Living in Canada

William Russell Expat Health Insurance

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Dec 02, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Canada. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

What do I need to know about living in Canada?

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

"I have a relocation company in Toronto helping primarily corporate clients and their families from all over the world with all aspects of their move to Toronto. I also work with an affiliate who has assistants working across Canada. Together we can assist with government cards and forms, school admissions, home finding, city orientation and more. This is a great city, full of cultural resources, picturesque, loads of opportunities and very accepting of all cultures. We are one of the most multicultural cities in the world!!! Language training is abundant, public transportation, continuing education are all available at a reasonable cost. The cost of housing and the overall cost of living is high. In order for me to assist you, you must have your employment in place as there are not many people who will rent to you without this. Once you are working here legally you can get your medical coverage (OHIP) as well. I can direct you to the appropriate immigration lawyers, international movers, etc. as part of my service. Please feel free to drop me a line with your questions here: or visit my site at www.gtarelocation.com for more information," mentioned another expat in Toronto.

"Think twice. Not what you expect it to be. More laid back and very expansive and expensive. We may speak English, but Canadians and Americians are very different. Also, the weather here is very dreary and cold. Which is to be expected," commented one expat who made the move to Calgary.

"Try to get a job prospect first, rental properties are scarce and pricey compared to rest of Ontario. They want a resume for the most menial jobs. They are pretty strict about a lot of stuff. Good bus system, don't need car," remarked another expat living in Kingston, Canada.

"If you are moving from a major city, Edmonton and Sherwood Park are very provincial. This is Prairie Country and the Canadians are proud to be rednecks. Make the effort to seek out activities and events - they are generally worthwhile. You can buy everything here (IKEA has arrived). The summer is great, warm and dry. The winter can drop to -40 degrees in winter. Wrap up warm - don't take it for granted and it is safe and enjoyable (skiing locally is fab for beginners - see Snow Valley Rabbit Hill Clubs). WARNING: There is a big drug culture. Crystal Meth big here and parents need to be aware this can even enter elementary schools where it is flavoured for kids. Cannabis is considered common place, some parents are users and it is not a major issue in the communities," added another expat in Sherwood Park.

"I would tell that friend to stay away from the inner city which is Barton Street (more west), King Street (more west), Cannon, Wellington (lower), and Victoria (by General hospital), and all of those little side streets such as Burton Street. Stoney Creek is a good place to live. The people are friendly and well off," remarked another expat who made the move to Hamilton.

"Prepare for the weather, educate yourself about Canadian current events, be knowledgeable about why you see this as a great opportunity and come experience it for yourself," explained one expat living in Calgary, Canada.

Need health insurance in Canada? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a Quote

Need health insurance in Canada? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

How do I meet people 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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