Ultimate Guide To Moving To Canada

canadaDid you know that Canada is the second largest country in the world and thousands of British expats relocate to this stunning country every year? Well Fox Moving and Storage does because we regularly help relocate people to this vast country every week. Taking care of every aspect of the relocation from packing, shipping and transporting of your effects to the many British expat hotspots in Canada is what we do best. We have learnt a great deal about living in Canada over the four decades that we have been carrying out such removals and we thought that it would be beneficial to you to compile a report about moving to Canada. So whether you are in the initial stages of the move to Canada or you are on your way within weeks we hope that this report helps you become a little more acclimatised to life in Canada before you step onto that plane.

It is a known fact that in 2011 Canada was voted as the second best country in the world to relocate to out of 34 countries by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). However as previously mentioned it is a vast country that covers over 9,000 square kilometres from the Pacific Ocean in the west over to the Atlantic Ocean in the east. The country experiences six time zones, has three territories and is divided into ten provinces. So you can either choose the mountainous western region, rocky coasts of the east or the prairie land in central Canada. The prairie lands stretch from Alberta through to Manitoba but lots of British expats tend to relocate to either Ontario or Quebec because this is where the two largest economic hubs of Canada are located, in Toronto and Montreal. Everything is big in Canada and most expats would agree that everything is better also. Below we will look at the various places that British expats have relocated to and a few interesting facts about each one:

British Columbia: The Rocky Mountains are located here and the landscapes are vast and beautiful. A lot of resource industries are located here because it is the last point for transport links across the country. It is also a very popular tourist destination because it is experiences a mild climate and so there is a lot of water skiing and skiing here. However 75% of the province is mountainous but the rest is coastal, hence the outdoor activities that are common place here. It is the place where most of the major Pacific ports and Vancouver are situated so there are a lot of British expats here.

Saskatchewan: This province has no coasts but has lots of forests and sand dunes. The economy relies heavily on agriculture here as well as mining, gas and oil production. Because there is no coast the province experiences very cold winters yet very hot summers. Some expats are relocated here to work in the gas and oil production industries.

Alberta: This is the most populated of the mid Canadian provinces because most people settle here due to it being located between Edmonton and Calgary, both major cities in Canada. Both cities have vast technology and resource industries so there are lots of British expats here. It is also a popular place for outdoor activities due to the lakes, Rocky Mountains and the fact that it experiences cold winters and warm summers.

Manitoba: This is one of the warmest provinces in Canada, experiencing clear skies and lots of sunshine. Industries that thrive here are mining, transport, energy, manufacturing, natural resources and agriculture so lots relocate here every year. Tourism is also very important to the province’s economy thanks to the 100,000 lakes and the Hudson Bay coastline.

Ontario: Home to thousands of British expats because Toronto is situated in this province, the biggest city in Canada. Toronto is also home to the major financial industry of Canada but Ontario has a lot more to offer British expats than just that. The most populated of all the Canadian provinces it boasts great landscapes and lakes and it has fantastic transport links so the manufacturing industry is important here. Often people relocate to the south of Ontario because it is warmer and enjoys humid summers whilst the further north you travel the winters are cold and long.

Nova Scotia: Popular with British expats the Maritime province of Nova Scotia has a deep history and was the first province to be settled in by the Europeans. Today it has a thriving industrial port and financial centre in Halifax, its capital city. Also popular with tourists from all over Canada and further afield because it experiences mild winters and long warm summers due to the ocean nearby.

New Brunswick: Located to the east of Canada, New Brunswick is a Maritime province with 80% of it being covered by forests. Some of the province is sparse and very few settle here but the urban areas have lots of industries based there and St John’s port thrives through the manufacturing industry. Government services are based in the capital Fredericton and the area of Moncton boasts important retail and commercial activities. It is a very sheltered province and so it enjoys a continental climate.


So why move to Canada? Well lots of British expats have done so in the past, in fact at one point one in six Canadians were not actually born in Canada itself. Foreign workers, especially British ones, are drawn to a new life in Canada by the fact that there is a shortage of many skilled workers in certain industries there. Plus you will also be in good company because not only are Canadians very welcoming to British expats but there will also be lots of other expats enjoying the same benefits of living in Canada as you are. This is largely due to the fact that Canada has not experienced the high levels of unemployment that a lot of the rest of the world has due to the economic downturn, such as the UK, America, Spain and Greece.

Most British expats do not experience a huge culture shock when relocating to Canada compared to a lot of other international destinations. In the large cities there are often other expats living side by side you, Toronto and Victoria reflect a very strong British heritage. However Montreal is very French whilst Vancouver boasts a large Asian and Indian culture so you could say that Canada is a melting pot of cultures. Largely cultures co-exist in Canada apart from Quebec, which is without a doubt predominantly French.

The biggest culture shock that you will experience in Canada is the geography of the country. Simply driving from one town to another can be the same as driving from one side of the UK to another, it is that vast. To put things into perspective for you, to drive from one end of Canada to another is the same distance as driving from the UK to Saudi Arabia. Therefore lots of British expats see car ownership as a must, but if you are relocating to one of the major cities and don’t intend on travelling around public transport is an excellent option because owning car can be expensive in Canada.

Cost Of Living

The cost of living here is cheaper than it is in the UK but the cost of living in the rural areas is very different to living in Vancouver and Toronto. Vancouver in particular was voted as the fifth most expensive city in the world to live in by Mercer in 2014. Ottawa was ranked 14th, Toronto 15th and Montreal 23rd.

Most expats are employed in the oil, gas or mining industries or the utilities industry because they pay so well. You should expect to pay around 35% to 50% of your salary on accommodation and general household bills in Canada. If you are relocating to an area of Canada that experiences harsh, cold winters for up to six months of the year then your utility bills are going to be substantially more than if you settled in the warmer provinces, such as British Columbia.

Canada is a beautiful country to relocate to, which is why in 2012 the government wanted to invite between 240,000 and 265,000 new residents here permanently, lots of these being British expats. Fox Moving and Storage relocates thousands of clients to destinations all over Canada on a regular basis, it is what we do best. We arrange all of the packing of your effects and the shipping of them, which is no easy task to some areas of this vast and rural country. However because we have the knowledge and know how we find it relatively easy relocating people to Canada, whereas some removal and storage companies struggle with the logistics of it all. It is a very diverse country to move to but Fox Moving and Storage will ensure that your relocation to Canada will go swimmingly. However below are a couple of helpful pages with additional information about this great country:

Useful Pages:

Visas For Canada

Tips For Driving In Canada