Canada is a mosaic of traditions and ethnicities, welcoming immigrants from across the globe. But it also has its own unique culture with people that are known for their kindness. Of course, not everyone starts their day by pouring maple syrup on their pancakes before skiing to work and ending their day playing or watching ice hockey.
Before you move into one of those houses for sale in Toronto or anywhere else in Canada, these are five things you should know for a smoother transition to life as a Canadian.
It’s a Massive and Diverse Country
Canada is the world’s second largest country at 3.8 million square miles. It’s so big, it would take more than four years just to walk the coastline and in between the land is just as diverse as the people with everything from the towering Rockies to vast prairies. You won’t have any problem finding a place for solitude here – even if you move to one of the big cities, peace and quiet is never more than a short drive away. The capital of Newfoundland, St. John’s in the east, is actually closer to London than it is to Vancouver in the west. It’s divided into ten provinces and three territories, each of which offer something of their own.
It’s Not Always Cold
As Canada is such a vast country, weather conditions also vary significantly from the west to the east. While most people think of it as a cold place, Vancouver, B.C. has a moderate climate with a lot more rain than snow. In most places you’ll experience all four seasons, in fact in Ontario temperatures can dip to 30 below zero in the winter and in the summer temperatures average in the 90s Fahrenheit. The farther north you go, the more arctic-like conditions you’ll find, but even during extreme winters, people manage to get by and life goes on as usual. That said, if you move to an area subject to those frigid winter temperatures you’ll want to prepare by investing in the appropriate attire.
The Cost of Living Can Vary Greatly by City
The cost of living tends to differ greatly from one city to the next. The most expensive Canadian city to live in is Vancouver, followed by Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Ottawa. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly place to live, Sept-Îles, Quebec has been ranked as the most affordable in Canada, located along the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Cornwall, the easternmost city in Ontario is also more affordable than most, while Wetaskiwin, Alberta is much cheaper than elsewhere in the province.
Most Healthcare Services are Free, But Not All
Canada has a universal healthcare system that is paid for through taxes which means residents get basic healthcare services for free. Each territory and province has its own health insurance plans to facilitate services, but there are some that aren’t always covered. That includes dental care, prescription medications, prescription eyeglasses, wheelchairs and other medical equipment, special nursing services, and in many cases, expenses incurred while traveling. In order to get these services covered, there are supplemental plans available with the cost based on specific coverage, number of dependents, health history, age, deductible and the particular territory or province of residence.
Manners are the Cultural Norm
You’ve probably heard about Canadian politeness and it’s not just a stereotype. If you want to blend in and make new friends, you’ll want to be liberal with your please and thank yous as well as your “sorrys.”
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