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      08-17-2010, 08:26 PM   #1
leJUNd
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Where to live in canada?

Hi.
My family (my parents and my cousin) is thinking about moving to canada.
Not sure why or how serious but at the moment, just an idea stage.
I don't know much about canada. I've never been there...
Can you guys give me some quick overview of what options there are in terms of places to live. Pros and Cons. etc...

Basically anything related to living in canada... I would appreciate it.

Thank you
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      08-17-2010, 08:39 PM   #2
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Halifax is a great city to live in. It is on the ocean with a relatively moderate climate (the ocean moderates the temp a bit better than in central Canada). Housing costs are reasonable, economy is strong (we basically were not touched by the Global recession) and low employment. People are friendly.

About 350,000 people... a big university town... so it is big enough to have all of the amenities of a big city but without the big city/concrete jungle feeling. I often think of Halifax as being the same type of city as Boston... just smaller.

Bad? No pro sports teams.

My second choice is Vancouver... much larger, closer to the US, on the ocean but the major benefit being the mountains. Milder climate than Halifax. Issue here is WAY crazy high housing costs but incomes are not representative of having the highest residential property values in the country. Also, next major earthquake and California and Southern BC disappear
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      08-17-2010, 10:39 PM   #3
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I'd have to agree..... Halifax wins my vote for the best city to live in. Just big enough but not too big and with lots of amenities, history and culture. I hope to own a summer home there within the next 5 years.

I live in Alberta..... if you are looking for work here is the place to be.... the economy here in Alberta is the best in all of North America and there is lots of money to be made. The problem here is it is very busy and real estate is among the highest in the nation.
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      08-17-2010, 11:01 PM   #4
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That's not so easy to answer in a short manner. It really depends a lot on what the people moving are looking for? Peace and quiet, jobs, night life, the outdoors activities, theatre, sporting events, climate, etc, etc, etc.

I have lived in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and now, for the past 20 years, in Kelowna, BC. They all have pros and cons. At my point in life, being older, I like the smaller city size of Kelowna (at about 180K for the metro area), the climate (milder winters than many Cdn places, hot summers, and terrific Springs and Falls), and the lack of big city problems and traffic. BUT, there are few jobs here, and housing is not cheap. Most ppl here with money, made that money somewhere else.

I am not a fan of the large central/eastern cities in Canada such as Toronto; but many do like them. Halifax is a nice sized city, but Maritime winters can be rough.

As I said, not easy to answer.
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      08-17-2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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I was born Niagara Falls, Ontario. Lived in Toronto in childhood.

Now I live in Calgary so I would say:

Calgary Alberta definitely for its economy, growth rate, per capita income (highest in Canada), diversity and surrounded by beautiful rocky mountains while not being overpopulated at the sametime. In short, it combines the good things of a big city with that of a small city:











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      08-18-2010, 12:04 AM   #6
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Depends on what you're looking for...

Toronto and Montreal are dynamic cities full of culture and things to do but can get uncomfortably hot and humid in the summers.

Vancouver is a very beautiful city but has expensive housing.

Calgary is a nice mid size city which has grown lots recently but still lacks the culture of the big eastern cities and is going through some growing pains. The beautiful Rockies are only one hour away.

I'd look into those 4 cities for starters... Good luck!
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      08-18-2010, 07:32 AM   #7
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Calgary looks pretty nice. Love the fact that the mountain is a close drive away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 330CIZHP View Post
I was born Niagara Falls, Ontario. Lived in Toronto in childhood.

Now I live in Calgary so I would say:

Calgary Alberta definitely for its economy, growth rate, per capita income (highest in Canada), diversity and surrounded by beautiful rocky mountains while not being overpopulated at the sametime. In short, it combines the good things of a big city with that of a small city:











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      08-18-2010, 08:07 AM   #8
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the mountains are the only good thing about Calgary !!! (along with my cute friend who lives there )...
seriously though, i lived in Edmonton and Fort Mc (AB) for the past 4 years, and i like it a lot... Edmonton is a fairly big city without the jungle-feeling like someone mentionned earlier... it gets hot in the summer, stupid cold in the winter, but we have the greatest big blue skies i have ever seen
Downsides: not much for architectural excitement (especially coming from France), 4 hrs drive minimum to the mountains, high housing costs
Pros: probably close to the highest wages in Canada (even more so for Fort Mc), lots of opportunity if you want to start your own business also...
I also really like Fort McMurray... it's got all you need as far as amenities, shopping (from a guy's point-of-view), restaurants, bars... and yet you drive 5 min out of town and you end up in the middle of nowhere, you can take your boat to the river, go quadding, 4x4 in the woods... i love it, i might move up there next year...
is it the best place to live in Canada? depends what you're after... a few years here to make some dough and go back home? in this case, YES YES YES !!! you want a laid-back, easy going life, with nice vistas around the corner, curvy roads to enjoy, go east !!!

Good luck !
Pat

Last edited by frenchM3dreamer; 08-18-2010 at 08:08 AM. Reason: brain still half asleep...
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      08-18-2010, 09:39 AM   #9
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I've had a chance to stay in several places in the US and Europe, but for me, there isn't a better city (ok maybe Paris) in the world to live in. Toronto has got a great vibe, lots of things to do year round - festivals, food, night life - and a very safe place to live. It's fantastically multicultural (I would argue more so than any other Canadian city outside of Vancouver possibly) and there is something for everyone. It's also the financial and technology hub of the country with lots of job opportunities and lots of colleges/universities. The other great thing is that flights to other great Canadian cities (and to the US) such as Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, Chicago etc. are relatively cheap.

At the end of the day, any Canadian city is fantastic; there is a reason why Canada is ranked by the UN as having the 4th highest living standards in the world (the US is 13th).

Last edited by sawzall; 08-18-2010 at 10:50 PM. Reason: Yes i know Chicago is in the US :)
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      08-18-2010, 10:35 AM   #10
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ask yourself what YOU want in a city and then ask which city provides what you are looking for.
don't go just for work or money you'll get bored eventually.
i've lived all over canada from east to west, i've settled out west because it suits my lifestyle. i figured out work and money after that.
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      08-18-2010, 10:47 AM   #11
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"the mountains are the only good thing about Calgary !!!"

Having lived in Calgary for 10 years, and Edmonton for over 6 years; I can tell you you are dead wrong about that. There is not enough money in the world to get me to go back to Edmonton.
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      08-18-2010, 11:01 AM   #12
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I have lived in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Halifax. I have visited all over our great nation, and I will only live in Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal. Unless I gotta move else where for work.
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      08-18-2010, 11:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizzle View Post
I've had a chance to stay in several places in the US and Europe, but for me, there isn't a better city (ok maybe Paris) in the world to live in. Toronto has got a great vibe, lots of things to do year round - festivals, food, night life - and a very safe place to live. It's fantastically multicultural (I would argue more so than any other Canadian city outside of Vancouver possibly) and there is something for everyone. It's also the financial and technology hub of the country with lots of job opportunities and lots of colleges/universities. The other great thing is that flights to other great Canadian cities (and to the US) such as Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, Chicago etc. are relatively cheap.

At the end of the day, any Canadian city is fantastic; there is a reason why Canada is ranked by the UN as having the 4th highest living standards in the world (the US is 13th).
I agree with what you say, but for pure culture I'd choose Montreal as one of the nicest work/live places to live in Canada. The OP is coming from California, so from a weather and lifestyle perspective Vancouver is probably the best. From a city perspective Toronto probably is most like LA with respect to bland architecture, urban sprawl and gridlocked freeways.

Of all the cities in Canada I've been to I'd consider living in choose in order;

1)Toronto -- Hometown bias probably, but I truly love the city, it's multicultural vibrancy and the economic prospects for people with many types of business background also it doesn't get as cold as many other Canadian cities, downside, boring architecture, traffic, urban sprawl.

2) Montreal -- Awesome nightlife, beautiful European style city good opportunities for many different employment options, downside, very cold winters, craziest drivers in Canada, you should speak or learn French to get the most out of it.

3) Vancouver -- warmest major city in Canada in the winter, awesome mountain views, west coast lifestyle, downside lots of rain and gray skies in certain parts of the year can be depressing to people used to sunshine, housing really expensive.

4) Ottawa --Stable economy, tech and government related jobs are the best opportunities. Downside, as cold as Montreal but not as fun

5) Calgary -- Huge economic strength, low taxes, close to mountains, lots of blue skies, weather in winter can vary from -30c one day to +10 the next due to chinook winds bringing warm pacific air, but generally cold in winter , downsides, economy, too exposed to oil and gas industry, still feels like a small town, too many pickup trucks

I won't comment on cities I wouldn't live in or haven't spent enough time to evaluate other than to say Atlantic Canada seems to be a nice place to live people are tremendously kind and friendly, cheap real estate, interesting roads to drive, but economically not very vibrant (though this may be changing)

Politically and socially Alberta is a pretty Republican Conservative style part of Canada much of the rest of Canada is pretty liberal (in the US sense of the word).

Canada is generally quite accepting of people of different cultures and races. Crime is pretty low, social equality (and taxation) are higher than the US.

We are stricter on gun ownership than countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo and the US, but you can have one if you prove you are not an idiot.

If you want to start a conversation with a Canadian stranger talk about the weather, it always seems to be too hot, or too cold for any Canadian, if it happens to be a nice day say "nice day eh?" with a surprised tone.

Start studying hockey now! If you don't understand the game you will only be able to discuss the weather with your friends from September to June.

Good luck.
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      08-18-2010, 11:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuco44 View Post
"the mountains are the only good thing about Calgary !!!"

Having lived in Calgary for 10 years, and Edmonton for over 6 years; I can tell you you are dead wrong about that. There is not enough money in the world to get me to go back to Edmonton.
i mentioned my hot friend too
i must say i've only spent a few hours in Calgary each time i went, but it really doesnt appeal to me, except that it's a 45 min drive to the mountains, that's all... just sharing my feelings like everybody else
i'd take Fort Mc over Calgary any day...
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      08-18-2010, 12:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchM3dreamer View Post
i mentioned my hot friend too
i must say i've only spent a few hours in Calgary each time i went, but it really doesnt appeal to me, except that it's a 45 min drive to the mountains, that's all... just sharing my feelings like everybody else
i'd take Fort Mc over Calgary any day...

Fair enough, for you. I know it's tough to an Eskimo's fan these days, tho.
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      08-18-2010, 12:09 PM   #16
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Fair enough, for you. I know it's tough to an Eskimo's fan these days, tho.
haha, smart a$$
i'm not a football or hockey fan, but yeah, i watched some of the game the other day, and it sucked...
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      08-18-2010, 02:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchM3dreamer View Post
i mentioned my hot friend too
i must say i've only spent a few hours in Calgary each time i went, but it really doesnt appeal to me, except that it's a 45 min drive to the mountains, that's all... just sharing my feelings like everybody else
i'd take Fort Mc over Calgary any day...
I've lived in Edmonton for a bit and it's pretty darn COLD but if you got a hot friend there then it can make a bit of a difference
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      08-18-2010, 02:21 PM   #18
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I've lived in Edmonton for a bit and it's pretty darn COLD but if you got a hot friend there then it can make a bit of a difference
a hot girlfriend in Edm, and a hot friend in Calgary, and a few hotties met through work in Fort Mc makes me love Alberta
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      08-18-2010, 06:02 PM   #19
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wow thank you guys. lot of great info.
Only places I've heard of before this thread was Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver...
For those of you who have lived in US before, especially Los Angeles, what is the biggest difference, advantages disadvantages of living in Canada, especially your particular city.


Thanks again.
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      08-18-2010, 06:24 PM   #20
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It really depends on what is the lifestyle you seek.

Here is what Montréal has to offer: European-style lifestyle with north american commodities. Cheap housing compared to the other big cities in Canada. Great food, awesome nightlife. The economy in my province is not so great however. Taxes in Canada are higher than in the U.S. and Québec is among the highest in Canada. Universal health care, which means that you can go to any hospital at any time to be treated (be ready to wait a long long time at the emergency).

Montréal is on an island so it's constantly humid. The province of Québec is home to 6.5M french-speaking canadians so expect to speak french if you get outside the island of Montreal because 99% of the french-speaking people living outside the island of Montréal speak only french. And no, just because the U.S. is our neighbour does not mean that we absolutely have to learn english. It's certainly to our advantage to do so but you can live your whole life in french.

I spent some time in Toronto and I hated it. I visited Vancouver once and it certainly is a lovely place. The climate there is certainly the mildest in Canada.

Good luck.
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      08-18-2010, 08:17 PM   #21
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Can you tell that Canada is very regional? It's what happens when you're talking about the 2nd largest country in the world - it'll take you 7 hours to fly coast to coast...

Best thing to do is to let us know why you want to leave LA and what you're hoping to find in your target destination.

ps - I happen to love LA, but it's a very polarizing city.
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      08-18-2010, 08:28 PM   #22
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Haven't lived in LA before but the impression I got is that you can walk in Toronto at night and not worry that you'll get mugged or shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by accordingi2ime View Post
wow thank you guys. lot of great info.
Only places I've heard of before this thread was Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver...
For those of you who have lived in US before, especially Los Angeles, what is the biggest difference, advantages disadvantages of living in Canada, especially your particular city.


Thanks again.
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