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Thread: Canada - is it really all that? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-20-2008 05:02 PM
geoko I've got some cousins and friends out in vancouver and they swear by it. Definitely a gorgeous city, and as I'm sure you know, BC has some of the best snowboarding spots in the world. (I really want to get in a trip to baldface at some point in my life.) I've een out to Banff a couple of times, and I've learned a few things from that. I thought I could drink. Then I tried to party with Canadians. just wow. Tourist spots are EXTRA evil, largely because of the English. All the prices get jacked up for the pound in banff, and the USD is doing terrible, so vacations are expensive, though I guess you're british, so that doesn't count. And last but not least, -45 sounds cold, but it feels even colder.
05-20-2008 04:24 PM
kri$han I can attest to everything Bones and others have posted... and if I were you Paolo, look hard at the 'couver, cuz you seem like quite the "outdoorsy" type of person. Lots more of that going on there, especially when mountain sports are involved.

Ontario (well, southern Ontario) is kickass if you're a city person like me. There are 'outdoorsy' type activites, but most of it is hiking, fishing, cross-country biking related, as Ontario has zero mountains... a few hills, but nothing crazy, Winter time drives me nuts cuz there's lots of snow, but no major mountains to ride in winter (everything is atleast a 6 hour drive away).

That being said Toronto is full of culture, and (on a world-wide scale) pretty clean. Montreal and ottawa are meere 5 hour drives away, TONS of concerts and the like always happening, lively bar scene, etc. etc. Live downtown and avoid commuting, because everything in the Greater Toronto Area is the perfect example of poorly planned Urban Sprawl. and being from Europe, you will hate the vast amount of suburbs surrounding Toronto. I've been told that downtown Toronto and Vancouver can be pricey for living, but you're from ENgland, so I wouldn't worry too much... I've lived in Toronto for about 2 years,a nd it was costly, but not outrageous.

Oh, and lastly, get used to the abundance of s p a c e. We have TONS of it, not like anywhere on that side of the pond (well, aside from Russia )
05-20-2008 02:01 PM
Snowjoe On the basis that you can get at Tim Hortons you HAVE to go.
05-20-2008 12:56 PM
Originally Posted by PaoloSmythe View Post
then some of y'all might have been to the country and had some experiences. and so please, what do you think of it?
Unfortunately, you're asking a very general question about a huge and diverse place.

Texas isn't New England, Seattle isn't New York, but they're all the USA. Ditto with Canada: the west isn't the same as the east geographically or culturally. Quebec isn't Ontario and nothing else is like Newfoundland or the Prairies.
05-20-2008 12:14 PM
Perpetual3am I just reread your post about Toronto being a possibility. Winters are milder than the rest of Ontario since they have the nice smog bubble keeping things warmer. Its definitely one of our bigger cities but you can get to the outdoors within an hours drive. More expensive for housing as its been booming for awhile, but I guess that depends on what your used to in the UK as I have no idea what houses or condos cost.
05-20-2008 12:08 PM
Perpetual3am It depends where you plan to live Paolo, especially if temperature is a deciding factor. Anything in Ontario, Quebec region and you're looking at summers in the thirties and winters in the -15 to -20s, with a few weeks of down to -40. Factor in black fly season if you're an outdoors person, makes April and May pretty uncomfortable. But I would guess that you'll be moving out West, the temps out there are much more moderate, although the rain in Van sucks ass in the winter, but might be similar to England.

That's the negatives from my perspective, I love the seasonal change, whether it be the leaves changing or just the abrupt switch from a long cold winter to a really hot summer. I'm all about the outdoors with lots of summer and winter activities, so if you're into that you'll find plenty to do. Since you're into hockey you'll find about a billion leagues to join, whatever your skill level. Of course you'll find the skill level different as it is our bread and butter, even people who don't play organized hockey probably spent their youths on the outdoor rinks so I'm sure that will be to your liking. And we have forests the size of France, with thousands of lakes so cottage country is everywhere, which is a lifestyle in itself.

Then there is the beer factor, enough said. It really depends where you decide to live, as the provinces differ quite a bit just as the States do. I've spent the majority of my life living in the eastern provinces so that's what I know best, quite different when you head out west.

Also, we pollute like mofos! And that's a good synopsis Bones.
05-20-2008 11:06 AM
Depends what you're into

I'm admittedly biased....being Canadian, but here goes.

You better love nature. The whole country is the population of California strung out over a huge geographical region. With few exceptions, you can be in the wilderness in less than an hour's drive from anywhere (might take you a little longer from Toronto or Vancouver) That's the real secret of Canada: it's not endless suburbia from one city blending into the suburbs of another. If that does it for you, then you'll love it here.

That's not to say there aren't world class cities and urban vistas (Vancouver is beautiful, Montreal is great), it's just that you can't really flit around between them like you can between Paris/London.

I'm told our health care system is excellent, but I've never had occasion to use another country's health care system so I've got no comparison.

Crime is pretty minor and violent crime is still a comparitive rarity (hard to do a drive by shooting with mittens on). Not to say bad areas don't exist in the cities, but they don't dominate the culture.

Our social safety net is part of our culture, so you don't see large numbers of street people or 3rd world poverty.

The trade off is taxes are high and our economy is intrinsically linked to our southern neighbor.

Winter is a fact of life. You will be affected, there are no exceptions, every city sells snow shovels.
05-20-2008 09:55 AM
killclimbz I would just look at Cities that give you access to western mountains. So Vancouver, Calgary, and a few others have world class resorts within an easy drive. Not so sure about Toronto or Winnipeg. Either way though, Canada is a beautiful country with tons of wild places to explore.
05-20-2008 09:32 AM
Simply^Ride ^^^^^ So with what visa do you plan to migrate? I have been through the ordeal of migrating to the US and let me tell you something, this is something that I would never recommend to anyone.

My best call for a person like you would be to get an employer that would ask for you and then let them deal with all the crap. Granted you would be forced to work for them for 2-3 years maybe more. I have a lot of family in Canada and they love it. The country has the largest accumulation of fresh water and this is going to make the country rich in the coming years when water prices soar.

Back to the immigration part, Canada seems to have a much more lineant policy than the US has, they seem to have a need for working professionals to improve their country. their economy is stronger than US economy is at this time, so money should be ok for now.

I am sure Perpetualmotion has plenty to add to this thread.
05-20-2008 09:16 AM
PaoloSmythe hey anything over 25C to me is excessive, so short and cool summers are the thing for me.

my mediterranean missus might have something to say about the BC drizzle... but then she has lived in the UK for over 12 years and should be 'acclimatised' by now.

officially we are still looking at 'couver as a destination.... but we have friends in winnipeg and toronto, which might conspire to give us foots in doors.... to jobs, houses, hockey teams etc..... anything is a step in the right direction IMO
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