Excerpted from the Canada Career Guide
Cost of Living
Canada has a high standard of living and consistently ranks among the top countries in terms of overall wellbeing.
The cost of living across Canada varies widely although it is reasonable by North American and Western European standards. Generally speaking, larger metropolitan areas such as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax are more expensive than smaller cities and towns. Much also depends on one’s lifestyle.
The average rental apartment vacancy rate in Canada’s 35 major metropolitan areas has been increasing over the past four years and has increased by 2.7 percent over the past year. The west in particular has a tight rental market, with demand exceeding supply; the lowest vacancy rates and the highest rental prices are found in western urban areas such as Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton.
Multi-modal intra-city transportation systems, including buses, trains and light rail or subway service, exist in several of Canada’s largest cities, including Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Each of Canada’s cities has, at minimum, bus or trolley service. For inter-city transportation, Canada has more than 1,300 airports (paved and unpaved) as well as a train network, VIA Rail. Canada also has an extensive road network, though some of its northernmost communities are only reachable by air. From Canada, it is easy to reach the United States by road, rail and air.
Medical Care and Health Insurance
All Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for health care in Canada. Public health services are paid through taxes. Provinces and territories administer their own public health plans, which provide basic services; it is essential to be registered with one’s home province and be familiar with the plan’s features. Using health care services in a province or territory where one is not a resident will result in fees. Private insurance, usually provided through one’s employer, offers extended coverage (such as prescription medication, dental care and eye care).
This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Canada Guide.