg April 2, 2010 at 11:06 am

hi tarek, you have quoted a true experience to an immigrant, i am a physiotherapist from India, and planning to immigrate to Canada,, now by seeing your experience i have to think many times is it possible to lead a happy life and save some money after a long process of paper work to immigrate and passing a frustrated licensing exam to practice there…..once i go through all this horrible procedure i may get $ 30-35/hour, do u any one think i can save more to take back to my country some day or to invest there in Canada….


dave June 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

You might be better advised to stay in your home country. Canada, is not the haven one would think. And if you do move here you are pretty much relegated to ethnic communities where you are welcome. Most Canadians will not use the services of third world professionals. Little Temple on the Prarie is a joke. Canada is not like that at all.


Cody July 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm

It makes me slightly irked about all of these comments about Canadians being racist and not accepting immigrants. I don't know where you live, but I live near Toronto and let me tell you, their is a large population of employed immigrants. It is a law that a company must hire a certain ratio of ethnicities and sexes, the only problem now is that with the increasing population of immigrants, an immigrant would have lots of competition for a job, from fellow countrymen, to born Canadians alike. Canada is the most multicultural country in the world, and we accept the qualifications and experience, no, value these, greatly. As long as you are willing to put in as much effort as possible to contribute to the economy and experience our culture, and not mooch of our welfare, you will do fine.


sunny sahney July 24, 2010 at 5:50 am

i live in india and wish to settle in canada. i want to settle under investor catagory. i plan to buy franchises like subway, quizno etc.. funds available with me are half million dollars. do youthink i should shift and how much money could i earn by investing half million here in any business. what would be cost of living for a decent livivng for a family of 4. kindly suggest soon


Clever Richard July 26, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Sunny Sahney, you sir (or madam) are clearly a moron. What sort of a question is that? Like some comment forum on the web is going to give you the golden goose egg as an answer!?

I would say definitely shift – for the sake of your present neighbours – but in lieu of the fact that you will be moving to Canada and most likely imposing your stupidity onto a new set of residents in your community… Don't! stay where you are with your half-million squarely stowed in ICICI.


dave April 27, 2011 at 5:00 am

stay in your own birth place most canadian hate immigrants


mahadevan May 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

i also live in india and wish to settle in canada under investor category. i have already applied a year-and-a-half back. i wish to go every two months to india to look after my business in bombay. i would certainly love to live in canada – any day.


Moving to Canada August 23, 2010 at 4:40 am

It depends on what type of franchises – subways, quizno are relatively more expensive, you have to be careful that franchises cost more than just franchise fee, you have to factor in the rentals, staff cost. There are tons of other businesses to choose from, for instance, you can buy 2 franchises, one in take-out, one as a restaurant. I was looking at Boston Pizza for instance.

Another possibility is to invest in properties in Canada, the market has come down a lot since May, and rental yield is not too bad.

But why into franchising, that kind of money is enough for you to start a nice business in Canada.

Living cost in Canada is reasonable, it's much cheaper than Australia where I am moving from.


miker April 27, 2011 at 5:02 am

your a moron a house cost near 400000 in canada


Manish Khatwani September 29, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Hi I am from India. I am working in Telecom and planing to settle in Canada. Can you suggest me about jobs market in Canada?


Newbie in Toronto August 30, 2010 at 4:46 am

Just moved from Australia to Canada, what a relief. Living cost in Toronto is even lower than Brisbane in Australia, and there are over 7 million people in the GTA! Vancouver is a bit too expensive, mainly in the housing, but still cheaper than back in Australia.

As I have lived in US before, living cost in US is still generally cheaper, especially in the southern states, however, property tax in US seems to be much higher – although, services are provided differently. in Toronto, the property tax includes the government come and pick your unwanted furniture and appliances, we don't get such luxury in Australia, they charge you based on per trip and by weight "double dip"

Food wise, I think Canada and US are very much comparable (cost), clothing, Toronto is certainly cheaper than Vancouver, and very much on par with US. Cars are more expensive than US (well, who is not??), fuel is 30% more expensive than US but 30% cheaper than Australia.

I think both Canada and US are great places to live especially if you are a business owner – if you run a web-based business where location does not matter, it is even take opp. to travel cross-border to outlets in US, that's where good values can be found.


Dora August 31, 2010 at 1:59 am

Sgt. Brutality: With your arrogant, rude, and ignorant comments, no wonder you received biased treatment. About the only thing you can spell is the “f” word. I am an American, and I won’t sit by and let you be a representation of me or this country. Go back to school!


Edward January 10, 2011 at 2:56 am

KUDOS to you Dora. An excellent rebuttal to that ignorant Sgt.Brutallity.


muath March 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm

thank you.. you have said what i wanted to say


Donahue September 2, 2010 at 12:56 am

I am an American, I don't find Canadian arrogant at all..and vice versa..we are all equal.
I travel across the border all the time including Niagarra Falls.

The only thing I wish to express my concern is Canadian businesses charge par rate if you pay by USD, while it makes sense now, I do think, back in 2009, when the rate was 0.90, that's a 10% additional charge if I pay by USD…
While it is unfair – at least, from what I see – they will inform you first – I guess, if we do come to Canada, we should withdraw some CAD from local ATMs anyway..

One guy at Toronto airport is very polite. This lady was buying a sandwich, she is from Seattle, the guy apologized that it will be on equal rate, and suggested her she could either go to ATM or use credit card..


Tammy September 2, 2010 at 11:29 am

Hi, I am from Australia & my husband & I would love to give Canada a go. My husband is a policeman so I guess he would try & find work where ever possible. We love the rural areas. Those areas seem so picturesque. My husbands brother lives in Thunder Bay. Way too cold. We love all the images we google of chillawack. The cost of living in Australia is becoming ridiculous. To buy a handful of groceries your never leaving the store without spending at least $70. The electricity is constantly going up & we have all been warned that water is also on the rise. Our fuel is soo high compared to the States also. My husband & I can't believe how boats, cars etc are unbelievably overpriced compared to what you can purchase the exact same models for! Australia keeps you & makes sure you can never enjoy anything..


Thomas September 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Hi Tammy

We are also from Australia and moving to Canada soon – cost of living in Australia is a complete's also a primary reason why we are leaving as life in Australia.

Now, as a policeman – I am not sure about the licensing requirement – but maybe in security related industries.

I am going to settle in Toronto, for the size of this huge city (7 – 8 million), it's affordable and much cheaper than Australian cities. Property price in Toronto is about 1/2 to that in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne. $300,000 gets you a nice apartment (condo), and $500,000, you get a nice house.

If you like relatively rural areas – try the northern part of Ontario (GTA), like Aurora, Newmarket, we are going to move to Markham or Richmond Hill area. Or you can try southern Ontario, like Kitchener, London, or near Niagarra Falls.

Being in Ontario means you are at least within good distance to major metropolitan areas and cities, but still enjoy the peaceful life.

I would not go to Vancouver, too expensive and too over-rated, although still cheaper than Australia 🙂


Mark October 24, 2010 at 9:46 am


I'd go to Alberta. It's rural (yet cosmopolitan in Calgary) and offers good wages (average policing salary in OZ is A$51-77K per annum/Canada is C$55-80K per annum and even higher in Alberta, due to shortage of professionals/workers to satisfy Alberta's insane economic growth – this pushes wages up across all sectors). The Canadian Rockies are truly stunning, and the prices on pretty much everything in Canada (food, clothing, electrics, cars, petrol, etc) are substantially lower than in OZ. Comparable wages, yet lower living costs = perfect working conditions (in my mind anyway) ^-^. I too am from Aussie and hoping to make the move to beautiful Alberta, Canada soon. I've travelled there and I think, based on your criteria, you wouldn't be disappointed with Alberta. Canadians and Australians are remarkably similar people as well (which is also nice).


John February 15, 2011 at 2:18 am

You think the cost of living in Canada is so nice and perfect? Think again, I have lived in Canada my whole life and am looking to move to Australia soon because there is much better job opportunies there. Now imagine spending between 20-100 dollars on gas PER DAY, very very low Wages…especially in the BC area, Policemen here make only 40,000 dollars a year again depending on rank and experience. Houses here are not as cheap as you think they are, most condos here go for 400-550,000 here. Expect to be also paying 3-400 dollars a month on food, 12 percent taxes, 50 dollars for restaurant meals just for a cheap restaurant in a small town, major income tax rates taken off your salary…some to the extent that your paying the government for half your year's salary.


John February 15, 2011 at 2:19 am

Gas and Hydro Bills here in Canada are also Outrageous, generally being between if your lucky 75 dollars but the rate's gone up and most people I know are paying 265-300 or more. Oh and Healthcare here is far from free…yes it is taken off your taxes but your also paying it if you make more than 30,000 a year I believe it was. If you have children too, depending where you live, you might be screwing them over for when their older because the increasing lack of jobs for the younger generation.

I have a few friends that are down in Aussie now…now it might just be the Province you live in…however my friends down there are all telling me it's alot better there than what we have up here in the Cold North, and they are Canadians


Willhelm March 24, 2011 at 6:41 am


Not too sure what planet you're on. Average policing salaries in Canada are comparable to Australia.

Here's the proof:

Average: $50-80,000

Average: AU$54-79,000

Also, Canada's $1.7 trillion economy (Australia's is $1.3 trillion) and proximity to the United States (which at $15 trillion is the world's largest and wealthiest) provides just as much (if not more) employment opportunity for people of all ages.

Please make informative and helpful statements next time instead of ranting about what is clearly unknown to you.

PS – My younger brother (23) is a manager at Starbucks here in Vancouver and makes $52,000 per annum. Not a bad start in life by most standards.


mike April 27, 2011 at 5:04 am

i wouldn't make the move crime is out of control and cost of living is increasing so crime is on the rise


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 1:35 am

Hi Tammy:

I just fell on this site accidentally and I see that you are from Australia. I am a Canadian. The cities that are the most mild are Toronto and Vancouver including Victoria B.C. Vancouver and Victoria may be ideal for you as far as climate is concerned. The most jobs are found in Alberta because of the oil and gas and those are in the very cold areas in no man's land. Everything is expensive and Vancouver and Toronto are the most expensive in Canada. Your husband is a policeman and they go to a special college here for training. Many foreigners work in professional jobs and people usually have to try exams or even go back to school for credentials. The small towns are cheaper but no work unless you work for yourself or your husband as a policeman.


Don'tdoit September 9, 2010 at 8:07 am

Hello, I am an inmigrant, 15 years here, 10 + years university, finished here in vancouver BC (at SFU), coming to canada was the worst mistake of my life, I brought much more money here than I ever have been able to generate. I would tell to prospective immigrants, yes come, if you are doing really badly in your country, if your country is at war or something so hard like that this will be heaven for you. if you however are a professional in your country, don't even try, unless you are british, or irish, or australian, any of the last three nationalities will quickly get a job and be licenced. anyone else will have to clean toilletes, be treated as a retard because they have a bit of an accent, and etc etc. If you have money you made in your country definitely do not come and definitely don't bring it, you will loose it in cost of living expenses and most importantly you will be taxed…. I have a lot of highly educated immigrant friends, not one is happy having come here, but now that we are here we have to suck it up, because we can't even make enough money to go back to our own contries or to the standard of living we had in our countries.(see more below)


Don'tdoit September 9, 2010 at 8:08 am

One more thing, if you are not from one of those blessed countries of the G8, forget also about ever seeing your family, your parents, etc, they wont let them in here to visit and they will be accused of trying to come to stay here. think very hard if you want to come here to be absolutely isolated from your family for the rest of your life, specially when you wont have enough to pay for a ticket to go see them.
And think that childcare here also sucks, if you are an immigrant prepare to shell out more than $1000/month/child on child care, if you do not have family to help you that may mean you can't work if you are a woman, because you will have to stay at home taking care of your children until they are 5 yr old, one more thing, school here is not free, really, they will tell you it is, but on second look children start going at 5 and what they call full day school means they are in school until 4:00 pm (sometimes 3:00 pm) guess what? any job you or your wife get here is going to be until minimum 6 pm and you will be expected to stay sometimes longer for the team…


Don'tdoit September 9, 2010 at 8:09 am

without family there will be no one to pick your kids up. you will have to pay something called after school care, and that is just as costly as schooling in other countries.
my sister lives in paris, she spends 200 euro a month for groceries for a family of four, we spend 750 for a family of four, and we have to buy a lot of poisonous obesity causing fructose laden crap, fruits and vegetables are so expensive you will have to lower your intake..and that is for the ones full of pesticides, I can't even think of what organic would cost….


Don'tdoit September 9, 2010 at 8:10 am

to sum it up, worst mistake ever made, not just by me but many of my friends from many other countries. don't let canada woo you and think that you will have your engineering license here or your nurse license or doctor license… or any profesioonal license, you will do various jobs like cleaning and construction and retail sales, you will loose your money and you will never go back to your country after such failure. you will stay here trying to make it and then one day you will just try to make your own bussiness in cleaning or as handyman or something like that, lower your head, forget your were a scientist or engineer and try to help your children make it….


move on September 30, 2010 at 12:05 am

If you had bad luck, it doesnt necessarily mean that everyone else is gonna have the same situation as you had. I dont think people from third world countries are gonna end up cleaning toilets and all that bad stuff you had said. I am from a third world country and I have lots of friends and families who are professionals and have gotten their license and had gotten very good jobs, so I don't believe in what you are saying that you cannot get your license. Immigrating to another country is a risk, and everyone planning it should always know that. It all depends on you whether you want to take that risk or not. It just sucks if things didnt go as you have expected. Not everything is a bed of roses, you have to work hard and rise to every failure. Stop whining and move on with your life.


prc holder February 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Thank you very much for your inputs. We are now reconsidering our decision to move there.


Ashere Yeshua June 29, 2011 at 1:52 am

Appreciate your warning! We have strongly considered against moving to Canada partly thanks to you.


fishin the gulf October 18, 2011 at 4:00 am

Hey, thanks for the advice! Me and my family live here in houma louisiana. I am an under water welder by trade. I have been working for the same company for 8 years. The money is very good and im treated like gold. My wife and I are interested in moving to canada for a new start. My wife is a draftsman and works for citgo (refinery). She brings in around 65k a year. After reading your post, im having second thoughts. Canada looks wonderful and we thought that moving there would be awsome. Do you have any advice? Thanks.


newbie in Canada September 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I just done my analysis between Toronto and Vancouver…after spending weeks over there.

Decided to go to Toronto – more jobs, more business opportunities and more people and much cheaper than Vancouver.
Vancouver is beautiful, I have my relatives there too — but there is actually a lot of Vancouvrite moving to the east coast, especially young families and couples. Vancouver is expensive, though not as expensive say many parts of Asia, Australia, NZ or Europe – but expensive in North American standard.

I am glad I have checked out Toronto and found it much better than Vancouver for my business and living cost is 1/2 to Vancouver…that's what I want to be, mountains and landscapes are meaningless to me.

Immigration is never easy – we have done this before moved to Australia, it would take years sometimes to get a job.

My feeling is: as a new immigrant – keep your options open. There are many successful ethnic people in Canada – Mr. Don't DoIt has his points..but do not let that discourage you.

Especially in Toronto, I can see so many successful ethnic people (but not in Vancouver for some reason – seems to be more for riches)..In Toronto, I can see Indian families running tour operating companies, a lot running schools, day care centres, there is also famous Hakim Optical, many medical centres are owned by Indians, of course, lots of retail shops. Chinese are also doing well – like architectural firms, accounting & law firms.

You should always think – should I run a business or should I be an employee – often, I found running a business is easier and better way when you move to a new country. ..qualification recognition is a problem for any immigrant in any country, be flexible and be open-minded…and be ready to move to other cities.


move on September 30, 2010 at 12:09 am

I totally agree with you on the last part, people always expect that moving to another country is a bed of roses that it will save them from whatever slump they are in now. But they should know that no country has not its own cons and pros, its own flaws, it will all depend on what you want and what you need and what you can work with. Its just a matter of doing well with what you have and what you got, make the most of it and work hard, not everything is free you know!


Amy September 14, 2010 at 12:45 am

No one ever said immigration is an easy process – integration into society can take years, and some have taken generations.
No matter if you have high education or qualification from your home country, be it India, China, UK…don't assume you can be in the same position. My Dad graduated with Master from top American university in agriculture and that was not recognized at all in Australia for instance, my friend graduated from MIT in engineering was not recognized by Australian companies as they have never heard of Ivy League.

The same could happen to Canadian immigrants – although, so far, since arriving here, I found Canadians much more open-minded than Australia and New Zealand, where we have spent many years living there.

But a degree & experience overseas often are most companies are focusing in doing "local business", instead of complaining, do the following:

1. Can your skills be used to help Canadian companies to export
2. Maybe your previous job is to export / develop into US markets – then Canadian companies would also need that
3. Would you consider consultancy or contractor position?

Also, set up a small business first. Successful people are often business owners not employees – same in Canada, I have met many successful Indian and Sri Lankan families in Canada, yes, they were engineers or teachers before…since they moved to Canada, they set up their own business. Some teachers are now principals running schools, some have set up services, one Iranian couple decided to run a hotel tailored for new immigrants – even though they were engineers before.

Immigration is a new life, it's a change, and this applies to job and opportunity as well.

Wish you and myself good luck in this wonderful country.


jemma hurst September 30, 2010 at 10:48 am

I'am a mum of three and we are just waiting to move to canada. I really wanted some help to find out about the cost of living in canada. Coming from the uk.Do you still get child benefit for my children etc. So really i wanted to get as much information i can so i have a idea of what to expect. Anything would help. thanks jemma


Amy October 21, 2010 at 6:09 am

Jemma, we just landed in Canada, and there are tons of information they will give you at Airport, as well as new Canadian immigration centre.
This country is very well organized to help immigrants, much better than Australia. I have to say, I have been impressed by their level of service all the way from landing to every Government agency and business I have dealt with so far…very good service.

You get different child benefits – some are universal, others depend on your income also if you run a business. There are assessments websites I think from Canadian Revenue Services website, and you can type in your calculation. We are getting $100/child/month as a minimum to start with.

That may not sound a lot, but things like grocery is much cheaper here, $100 is actually a lot, probably more than enough for a week's grocery.

I have to say this forum has not been very helpful other than a lot of people complaining about their luck.

You can contact me on specific questions if you want to…good website for property will be


Ilona June 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

Im still moving there no matter what!
Amy so glad there's possitive people like you around!


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 1:54 am

Yes Jemma there is child benefit here in Canada. I don't know how much since my children are adults in their 30's. I do know that the child benefit is a great deal better than when I had my children. We spent most of our money on babysitters (private) and I left my government job to stay home with them. Some of the people's posts are true it is expensive indeed but a lot cheaper than Europe, Asia, etc. The food here is full of what we call "crap" that does make us fat so you have to exercise and watch what you eat. I shouldn't talk since I gained a lot of weight and my daughter has hypothyroid and that makes her fat. My husband and my son are lucky to be thin. Not everyone is fat here in Canada and the US. Our Canadians are still thinner than Americans.


Khan October 4, 2010 at 8:52 am

I honestly have to say, I didn’t get any wiser reading above! Was thinking to move some large scale property investments from my own country to Canada, and I am an Asian, yet most posts above seem absolutely heartbreaking!

If that’s the kind of insecurity you get from investing your assets there, I’m really more content in keeping hard earned values where they already are! Was thinking to move some $1-1.5 mil and invest in Canadian property and make rental revenue my major source of income, and add it up with another dollars of investment in some form of a business, yet all above, about being fleeced and finally not even having enough for a return is simply scaring news!

If by paying rental income tax of 25% minimum, you still can’t have free schools for your kids or partial medical care, well, how would you call it a welfare state?

I would kindly request for anyone praising/lamenting the odds of living there, kindly put in some practical examples, not just mention somebody’s failures or bad luck, or give off some undocumented, subjective opinion, it’s really confusing for readers to get the proper insight. Thanks..


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 2:00 am

Khan nothing is free anywhere in the world. Americans call Canada a welfare state because we have very high taxes that pay for school, hospitals, doctors, etc. but nothing is free at all it comes out of very high taxes. In the US you pay a humoungous private insurance for health care like $1000./month for family and not many can afford that and over 40 million and more Americans are without health insurance, many cannot go to college or university which is twice what we pay here in Canada and more if you go to Ivy League schools and private schools. Immigrants who leave their countries are usually looking for better and if you are very well back home then don't come. People mostly immigrate because of war, poverty and things like that. People have ot make their own jobs but just investing in rental properties is not enough – housing everywhere is going to come down and so is the standard of living everywhere.


Thomas October 8, 2010 at 11:39 pm

As a newly arrived immigrant in Canada (from Australia), we found the living cost is considerably less compared to Australia, and by that, I also feel it is considerable less than UK and Asia. Taxation wise – it is on par with Australia, but you get more services in Canada, I have not compared that with UK – but one thing I am certain: there are much less people from UK in Canada returned to UK than those in Australia.

It depends where you are comparing with. If you are comparing with US, then, yes, of course US is way much cheaper. But Canada has benefited a lot being next to US, this means grocery, electronics, clothing, cars are always thing I love about Canada & US is competition, so much competition which means lower consumer price.

Here is our comparison

1) We can buy a house in Toronto much quicker and repay them much quicker. Mortgage rate here is just 2% as opposed to Australia's 8%
2) Grocery in general is 2 to 3 times cheaper than Australia
3) Gas/Petrol is 30% less than Australia
4) Housing cost (rental or purchase) is 50% less to 70% less than Australia
5) Clothing is about 50% less

So for us, it is a great move, we end up saving about $3000 more a month already just by living here..and we are earning same amount of income as back in Australia. Here, we can afford to send kids to private school.

I am making this comparison as Australia & Canada are the 2 most sought-after destination for new immigrants.

For Khan above, for instance, if you invest in Australia, that kind of money will buy you maybe 1 1/2 house, old house, needs renovation and really shit rental like yield of 1%…in Canada, you can use that money to buy 3 decent houses in very good areas in Toronto, or you can spread across different areas with good rental

Tax is tax…everywhere is different…for countries that have less income tax you will have higher expenses property tax in US is much higher than Canada because they use that to provide education & government services.


newtoCA November 12, 2010 at 6:11 am

Hi Thomas, Great posting, I am currently in SYD, AU after being in USA for 5 yrs. I found everything shockinly expensive in AU. Palnning to move to CA soon. I was so confused whether it’s a good choice and trying to compare. And this perfect. Can you please provide more details ?


Thomas January 5, 2011 at 2:09 am

Housing is a real saving, I lived in Sydney in 24 years and really got fed up..I then moved to Brisbane, Melbourne, and guess what..ended up back in Sydney. Sydney is actually probably more livable than any other Australian cities !!!
Food is the 2nd big saving..I did my grocery shopping today and costed $70 for a week…in Sydney, it would be like $300 a week
Gas (Petrol) here is expensive..$1.10 a litre but it's over $1.40 a litre in OZ I heard already..but it is $0.70 a litre in USA so you hear people complaining.
I actually found utilities cheaper here..believe it or not. We paid $96 for heating last month (it had quite a few cold days), I paid around the same in July in Sydney and I hardly turned on heater.

But for things like smart and do what locals do…buy from USA. Being close to USA has a lot of advantages, cheap (free) shipping, or you can drive down every now and then…that will save you heaps..I know families driving down to USA and do their grocery shopping…most Canadian major cities are within 2 hours drive to US border, so take advantage of that.

Initially shocked by 13% HST..then you save much more in other services and charges. I renewed by car plate for $76 a NSW, it was over $500 now…There are school bus services here for public schools, public schools are really free, in OZ, we have to buy our own stationary, uniforms..etc.

Only thing I miss are the winter days in Sydney (but not summer days in Sydney), and I don't miss the parking and parking fees in Sydney at all. Parking is much cheaper here, most of times are free anyway.


newtoCA April 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

Thomas, Greate positng Thank you so much for the details … hope you are enjoying the stay in CA ? Is winter managable ?


Petey January 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Mmmmm….I disagree with the UK Thing. I know quite a few brits who have been disapointed with Canada


shan October 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Hello, I am a mother of an eleven year old and eight year old, we got the PR residency visa, to apply for the PR card, will the immigrant officers ask us somequestions if so, what type of questions can we expect, how are the schools in Canada, which city is best for settling, my husband is a software engr. how are the opportunities for his type of work,


thomas October 25, 2010 at 10:48 am

Not many questions unless there are problems such as if you have been refused entry in the past, if you had worked illegally..if you are all clean, they will just ask some simple questions: Have you visited Canada before? How many people are in the application? How much money are you bringing this time? Are you staying this time? Do you have an address for us to send the PR card?

Then he/she will explain how the process works…it took us less than 20 minutes, very friendly (even though my son was screaming around).

I find Toronto is the best city for settling as it is very big (GTA has population over 7 million), and therefore, much more businesses and opportunities. Also very multicultural.

For IT related, I will say Toronto as well. Vancouver is nice but very slow, Calgary is nice but primarily for mining. The IT hubs for Canada is in Toronto and Montreal, but Montreal is primarily for French speaking communities.

Toronto is also very close to US, so there are good opportunities to work for US companies – almost all US IT companies have chosen Toronto as their Canadian base.

I live in Markham, this is the "Silicon Valley of Toronto", majority of IT companies are here.

Schools are quite good – 3 to choose from: Public, Catholic and Private (non-religious). Class sizes are much smaller than in Australia, Asia and Europe which is good. School buses are also available usually for elementary and high school.

Good luck, we really enjoy it so far…



shan November 7, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Thanks Thomas for your information, at last we too have selected Toronto as our place of settlement. One more question by the way, I heard that all the Public schools are quite good in Canada and in Toronto too, with your knowledge can you please suggest some of the names of the public elementary which are doing pretty good. I saw in a website there are number of schools and it is really hard to choose one. And if I have to select a private school how much will it cost per month approx. for a child.


James November 12, 2010 at 4:56 am

As someone who has lived in Ontario for a number of years I can say that my children received excellent education at normal public schools. You can pay extra for private education if you want it, but they will have no advantage over a public educated students when applying for college or university. A very small percentage of the population is privately educated. The inner city public schools will undoubtedly have more issues than schools in suburbs or in the surrounding cities.

I would recommend looking into the city of Waterloo (I plan to move there sometime soon). It is near Toronto, much cheaper cost of living, much higher wages, Canada's technology cluster headquarters and is a very clean and safe city. Good luck with your settlement!


shan November 17, 2010 at 7:18 am

Thanks a lot James. Does anybody have an idea how is it in Mississauga (Ontario). Can you suggest some names of the elementary schools in and around Mississauga(for 4th grade and 7th grade). How is the rent for the apartments. If we have 2 kids then, is it necessary to look for a 3 bedroom apartment. And also please give us some names of the placement companies(IT job).

Mark October 24, 2010 at 9:33 am

I want to move to Canada from Australia. I currently make A$90,000 and looked at comparable jobs in Calgary, Alberta where the average on offer salary seems to be in the C$85-150,000 range + incentives bonuses (basically on par with OZ). Here's the deal breaker: taxes are lower in Canada (top earners, even those that earn in the millions, only pay 39% in Alberta. In OZ the top rate is closer to 45-50%), and from what I gather living expenses are also substantially lower there. To me, it's a no brainer – a comparable salary but far lower living costs on everything from clothes to food, electrics, cars, etc. My question is, does anyone know anything about Calgary specifically? I know that Calgary is one of the fastest growing cities in N. America and people have been complaining that it is becoming less and less affordable. Is this accurate? I think I would be able to negotiate a salary of C$100,000 to start and head upward from there. Would it be possible to live a decent life in Calgary on that kind of an income? Any and all answers are appreciated.

ps. The cold winters don't bother me. Canada has 4 distinct seasons and to be honest, I'm tired of frying under the heat 8 months a year here in OZ. A ski holiday at the weekend (in the Canadian Rockies) would do me nice, for example.


Dan October 25, 2010 at 10:40 am

Mark, we just arrived here from Sydney last week..I have nothing to complain, this country is far better than Australia at least by 3 to 4 times.
Like yourself, I was on $100,000 in Australia running my business and could never think about buying a house.
I bought my house in the first week in Canada, and in a nice neighbourhood, the mortgage rate is 2.3% at moment, compare that to 8% in Australia!
As a family of 4, we figured that it would be around $45000 to $50000 per year for living cost altogether depending on your life style.

I live in Toronto, so I can't give you a very good assessment on Calgary, Toronto is very affordable, it is cheaper than any city in Australia.

Go and have a look on a website called to have information on Calgary.

Vancouver is expensive, but even then, it is cheaper than Australia.

I know food cost is especially cheap in Calgary, as Alberta is the major province for food produces (meat, fruits).

Another huge plus is availability of things to do here – both in Canada and US, and further south…Alberta is much colder than Toronto, so be prepared, and get something warm, and buy a nice car (which are damn cheaper than Australia anyway).

Good luck, I am very happy here, and the family is much happier here…I know many more Aussie families are moving here also.


Mark November 2, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Thanks for the insight Dan. I think Calgary is the place for me.


Carol February 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Hey Mark,
I live in Edmonton which is 300 kms north of Calgary, but have been to Calgary many times. The cost to buy houses in Calgary is higher than in Edmonton, however I would have to say that most other amenities such as food, clothing, cars are comparable. I make far less than 100,000.00 per year and have no problem having a decent life. Calgary is closer to the mountains than Edmonton and does get nice chinooks in the winter. Hope this helps. Carol


Chidi May 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Hi Carol, I was consoled reading your lines. I am planing on coming over to University of Alberta for Masters degree in Public health. I will graduate with PhD in July from Italy. I hoped that I may find find jobs to support myself while doing the MPH programme. Reading a lot of comments here sent chills though my spine. In your opinion, I am thinking clearly…moving to Edmonton in the coming Septemeber for the programme?


Tommy February 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Hi Mark

I am negotiating my job here in Toronto, I am looking at around $65000 per annum + bonus + incentives. I can live with that for a whole family of 4. Here, they do emphasis on bonus, if you bring in a business – they give you some bonus. C$100,000 is a lot for Canada, you can probably buy 2 houses based on $100,000 salary as the interest rate is low at moment.

I know, people are complaining here everyday about how expensive it is, I said, go and live in Australia for 1 week, then you will appreciate about your life here…

They compare to US, that's why..Calgary is really booming, I have been approached by companies there, but I choose to base here as my kids are going to school here.

This is our 4th month here from Australia, winter is coming to the end, you can see and feel it…

US is so cheap, so do consider buy things from there from time to time, I went down to US last weekend and filled up my whole tank for less than $40!


Willhelm March 24, 2011 at 5:41 am

Mark & Tommy, $100,000 a lot for Canada? That depends on what field you work in and the region. If you work in the natural resources industry/oil sector in Calgary, I assure you $100,000 is pretty standard (simple oil field mechanics average about $70,000 right out of high school, but the work is backbreaking). Same for the financial services industry (BC, Alberta, Ontario). You'll notice that on this board even, most Aussie, Kiwi, British, etc, expats say their Canadian salaries are comparable to their home salaries but they're better off because of lower living costs (my Australian partner can attest to this). Generally, salaries are higher in larger Canadian cities (the norm for most countries) and regionally, one can expect to earn more in Western Canada as opposed to Eastern Canada. Tommy, to be honest, for a family of 4 AND Toronto, $65,000 (regardless of bonuses + incentives) is on the low end of the scale (I'm in human resources–so I'd know–, single, 29, and making close to $75,000 NOT including bonus + incentives–which push me closer to $85k overall. I work for one of Canada's largest banks and live in Vancouver). Make sure you're not getting swindled salary wise (yes, that does sometimes happen in Canada, especially with foreigners).


Tommy March 26, 2011 at 12:59 am

Yes, I have noticed that after a few interviews..I am based on living cost – which is much lower than Australia.
One day, one HR manager had suggested friendly that I have undersell myself. I am now asking for base $80,000+ bonus+insurance+superannuation. People are giving me false information that Canadian salary is lower because of lower living cost. I asked for $80,000 in interview yesterday for a manager position, and $90,000 for a base salary for Marketing Director last week, they didn't even blink. These are actually higher than Australian salary considering the tax brackets are different.

Thank you so much, I am 36 years old, so I should ask for around $90,000 range…we are spending around $4000 a month now in a very comfortable life compared to Australia…


sana hameed September 10, 2011 at 4:16 am

hi Wilhelm, my husband is planning to move Canada very soon with family. currently we are in Kuwait with 3 kids and he is working as a Sr. accountant in well established co. he is earning quite good here. But still he wants to settle in Canada for the sake of kids future. can you help me to know that how much monthly salary my husband can expect ? and how much we require with kids to survive?


Willhelm March 24, 2011 at 5:43 am

Sorry all, "single" in that I have no children or dependents =p


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 2:18 am

Mark Alberta is so beautiful and so is British Columbia but Alberta is where the jobs are located mostly in the oil and gas industries. If you dress well for Canada's climate you should be ok. I live in Ottawa and since 3 years the winters are mild in comparison to what we usually get. We just had our first snow storm yesterday and it is only like powder on the lawns and we also had freezing rain. People were out scraping their windshields this morning to be able to drive to work. Everywhere is expensive Mark but cheaper than Oz. My husband has a brother and his family living in Oz so we know that life is very expensive. Eight months of beautiful weather in Oz – can I trade places with you? LOL LOL. I am a Canadian born and raised and I mind the cold. BRRR!


Dave Bennett November 6, 2010 at 2:46 am

Any Filipino immigrants to Canada can tell me their experience? I am an American working in the Philippines for a Canadian Immigration consultancy. I am starting to worry about encouraging the Filipinos to go there. I am also surprised how many Australians are going there. Please tell me if you're better off or wish you hadn't Immigrated to Canada. Marami Salamat Po


Tommy Lagget January 5, 2011 at 1:46 am

we moved from Australia to Canada, generally speaking, the cost of living we have saved is around 50% each month..mainly in housing and food cost which are much cheaper than in Australia. That said, we live in Toronto, Vancouver can be more expensive, but not as expensive as in Sydney. Government charges such as licensing, car plates are also much cheaper, as well as school fees (they charge some school fees in Australia). I find heating bills surprisingly same as in Australia, but we use much more in Canada, so the heating bill is actually lower in Canada. Winters here are colder of course, and you can 2 months of grey skies..but then you don't get too hot summers as in Australia.

I am surprised to see most people have 2 or 3 even 4 cars, and holiday seems to be very common…being next to USA is also a great point to purchase things cheaply from US.


mandgm November 10, 2010 at 5:27 am


I got an offer in Canada,and it is family visa,

Can anybody pls tell me the expense in Canada for a middle class family.

I mean per month how much (almost)

Thanks in advance


Tommy Legget January 5, 2011 at 1:53 am

We've been here 3 months already….the first months are exception as you have to pay for certain items…but generally speaking, it's around $4000 a month and that's quite reasonable comfortable life..

We are a family of 4, living in a 3 storey, 4 bedroom house with fully furnished basement..plenty of space: Cost $1600/month (mortgage + property tax). If renting, you will be paying around $2500 a month

Food: Very cheap, sometimes we can do a grocery shopping for $100 a week, we used to pay $400 a week in Australia

Gas: $1.10 per litre, but more if you are in BC, and less if you are in Alberta

Car Loan: I have a car loan, because I am new here, I could not get those super-cheap loans..that could save me around $300 a month

Car Insurance: This can be expensive for 1st year, then it will drop from Year 2

Shop around your phones, Internet. We made a mistake by entering into a long term contract, not a good deal for us…I should choose one of those no contract deals then I can get out anytime I want. It's around $100 a month (fixed line, Pay-TV, Internet)…much more expensive than USA. In US, you can get Pay-TV, Internet, Home Phone plus 2 mobile phones for $100/month.

Try to buy as much clothing, electronics and homeware from USA, that will save you a lot of $$$.

Anyway, according to our analysis: $4000/$5000 a month gives you a very comfortable life in a house. Less if you live in an apartment. I know families can live with $3000 a month.


AAR June 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Tommy. Are your kids in school yet? Can you give an approx idea on the following since you did not include this. I really would like some specifics: 1. School transport, aftercare, additional costs. 2. Activities for kids such as swimming, karate, tennis, hockey, music
3. spending going to restaurants, movies, shows, weekend excursions or break aways. 4. cost of cars and insurance, you mention cars are cheap and insurance expensive but did not supply an idea what to expect per month. 5. electricity, water, refuse removal etc – all included in property tax, and are these then all included in a fixed mortgage amount per month? continud…


AAR June 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm

part 2
6. medical – additional insurance and expenses. 7.pension fund or saving contributions – is this a fixed percentage from your salary asked additionally by the company or do they only contribute to government social security? 8. Groceries and clothes. If you say $100 per week, does this include a 7 supper meals (meat and fresh vegs and fruits in all), 7 lunch (light lunches and snacks for kids at school) and 7 breakfast with cereals or eggs, bacon toast over weekend type of menu for a whole family? 9. Average monthly transport cost . How many km do you add per month to your car and the cost of that? 10. What are other extras to keep in mind? Continued….


AAR June 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm

part 3.. It is nice to read of somebody that writes what people are asking for. Opinions differ so much. We are excited to go but want to try and reduce as much of our risk before we settle down. We are not trying to settle for the minimum bare bones lifestyle, we want this opportunity to really live life at its fullest! I thus would like to kind of establish what you consider bare bones, nice, average with an annual 1-2 week holiday at the coast or overseas with 1-2 weekends a month seeing and doing things and upper or really have an opportunity to have 4 long weekend break aways, 1 long annual holiday and really money to see and do things every weekend. Continued…


AAR June 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm

part 4.. I thought the budget should at least consist of: Housing, car, insurance and gasoline, food, tv, telephone, internet, cell phone, medical, School, property taxes, electricity, water, home content and home insurance, banking costs, clothes, childrens activities to increase skills and broaden horizons, spending money and unforeseen expenses… TAX – What is the actual tax paid on lets say $90 000 or $100 000 or $140 000. Is it fixed at a percentage or do you get a certain benefit at a lower tax bracket? And this seems to be impossible with $3000-$5000 for a family of 4 with 2 boys at school from what I read in most of the articles. Where are you from and what are you comparing to? We like hiking and being outdoors and travelling and would not like to become real coach potatoes! Can you maybe expand on the cost issue??? Thanx!


jarvis January 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

hi there, me and my family are in the process of weighing up our optoins of moving to canada from gold coast australia.can anybody give us advise?we have a 2 year old son turning 3.i have a job prospect working on the oil rigs in alberta.i will be on a whp.but not sure if my partner will be able to work as she might have to look after our son whilst i am away on the rigs for 2 weeks.
can any australians out there give us some info and advice?please?


Amy February 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hi, we moved from Sydney to here about 3 months ago. It's much better than Australia from cost-of-living perspective and also in terms of education and housing affordability in general. Weather can be harsh sometimes in Alberta, so be prepared like changing winter tyres..don't bring any Australian clothing, they are useless here. Buy local cloth (actually buy cloths from USA is the best way). I am in Toronto now, but I have been approached by companies from Calgary a few times.

Alberta has good education system I heard and the living cost is even lower than Toronto, their petrol price is the lowest in Canada. My advice is, where you can, buy as much as items from USA as possible (like electronics, clothes, even furniture) and get them shipped to Alberta.

You may have to pay tax (HST), but being next to US, you will save so much $$$, Alberta is very close to Minnesota. Other essential items like food, utilities are quite competitive compared to Australia. I bought our house within 3 months here, I am currently paying 2.3% interest on mortgage, so you can see the difference. I take the risk in running my own business instead of working for someone else..if you want to do that or maybe your wife wants to do that…try to run a business that can target both Canada and US markets.

It takes about 2 months to get used to the weather, it's not really that bad apart from snowstorms…just need to dress up like local people.


jarvis February 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm

hi amy thanks for your reply to my questions,i have a few more questions to ask you if its not too much trouble??how would my family and i get a family visa of such?only i have the whp visa and it clearly states that my partner and child may have to apply for a seperate visa???


Maria February 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hello, my family of four will move to Canada from Dubai by year 2012 and would like to know where is the best place to stay. Can anybody tell me about Regina Saskatchewan re housing, school, job opportunities…. I love nature and would like to settle for a prairie like Regina. I have 2 children ages 8 and 12.

thank you in advance for a much appreciated info.



@fuejr March 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Hi Maria are you an Asian? because If you are I would like to ask a question about how you applied as immigrant in Canada


tim April 27, 2011 at 5:14 am

Regina really? i wouldn't live there it's a dirty small city filled with a high crime rate, bums begging all over, and drugs and drunks walking the streets in broad day light. If i were you move to a small community near Toronto i think it's much better especially if you have kids. Best of luck Canada is great for the most part just watch out were you live cause not all Canada is good as you shall see when you come


Kat June 8, 2011 at 3:49 am

Good thing you read the Macleans article, I'd hate for you to actually experience Regina. A city where you can still walk around freely and not worry about being shot by crossfire from misused firearms. A city that is big enough to make a good living, but small enough to enjoy the whole city because, yes you can drive from one end to other in under 15 minutes. You may also not realize we live in a province that has endless blue sky and open arms for any visitors from all over the world!


Maria September 28, 2011 at 11:46 am

Thank you Tim, you're scaring me… but thanks anyway… I might consider Markham. ON then.


Sanjay May 27, 2012 at 1:46 am

I live in Markham, ON, not a bad place to raise family, but property price had skyrocketted last few years.

AA-YYC January 16, 2012 at 9:57 am

I studied in Regina and also worked there before i moved to Calgary. Regina is a nice place except for the winters. Schools are good, job opportunities are good for a population of around 200,000. Housing is a bit expensive for a place like Regina.


guest June 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm

We're living here in Regina temporarily and I love it here! Yes, there are bums and crime and it looks bad on paper. But the problems are largely localized and you just have to make an informed decision on where you live. Otherwise, it's a beautiful city with friendly people. It lives like a small town, but you can find pretty much everything you need in the local shops, except for the really high end stuff. It is a very active, family friendly city with tons of park space. There are loads of outdoor activities. Within Wascana park you have skating and cross country skiing in the winter, or kayaking, sailing, and tennis in the summer. It also has a good arts scene, whether it's the symphony or several festivals throughout the summer.
Regarding housing, costs are higher than might be expected because of the influx of workers in Saskatchewan right now. Rentals can go very, very quickly.


Amy February 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm

As a new immigrant in Canada, I totally agree. We moved from Australia, we were immigrants there as well. As an immigrant, we know a lot of immigrants just don't try and just want to claim the benefits or citizenship . I feel ashamed of them, but these are the minority, I would say less than 15% of the total immigrants. Then you get about another 25% of immigrants struggling, but willing to work hard, and they survive, and many would turn into successful business. The rest are hard working immigrants, many can not speak English well, so they set up their own businesses … immigrants have much higher success rate because of 1) No choice, they have nowhere to go back 2) No choice, they have to work hard and run a business as they can't find good jobs 3) International networks, enable them to export and expand and 4) Open minded and work with other cultures.

I think Canada, USA are best countries in the world – because they accept new ideas…so for immigrants, please, accept Canadian laws and rules and try hard – either working or setting up a business. Be proud of your own heritage but also be proud of Canada, and be grateful that Canada gives you this chance.

Most immigrants are successful people, not social welfare cheaters, I never lodged in any claim even when I lost my job, I think it is embarrassing to claim these benefits – they should be for people who really need them.


TheBrit February 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm

"Most immigrants are successful people, not social welfare cheats".

You are living in some dream world as most immigrants are not successful people.

As regard to social welfare if you are from India/pakistan, Africa, South America or the caribbean you most certainly are likely to be on social welfare.

The third world and developing world must be littered with posters saying " Come to the west, they will pay you to do nothing and won't complain for fear of being tarred as racists"

You seem to be bouncing from country to country, taking what you can.


Bahman February 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I am a pharmacist and i would like to know is it possible to establish a pharmacy in Toronto and how much should I invest for that.
Thanks for any comments


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 2:30 am

Bahman we have a lot of pharmacists here from other countries especially India, Pakistan, Egypt and other countries. You may have to take exams or a little more schooling. Toronto is a city of 7 million people and there is plenty of opportunity and it is expensive but in no way as expensive as Europe, Asia and other places. I don't know how much it costs to invest but most immigrants work for themselves when they come to Canada. You are educated but I see Asians doing tailoring, doing people's nails, and running grocery stores and most are happy. I had an uncle a long time ago who ran a pharmacy in Guelph Ontario which is a small city outside of Toronto. There are many pharmacists here and it is a competitive field. My nephew wanted to go in that field but instead had to go into engineering technology because of the high competition in the university.


usha February 20, 2011 at 7:14 am

hi , we r planning to move to canada from dubai… here we are not at all happy after recession hitting… my husband is an MBA from MUMBAI univ (india)… he is an insurance specialist havh a wok exp of 16 yrs + … what type of jobs do we expect to fetch in initially..we have 2 kids aged 4 n 8… what abt their schooloing… how much expenses we can expect initially???? to have a relatively comfortable life hw much earrning we need to have as a family????? always come across rosy pics. of Canada… is it really.. would like to have a clear pictures before we decide further…. thanx to all in advance.. awaitg for the reply


Tommy March 26, 2011 at 12:53 am

Our own experience is around $40,000 to $50,000 expenses.
So if you are on one job, say, around $80,000 in salary, after tax, that's sufficient.
$80,000 is around the average salary for manager level salary, directors will have over $100,000 salary.
Or, you can have 2 income-earners at $60,000 to $70,000 each, or maybe 1 F/T, 1 P/T position.

Job search is not easy anywhere in the world right now – I have my own business, which is why I decided to come here.I now have 20 job interviews in 2 months while I keep running my business. I am close to receive some job offers in May, but it's a long process.

The most common problem faced by immigrants are "local experience" – so the reality can be very different from your expectations.

Life here is much better than our life in Australia, we can buy a house immediately arriving in Canada, whereas in Australia, you need double the money to buy a small, shabby house.

Schools are good, public schools are good enough. Private schools – catholic or montessori.

I know many Indian, Dubai families are doing exceptionally well, but some have struggled as well. There are successful Indian families who decided to set up their own business, they are now doing well in media, IT, and many franchises…but almost in every cases, they would need to change their career direction one way or another.

Be open minded, and you will do well here. Winters are cold, but that's probably the worst part.


Living in Dubai May 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm

You have to be prepared for hard times in Dubai. It is not easy to find the job after the crisis. However if you have job and you dont mind hot weather and adoption to local requirements you may have a great life


biljana March 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I'm macedonian citizen and we are still thinking about moving or not moving to canada. mu husband is canadian and we have one child. what to do oh so difficult question…? i'm economist with masters of public administration. are there any chances for me to have a nice job?
what about the child support>


Helen March 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm

It depends..when you immigrate, you have always keep in mind that your skills & experience at "home country" may not be relevant. This is not just Canada, it happens in every country. I moved here from Australia, I have very strong financial & investor relations experience, but due to lack of local experience "in Canada", although I have US experience, it does become a challenge for me, but I still received over 30 interviews within a month..much better than when I was in Australia, and I lived there for 24 years!

Many new immigrants do take bridge course to gap the local skills. You can also consider operating a small business, as we have, and so far, that is the best choice we have decided.

I am not sure what your Public Admistration includes – but Government agencies are cutting down employees and budget, so Government jobs are no longer "safe jobs".

Child supports are in place, and we found them very fair and generous compared to Australia. It has universal benefits for children, then it depends on your income. You can also claim tax credits on various items such as sports, tuition fees, I am not an expert, but I know sports activities are included.

I find healthcare system here superior to Australia, I was in hospital for 3 days last week, they admitted me into a private room..I was in emergency in Australia once, and I was forced to spend a night on chair as their hospital system was unable to cope, and all many doctors can hardly speak English..This is not the case in Canada, I feel I was very well looked after.

Living cost wise, I live in Toronto, which I find it acceptable. We are a family of 4, and our cost for each year is approx. $55,000, it's higher now because we are new here, and my son is in pre-school. We are also "forced" to pay higher insurance premium, higher car loans because of our status. But if your husband is Canadian, I think you can save much more. ..without these excessive costs, we can bring down costs to around $40,000 a year, and that's owning a house, car, grocery, utilities..but excluding travels.

If you live in Calgary, Regina, Edmonton, or other cities other than Vancouver, it will be even better.


Larry from Sydney May 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

There are different levels of child-support in place. There is an universal child support which is not "mean-tested (income or asset)"
What Canadian Government has done very well is to encourage savings for education – there is RESP – which means the Government will contribute to your savings towards children's future "college funds", there is also Canadian Learning Bond – when you add all these up and spread over-time; you can make a good saving for your children.

Other benefits are available depending on your income – but in general, it encourages education, sports – so expenses in these categories can usually be used towards income deduction. For example, sports classes, dancing classes for your kids.

That's generally how the system works – last year, we got all our child care cost back as well as sports classes – also transportation cost (train fares), which I was very surprised – they actually reminded us when we took on bus and train to keep the receipts and claim them…very nice Government, they really look after its citizens.


jagmeet April 13, 2011 at 6:27 pm

hi , we r planning to move to canada from india i have done MBA with human resource . tell me some computer courses which will be helpful for me for getting job there and which city is good to live in cannada. pls tell me the expense in Canada for a middle class family. I mean per month how much (almost) .
Thanks in advance.


shy May 11, 2011 at 4:40 am

Hi, we are planning to move in Canada from Phils. Which city is good to live in Canada, we have 2 kids, ages 14 an 11.


Larry from Sydney May 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Toronto is not bad, winters are cold (0 to -10c, sometimes they do drop to -20c) – but the city is very well prepared for winter. 9 months out of 12 months are very pretty good weather here – you get proper 4 seasons. Living cost is lower than Vancouver, and good housing & schools.
Vancouver: I think it maybe over-rated, housing is very expensive in North American standard and the quality is not really that great. It is very pretty but it rains a lot.
Calgary & Edmonton: I have heard they are good cities to settle for family – but winters are longer.
Ottawa is pretty nice city, it's a smaller city but has a lot of museums and places of interest.

Personally, I live in Toronto – there are good areas within GTA, you don't need to live in downtown. Areas like Markham, Stouffville, Ajax are good areas – some areas in GTA have bad crimes, so you should avoid them.

We moved from Australia to Toronto last year and loved every part of it, Canada is a very good place to live compared to Australia which is getting outrageously expensive and quality of life is not really that good at all…

Canada is really a nice place for family, good luck and enjoy Canada.


Tommy June 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Atlantic Canada is not bad but they do get cold in winter times…and life is much more simpler, if you are looking for a relatively quiet life instead of city life. Regina is doing quite well. Within Toronto/GTA area: Markham, Ajax are nice areas. Mississauga is getting a bit too crowded. Stouffville is a good area to consider, it is booming now..Niagara Falls region is actually quite nice as well.


christine May 14, 2011 at 11:51 am

hi, i am from China. i get diploma of nursing in Singapore. i am planning to apply nursing jobs in Canada.
Is it easy for me to get the working visa?
and how about the salary per month.


ann June 11, 2011 at 12:11 am

You have to check too see if your nursing diploma is equivalent to the Canada nursing degree. Or else you will have to upgrade.


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 2:43 am

Christine Wilhelm told you the truth and pay close attention to what he said. Also you have problems with your English and that can be a bit of a problem to communicate with the people. Nursing differs from country to country and the same thing for a doctor and a lot of it has to do with terminology, laws in nursing and medicine which differ from one country to another and so many other things. Nursing back home is very different to Canada. We need nurses desparately and doctors even more desperate but everyone has to pass the courses which are mighty hard and rigorous and you go home completely exhausted. My eldest sister was a nurse in charge of a whole hospital of nurses "chief supervisor of nurses" and that is a mighty trying job.


Willhelm May 28, 2011 at 10:20 am

Christine, simply moving from China to Canada and working as a nurse is not an easy process. Your education is pretty much everything in the eyes of Canadian immigration authorities. Canada has one of the most rigid and cumbersome foreign credentials recognition schemes on the planet. A Canadian education received Canada is seen as the best followed by one from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, possibly South Africa, and possibly Western Europe (not including the UK which ranks higher). To be honest, not much else is recognized as up to "Canadian standards" and as a result, many well-qualified immigrants from Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, etc, are forced to undergo sometimes years of equivalency training. This can be a very tedious, emotionally-taxing, and expensive time for many new arrivals to Canada. That being said, the financial rewards for nurses working in Canada can be great. Data from 2006, in British Columbia (Canada's westernmost province), shows the average starting salary for a RN is roughly C$4,600 per month (C$55,200 a year). As of 2006, senior nurses in BC made up to C$7,500 per month (C$90,000 a year) ( As of 2011, I'm sure salaries are even higher. Here is a website that shows average RN salaries for Canada. These figures DO NOT take into account overtime which can also substantially inflate take home pay (and there is usually quite a bit of overtime offered). As you'll notice, the top salaries offered in Canada are higher than average top salaries offered in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Good luck to you!


Dana September 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Good point, I noticed that as well. People fall into traps comparing min. wages.
The reality is, in Canada (and many industries in US as well), once you cross the middle management line, the salary becomes higher in senior positions.


Diaz June 5, 2011 at 2:12 am

Moved here about 12 months ago, quite happy living here so far. I am in GTA, good housing, good education. We run our own biz, lots of people are on their own biz, and there seems to be enough jobs for many of them. They call themselves contractors – like repair, electrician, gardening, and many just work 10 months a year (1 month for vacation – summer & winter).

As for non-labor intensive jobs, IT seems to be in demand, quite a few companies are hiring – again – contractors which charge on hourly rates tend to make the best money than employees…as they can go project to project.

I love the life in North America, both in Canada & USA. Good thing about Canada is relatively calmer, great for family but still with access to the USA…lifestyle is kind of similar to some cities in USA..I really like here, I have no complaints, especially after many years of hard life in Australia and Asia.


Tommy June 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I moved here from Australia in 2010, after some of my friends who had moved here in 2009. None of us had looked back and none of us had considered moving back to Australia. I feel I am so fortunate to make this wise decision, I was skeptical initially – but the longer I live here, the happier I get. I am based in Toronto, and I will say it is one of the best cities to live in the world.

The cost of living, the quality of life is much better than Australia, where we have been struggling every month, and just gets worse and worse.

Within the first 12 months, I managed to buy a house in GTA, and we are now back on our savings plan again – in Australia, it's a net loss every month no matter how hard I have tried. Many Aussies, Europeans and Asians like ourselves started their own business here – the great thing is you can trade with Canadian and American customers being in Canada.

I am so grateful I have made this decision, my family is so happy here, we were very unhappy in Australia due to rising living cost which we do not see any end of it in future. The hardship of winter is absolutely over-rated, it's inconvenient, and that's all it is. I wished I had moved here earlier, my parents considered about back in the 1990s but then they got sick and gave up on the plan….


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 2:49 am

Tommy my husband who is Lebanese immigrant and citizen since 1977 has a brother living in Oz – Sidney to be exact. Tony purchased his bungalow home in Sidney back in 1980 for $80,000. Since about three years they knocked down their bungalow which was full of mold and built a two storey new home in its place and they didn't want to move since they love the area where they see Sidney from above. My SIL who is my age of 62 still has to work at her age and is in a store and in poor health along with her husband who is retired not making much money. Their girls are highly educated in professional jobs and if it were not for their very high incomes they would not be able to afford their house. I know that Oz is very expensive indeed. Welcome to Canada.


Bob June 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Canada has provinces and territories… not states… and Ottawa is not one of them.


Andrew June 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

Hi, We live in Hong Kong and are planning to move to Canada.I am 43 & a B. Comm grad with more than 25 yrs in Trading/Sales (& experience of owning oil packaging business). We are considering to move to Toronto/Vancouver. However, our concern is that is it an affordable place when it comes to 1 earning member & 4 mouths to feed (twins of 6 moths)? I mean, a decent life which can help us to afford all the necessities & a little more to add to our savings. As such, my wife is quite experienced in management/ accounts/ sales/ trading/ shipping & is a B. Sc grad from India. In HK we lived for 9 years & have only been able to save a little. The only advantage we see in HK is that there r domestic helpers available who take care of the kids while parents are out at work. But in Canada, we have heard that this facility is not available for middle-class people. I shall be very thankful to all those who can guide us and reply to our concerns. We have just started evaluating our options out of HK due to its increasing costs /inflation rate /job insecurities due to low-salaried local chinese staff replacing jobs of experienced immigrants with experience.
Thanks & have a good life


rdizon_h2s June 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Me and my wife together with my two kids are planning for applying to migration to Canada, We're Filipino and we been here living for almost 20 years in Saudi Arabia, I was been working as Electronic Engineering Technologist for a long time from being a Biomedical Equipment Service Engineer and now currently working for 9 years on the same of my ussual occupation to Well Services/Oilfield Equipment as Instrumentation Technologist, since then my wife also my work here as Registered Nurse in Military Hospital, as an Asian like me there anyone can tell we can competitively fair to live and work in Canada, especially in Vancouver? Just asking……..


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 2:56 am

rdison_h2s if you have been working in Saudi Arabia in the Electronic Engineering Technologist and you have Oilfield Equipment experience I would suggest that you go to Alberta. Most Canadians who are either well educated or have trades go to Alberta because of the jobs in the oil and gas industry and yes there are jobs in computers as well. Calgary, Edmonton and even Fort MacMurray and other places have plenty of jobs. Usually our own Canadians would go out to Alberta by air and when coming off the plane there would be people wanting to know if they wanted to work in the oil and gas fields and would get work. The pay is excellent and you would be able to afford it. I can't tell you how much but very good. You have to find out through immigration and as your wife is a nurse she will most likely have to go back to school again.


android June 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm

hii from india..I have received an admit for mechanical engineering masters at Carleton University…I need to know about the engineering career opportunities in canada. I am overlooking my US university admits for this since I wanted to have a good university experience and canada is good at that!….Pls advise me about the career scene in canada for foreign engineers….im told ontario has good opportunities……


CJ July 6, 2011 at 10:06 am


I am thinking of moving to Canada from Dubai in 2013 ; my wife and 3 young childresn already have their Candian passports as my wife acquired her citizenship prior to our marriage. However i will be 43 when we move and currently work in mid management in retail. I will be persuing an MBA through the Canadian University in Dubai & hope to start French classes as well . My questions are ; 1 What would one expect to spend for a family of 5 with 3 school going children in Mississauga. 2 To start up a small franchise business is Canadian Work experience also a pre requisite ? 3 We would be bringing our cars to canada from Dubai this advisable or would the insurance be higher ? With Publich shools being largely free , what to do actually pay for in educational costs ?
Thank you for taking the time to reply


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 3:05 am

CJ French is needed for Ottawa, Ontario and places like Montreal but if you go to Toronto which includes Mississauga you will be ok with English but things are changing in Canada gradually where they want people to have French. You will be ok in Mississauga. They have a very good mayor there who is a woman and has been in her job since 20 years or more and she is elderly and top notch. Starting a franchise is a way to go as well. Life in Toronto is a great deal cheaper than Dubai or anywhere in Asia, Australia or Europe. If you send your children to public schools it is free in the sense that it comes out of your rent or taxes that you pay. The only type of schools that you pay is for private schools, colleges and universities. The private schools are a lot cheaper than the US as well as colleges and universities by at least half and more cheaper.


Johnigan July 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Hey everyone,

Reading some of these posts have been really helpful, but was wanting to see if anyone can help me with another question.

I'm 22 from Melbourne, Australia, currently finishing my last year of a BA in Science, major in Geographical Science.

The question is; are there many jobs in the environmental industry?
focusing around; enviro consultancy, urban development/town planning, community development etc…



Amy July 8, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Hey there

We are also from Australia (Sydney). Canada has a very big environmental industry – but is your major relating to Geology? If so, the mining industry is even bigger. Mining companies also have demand for environmental engineers (like site remediation, soil remediation).

You can try mining companies, Government departments and environmental consulting firms. Most US environmental firms have significant presence here.

Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto are where these jobs are – but there is actually skill shortage in other provinces like Manitoba and some of the Atlantic side, but their cities are smaller but much more affordable.

But coming from Australia, I assure you that you will find living cost here very affordable compared to Australia..Vancouver is a bit pricey in terms of housing cost, but mortgage rate here is just 2.5%, so there…


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 3:10 am

Toronto is a place to go as well as Calgary, Edmonton and places like that. Stay away from small cities because there isn't the opportunities in places like that. Being from Oz it is easier for you people to find work than someone from Asia, etc. since you have similar education and background and the command of English. If you had your Masters Degree it is even better to show that than just the BA but it is up to you. Today a BA is almost like high school even for Oz. I wish you the best and to everyone out here.


James August 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm

I also moved from Australia to Canada, I am considered as an Ethnic in Australia (I am an Asian). You know, the funny thing is, I feel much like home and integrated in Canada (also in the US), I lived in Australia for 24 years, but there is still a barrier between Australians and "non-Australians"..I don't feel that here – the multiculturalism is very much, a part of society here.

Living cost wise, it is much lower than Australia, but higher than in the United States. However, we do travel to US during holidays to buy kids' clothes – as they have more ranges to choose from.

We are quite happy here and feel blessed we have this opportunity to move here – it was a risky move – not knowing what it would be like as I had just spent 2 weeks here. Frankly speaking, we were quite fed up with Australia, as life was such a struggle for many families there due to never ending steep rising cost…


Asha September 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I am a Nigerian,planning to move to Canada soon as a PR with my husband (an accountant) and my little baby. Can anyone tell me which city would be better for us to settle considering our profession as accountants.


AA-CAN January 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm

You will be OK. Make sure your English is good and you have about 6 months of $$ as reserve to sustain during your job search. I would suggest you either fly to Toronto or Calgary and no were else for jobs.


Caspa September 26, 2011 at 2:48 am

I am 18 from UK, saving to obtain my HGV Truck licence. I have read many forums over the net and found many sites stating that Canada is in great need for truck drivers. Obviously I will get a few years experience and money behind me before I immigrate but just wondering if any Brits have made the move via trucking on here, and also if any Canadians or people who have immigrated to Canada know whereabouts there are demands for long haul truckers. Thanks in advance.


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 3:18 am

Caspa truckers are sure needed indeed especially with the North American Union where goods are being transported from Mexico and the Southern US up to Canada from China and other places. Yes you sure are needed indeed. A lot of the trucking is done by foreign people and the pay is very good. I don't know the salary but very good. If you drive those long haulers you have to take a course with the Ministry of Transport where they train you.


mittal September 26, 2011 at 8:34 am

i am an indian living in dubai. My husband and i are both civil engineers and have done quiet well in our field. We have a 2 year old daughter. We are planning to move to canada since we cannot adjust in india now and here in dubai there is no job safety plus no matter how many years you live here, once you lose your job you are immediately sent back to india. Since we havent picked a city yet and not sure how much income is required per month to sustain and yet have a good life with some savings. Anyone who has a same experience please give us some suggestions about the job market for civil engineers and also which city will work best for us to settle in canada

Thanks in advance


Sai September 28, 2011 at 7:36 am


I am an Indian, working in the IT sector. I received an offer from one of the firms in Canada for employment. Can someone give me more insights into the kind of career growth and lifestyle in the IT sector.



AA-CAN January 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

All good here. Great lifestyle except for winters unless you learn to Ski and you like cold than hot weather. IT pro should be paid good and can have a good lifestyle. But that depends whether you are ready to spend on what the economy offers or just save?


fishin the gulf October 22, 2011 at 5:04 am

Hello everyone! My wife and I live in Houma Louisiana with our three children. I work as an underwater welder for the past seven years. My wife works as a draftsman for a major oilfield company. We believe that Canada would be a wonderful place to raise our children. We plan to make a trip to several parts of the country and check things out. Can anyone give us any advice on our relocating to Canada. We are nervous about moving so far from southern Louisiana but excited. Thanks


Michael January 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Don't do it ! We love Louisiana and would much rather live in the USA than in Canada, for many reasons.


AA-CAN January 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Hardly people come from US to live in Canada. It is the other way round! That being said, Canada is certainly a good place to raise a family.


Jenny April 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Why? I will take your spot and move to the USA – lots of immigrants move to Canada because they can't move to the USA.

Find another State or City instead of moving to Canada. Canada is far more expensive than USA, especially where you are from, healthcare is free because tax is way much higher, and housing price is also very expensive.

Still, it is a nice place compared to many parts – I lived in Australia & Asia which are far more expensive than Canada, and Europe is very expensive as well. Things in Canada are very slow, population is much older here.


Mike May 13, 2012 at 2:20 am

Well, put it this way. For schools for instance: No school meal programs, limited school bus services, hardly any field trips. I know many US schools have meal programs – not in Canada. Quality of education is actually worse than US in many instances. Free healthcare is a myth as you are paying much more tax, property price is way much higher than Louisiana of course.

I would just go somewhere like Colorado or California if you are looking for a change, we are looking to move to the US in a few years time ourselves – much better environment there.


fishin the gulf October 22, 2011 at 5:11 am

I wanted to compare the cost of living between Houma Louisiana and major cities in BC. I work on the water here in the USA and need to be around large bodies of water for work. In General is it expensive to live in Canada? We make around $140,000 combined income here in Louisiana. Thanks for any advice.


Joy Ann December 11, 2012 at 3:31 am

B.C. is a very expensive place to live and making $140K would just cut it living there. It depends on where you work and what you will be doing. Canada is expensive and compared to Louisianna it is expensive. I would compare B.C. similar to your California in price but that can vary. Texas is very expensive indeed and you might get an idea from that as well. Alberta is where the jobs are located for both of you but the weather out there is harsh in northern Alberta and you are in the deep south and that is quite a shock for a southerner but we have people from Australia who love it here. I remember a teacher we had back in high school who was from Australia and he loved it here in Canada but he was just south of Ottawa in a small town where I am originally from. I live in Ottawa, Ontario and it is a beautiful city but not for what your job is – this is a government town like your Washington D.C.


Allen Tim December 13, 2012 at 3:56 am

It is very expensive and in my opinion, it's not worth the move. Move to another city in U.S if you want a change.

There is really nothing special about Vancouver other than skyrocketing cost, and you can't find a job unless you can speak Chinese, most business owners are Chinese. $1,000,000 would not buy you any luxury home. In fact, lots of people are moving out of Vancouver, I had 6 of my best 10 friends moved out last year.

What you read in News that Vancouver is the best city to live remains as a mystery for many locals. Vancouver is basically a much more expensive version of Seattle.

Why not try Seattle? More jobs, more business and way much cheaper than Vancouver, and actually much higher paid.

On average, as I had lived between the 2 places: Canada is about 30% to 40% more expensive than the U.S, housing price (depending on where you live). In Vancouver, allow around $800,000 at least to find somewhere comparable, probably $700,000 in Toronto to somewhere comparable to a house that's around $300,000 in Southeastern States, I am using Atlanta and Texas as comparison here.

Income is often lower in Canada because tax is also so much higher. Education is not very good here compared to good schools in U.S. – there is no lunch program in Canada, kids are often in split classes, and lack of good teachers.


fishin the gulf October 23, 2011 at 6:46 am

hello everyone! My family and I are in the process of looking at several locations in Canada to relocate. We live on the gulf coast in Louisiana. Im an underwater welder and my wife is a draftsman at a petro refinery. We think that Canada has so much to offer and ive that the people are nice. We make a great living here in the USA but would love to make the move to Canada. At this point, we are checking out several areas and info about the schools. I welcome any feed back that could help us on our relocation. Thank you


cuban in US October 26, 2011 at 2:38 am

don't move you have a good life in US. I am a cuban living in Miami and I can tell you that US is a great country. Don't move or you regret it.


fishin the gulf November 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Thanks cuban in US. I really want feedback that will help us with our journey. Again thank you!


@mrboire November 8, 2011 at 12:47 am

As a person who has lived in both the US and Canada, there are many things to consider. ( I live in Canada, close to the US)

We found that for our situation we were better off in Canada.


Johnson November 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I lived in both places and found USA way much better than Canada because of living cost, I could live like a king in the USA (nice house, good business opportunities, healthcare is more expensive but the quality is way much better, and very good education systems in the USA).

I can't say much as Canadians will call me traitors and gave me hard time, they do that as soon as someone say good things about US, they even publish dumb books like 100 reasons why Canada is better than USA, 50 ways to rank Canada better than USA…I find it really strange even embarrassed when I see these titles.


Amy January 5, 2011 at 2:00 am

Hard to say, we use Fraser Institute Report, any ranking, you can't judge entirely on it. Some schools have good ranking because their students go to coaching classes. But it gives you good idea to show how schools have performed over the past 5 years. I prefer to have schools that has a good mix of local and ethnic population. Some schools have like 100% ethnic population, and those tend to have problems in English learning.

Mississauga is very nice area, very well established, but also means less space because it's very well established. You can look at Oakville which is further south. IT hubs are near Mississauga, in Toronto and also in Markham areas.

It takes time to find a job in any new country, so do not be discouraged..many jobs are not advertised, so it's good idea to contact companies directly..get a list of Canadian IT companies will be useful.

I will look at townhomes, many have basements attached…


Larry from Sydney May 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Mississauga is not bad but can get quite crowded as it is a large area and a large industrial area. There are plenty of things to do, and not far away from downtown. You can also look at Oakville.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: