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Top Things to Know Before Moving to Canada

Canadian SIM – Top 11 Things to know Before you Move to Canada

1. Weather

“Choosing Between Sun or Snow? Canada Has Both!”

If you’re considering immigrating to Canada but can’t decide between a sunny or snowy climate, why not have both? With the exception of the BC coast and parts of Southern Ontario, most regions of Canada experience cold, snowy winters and hot summers, with short transitional seasons.

If you’re used to mild or warm weather, the bitter cold of a Canadian winter can come as a shock. It’s hard to describe how -25°C feels, but don’t worry – with the right clothing and attitude, you can handle it.

On the plus side, Canadians don’t take summer for granted. They make the most of the warmer months, whether it’s enjoying outdoor activities or simply soaking up the sun. So, whether you prefer snow or sun, Canada has something to offer for everyone.

2. Diversity

“Canada: A Welcoming Home for Generations of Immigrants”

Canada has a rich history of welcoming immigrants from all over the world. Multiculturalism is a core part of the Canadian identity and is central to national policy.

With over 40 Members of Parliament born outside Canada, it’s clear that diversity is not only accepted but celebrated. In cities and rural communities across the country, you will encounter a plethora of languages, religions, and cultures.

Moving to Canada doesn’t mean letting go of your cultural identity or values, but it does require adapting and evolving to successfully adjust to your new home. Keeping an open mind and embracing the diverse perspectives and experiences around you can benefit not only yourself but also those in your new community. Canada is a welcoming home for generations of immigrants, and the country’s commitment to multiculturalism ensures that this tradition will continue for years to come.

3. Tipping

“Tipping in Canada: A Basic Part of the Culture”

In some countries, service and hospitality workers earn a livable wage with additional benefits, and tipping is not a part of the culture. However, Canada operates differently, and tipping is a basic aspect of the culture that you’ll need to become accustomed to.

Bartenders and servers in Canada generally earn minimum wage, which can be as low as $8 per hour in some provinces, with the expectation that they will earn tips to supplement their income. In addition, staff may be required to “tip out” other staff, such as those in the kitchen, with a portion of their sales.

While this may seem unusual or unfair, not tipping means that the server is effectively paying out of their own pocket to serve you. Unless the service is poor, it’s important to tip to show appreciation for their work.

The standard tip in Canada is 15% of the total bill, and 20% for exceptional, attentive service. For drinks, a dollar per drink is customary, and a few dollars for a round is sufficient. By embracing this aspect of Canadian culture, you’ll ensure that you’re showing respect for the hard work of service industry workers.

4. The job hunt

Searching for a job in Canada can be a time-consuming process, especially as you establish connections in your new home. It’s not uncommon for several months to pass before securing a professional position, so planning ahead is key to ensure a smooth transition to life in Canada.

Consider the following tips:

  1. Bring enough funds to cover your living expenses for the first few months as you job hunt.
  2. Be open to taking on non-career jobs in the short term, while keeping an eye out for opportunities that align with your long-term career goals.
  3. Begin adapting to the Canadian job market before you arrive by researching the job market, networking with professionals in your field, and familiarizing yourself with the Canadian resume format.

At Moving2Canada, we provide valuable resources to help job seekers find employment in Canada. Check out our Labour Market Report for the latest employment data in your industry. By being proactive and staying determined, you can successfully navigate the Canadian job market and land your dream job.

5. Cost of living

One way to make your transition to Canada smoother is to have a clear understanding of the cost of living in your new city before you arrive. It’s important to do your research beforehand to avoid any surprises and ensure that you can budget accordingly.

Keep in mind that certain cities, such as Toronto and Vancouver, have higher living expenses, especially in downtown areas. On the other hand, Montreal has relatively low property values and rent, but lower salaries as well. So, it’s important to factor in the cost of living when considering where to settle in Canada. With the right research and planning, you can avoid a rude awakening and adjust to the cost of living in Canada more smoothly.

Read our Complete blog on – Cost of living in Canada

6. Smoking

Smoking in public places, such as restaurants, stores, offices, hospitals, and other places of employment is strictly prohibited by law in Canada. This also applies to public or shared areas of apartment buildings and rental complexes.

If you are a smoker, you must restrict yourself to smoking only in your own private living space or your vehicle (unless a minor is present). Smoking is allowed in the great outdoors, but there may be some restrictions, such as not smoking near building entrances or in public parks. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with local smoking regulations in the area where you live to avoid any fines or penalties.

7. Healthcare

Canada’s healthcare system is widely renowned for its high quality and accessibility. It is publicly-funded and mostly free at the point of use, with private entities providing most services. However, healthcare administration is managed by individual provinces, and each resident must enroll in the program and receive a health card issued by the Provincial Ministry of Health. Permanent residents may have to wait a few months before their provincial coverage begins, and private comprehensive health insurance policies such as those offered by Cigna Global are available during this waiting period. Temporary residents and visitors must have a private policy throughout their stay, and can explore travel insurance options for Canada through various providers.

8. Driving licenses

Additionally, it’s important to note that driving laws and regulations may be different in Canada compared to your home country. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these laws and take any necessary driving courses or exams to ensure safe driving practices. You can visit the website of the province or territory you plan to live in for more information on their specific requirements for obtaining a driver’s license

9. Taxation

It is important to note that certain items are exempt from sales taxes, such as basic groceries and prescription drugs. In some provinces, there are also additional taxes on items such as alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline.

As a newcomer, it is recommended to seek advice from a tax professional or use tax software to help you navigate the Canadian tax system and ensure that you are fulfilling your tax obligations. The Canadian government also offers various resources and support for newcomers to understand and file their taxes.

10. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures political rights for Canadian citizens and civil rights for all individuals in the country, protecting them from the policies and actions of all levels of government. This Charter is the foundation of Canadian society, outlining the political, civil, and social rights that individuals can expect when they arrive in Canada.

11. Sim Card

When moving to Canada, it’s important to have access to a mobile phone and a Canadian SIM card. This will allow you to stay in touch with friends and family, as well as make local calls and access data while you’re out and about.

When selecting a plan, be sure to consider your usage habits and needs. Some plans offer unlimited calling and texting, while others include data packages. It’s also important to consider coverage areas and network reliability, particularly if you’ll be living in a more remote or rural area.

Overall, having a Canadian SIM card is essential for staying connected while living in Canada.