Canada is one of the most desirable countries in the world for immigrates. Each year, thousands of people move here temporarily or permanently to enjoy a strong economy and safe environment. But Canada isn’t without downsides. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Canada?
The pros of living in Canada include affordable education and healthcare, multicultural and friendly communities, and great employment conditions. There are also disadvantages, such as harsh winters, a sparse population, high taxes and living costs, and the universal healthcare waiting period.
Regardless of the cons, Canada is a great country for immigrants. So, you can easily look beyond the downsides. Here, we discuss the benefits and downsides of living in Canada.
Pros of Living in Canada
If you’re still considering whether Canada is a good fit for you and your family. here are some advantages that come with living in the country:
1. Great Employment Conditions
One of the major reasons people move to Canada is because of economic conditions here. Despite the large number of immigrants that come to Canada every year, the unemployment rate is currently at 6.70%. Not only is the employment market strong in Canada, but the conditions are also great. Canada is one of the highest-paying countries globally, with an average annual salary that’s around $60,000.
2. Multicultural and Friendly Communities
The friendliness of Canadians is more than a myth. It’s what made the country open its borders to thousands of people looking for a new home. Here, you’ll find several multicultural communities with people from all over the world. This makes it very easy for those just moving into the country to find a community they can easily belong to. Making friends as a new resident is quite easy in Canada as everyone is open and friendly, especially in the major cities. The ease of settling down can make a huge difference when you’re just moving into a new place.
3. Universal Healthcare
Another reason why living here is great is the almost-free healthcare that permanent residents and citizens enjoy. Due to the Universal healthcare program in Canada, the government covers around 70% of the cost of healthcare for Canadians. This means that residents don’t need to pay for most of the healthcare services they receive. It’s only for special procedures such as dental care, chiropractor appointments, and the likes that residents have to pay.
Government health insurance is available for every province and greatly reduces how much residents pay annually for health insurance. However, waiting times are a significant challenge for accessing healthcare services here.
4. Affordable Education
Another area Canadian enjoy their taxes is education. Primary and secondary education in Canada is free in public schools. Depending on where you’re moving, the term – public schools might make you think of some poor education system. Fortunately, that’s not the case in Canada. The public school system in Canada is excellent, and you can be sure that your kids will receive the best education possible. However, several private schools exist alongside the public school system if you want your child to attend.
Tertiary education here is also quite cheap for residents and even for international students. There are many high-profile universities in Canada, and no matter what you’re planning to study, universities offer that specialty.
Cons of Living in Canada
Despite the many positives of living in Canada, there are cons that you have to consider as they could affect your overall quality of life. They include:
1. Harsh Winter Conditions
If you tell anyone you’re moving to Canada, the first thing you’ll probably hear them talk about is how cold it gets that far north. While there might be some exaggeration about the coldness, Canada truly gets very cold in the winter. It’s the second coldest country in the world behind Russia. So, you can expect some intense drop in average temperature in the winter. This season isn’t only cold; it could also be stormy and wet depending on which part of the country you’re staying. This makes it difficult to drive in the winter.
However, the country has four distinct seasons, which means you have summer to look forward to. The spring and fall seasons might not be that bad, depending on which part of the country you choose to live in.
2. High Cost of Living and Taxes
Unless you’re moving to Canada from the United States or any other top world country, the cost of living in Canada will be far above what you’re used to. Things are expensive in Canada, especially if you live in major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, etc.
Just as the cost of living is high, so is the income tax rate. Income taxes are usually dependent on the province. But almost all provinces charge a very high percentage of your income as tax which leaves you with much less. However, as a permanent resident or citizen, you can enjoy dividends of taxes in universal healthcare and other social programs.
3. Sparse Population
One of the challenges of living here is the sparse population, making it remote and difficult to navigate depending on where you’re staying. Despite having the second-largest landmass, most of the population lives in a small part of the country, with the best weather conditions and environment. The lopsided population density means that economic opportunities aren’t equally accessible all over the country. Areas with more economic opportunities have a higher population, which influences the real estate prices.
4. Waiting Period to Access Universal Healthcare
Even though the country has universal healthcare, it’s not immediately accessible to newcomers. New residents have to wait for three months before applying for the public health insurance card and accessing free healthcare services. Thus, newcomers have no choice but to settle for health insurance within this period.
Even though Canada has several disadvantages that might affect the quality of life in the country, most of these cons are manageable. The advantages also outweigh the downsides. So, it’s a great county to live in regardless.