It has been 5 months since we moved to this country. Not knowing anything in details about how life is in Canada, we took a leap of faith. A little less than a year is too short a time to know a place completely but it is good enough to know what’s good, not-so-good, and bad about the destination. Of course, it is all subjective to one’s past experiences.
When you move to a new country, you make instant comparisons with things back at home. There are things that amaze or surprise you, and there are some that even shock you. (I think snow is something that has done both for us. First, it left us in awe. And now we are in shock seeing it snow during spring! But we are getting used to it :))
A lot of people ask us how’s life in Canada as an immigrant. So we thought of putting together things that we find good, bad, and well not so good here. There’s nothing ugly about Canada really.
The Good About Life in Canada
- Clean Air: We reluctantly left India mainly because of pollution. So, clean air in Canada is definitely the best part about this country.
- Health Care System: It’s free! Given that in India, you need to shell out at least Rs 500 (CAD 10) to just see the doctor’s face, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is fantastic. Except for eyes and dental care, it takes care of almost everything.
- People: Whatever cliches you’ve heard about people in Canada, are true. People here are polite, pleasant, and courteous. “Hello, how are you today?” and “sorry” are the words you constantly hear.
- A safe country: The crime rate in Canada is almost negligible as compared to anywhere else in the world. It’s a peaceful country.
- It is beautiful: We haven’t explored it much yet but we can say it is a country blessed by nature.
- Education is free: I shall comment about the quality of education once my daughter starts schooling. But the fact that we don’t have to worry about donation and ridiculous fees is a huge pro about building our life in Canada.
- Child Care Benefit: You get monetary support from Government for your kids.
- When you are starting life from scratch in a new country, you are constantly looking at ways to save money, right? You might be surprised that you can get a lot of home furniture and stuff for free. There are several listings on sites like Kijiji wherein people are looking to get rid of things in good condition or sometimes even brand new stuff for free. We got a lot of our furniture like that.
- Public transportation is excellent. There are apps telling you the time the bus will reach your bus stop. Very efficient system.
- Spoilt for choice: I sometimes think this is more a bane than boon that you have a plethora of choices for everything. Seriously, sometimes it takes us several minutes to decide which butter brand to buy!
- Tim Hortons: There’s low-cost, good coffee everywhere.
- There’s maple syrup. Lots of it!
The Not-So-Good in Canada
- Online shopping is not as efficient or popular as in India. We miss the grocery app with same day delivery option, and fashion portals with easy returns. We tried a grocery delivery portal here. It was a disaster.
- High rentals burn a hole in your pocket.
- Cabs are expensive. Traveling by buses can be tough with a baby during winter time. So, you have to depend on cabs till the time you get your own license and a car.
- You need credit history and score for getting accommodation on rent even. This is a seriously obstacle in finding home initially when you come in as an immigrant.
The Bad: What’s not good in Canada
- Weather: It seemed magical at first but by the end of it we got quite bored of the snow. Without a car, life is tough with a baby in Canada. Winter is extreme. We landed here in November, and we are still waiting to see a weather that does not require us to wear multiple layers before stepping out even for a short walk. If you are with a small kid, getting the baby on in a snow suit is a task that will discourage you from making any plans! Sigh.
- Finding a job according to your experience in your home country is tough. Most companies prefer candidates with prior Canadian experience.
Weather is something that will take some time getting used to. Other than that, we are absolutely loving our life in Canada. It’s a welcoming country with plenty of benefits. The down sides are far and few in between as compared to the things that make it a wonderful place to live in. Shall keep updating the post as we go along 🙂
If you live in Canada, tell us what you like and dislike about the country. And feel free to ask any questions if you are planning on moving to Canada as an immigrant.