I have stumbled upon a recent small research with young Canadians, young people that have immigrated to Canada but are thinking of leaving the country for good in the next 2 years. It is an interesting fact, and I would like to discuss here with a more informal approach and find ways to understand their reasons but also set the expectations of the newcomers to what is life in Canada.
The first reason why people are leaving Canada is the salary. Yes, the salary. The median Canadian salary looks high, but when you compare with the cost of living in the country, it is a problem. In this case there are industries where the payment is very high, but most people will fall on the average salary. That could be very good if you live in certain areas and not very good, but extremely difficult if you live in very expensive areas of the country.
Last topic about the salaries in Canada, on paper the salary is good, high numbers, but what usually immigrants don’t take in consideration is the expenses, living cost, taxes and mandatory insurances, and all this builds up to take a huge chunk of your hard work salary. It is not impossible, but if you want to send money back to your relatives or build a fortune, it will take time and it will not be easy. Canada is good, but the gold rush ended a long time ago.
Next reason why people want to leave Canada is the Real Estate market, like salaries and cost of living, the real estate market changes in a continental dimension country like Canada. Two places in particular are suffering the most with the high prices, Toronto and Vancouver, the other cities in Canada as Calgary and Montreal have more affordable houses, but not that affordable, and the houses that cost less are in non desirable areas of the country, small communities. There is nothing wrong with those communities, the problem is that to live there is to compromise in cultural life and career opportunities.
Professional perspective is another reason why people are not happy in Canada. We understand if you are a professional you would like to work in your professional area, but when you are an immigrant it is not always possible, sometimes you are lacking certificates, experience, validate your diplomas or whatever. There is so much labour shortage in Canada that you will have to find any kind of job to start, but it is important to do your homework, research and check how you will be able to perform the trained professional that you are in Canada. Be prepared, you are new in the country and the requirements are usually reasonable.
Cost of living, another reason but I feel as we already mentioned it. Cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver hold the most eclectic and comprehensive professional opportunities but at the same time the cost of living is high in those areas, rent, food, daycare everything is more expensive in those cities. Often you will be required to travel longer distances, to shop, to work or for pleasure and costs will be higher. On the other hand if you decide to move to a small community, you can de-escalate your costs a lot.
Weather, for sure I would talk about weather. Canada is cold, period, I could end here, but yes, be prepared. You can live in colder areas if you are prepared in your mind and also physically prepared, with the right clothes and right equipaments on yourself and on your car.
The last but not the least the cultural differences. Canadians in general are very nice and polite people, and at the same time very reserved. As a newcomer you will meet a lot of nice and friendly people but it is hard to get to the core of the relationship, most of them will remain superficial and I personally think this is ok. Don’t expect to arrive in Canada and right away have a group of friends, it will take time, patience and perseverance to create your close friend group, but I assure you, you will if you take the right steps.
With all that being said, I don’t want to discourage you, just be prepared and in the right mindset when you decide to start your new life in Canada, we welcome you!