Moving to Canada

GeoBlue International Health Insurance

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Moving to Canada? Expats talk about what you need to know before moving to Canada.

What do I need to know before moving to Canada?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Canada, they said:

"Where you move to will depend on your work. Visit first and decide which localities you like that might offer the type of employment you are engaged in. Then go job hunting or start your business. If the latter, make sure there is enough of a market to provide your business with critical mass. Too many people move to the gulf islands, stay a year then move out because they find they can't earn a living," said another expat in Vancouver.

"The most important thing is to ask advice from someone independent of the real estate sector. Real estate agents have a huge interest in selling you houses in the area they work and are rarely independent. Locals tend to be biased toward their own neighborhoods. The best advice will come from a relocation agent who is not tied to realtor who can show you all the good neighborhoods for a day, or ask other expats. TAKE YOUR TIME! Act in haste repent at leisure," added another expat who made the move to Montreal.

"Driving around is not necesarily a good indication. Properties in Edmonton and surrounding areas are timber build and look almost temporary. You will rarely find the bricks and mortar you are used to in the UK. You must be able to drive. If your partner or spouse cannot they will feel isolated even in urban settings. Remember renting or buying on 'a bold corner plot' means you have more snow to clear and you will get fined if you don't keep your side walk and access clear," explained one expat living in Edmonton, Canada.

"Do your homework! Calgary is a beautiful city, close to the mountains. Anything you could want you can find here. There aren't really very many high crime areas here, just driving through a neighborhood will give you a feel if you want to live there," said another in Calgary.

"Find one in an older neighbourhood close to a school, as there is tremendous growth here due to Alberta's Oil economy, and new schools are at a premium. Children have to be bussed from the new suburbs because of the lack of schools," explained one expat who made the move to Calgary.

How do I find a place to live in Canada?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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