Moncton lies in the Petitcodiac River Valley near Canada’s Atlantic Coast and is the biggest city in New Brunswick, Canada. Most of the area is heavily forested woodland inhabited by exotic wildlife. Moncton is known as the Hub City because of its railway and transportation industries which serve as a backbone for the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Moncton city has only about 145,000 residents, but about 1.4 million more people live within three hours of the city work and enjoy the city sights. From a reasonable cost of living to the crime rate, this article explores the pros and cons of living in Moncton, New Brunswick.
1. Warm and welcoming society
Moncton is warm and welcoming towards visitors and immigrants from all corners of the globe. According to realtors in the city, an estimated 2,000 people move to Moncton every year, with more than half of that figure from outside of Canada. The city is a progressive and friendly one that celebrates the diversity of its residents. Here, everyone knows everyone or someone close, making it easy to build close bonds and relationships among residents. Furthermore, the city has a comprehensive newcomers’ guide for new residents from other parts of Canada and immigrants from other parts of the world.
2. Food and Drink Festivals
If you’re a foodie seeking to relocate to Moncton, then you’re coming to the right place. The city is known throughout Canada for its food culture and its food and drink festivals. As well, there is a public market where different food types and varieties are sold. The city is further littered with restaurants, bars, and small breweries (microbreweries like the Pump House Brewery) for wine and beer lovers. There are also events dedicated to celebrating the city’s food culture, such as the Flip Burger Fest, which holds every February, and the Moncton Taco Week in May. Wine and Beer enthusiasts are not left out either, as a Wine Expo is held every October for ten days.
3. Affordable Housing
A hallmark of any vibrant city in Canada is affordable housing, and Moncton is no exception. A 2014 report by Canada’s mortgage and housing corporation asserted that the cost of real estate in the city is the lowest in the Maritime provinces at a little over $164,000. A 2020 estimate by the Canadian real estate association put prices at $192,000. The federal agency also noted that rents were pretty low and very affordable because the city has one of the highest vacancy rates in the country.
4. A great place to do business
Moncton is regarded as the top city in Canada for labour market performance. In addition, the Canadian Business Magazine ranked Moncton among the best cities to do business in Canada for five consecutive years, starting from 2004. The city is regarded as business-friendly for several reasons; government policies that encourage commerce and ease of doing business, a bilingual population and a workforce with a positive attitude, and the low cost of infrastructure for business activities. Although Moncton was the first city to become officially bilingual, most of its population speak French and English.
5. Amazing Nightlife and Entertainment Culture
The city is littered with nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and cinemas that come together to create a vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene for residents and visitors. In addition, there are music concerts throughout the year featuring local and international artists like U2 and the rolling stones.
6. Easy Movement Through town
There is barely any traffic in the city because everything is in proximity to each other. For example, the schools, offices, homes, entertainment centres, healthcare facilities, and markets are often within biking distance of each other. This lack of traffic significantly reduces the stress of the big city life on residents.
7. Fully Functional Sports Facilities
Moncton has sports facilities for every conceivable activity that rivals those of major cities in Canada if you’re inclined towards sports and athletics. The Petitcodiac River is good for surfing, and its tidal bore is regarded as one of the longest surf waves on the North American continent. Cycling is also a favourite pastime in the communities that make up the city, considering the proximity of important areas.
Moncton sounds like an amazing place to stay with its world-class educational, health, and business facilities and communities where people are still genuinely interested in helping other people. Before you pack your bags, however, you should consider some of these cons that come with living in Moncton.
1. Language Barrier
One of the greatest attractions of Moncton is also its biggest con. You’d have to be bilingual to enjoy living in the city. This implies that you’d have to learn to speak BOTH French and English to gain access to basic amenities and even employment opportunities. In addition, this bilingual nature serves as a disadvantage for immigrants from non-English or French-speaking backgrounds.
Winters can be bitterly cold and biting in Moncton, with the average temperature barely above 0 degrees. Still, for most of the time, it’s sunny with a little warmth generated from solar radiation, although the daytime temperature is still a few degrees below the freezing point. Major snowstorms mixed with freezing rain are a regular occurrence in the area. You do not want to be caught without warm shelter during winter in Moncton. Spring is delayed sometimes because the winter takes a while to melt completely. The summer can also be very hot to the point of being humid, with temperatures being as high as 30 degrees.
3. Unemployment and Under-employment
The unemployment rate in the area sits at 8.7%, above the national average of 5.5%. Unemployment here does not mean there are no jobs, but new immigrants are likely to face some difficulties before getting their first job in the city. Organizations and businesses prefer to hire a highly educated workforce, and a lack of certain degrees or qualifications may become a barrier to getting a good job.
Some jobs are also seasonal and come with the advent of the summer, festivals, and tourists’ influx. With the winter, these side attractions disappear alongside most of the jobs. Furthermore, Moncton is not a place where your career can be fast-tracked. Young and upwardly mobile young people tend to avoid places like Moncton if they’re starting in their careers.