Close to 40 000 Australians have made the move to Canada, trading their mild weather for the colder conditions of the great white north. Whether you are moving for different job opportunities or a fresh start in a completely new environment, you will find that Canada offers this and so much more.
Similar in geographical terms with wide open spaces and a focus on agriculture, both are first world countries with residents who love to get out into the outdoors.
How will life differ?
Your cost of living may change as most items and expenses are lower in Canada. Depending on your chosen city and province, there will be different health care policies, schooling systems and buying or rental costs.
Canada has many subway systems in the major cities with many people choosing to cycle along the well-paved walkways to work or school every day.
Remember when choosing where to live and work, that Canada has many English areas, however, French is very common in cities like Montreal and the province of Quebec. There are always many classes available to those who want to learn French, a good idea for those who want to get their foot in the door for many more job opportunities.
As a multicultural society, the Canadians are a very tolerant group, a tolerance that extends to the gay community. Celebrations, parades and local hang out spots are a common occurrence for the community, something that has only recently become popular in Australia.
Canada is cold, a big change from living in humid Australia. Dropping to -10 degrees and below in winter, you will have to spend quite a bit of money on heating your home and equipping your car for the snow.
Where should I live?
Many Australians tend to visit Whistler, just North of Vancouver, for the extreme winter sports and tourist hotspots. It is therefore no wonder that many choose to immigrate to Vancouver with its mild weather and close proximity to the beaches and mountains. Vancouver has one of the highest costs of living in the world, meaning that many people move out to the suburbs where schools, rent and basic costs are less. Popular suburbs that offer reasonable costs of living include Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Delta, Surrey and Langley.
What are my job prospects?
As countries with very similar geographical characteristics, the forestry and mining sectors provide many job opportunities. Vancouver has the largest inland port, with a hub of activity in importing, exporting and shipping. In addition, as the technological sector flourishes, many international corporations are drawn to the larger cities. Companies including Kodak, IBM and Microsoft are among the most well-known.
In recent years, Saskatchewan along the Southern border of Canada has become a thriving metropolis with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Attracting professionals from all industry sectors, this province has some of the highest wages with an increase in the construction, manufacturing and retail and wholesale trade. Many immigrants choose to move here permanently, resulting in Saskatchewan and its capital city, Saskatoon becoming one of fastest growing locations in Canada.