Canada is the U.S.’s more peaceful, outdoorsy, and rugged cousin. Canada draws U.S. citizens, and foreigners from around the world, across its borders for several reasons. Our northern neighbor provides universal healthcare (a hot topic right now in the States), competitive wages, and a relatively low cost of living. Canada is home to more nature than even the most avid outdoorsman would know what to do with. Perhaps the great outdoors has a positive effect on people’s mood, because when compared with the States, Canada has an extremely low crime rate. Curious about the lifestyle that lies just beyond our northern border? Here are the best places to live in Canada. (* All prices in Canadian Dollars. 1USD = 1.30CAD).
1) Ottawa, Ontario
The eastern Canadian capital is the fourth largest city in the country and considered one of the cleanest in the world. Ottawa’s population is just under one million people, most of who are gainfully employed. Perhaps this is thanks to Kanata Park, Canada’s largest research and technology hub, housed in Ottawa. Kanata Park employs 21,000 people, and contributes $7.8 billion to Canada’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Clearly, tech business is booming in Ottawa. The bilingual rate is 44% and the city has more engineers, scientists, and PhDs per capita than any other city in Canada. The median family income is around $100,000, making it the highest income city in Canada. The average home costs around $374,000; not the cheapest on the list, but by no means the most expensive. Ottawa also claims low crime rates, rich culture, and plenty of sporting events, festivals, and other entertainment.
2) Vancouver, British Columbia
The beautiful and livable city of Vancouver sits on the Pacific West coast of the country. Vancouver houses the largest port for exporting Canadian goods. As a province, British Columbia’s economy is on the rise and Vancouver has a lot to do with this. The biggest industries are exporting, biotechnology, alternative fuels, and software development. As a city, the vibe here is more laid back when compared to more hectic Toronto. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east, Vancouver is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Winters are mild, with warm and sunny summers, ensuring this scenic city can be enjoyed in all seasons. The population is around 600,000 and very diverse. The unemployed rate hovers around 5%. The only visible drawback? The very high cost of real estate – about $1,000,000 for the average home.
3) Delta, British Columbia
Included in Greater Vancouver, but functioning as an independent municipality, is Delta. If you love the sound of Vancouver, but can’t stomach the exorbitant cost of housing, Delta is an excellent second choice. True to its name, the city is located on the delta of the Fraser River. Nature lovers celebrate the many parks, bird sanctuaries, and beautiful Centennial Beach. Hike or bike around Boundary Bay Park, with views of the bay on one side and mountains on the other. Industry, agriculture, fishing, and commerce are the main businesses. Delta’s population is around 100,000 with an unemployment rate of under 5%. Cost of living is more reasonable when compared to its’ northern neighbors. The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is just over $1,000. Average cost to buy a small two-bedroom home is about $700,000. Still pricey, but there is potential for high income in Delta.