Are you craving wide-open spaces, safety and security, more employment opportunities and benefits, and a better overall quality of life? More than 200 thousand people immigrate to Canada each year, and it’s not just because of Canadian kindness.
As any proud Canadian citizen can tell you, there’s much more to the vast country than gorgeous scenery, even though the landscape helps a lot! If Canada only makes you think of red maple leaves and Mounties, you’re missing out on some of the best aspects of this wild, wonderful country than you might think. Fortunately, Canadian’s have open minds and open arms for tourists and transplants alike.
If you’re on the fence about becoming a permanent resident, read on for more about what makes Canada so special. From breathtaking landscapes to employment opportunities, foodie havens to a quirky sense of humor, these 15 benefits of living in Canada may help you take the leap!
#1 – Gorgeous Scenery
Because you can’t ignore Canada’s marvelous scenery or its massive size, let’s get this list started with the landscape. Canada is the second-largest country in the world, giving you more than 9.1 million square kilometers to explore. The country also boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, ranging from arctic tundra to wooded wilderness.
You can explore frozen, snow-covered plains where polar bears hunt and play or kayak on a crystal-clear lake surrounded by towering trees. Head to British Columbia for mountains and waterfalls like nothing you’ll find anywhere else in the world.
It’s not just the rural areas either; some of Canada’s large cities are beautiful to behold. Toronto and Vancouver have been frequent fliers on the “most attractive” lists for global communities.
Bonus: From October to March, you can easily appreciate the Northern Lights from multiple tranquil spots throughout Canada. Whether you join a camping expedition to sleep under the colorful sky or rent a room with a view, there are numerous ways to appreciate the natural wonder.
#2 – Culture of Kindness
Canadian Citizens are so friendly! Whether you’re shopping at the grocery store, walking through the park, or hanging out at a festival, you could easily end up chatting with a Canadian. They are known for welcoming tourists and transplants to their world and sharing helpful tips and guidance about the area.
It’s not that you won’t find hospitable locals elsewhere in the world, but it’s almost unbelievably commonplace in Canada. Though Canadian kindness has long been a joke in popular culture, the tolerant, broad-minded approach makes visiting or relocating that much easier and more enjoyable. Thankfully, the world has learned to appreciate Canada’s culture of kindness.
This largely progressive population puts a lot of stock in civil rights and has zero-tolerance for hate crimes and racial injustice. Canada legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, though some provinces legalized it earlier. Even the Canadian political scene screams kindness and respect. You won’t find the typical smear campaigns that most other countries thrive upon.
#3 – Quality of Life
Quality of life matters to most people, and Canada regularly ranks high on global lists. In 2020, Canada topped the list of Best Countries by U.S. News & World Report despite the global pandemic and having a lower GDP per capita than most of the top ten.
It’s important to note that the U.S. News & World Report scale considers nine domains for Quality of Living, including things like affordability, political stability, and safety. Canada scored above 90 on seven of the nine domains with perfect stores in political stability and the public health system.
Access to healthcare, food, quality education and employment, and a sense of safety and security contribute to your quality of life. Of course, political and economic stability plays a significant role as well. Judging by the rest of this list, it’s no surprise that Canada landed the top spot.
#4 – Employment Opportunities
Not only does Canada rank ninth in the world for average take-home wage (the U.S. is eleventh), but the country also values a healthy work-life balance. In the United States, it’s a work-first culture, but Canadians value social time and relaxation. Many Canadian companies offer monthly holidays, even in months with no official national celebration.
Plus, skilled workers can apply for a special work visa to ease the immigration process. Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker or Express Entry program encourages skilled workers with experience, education, and language ability to apply to this program.
Further, Canada offers impressive benefits for employees, including unemployment insurance and some of the world’s best pension plans. Residents who are 65 or older can even receive automatic old age security (OAS) pension.
#5 – Safety
Though you may not want to ignore common safety measures, Canada is one of the safest places in the world. The country scores a 9.1 out of 10 for safety and security on the OECD Better Life Index, and violent crime is extremely rare.
Crime in Canada has steadily declined since 2000, with 2019 rates about 30% lower than they were in 2003. Boasting a homicide rate that’s three times lower than the United States, Canada’s rates continually decline.
Stringent gun laws may be the main reason Canada feels so safe. Gun ownership is low in Canada because it’s hard to get a license and firearm. You need to pass a stringent licensing process to own a gun, and then you can’t carry it out of your home without a second permit. Most gun owners only get a special carry permit if they need the weapon for work.
#6 – Diversity
Canada has quietly grown into one of the most diverse nations in the world with a continual increase in their foreign-born citizenship. About one-quarter of the population is foreign-born, and Canada expects to surpass that rate by 2031.
Even more impressive is that Canada’s Parliament reflects the country’s diversity. Since 2015, Canada has embraced a growing number of minorities and immigrants in governmental seats. Unlike many other countries, Canada’s Parliament seeks equal representation for its diverse population to ensure everyone has a voice.
Canada also recognizes three categories of indigenous people, First Nations, Metis, and Inuit, as the original inhabitants. More than 1.6 million Canadians identify as members of one of these three groups.
#7 – Economic Stability
Canada is one of the wealthier nations with significant resources to bolster a strong economy. The numerous goods, manufacturing capabilities, and push for modern and advanced trades helped create Canada’s impressively stable economy.
Trade unions, a solid (though somewhat high) tax system, and a stellar banking system contributed to building Canada’s financial security. Additionally, the median annual family income in Canada was just under $88,000 in 2018, making the standard of living one of the highest in the world.
Further contributing to Canada’s economic stability is the appreciation for new businesses and entrepreneurs. The country is widely seen as accessible for businesses with a favorable tax environment, transparency, a well-developed infrastructure, and a skilled workforce. Canada built a solid base for growth and development to ensure continued economic stability.
#8 – Universal Healthcare
As the United States argues over a universal healthcare system, many advocates point to Canada’s fair and accessible system. As previously noted, Canadians pay somewhat higher taxes than other countries, but it grants them access to profound social services, including healthcare.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can apply for public health insurance which includes mostly free medical treatment. Even emergency medical services fall under the free umbrella. However, if you visit a walk-in clinic in a province other than the one you live in, you may have to pay a fee.
Some critics note that you may have to wait for specialty procedures, but even with the higher taxes, healthier is more affordable. Plus, you have access to excellent, modern facilities and skilled medical teams.
#9 – Top-Notch Educational Opportunities
Education is another area that Canada quietly, methodically developed. The country provides free public school education through 12th grade with compulsory attendance through age 16 or 18, depending on the province. Canada recently reached third on the Best Countries for Education list and continually rated in the top ten for math, reading, and science.
Canada offers more affordable advanced degrees as well. Though fees vary based on your chosen program, where you live, and what level you’re at, the average cost of an undergraduate degree is $6,463 (Canadian dollars). Of note, post-graduate degrees, like MBA programs, cost a little more to obtain, but it’s still more affordable in Canada than most countries.
The affordable higher education has led Canadian adults to explore tertiary education at a higher rate than other countries, with approximately 63% of adults aged 25 to 34 holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.
#10 – Affordable Housing
Like most countries, it’s best to break the housing discussion into homeowners and renters. Around 66% of Canadians own their homes, but the housing market is monstrous and growing. Property, especially in the cities, might be too expensive for some people to take on, even with the higher standard of living.
That said, thanks to a smaller population spread across a massive country, you can find several places to live affordably. Plus, Canadian rental rates run at least 20% cheaper than in the United States. Of course, it all depends on where you want to live, but overall you can expect to pay less for renting an apartment in Canada.
Of note, the cost of living in some Canadian cities can be excessive. However, there are plenty of cities loaded with amenities and affordable housing options. Several cities in Quebec boast reasonable property costs and rental rates.
#11 – Family Oriented
One of Canada’s main selling points involves family life. The country has a strong commitment to family, reflected in the comprehensive child and family benefits packages. Canada places significant value on building family relationships and prioritizing family over work.
Childcare benefits can help offset the costs of raising children, including access to child disability benefits. For example, the Canada child benefit (CCB) provides tax-free monthly payments to eligible families needing support.
Further, Canada has generous parental leave packages for parents who are pregnant, recently gave birth, or recently adopted a child. The family leave benefits grant parents up to 55% of their earnings up to $595 per week and can last up to 40 weeks!
Related: Living in Ottawa: Pros and Cons
#12 – Foodie Heaven
You may not think of Canada as a foodie nation, but given the country’s diversity, that’s a mistake. Canadian cities offer eclectic dishes from some of the world’s top chefs and global gourmets. Infused with global influences, many Canadian cities have British-style pubs beside oyster or sushi bars and across from pizzerias.
Along the coastal regions, like Halifax in Nova Scotia, expect to find some of the most original seafood dishes in the world. Cruise over to Vancouver, British Columbia, for unique takes on sushi and hotdogs, then top off your meal with unique seafood-inspired desserts.
If you prefer a meaty dish, head inland to Canada’s beef capital, otherwise known as Calgary, Alberta, where you can find a smorgasbord of prime cuts. Of course, it’s tough to pass over Toronto, Ontario, because the city boasts one of the most eclectic food scenes in the world with everything from shwarma to veal to artisan sausages.
Related: Cheapest Places to Live in Canada
#13 – Modern, Future-Minded
Given Canada’s breathtaking natural scenery, it can be tough to transition to modern, high-speed city life. However, several Canadian cities boast tremendous, modern skyscrapers with updated amenities, including green technology. Toronto is even on track to surpass Chicago as the North American city with the second most skyscrapers.
Part of Canada’s push to modernize involves the country’s commitment to STEM initiatives. Emerging as a world leader in STEM fields, Canada invested significant resources in modern initiatives, including AI, clean technology, and health care advancements. The efforts drew several international companies to further contribute to future-minded initiatives.
Bonus: though understated and often dismissed, public transportation is critical to reducing traffic congestion in cities and offsetting carbon emissions. Canada developed some incredible public transportation systems that are clean, easy to navigate, and modern.
#14 – Unique Sense of Humor
Canada has long been known for a unique sense of humor and a love of irony, satire, and parody. Though some may consider it morbid or strange at times, comedy is a crucial part of Canada’s personality and identity.
From sketch comedies to sitcoms and the silver screen, the Canadian sense of humor has been on display for the world to appreciate. It’s easy to appreciate a country that knows when and how to laugh at itself.
Perhaps the country’s love of comedy explains Canada’s tendency to churn out wildly popular comedians. For decades, fans worldwide have appreciated Canadian comedic geniuses that include John Candy, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Catherine O’Hara, and Seth Rogan, to name a few.
#15 – Entertainment and Adventure
Exploring Canada could take a lifetime. Even if you can focus on the highlights, you may not be able to see everything in your lifetime. Given its size and diversity, Canada offers something for everybody ranging from outdoor adventures, the arts, history, and music festivals.
Of course, you can’t ignore the sports scene. There’s something special for every sports enthusiast, from major league baseball and professional hockey to curling and backyard hockey on a local pond.
Organized sports aren’t the only opportunity for adventure in Canada. Living in Canada opens the door to incredible weekend getaways like kayaking with whales, kiteboarding off Prince Edward Island, and a wilderness triathlon in Yukon. You can even ice fields, ice climb the Canadian Rockies, try your hand at dog sledding, or watch for polar bears in their natural habitat.
If the arts or music are more your speed, check out Cirque du Soleil, the National Ballet of Canada, or the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Expand your love of film at the Toronto International Film Festival or the Hot Docs Canadian Documentary Festival. Canada even hosts an eclectic range of music festivals across multiple genres to pay homage to its strong music history.
Related: Is Kitchener a Good Place to Live?
Canadian Tourist to Transplant?
Whether you’ve never visited or you crossed the Canadian border dozens of times, transitioning from tourist to permanent resident is a huge decision. Given the opportunities available, it’s easy to consider the move, especially if you’re a skilled worker in a flourishing field or a family seeking more support.
No country offers a perfect situation for everyone, and there are certainly some who would rather avoid the higher taxes and other drawbacks associated with Canadian residency. However, since no country is perfect, it’s tough to ignore the benefits of living in Canada.
Canada offers almost endless opportunities and a chance at a better quality of life for many people. In light of recent events, the benefits of universal healthcare and government support during a crisis cannot be understated, and Canada came through for its people. Of course, it probably helps that the government is a closer representation of its people than most others around the world.
Do you see something that we missed? Let us know in the comments.
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