As one of the safest and happiest countries in the world, it comes as no surprise that the number of people moving to Canada for a better life, a higher education, or a fresh start, is increasing each year; the country is a vast landscape of endless beauty and notoriously friendly people.
If you are currently at a point in your life where you are considering taking the steps to move to Canada but are unsure of the best place for you to go, then I can help.
There are ten provinces in Canada and three territories. In this article, we are going to focus on Newfoundland and Labrador, and the pros and cons of living in either place.
Is it a safe place to live? Is it a safe place to live? Is it the right place for you? Read on for answers to these questions and other helpful information to assist you in making some important decisions.
It is always good to start on a positive note, so let’s first take a look at the pros.
Pros of Living in Newfoundland and Labrador
1) Crime Rate
Understandably, a big concern for anyone moving to a new place is whether or not they will be safe, Take the capital of the province, St John’s, for example.
Over the last three years, crime has decreased more than nine percent, which is a remarkable amount considering this is the province’s main city.
In other areas, violent crime has also reduced, and compared to the country’s average, Newfoundland and Labrador consistently have below-average numbers when it comes to gun-related crimes and drug-related crimes.
Is Newfoundland a safe place to live?
So quite simply, the answer is “yes.” In fact, the province as a whole is one of the safest in the country along with Prince Edward Island, and in recent years the rate for violent crimes has decreased each year, especially on the island of Newfoundland.
In the last ten years, the Canadian police forces have collected data of all crimes and have been inputting the numbers into a system they have called the Crime Severity Index.
This allows them to easily monitor changes in types of crimes, in any given place, or in the country as a whole.
The most recent report, for the year ending 2018, put the Crime Severity Index number for Canada at 75, however, the Crime Severity Index number for Newfoundland and Labrador for the same time period was 65.89, which is a huge difference.
There is no doubt that Newfound and Labrador are safe places to live and data seems to indicate that conditions will only improve.
2) The Great Outdoors
A quick Google image search will show you just a snapshot of some of the awe-inspiring beauty that can be found all over the province. The mountains seem endless, and the flowing rivers and streams are stunning.
This province is a dreamland for anyone who loves to get outside and be with nature as there are countless number of trails and bays to explore, there are historical sites, beaches, harbors, an abundance of smaller islands to visit, national parks, and the fjords will leave you speechless.
If you are an adventurer, or simply someone who loves to spend time outside with your family, there is no doubt that you will not find many places in Canada as beautiful and eye-catching as the sights you will enjoy in Newfoundland and Labrador.
3) Low Cost
Does the thought of a lower than average housing cost, alongside an average salary that is almost the same as the national average sound good? It sounds great, right?
In Newfoundland and Labrador you can expect the perfect combination of cheap housing and desirable salaries; which means you can enjoy comfortable and affordable living with fewer financial worries.
In any of the cities across the province, you can easily find family homes for less than $1000 per month to rent, which may be even cheaper outside of a city, and the average cost of buying a home in the province is around $155,000, or ten to fifteen thousand more if you want to live in the capital.
When you compare this to prices in other cities such as Toronto for Vancouver where you can expect to pay five times as much for the exact same house, you are certainly getting a good deal.
With approximately $50,000 per year as the average salary for the province, this is only $5000 less than the national average. With the money you’ll save on housing, you will feel like you are very fortunate indeed.
As with every place, there are also some challenges you might face, so let’s have a look at the “cons” that you can expect.
Cons of Living in Newfoundland and Labrador
Unfortunately, Newfoundland and Labrador have staggeringly-high unemployment rates. During the year of 2019, the province has alternated between having the highest unemployment rate to having the second-highest unemployment rate in the country each month.
As of late 2019, the rate currently stands at 11.1%, with a national average for the country being 5.7% for the same period of time. As you can see there are some serious steps that the government needs to take in order to help bring this rate down.
There are several factors which contribute to this high rate, and one that could have an even bigger impact on you finding a job as a newcomer.
Even though the people of the province have a reputation for being very friendly and welcoming of new arrivals, jobs are hard to come by, and you have a much better chance of getting a job if you know someone who knows someone, or if you are a long term resident.
While you might be the most qualified, this doesn’t mean you will be top of the list for the job. Perhaps understandably, people look out for their own before helping newcomers in the job market.
Another reason for the high rate is there are a limited number of industries operating in the province. The main employment sectors are fishing, manufacturing, and even hydroelectricity, but they are all jobs that usually require experience, or they are not jobs that would be preferential to most.
You might find yourself struggling to get a job due to your inexperience in the fields available, or you might struggle to do a job every day which is not remotely related to anything you had hoped to do.
Finally, like with the other east coast provinces, tourism in the summer is big business, but once the winter comes the shops close, towns quiet down, and jobs aren’t as readily available because they are dependent upon tourism.
Summer jobs are easy enough to come by, especially if you are open to work in diverse areas supported by the tourist industry; however, job availability is not stable, and living in that uncertainty can be stressful.
3) Population Decline
For a number of years now, Newfoundland and Labrador have been experiencing a population decline as people move to other provinces wherein they have may have an easier time finding a job within their field, of earning more money or simply because they want to live in a city.
Newfoundland and Labrador could be described as quiet, relaxed, and easy-going. Even though there are pubs, events, and live music in various towns and cities across the province, it is extremely low-key compared to other larger cities in the country.
As of 2018, various events have been organized by the local governors to try and entice people back, or encourage people to move to the province for the first time; but if the steady population decline doesn’t cease, it could cause bigger problems in the future.
4) Cost of Transport
Local transport, such as buses, is very reasonable but you will have to account for the cost of ferries, which are necessary if you live on the island of Newfoundland.
Being on the island provides plenty of things to do and see but the only way to reach other areas is by ferry. If you want to get to Labrador, or Nova Scotia or take any of the other ferry routes off the island, the cost can add up; particularly if you are traveling by car, which is likely.
The costs vary depending on where you depart and your final destination, but you can easily pay more than a hundred dollars for a short, one-way trip across to Nova Scotia if you are traveling as a family with a car. Traveling by ferry can be an expensive inconvenience if you are frequently leaving the island.
Considering the information provided, is Newfoundland and Labrador a good place to live? Yes, it absolutely is good a place to live. It is safe and cheap with great food and friendly people, but of course, you also have to consider the challenges you could encounter to ensure it is the best place for you to call your new home.