Are you thinking of moving to Canada? If so, welcome! We’re happy to have you here. Moving to a new place often comes with a little bit of an adjustment period. This article aims to help you through that adjustment period, and settle in to life in Canada. There are a few big things you may want to know as you prepare to move here. Read on to learn more about Canada, and what makes this country such a great place to live!
1: It Is Cold- In the Winter!
One of the first things that comes to mind for a lot of people when they think of Canada is winter and snow! Depending on where you’re moving from, you may find Canada incredibly cold… but this is largely an exaggeration. Most of the population lives in the Southern half of the country, which means we experience four distinct seasons. (Yes, that includes summer!) However, if you’re moving from a country that doesn’t have snowfall, you’re probably in for a whole new experience. You will need a winter coat, hat, mittens, thick socks… and a scraper to clear the snow off of your car in the mornings! Try activities like skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, and making snowmen to make the most of Canada’s coldest season. We promise, it gets warmer- don’t throw out your shorts or sunglasses!
2: Canada is Huge
Canada is an enormous country. In fact, we are the second largest country in the world by area! However, the amount of people in Canada is completely disproportionate to the amount of land available. This is largely due to the fact that most people choose to live in the Southern half of the country. Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon are largely unpopulated. With a population density of 4 people per square kilometer, each of Canada’s 35 million people could have 61 acres for themselves! Some parts of Canada are much roomier than others however. If you move to Toronto or Vancouver, you will find that the population is still densely packed, with skyscrapers and very occasional green space. Areas like Kitchener-Waterloo retain a more roomy feel, particularly with country living and farm land situated right outside the city limits. Finally, the size of Canada means that flying from Toronto to Vancouver takes almost as long as flying from Toronto to London!
3: We Are Multicultural
One of the things Canada prides itself in is being multicultural. Although this multiculturalism is far from perfect, Canada credits itself with being far more inclusive and accepting than our Southern neighbour. Although the large cities like Toronto and Vancouver have always had more diverse populations, this diversity is spreading to smaller cities such as Kitchener-Waterloo! With multicultural festivals, diverse populations and languages, and many different support groups to help new Canadians feel comfortable and welcomed, KW definitely encapsulates the multiculturalism of the country. After all, immigration is incredibly important for Canada’s economy! More importantly, however, Canada appreciates diversity and difference.
4: We Have 2 Official Languages
Did you know that Canada actually has two official languages? Both English and French are official languages in Canada. English students have mandatory French lessons throughout primary and secondary school, and vice versa. The province of Quebec is largely French-speaking, while the rest of Canada is largely English-speaking. This also means that when you come here, you’ll get used to seeing two labels on just about everything. Your groceries will have full descriptions in both English and French, official websites will be available in both languages, and when your flight lands here, your flight attendants will welcome you in English and French!
5: Canada Has a Lot of Natural Resources
Given the fact that Canada is such a large land mass, it also has access to many natural resources. These resources are namely oil, minerals, and forestry. You may find the quality of the air to be noticeably different and cleaner as compared to other countries. (This is less true in the crowded big cities like Ottawa). There are also plenty of breathtaking natural wonders in the country to explore, including the Rockies, the Canadian Shield, Banff National Park, and the Great Lakes.
6: Canada Turns 150 This Year!
This year, (2017), Canada is turning 150 years old! This officially happens on July 1st, Canada Day, but celebrations and special events are taking place all year. If you are moving to Canada in 2017, make sure to participate in the celebrations! You will have a lot of fun, and learn a little more about your new home. One of the best things you can do if you miss July 1st is to visit one of Canada’s National Parks, all of which are offering free entry year round in celebration.
Welcome to Canada! We’re so glad you’re here.