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Old 07-20-2013, 04:23 AM
Rdx Rdx started this thread
Location: Melbourne, Australia
5 posts, read 7,953 times
Reputation: 16


Hi everyone

Me and the girlfriend are looking to relocate to Canada in 3 years or so after completing our education, and having difficulty in choosing what city to go to!

I am training to become a Psychologist and my girlfriend is either going to become a Audiologist/Physiotherapist/Occupational Therapist.

Our reasons leaving Melbourne 'the most liveable city in the world';
- Cost of living is absolutely outrageous. I don't feel my bang for my buck is good at all, we are more expensive then Paris & New York!!
- Australia is in the middle of nowhere.
- Selection of goods is very limited compared to you guys in North America.
- Winters are not warm enough to rave about. I feel the need to wear thermals, I might as well be in -10c.

What we want;
- A trendy, nice and safe city to have a child in.
- A population of at least 200,000 or close to a larger city (1hr 30m max~) (We like shopping & being 'urban').
- Preferably not a place that has horrid winters, unless we can afford a house near a underground shopping system as Toronto/Montreal do.
- Budget of around $400,000 for housing. I'd like to buy something then waste money on rent forever.

Options I've found;

Vancouver - High cost of living I know, but I personally think its worth it. It's cheaper then Melbourne, but has the amazing beauty that we don't.

Calgary - High salary, low cost of living. The winter seems to be not as harsh as other places due to winds.

Edmonton - Winter/Apparently boring/Unsafe downtown. But has a great $$$ for the medical field.

Toronto - Cost of living/Winter?

Montreal - Would in a heart beat ignoring the winters, but i'm not sure about how my ability not to speak French would work out especially in my industry..

Victoria - Beautiful scenery, not as rainy as Vancouver. But cost of living and housing is higher.

Burlington - Safe, near Toronto and from the looks of it has a really nice feel to it! Housing doesn't look cheap though, so not sure if it's worth it compared to other options.

London - Cheap housing, largish population - whats wrong?

What would you guys recommend trying out? Any options really should not belong there?

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Old 07-20-2013, 05:18 AM
10,847 posts, read 11,255,922 times
Reputation: 7578
First of all, you should learn the difference between "then" and "than".

Secondly, Canada might be cheaper than Australia, but by not much. Speaking of bang on the buck, most Canadians cities do horribly, especially Vancouver and Toronto. We always pay more for less for no obvious reason. Local people always try to rationalize it but in reality it is simply BS. Think about $130 a month for pubic transit in Toronto with only 2 pathetic subway lines and you get the idea. Auto insurance goes as high as $3000-4000 a year if you live in the city.

You don't have much choice in terms of weather. People will tell you Toronto/Southern Ontario is not that cold and even use the word "mild" to describe its winter. But that's "Canadian standards" and you should just ignore it. Toronto winter is very cold, frigid and extremely long. We were under freezing point in mid March and saw flurries in April. So give up any illusion that Toronto winter is "not that bad". It is bad, despite the warming trend. London is even worse, with twice the snow.

Burlington/Oakville etc are tiny suburbs of Toronto. Forget "urbanity". And they are expensive for what they are - the suburbs and let's not pretend they are Palo Alto.

Montreal is cold otherwise it is a great city, I mean if you love the high tax regime where people constantly go on strikes because they think the government should give them more for free. It is cheaper with great culture but people don't make much money.

Calgary and Edmonton are not real cities, despite their population of 1M or so. I am sure people will argue against it, but those are cities only in the administrative sense. They are boring and have nothing to do with urbanity.

Vancouver/Victoria- very expensive mid-size/small cities with poor jobs and low pay. Move there if money is not an issue for you. People usually say they have good weather - only Canadian standards, which is quite low, but not remotely close to what Melbourne has.

Also, your house budget pretty much eliminate Vancouver and Toronto.

In Canada, if weather is a concern, only southern BC is an option, if cost is a concern, that eliminates southern BC as well. That's the reality.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:06 AM
34,365 posts, read 41,446,089 times
Reputation: 29853
I'd recommend some research on the Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph area. thriving area about an hour and a half drive west of Toronto.
Try not to think by picking one area that you'll be locked in for life, you can always move if you see better opportunities elsewhere.
I'd also not be too quick to buy that house as that will really lock you into an area, i'd rent for a year first just so you get familiar with any area that appeals to you..
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:53 AM
Location: Back & Forth
210 posts, read 634,813 times
Reputation: 401
Calgary is a young & fast growing city, sitting at about 1.2 million.

Ski/Snowboard in the winter, hike in the Summer! Lots of jobs, high wages, very athelictic & active city.
Pictures of Calgary

and less than an hour to this:

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Old 07-20-2013, 07:09 AM
Rdx Rdx started this thread
Location: Melbourne, Australia
5 posts, read 7,953 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks for your replies guys,

botticelli - you say Canada is slightly cheaper then Australia - I would say otherwise. I visited last year, and the price difference on all services/goods all adds up. eg. Using your example, here in Melbourne if you travelled every weekday for a month you would pay $185 a month vs your $130.

In Melbourne, a house 15 minutes away from the city in a desirable location is around 1M. Add that with a 7% interest rate, and a high cost of living and your looking at living in the suburbs (1 hour and a half commuting to the city everyday, because there are no jobs out in the suburbs) for the rest of your life. Looking at listed jobs and their included salaries, I would get paid the same in Canada yet come out ahead 25%.

The reason I've looked at Oakville & Burlington is because of the difference of size with your suburbs and ours. Our suburbs have populations of 5000 people, and the large 'regional' hubs (cities in their own right) close to Melbourne only have a population of 90,000~. Burlington & Oakville have over 150,000!

Vancouver & Victoria in my industry pay quite well actually, even more then I would be paid here judging by job advertisements. I'm also not necessarily looking for a house, even to start off in an apartment or townhouse away from downtown would be great.

jambo101 - I'm not looking to pick one area to lock in for life. I'm happy to rent around and see what it's like everywhere and make a decision from there. What I meant, is that I don't want to rent for life

Looking forward to everyone else's replies.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:43 AM
Location: Canada
4,698 posts, read 8,486,989 times
Reputation: 4880
One correction, Victoria is not more expensive then Vancouver, it's actually somewhat cheaper.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:22 AM
10,847 posts, read 11,255,922 times
Reputation: 7578
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
One correction, Victoria is not more expensive then Vancouver, it's actually somewhat cheaper.
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