9 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Canada

Cityscape of City of TorontoAre you thinking about moving to Canada? Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure, but it also comes with a lot of important considerations. If you’ve ever wondered about life in Canada, this will provide a glimpse into Canada living.


As an immigrant myself, I’ve had to learn how to navigate Canada’s diverse culture and adjust to several things here in Canada that are completely different from what I was used to in my home country. I’m sharing here a few things that you might not have thought about before now and things you need to know to help you adjust to your new home, if and when you decide to move to Canada.

Being aware of these unique, peculiar and interesting things about this country will help set you up for success as a newcomer in Canada. Check out my list of the top 9 things you need to know before moving to Canada, and then download your free ‘How to Make Canada Your Home: Relocation Guide‘, an interactive workbook designed to guide you through the exciting process of making Canada your home. 


1. Canada is a Bilingual Nation With Two Official Languages

While the most spoken language in Canada is English, Canada is a bilingual country with both English and French as its two official languages. If you are fluent in either of these languages, you should be able to settle in Canada without much issue. English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas, but knowing a bit of French can be good, especially in the province of Quebec, which is the only province that has French as its only official language.

New Brunswick is the only fully bilingual province, that has both English and French as its official languages. All other provinces speak English primarily, however all official documents of Canada are usually available in both languages and all provinces offer some services in both English and French. Embracing both languages can enrich your experience and open doors to a broader range of opportunities.


2. Healthcare is ‘Free’ But Doesn’t Include Everything

Canada offers a publicly funded healthcare system, providing residents with access to essential medical services. While basic healthcare is covered, some services may not be included, such as dental care, prescription medications, and certain medical procedures. It’s advisable to explore private health insurance options to ensure comprehensive coverage.


3. Credit is King

In Canada, credit history plays a crucial role in financial matters. Establishing a solid credit score is essential for securing loans, mortgages, and even renting an apartment. Familiarize yourself with credit management strategies and consider opening a Canadian bank account to start building your financial reputation.


Canadian immigrant walking on snowy sidewalk. One thing to consider when moving to Canada.4. Weather is Dynamic 

Prepare for Canada’s diverse climate, which boasts four distinct seasons. Winters can be particularly cold, especially in northern regions, so invest in appropriate clothing and learn to enjoy winter activities like skiing and ice skating. Summers, on the other hand, offer pleasant warmth and outdoor festivals.


5. You Have to File Tax Returns Every Year

It’s important to understand Canada’s tax system, which includes federal and provincial taxes. Although income taxes are usually withdrawn from employees’ pay cheques, residents are still required to file annual tax returns with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This was a shocker for me when I moved to Canada. It’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the process and potential deductions. Seeking professional tax advice can help you make the most of your financial situation.


6. The Price Tag Does Not Reflect the Full Price

When I moved to Canada back in 2014, I would be so puzzled every time I would go to the cash register at a store. My total always ended up being way more than I expected. I would calculate and recalculate, only to be reminded that taxes are in addition to the price on the price tag. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out why they can’t include taxes in the price tag but alas, that’s how it is.


A waiter serving diners. Tipping is expected when moving to Canada.7. Tipping is Expected

Tipping is customary in Canada, and it’s important to know when and how much to tip. In restaurants, the standard gratuity is typically 15-20% of the bill. Tipping is also common for services such as taxis, hairdressers, and hotel staff.


8. Canada is Diverse

You will find people from all over the world here in Canada. Embrace the opportunity to learn about different cultures and traditions, and respect the customs of your fellow residents. This cultural openness contributes to a rich and vibrant social tapestry.


9. Canadians are Polite 

Of course there are exceptions, but in general, Canadians are polite. Politeness and respect are highly valued in Canadian culture. Simple gestures like holding doors open for others and saying “please” and “thank you” go a long way in building positive interactions and relationships. There is a popular belief in North America that Canadians say ‘sorry’ a lot and based on my experience, I’d say that’s pretty accurate.


Settling In: Seek Professional Guidance

Navigating the complexities of moving to a new country can be overwhelming. Consider seeking the assistance of a reputable Canada settlement agency. There are both free and paid settlement services available in Canada. They can provide invaluable guidance on immigration programs, settlement services, and more to ensure a seamless transition to your new life in Canada.


The Canadian Experience: Embrace the Journey

Moving to Canada offers a unique opportunity to embrace a new way of life. As you embark on this adventure, immerse yourself in the rich culture, stunning landscapes, and welcoming communities that Canada has to offer. Take the time to explore local attractions, try new cuisines, and connect with fellow newcomers and residents.


Moving to Canada: Make Your Dream a Reality Download Your Relocation Guide

Ready to take the next step toward making Canada your home? Download our comprehensive relocation guide for even more essential tips and insights. This guide will provide you with valuable information to help you navigate the transition and settle into your new Canadian life with confidence.

Remember, every experience is unique, and embracing the Canadian way of life will enrich your adventure and help you create lasting memories in your new home.

Download our comprehensive relocation guide for more essential tips on making Canada your new home.

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only. It is advisable to research and verify information with official sources before making any decisions related to moving to Canada

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