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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: nkt0 on August 02, 2018, 07:12:11 AM

Title: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 02, 2018, 07:12:11 AM
Hey,

For various reasons, my SO and i have decided to attempt to immigrate from the US to Canada. I would love to hear from the MMM community about the pitfalls of such a move and generally whether this is a positive step from a frugality and FIRE perspective or a step back. I'm really interested to hear from people who have done this or seriously considered it and backed out. 

We are currently living in Philadelphia and are targeting either Montreal or one of several non-Toronto cities in Ontario. I intend to keep my job with an American company and work remotely. My wife is an author and we have a limited liability partnership in the US to publish her work. We also own a piece of a house (the bank owns the rest via mortgage).

Thanks for any advice, well wishes, facepunches or other thoughts! :D
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Freedomin5 on August 02, 2018, 12:43:21 PM
Can’t speak to the details of immigrating to Canada as an American (we immigrated over 30 years ago), but Ontario is great. Note that you will likely have to move several hours drive out of Toronto to get cheaper housing. For example, my mom lives 1.5 hours north of Toronto, and 1-bed 1-bath condos are still around $400-$500k (Cdn). We have a cottage 3.5 hours north of Toronto, and a small old house there would cost you around $250-$350k. Cost of living up in cottage country (Muskoka region) is cheaper — we lived up there for a month this summer and spent approx. $2000/month for a family of three. Winter will likely be more expensive due to increased heating costs.

Montreal housing has been doing well since Vancouver and Toronto started taxing non-resident purchasers 15%. What would you do with your US house? Sell?

Long story short, it is totally possible to stay frugal and FIRE in Canada (Ontario).
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 02, 2018, 12:51:04 PM
What would you do with your US house? Sell?

Initially we plan to hold on to our US house in case things don't work out or we hate it. We also might use it to escape winter. Depends on if we can convert it into a break-even part-time rental.

We don't plan to buy in Canada right away until we find a long-term place we want to be.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: AMandM on August 02, 2018, 01:10:33 PM
Have you done any research to see whether you would be *allowed* to immigrate to Canada from the US? Generally, unless you a refugee or have a family member in Canada to sponsor you, I believe you have to come to work there. That work can be self-employment, but I think it has to be based in Canada. So you may need to move your LLC and reincorporate in Canada.

I'm a dual citizen and my American husband attempted to immigrate to Canada about 19 years ago (so rules may have changed). He couldn't get a permanent resident card without a permanent job offer in Canada, for which his employer would have had to demonstrate that there was no Canadian suitable for the job. I also had to guarantee that he would not receive any government assistance for at least ten years, and would have had to back up this guarantee by a supporting him financially if he had needed assistance in those ten years.

Or he could have invested two million dollars that we didn't have in a Canadian enterprise. But I think that option is gone: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/immigrant-investor-venture-capital.html

As a Canadian permanent resident, you will have to pay federal and provincial income tax on your income. Unless you formally revoke your US citizenship, you will also owe federal US income tax on income over the exclusion level if it's taxed at a lower rate in Canada.

Finally, if you're considering Montreal (which I totally understand, it's my native city), be aware the Quebec has several of its own immigration programs.

Bonne chance!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 02, 2018, 01:21:22 PM
Have you done any research to see whether you would be *allowed* to immigrate to Canada from the US?

Yes, i have done a lot of research on immigration policies and we should qualify for both Canada federal immigration and Quebec. A lot has changed in the past 19 years regarding immigration policy in Canada and things are a lot more open than they used to be.

And if they don't let us in, then so be it. But we are trying to gather as much information as we can while assuming they will! Mostly i'd like to hear about weird financial stuff that i need to think about, especially since i'm simultaneously trying to FIRE while doing this. I realize this will be a costly setback, but we've made that decision for our long-term future.

I've read in other threads about differences in Canadian retirement programs, savings, and other currency-related issues. I'd love to hear more about them if people have thoughts!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 02, 2018, 01:28:56 PM
Hey,

For various reasons, my SO and i have decided to attempt to immigrate from the US to Canada. I would love to hear from the MMM community about the pitfalls of such a move and generally whether this is a positive step from a frugality and FIRE perspective or a step back. I'm really interested to hear from people who have done this or seriously considered it and backed out. 

We are currently living in Philadelphia and are targeting either Montreal or one of several non-Toronto cities in Ontario. I intend to keep my job with an American company and work remotely. My wife is an author and we have a limited liability partnership in the US to publish her work. We also own a piece of a house (the bank owns the rest via mortgage).

Thanks for any advice, well wishes, facepunches or other thoughts! :D

HI nkt0.  We recently spent over 6 years living in Canada (Quebec) and just moved back to the US to pursue some job opportunities here.
First off there's the question about how easily you can gain a visa to live permanently in Canada - which is not the same thing as having permanent resident status or citizenship.

Also be aware that there's no such thing as "Canadian" universal health care; nor will you automatically qualify for "free" health care just by living in Canada.  Each province has their own health care system, and there are different rules and standards governing each.  Consequentially you'll need to plan buying health care insurance, at least until you qualify for your provinces' health care card.

As for living in Canada as an ex-pat, it can be a wonderful place to live, and in many ways it is very similar to life in the US.  BUT - there are some differences, and those differences can range from quaint to irritating.  A lot of your happiness will depend on your mindset of how you deal with these differences.

Taxes and cost of things - you will need to file taxes in BOTH the US and Canada, though if you meet the bona-fide resident test or the physical presence test any income earned in Canada will be exempt from US taxes up to about $108k/year.  Because you said you will be keeping your US job that income will be considered US income, though under certain circumstances you will have to pay Canadian taxes on it as well.  Sales tax is very high compared to the US; 15% in Quebec and 13% in Ontario. Even labor is taxes in Quebec. Broadly speaking many of your everyday items will be 10-30% more expensive than in the US, including groceries, cars, airline tix and fuel, though there are some categories that are cheaper.  There's also much lower consumer choice in most stores compared to the US, and Amazon.ca doesn't carry nearly the diversity of products you get stateside.

Politically there's a much greater spread among the political parties here than there is between the Dems and GOP in the US. Overall I'd consider the political center of Canada to be quite a bit to the left of the political center of the US, and the NDP is quite a bit to the left of the progressive wing of the Democratic party in the US. And of course there's the Bloc Québécois always threatening succession. If you live in Montreal you can get by without speaking any French, but government services will be primarily (and often exclusively) available in french, and you miss out on a lot of cultural interaction if you never learn the language.  Even if you are fluent in French there's a cultural barrier between those that speak english (termed 'anglophones') and the self-identified 'Quebeçois'.

Compared to the east coast cities can seem super far apart, with lots of wilderness in between. This is something we loved about Canada (access to relatively undeveloped land just a short drive from a major city) but it also means what people consider an 'acceptable driving distance' for a vacation is vastly different.

hope that helps to get you started.  Feel free to ask targeted quesitons and/or PM me
~n~
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: meghan88 on August 02, 2018, 01:35:38 PM
Here's another vote for Montreal instead of Toronto, for all kinds of reasons.  But keep in mind that the winters are more brutal in Montreal than they are in Toronto.  Making up for that is:  somewhat cheaper housing, a MUCH, MUCH more beautiful city, vastly superior public transport, better restaurants, better cycling infrastructure, richer history and culture, fewer random shootings, better hockey team ... and on and on.

If you're looking at southwestern Ontario, IM me and I'll give you the lowdown ... suffice it to say that when we FIRE in a year, we are back to Montreal. 

Can't help much with the legalities, but good luck.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: SunnyDays on August 03, 2018, 09:59:46 AM
If you are both not reliant on a particular location for work, why don't you consider cheaper areas of the country, like the maritimes or prairie provinces?  Not only less costly, but also more relaxed.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 03, 2018, 11:27:37 AM
...absurd construction

I think "absurd construction" is apt :-)
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: TrMama on August 03, 2018, 11:36:29 AM
the hospitals *shudder* although they are being fixed,

The medical system in Quebec was awful. In fact it's the single reason I won't move back there, which is a shame because I loved everything else about it. Insane waits, condescending doctors and treatment protocols 20 years behind the rest of the developed world. They still insist on taking kids temperatures rectally for goodness sake.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIRE@50 on August 03, 2018, 11:39:56 AM
So much talk about Visas, healthcare, and taxes. I'm here for the maple syrup insight. Is that like a national secret or something?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Freedomin5 on August 03, 2018, 12:01:07 PM
Maple syrup is a given. I mean, what else do you put on pancakes, French toast, and waffles that even compares to maple syrup? There is no need to talk about maple syrup.

Also, ice wine from the Niagara region (Niagara-on-the-Lake) is another thing that we just accept to be the best.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 03, 2018, 12:18:40 PM
So much talk about Visas, healthcare, and taxes. I'm here for the maple syrup insight. Is that like a national secret or something?
70% of the worlds maple syrup comes from Quebec, with much of the remainder coming from Ontario and New Brunswick (the rest comes mainly from NH and Vermont). You can buy it for about $10CAD a liter (about $7.50USD per quart) and it is wonderful stuff.

most Americans outside of new england never put real maple syrup on their pancakes, mostly because its so damn expensive most everywhere else (costing easily 2-3x more than what you can buy it for in Quebec).  In my informal survey of people from the south, I'd say fewer than 50% had ever even tasted real maple syrup, instead using things like "Aunt Jemima" or "Log Cabin"- which are artificially flavored corn syrup died brown.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: GuitarStv on August 03, 2018, 12:28:05 PM
Old Thyme, Aunt Jemima, Mrs Butterworth, it's all awesome.  I prefer artificially flavoured corn syrup dyed brown on my pancakes to real maple syrup . . . which I believe is technically a form of high treason in this country.


:P
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: damyst on August 03, 2018, 11:41:35 PM
I work with a number of Americans who live and work in Canada long-term. They were advised not to touch Canadian tax-advantaged savings arrangements (RRSP, TFSA etc) with a ten foot three metre pole before seeing an accountant.

Both the U.S. and Canada are very serious these days about preventing tax evasion, and unfortunately this tends to entangle cross-border taxpayers in complicated paperwork, even if they do everything above board.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Altons Bobs on August 04, 2018, 12:20:14 AM
Have you done any research to see whether you would be *allowed* to immigrate to Canada from the US?

Yes, i have done a lot of research on immigration policies and we should qualify for both Canada federal immigration and Quebec. A lot has changed in the past 19 years regarding immigration policy in Canada and things are a lot more open than they used to be.

And if they don't let us in, then so be it. But we are trying to gather as much information as we can while assuming they will! Mostly i'd like to hear about weird financial stuff that i need to think about, especially since i'm simultaneously trying to FIRE while doing this. I realize this will be a costly setback, but we've made that decision for our long-term future.

I've read in other threads about differences in Canadian retirement programs, savings, and other currency-related issues. I'd love to hear more about them if people have thoughts!

Can you share how you're going to accomplish moving to Canada please?  I've done some research as well because I'm interested in moving to Canada, but without a company sponsoring you or a family member or investing millions and creating jobs for Canadians, what are the ways you're thinking about using to move there? I'm genuinely interested.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: lizzzi on August 04, 2018, 06:36:21 AM
PTF
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 06, 2018, 06:37:46 AM
Can you share how you're going to accomplish moving to Canada please?  I've done some research as well because I'm interested in moving to Canada, but without a company sponsoring you or a family member or investing millions and creating jobs for Canadians, what are the ways you're thinking about using to move there? I'm genuinely interested.

I'm applying under the Skilled Worker immigration program. You need to score 67+ points in six different categories including education, age, work experience, language proficiency, etc. Once you've entered your profile, provinces can also select you as a preferred candidate, which gives you bonus points. You also get points for having a prospective employer, but you are not required to have a job lined up to immigrate.

There are many other programs available as well, including for investors, self-employed, and Canadian relations. We could also apply under the self-employed program, but i've heard that the wait for that could be multiple years.

@SunnyDays: The reason we're seeking a larger city is because we are comfortable in them. I've lived in Philadelphia, Oakland, and other places, so i understand the pros and cons of big city life. For what it's worth, we are also considering some smaller cities like Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor. If people have other suggestions, i'd like to hear them.

We're avoiding the maritimes because they are so far from everything. I think we'd be more inclined to go a smaller town in BC than further east.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: MrsPB on August 07, 2018, 07:34:11 AM
Canadian here who lives in the maritimes but lived a number of years in Vancouver prior to that. I also emigrated here from the uk via the skilled worker program (did not have a job to come here to)  and then applied for citizenship after 3 years of living here. I love BC and I do miss it, Kelowna is a great choice further  out of the crazily  expensive Greater Vancouver area. We recently visited Ottawa too and I could definitely live there, it’s beautiful and has many amenities and attractions. City status but not huge. Summers are sticky and humid though  and winter is very, very cold there....
The maritimes are far from places but there are good international travel links out of Halifax to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa etc, and the Eastern seaboard of course, and direct flights to Europe in just a few hours. We have nice summers and our winters are not as bad as central/Eastern Canada. Yes, we get snow but we don’t get the crazy cold they get in Ontario for extended periods. Halifax is undergoing major development right now yet it’s still very affordable for housing. I can see it becoming very popular in the next decade or so. Income  taxes  are higher here though so there is that to consider. Overall, we have a lot more house/land for our money and we are close to the largest city in the province and are close to major transport links. Jobs are harder to come by in this region historically  but I do think that will change with the potential growth occurring due to development. That’s just my opinion/speculation based on what I have seen happening in the past few years here!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 07, 2018, 07:47:35 AM
@MrsPB Thanks for the note about your experiences in various parts of Canada. We're not too interested in the inland places in BC and can't afford Vancouver. I would say that the maritimes are a possibility except that my SO is afraid of being too isolated. My sister-in-law lived in Halifax for a while and really didn't like it, so she warned us off of that place. It may be worth a visit, though, to assess it for ourselves.

Ottawa is on our list, too, but i literally know nothing about it and no one that lives there. Same with Kingston, which is i think a little more desirable from our standpoint because it is on a Great Lake (we're Great Lakes Midwesterners by upbringing).
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: MrsPB on August 07, 2018, 08:01:17 AM
What kind of pasttimes do you enjoy? That might swing a region/city for you. Also, if you have kids or are planning to, there are wild variations in the costs of child care to consider.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: MrsPB on August 07, 2018, 08:05:38 AM
It has taken me a while to settle in Halifax for sure as we knew no one here and I left my job in BC to move here for SOs job. Halifax definitely doesn’t have as much of a cultural mix as other canadian cities  but even in the past couple of treats, I’ve seen that shifting and more international immigration occurring which is good. I moved to Vancouver without knowing anyone either and settled there more quickly but it was at a different time in my life where I had more social flexibility (pre-kids!)
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 07, 2018, 08:49:17 AM
@MrsPB We are not having children, which has been part of the struggle to meet new people. When you're in your 20s, it's easy, but once you get into your 30s and 40s, if you don't have kids, you become more and more outcast.

As far as what we like to do: movies, (inexpensive) theater, (library) books, urban wandering, hiking day trips, weekend car camping, free stuff outside, board games with friends.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: yow on August 07, 2018, 10:17:50 AM
I can't give much insight into anything other than Ottawa as its the only place i've lived in Canada since moving here 12 years ago from the UK.

Ottawa isn't a massive city by any means but I honestly would not live anywhere else at this point. I love living here. It has everything you need. About an hours drive to the US if you want to travel down there. Ski resorts within an hour in pretty much every direction in the winter.

Thanks for the National Capital Commission (NCC/CCN) and the city itself there are alot of parks and one of the best cycle friendly infrastructures I have used outside of Europe. I use it most days for travelling to and from work.

Its for sure humid in the summer and cold and snowy in the winter but that is somewhat part and parcel of living in Canada. I love getting outside whatever the weather and embrace the sometimes extreme temperatures.

just be aware come February each year the chances of being able to see out of your driveway as you back your car out are likely to be very low because the snow banks will be in the way :)
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Shinplaster on August 08, 2018, 04:44:44 PM
Ottawa (lived there decades ago) is great to live in, not so fun to work in if you don't speak French. 

Kingston is a lovely little town.  We lived there back in the 80's, and I'd go back in a heartbeat.  Affordable, easy to get around, good medical, and the lake is never far away.

Have you thought of London or Kitchener/Waterloo?  London (where we are now) is affordable and close to the border (an hour to Port Huron, Michigan) and 2 hours to Toronto.  University town, good medical, horrible transit service. We are scheduled to get high speed rail by the mid 2020's, which will make going back and forth to Toronto a lot easier.  KW is bigger and more expensive, with a lot of tech industries and Waterloo University.  There are lots of things to see and do in SW Ontario, and beaches and cottages on Lakes Huron and Erie.  Lots of small towns nearby have theatre groups, as do London and KW.   Winters are unpredictable - either masses of snow, or freezing cold, or none of the above - you just never know.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Paul der Krake on August 08, 2018, 06:03:17 PM
As far as what we like to do: movies, (inexpensive) theater, (library) books, urban wandering, hiking day trips, weekend car camping, free stuff outside, board games with friends.
You have British Columbia written all over you.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Retire-Canada on August 08, 2018, 06:24:51 PM
You have British Columbia written all over you.

Yup come on out to the Best Coast! ;)
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 08, 2018, 10:18:17 PM
You have British Columbia written all over you.
Yup come on out to the Best Coast! ;)

If we could afford it, we would!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Aminul on August 09, 2018, 11:50:24 AM
I'll give another vote for the consideration of London (or surrounding communities).  There are some nice paths for biking/walking in the city.  Some forested trails just outside of the city, and two great lakes within a short drive (Huron is nicer!). 

Off the board suggestion:  Windsor, ON.  Okay, it's probably not as nice as London but you're a tunnel bus ride away from all of the big city amenities in Detroit.  The housing is cheaper in Windsor and the waterfront is gorgeous!

Full disclosure:  I live in a small community between London and Windsor so I'm entirely biased towards this area.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 10, 2018, 06:49:07 AM
Off the board suggestion:  Windsor, ON.  Okay, it's probably not as nice as London but you're a tunnel bus ride away from all of the big city amenities in Detroit.  The housing is cheaper in Windsor and the waterfront is gorgeous!

Thanks for the suggestion, @Aminul. Windsor is actually on our short list. Being from the upper Midwest, it's very close to our hometown, so that's a plus. Unfortunately we know no one that lives there and everyone we've talked to says bad things about Windsor. That usually makes me more inclined to check it out. :D
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on August 10, 2018, 07:10:51 AM
Posting to follow mostly.

I've thought about trying to immigrate to Canada on and off. Likely by taking on some work tours in the Northern parts of the country to get a foot in the door. But I think if I were to settle somewhere it'd either be Victoria or PEI. But when you compare the diversity and expanse of the US, I'm sure I could find a similar type of city in the US.

I'm curious if anyone here has any info on Quebec City. I've heard it's mostly inexpensive for a Canadian city, and I think learning french there would be doable?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 10, 2018, 07:15:46 AM
I'm curious if anyone here has any info on Quebec City. I've heard it's mostly inexpensive for a Canadian city, and I think learning french there would be doable?

I have ruled out QC primarily because it is 96% french speaking. While i'm okay with learning french, i think the transition would be too difficult for us. But from all accounts it sounds like an amazing city. We plan to visit soon!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 10, 2018, 07:23:16 AM
Our biggest issue has been figuring out how to find jobs.  I would sincerely love to move to Canada. We've done a mock up of the immigration test and score really well (my husband especially due to his French proficiency), but I wouldn't be able to keep my US based job.

Alas, for us it is probably a pipe dream.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Retire-Canada on August 10, 2018, 07:27:44 AM
Our biggest issue has been figuring out how to find jobs.  I would sincerely love to move to Canada. We've done a mock up of the immigration test and score really well (my husband especially due to his French proficiency), but I wouldn't be able to keep my US based job.

Alas, for us it is probably a pipe dream.

If you can get into the country with a work permit our labour markets are pretty tight. As long as you have a decent resume in a field that's not an outlier you shouldn't have a problem getting employed.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Paul der Krake on August 10, 2018, 07:34:23 AM
Posting to follow mostly.

I've thought about trying to immigrate to Canada on and off. Likely by taking on some work tours in the Northern parts of the country to get a foot in the door. But I think if I were to settle somewhere it'd either be Victoria or PEI. But when you compare the diversity and expanse of the US, I'm sure I could find a similar type of city in the US.

I'm curious if anyone here has any info on Quebec City. I've heard it's mostly inexpensive for a Canadian city, and I think learning french there would be doable?
Do you speak any French already? It's already a hard language to master, and Quebecois is a whole new level. I'd make sure you really want to live there before making an investment in a quirky regional language spoken by fewer than 8 million people.

Our biggest issue has been figuring out how to find jobs.  I would sincerely love to move to Canada. We've done a mock up of the immigration test and score really well (my husband especially due to his French proficiency), but I wouldn't be able to keep my US based job.

Alas, for us it is probably a pipe dream.
Immigration is the hard part. If you qualify for permanent residency that's not contingent on a job offer, you can always move and find a job over there. It's no different than finding a job elsewhere.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 10, 2018, 07:50:15 AM

I'm curious if anyone here has any info on Quebec City. I've heard it's mostly inexpensive for a Canadian city, and I think learning french there would be doable?

Lived in QC for 6 years, and leaving was bittersweet. Yes daily life there is in French, and there's a tightly knit Quebeçois culture that's not terribly inclusive to those who were not born into it. But the city is beautiful, bikeable with a clean and extensive bus system. It has a good restaurant scene and the top end restaurants are shockingly affordable compared to other large metro areas. Taxes are high but so are the services - it seems like every weekend there was some free public event to explore, and just 30 minutes from downtown you could be in any number of wilderness areas with moose and wolves and bears.
There's no better way of learning a langugage than complete emersion, but you've got to want to learn it, and not surround yourself with other english speakers day-in-day-out. And you'll be learning Quebecois french, which has its own accent and slang from french-french.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on August 10, 2018, 08:02:24 AM

I'm curious if anyone here has any info on Quebec City. I've heard it's mostly inexpensive for a Canadian city, and I think learning french there would be doable?

Lived in QC for 6 years, and leaving was bittersweet. Yes daily life there is in French, and there's a tightly knit Quebeçois culture that's not terribly inclusive to those who were not born into it. But the city is beautiful, bikeable with a clean and extensive bus system. It has a good restaurant scene and the top end restaurants are shockingly affordable compared to other large metro areas. Taxes are high but so are the services - it seems like every weekend there was some free public event to explore, and just 30 minutes from downtown you could be in any number of wilderness areas with moose and wolves and bears.
There's no better way of learning a langugage than complete emersion, but you've got to want to learn it, and not surround yourself with other english speakers day-in-day-out. And you'll be learning Quebecois french, which has its own accent and slang from french-french.

I learned Portuguese in Africa when I lived there for 6 months. I think I would take a similar route: take intensive French classes for about 2-3 months, try to have a unique interaction 1-2 times per day. Maybe even if it's not a permanent thing, it would be interesting to take a work break to live there as a transient for half a year. (Not sure if that's allowed lol)
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on August 10, 2018, 08:04:10 AM
That's also a part of what would keep me from Montreal or parts of New Brunswick: there would be just enough English to keep me lazy. Or too many bilinguals to allow for full immersion.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 10, 2018, 09:07:33 AM

Our biggest issue has been figuring out how to find jobs.  I would sincerely love to move to Canada. We've done a mock up of the immigration test and score really well (my husband especially due to his French proficiency), but I wouldn't be able to keep my US based job.

Alas, for us it is probably a pipe dream.
Immigration is the hard part. If you qualify for permanent residency that's not contingent on a job offer, you can always move and find a job over there. It's no different than finding a job elsewhere.

I think we'd both be okay to find jobs if we were already able to get into the country; but the best I can tell, we can only get into the country if we already have jobs.

Sadly the "my great-great-great-grandfather helped found Montreal" route doesn't seem to work. He's got a statue and everything!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: TrMama on August 10, 2018, 01:16:25 PM
the hospitals *shudder* although they are being fixed,

The medical system in Quebec was awful. In fact it's the single reason I won't move back there, which is a shame because I loved everything else about it. Insane waits, condescending doctors and treatment protocols 20 years behind the rest of the developed world. They still insist on taking kids temperatures rectally for goodness sake.

Yeah...I spent two years at the Montreal General....
um...no thank you.


I'm curious if anyone here has any info on Quebec City. I've heard it's mostly inexpensive for a Canadian city, and I think learning french there would be doable?

Lived in QC for 6 years, and leaving was bittersweet. Yes daily life there is in French, and there's a tightly knit Quebeçois culture that's not terribly inclusive to those who were not born into it. But the city is beautiful, bikeable with a clean and extensive bus system. It has a good restaurant scene and the top end restaurants are shockingly affordable compared to other large metro areas. Taxes are high but so are the services - it seems like every weekend there was some free public event to explore, and just 30 minutes from downtown you could be in any number of wilderness areas with moose and wolves and bears.
There's no better way of learning a langugage than complete emersion, but you've got to want to learn it, and not surround yourself with other english speakers day-in-day-out. And you'll be learning Quebecois french, which has its own accent and slang from french-french.

This is accurate. Not sure if it applies, but Québec City is also very family friendly.

However, you'll always speak French with an accent and with therefore always be treated as an immigrant. Even though I was nearly perfectly bilingual when we lived there it's not just the accent that keeps you from being fully accepted. You'll have not-quite-Québecoise views and mannerisms that'll give you away. I was totally OK with that and it didn't bother me. However, many of the other expats I was friends with were really bothered by it.

Learning French there is doable if you don't also have a day job. DH tried to learn French while we lived there (his job was all in English) and had a really hard time. Most classes run during the day. It took him over a year to find an evening class that actually ran. Several are advertised, but then don't run because not enough people sign up for them.

There's also a big enough English speaking population there, that you can be lazy about language if you really want to. They even have an English hospital. Actually, I really recommend the English hospital because it has much shorter wait times than the others.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on August 11, 2018, 06:02:56 AM
French is a brutal language to learn, especially if you are going to need it for work, and especially if you expect to be able to write it. There are many native French speakers who can’t write it at a level that would be professionally acceptable. It really is a remarkably challenging language.

DH and I both grew up in Quebec and have studied French since early childhood and have kept up practicing it, and we’re still nowhere near fluent and would be utterly hopeless writing it. I studied Spanish for a year at 30 and dated someone from Colombia for 6 months and felt more confident in Spanish than I ever have in French. French is special, so be careful if you are making a plan that depends on learning fluent French or any formal writing.

That's interesting, and I wonder why that it is.

I would say Portuguese is probably closer to Spanish than French. Portuguese has very easy pronunciation rules, (though the dialects between Europe, Africa, and Brazil are very different). And the number of exceptions to rules or special verbs is relatively low.

What makes French especially difficult? The more complex pronunciation? A high number of irregular verb conjugations (or at least it felt like that the one college class I took). Or is it the Quebecois dialect itself? Or maybe they just make you feel worse for not being perfect in the language. The Portuguese people that I talked to were always pleasantly surprised to see an American who could speak Portuguese (though some thought I was just faking it from Spanish.)
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 11, 2018, 07:23:28 AM
French is a brutal language to learn, especially if you are going to need it for work, and especially if you expect to be able to write it. There are many native French speakers who can’t write it at a level that would be professionally acceptable. It really is a remarkably challenging language.

DH and I both grew up in Quebec and have studied French since early childhood and have kept up practicing it, and we’re still nowhere near fluent and would be utterly hopeless writing it. I studied Spanish for a year at 30 and dated someone from Colombia for 6 months and felt more confident in Spanish than I ever have in French. French is special, so be careful if you are making a plan that depends on learning fluent French or any formal writing.

That's interesting, and I wonder why that it is.

I would say Portuguese is probably closer to Spanish than French. Portuguese has very easy pronunciation rules, (though the dialects between Europe, Africa, and Brazil are very different). And the number of exceptions to rules or special verbs is relatively low.

What makes French especially difficult? The more complex pronunciation? A high number of irregular verb conjugations (or at least it felt like that the one college class I took). Or is it the Quebecois dialect itself? Or maybe they just make you feel worse for not being perfect in the language. The Portuguese people that I talked to were always pleasantly surprised to see an American who could speak Portuguese (though some thought I was just faking it from Spanish.)

yes, yes, and yes.
French (in general) is difficult to learn for native english speakers for all the reasons you listed.  There are so many irregular verb conjugations that the 'rules' for conjugating anything are only vague guidelines. Two of the most common verbs (être and aller) are highly irregular.  Verbs also have 8 (?) different tenses which are all commonly used.  Like other romance languages all nouns have a gender, but unlike in Spanish where words that end in "o" = masculine and words that end in 'a" are feminine, there's no apparent rhyme or reason for french. As an english speaker I found it very difficult in distinguishing 'la' (feminine) from "le" (masculine) at conversational speed, and any time its pluralized ("les") you have no way of knowing the gender.

Unlike Spanish or Italian, you don't pronounce every letter - particularly towards the end of a word. Practically speaking this means that I had absolutely no idea how to spell commonly used words (e.g. "d'accord").  In Spanish I can read anything out-loud (even if I don't know what all the words mean) - in French I often can't pronounce unfamiliar words.

Because there's a shared linguistic and cultural history, there are a number of words that seem like they should match up but don't (faux amis).  Location is a good example: in english it means 'where you are" while in french it refers to a rental (like a car rental). It leads to some pretty comical situations.

Then of course there's the dialect - almost any course you can take or software available teaches you Parisian french, but there's a ton of slang and anglocisms. This is true of course for any language, but much of what i tried to learn on my own was useless in Quebec, and many of the words that they use everyday are not found in traditional french/english dictionaries.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on August 11, 2018, 01:48:06 PM

It took until I was 30 to realize that “actuellement” doesn’t mean “actually” but instead means “currently”

FML

Same in Portuguese actually. (Lol)

Atualmente vs na realidade
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Aminul on August 13, 2018, 07:33:52 AM
Off the board suggestion:  Windsor, ON.  Okay, it's probably not as nice as London but you're a tunnel bus ride away from all of the big city amenities in Detroit.  The housing is cheaper in Windsor and the waterfront is gorgeous!

Thanks for the suggestion, @Aminul. Windsor is actually on our short list. Being from the upper Midwest, it's very close to our hometown, so that's a plus. Unfortunately we know no one that lives there and everyone we've talked to says bad things about Windsor. That usually makes me more inclined to check it out. :D

I lived there for three years while going to school, and I know a handful of folks that currently live in/around Windsor.  I really enjoyed my time there.  The riverfront is beautiful and there are trails that stretch from the very east end down to the bridge.  Having the bridge and tunnel there really do connect you to Detroit in a unique way.  It is incredibly easy to go over for a hockey/baseball game.  If you are concerned about Canadian winters, Windsor has it the easiest of any larger city in this area.  When London gets hammered with lake effect snow from Huron, Windsor stays wet and slushy.

For better or worse, city council has poured a ton of money into making Windsor into a "world class destination", specifically around sporting events (hockey and swimming).  I'm sure there are other similar investments that have worked to improve the city for folks coming in. 

Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Dee on August 15, 2018, 07:46:49 PM
Chiming in for Ottawa! Though, admittedly, I too am drawn to the Great Lakes. Ottawa's got the Ottawa (or Outaouais) River which is super but...it's no Great Lake. Day trips to Kingston are not out of the question, though the distance does warrant spending the weekend for most folks. Same for Montreal. Closest border into the US is near town of Prescott into Ogdensburg, NY, a little over an hour away by car.

Probably no need for French at all, but you will hear it around you and will have opportunities to learn it if that's of interest.

There are a couple of repertoire theatres (the Bytowne and the Mayfair), lots of bookstores and libraries, lots of easy (flat) bicycling paths (but opportunities for hills in the nearby Gatineau Park).

I'm not sure about Kingston... last time I was there, I visited the (now closed down) Kingston Penn and that has probably (negatively) influenced my view of the place.

I've never been to Windsor. London does have the nice points mentioned above (plus lots of trees!).  If I was moving to Southern Ontario, though, I'd be looking at Niagara-on-the-Lake/St-Catherines/Niagara Falls region. Again, close to the US border (for you, not a consideration for me) but, really, some of the mildest winter in Canada with an early spring and the amazing splendour of the falls themselves (which are even greater than the Great Lakes, as far as I'm concerned).

One option that hasn't been mentioned that may be of interest to Great-Lakes loving people with an interest in a connection to the midwest is Thunder Bay.  I've never been but I've heard lots of good things, mostly about the natural beauty in the surroundings.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Shinplaster on August 15, 2018, 09:58:25 PM
Born and raised in Thunder Bay.  If you like isolation, cold weather for months on end and expensive everything, this is the place.  4 hours to Duluth, Minn., I think 9 hours to Winnipeg, and a very long drive to Toronto.  Said trip in the winter could involve your entire engine freezing up while you are driving - yes, it gets that cold sometimes.  Flying everywhere costs a lot - the airlines don't discount much 'cause they don't have to.   Summertime is very pretty - the lake, the parks, Kakabeka Falls, the Finn restaurants, camping, hiking, all that good stuff.  Winter time is another story - not Hoth (Winnipeg gets the honour of that nickname), but pretty close. It's not as cold as it used to be 30 years ago, but still pretty frigid.   It was a great place to grow up, but I couldn't wait to get out.  I wouldn't recommend anyone move there without experiencing a winter first.   Although I will say they know how to plow streets there, unlike London.  Here they seem to have the attitude that Mother Nature gave us the snow, and she will take it away again eventually.

Funny - I lived in Kingston for almost 8 years, and rarely even drove by the Kingston Pen.  Don't let the Pen colour your opinion of Kingston Dee.  It really was (and hopefully still is) a lovely city.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 16, 2018, 05:40:28 AM
Thanks and keep the info coming! It's very helpful to have multiple perspectives. I'd like to hear more about living frugally in these places… Do people live without cars? Are there good, free things to do in all seasons?

I'm getting discouraged about the immigration process, though. It seems we are short on points for the federal express entry system, so we're going to have to rely on a provincial nomination, which probably means we are limited to Ontario or PEI. Not sure what the odds of getting a nomination are, but i'm guessing not good. :(
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: yow on August 16, 2018, 06:23:07 AM
I live in the east-end of Ottawa (Orleans) and work west of downtown (Westboro).

I own a car but almost never use it. The bus service is really good and I use my bike for a lot of my commuting (27km) as the cycling infrastructure is great.

You have to try quite hard in this city to live far away from grocery stores, shopping malls and recreation centres.

If you are looking to work locally and are in the tech field then you are likely going to want to live closer to the west-end of the city as that where many of those type of jobs tend to be.

Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 16, 2018, 08:39:12 AM
Old Thyme, Aunt Jemima, Mrs Butterworth, it's all awesome.  I prefer artificially flavoured corn syrup dyed brown on my pancakes to real maple syrup . . . which I believe is technically a form of high treason in this country.


:P

This is grounds for extradition.  Go back to where you came from, you . . . .

Seriously, all those brands you mention?  I'd rather put something else on my pancakes than those imitations.  Homemade jam, anyone?

Yes, I grew up in La Belle Province.  Maple syrup, smoked meat, bagels, good French cuisine, a civilized attitude towards alcohol consumption.  Good food is taken seriously in Quebec*.   Almost makes up for winter and politics.

*A few years ago a bunch of us went to the Twist Festival in Saint-André-Avellin, which is a small town (population 3,700). We went for lunch at a little bistro across from the Subway.  Potted tomatoes and herbs at the front door.  Lovely lunch, <$15.   We remarked that a town that size in Ontario would never have a restaurant like that.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 16, 2018, 08:53:19 AM

Because there's a shared linguistic and cultural history, there are a number of words that seem like they should match up but don't (faux amis).  Location is a good example: in english it means 'where you are" while in french it refers to a rental (like a car rental). It leads to some pretty comical situations.


Yep.
Fuck me.

It took until I was 30 to realize that “actuellement” doesn’t mean “actually” but instead means “currently”

FML

"Rampant".  In French it is "creeping".  I think it was Pauline Marois who managed to send totally different messages - she called English in Quebec "rampant" - she meant creeping (sort of like poison ivy or kudzu, you know?) and Anglophones were all going - Rampant?  No way!" because of the different meaning.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Paul der Krake on August 16, 2018, 09:04:01 AM
I'm getting discouraged about the immigration process, though. It seems we are short on points for the federal express entry system, so we're going to have to rely on a provincial nomination, which probably means we are limited to Ontario or PEI. Not sure what the odds of getting a nomination are, but i'm guessing not good. :(
How short? Keep adjusting your answers until you qualify, then figure out how to get there. It's just a formula and therefore highly manipulable.

How does getting one more year of work experience help? What about going from knowing no French to knowing a little French?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 16, 2018, 09:18:12 AM
How short? Keep adjusting your answers until you qualify, then figure out how to get there. It's just a formula and therefore highly manipulable.
How does getting one more year of work experience help? What about going from knowing no French to knowing a little French?

Well, the things i'm losing major points on aren't really under my control. Unless someone has a time machine.

I'm about 40-45 points shy of the typical cutoff for Express Entry. French isn't going to make up that difference.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Fireinthebelly on August 19, 2018, 08:47:34 AM
Earning US $ and spending in Canadian $ is a big plus.  (currently a 30% bonus although things do cost slightly more in canada, but not 30% more)   Free healthcare (excluding prescription drugs) is a huge plus for FIRE.   Housing costs in canada are very high right now, we are in a multi-decade boom in real estate, so that may be a negative, but it's local market specific.     If you have children there is a very generous Canada Child Benefit that provides tax free payments to families up to 6000$ per year per child.  (it is prorated based on family income.)   Cost of food and consumer goods, is slightly higher in canada, so a slight negative.     University tuition (if you have kids you are saving for) is much lower.   Eating out, alcohol and gas, are all much higher in canada, but as a mustachian you probably don't consume too much of those ;)

Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 19, 2018, 09:13:11 AM

"Rampant".  In French it is "creeping".  I think it was Pauline Marois who managed to send totally different messages - she called English in Quebec "rampant" - she meant creeping (sort of like poison ivy or kudzu, you know?) and Anglophones were all going - Rampant?  No way!" because of the different meaning.

Either way she intended it, I'm pretty certain Pauline Marois did not use the word "rampant" as a positive description of english speakers in Quebec.
We're a scourge on the culture, and should be bred out, pushed out, marginalized and curtailed! Nevermind one cannot cleave the impacts (positive and negative) of four generations under english law, nor the latest 150 years as a province in a dominantly english country.  Quebec is, always has been and forever will be french, everything else is invasive!

Also, what do to about all these pesky first nation communities throughout the province?  We really must locate them before they drain our social services and pollute our culture.
:-P
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 19, 2018, 05:01:58 PM

"Rampant".  In French it is "creeping".  I think it was Pauline Marois who managed to send totally different messages - she called English in Quebec "rampant" - she meant creeping (sort of like poison ivy or kudzu, you know?) and Anglophones were all going - Rampant?  No way!" because of the different meaning.

Either way she intended it, I'm pretty certain Pauline Marois did not use the word "rampant" as a positive description of english speakers in Quebec.
We're a scourge on the culture, and should be bred out, pushed out, marginalized and curtailed! Nevermind one cannot cleave the impacts (positive and negative) of four generations under english law, nor the latest 150 years as a province in a dominantly english country.  Quebec is, always has been and forever will be french, everything else is invasive!

Also, what do to about all these pesky first nation communities throughout the province?  We really must locate them before they drain our social services and pollute our culture.
:-P

You certainly got immersed in Quebec culture while you were there!

Much as I loved living in Quebec (and grew up there) I am just fine living in Ontario, never going back.  I didn't move to Ontario for political reasons, but I won't go back because of the politics.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 19, 2018, 05:58:53 PM

"Rampant".  In French it is "creeping".  I think it was Pauline Marois who managed to send totally different messages - she called English in Quebec "rampant" - she meant creeping (sort of like poison ivy or kudzu, you know?) and Anglophones were all going - Rampant?  No way!" because of the different meaning.

Either way she intended it, I'm pretty certain Pauline Marois did not use the word "rampant" as a positive description of english speakers in Quebec.
We're a scourge on the culture, and should be bred out, pushed out, marginalized and curtailed! Nevermind one cannot cleave the impacts (positive and negative) of four generations under english law, nor the latest 150 years as a province in a dominantly english country.  Quebec is, always has been and forever will be french, everything else is invasive!

Also, what do to about all these pesky first nation communities throughout the province?  We really must locate them before they drain our social services and pollute our culture.
:-P

You certainly got immersed in Quebec culture while you were there!

Much as I loved living in Quebec (and grew up there) I am just fine living in Ontario, never going back.  I didn't move to Ontario for political reasons, but I won't go back because of the politics.

Two quick anecdotes since you got me started:
1) my SO and I both worked in fishing communities adjacent to native communities.  In both cases the Quebecois-fishermen basically seized control of their areas during the silent revolution, and have ensured that it will continue to be owned and controlled by a relatively small group of french-speaking famiilies in purpetuity.  At the same time, they openly complain about the 'lazy and entitled' natives who are 'trying to steal our resource' just because they are born under a certain culture.  Yet this doesn't strike them as odd.

2) Every few years the Québec redoes their elementary-school textbooks.  Last year there was quite a kurfluffle among the english speaking community because the new history textbook proposed was 200+ pages and had just three paragraphs mentioning anyone who was a native english speaker.  It was as if none had contributed anything to Quebec in 400+ years of living there.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 20, 2018, 05:37:02 AM
Earning US $ and spending in Canadian $ is a big plus.  (currently a 30% bonus although things do cost slightly more in canada, but not 30% more)   Free healthcare (excluding prescription drugs) is a huge plus for FIRE.   Housing costs in canada are very high right now, we are in a multi-decade boom in real estate, so that may be a negative, but it's local market specific.     If you have children there is a very generous Canada Child Benefit that provides tax free payments to families up to 6000$ per year per child.  (it is prorated based on family income.)   Cost of food and consumer goods, is slightly higher in canada, so a slight negative.     University tuition (if you have kids you are saving for) is much lower.   Eating out, alcohol and gas, are all much higher in canada, but as a mustachian you probably don't consume too much of those ;)

Thanks, @Fireinthebelly! This is the kind of information i am very interested in. We don't have kids and will not have kids, so those generous benefits aren't available to us. However, we also don't eat out, consume alcohol, or have a car, so those added expenses aren't going to affect us either. We plan to rent at least to start, so we'll see how the housing market develops over the coming years.

As far as the exchange rate, it seems like mostly a wash given price and tax differences. Do you agree or would i come out ahead by earning USD and spending CAD? It's really hard for me to tell having never spent more than a few days in Canada at a time.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 20, 2018, 06:11:58 AM
Earning US $ and spending in Canadian $ is a big plus.  (currently a 30% bonus although things do cost slightly more in canada, but not 30% more)   Free healthcare (excluding prescription drugs) is a huge plus for FIRE.   Housing costs in canada are very high right now, we are in a multi-decade boom in real estate, so that may be a negative, but it's local market specific.     If you have children there is a very generous Canada Child Benefit that provides tax free payments to families up to 6000$ per year per child.  (it is prorated based on family income.)   Cost of food and consumer goods, is slightly higher in canada, so a slight negative.     University tuition (if you have kids you are saving for) is much lower.   Eating out, alcohol and gas, are all much higher in canada, but as a mustachian you probably don't consume too much of those ;)

Thanks, @Fireinthebelly! This is the kind of information i am very interested in. We don't have kids and will not have kids, so those generous benefits aren't available to us. However, we also don't eat out, consume alcohol, or have a car, so those added expenses aren't going to affect us either. We plan to rent at least to start, so we'll see how the housing market develops over the coming years.

As far as the exchange rate, it seems like mostly a wash given price and tax differences. Do you agree or would i come out ahead by earning USD and spending CAD? It's really hard for me to tell having never spent more than a few days in Canada at a time.

Regarding health care, I'd urge you to research the rules for each province you may live in (Ontario & Quebec seem to be the most likely here).  You will not automatically get access to the Provinical health care system merely by being physically present in Canada. We had to cover our own private insurance for three years before we had access to Quebec's health care (RAMQ), and there was a lot of hoops to jump through. We were also disappointed by the level of care offered through the governmental system compared to what we were used to under employer-sponsored health care systems.  If you can qualify for Provincial health care there's no doubt that it can save you a lot of money compared to paying for your own private insurance in the US.

We personally found the additional tax burden in Canada (particularly sales tax, or VAT) to eat away at any of the 'advantage' we had by having US dollars and the increased cost of most everyday items, so in the end it was pretty much a wash for us.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 20, 2018, 06:36:02 AM
Regarding health care, I'd urge you to research the rules for each province you may live in (Ontario & Quebec seem to be the most likely here).  You will not automatically get access to the Provinical health care system merely by being physically present in Canada.

My understanding is that once we receive our permanent residency, we should be eligible to apply for public health insurance. According to canada.ca, the application may be delayed up to three months depending on the province. Since we're in this for the long term, we will patiently continue to use our American health insurance, which i also realize may have limitations outside of Canada. I guess that's another reason to live in Windsor: Close access to US health care facilities until we can make the full transition to Canadian permanent residency.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 20, 2018, 06:52:34 AM
Regarding health care, I'd urge you to research the rules for each province you may live in (Ontario & Quebec seem to be the most likely here).  You will not automatically get access to the Provinical health care system merely by being physically present in Canada.

My understanding is that once we receive our permanent residency, we should be eligible to apply for public health insurance. According to canada.ca, the application may be delayed up to three months depending on the province. Since we're in this for the long term, we will patiently continue to use our American health insurance, which i also realize may have limitations outside of Canada. I guess that's another reason to live in Windsor: Close access to US health care facilities until we can make the full transition to Canadian permanent residency.

There's another option, and that's to simply carry private health care insurance within Canada (it exists!) That's what we did - actually we were required to have private insurance as part of our permits. Generally speaking you are correct that you will have access to public health insurance once you gain permanent residency, but even then there are conditions. For example, Quebec limits the number of days per year you can spend outside of the province and maintain your RAMQ card (182).  If you decide to spend 6 months traveling you might find you are SOL with health care unless you plan ahead.

I'm sorry if I seem like I'm harping on this, but it was a major hurdle for us moving to Canada, and it is something that even Canadians don't seem to understand very well (as citizens they often had not had to go through any hoops, nor have many experienced other systems).  The biggest misconception most people from the US have is that there is one Canadian Federal single-payer (or "free") health care system.  This is completely false.  By law, each province administers their own health care system, and the rules, availability and quality of the services offered differs from Province to Province.  Even many Canadians carry supplemental health insurance which pays for things like faster service at private clinics, physical therapy, Rx and prosthetics (often limited to the basic model).
Additionally, while there are agreements in place between the provinces, should you need medical care while in another Province you can wind up in a world of partial reimbursements and medical verification.  All Canadians are advised to carry travelers insurance when outside the country, as your provincial health care reimburses for certain procedures and at certain rates, and its very easy (particularly in the US) to have a hospital bill which exceeds what your province will reimburse, or simply will not cover.

Just things to think about when making your decisions.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Retire-Canada on August 20, 2018, 08:12:46 AM
You really want travel insurance if you are travelling in Canada to another province. You will get emergency care and such, but lots of stuff is not covered. For example, you are from BC and get into a car wreck in Ontario and end up in ICU. You won't get a medical flight home covered under your BC health insurance and Ontario will want to get you out of the hospital as fast as possible because you are taking up an expensive bed. Your family is out in BC and probably can't stay in Ontario to support you as they have to work. You can't travel by commercial flight for a few months due to your injuries. This puts everyone into a jam.

With travel insurance you get a medical flight home and you can go home a lot sooner with family support and some in home care provided by your BC health insurance.

My GF works in health care here in BC and they run into inter-provincial insurance issues all the time because you are right Canadians [in general] have a poor understanding of their health care coverage and assume it's a lot more generous than it is.

To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 20, 2018, 08:32:26 AM
...
To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.

Agreed.  I don't want it to sound from my earlier comments that I'm overwhelmingly negative on health care north of the boarder.  There's a lot fo really like about it, and it can make financial planning for early retirees much easier compared to the US.  But there are differences, and pitfalls (like internatioanl and inter-provincial coverage) and fine print (particularly for non-citizens). Due diligence to avoid a potential very bad situation, that's what I'm stressing.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 20, 2018, 11:39:31 AM
We were lucky moving from Quebec to Ontario, it took 3 months for OHIP to kick in but RAMQ covered us for those 3 months.  Not every province has the same rules.  Ontario also has the residency requirements for OHIP, so keeping track of travel is important.

Alberta was fine taking OHIP when I needed a walk-in clinic.  But that was a long time ago, and policies can change.

Supplemental insurance is not hard to find - when I retired I kept my union insurance (they had a separate group policy for retirees) but I could have  arranged for it through my alumni association, or even through Costco!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 20, 2018, 11:40:50 AM
To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.

Thank you all for your advice and information. I have done research on Canadian health insurance and health care and i know there are significant limitations. I should clarify that we are not moving to Canada for the health insurance. We have myriad other reasons. Understanding the "full cost" of health care is an important part of the FI equation, though.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 20, 2018, 12:30:19 PM
To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.

Thank you all for your advice and information. I have done research on Canadian health insurance and health care and i know there are significant limitations. I should clarify that we are not moving to Canada for the health insurance. We have myriad other reasons. Understanding the "full cost" of health care is an important part of the FI equation, though.

We get that. But health care seen from the inside is not the same as looking at it casually from the outside.

On a more important issue, "smoked meat" outside of Quebec is totally not worth eating (except maybe if you are close to the border, i.e. Hawkesbury's Dunn's, or Ottawa).   Smoked meat is not corned beef or pastrami or any of those other salted/smoked  meats.  This is serious food knowledge.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on August 20, 2018, 12:38:19 PM
To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.

Thank you all for your advice and information. I have done research on Canadian health insurance and health care and i know there are significant limitations. I should clarify that we are not moving to Canada for the health insurance. We have myriad other reasons. Understanding the "full cost" of health care is an important part of the FI equation, though.

We get that. But health care seen from the inside is not the same as looking at it casually from the outside.

On a more important issue, "smoked meat" outside of Quebec is totally not worth eating (except maybe if you are close to the border, i.e. Hawkesbury's Dunn's, or Ottawa).   Smoked meat is not corned beef or pastrami or any of those other salted/smoked  meats.  This is serious food knowledge.

Curious from someone who never ventured further west than Ottawa - what's the acceptable radius of poutine around Quebec?  Does it extend all the way to Windsor?
I ask because that's among the cities mentioned to the OP...



Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: TrMama on August 20, 2018, 12:46:25 PM
The biggest misconception most people from the US have is that there is one Canadian Federal single-payer (or "free") health care system.  This is completely false.  By law, each province administers their own health care system, and the rules, availability and quality of the services offered differs from Province to Province.  Even many Canadians carry supplemental health insurance which pays for things like faster service at private clinics, physical therapy, Rx and prosthetics (often limited to the basic model).
Additionally, while there are agreements in place between the provinces, should you need medical care while in another Province you can wind up in a world of partial reimbursements and medical verification.  All Canadians are advised to carry travelers insurance when outside the country, as your provincial health care reimburses for certain procedures and at certain rates, and its very easy (particularly in the US) to have a hospital bill which exceeds what your province will reimburse, or simply will not cover.

Just things to think about when making your decisions.

The bolded section is critical. As a Canadian, I didn't understand the ramifications of this until we moved from BC to Quebec. I used to complain about the waits for BC health care when we lived here. Then we moved to QC and I learned how much worse it can get. Not only do you wait forever (5 weeks to get an appointment with our GP), but you're treated with a level of contempt and disdain usually reserved for inmates and then sometimes get substandard care to boot.

Further, even though the provinces are supposed to honour each other's health insurance, in practice it doesn't always work that way. I had a fellow BC born friend when we lived in QC who used to schedule her daughter's annual checkups and vaccinations for when she was visiting her family back in BC. She paid out of pocket for these services which she could've gotten for free in QC because BC doctors simply won't accept a RAMQ card for payment. I thought she was nuts until the day we were back home and my own kid got sick. I happily handed over $75 for the appointment and another $70 for the medicine. We were treated like sentient human beings and got great care. After only 2 years of dealing with the QC system, it felt like the heavens had opened and the angels were singing.

When I called my extended health insurer to see if they'd cover the $145 bill I'd incurred, they coded it as an 'out of country' medical expense.

QC is a lovely place and I loved living there on the days we were healthy. However, you simply cannot get sick there.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 20, 2018, 01:54:39 PM
At the risk of this becoming a Canadian health insurance rant thread, what do people pay for supplementary insurance in Canada?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FLBiker on August 20, 2018, 02:03:19 PM
Posting to follow.

We're also in the process of applying for skilled worker permanent resident visas.  And we're looking mostly in Ontario and Halifax.  We're planning to keep working for a while in Canada, hopefully part-time.  I really appreciate the recommendations about different places to live.  DW and I are both university teachers, although we're both open to other types of work as well.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: elaine amj on August 20, 2018, 02:05:03 PM
At the risk of this becoming a Canadian health insurance rant thread, what do people pay for supplementary insurance in Canada?
My husband is covered by his work and we pay $400/mo for myself and two kids to be covered under his plan. It's a generous plan though - $400/2yrs for glasses / contacts, $1600/yr for paramedics services.

---------------------

Camp Mustache Toronto (Sep 21-23) is where all the cool Mustachians will be gathering for meatball parties,  karaoke in the bell tower and VolleyHockeyBall!

Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: elaine amj on August 20, 2018, 02:17:25 PM
Off the board suggestion:  Windsor, ON.  Okay, it's probably not as nice as London but you're a tunnel bus ride away from all of the big city amenities in Detroit.  The housing is cheaper in Windsor and the waterfront is gorgeous!

Thanks for the suggestion, @Aminul. Windsor is actually on our short list. Being from the upper Midwest, it's very close to our hometown, so that's a plus. Unfortunately we know no one that lives there and everyone we've talked to says bad things about Windsor. That usually makes me more inclined to check it out. :D

I lived there for three years while going to school, and I know a handful of folks that currently live in/around Windsor.  I really enjoyed my time there.  The riverfront is beautiful and there are trails that stretch from the very east end down to the bridge.  Having the bridge and tunnel there really do connect you to Detroit in a unique way.  It is incredibly easy to go over for a hockey/baseball game.  If you are concerned about Canadian winters, Windsor has it the easiest of any larger city in this area.  When London gets hammered with lake effect snow from Huron, Windsor stays wet and slushy.

For better or worse, city council has poured a ton of money into making Windsor into a "world class destination", specifically around sporting events (hockey and swimming).  I'm sure there are other similar investments that have worked to improve the city for folks coming in.
I live in Windsor and while I drool over many other more beautiful parts of Canada, we genuinely like living here and would likely stay even with nothing thing us down.

I like it because:
- small, relaxed, quiet city. Slower pace of life, very casual
- no traffic jams. I grumble at rush hour when I have to wait an extra 5 mins
- easy access to big city amenities with Detroit just 5 mins away ( yay for Detroit airport)and Toronto only 4 hours away.
- living at the border often means the best of both worlds.
- while biking infrastructure is still a work in progress, it's not bad and gradually improving.  Also, the surrounding County is close by with miles and miles of quiet, winding, FLAT country roads.
- wonderful waterfront. We're on a peninsular surrounded by water and have gorgeous waterfront parks.
- milder weather. Way less snow than many other parts of Canada. I appreciate that a lot.
- cheaper housing and lower COL.
- lots of festivals and free things to do.

My biggest con is having no wilderness nearby. Mostly developed farmland around here although there are some conservation areas, 1 Provincial Park, and 1 national park (all have fees though). I usually hit up a few local city parks to hike and just deal with it. We drive 3-8 hours away for car camping. Still, the weather alone makes it worth it to me to stay here.


---------------------

Camp Mustache Toronto (Sep 21-23) is where all the cool Mustachians will be gathering for meatball parties,  karaoke in the bell tower and VolleyHockeyBall!

Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on August 20, 2018, 02:25:10 PM
I live in Windsor and while I drool over many other more beautiful parts of Canada, we genuinely like living here and would likely stay even with nothing thing us down.

Windsor definitely rapidly climbing our list. I'm planning an extended visit for later next month to scope it out. Bonus: Detroit is one of the few US cities i haven't been to, so i'll tick that one off, too!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: elaine amj on August 20, 2018, 02:28:17 PM



Windsor definitely rapidly climbing our list. I'm planning an extended visit for later next month to scope it out. Bonus: Detroit is one of the few US cities i haven't been to, so i'll tick that one off, too!

You should combine it with coming to Camp Mustache Toronto to meet some awesome Canadian Mustachians :) Plus, we'll be at a pretty lakefront summer camp near Toronto with swimming, canoeing, and even a high ropes course!


---------------------

Camp Mustache Toronto (Sep 21-23) is where all the cool Mustachians will be gathering for meatball parties,  karaoke in the bell tower and VolleyHockeyBall!

Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: TrMama on August 20, 2018, 03:07:01 PM
At the risk of this becoming a Canadian health insurance rant thread, what do people pay for supplementary insurance in Canada?

Our supplementary, employer-provided policies (yes, we have 2) cover prescriptions, dental (no provincial program covers dental), vision, travel medical (all medical coverage outside Canada),  some coverage for durable medical equipment (casts, lifts, prosthetics, orthotics, ramps, wheelchairs, wigs, etc) plus some coverage for massage, physio, psychologists, speech therapists, audiologists, etc.

Prescriptions and the big durable medical equipment coverage are IMO the most important things to cover. These are very rarely optional and even though prescriptions are cheaper here than in the US, they're still not cheap. Some provinces have income-based prescription plans (BC and QC, for example). However, usually if you're working, your income will disqualify you for those.

DH and I opted to buy extended health coverage from both of our employers. So we pay double premiums, but it means that things like prescriptions end up being 100% covered, and all the semi-optional stuff is covered to a large degree. Double coverage makes the most sense for families with children, since the premiums aren't much more than for single people, but obviously kids can rack up a lot of expenses. I've done the math and we come out way ahead using this strategy. The math supporting double policies makes less sense for a couple w/o kids. However, I'd never opt to go without an extended health policy. Lots of people do, but never by choice.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Lovelywings on August 21, 2018, 10:48:21 AM
I thought I'd chime in here OP though my situation differs lot from yours. But since you asked for diverse perspectives...

I'm an African who lived, studied and worked in the US for 14 years, all on visas. By comparison, Canada is way more welcoming of immigrants, especially brown ones. I couldn't get a green card in the states despite trying for many years. I got one in Canada within 9 months despite never having lived there.

I moved to Toronto and I freaking love it here. I need diversity, culture, and public transportation and quirk. Toronto is better than any US city I have visited or lived in. It  just suits my personality I think. I'm not yet qualified for OHIP so I can't speak much to healthcare. But I will say that I'm finding more holistic care options here, and that out of pocket prices are cheaper.

For housing, everyone says Toronto/Canadian cities are expensive. But it really depends on your basr comparison. I was surprised to find Toronto is cheaper to rent than DC, where I lived, at least for shared housing. For a 1 br by myself, prices are comparable. I'm currently paying $1125 for my room in a 2 bed 2 bath smack downtown and close to everything. There's a gym and pool in the building. In DC I would be paying US$1300. Bear in mind I'm currently studying so my USD savings are supporting my CAD living expenses.

Food options - groceries are slightly more expensive EXCEPT in Chinatown/Kensington market. I was shocked the other day to buy 2 pounds of tomatoes and peppers and a cabbage for $10. That's the bonus of living in a megacity.

I'm finding sorting out my money is a pain in the ass. Im probably going to liquidate my ROTH 401K because I have no legal status in the US and don't want the hassle of faking an address. Chase allowed me to keep my Sapphire card with a Toronto residence. I'm moving my savings to Wealth Simple, which I'm super excited about. Banking options are pretty pathetic in Canada so  glad some boutique online services exist.

What else? Because America didn't deem me worthy of a green card 😁 I don't have to worry about dual taxation! In terms of jobs, I decided to change careers to try and break into tech which is positively booming in Toronto.

All that is to say, a move like this is completely dependent on the individual, their priorities, and the value of whatever they are giving up. I gave up being trapped in stressful jobs because of my visa, in a city I came to hate, in a culture I grew weary of....to start over as a legal permanent resident in a kinder, more proudly diverse and slower environment. Not being able to buy Cetaphil at a reasonable price is the least of my worries at the moment .
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 03, 2018, 07:11:38 PM
First visit to Canada this weekend since we decided to start the immigration process. Visited Montreal for the first time and it was…a lot to process. Many, many, many pros and cons, but my highlights are:

Pros:
* Very impressed by the bicycling infrastructure. I knew about Bixi already, but the amount of bicycling lanes, etc is impressive, especially for a (very) cold weather city.
* Loved all the parks dotted all around the city. In Philly, there are a lot of neighborhoods that don't have much green space at all, so this was a treat. Parc du Fontaine was especially awesome on a holiday weekend. So much activity, yet it didn't seem too crowded.
* Both the Atwater market and the Little Italy market were very impressive. Again, compared to Philly, it puts both our Italian Market and Reading Terminal to shame.
* The metro was amazing, efficient, and fast to get to a lot of places.
* Everywhere we went felt very safe. Lots of activity pretty much all day and night.

Cons:
* Not as walkable as Philly. I kind of have unreasonable expectations, but because there are so many traffic signals and no one crosses against the lights, it takes a long time to walk anywhere.
* Metro doesn't go everywhere.
* Neighborhoods aren't very distinct; somewhat monotonous. Philly neighborhoods have this problem too. Hard to really get a sense of this in just two days, but I almost always felt like I was in the same place throughout the city.
* Aside from the old stuff (and the Olympic Stadium), not a lot of striking architecture. Philly has this problem, too. I expected more from Montreal given how much interesting new stuff there is to look at in Toronto.
* People seem a little frosty for Canadians. I know they have the reputation, but I figured they'd still have some Canadian niceness. Our host told us that people don't generally socialize with their neighbors in Montreal, which is something that is great about our current neighborhood in Philly: We know everyone on the block and everyone helps each other out (with pets when away, package delivery, etc). All the service folks we interacted with were great, though, and we had no problems interacting in both minimal French and in English.

One thing traveling and considering living somewhere else does is make you reflect on your current situation. I definitely see a lot of the pros and cons of where we currently live more vividly now. However, we're still dedicated to immigrating to Canada. Next up: Windsor later this month!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: elaine amj on September 04, 2018, 08:41:40 PM
Loved your thoughts on Montreal and looking forward to hearing your impressions of Windsor when you visit. They are two VERY different cities.

---------------------

Camp Mustache Toronto (Sep 21-23) is where all the cool Mustachians will be gathering for meatball parties,  karaoke in the bell tower and VolleyHockeyBall!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 04, 2018, 09:23:57 PM
Loved your thoughts on Montreal and looking forward to hearing your impressions of Windsor when you visit. They are two VERY different cities.

Will definitely do. I'll be staying for a whole week, so I should have plenty of time to collect good experiences.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 05, 2018, 05:14:10 AM
Code: [Select]
Not as walkable as Philly. I kind of have unreasonable expectations, but because there are so many traffic signals and no[b] one crosses against the lights, [/b]it takes a long time to walk anywhere. lol - yes!  Very bizarre behavior for me, but even early in the morning with no cars coming in either direction people stand and wait for the walk signal, whereas in most US cities people just go when they feel its safe (and sometimes they are jerks and block traffic)

Keep posting your impressions, i'm enjoying reading them.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on September 05, 2018, 08:09:42 AM
Code: [Select]
Not as walkable as Philly. I kind of have unreasonable expectations, but because there are so many traffic signals and no[b] one crosses against the lights, [/b]it takes a long time to walk anywhere. lol - yes!  Very bizarre behavior for me, but even early in the morning with no cars coming in either direction people stand and wait for the walk signal, whereas in most US cities people just go when they feel its safe (and sometimes they are jerks and block traffic)

Keep posting your impressions, i'm enjoying reading them.

I found the opposite problem in Montreal.
It was a daily challenge not to hit university students running across Penfield/ Des Pins with their ear-buds in, oblivious to oncoming cars. I felt like if I drove in Montreal long enough, eventually I would end up hitting a student.

I was driving in Montreal last summer. It was really difficult for me actually. I didn't realize the large number of "no left turns from this hour to that hour", signs at basically every intersection. I got honked at a few times for turning left, though what they yelled at me is anyone's best guess.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Dee on September 05, 2018, 08:46:53 PM
yeah, it seems to me Montreal has more jaywalking than most places I've been (Note: pretty much all places I've been have been within Canada) so that makes me wonder if you will be struck by even less jaywalking every where else you visit in Canada.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: GuitarStv on September 06, 2018, 11:29:00 AM
We jaywalk a lot in Toronto too.  Most smaller towns and cities it's kinda rare though.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 06, 2018, 02:26:18 PM
My experience is with Quebec City much more so than Montreal. 
However, for comparison I'd like to say that before moving to Canada I never really knew 'Jaywalking' was a crime.  I mean, you have to actually wait for the little walk symbol, really?

Interesting history of Jaywalking, and how groups like the AAA successfully gave cars priority within city limits:
https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2012/04/invention-jaywalking/1837/ (https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2012/04/invention-jaywalking/1837/)
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FLBiker on September 06, 2018, 02:52:39 PM
Thanks for sharing these impressions.  We're heading to Toronto in November, with an eye towards permanent residency.  Windsor is on our list as well (as is Halifax).  We shall see!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Dee on September 06, 2018, 07:27:45 PM
You know, on further thought, one place I really noticed car traffic coming a complete stop for pedestrians at crossings was in New Hampshire. It seems like in my neck of the woods (Ottawa, mostly), drivers will slow down to let people cross at designated spots in front of grocery stores but in NH, it seemed like drivers were jamming on the brakes as soon as anyone got near a cross walk. It seemed exaggerated.

(Not exactly the same as prominence of jaywalking but it seemed somewhat on topic, so I thought I'd mention it.)

Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 07, 2018, 05:37:02 AM
You know, on further thought, one place I really noticed car traffic coming a complete stop for pedestrians at crossings was in New Hampshire. It seems like in my neck of the woods (Ottawa, mostly), drivers will slow down to let people cross at designated spots in front of grocery stores but in NH, it seemed like drivers were jamming on the brakes as soon as anyone got near a cross walk. It seemed exaggerated.

(Not exactly the same as prominence of jaywalking but it seemed somewhat on topic, so I thought I'd mention it.)
State law here in Maine, and during the summer (tourist) months they patrol crosswalks very heavily.  Most everyone stops if you even approach a crosswalk as a pedestrian.  During the winter months its not nearly so extreme.  Guess this is what happens when half your economy is dependent on summer tourists.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 08, 2018, 06:55:18 AM
You know, on further thought, one place I really noticed car traffic coming a complete stop for pedestrians at crossings was in New Hampshire.

First place I ever experienced cars stopping for pedestrians who intend to cross at crosswalks was in Berkeley, California when I moved there in 1999. Since then, I've observed this behavior in several US cities, particularly in college towns.

What I was originally talking about, though, was pedestrians intentionally crossing against traffic signals (at crosswalks), which is a particular kind of jaywalking very prevalent in Philadelphia. It makes walking places at least 2x faster and isn't particularly unsafe because of Philly's super-narrow Center City streets. Most other North American cities don't have the same narrowness of their city streets (in fact many are extremely wide by design e.g. Salt Lake City). As someone who walks nearly everywhere, this may be the top thing I will miss the most by leaving Philly. It's certainly not the sports fans! :D
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: elaine amj on September 08, 2018, 09:38:58 AM
A few years ago I was staying at a hotel across the street from a conference I was attending in Toronto and there was a lady from Montreal there too. Each morning, I would automatically jaywalk across the street while her natural inclination was to walk to the end of the block, use the crosswalk there, then backtrack to the conference centre. So from my single experience,  I concluded that Montreal-ers don't jaywalk much :)

---------------------

Camp Mustache Toronto (Sep 21-23) is where all the cool Mustachians will be gathering for meatball parties,  karaoke in the bell tower and VolleyHockeyBall!

Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: genesismachine on September 10, 2018, 03:44:05 PM
Can you share how you're going to accomplish moving to Canada please?  I've done some research as well because I'm interested in moving to Canada, but without a company sponsoring you or a family member or investing millions and creating jobs for Canadians, what are the ways you're thinking about using to move there? I'm genuinely interested.

I'm applying under the Skilled Worker immigration program. You need to score 67+ points in six different categories including education, age, work experience, language proficiency, etc. Once you've entered your profile, provinces can also select you as a preferred candidate, which gives you bonus points. You also get points for having a prospective employer, but you are not required to have a job lined up to immigrate.

There are many other programs available as well, including for investors, self-employed, and Canadian relations. We could also apply under the self-employed program, but i've heard that the wait for that could be multiple years.

@SunnyDays: The reason we're seeking a larger city is because we are comfortable in them. I've lived in Philadelphia, Oakland, and other places, so i understand the pros and cons of big city life. For what it's worth, we are also considering some smaller cities like Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor. If people have other suggestions, i'd like to hear them.

We're avoiding the maritimes because they are so far from everything. I think we'd be more inclined to go a smaller town in BC than further east.

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but I'm also looking into Canada right now as an FIRE location. I see that I can easily get in as a skilled worker for permanent residency, but is there any requirement that I actually get a job? What if I just live off investments for 3 years and apply for citizenship? Is this possible? I've been researching to death online and I can't see anything that says this isn't possible.

I would mainly be getting rental income from the US to live off of, so it would be long term ongoing income, not just a temporary spending down of reserves to get citizenship.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Paul der Krake on September 10, 2018, 04:36:14 PM
Can you share how you're going to accomplish moving to Canada please?  I've done some research as well because I'm interested in moving to Canada, but without a company sponsoring you or a family member or investing millions and creating jobs for Canadians, what are the ways you're thinking about using to move there? I'm genuinely interested.

I'm applying under the Skilled Worker immigration program. You need to score 67+ points in six different categories including education, age, work experience, language proficiency, etc. Once you've entered your profile, provinces can also select you as a preferred candidate, which gives you bonus points. You also get points for having a prospective employer, but you are not required to have a job lined up to immigrate.

There are many other programs available as well, including for investors, self-employed, and Canadian relations. We could also apply under the self-employed program, but i've heard that the wait for that could be multiple years.

@SunnyDays: The reason we're seeking a larger city is because we are comfortable in them. I've lived in Philadelphia, Oakland, and other places, so i understand the pros and cons of big city life. For what it's worth, we are also considering some smaller cities like Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor. If people have other suggestions, i'd like to hear them.

We're avoiding the maritimes because they are so far from everything. I think we'd be more inclined to go a smaller town in BC than further east.

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but I'm also looking into Canada right now as an FIRE location. I see that I can easily get in as a skilled worker for permanent residency, but is there any requirement that I actually get a job? What if I just live off investments for 3 years and apply for citizenship? Is this possible? I've been researching to death online and I can't see anything that says this isn't possible.

I would mainly be getting rental income from the US to live off of, so it would be long term ongoing income, not just a temporary spending down of reserves to get citizenship.
My understanding is that you don't need to get a job if you qualify through a program that's not contingent on a job offer. You can just be "self-employed".

Applying for citizenship occurs later, completely optional, and is largely not relevant to how you qualified in the first place for permanent residence. Same thing in the US and virtually every other country worth living in.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 11, 2018, 05:34:53 AM
Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but I'm also looking into Canada right now as an FIRE location. I see that I can easily get in as a skilled worker for permanent residency, but is there any requirement that I actually get a job? What if I just live off investments for 3 years and apply for citizenship? Is this possible? I've been researching to death online and I can't see anything that says this isn't possible.

Yes, you can apply with the Skilled Worker program without a job. If you get in, you will get an indefinite permanent residence. Citizenship takes six years of residency, where you have to fulfill the requirement of being present in Canada for at least four of the six years. Citizenship grants you the right to vote and some other minor benefits. PR grants you most other things (access to benefits programs, ability to work, etc).
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Kashmani on September 11, 2018, 04:14:53 PM
I have lived as a foreigner in both countries. As a German, I first moved to the United States, and then to Canada. 14 years ago I became a Canadian citizen.

The benefit of Canada is (1) that it is more multicultural and generally more accepting of other cultures and (2) that it has universal healthcare, which is nice for those with pre-existing conditions. But aside from that, the cost of living in the U.S. tends to be much cheaper. Houses, cars, gasoline, food, alcohol and taxes in general are very high here. So unless you are moving for the universal healthcare (which is paid for by significantly higher income taxes), I don't see how such a move could possibly save you money.

Listen - you live in the richest country in the world. You literally have states with a warm climate and no income taxes (Florida). You have a gazillion small towns with cheap housing that aren't as cold as the North Pole. I honestly don't understand why you would want to leave that country.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on September 12, 2018, 06:06:50 AM
I have lived as a foreigner in both countries. As a German, I first moved to the United States, and then to Canada. 14 years ago I became a Canadian citizen.

The benefit of Canada is (1) that it is more multicultural and generally more accepting of other cultures and (2) that it has universal healthcare, which is nice for those with pre-existing conditions. But aside from that, the cost of living in the U.S. tends to be much cheaper. Houses, cars, gasoline, food, alcohol and taxes in general are very high here. So unless you are moving for the universal healthcare (which is paid for by significantly higher income taxes), I don't see how such a move could possibly save you money.

Listen - you live in the richest country in the world. You literally have states with a warm climate and no income taxes (Florida). You have a gazillion small towns with cheap housing that aren't as cold as the North Pole. I honestly don't understand why you would want to leave that country.

I'm doubtful of your number 1 claim. While it feels like Canada is more accepting, or may feel more multicultural, I don't think it actually is. Canada has a White (non-hispanic) population that the US did in 1990. Canada is around 73% White while the US is ~60%. That may not seem like a big difference, but it has created a real power struggle. Canada seems calm now because it is more or less homogeneous enough to still control all the political decisions.

You can observe some of the tensions happening in Toronto today. If and when Canada's demographics look more like the US's, I think you'll see similar political battles.

But as you state. Canada is cold. All of it. More people are probably less inclined to move there. Cold regions are not highly sought after outside of people of European descent.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 12, 2018, 06:49:25 AM
I have lived as a foreigner in both countries. As a German, I first moved to the United States, and then to Canada. 14 years ago I became a Canadian citizen.

The benefit of Canada is (1) that it is more multicultural and generally more accepting of other cultures and (2) that it has universal healthcare, which is nice for those with pre-existing conditions. But aside from that, the cost of living in the U.S. tends to be much cheaper. Houses, cars, gasoline, food, alcohol and taxes in general are very high here. So unless you are moving for the universal healthcare (which is paid for by significantly higher income taxes), I don't see how such a move could possibly save you money.

Listen - you live in the richest country in the world. You literally have states with a warm climate and no income taxes (Florida). You have a gazillion small towns with cheap housing that aren't as cold as the North Pole. I honestly don't understand why you would want to leave that country.

I'm doubtful of your number 1 claim. While it feels like Canada is more accepting, or may feel more multicultural, I don't think it actually is. Canada has a White (non-hispanic) population that the US did in 1990. Canada is around 73% White while the US is ~60%. That may not seem like a big difference, but it has created a real power struggle. Canada seems calm now because it is more or less homogeneous enough to still control all the political decisions.

You can observe some of the tensions happening in Toronto today. If and when Canada's demographics look more like the US's, I think you'll see similar political battles.

This is an interesting, almost philisophical argument:  Canada seems more accepting because its majority does not yet feel under threat due to its supermajority.
I'm not sure if I buy either claim.

To start out, which region of Canada you are talking about makes an enormous difference when comparing it to the US.  Both countries have areas that are widely accepting as well as regions that are intensely resistant to outsiders.  Québec city always struck me as the latter - with is in itself very interesting because its QC is among the least diverse cities in either country.  Just a few hours down the road Montréal has one of the most diverse compositions of any city in Eastern Canada (along with Toronto).  Are there tensions and racist assholes there?  Absolutely, but by-and-large both the laws/regulations and the citizens there are very accepting of outsiders, much like NYC.  At the same time, politicians in QC openly talk about the "Montreal problem" - it took me years to udnerstand that this so-called 'Montreal problem" was that Montreal was assimilating so many immigrants that people outside Montreal started considering it 'un-quebeçois'. 
I hear similar arguments made in the US - people from overwhelmingly white, conservative areas point to cities like LA or Chicago as 'crime-ridden cesspools overrun by immigrants who don't share our values'. These statements were made openly during the 2016 GOP primary and Presidential election.  Yet people who are actually from those cities have a fairly positive opinion of their area.

I will say that at this moment Immigration Canada unequivocally has policies that are far more friendly to educated foreigners becoming Canadian citizens than does the US. Right now the US is undergoing a contraction in legal immigration. 

Quote
But as you state. Canada is cold. All of it. More people are probably less inclined to move there. Cold regions are not highly sought after outside of people of European descent.


um...no?  The BC coast is pretty darn temperate, rarely dropping more than a few degrees below freezing along the coast.   It's gets far colder in many US cities (e.g. Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Milwaukee...) than it ever does in Vancouver, Canada's 3rd largest city.
As Retireat63 pointed out, something like 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the US boarder, and while enormous the northern half of the country is largely uninhabited. Much of Canada gets quite warm in the summer too (~90ºF/32ºC).  The climate in parts is not very different from much of Europe, as you say, but large swaths of Canada are in the same summer/winter temperature ranges as Japan and Korea and Northern China, as well as southern Argentina, Chile and Peru.
There's a couple hundred million people on several continents that live in climates typical of most Canadian cities.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on September 12, 2018, 07:10:57 AM

Quote
But as you state. Canada is cold. All of it. More people are probably less inclined to move there. Cold regions are not highly sought after outside of people of European descent.


um...no?  The BC coast is pretty darn temperate, rarely dropping more than a few degrees below freezing along the coast.   It's gets far colder in many US cities (e.g. Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Milwaukee...) than it ever does in Vancouver, Canada's 3rd largest city.
As Retireat63 pointed out, something like 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the US boarder, and while enormous the northern half of the country is largely uninhabited. Much of Canada gets quite warm in the summer too (~90ºF/32ºC).  The climate in parts is not very different from much of Europe, as you say, but large swaths of Canada are in the same summer/winter temperature ranges as Japan and Korea and Northern China, as well as southern Argentina, Chile and Peru.
There's a couple hundred million people on several continents that live in climates typical of most Canadian cities.

Fair enough. I have visited both coasts of Canada: PEI and Victoria. But I only visited during the July-September timeframe. It's lovely, but also not what most modern immigrants would call summer weather. I would personally love to live in either of those locations. Though the amount of daylight/darkness might be more off-putting than the temperature.

However, the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration. They are not part of either the Central American migration or African/Middle Eastern/ Southeast Asian refugees. As far as I know, the regions you mention are not experiencing a mass exodus.

Perhaps that is what it would take for Canada to reach that level of diversity. Mass exodus from other cold regions of the world.

These are honestly just some random thoughts floating in my brain. I'm not saying they're correct. But Canada is more isolated geographically, White, and urbanized than the US. They are also a much smaller country population wise. Canada does not weigh more political power to rural areas. (As far as I know?). Canada has never been less White than the US (in the past 200 years). So I would personally be hesitant to think that that won't change should Canada have similar population shifts.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 12, 2018, 08:00:35 AM

Quote
But as you state. Canada is cold. All of it. More people are probably less inclined to move there. Cold regions are not highly sought after outside of people of European descent.


um...no?  The BC coast is pretty darn temperate, rarely dropping more than a few degrees below freezing along the coast.   It's gets far colder in many US cities (e.g. Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Milwaukee...) than it ever does in Vancouver, Canada's 3rd largest city.
As Retireat63 pointed out, something like 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the US boarder, and while enormous the northern half of the country is largely uninhabited. Much of Canada gets quite warm in the summer too (~90ºF/32ºC).  The climate in parts is not very different from much of Europe, as you say, but large swaths of Canada are in the same summer/winter temperature ranges as Japan and Korea and Northern China, as well as southern Argentina, Chile and Peru.
There's a couple hundred million people on several continents that live in climates typical of most Canadian cities.

Fair enough. I have visited both coasts of Canada: PEI and Victoria. But I only visited during the July-September timeframe. It's lovely, but also not what most modern immigrants would call summer weather. I would personally love to live in either of those locations. Though the amount of daylight/darkness might be more off-putting than the temperature.

However, the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration. They are not part of either the Central American migration or African/Middle Eastern/ Southeast Asian refugees. As far as I know, the regions you mention are not experiencing a mass exodus.

Perhaps that is what it would take for Canada to reach that level of diversity. Mass exodus from other cold regions of the world.

These are honestly just some random thoughts floating in my brain. I'm not saying they're correct. But Canada is more isolated geographically, White, and urbanized than the US. They are also a much smaller country population wise. Canada does not weigh more political power to rural areas. (As far as I know?). Canada has never been less White than the US (in the past 200 years). So I would personally be hesitant to think that that won't change should Canada have similar population shifts.

I think a core problem with this line of thinking is that it starts with the phrases "Canada is..." and "the US is..."  To paraphrase a Canadian former broadcaster: one of the great mistakes that Canadians make is to consider it to be nationally homogenous in terms of its views, composition and culture.  The same can be said of Canada.
There are regions in both countries which are overwhelmingly white and religiously homogenous. At the same time there are metropolitan areas that are very diverse.

I'm also confused by what you mean when you say that 'the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration.'  Vancouver is 1/3 Asian, and very soon whites will no longer be in the majority.  Likewise Toronto is only 50% white, and a good chunk (~1/3) of its population is from African or South-Asian decent. Likewise, 1/3 of Montréal and Calgary are 'visible minorities' with most coming from 'warm weather' locales like Africa, the Middle East and SE Asia.  Collectively these are Canada's four largest metropolitan areas.  To the degree that one can make sweeping generalizations about a geographically huge country like Canada, it is that it has seen a large influx of 'visible minorities' from mostly 'warm countries' into its largest cities over the last several decades, somuchso that 'White-Canadians' will no longer hold a majority in many places within the next decade.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on September 12, 2018, 08:32:39 AM

Quote
But as you state. Canada is cold. All of it. More people are probably less inclined to move there. Cold regions are not highly sought after outside of people of European descent.


um...no?  The BC coast is pretty darn temperate, rarely dropping more than a few degrees below freezing along the coast.   It's gets far colder in many US cities (e.g. Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Milwaukee...) than it ever does in Vancouver, Canada's 3rd largest city.
As Retireat63 pointed out, something like 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the US boarder, and while enormous the northern half of the country is largely uninhabited. Much of Canada gets quite warm in the summer too (~90ºF/32ºC).  The climate in parts is not very different from much of Europe, as you say, but large swaths of Canada are in the same summer/winter temperature ranges as Japan and Korea and Northern China, as well as southern Argentina, Chile and Peru.
There's a couple hundred million people on several continents that live in climates typical of most Canadian cities.

Fair enough. I have visited both coasts of Canada: PEI and Victoria. But I only visited during the July-September timeframe. It's lovely, but also not what most modern immigrants would call summer weather. I would personally love to live in either of those locations. Though the amount of daylight/darkness might be more off-putting than the temperature.

However, the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration. They are not part of either the Central American migration or African/Middle Eastern/ Southeast Asian refugees. As far as I know, the regions you mention are not experiencing a mass exodus.

Perhaps that is what it would take for Canada to reach that level of diversity. Mass exodus from other cold regions of the world.

These are honestly just some random thoughts floating in my brain. I'm not saying they're correct. But Canada is more isolated geographically, White, and urbanized than the US. They are also a much smaller country population wise. Canada does not weigh more political power to rural areas. (As far as I know?). Canada has never been less White than the US (in the past 200 years). So I would personally be hesitant to think that that won't change should Canada have similar population shifts.

I think a core problem with this line of thinking is that it starts with the phrases "Canada is..." and "the US is..."  To paraphrase a Canadian former broadcaster: one of the great mistakes that Canadians make is to consider it to be nationally homogenous in terms of its views, composition and culture.  The same can be said of Canada.
There are regions in both countries which are overwhelmingly white and religiously homogenous. At the same time there are metropolitan areas that are very diverse.

I'm also confused by what you mean when you say that 'the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration.'  Vancouver is 1/3 Asian, and very soon whites will no longer be in the majority.  Likewise Toronto is only 50% white, and a good chunk (~1/3) of its population is from African or South-Asian decent. Likewise, 1/3 of Montréal and Calgary are 'visible minorities' with most coming from 'warm weather' locales like Africa, the Middle East and SE Asia.  Collectively these are Canada's four largest metropolitan areas.  To the degree that one can make sweeping generalizations about a geographically huge country like Canada, it is that it has seen a large influx of 'visible minorities' from mostly 'warm countries' into its largest cities over the last several decades, somuchso that 'White-Canadians' will no longer hold a majority in many places within the next decade.

You've changed the argument on me. The argument was that Canada doesn't have a similar climate to areas of large emigration. The fact that almost all immigrants settle in a few places goes to my point that Canada is more urban than the US in general. The problem that you are talking about emerging in the Toronto area in the next decade has been happening in the US for several decades. Modern immigration aside, the US has always been dealing with a wider variety of backgrounds than Canada. I'm not saying that that is a good or bad thing. It's just the reality of their respective histories.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: letsdoit on September 12, 2018, 09:01:15 AM
Hey,

For various reasons, my SO and i have decided to attempt to immigrate from the US to Canada. I would love to hear from the MMM community about the pitfalls of such a move and generally whether this is a positive step from a frugality and FIRE perspective or a step back. I'm really interested to hear from people who have done this or seriously considered it and backed out. 

We are currently living in Philadelphia and are targeting either Montreal or one of several non-Toronto cities in Ontario. I intend to keep my job with an American company and work remotely. My wife is an author and we have a limited liability partnership in the US to publish her work. We also own a piece of a house (the bank owns the rest via mortgage).

Thanks for any advice, well wishes, facepunches or other thoughts! :D

i'm no expert but  i love montreal 's vibe and cheap housing.  quebec housing is very cheap.  altho i have heard ppl slog the city of quebec for being provincial and close minded
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIRE47 on September 12, 2018, 09:31:29 AM

Quote
But as you state. Canada is cold. All of it. More people are probably less inclined to move there. Cold regions are not highly sought after outside of people of European descent.


um...no?  The BC coast is pretty darn temperate, rarely dropping more than a few degrees below freezing along the coast.   It's gets far colder in many US cities (e.g. Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Milwaukee...) than it ever does in Vancouver, Canada's 3rd largest city.
As Retireat63 pointed out, something like 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the US boarder, and while enormous the northern half of the country is largely uninhabited. Much of Canada gets quite warm in the summer too (~90ºF/32ºC).  The climate in parts is not very different from much of Europe, as you say, but large swaths of Canada are in the same summer/winter temperature ranges as Japan and Korea and Northern China, as well as southern Argentina, Chile and Peru.
There's a couple hundred million people on several continents that live in climates typical of most Canadian cities.

Fair enough. I have visited both coasts of Canada: PEI and Victoria. But I only visited during the July-September timeframe. It's lovely, but also not what most modern immigrants would call summer weather. I would personally love to live in either of those locations. Though the amount of daylight/darkness might be more off-putting than the temperature.

However, the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration. They are not part of either the Central American migration or African/Middle Eastern/ Southeast Asian refugees. As far as I know, the regions you mention are not experiencing a mass exodus.

Perhaps that is what it would take for Canada to reach that level of diversity. Mass exodus from other cold regions of the world.

These are honestly just some random thoughts floating in my brain. I'm not saying they're correct. But Canada is more isolated geographically, White, and urbanized than the US. They are also a much smaller country population wise. Canada does not weigh more political power to rural areas. (As far as I know?). Canada has never been less White than the US (in the past 200 years). So I would personally be hesitant to think that that won't change should Canada have similar population shifts.

Huh? July to Sept how much hotter do you want things?

I'm sure the summer is hotter during a deadly heat wave in many regions but other than that not sure how much hotter than the high 20's low 30s (80-90s) you want the weather to be during the summer. If any thing the fact that it doesnt get much hotter than low 90s most days is a good thing - especially as the trend to warmer weather continues.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 12, 2018, 10:34:17 AM

Quote
But as you state. Canada is cold. All of it. More people are probably less inclined to move there. Cold regions are not highly sought after outside of people of European descent.


um...no?  The BC coast is pretty darn temperate, rarely dropping more than a few degrees below freezing along the coast.   It's gets far colder in many US cities (e.g. Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Milwaukee...) than it ever does in Vancouver, Canada's 3rd largest city.
As Retireat63 pointed out, something like 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the US boarder, and while enormous the northern half of the country is largely uninhabited. Much of Canada gets quite warm in the summer too (~90ºF/32ºC).  The climate in parts is not very different from much of Europe, as you say, but large swaths of Canada are in the same summer/winter temperature ranges as Japan and Korea and Northern China, as well as southern Argentina, Chile and Peru.
There's a couple hundred million people on several continents that live in climates typical of most Canadian cities.

Fair enough. I have visited both coasts of Canada: PEI and Victoria. But I only visited during the July-September timeframe. It's lovely, but also not what most modern immigrants would call summer weather. I would personally love to live in either of those locations. Though the amount of daylight/darkness might be more off-putting than the temperature.

However, the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration. They are not part of either the Central American migration or African/Middle Eastern/ Southeast Asian refugees. As far as I know, the regions you mention are not experiencing a mass exodus.

Perhaps that is what it would take for Canada to reach that level of diversity. Mass exodus from other cold regions of the world.

These are honestly just some random thoughts floating in my brain. I'm not saying they're correct. But Canada is more isolated geographically, White, and urbanized than the US. They are also a much smaller country population wise. Canada does not weigh more political power to rural areas. (As far as I know?). Canada has never been less White than the US (in the past 200 years). So I would personally be hesitant to think that that won't change should Canada have similar population shifts.

I think a core problem with this line of thinking is that it starts with the phrases "Canada is..." and "the US is..."  To paraphrase a Canadian former broadcaster: one of the great mistakes that Canadians make is to consider it to be nationally homogenous in terms of its views, composition and culture.  The same can be said of Canada.
There are regions in both countries which are overwhelmingly white and religiously homogenous. At the same time there are metropolitan areas that are very diverse.

I'm also confused by what you mean when you say that 'the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration.'  Vancouver is 1/3 Asian, and very soon whites will no longer be in the majority.  Likewise Toronto is only 50% white, and a good chunk (~1/3) of its population is from African or South-Asian decent. Likewise, 1/3 of Montréal and Calgary are 'visible minorities' with most coming from 'warm weather' locales like Africa, the Middle East and SE Asia.  Collectively these are Canada's four largest metropolitan areas.  To the degree that one can make sweeping generalizations about a geographically huge country like Canada, it is that it has seen a large influx of 'visible minorities' from mostly 'warm countries' into its largest cities over the last several decades, somuchso that 'White-Canadians' will no longer hold a majority in many places within the next decade.

You've changed the argument on me. The argument was that Canada doesn't have a similar climate to areas of large emigration. The fact that almost all immigrants settle in a few places goes to my point that Canada is more urban than the US in general. The problem that you are talking about emerging in the Toronto area in the next decade has been happening in the US for several decades. Modern immigration aside, the US has always been dealing with a wider variety of backgrounds than Canada. I'm not saying that that is a good or bad thing. It's just the reality of their respective histories.

No.  the point that I am trying to make is that making sweeping generalizations about either countries leads to lots of erroneous conclusions, particularly on a regional level. I'm certainly NOT calling these shifts problems, but these demographic shifts have been ongoing for decades, not just something which has is predicted to happen in the coming decades. Heck, Toronto was more diverse than Chicago back in the 1980s. Sure, Quebec is way less diverse than California, but the reverse could be said about Montana and Ontario.  If we insist on comparing the entire countries, about the major difference is that the US has had a much larger latino population per capita for decades while Canada has had a great deal more immigration from SE Asia (again, relative to their population sizes).

You are also mistaken that 'Canada is more urban than the US in general'. Currently both countries have roughly ~80% of their population living in metropolitan areas. Both countries have trended towards increasingly urban populations since the 1980s.  Its also not at all clear how you measuring immigration when you say that "the US has always been dealing with a wider variety of backgrounds than Canada".  Canada and the US have followed largely parallel tracks with occasional differences.  Ironically, in the last several decades Canada has allowed more immigrants per capita than the US, and these immigrants are overwhelmingly from many of the places you speak of.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: GuitarStv on September 12, 2018, 10:46:00 AM

Quote
But as you state. Canada is cold. All of it. More people are probably less inclined to move there. Cold regions are not highly sought after outside of people of European descent.


um...no?  The BC coast is pretty darn temperate, rarely dropping more than a few degrees below freezing along the coast.   It's gets far colder in many US cities (e.g. Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Milwaukee...) than it ever does in Vancouver, Canada's 3rd largest city.
As Retireat63 pointed out, something like 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the US boarder, and while enormous the northern half of the country is largely uninhabited. Much of Canada gets quite warm in the summer too (~90ºF/32ºC).  The climate in parts is not very different from much of Europe, as you say, but large swaths of Canada are in the same summer/winter temperature ranges as Japan and Korea and Northern China, as well as southern Argentina, Chile and Peru.
There's a couple hundred million people on several continents that live in climates typical of most Canadian cities.

Fair enough. I have visited both coasts of Canada: PEI and Victoria. But I only visited during the July-September timeframe. It's lovely, but also not what most modern immigrants would call summer weather. I would personally love to live in either of those locations. Though the amount of daylight/darkness might be more off-putting than the temperature.

However, the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration. They are not part of either the Central American migration or African/Middle Eastern/ Southeast Asian refugees. As far as I know, the regions you mention are not experiencing a mass exodus.

Perhaps that is what it would take for Canada to reach that level of diversity. Mass exodus from other cold regions of the world.

These are honestly just some random thoughts floating in my brain. I'm not saying they're correct. But Canada is more isolated geographically, White, and urbanized than the US. They are also a much smaller country population wise. Canada does not weigh more political power to rural areas. (As far as I know?). Canada has never been less White than the US (in the past 200 years). So I would personally be hesitant to think that that won't change should Canada have similar population shifts.

I think a core problem with this line of thinking is that it starts with the phrases "Canada is..." and "the US is..."  To paraphrase a Canadian former broadcaster: one of the great mistakes that Canadians make is to consider it to be nationally homogenous in terms of its views, composition and culture.  The same can be said of Canada.
There are regions in both countries which are overwhelmingly white and religiously homogenous. At the same time there are metropolitan areas that are very diverse.

I'm also confused by what you mean when you say that 'the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration.'  Vancouver is 1/3 Asian, and very soon whites will no longer be in the majority.  Likewise Toronto is only 50% white, and a good chunk (~1/3) of its population is from African or South-Asian decent. Likewise, 1/3 of Montréal and Calgary are 'visible minorities' with most coming from 'warm weather' locales like Africa, the Middle East and SE Asia.  Collectively these are Canada's four largest metropolitan areas.  To the degree that one can make sweeping generalizations about a geographically huge country like Canada, it is that it has seen a large influx of 'visible minorities' from mostly 'warm countries' into its largest cities over the last several decades, somuchso that 'White-Canadians' will no longer hold a majority in many places within the next decade.

You've changed the argument on me. The argument was that Canada doesn't have a similar climate to areas of large emigration. The fact that almost all immigrants settle in a few places goes to my point that Canada is more urban than the US in general. The problem that you are talking about emerging in the Toronto area in the next decade has been happening in the US for several decades. Modern immigration aside, the US has always been dealing with a wider variety of backgrounds than Canada. I'm not saying that that is a good or bad thing. It's just the reality of their respective histories.

Given that I'm a white guy living in an area of the East end that is about 70% minority from warm climates, I'm a little confused.  What 'problem' are you referring to that is emerging in the Toronto area?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on September 12, 2018, 11:26:58 AM
You are also mistaken that 'Canada is more urban than the US in general'. Currently both countries have roughly ~80% of their population living in metropolitan areas. Both countries have trended towards increasingly urban populations since the 1980s.  Its also not at all clear how you measuring immigration when you say that "the US has always been dealing with a wider variety of backgrounds than Canada".  Canada and the US have followed largely parallel tracks with occasional differences.  Ironically, in the last several decades Canada has allowed more immigrants per capita than the US, and these immigrants are overwhelmingly from many of the places you speak of.

You're right. I got this one wrong. That was an assumption on my part.

Here's a great study on population differences between the US and Canada through time:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768295/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768295/)

Though I don't have the time right now to go through it all...
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on September 12, 2018, 11:40:09 AM

Quote
But as you state. Canada is cold. All of it. More people are probably less inclined to move there. Cold regions are not highly sought after outside of people of European descent.


um...no?  The BC coast is pretty darn temperate, rarely dropping more than a few degrees below freezing along the coast.   It's gets far colder in many US cities (e.g. Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Milwaukee...) than it ever does in Vancouver, Canada's 3rd largest city.
As Retireat63 pointed out, something like 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the US boarder, and while enormous the northern half of the country is largely uninhabited. Much of Canada gets quite warm in the summer too (~90ºF/32ºC).  The climate in parts is not very different from much of Europe, as you say, but large swaths of Canada are in the same summer/winter temperature ranges as Japan and Korea and Northern China, as well as southern Argentina, Chile and Peru.
There's a couple hundred million people on several continents that live in climates typical of most Canadian cities.

Fair enough. I have visited both coasts of Canada: PEI and Victoria. But I only visited during the July-September timeframe. It's lovely, but also not what most modern immigrants would call summer weather. I would personally love to live in either of those locations. Though the amount of daylight/darkness might be more off-putting than the temperature.

However, the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration. They are not part of either the Central American migration or African/Middle Eastern/ Southeast Asian refugees. As far as I know, the regions you mention are not experiencing a mass exodus.

Perhaps that is what it would take for Canada to reach that level of diversity. Mass exodus from other cold regions of the world.

These are honestly just some random thoughts floating in my brain. I'm not saying they're correct. But Canada is more isolated geographically, White, and urbanized than the US. They are also a much smaller country population wise. Canada does not weigh more political power to rural areas. (As far as I know?). Canada has never been less White than the US (in the past 200 years). So I would personally be hesitant to think that that won't change should Canada have similar population shifts.

I think a core problem with this line of thinking is that it starts with the phrases "Canada is..." and "the US is..."  To paraphrase a Canadian former broadcaster: one of the great mistakes that Canadians make is to consider it to be nationally homogenous in terms of its views, composition and culture.  The same can be said of Canada.
There are regions in both countries which are overwhelmingly white and religiously homogenous. At the same time there are metropolitan areas that are very diverse.

I'm also confused by what you mean when you say that 'the areas you mention are not large sources of immigration.'  Vancouver is 1/3 Asian, and very soon whites will no longer be in the majority.  Likewise Toronto is only 50% white, and a good chunk (~1/3) of its population is from African or South-Asian decent. Likewise, 1/3 of Montréal and Calgary are 'visible minorities' with most coming from 'warm weather' locales like Africa, the Middle East and SE Asia.  Collectively these are Canada's four largest metropolitan areas.  To the degree that one can make sweeping generalizations about a geographically huge country like Canada, it is that it has seen a large influx of 'visible minorities' from mostly 'warm countries' into its largest cities over the last several decades, somuchso that 'White-Canadians' will no longer hold a majority in many places within the next decade.

You've changed the argument on me. The argument was that Canada doesn't have a similar climate to areas of large emigration. The fact that almost all immigrants settle in a few places goes to my point that Canada is more urban than the US in general. The problem that you are talking about emerging in the Toronto area in the next decade has been happening in the US for several decades. Modern immigration aside, the US has always been dealing with a wider variety of backgrounds than Canada. I'm not saying that that is a good or bad thing. It's just the reality of their respective histories.

Given that I'm a white guy living in an area of the East end that is about 70% minority from warm climates, I'm a little confused.  What 'problem' are you referring to that is emerging in the Toronto area?

The problem of racial tensions getting worse. I've spent very little time in Toronto. Mostly in Brampton. It doesn't take much reading too much news to find that these international groups are perfectly integrated:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/brampton-a-story-of-political-importance-power-and-ethnic-enclaves/article30273820/ (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/brampton-a-story-of-political-importance-power-and-ethnic-enclaves/article30273820/)
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FIPurpose on September 12, 2018, 11:54:52 AM
No.  the point that I am trying to make is that making sweeping generalizations about either countries leads to lots of erroneous conclusions, particularly on a regional level. I'm certainly NOT calling these shifts problems, but these demographic shifts have been ongoing for decades, not just something which has is predicted to happen in the coming decades. Heck, Toronto was more diverse than Chicago back in the 1980s. Sure, Quebec is way less diverse than California, but the reverse could be said about Montana and Ontario.  If we insist on comparing the entire countries, about the major difference is that the US has had a much larger latino population per capita for decades while Canada has had a great deal more immigration from SE Asia (again, relative to their population sizes).

You're right I made sweeping generalizations that were not correct. There are diverse places and non diverse places in both countries. I was trying to create bigger trends but really just ended up trying to fit the facts into a narrative I already had in my mind.

It's difficult to compare a countries that have different geographies and a population difference of 10x. Someone in the states could be living in Atlanta and think that the US has little Asian immigration while someone living in Seattle will think that the black population is much smaller than it actually is. But I think it's a mistake to take Canada's marginally larger immigration numbers to create the narrative that that makes Canada better at integrating or treating foreigners better. As I've said, I don't think white Canada has actually felt the loss of political power that WASP Americans have. I don't think Canada has the magical culture that will avoid the recent nationalism that is being seen in the US and Europe.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: letsdoit on September 12, 2018, 06:15:11 PM
i've always had the hunch (i hope i'm wrong) that canada will become more  backlashy against immigration and integration.  US and australia certainly are
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FLBiker on September 13, 2018, 09:13:51 AM
Listen - you live in the richest country in the world. You literally have states with a warm climate and no income taxes (Florida). You have a gazillion small towns with cheap housing that aren't as cold as the North Pole. I honestly don't understand why you would want to leave that country.

As a Floridian in the process of applying for Canadian residency, I feel compelled to reply.  The simple answer is because there are more important things to me than money and outdoor air temperature (without denying that both of those things are nice). 

The longer answer undoubtedly varies for everyone.  For us, it mostly comes down to where we think we'd like to raise our daughter (she's 3).  We'd like her to go to school without active shooter drills and armed guards.  We'd like her to grow up in a place that believes everyone should have basic health insurance.  With an eye towards the longer long term, we'd like to set her up in a place that seems somewhat well positioned for climate change (small population, lots of fresh water, lots of land, fewer guns).  Admittedly, it's a crap shoot in a lot of ways -- we might not get in, there might be other problems that end up bothering us more (as every place is imperfect), things might change -- but we feel like she'll be set up better for the next 100 or so years in Canada than in the US.  It also seems like it wouldn't be a bad place to FIRE since healthcare is separate from employment.  We're probably about 70% of the way there.  We shall see.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 13, 2018, 09:19:54 AM
i've always had the hunch (i hope i'm wrong) that canada will become more  backlashy against immigration and integration.  US and australia certainly are
What do you think would cause this shift?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: letsdoit on September 13, 2018, 10:55:14 AM
i do not have the expertise to answer this question. 
alot of countries are becoming more while nationalist and many (yikes!) closer to dictatorships
again, i hope i am wrong that canada would follow the trend . 
si vous etes de la belle province, assuming that is quebec, i would be interested to hear your opinion. 
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FLBiker on September 13, 2018, 11:31:00 AM
i've always had the hunch (i hope i'm wrong) that canada will become more  backlashy against immigration and integration.  US and australia certainly are
What do you think would cause this shift?

To be honest, my wife and I both kind of think this, too.  The reality is, as people get more scared (ie as resources get scarcer, terrorism attacks and other violence more frequent, extreme weather more frequent) nationalism is a common side effect.  That's part of why (as white people) we chose Canada over some place like Taiwan (where I lived for 5 years and really love).  It's unfortunate that such things were part of our considerations, but they were.

Also, though, these things (nationalism / anti-immigrant / etc.) tend to ebb and flow, like lots of things, so it's tough to know if / when the next cycle will hit.  I certainly do agree, though, that it's a common trend in many countries right now.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Paul der Krake on September 13, 2018, 12:06:24 PM
i've always had the hunch (i hope i'm wrong) that canada will become more  backlashy against immigration and integration.  US and australia certainly are
What do you think would cause this shift?
Trusting people who don't look like you is a very new phenomenon, and much easier in small doses. Some countries are better than others at it, no doubt.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 13, 2018, 12:56:38 PM
Listen - you live in the richest country in the world. You literally have states with a warm climate and no income taxes (Florida). You have a gazillion small towns with cheap housing that aren't as cold as the North Pole. I honestly don't understand why you would want to leave that country.

…And you don't need to. My reasons are my own.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Prairie Stash on September 13, 2018, 02:36:11 PM
Listen - you live in the richest country in the world. You literally have states with a warm climate and no income taxes (Florida). You have a gazillion small towns with cheap housing that aren't as cold as the North Pole. I honestly don't understand why you would want to leave that country.

…And you don't need to. My reasons are my own.
Don't worry, millions of Canadians understand your reasons quite well. Honestly, many of us don't understand why you would want to stay in America ;)

Don't feel a need to defend your reasons, Kashmani was taking a cheap shot at Canada and trying to imply it wasn't as good a country. Its a fairly common American response, most non-americans worldwide are quite use to the sentiment that some Americans think their country is #1 in all ways. We gladly accept Americans who are willing to give other places a chance to show how nice life can be.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 13, 2018, 03:25:47 PM
We gladly accept Americans who are willing to give other places a chance to show how nice life can be.

That's our hope. :D
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 13, 2018, 04:27:18 PM
Listen - you live in the richest country in the world. You literally have states with a warm climate and no income taxes (Florida). You have a gazillion small towns with cheap housing that aren't as cold as the North Pole. I honestly don't understand why you would want to leave that country.

…And you don't need to. My reasons are my own.
Don't worry, millions of Canadians understand your reasons quite well. Honestly, many of us don't understand why you would want to stay in America ;)

Don't feel a need to defend your reasons, Kashmani was taking a cheap shot at Canada and trying to imply it wasn't as good a country. Its a fairly common American response, most non-americans worldwide are quite use to the sentiment that some Americans think their country is #1 in all ways. We gladly accept Americans who are willing to give other places a chance to show how nice life can be.

Yup.

There’s more to living somewhere than just weather and taxes.
Besides, some of us are huge fans of the services that our taxes buy us and would prefer to live somewhere with higher taxes.

Personally, my dream is to move to Iqaluit, which is fucking cold, oppressively dark half the year, and insanely expensive to live with extremely limited resources. I’m willing to pay a premium to be cold and inconvenienced.
Different people have different priorities.

I rather like the weather in Canada - at least along the boarder where most of the population lives.  Iqualuit - wow.  I spent a day there enroute to Qikiqtarjuaq. Very interesting airport but I'm sure that's a place I'd want to live permanently. To each their own though.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Mrs.Piano on September 19, 2018, 02:44:29 PM
My husband was the one who decided to move from the US to Canada to live, and the only place that would do was Toronto.  Personally, I liked Windsor very much, also Montreal and Kingston, but he did not want to compromise on his dream.  We were both shocked at the prices but in the end, we bought a detached house in Toronto.  We are considered seasonal residents and are able to do everything except work, vote, or use the health system.  There are no children, but if we had them, they would not be eligible to enroll in school under the seasonal resident status.  We like it here and it is a great place for Mustachian living after FI, with excellent public transport and plenty of access to money-saving opportunities.  Without FI, of course, it is a terrible place to live.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: letsdoit on September 19, 2018, 03:17:58 PM
My husband was the one who decided to move from the US to Canada to live, and the only place that would do was Toronto.  Personally, I liked Windsor very much, also Montreal and Kingston, but he did not want to compromise on his dream.  We were both shocked at the prices but in the end, we bought a detached house in Toronto.  We are considered seasonal residents and are able to do everything except work, vote, or use the health system.  There are no children, but if we had them, they would not be eligible to enroll in school under the seasonal resident status.  We like it here and it is a great place for Mustachian living after FI, with excellent public transport and plenty of access to money-saving opportunities.  Without FI, of course, it is a terrible place to live.

of course, terrible?  how so?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Mrs.Piano on September 19, 2018, 05:16:18 PM
The housing prices are so astronomical that it is much more difficult than necessary to build FI. The average detached house costs CAD 1.5 million, for example. We also paud15% foreign buyers tax.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 20, 2018, 05:35:04 AM
The housing prices are so astronomical that it is much more difficult than necessary to build FI. The average detached house costs CAD 1.5 million, for example. We also paud15% foreign buyers tax.

Yeah, that's why we're not even considering anything within 100km of Toronto or Vancouver. I'm headed to Windsor on Saturday to scope it out. It's the front-runner right now…
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: FLBiker on September 20, 2018, 07:50:44 AM
We are considered seasonal residents and are able to do everything except work, vote, or use the health system.

So what happens if you get sick / injured?  Do you have to pay out of pocket?  Or can do you carry private insurance?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 20, 2018, 08:34:33 AM
A few years ago I was staying at a hotel across the street from a conference I was attending in Toronto and there was a lady from Montreal there too. Each morning, I would automatically jaywalk across the street while her natural inclination was to walk to the end of the block, use the crosswalk there, then backtrack to the conference centre. So from my single experience,  I concluded that Montreal-ers don't jaywalk much :)

I don't know what happened, we sure used to.  I was at a conference in a small town in upper New York State in the early 80's, and a bunch of us walked into town for dinner.  The other Montrealer and I crossed at all the red lights, while everyone else stopped.  There was truly no street traffic.

I also was shocked at how good Toronto drivers were at stopping for pedestrian crossings (this was in the 50's and 60's) - you took your life in your hands expecting a Montreal driver to stop for you.  Things have changed, Toronto is a horrible city to drive in now, I sure would not want to be a pedestrian there.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Mrs.Piano on September 20, 2018, 07:38:31 PM
We have insurance in the US, which covers us for emergencies in other countries. Part of the requirements for being seasonal residents is that you have a residence outside of Canada.  We are also just finishing getting our documents for Express Entry (permanent residency) with our lawyer. If for some reason that does not succeed, the lawyer advises one of us to get an additional Master’s degree as a Canadian student, which should then be enough points no matter what. Until either being admitted as permanent residents or as student and spouse, we will just stay seasonal residents.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 24, 2018, 10:27:19 AM
I'm at the airport awaiting my flight back home after visiting Windsor. I was supposed to be there all week, but i only needed about 3 hours to determine that Windsor is not the place for us. Let's start with the pros.

Pros: Proximity to Detroit…which is a surprisingly nice city. A decent riverwalk (though Detroit's is orders of magnitude better). Some nice housing stock in the Walkerville neighborhood, if you're into old suburban living. Inexpensive housing costs.

Cons: Not particularly walkable. Very little public transit. Very little investment in infrastructure, parks, public space, etc. Very little apparent culture or arts. Very few amenities in the city center.

In short, based on our desire to maintain our current car-free, walkable lifestyle with access to lots of cultural amenities, Windsor is completely bankrupt. I literally booked the first flight out of here once i arrived. Detroit is a much better option, but our goal is still to land somewhere in Canada.

Victoria is next on the list. We'll be visiting in early November. We may also have to resurrect Kingston and plan a trip there, too.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Retire-Canada on September 24, 2018, 10:35:13 AM
Victoria is next on the list. We'll be visiting in early November. We may also have to resurrect Kingston and plan a trip there, too.

Drop me a line when you have some dates. I can meet you for a beer and give you a local perspective. I've lived in ON/PQ/AB and BC. I haven't found anyplace I would rather live in Canada than Vancouver Island. I came out to Victoria 8yrs ago and love the place.

I spent 6yr in Kingston. Nice town. If I had to live in ON I'd consider it.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: DaMa on September 24, 2018, 12:09:45 PM
Detroit is not a walkable city either.  If you live here, you really have to have a car, and car insurance is ridiculously expensive.

My DH is a Canadian citizen, and I often wonder if moving to Canada is a good option for FIRE.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Paul der Krake on September 24, 2018, 12:40:53 PM
I was kinda shocked by how tiny Victoria really is. Fewer than 100,000 people, tons of tourism, little industry, not that much cheaper than Vancouver. Totally eclipsed on the economic side of things, being on an island with no bridges will do that to you. Beautiful city though.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Retire-Canada on September 24, 2018, 12:46:44 PM
I was kinda shocked by how tiny Victoria really is. Fewer than 100,000 people, tons of tourism, little industry, not that much cheaper than Vancouver. Totally eclipsed on the economic side of things, being on an island with no bridges will do that to you. Beautiful city though.

The metro Victoria area is closer to 400K people. There are a large number of municipalities all jammed up against each other at the southern tip of Van Isle. I technically live in Saanich, but my mailing address is Victoria, BC and I can throw a Frisbee into Victoria. The economy is booming and there is surprising amount of industry here. I work in aeropace composite manufacturing, another MMMer Chaplin works in heavy industrial equipment manufacturing, etc... Victoria is the most walk-able/bike-able major city I've lived in...partially due to geography, partially due to infrastructure and partially due to mild winter weather.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Paul der Krake on September 24, 2018, 12:56:06 PM
I was kinda shocked by how tiny Victoria really is. Fewer than 100,000 people, tons of tourism, little industry, not that much cheaper than Vancouver. Totally eclipsed on the economic side of things, being on an island with no bridges will do that to you. Beautiful city though.

The metro Victoria area is closer to 400K people. There are a large number of municipalities all jammed up against each other at the southern tip of Van Isle. I technically live in Saanich, but my mailing address is Victoria, BC and I can throw a Frisbee into Victoria. The economy is booming and there is surprising amount of industry here. I work in aeropace composite manufacturing, another MMMer Chaplin works in heavy industrial equipment manufacturing, etc... Victoria is the most walk-able/bike-able major city I've lived in...partially due to geography, partially due to infrastructure and partially due to mild winter weather.
Interesting, I assume the industrious part of town must be outside of the city center? My point of reference is Seattle, where I live (hi neighbor!), and I couldn't comprehend why anyone who can live in either would pick Victoria (or Vancouver, for that matter) in the accumulation phase. In retirement, it's a different story.

I am very curious about the relative lack of rain though. Wikipedia says that the Olympics shelter the city and you guys get much less rain than the rest of the PNW. Is this true in your experience?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Spudd on September 24, 2018, 12:58:38 PM
Is Ottawa off the table? I think it has what you're looking for in terms of walk/bikeability with public transit being very well done.

Kingston is smaller than Ottawa and I'm not sure how good their transit is. I feel like the downtown area is very pretty and walkable, but if you want to go to Walmart or something, you'll need to take a bus.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Retire-Canada on September 24, 2018, 01:14:21 PM
Interesting, I assume the industrious part of town must be outside of the city center? My point of reference is Seattle, where I live (hi neighbor!), and I couldn't comprehend why anyone who can live in either would pick Victoria (or Vancouver, for that matter) in the accumulation phase. In retirement, it's a different story.

I am very curious about the relative lack of rain though. Wikipedia says that the Olympics shelter the city and you guys get much less rain than the rest of the PNW. Is this true in your experience?

I was interested in living in the US at one point. I would have had easy access to a skilled worker visa, but after spending a significant amount of time in the US I decided that I would rather live in Canada. If potential salary and COL were the only factors the US wins, but there are a lot of quality of life items that are better in Canada. So if you handed me a Green Card I'd stay right where I am.

Yes we get a lot less rain than Seattle or Vancouver:

- Victoria = 28"/yr
- Vancouver = 53"/yr
- Seattle = 38"/yr [last 4 yrs more like 44"/yr]

I do outdoor sports all winter and with just a bit of flexibility I rarely have to do stuff in the rain. A lot of it falls at night and in intermittent periods during the day so you can just schedule around it.

BTW - you can thank the lack of bridges [hence the ferry] for the huge amount of recreational infrastructure on Van Isle with so few people actually using them. If you want to get out for a hike, bike, paddle and do some camping without a lot of people to deal with we've got you covered.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: letsdoit on September 24, 2018, 02:10:36 PM
We have insurance in the US, which covers us for emergencies in other countries. Part of the requirements for being seasonal residents is that you have a residence outside of Canada.  We are also just finishing getting our documents for Express Entry (permanent residency) with our lawyer. If for some reason that does not succeed, the lawyer advises one of us to get an additional Master’s degree as a Canadian student, which should then be enough points no matter what. Until either being admitted as permanent residents or as student and spouse, we will just stay seasonal residents.

do you think people really need a lawyer for Exp Entry? do you think it would be pretty easy to follow the guidelines yourselves?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: letsdoit on September 24, 2018, 02:12:35 PM
do you know if you have to finish the master's degree in order to get points or just start it ?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: letsdoit on September 24, 2018, 02:14:14 PM
Is Ottawa off the table? I think it has what you're looking for in terms of walk/bikeability with public transit being very well done.

Kingston is smaller than Ottawa and I'm not sure how good their transit is. I feel like the downtown area is very pretty and walkable, but if you want to go to Walmart or something, you'll need to take a bus.

ottawa seems cool but alot of the jobs want you to speak french at near-native levels. that seems like overkill. 
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 24, 2018, 02:19:50 PM
Is Ottawa off the table? I think it has what you're looking for in terms of walk/bikeability with public transit being very well done.

I’ve been warned off Ottawa by Canadian friends who describe it as a large suburb. It’s on the list, but pretty far down. Maybe below the point where we just scrap the plan altogether.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: singpolyma on September 24, 2018, 02:54:00 PM
I don't know what "cultural amenities" are for sure, but it feels like if you want that Ottawa would be a good choice...
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 24, 2018, 05:01:23 PM
Is Ottawa off the table? I think it has what you're looking for in terms of walk/bikeability with public transit being very well done.

I’ve been warned off Ottawa by Canadian friends who describe it as a large suburb. It’s on the list, but pretty far down. Maybe below the point where we just scrap the plan altogether.

This is not my impression of Ottawa.  If anything, Ottawa’s image is driven by the fact that it is both the nation’s capitol and much, much smaller than Toronto, Montreal or Calgary.   So yeah, you can walk from the downtown hub/Parliament and in ~15 minutes be in neighborhoods with single-family homes. To me that’s a feature, not a bug.  But there is a defined downtown area with modest-sized skyscrapers.  As a capitol city it has a great deal of events and anemites.

I think it’s at least worth spending a day or two there to see if it’s something you like.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 24, 2018, 07:47:03 PM
I think it’s at least worth spending a day or two there to see if it’s something you like.

Fair enough. May work into a Kingston/Ottawa dual trip.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Dee on September 24, 2018, 08:52:38 PM
I loved Victoria and would definitely consider a move there once I hit FIRE. I'm currently in Ottawa, which is also lovely, as explained above by Malkynn (who I didn't realize was in Ottawa).

It's funny how some things can just be a dealbreaker right away and people might not think to tell you them in advance. Like, for you, Windsor was just not going to cut it. For my spouse, after driving from Vancouver to Calgary -- which was truly splendid throughout -- as soon as he saw Calgary on the horizon, he knew it was not a place for him because there were very few trees and residential yards tended to be fully exposed. Immediate dealbreaker. (Not that we'd been thinking of moving there, but good to know it holds no attraction for him.) But not everyone would even notice that about Calgary or think to tell someone about the lack of trees.

So, you're doing your legwork and seeing for yourselves -- perfect.

I hold high hopes for Victoria on your behalf.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 25, 2018, 06:58:25 AM
I hold high hopes for Victoria on your behalf.

I'm keeping my expectations low, but i would love to be back on the west coast. It's a far cry from the Bay Area (where i used to live), but i do love the Pacific time zone. :D

Our biggest concern with Victoria (besides the cost) is the isolation. The PNW itself is pretty isolated from the rest of the countries/continent. Then in Victoria, you're on an island without bridges.

But…you never know until you visit, so that's what we're going to do!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Retire-Canada on September 25, 2018, 07:56:49 AM
Our biggest concern with Victoria (besides the cost) is the isolation. The PNW itself is pretty isolated from the rest of the countries/continent. Then in Victoria, you're on an island without bridges.

But…you never know until you visit, so that's what we're going to do!

If you have to leave the island a lot to be happy the fact you are on an island will be a drag. If you are happy with what's here it's a pretty great place to live. As I alluded to above I look at the ferries as a feature not a negative. They keep visitors at bay so we can enjoy our island in [relative] peace. A bridge would bring over hordes of mainlanders and I think we'd all regret it....despite the easier travel option off the island.


Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 25, 2018, 08:35:41 AM
If you have to leave the island a lot to be happy the fact you are on an island will be a drag. If you are happy with what's here it's a pretty great place to live. As I alluded to above I look at the ferries as a feature not a negative. They keep visitors at bay so we can enjoy our island in [relative] peace. A bridge would bring over hordes of mainlanders and I think we'd all regret it....despite the easier travel option off the island.

Totally understand that. Having never been to Victoria, we need to experience it for ourselves to come to a decision about it's viability as a landing place for us (regardless of affordability, which may torpedo the entire thing).
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: TrMama on September 25, 2018, 10:23:51 AM
Our biggest concern with Victoria (besides the cost) is the isolation. The PNW itself is pretty isolated from the rest of the countries/continent. Then in Victoria, you're on an island without bridges.

But…you never know until you visit, so that's what we're going to do!

If you have to leave the island a lot to be happy the fact you are on an island will be a drag. If you are happy with what's here it's a pretty great place to live. As I alluded to above I look at the ferries as a feature not a negative. They keep visitors at bay so we can enjoy our island in [relative] peace. A bridge would bring over hordes of mainlanders and I think we'd all regret it....despite the easier travel option off the island.

I agree with this completely. The fact that it's its own little world is a feature, not a bug. I always joke that you can tell how long someone's lived here, by simply asking how often they leave The Island. The longer someone's here, the less frequently they travel off island.

If you need to travel frequently, I'd build the cost of flights into your budget. The ferries are indeed a PITA, but the flight to Vancouver (where you can connect to anywhere in the world) is only 20 min.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 25, 2018, 11:05:43 AM
Our biggest concern with Victoria (besides the cost) is the isolation. The PNW itself is pretty isolated from the rest of the countries/continent. Then in Victoria, you're on an island without bridges.

But…you never know until you visit, so that's what we're going to do!

If you have to leave the island a lot to be happy the fact you are on an island will be a drag. If you are happy with what's here it's a pretty great place to live. As I alluded to above I look at the ferries as a feature not a negative. They keep visitors at bay so we can enjoy our island in [relative] peace. A bridge would bring over hordes of mainlanders and I think we'd all regret it....despite the easier travel option off the island.

I agree with this completely. The fact that it's its own little world is a feature, not a bug. I always joke that you can tell how long someone's lived here, by simply asking how often they leave The Island. The longer someone's here, the less frequently they travel off island.

If you need to travel frequently, I'd build the cost of flights into your budget. The ferries are indeed a PITA, but the flight to Vancouver (where you can connect to anywhere in the world) is only 20 min.

Have a good friend who grew up there and who's parents still live on the Island.  Her mother came out for a visit and we got to talking about how often she travels off-island.  Her response: about once or twice a year now.  It used to be much more but now i rarely leave. Just don't have a need to.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: firelight on September 25, 2018, 12:08:39 PM
We are starting to think seriously about moving to Canada as well. We qualify for PR and need to spend time actually getting the PR. I'm loving this thread since it has thrown light on more cities and their pros and cons. Our first choice is still large cities like Vancouver and Toronto (nothing in Quebec due to lack of French) but I think we need to look into Windsor, London and Victoria (milder weather is a big draw).

For those with kids, how easy it is to bring up kids  there? Has anyone moved from US to Canada with kids? How has the transition been? Mine are four and one.

Also any pointers on how to position finances where income=expenses+rrsp+tfsa would be appreciated. We are not looking for adding to our stash but would love to not touch the stash for a few more years if possible.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: SunnyDays on September 25, 2018, 12:40:33 PM
Also any pointers on how to position finances where income=expenses+rrsp+tfsa would be appreciated. We are not looking for adding to our stash but would love to not touch the stash for a few more years if possible.

RRSP contributions are on earned income only, to a max of around 18,000.00 per year per person.  (Could be more by now.)  That's if you have no work pension; if you do, then CRA will tell you what your limit is when you get your statement back after filing taxes.  TFSAs have had a set limit of 5500.00 per year, except for one year when it was 10,000.00.  It's been around 7 or 8 years, so the max is whatever that adds up to be.  However, I don't know if you would be eligible to put in the whole sum if you're just moving to Canada.
If you expect your retirement income to be quite low, then TFSAs are good; otherwise, I think RRSPs are the preferred vehicle.  You could do both, starting with RRSPs, then put the tax rebate you get from that into a TFSA.
I don't have kids, but daycare is pretty expensive, around 25.00 per day at a provincially regulated centre.    There's also before and after school daycare - don't know the price for that.  Probably raising kids here is similar to the US, but with a lot fewer school shootings!  There's a child tax credit offered by the gov't as well, I think in the neighbourhood of 5000.00 per year, but you'd have to check on that.
Come on up, you'll like it here!
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: letsdoit on September 25, 2018, 03:47:34 PM
i;ve never heard of seasonal visa.   is the OP going up on tourist visas and renewing ?
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Mrs.Piano on September 25, 2018, 04:35:50 PM
It is not called a seasonal visa, it is called being a seasonal resident. When we come in, we have with us the papers that show we own the house, and they let us in.  Usually, they do not ask for the papers, but sometimes they do.  One time, I heard the more experienced officer telling the newer one: «  Look at the screen. Madame and Messieur have temporary residence. »

For those who asked if it could be done without a lawyer, we have no idea. Everyone we know used a lawyer.

One gets a certain amount of points for actually getting the graduate degree in Canada, and there afe also some points connected to the number of years one lives in Canada to get the degree? We don’t really know, as it has not come to that.

Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: elaine amj on September 25, 2018, 07:11:20 PM
Our first choice is still large cities like Vancouver and Toronto (nothing in Quebec due to lack of French) but I think we need to look into Windsor, London and Victoria (milder weather is a big draw).

Is London considered to have milder weather? My impression is that they get quite a fair bit of snow dumped on them every winter. Probably less than further north though.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Shinplaster on September 25, 2018, 08:06:08 PM
Our first choice is still large cities like Vancouver and Toronto (nothing in Quebec due to lack of French) but I think we need to look into Windsor, London and Victoria (milder weather is a big draw).

Is London considered to have milder weather? My impression is that they get quite a fair bit of snow dumped on them every winter. Probably less than further north though.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  It's a crap shoot every year.  Most memorable since we've lived here was the 2 day storm about 10 years ago that dumped 150cm on us.  You can never predict where the snowsqualls will go, or how much we'll get.   Many times it isn't snowing here, but Stratford (45 min. away) is getting hammered.  Or vice versa.

Compared to cities like Ottawa, I'd say we get milder winters. Compared to Victoria?  No contest - choose Victoria.
 

 
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 26, 2018, 06:49:46 AM
Sounds like its out of the running, but I'd just add that Quebec City is considerably colder than either Montreal or Ottawa in the wintertime.
Making the drive from QC to Montreal in spring or fall (nowish) you could note how much further along the foliage was, even though Montreal is mostly west and at about the same elevation. Montreal and Ottawa's fall seems to start about 2 weeks later, and spring comes about 2 weeks earlier. 

One thing that always struck me living in Quebec compared to places like Boston or Buffalo is the scarcity of very large snowfalls but the consistency of lighter ones.  In 6 years of living there the most we ever received from a single snowfall was about 30cm (1 foot) and that was newsworthy, but we'd it was also common to get snow accumulation 3 or 4 days a week (generally of 2-4 cm each day).  In comparison, I've lived through multiple snowfalls of 60+ cm along the east coast but snowstorms are often interspaced with weeks of zero accumulation.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on September 26, 2018, 11:38:16 AM
One thing that always struck me living in Quebec compared to places like Boston or Buffalo is the scarcity of very large snowfalls but the consistency of lighter ones.

Boston gets Nor'easters and Buffalo/Syracuse/Rochester get lake effect snow. London gets the same kind of lake effect snow from proximity to Lake Huron.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nereo on September 26, 2018, 12:04:00 PM
One thing that always struck me living in Quebec compared to places like Boston or Buffalo is the scarcity of very large snowfalls but the consistency of lighter ones.

Boston gets Nor'easters and Buffalo/Syracuse/Rochester get lake effect snow. London gets the same kind of lake effect snow from proximity to Lake Huron.
Exactly.
Expect lots of small snowfalls around the Montreal/Ottawa area.  Expect fewer but much more massive snowfalls in places like London.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Prairie Stash on October 05, 2018, 04:02:35 PM
We are starting to think seriously about moving to Canada as well. We qualify for PR and need to spend time actually getting the PR. I'm loving this thread since it has thrown light on more cities and their pros and cons. Our first choice is still large cities like Vancouver and Toronto (nothing in Quebec due to lack of French) but I think we need to look into Windsor, London and Victoria (milder weather is a big draw).

For those with kids, how easy it is to bring up kids  there? Has anyone moved from US to Canada with kids? How has the transition been? Mine are four and one.

Also any pointers on how to position finances where income=expenses+rrsp+tfsa would be appreciated. We are not looking for adding to our stash but would love to not touch the stash for a few more years if possible.
Don't forget the Prairies :) Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg all have advantanges you won't find elsewhere. The prairies have colder extremes but lower humidity, that means it doesn't feel as cold. A -20 in Ottawa is the equivalent of -30 on the prairies. It's a fun rabbit hole learning how humidity can change how a temperature feels.

Its easier raising kids in Canada, from everything I read on this forum. University is inexpensive; I'm saving $40,000 for each child (20% of the principle is government grants). Healthcare isn't an issue, if my child breaks her arm my only concern is her well being (not insurance). Daycare is the same price as the USA, except we get a year off work for maternity/paternity leave...so the first year was free for both my children. My lifetime cost of Daycare will be lower then the typical american cost (I only need it for 4 years until they turn 5 and start school).

The best part of kids in Canada in is the CCB, up to $6500/kid/year under 6 and then its $5500/kid until 18. Its income tested so the more you earn the less you receive, its designed to give basic support to all children. So in a $40k/year FIRE situation the kids will get $10K to cover their expenses, $5000 of which is used to save for University (to get the 20% grants) and $5000 to cover childhood expenses like food and clothing. My FIRE budget ignores their teenage food costs, how does that compare to the American FIRE budget?

TFSA and RRSP are Roth and 401K equivalents, with a few twists. No age limitations, that's a stupid american rule (whats the point if it anyways?). We do rollover of contributions room to allow catch up, but we have lower annual limits. We have friendly tax rules, I have RRSP/TFSA/Taxable accounts, the rules mean I'll pay nothing on withdrawal from my taxable accounts (I plan on under $40k/year living expenses). My wife could also pull money from a taxable, its not combined so hers can also be tax free from the taxable accounts.

Basically Canada is easier to live the FIRE lifestyle; no healthcare insurance concerns and kids receive generous support.  What Canada lacks is massive income disparities, our 1% don't earn as much, if you're among the US 1% you'll earn more south of the border.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 08, 2018, 04:34:08 PM
Don't forget the Prairies :) Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg all have advantanges you won't find elsewhere. The prairies have colder extremes but lower humidity, that means it doesn't feel as cold. A -20 in Ottawa is the equivalent of -30 on the prairies. It's a fun rabbit hole learning how humidity can change how a temperature feels.

Basically Canada is easier to live the FIRE lifestyle; no healthcare insurance concerns and kids receive generous support.  What Canada lacks is massive income disparities, our 1% don't earn as much, if you're among the US 1% you'll earn more south of the border.

My Mom grew up on the prairies and said she was so much colder in Toronto, because the winters were humid.  But even at a dry -40 your nose freezes shut.

To me not having massive income disparities is a plus.  I had never seen a gated community until I visited the US - It was the Coachella valley where there is almost nothing but gated communities.  Surreal.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Paul der Krake on October 08, 2018, 06:56:11 PM
To me not having massive income disparities is a plus.  I had never seen a gated community until I visited the US - It was the Coachella valley where there is almost nothing but gated communities.  Surreal.
I've lived in the US for nearly a decade, visited a good dozen states, rubbed elbows with the 1% on a regular basis, but I've never seen a gated community, let alone been in one. Most wealthy people here are very accessible - in fact you probably couldn't tell who they are from seeing them on the street and you're quite likely to sit next to them on the subway or at a sporting event.

Don't let a flashy minority distract you.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on October 09, 2018, 06:01:43 AM
To me not having massive income disparities is a plus.  I had never seen a gated community until I visited the US - It was the Coachella valley where there is almost nothing but gated communities.  Surreal.

Nationally, Canada isn't much better on inequality than the US. It ranks 23rd of 34 OECD countries.* The US is 31st. Of course, this doesn't account for local variation: Does where I want to live (major cities) have more or less equality than the country as a whole? My guess in Canada: more. In the US, it varies. I currently live in the poorest big city in America, where my SO and i can live well on a single modest income. If i lived in one of the HCOL areas, that would not be the case. I'm not sure we can score the same quality of life in any of the major cities in Canada on the exact same income (let alone lower Canadian wages).

Now of course there are other tradeoffs and everyone's value system is different.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality#Gini_coefficient,_after_taxes_and_transfers
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: GuitarStv on October 09, 2018, 07:10:15 AM
Don't forget the Prairies :) Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg all have advantanges you won't find elsewhere. The prairies have colder extremes but lower humidity, that means it doesn't feel as cold. A -20 in Ottawa is the equivalent of -30 on the prairies. It's a fun rabbit hole learning how humidity can change how a temperature feels.

Basically Canada is easier to live the FIRE lifestyle; no healthcare insurance concerns and kids receive generous support.  What Canada lacks is massive income disparities, our 1% don't earn as much, if you're among the US 1% you'll earn more south of the border.

My Mom grew up on the prairies and said she was so much colder in Toronto, because the winters were humid.  But even at a dry -40 your nose freezes shut.

When the temperatures get cooler there is certainly a bit of a learning curve.  I never had my nose freeze shut at -40, although we regularly hit those temperatures when I was living in Northern Ontario.  I did however get frostbite on by eyeballs once (protip:  Blink a lot if you're out for a long time on a windy -40 degree day).  :P
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on October 09, 2018, 07:39:30 AM
Huh? At your link for OECD countries Canada is #4 and the US is #34. That's basically top and bottom of list for income inequality.

Sort by something other than alphabet. :D
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: Retire-Canada on October 09, 2018, 07:43:06 AM
Sort by something other than alphabet. :D

Ha! Got it. Thanks.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: debbie does duncan on October 09, 2018, 11:06:35 AM
We have a gated community in the Cowichan Valley. Just over the Malahat .https://www.arbutusridge.ca/
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: TrMama on October 09, 2018, 12:16:46 PM
Don't forget the Prairies :) Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg all have advantanges you won't find elsewhere. The prairies have colder extremes but lower humidity, that means it doesn't feel as cold. A -20 in Ottawa is the equivalent of -30 on the prairies. It's a fun rabbit hole learning how humidity can change how a temperature feels.

Basically Canada is easier to live the FIRE lifestyle; no healthcare insurance concerns and kids receive generous support.  What Canada lacks is massive income disparities, our 1% don't earn as much, if you're among the US 1% you'll earn more south of the border.

My Mom grew up on the prairies and said she was so much colder in Toronto, because the winters were humid.  But even at a dry -40 your nose freezes shut.

When the temperatures get cooler there is certainly a bit of a learning curve.  I never had my nose freeze shut at -40, although we regularly hit those temperatures when I was living in Northern Ontario.  I did however get frostbite on by eyeballs once (protip:  Blink a lot if you're out for a long time on a windy -40 degree day).  :P

I've never experienced -40C, but at -30C my teeth ache; just like when you eat ice cream too fast. Pro tip#2: Breathe through your nose and wear a face warmer.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on November 05, 2018, 11:12:19 AM
Just returned to the States from a quick weekend in Victoria, BC. Here are some impressions.

Pros:
* Dense, walkable urban core with decent bus service to downtown.
* Lots of nice neighborhoods within walking distance of downtown.
* Good parks and tons of coastline to explore. I guess that's island life.
* Pretty good urban cultural stuff: arts, music, theater, etc.
* Good inter-urban bike trail system to connect with other nearby parts of the island,.
* Very friendly mustachian community! :D
* Left-leaning political views

Cons:
* Very touristy in places, especially downtown. Can't even imagine what it's like during peak season.
* Not a lot of industry (other than tourism)…finding a job seems like it would be very difficult if you weren't involved in government or tourism.
* Lots of older folks–i guess more neutral than con, but still…they tend to drive up the prices of stuff.
* Housing prices

My experience was more positive than i initially expected. It would be a massive lifestyle change from living in a large megalopolis to moving to island life. I'm not sure the move would be worth it, especially with the major expense of the move itself and the increased ongoing housing costs. I think i could really enjoy living on the island, but not enough to mortgage my future/finances or completely change our life focus.

Overall, this process has been illuminating. It has made me appreciate our quality of life in Philly much, much more. There are aspects of our life that cannot be reproduced in Canada (at least not for an affordable price). Luckily we don't have to decide yet…we still have 6-24 months before our immigration app is approved.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: nkt0 on November 16, 2018, 06:38:23 AM
Next places on our list of candidates are: Kingston and Ottawa.
Title: Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
Post by: elaine amj on November 28, 2018, 10:27:30 PM
Looking forward to hearing your impressions of each :)

Sounds like you are learning a lot about what you like/dislike. And interesting to hear that you are discovering things about your current life that you'll miss. Perhaps the grass isn't greener on the other side? But perhaps it is - it's fun hearing your thoughts as you try to figure it out :)

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