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Canada - Expats

There are a number of polls each year which assess how popular different countries are for those who are looking to move abroad. The latest of these polls suggests that Canada is the ultimate destination for expats, despite stiff opposition from France, Australia and Spain. The surveys are based on a number of factors connected to daily life such as entertainment, public services, public transport, housing, leisure and education. The general quality of life is assessed in order to determine where the country fits in to the ‘league table’.

The main reason for people wanting to move to Canada is the quality of life. Canada has a good reputation as a safe place to live and there are many opportunities for skilled workers. In addition there are good education and healthcare systems. Other attractions include the beautiful countryside and the range of activities available for those who want an outdoor lifestyle. Activities that are widely available include skiing, climbing, hiking and fishing. Others are looking for better weather, particularly the British who feel that they see too many grey skies at home. The recession which has recently hit many countries has left many people disillusioned with their own countries and has led them to seek pastures new.

For British expats the fact that the country used to be governed by Britain and is still part of the Commonwealth means that there are still many British influences that can be seen in the country and this makes starting a new life in a new country a little less daunting.

The welcoming attitude of the Canadian people is another reason why the country is so popular and as English is spoken by the vast majority of residents is another plus point. Canada has welcomed people of all cultures to its shores and there are some towns with small communities of Chinese, Indians and Italians among others. The cities are becoming very cosmopolitan with a variety of cultural attractions and entertainments. Property in Canada is considered to be a good investment as prices have remained reasonably steady across the country and the general quality of housing available is good.

Many expats are limited to the area they can move to if they are moving on a skilled worker visa. Different states have different requirements so you may find that your first choice of state is not available to you. Those who do not have good French language skills may also be limited as there are language requirements in some areas, but each state covers a large area of the country so there are still plenty of locations to choose from.

Popular areas include the city of Toronto. This has a thriving commercial sector and the region is home to nearly a quarter of all Canadian residents. There are many cultural attractions such as theatres, museums and galleries. The city of Vancouver is a popular destination for many reasons. The city is filled with skyscrapers and is surrounded by mountains. The city has a large population of expats, most of whom have moved there for work. Vancouver serves as the base for a number of industries in Canada such as film and television, telecommunications and biotechnology.

Ottawa is another popular destination and many expats have reported that their new neighbours have been very welcoming and helped them settle into the neighbourhood. Those who move to the city should not be surprised to receive gifts of bread and jam from neighbours when they arrive as this is one of the local traditions. Around 25% of the population of Ottawa was born in a foreign country and around 20% of the expats in the city are from minority countries and have a language other than English as their mother tongue. There are communities of Italians, Spanish, and Chinese in the city and Arabic is another language that you may hear used regularly.

Fewer expats choose to live in rural areas of Canada as there is not as much work available. The cities and suburbs remain the most popular destinations for expats. The cities tend to be popular as these are the names that are most familiar to expats and most expats will begin their new life in a city before choosing to move to another area.

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