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Moving to Canada

By May 27, 2024May 31st, 2024No Comments
moving to Canada

Moving to Canada? Here are Five Great Landing Spots

Moving to Canada

It’s become a bit of a running joke for politically-minded celebrities in the US to say that they’re going to move to Canada if things don’t go their way politically. It’s always funny—because they never actually move—but it’s also a bit of a shame because it creates the impression that Canada is slightly “lesser than”—a place that’s not worth moving to unless one happens to be in the doldrums about the political situation at home.

Nothing could be further from the truth—Canada has a ton going for it—and you don’t need to be planning your political exile to make the decision to move to Canada. Nothing illustrates this reality better than the fact that almost 50,000 Americans move to Canada every year, regardless of the political situation at home, along with half a million people from other parts of the world.

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Canada, in short, has a lot to offer besides the English language, proximity to the US, and both Tim Hortons and Lululemon 🙂 It’s a land of spectacular natural beauty and uniquely vibrant cities, and it comprises a remarkable two-fifths of North America–the same size as the United States in other words, but with only 1/10 the population!

Every part of Canada has its pluses and minuses, like any other place on planet Earth, but here’s our “Top 5” of the very best places to live in Canada in terms of overall quality of life.

Read Here: All About Relocating to Canada from the US

Let’s begin in the west, where the Pacific Ocean meets some extremely scenic if slightly rocky, coastline…

Vancouver, British Columbia

moving to Canada

Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, BC

Vancouver is renowned for its striking natural beauty and its vibrant cultural scene—all of which make it one of the most livable cities in the world. Indeed, in 2023, Vancouver was #5 on the Global Livability Index, which is published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) (sister company of The Economist magazine). Between 2002 and 2010, the city held the #1 spot.

Read Here: How to Prepare your Move to Canada

Lying between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountains, Vancouver offers a plethora of outdoor activities due to its mild climate and the accessibility of the surrounding natural environment. The city can deliver a lot of rain in the cooler months (like Seattle to the south), but it also offers lovely–and very comfortable–springs and summers. Vancouver is the perfect base to explore all of the quaint little towns and inlets that dot Canada’s West Coast, as well as nearby Vancouver Island, one of the largest islands on earth, known for its sports fishing, its rugged coastline and its unique ecosystem.

moving to Canada

Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

From the sandy beaches of Vancouver’s Kitsilano (or “Kits”) neighborhood to the downtown core’s spectacular Stanley Park, Vancouver’s residents—and the city’s millions of annual visitors–are able to enjoy everything from kayaking and sports fishing to hiking and cycling. And, of course, if you’re a ski bum, one of the best things about Vancouver is its proximity to world-class ski resorts like Whistler, only a short drive away.

Vancouver’s dynamic economy offers opportunities in a wide variety of fields—everything from technology and film to tourism and construction. Vancouver is often known as “Hollywood North” because of the tremendous number of US films and television shows that film there. Filmmakers in LA take advantage of the weakness of the Canadian dollar and the ready availability of well-trained actors, film crews, and studios, as well as locations that can easily stand in for US towns and cities.

Know More Here: The Cheapest Way to Move To Canada

Vancouver’s tech scene is especially vibrant, hosting small but extremely innovative startups in addition to major players like Amazon and Microsoft.

Vancouver is also home to the University of British Columbia (UBC), one of Canada’s best universities and–as of 2024–one of the world’s top 40 post-secondary institutions.

One thing to bear in mind: property prices in Vancouver are extremely high, a trend resulting from several factors, including foreign investment. If you’re on a budget, consider one of Vancouver’s many lovely suburbs—especially Richmond, Burnaby, South Surrey, and White Rock.

Calgary, Alberta

Canada Downtown

Downtown Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is known for its tremendous vitality, its youthful population, and its consistently strong economic growth, which makes it an especially attractive destination for those with entrepreneurial inclinations.

In some ways, Calgary is the Dallas of Canada—a city that owes its energy and prosperity to the local oil and gas industry. (Americans from Texas should appreciate the plethora of cowboy hats on display and also the number of transplants from the US who work in the energy sector). With climate change a serious concern, however, Calgary has also been working hard to diversify its economy and now excels in less controversial but still lucrative areas like technology, financial services, and clean energy. Economic diversification has created a strong job market that continues to attract workers from every other part of Canada as well as much of the rest of the world.

One of Calgary’s best features is how close it is to the Canadian Rocky Mountains—and everything those mountains are able to offer. Calgarians are known for maintaining an extremely active lifestyle, and much of that revolves around skiing, snowboarding, and–off-season–climbing and hiking, none of which would really be possible if the Rockies weren’t so close.

Read Here: Average Moving Costs to Canada

The national parks of Banff and Jasper are easily accessible from Calgary and are world-renowned for their icy blue lakes, verdant forests, towering, snow-capped peaks, and remarkable abundance of both grizzly bears and black bears—as well as all manner of other living creatures.

Moving to Canada

Banff National Park, Alberta

Inside Canada, Calgary is also renowned for its expansive urban network of trails and paths, which city residents use regularly for exercise and leisure, but also to commute to work.

Calgary’s vibrant job market – and high wages – are matched by a great deal of affordable housing. This is Calgary’s secret weapon. Prices are rising in Calgary, but they don’t yet approach prices in Vancouver or Toronto. Some of the most popular suburbs in Calgary at the moment include Lake Bonavista, Lake Chaparral, Discovery Ridge, Oakridge, Silver Springs, Evanston, Coventry Hills, and Huntington Hills.

Toronto, Ontario 

Moving to Canada

View of Downtown Toronto

Toronto, Canada’s largest city, was once described by a foreign visitor as “New York, but run by the Swiss,” and in many ways that’s not an inaccurate description.

The City of Toronto is an enormous, sprawling metropolis of 6 million people featuring one of the most diverse populations in the world, but it’s also a city marked by remarkable order and tranquility.

Toronto is Canada’s London, New York, Paris or Sydney—the city most strongly identified with the country itself, and the one with the most disdain for Canada’s other urban centers, all of whom are deeply jealous of Toronto’s status.

Though Toronto isn’t the political center of Canada—that’s Ottawa—but it’s the center of everything else, including business and finance, arts and culture, tourism, and media and telecommunications. Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America and home to a remarkable number of domestic and international corporations as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE).

Read Here: Cost Of Moving To Canada
Moving to Canada

Little Italy, Toronto, Ontario

As noted, the city’s diversity is remarkable and features significant numbers of people from almost every country on planet Earth. Toronto’s Chinatown, Little Italy, and Greektown offer truly immersive cultural experiences, delivering unforgettable food and retail experiences as well as exhilarating festivals and community events. Caribana—which celebrates Toronto’s diversity—is one of North America’s largest street festivals, and the Toronto International Film Festival is a highly-respected event that attracts cinephiles, celebrities, and filmmakers from around the world.

Toronto’s economy is extremely dynamic. The city and its environs are home to a proliferating number of tech businesses and research institutions, with AI research at their center. Financial technology—or “fintech”—is also central to the region’s economy. The University of Toronto, the source of much of the top-tier talent working in these industries, is considered one of the best universities in Canada and one of the top 30 or 40 post-secondary institutions in the world.

Property prices in Toronto are often unaffordable for long-term residents and new arrivals alike. Affordable housing is available, however, if you know where to look–and a good overview of affordable Toronto neighborhoods and suburbs can be found here.

Quebec City, Quebec 

Quebec City

Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City, QC

Quebec City, in the French-speaking province of Quebec, stands out with its unique Old World charm and a remarkable history that dates back to 1608 when the city was founded as the capital of New France by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain. The city’s architecture, featuring cobblestone streets and the unforgettable Château Frontenac towering over the St. Lawrence River, is exactly what it appears to be: a little bit of 17th-century France transplanted to North America. Modern additions to the centuries-old buildings include abundant shopping, incredible eateries, and first-rate educational institutions (including Laval University).

The city’s core—Old Quebec—is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts millions of tourists annually. For residents of Quebec City, this means having to be mindful of the past, present, and future all at the same time. Inevitably, the city values preservation and cultural heritage as much, or more, than it values expansion and diversification. Moving to Quebec City and living there is akin to living in a city like Venice or Kyoto—both of which are “virtual museums” and demand that residents embrace a lifestyle that balances modernity with a deep respect for the past.

Read Here: All About Visas for Americans Moving to Canada

Quebec City is culturally vibrant and economically stable—the latter status is a direct product of its popularity with tourists. The population is close-knit. Quality of life here is extremely high, employment opportunities are abundant—especially in IT and health care—and property prices are far more reasonable than they are in either Vancouver or Toronto. The average price of a one-bedroom home in Quebec City is roughly $400,000 (USD).

Jacques Cartier National Park,

Jacques Cartier National Park, near Quebec City, QC

Residents also have a chance to explore the outdoors in Jacques Cartier National Park, only a short distance away. The park, formed from of a glacial valley covering hundreds of square miles, is filled with opportunities for extended hikes as well as running, cycling, kayaking, and camping.

In short, the quality of life in Quebec City is extremely high. The city also has one of the lowest crime rates in North America. Ultimately, Quebec City’s mix of history and modernity–and culture and nature–is a reflection of its citizens, who are mindful of their role in preserving the city’s character.

One important thing to note is that Quebec City lies in the very heart of French-speaking Quebec, and life there generally requires some facility with French. If you want to live and work in Quebec City, start booking some French lessons!

Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Halifax, an Atlantic ocean port, is the capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, way over in Canada’s “Far East,” in what’s known as “the Maritimes” (above Maine)—a collection of fishing-oriented, fairly rural provinces that includes Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.

Looming over Halifax is the hilltop Citadel, a star-shaped fort completed in the 1850s. The city is also notable for its waterfront warehouses—the Historic Properties—which harken back to the city’s days as a trading hub for bootleggers and privateers, especially during the War of 1812.

The Halifax Citadel

The Halifax Citadel

Halifax is spectacularly beautiful, surrounded by lovely beaches, lighthouses, harbors, and sweeping ocean views, and the city allows easy access to all sorts of quaint fishing villages that recall a time long past. Indeed, this is what makes Halifax so special: the overwhelming sense of calm it inspires. This part of Canada is radically different from Toronto, Calgary, or Vancouver; it seems to generate an almost pre-industrial quietude at times—and everything, from houses to business towers, is on a smaller, much more human scale. Life is less hurried. If you want to move to a place in Canada to unplug – to write the book you’ve always been planning, to go to school, to work remotely, or simply to live by the sea, this is the place for you.

Read Here: ITop 6 International Moving Companies of the Year

Now, one of the best things about Halifax is the cost of living. This part of Canada is more expensive than it used to be, but it’s still less expensive than Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. The Maritimes were built on the back of the fishing industry, but that industry is now gone. As a result, although Halifax is vibrant and economic conditions and job opportunities are robust (especially in IT, financial services, life sciences, ocean economy, and transport and logistics), home prices and cost of living generally are far lower than the rest of Canada. Homes in the city itself can be had for roughly $450,000 (USD), and prices just outside of Halifax are much lower. South End, North End, Dartmouth, and Bedford are popular parts of the city. Fairview, Spryfield, and Clayton Park are areas known for their affordability.

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Another major plus of Halifax is its proximity to other parts of the Maritimes. While Nova Scotia is uniquely lovely, many Americans familiar with Anne of Green Gables have a good sense of how idyllic the nearby island province of Prince Edward Island is. Halifax is just a hop, skip, and jump from Maine, which can be accessed by ferry. And don’t forget to visit Peggy’s Cove—the famous red-and-white lighthouse, and Lunenberg, the scenic 18th-century port town that can be accessed easily from Halifax.

International Van Lines: The World’s Premier International Moving Company

ivl truck

International Van Lines (IVL) is the world’s No. 1 international mover. No other international moving company even comes close–despite the fact that most of them have been in business far longer than IVL.

When we entered the industry 25 years ago, we recognized immediately that many of our competitors, including Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, United Van Lines, Colonial Van Lines, JK Moving, and several others, had become complacent. They were overcharging but providing less-than-stellar services.

Read Here: How How Relocation with a Company Like IVL works

IVL was the new kid on the block, but the company began with the basics: we worked diligently at providing superior services at lower prices–and crucially, we were able to develop a far more sophisticated understanding of the logistics of international moving. This deeper level of understanding has stood us in good stead ever since.

ivl ownerI

IVL now serves more than 180 countries worldwide–a truly remarkable number–and yet we continue to grow. Whether you’re moving to Tokyo, Cape Town, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Delhi, or any other location on planet Earth (including Canada!), remember: IVL stands ready to help.

And don’t just take our word for it. Have a good look at IVL’s rankings in publications like Forbes, USA Today, US News, and Consumer Affairs. And see below to find out what our customers are saying!

For your free international moving quote click here!

So, Why IVL?


A simple question with a simple answer: IVL gets your stuff where it needs to go—fast! At the same time, however, we treat your personal possessions as if they were our own.

That’s first.

Second, IVL’s size, versatility, and experience make international relocation a smooth, predictable, and worry-free process. And we have the resources and equipment needed to do the job right.

Third, IVL has truly global reach that our competitors can only dream of. Wherever you need to go—we can get you there.

Our Approach

When we move your personal possessions between continents and across international borders, we typically rely on both air freight and ocean freight.

If you’re moving to Canada, however, it’s more likely than not that we’ll rely on our enormous fleet of high-end long-distance moving vans. Given the fact that the most popular destinations in Canada are within 100 miles of the US-Canada border, this is usually the most efficient method of moving soon-to-be American expats to the land of hockey, maple syrup, and affordable health care. But whatever means of transport we rely on to get your household goods to their final destination, remember: we treat our cargo—which is your cargo—with enormous care at all times.

Read Here: Tips to Pick the Best Moving Company

Remember too, wherever you may be headed in Canada–the West Coast, the East Coast, or somewhere in-between–we know that destination like the back of our hand. As full-service international movers, we know every potential obstacle. We know the unique attributes of every highway, port, and airport. We know all the logistics of the international moving process. From clearing Canadian customs quickly to choosing the quickest and safest route to your new home, it’s something we’ve handled successfully many, many times before.

In short, you can count on IVL to get it right. We’re the best international moving company on planet Earth at the moment, and that’s a position we fully intend to keep.

Click here for your free international moving quote today!
Canadas National Game

Canada’s National Game!

How Much Does Moving to Canada Cost?

The cost of moving to Canada obviously varies, depending on your destination and the difficulty of getting to that destination. While international moves tend to be pricier than domestic moves, moving from Seattle to Vancouver, for example, is effectively a local move in terms of fuel costs, while moving from Miami to Yellowknife, in Canada’s Yukon territory, is a much more expensive proposition.

However, since the most popular destinations in Canada tend to lie within 100 miles of the US border (and some, amazingly, are actually south of the border), it’s safe to assume that the closer you are to the Canadian border–and major border crossings–the less your move to Canada is likely to cost.

Feel free to check out our moving cost calculator to get a better feel for the numbers involved. Moving costs inevitably ebb and flow in response to many different variables—fuel costs especially, but also other factors.

Whatever the cost of your move to Canada might be, remember: we’re fully transparent with you—the customer—when it comes to all fees and charges. Nothing is ever a surprise.

IVL Team

The IVL Team at Company HQ in Coral Springs, FL

Click the link for a free moving quote or speak directly to a company representative at (877) 647-1336. We’d love to hear from you.
What Specific International Moving Services Does IVL Offer?

Wherever you plan to move in Canada, remember: that IVL’s cross-border relocation services are comprehensive and door-to-door. Below we offer a brief summary of our major international moving services, but contact us directly if you need extra help (like a moving plan!) as we can often personalize our services—or create new ones—to meet your specific requirements. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Full-service packing and unpacking services, including custom crating if needed.
  • Furniture assembly and disassembly.
  • Personalized services for high-value items (art, antiques, etc.).
  • Comprehensive ocean and/or air freight services, combined with IVL’s fleet of moving vans.
  • Junk removal at no additional cost.
  • Vehicle transport.
  • Short-, medium-, and long-term storage services, including climate-controlled storage space. (Storage services are an IVL specialty!)
  • Full customs clearance management.
  • Liability protection including full value protection.
  • Full corporate relocation and military relocation services.
  • Live chat and customer service 24/7.
  • Easy shipment tracking.
What Else I Should Know?
Deposits and Payments

To promote the speed and efficiency of your move to Canada, IVL may partner with one or more local moving service providers at certain points of the moving process. There is also a 25 percent deposit required to reserve a moving date. The balance is then split into two separate payments: 50 percent on moving day, and the remainder upon delivery. The deposit can be made using a credit card, check, or ACH.


Given the complex logistical arrangements that an international move requires, deposits received for any international move are not refundable.

Is International Van Lines Licensed?

Yes. IVL is licensed by DOT, FMC and AMSA (the latter having been recently absorbed by ATA).

What Do IVL’s Customers Think?

Customer reviews of IVL at Trustpilot average 4.8/5 stars.

International Van Lines

Contact IVL Today. For Your Free Custom Quote Click Here!

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