Canada is a vast and very beautiful country with rich natural resources and a developed high-tech economy. Despite its large size, it is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. While the lion's share of the territory is quite suitable for a comfortable life, in 2024 the population of Canada is just under 39 million people. Notably, only about 32% of Canadians consider themselves to be ethnic Canadians.

Immigration to Canada for permanent residence is thought about millions of people from around the world, and hundreds of thousands each year turning the dream into a reality. The massive influx of foreigners into Canada is due to the high standard of living in the country and the availability of very effective programs for immigrants. Below we discuss the pros and cons of moving, costs of living, taxes, jobs and salaries in demand, education and healthcare in Canada in 2024.

Living in Canada

Pros and cons of living in Canada

In the next few years, the federal government wants to bring about 340,000 new residents to Canada. Already today immigrants make up about 22% of the country's population. The largest ethnic groups are the English, Scots, French, Irish, Germans and Chinese. In addition, there are many foreigners from former Soviet republics, particularly Ukrainians and, to a lesser extent, Russians. Given such a high migration flow, let us highlight the positive and negative aspects of life in Canada.

Pros of living in Canada

  • Canada has well-developed institutions of democracy, low crime rate, perfect infrastructure and transparent legal system.

  • A strong economy, low unemployment and a stable job market allow efficient business and lucrative professional activities in Canada.

  • Canada's health and welfare systems are built on international standards and the latest scientific developments. Moreover, basic medical services are free of charge, because they are financed from tax revenues.

  • Canada has a quality and modern education system with free tuition in public schools. Tuition fees at prestigious Canadian universities are high by European standards, but affordable in comparison with U.S. universities.

  • Canada is justly considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The local nature includes rocky mountains, glacial lakes, mysterious fjords, huge waterfalls, primeval forests and arctic tundra.

  • Life in Canada is full of cultural and sporting events – all kinds of music and film festivals, theater performances and exhibitions, hockey games and other winter sports.

  • Canadians are very friendly and hospitable people who are tolerant and respectful of immigrants, regardless of their nationality and religion.

Pros and cons of living in Canada

Cons of living in Canada

  • Over-regulation of some spheres of social life by state.

  • The high cost of living in Canada, including housing costs, food prices, and tax rates.

  • Most of Canada has cold weather for 4-6 months a year, and some cities have very low winter temperatures (-20-30°C), such as Winnipeg and Quebec City.

  • Like most of the developed world, Canada has high taxes.

  • The United States has a huge impact on the economy and socio-political life in Canada.

  • The cost of public transportation between cities is high.

  • The Canadian dollar is considerably inferior to world currencies such as the euro and the U.S. dollar.

Prices and costs of living in Canada

The main financial losses of a foreigner when moving to a foreign country are related to real estate rent. On average, this figure is about 30-50% of monthly expenses. Canada is no exception. Depending on the area and the area, renting an apartment in major Canadian cities will cost about 600-1,700 Canadian dollars a month.

The highest cost of living in Canada is recorded in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa. Smaller communities in the province of Quebec, such as Sherbrooke, Laval and Saguenay, provide cheaper living costs. According to Statistics Canada, the average cost per household in Canada is C$ 84,500 a year.

Prices in Canada in 2024

  • Bread (500 g) – 3.59 C$

  • Milk (1 liter) – 2.91 C$

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 4.71 C$

  • Chicken Fillets (1 kg) – 16.59 C$

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 3.57 C$

  • Canadian cheese (1 kg) – 15.65 C$

  • Bananas (1 kg) – $1.94 C$

  • Apples (1 kg) – 5.73 C$

  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 1.59 C$

  • Cab (1 km) – 2.05 C$

  • Public transport fare – 3.50 C$

  • Monthly bus pass – 104.90 C$

  • Utilities (85 sq. m) – 214.79 C$ per month

  • Cell phone (month) – 65.22 C$

  • Internet – 86.16 C$ per month

Note. Prices are in local currency – Canadian dollars (C$). C$ exchange rate today is 0.7 US dollar /euro.

Taxes in Canada

Taxes in Canada

Tax system in Canada has a multilevel structure, it is very effective and transparent. Taxes are levied on federal, provincial and territorial levels, so the total amount of deductions largely depends on the city of residence in Canada.

Canada tax rates in 2024

Income tax:

  • Annual income from C$0 to C$55,867 – 15%

  • Annual income from C$55,867 to C$111,733 – 20.5%

  • Annual income from C$111,733 to C$173,205 – 26%

  • Annual income from C$173,205 to C$246,752 – 29,32%

  • Annual income of C$246,752 or more – 33%

Social contributions (pension fund) – 10.20% (5.10% (employee)/5.10% (employer))

Corporate Income Tax. The base federal rate is 38% and after a general reduction it is 15%. Provincial rates vary from 11.5% (Northwest Territories) to 16% (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island).

VAT (sales tax). The federal rate is 5% and the provincial rate ranges from 7% to 10%.

Jobs and wages in Canada

The most common way to move to Canada is through employment. There are special professional immigration programs for permanent foreign workers – Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience, ClassFederal Skilled Trades, and Provincial Nominee Program. For temporary employment (up to 4 years) foreigners can obtain a regular work visa to Canada, which implies prior search for an employer and obtaining a work permit.

Of course, jobs in Canada are available primarily to qualified specialists with higher education, experience, language skills (English/French), good health, and other competitive skills. For a successful job search, you should first familiarize yourself with the jobs that are in demand in Canada. Medical, engineering, construction, and other fields are in great demand on the Canadian job market today.

The minimum wage in Canada varies from 14 to 19 Canadian dollars per hour depending on the province. This amounts to 2,425 dollars per month for a 40-hour workweek. According to official figures from Statistics Canada, the average wage in Canada in 2024 is C$1,232.22 per week. Before taxes, a Canadian worker earns about 5,340 local dollars a month.

Taxes in Canada

Higher education in Canada

Canada has 150 colleges and 95 universities, including 17 private universities. And there are 31 universities on the well-known QS World University Rankings® 2024. The universities of Toronto, McGill and British Columbia are considered to be the best higher education institutions in Canada. About 10% of students at Canadian universities come from abroad.

To enter a university in Canada, a foreigner must be at least 18 years old. You will need a high school diploma and proficiency in English or French. For detailed information on admission requirements, contact the educational institution. The average cost of education in Canada is C$27,200 per year.

Medicine in Canada

Health care in Canada is government-funded and all residents have access to basic health care services free of charge. Responsibility, rights and responsibilities for health care in Canada are divided between the federal and provincial governments.

Some categories of people, such as the elderly and children, can get free health care services that are not publicly funded – dental care, emergency care, home care and prescription drugs. Other citizens cover the additional costs with private health insurance or pay out-of-pocket for treatment.

In conclusion, the most attractive places to move to Canada are Ottawa, Burlington, Toronto, Calgary, and finally Vancouver, which, according to many reputable publications, is considered one of the best cities to live in the world.

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