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Old 05-20-2019, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
2,317 posts, read 6,890,466 times
Reputation: 1701

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Hello everyone. Sorry for the long post--bear with me.

I'm hoping to gain some insight from you all. My spouse and I are hoping to emigrate from the U.S. sometime next year. Yes, we have done our immigration homework and should be in the top 1% of the Express Entry pool, so we should make the first round cut off for PR invites when we do apply.

What I really would like help on is narrowing down our search for possible places to settle because we cannot possibly visit every city in Canada and it's a little overwhelming. At this point we could potentially live almost anywhere, even the Yukon. But we would prefer to be in a medium to larger city (like a top 25 metro area) with a university. This move may only be temporary, or it may be more permanent. That depends on other factors like job offers and where I eventually get accepted into my academic program. We do plan to wait until we have job offers before moving, but that's a long way off still.

We would probably only be able to afford $2200/month maximum rent for a 2 or 3 bedroom housing unit (could be condo, apartment, townhouse, detached home) that is dog and cat friendly. Is Kijiji the primary rental site that people use to search for rental housing? With that price range in mind, would we be reasonably able to find a place within a 45 minute commute (drive or transit) from, for example, SFU in Vancouver, Ryerson or York Uni in Toronto, or Concordia in Montreal?

Here's where we are more seriously considering so far:
  • Victoria. Have actually visited. Love it and love being closer to home, but seems to be on the pricey side.
  • Vancouver metro. Probably out of our price range, or else we'd be living very minimalistically.
  • Nanaimo. Smaller than preferred. Limited job options? Maybe a viable option to stay in BC on a lower budget?
  • Calgary. Seems like a great value, but kind of weird vibe. Bad economy due to oil industry issues?
  • Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg all seem kind of unremarkable. Any major pluses we don't know about?
  • Toronto. Great diversity and vibrancy, but probably too expensive. Provincial education cuts and tuition hikes are concerning.
  • Hamilton/London/Waterloo-Kitchener-Cambridge/St. Catharines/Windsor/Kingston. Don't know much about these areas. Any strongly worth considering? Same provincial issues as above.
  • Ottawa/Gatineau. The Quebec side seems like a good compromise. Affordable, amenities of Ottawa, child care benefit of Quebec, can "live" in French at home and work in English in Ottawa.
  • Montreal. We may be visiting this year. We would enroll in an intensive French language course if we went here, but what is the job market like or those without good French fluency?
  • Charlottetown/Halifax/St. John's. Quite affordable. Job markets not so good? SJ seems very charming/friendly. Relatively isolated. Multiple layovers on flights to the west coast is a knock. Maybe worth the hassle twice a year?
Also what websites are most used for job postings? Any other considerations we should be thinking about? Are there other areas we should be considering? We just want to have a good quality of life while I'm in university and hopefully professional school thereafter. We don't have kids currently, but that will be in the cards in the near future, so child care is important. I also need to be able to get into a family doctor, and have access to an allergist for occasional issues there, so that's another consideration. I imagine most cities of any size have a natural/organic/specialty foods store in the same vein as Whole Foods, but that is also a necessity.


Thank you all in advance! I just want to make sure we will be focusing our efforts efficiently and in the right places when we eventually begin our job search.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:23 PM
BMI
 
Location: Ontario
7,265 posts, read 4,511,734 times
Reputation: 5627
I like....

Victoria....best climate ...has UVIC ...maybe a bit pricey

Edmonton....has University of Alberta....city possibly better than Calgary

Winnipeg...people very friendly...University of Manitoba...nice summer but cold winter

Waterloo....University of Waterloo...canít go wrong here

Hamilton ...McMaster University....housing is cheaper

Windsor....warmest climate in Ontario...has a university...near USA/Detroit...not expensive
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:48 PM
 
262 posts, read 132,163 times
Reputation: 603
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMI View Post
I like....

Victoria....best climate ...has UVIC ...maybe a bit pricey

Edmonton....has University of Alberta....city possibly better than Calgary

Winnipeg...people very friendly...University of Manitoba...nice summer but cold winter

Waterloo....University of Waterloo...canít go wrong here

Hamilton ...McMaster University....housing is cheaper

Windsor....warmest climate in Ontario...has a university...near USA/Detroit...not expensive
Hi BMI, will you elaborate on the bolded? I don't know much about Edmonton (other than it's the capital) and am curious about what other attributes make it "possibly better than Calgary".

Thank you.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:30 PM
BMI
 
Location: Ontario
7,265 posts, read 4,511,734 times
Reputation: 5627
Quote:
Originally Posted by English Ivy View Post
Hi BMI, will you elaborate on the bolded? I don't know much about Edmonton (other than it's the capital) and am curious about what other attributes make it "possibly better than Calgary".

Thank you.
Hopefully someone who actually lives there chimes in.... I only visited it twice
but I really liked the setting with a scenic deep river valley flowing through the city
almost right downtown. Since I visited, the city has installed a cool looking funicular
for access to the river level. Overall it seemed much more treed than Calgary.
It is the provincial capital and I think University of Alberta is larger than University of Calgary.
It also has some interesting neighborhoods....Strathcona.
I was impressed by some of the housing I saw...I think it was in Sherwood Park suburb,
looked as good as anything in the Toronto area, better than most.

Big plus for Calgary is it closer to the mountains ...1 hour, compared with 3 hours away for Edmonton.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Toronto
327 posts, read 72,452 times
Reputation: 256
I'm in Toronto, so more familiar. with this area Given the cutback concerns, you're probably best to stay away from Ontario for now.
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