Getting to Know Canada

Canada is a beautiful country, boasting 38 national parks and some of the most stunning scenery in the world. Known for its liberal and welcoming culture, over 300,000 immigrants arrive in Canada each year.

Whether you are considering buying a property in Canada, or emigrating there permanently, there are many interesting facts which you may not be aware of. So, if you’re thinking of moving to Canada, here are some of the most interesting facts about The Great White North, including some of the most popular expat destinations.

Immigrating to Canada - life in Canada

Interesting Canadian facts

  1. In Nova Scotia, it’s illegal to water your lawn when it’s raining

There’s no available clarification for why exactly this is illegal, but one can take an educated guess. Still, there are a surprising number of Canadian laws that are worth looking into if you’re considering emigrating to Canada. For instance, did you know that it is illegal to swear in French in Montreal? And that any debt higher than 25 cents cannot be paid in pennies?

  1. The Canada-United States border is the longest international border in the world

Officially known as the International Boundary, the border is 5,525 miles long. Canada’s border is so vast that it runs alongside 13 US states, which include:

  • Alaska
  • Michigan
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New York
  • Washington
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Idaho
  • Pennsylvania

The US border covers 8 Canadian territories and provinces including:

  • Ontario
  • British Columbia
  • Yukon
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • New Brunswick
  • Manitoba
  • Alberta

Most Canadians live near the US border, with 90% living within 100 miles.

  1. Canadians harvest icebergs for vodka

Every spring, massive islands of ice break off glaciers in Greenland and pass through an “Iceberg Alley”. Entrepreneurs take it upon themselves to harvest these icebergs to create unique products including vodka, beer, and skincare products.

  1. There is a UFO landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta

Built in 1967, Canada’s most unique Centennial project was building the world’s first UFO landing pad. The landing pad contains a time capsule which is to be opened on the 100th anniversary of the pad in 2067. The purpose of the UFO landing pad was to attract tourists to St Paul as well as any potential Martians.

  1. Animals can use the highways safely

Banff National Park is built under and over passes so that animals can cross highways safely. These passes have been used by grizzly bears, deer and moose. Canada is an incredible place full of nature, beauty and maple syrup.

Best Canadian cities for expats

According to InterNations the five most popular Canadian cities for expats are Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa. Each city ranks highly for a number of factors from cultural life to work opportunities.


Vancouver is a particularly popular expat destination for those who love the outdoors. Surrounded by mountains, it’s the perfect location for those who love to ski, surf and snowboard.

It is an incredibly multicultural city with almost 50% of the population speaking multiple languages.

Vancouver has a strong economy, so it is popular amongst expats due the work opportunities available.

However, Vancouver is also known for its high cost of living, with a one-bedroom apartment in the city costing around CAD 2,080 (GBP 1,186) per month.


Similar to Vancouver, Toronto is also multicultural with almost half of residents being born from outside the country.

Toronto also contains substantial job opportunities for expats including sectors such as finance, bio-technology and media.

Whilst it may be expensive to live in Vancouver, Toronto has the highest cost of living than any other city in Canada. Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Canada is CAD 2,270 (GBP 1,295).


Calgary is often referred to as Canada’s most ‘American’ city but currently lacks the same strong multicultural image as Toronto and Vancouver despite having a diverse population.

The city is particularly useful for highly skilled expats with work opportunities available in a variety of sectors including financial services, oil, education and manufacturing.

The cost of living is also high within Calgary, though not as high as Vancouver or Toronto. Monthly rent for a studio apartment is between CAD 750 – 1000 (GBP 428 – 570).


Montreal has been ranked as the fifth best city in the world for expats according to InterNations. Despite its cold climate, expats love the affordability of housing in Montreal as well as the work life balance.

Whilst Montreal is a multicultural city, 65% of the population speak French so expats could encounter some communication issues. The most notable sectors for work include commerce, transport and finance.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal is around CAD 1,200 (GBP 685).


Whilst it may not be as energetic as the other Canadian cities, Ottawa remains one of the most popular expat destinations within Canada. Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto are considered to be trendier cities, though Ottawa still has its fair share of restaurants, theatres and galleries.

Ottawa is particularly known for its technology sector and is renowned for being one of the most high-tech centres in North America.

The city is the third most expensive within Canada, with monthly rent on a one bedroom apartment within one of the more costly areas is around CAD 2,700 (GBP 1,541).

If you’re thinking about emigrating to Canada, then be sure to keep up-to-date with our informative and fun articles.

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