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Old 09-10-2016, 01:31 PM
6 posts, read 6,306 times
Reputation: 25


Hey everyone, i'm currently a medical student in Canada thinking of possible places where I would like to live for a significant period of time during my residency training.

I'm currently applying to a surgical specialty which would probably mean training for 5-9 years and long hours.

The program at each city is important to me, but because I will be spending the rest of my early 20s, mid and late 20s in this city so the location of the city is also important to me.

I'm originally from Toronto, but I have never been to any other city in Canada for any real meaningful amount of time. I will be going to some of these cities for electives (2 weeks long) however I don't feel that is enough time to really get a feel for each city. I will most likely be living in the downtown of each city once I am in residency since I would like to be close enough to the hospital since my days will start early and end late.

Whats important to me:

Liveliness - I really enjoy big cities in general (with the option of a nature getaway), I like cities that have nightlife (not just clubs but also night markets, stores that are open late, just things to do in general)

Crime - I would prefer that the downtown area of the cities would have less crime or at least be safer

East Asian food/culture/people - I'm east asian ethnically and really enjoy different aspects of the culture including food/events/people etc. I understand this means Toronto and Vancouver will likely be up there but I'm very curious to know how other cities fare in this area.

People - I would definitely like cities that are up and coming and growing, I love seeing new developments in terms of cities and people from all over the world coming to and from the city on a regular basis. I also do like cities that tend to have a higher concentration of various other white collar professions: i.e. business sector, engineering, government etc.

Weather - I prefer weather that is warmer in general, but dislike hot muggy summers as well. I don't mind rain as much.

Size - I like bigger cities in general mostly because they tend to have more of the things above.

Note: My salary will be the same no matter where I am and my salary should be able to cover most things so cost of living will not be as important to me.

This is how I've ranked the cities so far based on what I know:

Toronto>Vancouver>>>Calgary>Ottawa>Montreal(i don't speak french, also unlikely to do residency there because of that)>Edmonton>Hamilton>London>Winnipeg>>Halifax

Is this generally what people think or would agree with?

I'm really curious about Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Ottawa in general as I haven't been to these cities but they all seem to have their pros and cons? How badly is the oil crash affected Calgary and Edmonton and will they recover?

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Old 09-11-2016, 09:16 PM
Location: White Rock BC
395 posts, read 599,420 times
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If you want a milder climate, a larger city, an Asian influence, and seeing money is no problem, I would definately say Vancouver.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:53 PM
35,309 posts, read 52,336,651 times
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I would think Toronto to be your best option.
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:26 AM
242 posts, read 300,812 times
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From what you say Toronto or Vancouver are your best bets. Montreal is a fairly big city but if you don't speak French you will be at a major disadvantage especially as an MD. Professionals have to write French licensing exams here and they can be pretty hard. Also it sounds like you wouldn't like our weather. Winters can be cold and snowy while summers can be hot and muggy.

Now onto the positives. Montreal has a great nightlife and the downtown is quite safe. Rents here are also quite affordable so you could easily find a decent apartment downtown on a resident's salary. There is a fairly sizable Chinese community here so consequently it is easy to find the food and culture. If you are from another part of east Asia Vancouver probably has Montreal beat. We do have a pretty diverse population with people from all over the place.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:21 AM
35,309 posts, read 52,336,651 times
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Some points to ponder if you want to get certified in Quebec=
Examinations required
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:32 AM
Location: Montreal
196 posts, read 216,984 times
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There are students from the UAE and the rest of Canada doing their residency at McGill, so I'm sure unilingual anglophones can manage. Licensing and practicing professionally later is a complete other matter.

OP, TO still sounds like your best bet, though I have never been to Vancouver. Lots of good food in Montreal, but it simply cannot compete in terms of breadth of asian restos and markets vs TO. Without French fluency, you'll also be inconvenienced outside of the downtown core/certain parts of the island. I think you'd enjoy 1-2 years in Montreal (fellowship?), but 5-9 is a long time -unless you find something here that pulls you to stay.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:29 PM
3,423 posts, read 4,371,425 times
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Ottawa's fairly diverse, but the East Asian community is a bit scattered around town (yes, there's a small Chinatown, with a large Vietnamese presence there too). It doesn't have a very lively downtown "scene" though. If you like noise, people, action, then Toronto or Vancouver are very likely more your pace.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:56 PM
Location: Hougary, Texberta
9,019 posts, read 14,300,403 times
Reputation: 11032
Calgary's downtown is epically safe, but that's because it's empty at the end of a workday.

That being said, it's diverse, large Asian, primarily Chinese and Vietnamese population. O&G will recover, but in the short term it helps as vacancies are high so rents are getting cheaper.

Very sunny year round, but can have the occasional REALLY cold week or two, offset with Chinooks that change the temperature overnight.

As far as your checklist goes, I'd say Vancouver, but man, that six months of grey drizzle would kill me.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:47 AM
Location: Woodfield
2,086 posts, read 4,134,518 times
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Originally Posted by mikeyyc View Post
As far as your checklist goes, I'd say Vancouver, but man, that six months of grey drizzle would kill me.
And if that doesn't kill you the housing costs will !
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:51 AM
2,411 posts, read 1,977,915 times
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I went to UBC and while I didn't love the drizzle and gloom, I found that, especially when I was young, I could easily handle 3 days of it before seeing the sun come out again for at least a day to lift my spirits - and that Vancouver weather rarely disappointed me in providing that sun when I needed it most. There is also something to be said for being able to lie on the grass in the sunshine on a March day to study among the daffodils when the rest of Canada is still looking at 6 plus more weeks of good sledding.

Housing costs though are a different thing, especially if you want to be both near whatever hospital you are training at and Vancouver's downtown core. Unless the hospital you do your residency at provides apartments (I think some do, don't they?) at reasonable cost so they can retain their staff or you can find a convivial group of other residents to share with I think you really should reconsider whether Vancouver should be stricken from your list, much as I think it sounds ideal otherwise according to your criteria.
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