Emigrating is always an exciting prospect, and the experience of upping roots and taking your life abroad is a unique thrill.
Canada has a lot to offer, with top of the line healthcare, an abundance of snow in winter and a reputation for resourcefulness. When it comes to emigrating to Canada, there are a few tips that we can offer to make sure you’re ‘in the know’ before the trip and settle in smoothly once you arrive.
Know the Lay of the Land – Canada’s Cities and Situations
Canada is a huge country, the second largest in the world, and as such is a diverse one when it comes to landscapes and cities. Most of the nation’s population is located on the southern fringe of the border with the US, with the eastern island of Newfoundland and eastern cities like Halifax also having significant numbers of residents.
Major cities include Vancouver on the west coast, as well as Toronto, Montreal and the capital of Ottowa on the eastern side of the country.
While the quality of living in Vancouver is high, the city is notoriously expensive to live in, so it might be best to find a more economical alternative further away from built up areas if you’re moving on a tight budget. Train lines run across the south of the country, while domestic airports are also dotted across the landscape to facilitate ease of travel.
Keep an Eye on the Forecast – Snowshoes and Parkas Recommended!
Canada lies at the top of the northern hemisphere, with some of the country extending into the Arctic Circle. As such, the country is, on average, significantly colder than the UK in winter and can additionally see heavy snowfall during the winter months.
After 2015-16’s relatively mild winter period, 2017 is expected to see a return to the usual national chill. The approximate middle of the country, covering the urban areas of Toronto, Ottowa and Winnipeg, among others, are expected to see below average temperatures, while the odds of snow falling across the country are up compared with last year.
Although 2017’s temperatures are not expected to reach the lows of 2013-14, it is nonetheless looking like 2017 will be a frosty one in Canada, which is worth bearing in mind if you aren’t accustomed to extreme lows and disruptive weather conditions.
Parlez-vous francais? Learning about Canada’s Francophone Region
While English is spoken across the majority of Canada, the country actually has two official languages, with French being the latter one.
Nowhere in Canada is this more apparent than the eastern region of Quebec, where French speakers make up a majority of the population. This doesn’t mean that English isn’t spoken here, but it’s worth brushing up on your ‘bonjour’, ‘bonsoir’ and ‘excusez-moi’ if you want to fit in with the locals.
When it comes to cities, the two with the densest French-speaking populations are Quebec City and Montreal.
Tip 4 – Tip!
While it may be the butt of many stereotype jokes, being polite is somewhat ingrained in the national consciousness in Canada, and as such, so is tipping.
While businesses elsewhere in the world might not bat an eye if you don’t give staff anything extra, holding off on departing with some cash may cause offence in Canada, as well as the question ‘what was wrong?’.
The average amount tipped is often around 15% of the actual cost of the meal or haircut etc., but showing gratitude for exceptional service is expected to be accompanied with a larger tip in many parts of Canadian culture.
Take It Underground – The Not-So Secret Tunnels Under Canada’s Cities
As well as being hubs of commerce and innovation, a number of Canada’s key cities also have unique features in terms of transport and trade that should not be missed by the inquisitive visitor.
Given that heavy snowfall and icy roads can make surface travel treacherous, a number of cities have invested heavily in infrastructure and avoided the commuter problem by building underground tunnels and passageways.
These stretch beneath major hubs, such as Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax, and aren’t just used for commuters heading to and from work away from the biting cold.
The largest networks in Montreal (RESO) and Toronto (PATH) stretch for over 17 miles, and contain thousands of shops and services, as well as faster methods of transport like subways and buses.
Having been specially designed to cater to the needs of Canada’s citizens, these fascinating underground cities can be valuable safe routes in the dead of winter, as well as vast avenues for exploration when you have some free time on your hands.
If these points have helped you decide that a move to Canada in 2017 is the right choice, it’s worth mentioning that you could save time and money on your currency transfers with the right support. Working In Money Transfers offer excellent exchange rates, fee-free transfers and a range of specialist transfer options which help make your money go further.