I liked Canada and it was hard for me to make the decision to leave, but now, having been to Melbourne, found work and now currently back in New Zealand catching up on writing projects and enjoying sunshine, I find it hard to imagine ever going back to live. There are some wonderful things about the country, though and so I felt it necessary to come up with a for and against to help would-be immigrants to the country.
Reasons to move to Canada and reasons not to move to Canada:
If Canada was a person, it would be a hot babe. Canada is pretty, like really pretty. Vancouver is the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen (and I don’t say that lightly.) The mountains, the ocean, the glass-buildings and beaches make for one aesthetically pleasing place. And Vancouver isn’t alone – Canada is known world over for it’s mountains, lakes and nature.
Not to move:
2. They are pro-Canada
I don’t care what anyone says – Canadians are pro-Canadian, which is great if you’re a Canadian and pretty horrible if you’re not. In most places New Zealanders have a reputation for being reliable, friendly and hardworking. In Canada, we might have that reputation on the slopes, but in professional employment, no one could give two-hoots where you’re from, if you’re not from there. This becomes a problem when looking for employment… but I’ll get to that.
If you like skiing, snowboarding or other winter sports, obviously Canada is your ultimate destination. If you want employment in those fields, more the better!
Not to move:
If, on the other hand, you’re more of a beach-bunny, Canada should be the last place on your list. Winter had only begun in Toronto when I left and while it wasn’t bothering me too much, now, after being back, I can’t believe how much the sunshine in Australia and New Zealand affects my health, outlook and how I spend my time. Warm places are now a non-negotiable for me.
5. They’re nice
Canada is known for being one of the friendliest countries in the world. In Vancouver people thank the bus driver when they get off at their stop, people who sit beside you often strike up a conversation and almost everyone in the service industry is uber friendly. Once my Airbnb hosts, a lovely couple who like to travel, took me to lunch so that they could learn more about me – it’s never happened anywhere else in the world. Even though, Toronto is known for being a rude place, but even so, for a big city, people are nice, polite and helpful.
Not to move:
6. They’re not American’s
It pains me to say this, but while Canadian’s are friendly, they’re not American friendly. That’s quite a statement, I know, and America is a big place, I know that too. So for this one, all I can say is, it’s just my experience. An American is much more likely to connect you with their best friends grandson, or pass along helpful advice, or invite you along to something, because in America everyone seems to want the best for each other – in Canada, it feels a little more individual, people will help out, but not more than they need to.
7. You can travel to the States
You might not be able to get an American working visa, but Canada’s location makes the States an accessible holiday destination. Always wanted to gamble in Las Vegas, walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame or ride the Staten Island Ferry? It’s all possible when the USA is your neighbour.
Not to move:
8. They’re cautious
Canadian’s are insanely cautious. They don’t just try their luck with something, experiment to see what works, or hire someone and see how it goes. They took weeks and weeks to review my applications. I even had some Canadian companies contacting me for a second interview by the time I’d already moved to Australia and had a job offer there. I think quickly and move fast – Canada for me was like driving on a highway with a bunch of 90-year-olds.
9. There’s plenty to explore
Love exploring? Canada might just be right up you’re alley. As the second largest country in the world, Canada has plenty of land mass and, as I mentioned before, amazing scenery to discover. Taking a train trip across the country is still high on my bucket list.
Not to move:
10. The job market sucks
Of course this is entirely dependent on industry, but as well as finding Canadian companies cautious to hire, I found that very few of them were hiring. Most companies that I approached weren’t interested to meet me at all (which could have something to do with my New Zealand citizenship, or the cautiousness), but overall it seemed like a very dry job market. Expect to spend many months looking for work.
Not to move
12. The pay also sucks
And if you eventually do find a job – expect the pay to be low… like really low. Every expat that I met in Canada had either come knowing they would take a 30% pay cut, or had since readjusted their expectations. Even then the expectations seem out of whack with what one can earn elsewhere – my experience would be more like a 40-50% pay cut when compared to Melbourne (where living costs are comparable).
Want to learn more about my decision to leave Canada? Click here.