Canada appears to be the final frontier for some people who cannot accept a future where Donald Trump ascends to the U.S. presidency. Here are some very important tips from someone who has been in Canada since 1998 and has lived in key Canadian cities for at least three years per city. I am pleased that my knowledge and experience about Canada can help someone like you.
So, let me share with you everything that I know and have experienced about living in Canada — everything that can prove useful to your move in the immediate future. You are getting this advice from someone who has actually lived in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Montreal. This means that I am actually able to define the key differences between living on the East coast and the West coast of Canada.
Of course, the number of Canadian cities where I have lived in is but a handful. After all, Canada is the second biggest country in the world, second only to Russia. Your country, the United States of America, is the third. And now that you have the basic perspective in terms of size and proportion, let’s continue with our discussion.
The fact is, most people who move to Canada tend to stay in one place — while visiting other places for brief periods when they’re on vacation. But not me. Being single and wanting to really explore this big and majestic nation, I have endeavored to live in one city for at least three years at a time in order to discover the major differences between the key cities of Canada.
I have purposely not renewed my Canadian passport since it expired in 2005 to force myself into staying in Canada and traveling by land whenever I need to move around. When I received my Canadian citizenship in 1999, I promised myself that I will spend the rest of my life living and traveling only in Canada — because it is so vast and the country has adopted me.
Generally, you will love living here. There are way lesser people than what you’re accustomed to in your country. Let’s compare. The official Canadian population as it sits right now, is roughly 36 million against your country’s 322 million, according to U.S. News. This means you can move around a lot more freely in Canada.
There is a lesser chance for you and your kids to get squeezed in the subway, so you don’t need to commute like an Olympic athlete. And in case you have a car, there’s way less traffic on the road so you will be less stressed traveling between home and work. I have traveled to NYC, New Jersey, Chicago, Buffalo, Detroit, and L.A. before 2005, and that is why I can give you a basic feel of the differences.
And trust me, it gets even better. You will find that the public toilets of say McDonald’s, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Burger King, etc. are cleaner because there are lesser people using them.
When it comes to medical insurance, you are covered for free, unless you choose to live in British Columbia (BC) on the West coast. Canada, as you might have already heard, has universal healthcare like Obama Care. The main difference is Canada has had it for many years and so the major kinks of the system have been pretty much ironed out.
You may still need to line up occasionally for a public lavatory or for the doctor, but again, there will be lesser waiting than you are used to in America. The common denominator of these better days is population. You have lesser people to compete with for government services, so there is relatively lesser stress in the system.
It’s not necessarily that Canada is more efficient. For the most part, it’s just that the government deals with a lesser number of citizens than Uncle Sam is used to.
By far, the best place to live is Ottawa, the capital city. Runner ups will be Victoria, the capital of BC, and London, Ontario, where Justin Bieber was born. London is noted as a great place to raise kids.
If you’re a business-oriented person, chances are, you will have an affinity for Toronto. It’s the fourth largest city in North America, bested only by Mexico, NYC, and L.A. — yes, in that order. It also has a 2.6 million population. Indeed, it’s a big city but one with a lot of green, open spaces. It will not give you that congested feeling regularly experienced by New Yorkers.
Compared to Toronto, Vancouver is a far more refreshing city to live in. Why there’s less congestion, no harsh summers, and almost no real winters. The only problem is, it’s the most rained-on city in Canada so you will always need to bring an umbrella with you. If NYC has its Central Park, Vancouver has its Stanley Park, which is a city by itself. Just be careful with raccoons. Vancouver is the only place in Canada, or perhaps the entire world, where these scavengers are starting to acquire predatory characteristics.
Finally, if you have an artistic inclination as a person, you might want to consider moving to Montreal in the province of Quebec. It is a bilingual city where French is the dominant language. This city is also big, although not as big as Toronto. It is a city that has three faces so it’s impossible to get bored with it. It has an old face, a modern face, and an underground face that is considered the biggest Underground City of its kind.
So that’s a bird’s eye view of living in Canada, particularly the cities that I know by heart. In the coming days, I will flesh out the details on how it is to live in Canada from your point of view. Do not feel that you are considering an odd option or choice. After all, 19 percent of Americans are contemplating the same option in the event of a Donald Trump presidency, according to Global News. So you are not alone. Who knows, even Miley Cyrus and other American celebrities might follow in your footsteps.
[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]