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Old 08-28-2016, 05:25 AM
 
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Hello everyone,

My first post on this forum although I have read through a number of threads pertaining to Canada already. I apologize in advance if some questions may have already been answered in other posts.

My wife and I are planning to move to Canada next year and are interested in any feedback or information you can provide. I am American, born and brought up in Los Angeles, CA but have lived in Hong Kong for the past 9 years, managing my own business. I have a lawyer guiding me through the immigration process but wanted to get feedback on the most ideal places to live. I am interested in knowing which cities in particular most resemble Los Angeles, CA, in terms of having a liberal, diverse population and a cosmopolitan feel, in addition to the cost of living (in a good suburb). This is merely for my own knowledge and I should stress that my wife and I are open to new experiences and will keep an open mind to the different provinces and cities.

My requirements include:
1) Relatively reasonable cost of living in relation to the quality of life. Not looking for the cheapest places to live where there may be nothing for us to do higher incidences of crime, limited opportunities, etc., We now live in Hong Kong and the cost of living is second only to New York. I wouldn’t say the quality of life is very high however – just expensive.

2) Clean air. Coming from Hong Kong, very interested in moving to a city with very good air quality. I imagine that anywhere in Canada would have better air than HK, but which city has the cleanest, freshest air?

3) Safety. Which cities have the lowest crime rates, etc.? We understand, of course, that bad things can happen everywhere and no place is perfect – but which city comes close in terms of safety & security?

4) Good restaurants, social scene

5) Easy to commute. Cities where we can walk and get around easily by foot. This is not essential but preferred.

I have read that food and consumer goods are generally more expensive in Canada than in the USA? Is this correct, and if so, which cities would be more on par with Los Angeles, CA?

I came across MoneySense.ca rankings (while finishing this post) on the best cities to live in Canada and they appear quite detailed but would appreciate your thoughts.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:00 AM
 
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Sounds like Toronto would check all your boxes, many suburbs to choose from,i like the Beaches area While prices are steep close to the beach north of Kingston Rd prices drop substantially.
http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net...-end/the-beach
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:07 AM
 
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1) The cost of living is quite reasonable in Canadian cities. The cost of buying a house or condo flat in Vancouver or Toronto is expensive, but prices are dropping in Vancouver, at least. If you move to Vancouver or Toronto, consider renting for a couple of years to wait for housing prices to drop before you consider buying a property.

2) Most Canadian cities have little heavy industry, so not much air pollution at all. The cleanest air for larger cities is probably Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver.

3) Crime rates are actually slightly higher in areas that are a bit more rural, where the cities are smaller. Strange but true. If you're in a larger city in Canada, they're quite safe.

The safest cities in Canada are these (source: Top 10 safest cities in Canada - YP NextHome) :
Barrie (CSI: 42.8)
Guelph (CSI: 43.0)
Quebec (CSI: 46.5)
Toronto (CSI: 47.1)
Ottawa (CSI: 52.1)
Peterborough (CSI: 54.4)
Kingston (CSI: 54.6)
Hamilton (CSI: 55.1)
Kitchener-Cambridge- Waterloo (CSI: 56.8)
Gatineau (CSI: 56.9)

4) Toronto and Montreal, by far have the liveliest nightlife. Toronto has a huge theatre community, plus a large nightclub neighbourhood downtown. Lots of restaurants and other attractions. Montreal has all of this too, although it's smaller than Toronto--some people prefer the "joie de vivre" culture of Montreal. Vancouver and Halifax would be next for fun and local nightlife, and then I'd say Calgary and Ottawa--they have lots of events and attractions too, but relatively speaking, they're much quieter than what you're used to in Hong Kong.

5) Central Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver.

A lot depends upon what size of a city you want to live in, and what kind of a career you have. I would suggest Toronto, as my top place to recommend. Because the size is more similar to what you're used to from living in Hong Kong. Vancouver has much to recommend it as a place to live as well, though.

Montreal is a fun, lively, and very colourful city, but the fact that the province is essentially unilingual French would have to be considered, where employment is concerned. If you have children, they would attend French-language schools.

Calgary is a beautiful city--very new and modern--but the economy in the province of Alberta isn't doing well right now because of the low price of oil. Ottawa is a beautiful city too, but quiet for its size, and most jobs are government or medical related.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Canada
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I've lived in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. Based on your post, I would suggest Toronto as well.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:33 AM
 
Location: PVB
3,207 posts, read 1,634,501 times
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If climate is any consideration then Vancouver because its the warmest city and most similar to LA and Hong Kong and has a large Asian populations (as does Toronto). Toronto and Montreal get very cold and outdoor activities are limited unless you like to ski and ice skate. Toronto and Montreal are wonderful cities and I have spent considerable time in each. Montreal is more enjoyable if you speak French but it is not essential. Good luck.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,937 posts, read 27,320,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
If climate is any consideration then Vancouver because its the warmest city and most similar to LA and Hong Kong and has a large Asian populations (as does Toronto). Toronto and Montreal get very cold and outdoor activities are limited unless you like to ski and ice skate. Toronto and Montreal are wonderful cities and I have spent considerable time in each. Montreal is more enjoyable if you speak French but it is not essential. Good luck.
It's pretty close to being essential to know at least some French in Montreal. And essential for *most* jobs.
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Old 08-28-2016, 01:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
If climate is any consideration then Vancouver because its the warmest city and most similar to LA and Hong Kong and has a large Asian populations (as does Toronto). Toronto and Montreal get very cold and outdoor activities are limited unless you like to ski and ice skate. Toronto and Montreal are wonderful cities and I have spent considerable time in each. Montreal is more enjoyable if you speak French but it is not essential. Good luck.
French may not be essential if you're a tourist, or a student at McGill, but otherwise, it's hard to figure out why someone would move to Montreal without expecting to use French at all.

French fluency is required for the vast majority of jobs in Montreal. Some job ads specify proficient English speaking and writing skills--but they generally mean English skills on top of fluency in French, not English-only.

If you live in Montreal and regularly talk to people in English only--to shop staff, to office receptionists, calling businesses on the phone, talking to bus drivers or taxi drivers--and you regularly expect everyone else to switch to English for you, you're going to have mixed reactions from other people. And some Quebeckers really don't speak much English, either, so it's not a great idea to expect to rely on other people to translate for you.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,267,628 times
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Ottawa 2011.


I noticed an odd thing in your list of " Safest cities in Canada ".....None of them were west of Ontario.


I think I know why that is...... . but I would like to hear your opinion on why that is the case ......


Jim B.
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,267,628 times
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oakvillegirly.


I think that you need to look around, if you really do live in Oakville. It has the highest annual per person income in Canada, year after year. So somebody has to be making a high income to be able to buy in the Glen Abbey area, right ? How about Mississauga Road north of the QEW ? Isn't that a high income area ?


Jim B.
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:11 PM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,043,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian citizen View Post
Ottawa 2011.


I noticed an odd thing in your list of " Safest cities in Canada ".....None of them were west of Ontario.


I think I know why that is...... . but I would like to hear your opinion on why that is the case ......


Jim B.
I have no opinion on it at all. I've never lived west of Ottawa.

Here are the 2015 rankings of the most dangerous and the safest Canadian cities: http://www.macleans.ca/news/grande-p...ies-in-canada/

I tend to think that law enforcement hasn't caught up with population growth in western cities. But, without being familiar with the cities out west, I can't really speculate a lot.
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