Advice For Someone Moving To Canada?

Dear fellow dopers,

I’m about to make a big decision in my life and I need your advice. I am seriously considering emigrating to Canada from the UK, and I’m specifically looking at Edmonton in Alberta, because I have family there and I’ve visited a few times and like what I see. Does anyone have any advice on emigrating to Canada? Have any of you done the same recently? Do any of you live in Edmonton and can you reccommend any good neighborhoods? Where do I look for Marketing jobs in Edmonton?

Your help would be very much appreciated

I can offer you nothing but good wishes, since I have left Alberta for the US. However, my father and his wife live in Edmonton, and I have always liked it there. I was born there. What sort of industry marketing?

I’m sure you’re probably considering this already, but I suggest you think about what kind of lifestyle you prefer as opposed to where you like to visit. You will get a totally different perspective, politically and geographically in Alberta than you will in pretty much the rest of Canada. It is more conservative and feels pretty isolated from the rest of the country.

Alberta is basically the two mid-size cities separated by a 4 hour drive and the rest is pretty much rural and small towns. Compare that to the “Golden Horseshoe” region of southern Ontario (Toronto south to Windsor) which is much more densley populated.

I have known people from southern Ontario and England who have loved the wide-open spaces of Alberta conversley some prefer the big-city feel of places like Toronto. IIRC, metro Toronto’s population is 43% foreign born. The highest percentage in the world.

I lived in Alberta(Edmonton, Calgary, St.Paul) until I went to university in Ontario (Ottawa, Guelph, Waterloo). Now I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I have enjoyed all these places for various reasons

Ottawa: Beautiful Nation’s Capitol, tons of festivals, less than 2 hours from Montreal. You just feel like you’re in the middle of Canada. Some people don’t find it exciting enough though as it is quite the government/beaurocratic town.

Guelph: Population 100K, laid back and liberal, 45 minutes from Toronto.

Waterloo: Similar to Guelph, but a bit more active, has a red-hot economy mainly due to high-tech. Just 30 minutes down the road from Guelph.

Halifax: Just awesome in every way, great scenery, great people, but economy isn’t as strong.

If say, you really like the mountains, but would prefer a bigger city, Vancouver might be more to your taste.


Lizard, that isn’t contributing anything. The OP has made a decision, and your “Don’t” isn’t going to help anything.

I lived in Edmonton for 4 years, the people are great, you’'l love it. Here’s the most important advice:

Buy warm boots.

How to be a Canadian

Have some wonderful friends that live in Quebec…

When asked if they had any advice for someone moving to Edmonton…

“Two words - PAR KA

And that it’s beautiful in the summer.

Good Luck!

Parkas are nice, but I have a different word for people moving to Edmonton:


Those boots will have your feet sweating at anything over -20C or so. :smiley:

One little thing that surprised a british co-worker is that prescription drugs are not provided through the health care system here (any drug insurance is private unless you make very little money). He was surprised that the bill came to more than a couple dollars a time (though since his job had drug insurance provided, it was only a surprise and not a hardship) Same with dentistry, but that hasn’t surprised anyone I know who’s moved from the UK. Just something to know and put in your budget.

The other thing my co-workers from the UK (and my in-laws from Europe, and everyone else I know who immigrated here) had to take into account was that their credit rating ceased to exist when they moved here. Getting any unsecured credit wasn’t really possible until they’d been here at least 6 months.

My source is out for the day, I can try and pick his brain when he’s back.

Regarding Edmonton, I haven’t been out there in a while, so I don’t know exactly which companies to look at, sorry. Are you bound to a specific industry?

No, he hasn’t “made a decision.” Read the first two sentences of the OP again.

Are bucking to be appointed a Mod, or something? Chill out.

No, he hasn’t “made a decision.” Read the first two sentences of the OP again.

Are you bucking to be appointed a Mod, or something? Chill out.

While I’ve never lived in Edmonton, I have visited on numerous occasions. It’s a very vibrant, beautiful city, with the river valley making for some amazing skyscapes. It seems to have an active arts and music community, the people are friendly (if occasionally somewhat aloof), and I can personally vouch for the excellent pub scene.

If you like to ski or snowboard, Banff National park is about a two-hour drive, if memory serves me correctly.

And we’re sort of the forgotten province, but if you want to get away from the big-city life in Edmonton for a bit, come to Saskatchewan. Saskatoon is probably my favorite Canadian city; it’s like a smaller, cozier version of Edmonton.

I’ve lived in Edmonton when I was younger, and now live in a city about 4 hours North-West.

I like Edmonton. I wouldn’t mind living there again.

What is it exactly you plan on doing for an occupation?

You know, that is why I love this board. You get just fantastic, insightful, above average input from all posters. Just like that.

Pretty much all the climatic stereotypes about Canada are true about Edmonton… in the winter anyway (ie you could probably live in an igloo and commute to work by dogteam if you wished). Edmontonians are a great and fun group of people… they work hard and party harder than any town other that, say Calgary. You might actually want to look into Calgary instead if you have an adversion to cold. Calgary still gets mighty cold, but there are warm winds (Chinooks) in the winter. Plus you are a bit more on the beaten path as far as travelling around goes. Culturally, I’ve always seen Alberta as the Texas of Canada (or actually, Texas as the Alberta of the US)… but then again, I’m from Vancouver (the California of Canada… for what * that’s * worth).

I’m presently immigrating to the US from Vancouver.

But if this doesn’t work out, I’d head to Edmonton or Calgary. The job market is oodles better and it’s also much cheaper to rent/buy a home.

Sure it’s cold, but you just need to be prepared.

As for jobs, maybe check out Monster or Workopolis . I’ve never tried them myself, so I can’t offer any personal testimony to their effectiveness.

Good luck. :slight_smile:

I repeat the advice I gave the last person who posted for advice about moving to Canada:
DON’T try this joke once you move:

How does a Canadian spell ‘Canada’?
C, eh?, N, eh?, D, eh?

Well, I have quite a few Euro friends that love Alberta (I’m in Calgary).

The wide open space is listed high on the “Appeal” list, as is the laid back nature of the folks that live here.

Edmonton is a very pretty city - it has some vibrant shopping/art districts. Calgary (a 3 hour drive south) also has a wide variety of things to do - the Stampede draws visitors internationally, and the mountains are just a hop, skip and a jump away. You’re about 2-3 hours away from some of the best skiing on the planet - big snow, big hills, and you don’t have to mortgage your house to afford it. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure about marketing fields in Edmonton - it depends what area your speciality is. Obviously, Oil and Gas is big (moreso in Calgary). Technology is also a big industry in Alberta. However, if textiles are your biz, you may have trouble. Winnipeg is sort of the Western Canadian hot spot for fashion merchandising.

This has got to be the first time in my life I’ve seen “Winnipeg” and “hot spot” in the same sentence.

Buy a coat.