Rural Canada is home to more than six million of the country’s population. Much of this population is concentrated in regions such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia and Quebec. Canada’s rural areas provide the benefit of living in wide-open spaces with plenty of fresh air. Rural living enables one to enjoy the outdoors, while becoming closely connected with the local community.
Most rural areas in Canada have similar amenities to the cities, including medical facilities, banking, schools, shops, restaurants and Internet connectivity.It must be remembered that Canada, as a country, has a high cost of living compared to many other countries in the world. But there is a considerable difference in the living costs in Canada between the big cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Ontario, and the rural areas. Here’s an overview of what it’s like to live and work in rural Canada.
The villages in rural Canada differ in size and offer diverse services. There are times when residents need to visit larger centers for certain types of shopping, so it’s a good idea to check the distances between the villages and the nearest big town when looking for properties. Most villages are about between five and thirty-five minutes away from the cities. The advantage of living in a village is that you can get around in shorter periods of time due to considerably less traffic compared to the heavy traffic in the cities. Many people have jobs in the cities and therefore find it ideal to live in a rural location that is a convenient distance away from their workplace.
Most of the land found in rural Canada is farmland, woodland, acreage and rural residential properties. Farmland was the chief source of income in the earlier years, but today it requires large capital investment. Most of the farms in operation today work with land that is either owned or rented. There are many individuals who use farmland to make a supplemental income, or to use smaller areas of land for market garden operations. Those who intend to buy farmland must decide if they are going to work it themselves, or invest in the equipment to do so. They can also rent the land to a local farmer who can carry out regular farming operations.
Canada, like many other countries in the world, has made it a priority to increase funding for research on rural health. The government has programs in place to encourage physicians to work in the rural communities. But when deciding whether to live in any of the communities in rural Canada, there are some questions to consider such as:
– Are the family doctors in the area taking new clients?
– How close is the area to the nearest full-service hospital?
– How much time does it take for an ambulance to arrive if called?
– What is the average waiting time at the emergency department in the local hospital?
– If you are interested in alternative medical therapies, does the area have any qualified practitioners in these fields?
While many people live in the rural communities and work in the nearby cities, there are also those who run their own rural businesses. The manner in which business is conducted in the rural regions has changed over the years. Businesspersons now have access to larger markets and new industries due to the availability of technology and social media. It is common to see small businesses being run out of small rural communities and many who run these set-ups are young individuals who have either moved back to their roots in rural Canada or have relocated there for a change of lifestyle. The communities also usually have their own job listings and those who are looking for work within the area can check them.
Wireless access in the rural areas is provided either through a wireless connection to a tower nearest your property, or via a 2-way satellite. The cost of both these types of services has reduced, so it is possible to have high-speed connectivity even while living in a rural setting.
Have you lived and worked in rural Canada? Do you have any tips for other expats who want to do the same? Let us know in the comments.