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hi, this may sound really stupid but for anyone who has lived/worked in the US and Canada, what are some advantages of Canada (not Toronto if that matters)? From a very naive perspective, I was hoping maybe less crime, congestion, something like that?
 

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Would you like to compare Vancouver in BC with Lost Springs in Wyoming?
I hope you realise your question can't be answered. Please, provide more detail. What do you want to compare? A town with a lot of snow? Or a village with lots of sunshine? The boondocks? Crime stats? Wages? Cost of living? Culture? Music festivals? Schools? Work opportunities? Medical facilities? ...
There is not "one best place on earth" for everything. ;-)
 

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hi, this may sound really stupid but for anyone who has lived/worked in the US and Canada, what are some advantages of Canada (not Toronto if that matters)? From a very naive perspective, I was hoping maybe less crime, congestion, something like that?
In the major cities (Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto & Montreal), you're basically looking at extensions of major US cities.

In spite of the gun laws here, people have guns and are using them (Vancouver had a very bad gang problem a few years ago... Google "Bacon Brothers" and "UN Gang" to get some background information)... we might not have them to the same extent as in the US, but we (Canadians, that is) would be stupid to try to claim that they aren't the least bit of a problem here.

Congestion... you're going to get that in any major city regardless of whether it's Vancouver, NYC or London (you should see the congestion at Oxford Circus subway station at rush hour... people stacked up 10-20 deep outside of the entrances to the station... now that's what I call congestion!!!)

I don't know what else to tell you without having frames of reference to go by. We're not nearly as flag waving patriotic as our American neighbours, although when push comes to shove, we can hold our own. :)

One thing you will probably notice is that while the US has always styled itself as a "melting pot" of different cultures, Canada has taken more of a "cultural mosaic" attitude towards the population side of things. Case in point... within a 10 minute drive of my suburban Vancouver home, I can think of a number of restaurants that serve food from one community that is done in the style of another (I am thinking specifically of Chinese food done in the style of food that would be served in India). My favourite dim sum place has as many non-Chinese patrons as Chinese diners in over the lunch hour, all enjoying their har gao and siu mai. When my department at w*rk has a pot luck lunch, invariably my boss (a man from Croatia) writes down that he will bring in sushi, while I (an ethnic Japanese) bring in a western style dessert and the ladies from India and Pakistan bring in samosas and ALL OF IT gets eaten by everyone on staff.

Hope this is of some help in your comparison.
 
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hi, this may sound really stupid but for anyone who has lived/worked in the US and Canada, what are some advantages of Canada (not Toronto if that matters)? From a very naive perspective, I was hoping maybe less crime, congestion, something like that?
Like WestCoastCanadianGirl says, major cities in Canada are just an extension of the US.

Workwise: I personally think workload is about the same
Safety/Crime: Canada isn't as violent as my beloved US. Bear in mind Canada has about 34mm people whereas the US 311mm.
Health: in the US is a privilege, in Canada a right.
Salaries: Depending on your field, about the same (At least in mine is).
Cost of living: Depending on where you live, it might be higher than the US.
Customer Service: pretty much the same in both countries.
Weather: Canada tends to be a bit colder than the US (Please mind my sarcasm)

I see Canada as an improved UK with the affluence of the US, with just a temperature issue. That's it!

Animo
(Cheers)
 

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Congestion... you're going to get that in any major city regardless of whether it's Vancouver, NYC or London (you should see the congestion at Oxford Circus subway station at rush hour... people stacked up 10-20 deep outside of the entrances to the station... now that's what I call congestion!!!)

Hope this is of some help in your comparison.
I am claustrophobic and just recently had to ride the Jubilee line. Well, the thing got stuck in between stations, and we were escorted out through the tunnel. Talk to me about a nightmare!:scared:

Animo
(Cheers)
 

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And now it's time for the great Canadian debate: how different is Canada from the States? I think it's very different, having lived and worked and attended university in both. Here's a few contrasts:

Big city life: Canadian cities are mostly residential throughout (Edmonton's an exception); US cities often have large corporate/commercial areas where relatively few people live. This includes greenspaces within city centres.
Safety: Canada specializes in petty crime; the US gun crime. Most violent crime in Canada is committed with knives, bats/sticks or fists. Car theft is ubiquitous in both countries.
Shopping: retail sales taxes are higher in most parts of Canada than the US, with Alberta the obvious exception. However, just as in the US the stoopid system in Canada means what's advertised as "the price" doesn't include 5-15% additional tax, which is calculated at the till.
Fitness: generally Canadians are a bit more fit than Americans, and the level of fitness goes up as you move West in both countries. British Columbia (where Vancouver is) has the lowest smoking and obesity rates in North America. But facilities for recreation are very accessible: paths for skating, biking running, pools, hiking trails. Kind of make it hard to make excuses *rubs belly*
Taxation: aside from retail, taxation rates in Canada are higher than many parts of the US, but lower than some. My brother lives in NY State on Long Island and pays a lot more tax than I do in Vancouver.
Income: salaries vary widely across both countries. Living on minimum wage in any major Canadian city is a brutal life. But "wage slaves" won't lose their homes to pay for health care, should something catastrophic happen (see below).
Health care: Health care is not a right in either country--a popular misconception held by many Canadians. In fact the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the opposite. Canada has multiple public health insurance schemes with mandatory enrolment: one for each province, plus specific ones for on-reserve Aboriginal persons and Canadian Forces living on-base.

Most provinces also have extensive public healthcare systems, but physicians are a notable exception, as is most lab work done outside hospitals. Our system is publicly administered (via the insurance scheme) rather than something like the UK's NHS. There is legislation that requires these plans to have no user fees for basic services--so you pay nothing out of pocket to visit a GP, specialist or get care in hospital. However, prescription drugs are ONLY included in-hospital, which is why many Canadian employers offer their staff "supplemental insurance" to cover most or all of prescription drugs, dental care and vision care services. Some employers pay for this cover; others arrange a group deal that employees themselves pay for.

People: there are awesome people in both countries; there are unnice ones in each too.
Politics; Persons on the left of the political spectrum in the US are often rather frustrated between the hard right (Republicans) and centre-right (Democrats): Canada has a full spectrum of parties on offer and 5 parties with seats in our federal Parliament.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys are really helpful! I've lived most of my life in big cities where guns and cops are rampant, although living in the suburbs you still can't turn a blind eye to what's happening around you. As an American I feel disheartened and disillusioned sometimes when the persons that are supposed to be trusted turn out to be dishonest and corrupt. Happens anywhere I suppose but still disappointing.
 

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While it is true that there us no one "best" place between the US and Canada, there are a couple of things that mattered to me when deciding if I wanted to move to Canada. Toronto, at least, really does have less violent crime considering how dense the population is. (Toronto's rate is about 2 per 100,000 people, versus Atlanta's 26 and Chicago's 15.5.) More than that, though, the general attitude of the people is what has won me over. Canadians seem to understand that some degree of social responsibility is beneficial to all, even though they don't agree on how much is too much. The US has become more and more full of people saying, "I have mine and you can't have it, screw you." JMO.
 

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This is very difficult to answer as it all depends on what your preferences are and where in each country you live.

I live in Southern California but have lived in Vancouver, Victoria, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, San Francisco Bay Area, Fort Lauderdale FL as well as Mexico and Venezuela. I have also spent a lot of time in many other states and provinces.

Our favorite place by far is where we live now (10 years ) which is why we chose it. We live in a medium sized metro area ( 350,000 ) 60 miles north of San Diego and 70 miles SE of Los Angeles. We also love San Diego and the San Francisco Bay area.

The crime rate is very low where we live. Definitely much lower than where my sister lives in the Okanagan area of BC Canada. On the other hand Canada doesn't have the crime problem found in the ghetto areas of many large US cities. However Vancouver has more crime than either San Diego or San Jose which are larger cities. My observation is that in general the crime rate is lower in most large Canadian cities due to not having the ghettos to the same extent. However the crime rate is generally lower in the small cities and rural areas of the US compared to Canada.

There is no question that the cost of living is considerably higher in Canada.

As far as quality of life, that depends on what you make of it. It can be good or bad in either country.

Weather is a big factor for us and it doesn't get much better than Southern California.

So it really depends on what your preferences are and what you are looking for. You can have a good life in either country.
 

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I'm guessing you have health insurance wholly paid by an employer, with no "pre-existing medical conditions"?
 

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I'm guessing you have health insurance wholly paid by an employer, with no "pre-existing medical conditions"?
I guess you don't know what you are talking about. I am retired so don't have an employer. I have a Medicare Advantage plan from Health Net. I do NOT pay any premiums and everything is covered. I do not pay any co-pays nor deductibles and prescription drugs are covered. Pre-existing medical conditions are not a factor in obtaining my insurance.

My sister who is retired in BC and I have compared our medical and she admits that mine is far better. I don't have to wait to see a specialist, get MRI's and mine covers a lot of what we consider routine tests that she is not covered for.
 

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Oooh a bit of snark. That's collegial.

There was no pejorative in my use of the word guess. From my experience there is sometimes a myopia amongst those living the States who've not be squeezed by the US health care régime. For folks coming from Europe in particular, it's important to consider the implications of health insurance costs in the States. Including lifetime exclusions from care for conditions that would simply be covered elsewhere: diabetes, depression.

As it happens I know precisely what I'm talking about: I have lived and worked in the US and Canada and Australia. I work in health research. And when someone faces cataclysmic conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS or heart disease, there are few places in the world better to be than BC. And that's both with respect to access to state-of-the-art treatments as well as not bearing any costs associated with them.
 

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Oooh a bit of snark. That's collegial.

There was no pejorative in my use of the word guess. From my experience there is sometimes a myopia amongst those living the States who've not be squeezed by the US health care régime. For folks coming from Europe in particular, it's important to consider the implications of health insurance costs in the States. Including lifetime exclusions from care for conditions that would simply be covered elsewhere: diabetes, depression.

As it happens I know precisely what I'm talking about: I have lived and worked in the US and Canada and Australia. I work in health research. And when someone faces cataclysmic conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS or heart disease, there are few places in the world better to be than BC. And that's both with respect to access to state-of-the-art treatments as well as not bearing any costs associated with them.
Sorry about that. I was going to edit it out but it won't let me do it.

Number one, I don't have to bear any costs. Secondly, even the detractors admit that the US has the most advanced healthcare technology. My brother in law died in BC because he had to wait 9 months to get a heart bypass. My sister who was an RN and hospital department head in BC will not agree with you.

In any event, believe what you want. It makes no difference to me. I don't intend to discuss this any farther. If it was so much greater in Canada than I may consider living there as I can live just about anywhere I want.
 

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No worries. Chacun à song gout, eh?
 

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Number one, I don't have to bear any costs. Secondly, even the detractors admit that the US has the most advanced healthcare technology. My brother in law died in BC because he had to wait 9 months to get a heart bypass. My sister who was an RN and hospital department head in BC will not agree with you.
I live in the US too, and I have a very different take on healthcare here. I think the cost and quality of healthcare you receive in the US varies greatly from person to person. JohnSoCal you are very fortunate to have benefited well from the healthcare system here. But many, many other Americans are not getting the care they need (if they're getting any at all...) and certainly not getting remotely what we pay for.

My family is part of the middle class...the ones who were born and raised in the US, pay expensive premiums for insurance, and have paid into programs like social security, medicare, and workman's comp our whole lives. After paying heavily into the system his whole life, my dad (after injuring his back at work) had to wait over 4 years for workman's comp to pay him anything, and in the end, they didn't even give him enough for surgery to repair his back and go back to work. His insurance dropped him because the company he worked for (through which he was covered by insurance) closed due to economic hardships. And in the meantime, my parents lost their home, cars, etc because they are both disabled, unemployed, and unable to get sufficient assistance from the programs that were supposed to be in place to help people in situations like this. So basically, my parents paid thousands of dollars a year for over 30 years to health insurance companies, and other US health programs, only to be told now that they need to use those programs that they "don't qualify."

"Aw...you've worked your whole life and now you're disabled and lost your house and ability to provide for yourself and your family? Sorry hardworking, tax and premium paying, disabled American citizen. But America can't help you now. Thanks for all the years of generous financial donations though."



OK, so I know this is not every American's experience with the healthcare system. And there are certainly worse national healthcare systems out there...BUT...don't think that everyone who lives in the US automatically has top-notch, affordable care, and no waiting period.
In my experience, the majority of those in the US who get amazing, affordable, efficient healthcare, are those who can afford to pay for it themselves anyways.
 

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In my experience, the majority of those in the US who get amazing, affordable, efficient healthcare, are those who can afford to pay for it themselves anyways.
I have never said that everybody has great healthcare. However I do and it doesn't cost me anything. My plan is available to everybody under Medicare that lives in areas where it is offered. Your experience is certainly not the same as mine or any of our friends and associates.
 

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When I spoke to my new husband's relatives about this subject, one was able to put into words tge one thing that separates the us from canada where attitudes toward health care are concerned. He said, "Most Canadians are not willing to see others go without healthcare just so some of us can get it faster." I agree.
 

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While it is true that there us no one "best" place between the US and Canada, there are a couple of things that mattered to me when deciding if I wanted to move to Canada. Toronto, at least, really does have less violent crime considering how dense the population is. (Toronto's rate is about 2 per 100,000 people, versus Atlanta's 26 and Chicago's 15.5.) More than that, though, the general attitude of the people is what has won me over. Canadians seem to understand that some degree of social responsibility is beneficial to all, even though they don't agree on how much is too much. The US has become more and more full of people saying, "I have mine and you can't have it, screw you." JMO.
I think the US has become more and more full of people saying "you have mine, give it to me!". But in anycase, we lived in south Africa for 3 years and never had a problem with crime. Two years in Toronto later, every person we know has been broken into, assaulted, car stolen at gun point.... It really just depends. Crime is everywhere. Ironically, we have been much more effected in Canada than we ever were in SA.
 

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That doesn't sound so good... Where in Toronto do you live?
 
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