Life in Canada VS Life in the UK: Major Differences to Know

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Canada and the United Kingdom are countries with strong historical ties, many of which still exist today. After all, Queen Elizabeth is the reigning monarch of both countries.

However, there are some prevalent differences between the different people, which is perhaps not surprising given the geographical distance between them plus the vast size difference between the two lands.

When you consider the two nations’ lifestyles, you can probably see that being Canadian is different from being British!

Zoe Dawes, the author of The Quirky Traveller, shares her take on the Canadian way of life: “There’s a winning mix of British and French influences wrapped up in a unique country with its diverse history, sports and entertainment, culture, cuisine, and landscape, and most importantly, people.”

Canada’s weather and geographical diversity have everything from sunny days on the beach to snowboarding high in the mountains! The UK cannot fully compete, which has caused many Britons to look across the pond at their cousins with envy.

This article looks at the differences mentioned in detail, contrasting and comparing Canada with Great Britain, and may see why some Brits may wish to spend a little more time in the Great White North.

The Best Places To Live In Canada

The average statistics do not always paint a complete picture. As in any other country, Canada will have expensive and inexpensive neighbourhoods. Naturally, metropolitan areas with more amenities are more expensive areas.

Cities across Canada can vary significantly in how expensive they are. The following lists the five most expensive cities to live in Canada.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia (average house price: $1,087,500)
  • Toronto, Ontario (average house price: $768,400)
  • Victoria, British Columbia (average house price: $672,800)
  • Hamilton-Burlington, Ontario (average house price: $591,481)
  • Calgary, Alberta (average house price: $430,00)

Conversely, there are cities where you can find some better rates. These areas have an excellent average wage for an area with lower housing prices. It makes these cities a possible attractive proposition for a single person looking to move.

  • Saint John, New Brunswick: (average house price: $171,596, median one-person income: $39,163)
  • Greater Moncton, New Brunswick: (average house price: $174,800, median one-person income: $39,456)
  • Trois Rivieres, Mauricie: (average house price: $153,591, median one-person income: $34,745)
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick: (average house price: $179,981, median one-person income: $34,724)
  • Saguenay, Québec: (average house price: $161,587, median one-person income: $29,125)

From this list, it should be clear that New Brunswick is the area that provides value for money in the country.

It is important to have a detailed plan before you immigrate to Canada from UK. For example, you should make sure you have a job in Canada or the one you can do remotely. This will make a huge impact on your adaptation.

Also, if you plan to work in Canada you need to consider that you will be one of the many seekers. Meaning that a thorough preparation is essential.

Quality Of Life In Canada Vs. The UK

If you live in Canada and not in the UK, you:

  • Have 1% chances of living longer: The UK’s average life expectancy is 81 years. It is 83 years for women and 79 years for men. However, in Canada, the average life span is 82 years – 85 years for women and 79 years for men. In both countries, women are likely to live longer than their male counterparts. Women in Canada have a 22.2% less chance of dying during childbirth. About 7% of 1,000 women die during childbirth in Canada and 9% per 1,000 in the UK.
  • Will spend 26.7% less on Taxes: Tax rates in the US are much higher than in Canada. In the UK, the maximum tax rate is 45.0%, and in Canada-33.0%.
  • Are 47.7% more likely to be unemployed: Although Canada’s unemployment rate is relatively low, it is not as low as in the UK. In the UK, approximately 4.4% of adults are unemployed, while in Canada, about 6.5% of adults are unemployed.
  • Will spend 14.3% more on healthcare: Although Canada has one of the best health services in the world, it’s not without a price. In the US, you are likely to spend 9.1% of the total GDP on healthcare. While in Canada, around 10.4% of GDP will usually be spent.
  • Will be 37.3% less likely to live below the poverty line: Despite the high standard of living in Canada, adults still have the prospect of living below the national poverty line. Currently, around 9.4% of people in Canada live below the poverty line, while this figure is 15.0% in the UK.
  • Have a 9% chance of having fewer children: The birth rate in both countries is quite low. It is 12.1% of infants per 1,000 in the United States and 10.3% of infants per 1,000 in Canada.

The Cost Of Living In Canada Vs. UK Countries

The UK and Canada have good international relations, making it easier to relocate there than to other countries, so the possibility of moving comes to many residents’ minds.

Living in Canada is more expensive than in the UK, which ranks 33rd on the living index cost. It shows that while there is inequality between the two countries, there is not a large gap.

For example, most cities in Canada are less extreme in their price differences, as in England, London is extremely expensive compared to other cities.

So when it comes to average costs, there will be areas of difference, which will allow you to assess whether this will work better. Here are some key points to consider:

City Living

The cost of living in Canada and the UK varies depending on where you decide to live, and cities are usually more expensive. As mentioned earlier, there are five key cities in terms of price.

Vancouver was once the most expensive city in the country, but according to the latest statistics, Toronto is on par with it in terms of living costs. However, you’ll probably be happy to know that Canadian cities as a whole have fallen in the latest global cost of living survey.

How does Canada compare to the UK? In the UK, the average national house price for a detached property is £ 233,124. However, in large cities, this figure varies. A semi-detached house in London costs an average of £ 580,930 (with apartments at £ 421,438), a semi-detached house in Manchester costs £ 221,594, and in Bristol, it costs around £282,000.

What about monthly rent? The average rental price for an apartment with 2 bedrooms in Vancouver is $ 2,000 (1,179 pounds), in Toronto – $ 2,080 (1,226 pounds), in Montreal – $ 1,310 (772 pounds), and in Ottawa- $ 1,240 (731 pounds).

Compare this with prices in the UK, where two-bed rentals in London are much higher than in Canada-around £ 1,745, while in Manchester it is £ 708, in Bristol, it is £ 795, and in Birmingham, £ 649.

Wages in Canada

You might assume that Canada’s average wage would be higher than the UK’s, but you might be surprised that there isn’t a big gap between them.

The monthly average wage in Canada is about $3,217.43 (£1,864.10), while in the UK, this is the case $3,109.14 (£1,801.36.) With a lower cost of living in key areas, this means that more of your salary can be used for fun.

It is different from city to city, with outliers like London existing in the UK. In Canada, this is also the case since each province has its minimum wage, which leads to higher wages in these areas.

Many ex-pats transferred to Canada for work in industries such as mining, technology, and manufacturing, where everyone pays well. Therefore, the average statistics may not give a complete picture.

Household Bills

When it comes to utilities, your main concern will probably be heating your home during the long, cold winter. However, if you rent an apartment, the heating and hot water are often included in the rent.

Even though most of your salary goes to bills, you will still spend less in Canada than in the UK. If you are buying a property, you can expect bills to be around $145.93 (£84.55) for a one-bedroom apartment in Canada versus $250.75 (£145.28 ) in the UK.

When it comes to considering the internet, you should expect competitive prices like the UK’s, with mobile and internet helpful packages-a way to save money. However, if you live more in the countryside, your Internet speed may be lower as in many other countries.

Healthcare Systems

Suppose you have permanent residency in Canada, as you are eligible for Medicare, which is the universal health care available to Canadian citizens offered through universal public health insurance.

It ensures that most health problems are covered and others, such as optometry, are inexpensive. It functions a lot like the NHS, with all its benefits (free of charge) and a few pitfalls (long waiting times).

However, if you do not have permanent residency, you will not have the same access. Therefore, you will need private insurance. Premiums can be high; therefore, if you are getting a transfer to a job, it is worth negotiating a package with health insurance included.

Shopping, Eating Out, And Lifestyle Activities

Because many of their products are imported, buying food and groceries in Canada will cost more. Food prices in the UK are about 18.59% lower than in Canada.

It then flips when you take into account recreational activities and eating out. For example, restaurant prices in the UK are 17.71% higher than in Canada. It indicates that those living in the UK should be more frugal than their Canadian cousins when thinking about eating out.

When you go to the movies or other entertainment events, this trend continues. Going to the cinema in the UK is about 27.85 % more expensive. Buying clothes and luxury goods is also becoming more expensive.

Petrol

Because of the long, cold winters and the vastness of Canada with its sprawling cities, you might consider buying a car. The good news is that Canada’s gasoline prices are lower than the UK (about 70 pence per liter instead of 1.24 pounds in the UK).

You will need to apply for a Canadian driver’s license to get insurance, which will have minimum liability coverage and can be expensive.

However, there is no road tax to be paid. Some other unexpected costs also differ from the UK, such as the likelihood that you will have to buy winter snow tires. For more information about driving in Canada, you should read these rules.

The Differences In Culture And Traditions

While Canada and the UK have much in common, there are indeed clear differences between them, many of which may become apparent when you start looking at culture and tradition.

Friendliness and hospitality are a great example of this, as Canadians are widely known worldwide for their incredible courtesy and hospitality, ranking even higher than the British. In the survey of the world’s friendliest countries by InterNations, Canada is in the top 10, and the United Kingdom is outside the top 50.

One of Canada’s genuinely defining characteristics is its vast open spaces, which means that exploring nature outdoors is vital to Canadian culture. Opportunities like this are really few and far between in the UK and hardly comparable to Canada’s available. Therefore, for the British, this is probably something to take advantage of.

One huge difference between Canada and the UK is the presence of indigenous people in Canada. The indigenous peoples of Canada—the original inhabitants of this land, often called First Nations, Mestizos, and Inuit—make up almost 5% of the population.

As a result, indigenous peoples play an essential role in Canada’s culture and have their unique traditions.

What makes Canada a truly unique place to live is its solid French culture, with many residents speaking the language fluently. French Canadians trace their ancestry back to French colonists who settled in Canada from the 17th century.

French is the main language of 7.2 million Canadians (about 20% of the population), with most native speakers living in Quebec. It has a significant impact on Canadian culture, especially in regions with a large presence of native French speakers.

Therefore, many French customs and traditions can be found in Canada. It includes things from cuisine, greetings, celebrations such as the New France Festival, which celebrates the first Europeans’ arrival and includes costume, fine art, and culinary events.

Food

The food and cuisine of a country are usually related to its geographical landscape and the animals that are native to it.

In the UK, you will probably see a lot of pork, lamb, beef, and chicken dishes, with favorites such as shepherd’s pie and roast beef, as well as taking advantage of the country’s island status, which often leads to its infamous fish and chips. But how to compare Canada?

A significant aspect that has dramatically influenced Canada’s food scene is the country’s diversity, bringing many different dining habits to the table. Canadian cuisine ranges from the west coast to the east coast, and what makes it so special is its variety. It is the second-largest country in terms of landmass, hosting more than 17 million immigrants since 1867.

Diversity has played a role in shaping the country’s history, as well as nutrition. It’s not just the typical poutine, ketchup chips, buttered brownies, or smoked Montreal meat. They have some of the best Chinese, Japanese, and Korean dishes outside of Asia.

Canadian chefs are increasingly relying on foraging for wild edibles and native species to incorporate into their cuisine.

Sport Scene

Canada and the UK are both proud sporting nations and are home to some of the world’s most gifted sports stars.

Sport is a big deal for the Brit cousins across the Atlantic, from hockey and curling to lacrosse and rugby. Sport Canada showed that 27% of all Canadians aged 15 and over regularly played sports in 2016, while 86% of people played sports for recreational purposes and 14% played in competitions.

Ice hockey is the main sport of Canada after being invented in this country. It has also become popular throughout the rest of the world, and the brightest talents from Europe travel to Canada and the United States to compete in the National Hockey League.

Soccer in the United Kingdom has many similarities to hockey in the United Kingdom. It is the most popular sport that originated in England.

Lacrosse is Canada’s main national summer sport. In April 2019, it was announced that the sport would compete at the 2021 Summer Games in Canada. In 2018, it was announced that lacrosse had received preliminary recognition from the International Olympic Committee.

Cricket is a prevalent sport to play and watch during the summer months in the UK. It is played with two teams of 11 players per field, and in the middle of the field is a 20-meter (22-yard) field with a wicket at each end. It is much slower than lacrosse and is a non-contact sport.

To Sum Up

Canada is proving to be a more tempting opportunity for ex-pats than the UK, especially in the face of great political uncertainty at the moment. With high food and housing bills, your monthly expenses will be a little higher than in the UK.

However, eating out is a little cheaper, and some might say that the slightly higher cost of living is well worth the fabulous lifestyle you can enjoy in Canada.

In the end, you will have more money and opportunities to do things that are fun and enjoyable.

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