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For several years now, Canada has been accepting about quarter of a million new Permanent Residents each year.

For people with skills, work experience and a good standard of English or French, qualifying for residence is not a huge barrier.

Once accepted, you can take pleasure from the fact that you will be free to live permanently in a country consistently rated by the UN as the world's best country to live in. Furthermore, Canada is the world's second biggest country, rich in natural resources including oil reserves second only to Saudi Arabia.

Despite the abundance of natural wealth, real estate in most Canadian locations has traditionally been cheap compared with other developed countries. A combination of a rising currency and rapidly rising real estate prices means this is no longer the case in much of Canada.

If you are bringing children to Canada, it's likely their education will be important to you.

The OECD compared the performance of school students in 65 countries in mathematics, reading and science.

Students in Canadian schools performed better than students from any other English speaking country.

Canada's health care is publicly (tax-payer) funded: payment is generally not required for medical treatment; although, depending on the province you live in, it's probable you'll pay for pharmaceuticals and dental care.

Canada's 35 million residents enjoy virtually unlimited recreational opportunities, and you might be forgiven for thinking you have found your dream location.

Average Salary in Canada

If you moved to Canada from another western economy a few years ago, you would most likely have found Canadian wages a bit lower than you expected. This is generally not the case now.

The average salary in Canadian dollars has risen by around 22 percent since 2007.

In 2015 the average hourly earnings across all employees in either full or part-time work was $25.11. This compares to $20.56 in 2007.

The Cost of Living in Canada

Most people from the UK and Europe find the cost of living in Canada is significantly lower than their home country.
Toronto – Canada’s Financial Capital
Canadian housing is cheap compared with other developed nations – the average house price in Canada is around seven times the average annual wage. Prices are highest in Ontario and Alberta (six to seven times the average wage) and Vancouver (eleven times the average wage).
People moving to Canada with the proceeds of house sales from countries with more expensive housing can often buy a house in Canada with a considerably reduced mortgage.
This leaves more of their income for other activities and lowers their cost of living in Canada significantly.
Compared with many other western countries, although not the USA:
›› Food is cheaper in Canada.
›› Dining out and most forms of recreation are cheaper in Canada.
›› Petrol / Gasoline and cars are cheaper in Canada.
›› Power is cheaper, but you use more power to heat your house in a typical Canadian winter.
›› Car insurance is very expensive in Canada.
Mercer carried out an extensive cost of living survey for overseas workers in 2012. The survey covers 214 cities and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
The survey revealed that Toronto (61st) has the highest cost of living in Canada, followed by Vancouver (63rd), Montreal (87th), Calgary (92nd) and Ottawa (115th).
The survey found that Canadian cities have lower living costs than many other locations in the developed world.
Since the last survey Canada as a whole is becoming more expensive relative to other cities because of the strength of the Canadian dollar, Mercer says. Toronto was the most expensive due in part due to its relatively high rental costs.
The rankings for Canadian cities out of the 214 cities surveyed are:

  1. Toronto (61st)
  2. Vancouver (63rd)
  3. Montreal (87th)
  4. Calgary (92nd)
  5. Ottawa (115th)