I think its pretty cheap to live in Canada

OK. Our dollar is hitting the dumps in a big way… man, if you look at our American cousins and compare prices we get off pretty lucky with a lot of things. Here are some prices of items that I know about. This is all in Alberta (where I live).

Bear in mind that its about $1.56 CDN to $1 US. All these prices are in Canadian funds.

I can go to Superstore (a big grocery store) and get a Turkey for .88 per lb (utility grade, but they're still fine for holidays). Pretty much any big grocery store has them on sale for .99 lb

Whole frozen chickens are almost always $.99 lb

I can buy a 1KG (about 2lbs) box of generic raisin bran cereal for $3. The brand name stuff costs about $4

I think cheese and milk still costs more here than the US though.

Software is almost always cheaper (for the games I’ve bought, at least). I just picked up Flight Simulator 2002 Pro for $83.95. I believe it usually sells in the US for about $60-$65 US.

Microsoft X-Boxes cost $449 here, works to about $286 US – from what I understand they sell for $300 in the US. PS2s cost a few bucks less, too (about $445).

“Most” (and I’ll use that term very loosely) new release DVDs cost “about” $20-$24 CDN. I bought the Castaway DVD as a gift yesterday at Wal-Mart for $18.49

Many magazines are only charging $1 over the cover the US cover price. A $4 US magazine should probably be about $6.25 CDN but usually sell for $5. I have noticed that computer mags that include CDs have made it a bit closer, but we still come out ahead.

I bought a brand new, 900Mhz cordless phone at Staples (A V-Tech I think) for $25. Granted, its not top-o-the-line but I think its pretty damn good.

Just a few things I noticed… anyone else? How about where we really get screwed compared to the US.

Every Canadian I’ve spoken to finds U.S. taxation levels to be quite lower than Canadian levels, especially in terms of what you get back from what you pay.

And a lot more of the U.S. tax dollar has to go to paying for the military, which is also has to take care of a lot of Canada’s protection also.

Ah yes, Taxes. You’re right, thats not even comparable.

As for the military “taking care” of Canada, I am not aware of that taking place. If there was an attack on Canada, I have little doubt the US would get involved, but thats another thread entirely and not something that belongs here.

Books! Lemmme run over to my bookshelf for a good example (Scurries off)
Ah! here’s a perfect one: “the Straight Dope Tells All” USA price: $ 10.95, Canada Price $14.95. I think that it’s a pretty good deal, no?

Quite often if you go to the States to a chain that is also in Canada (ie the Gap) you’ll see a shirt for say, $39.00.(US) Come back to Canada and find the same shirt for - you guessed it - $39.00 (Canadian). I’ve seen this many times. (Little tip for American pals - do your Christmas shopping in Canada!)

[slight hijack]
I remember in the early 90’s we went cross border shopping almost every long weekend, I was in the States for a few days earlier this year and was shocked at how expensive everything seemed (Even at Target, my favourite reason for venturing into suburban America!)

Yeah, I’ve really been appreciating Canada so much more these last few years. Instead of going to New York, we’ve been going to Montreal. Not exactly the same thing, but I realized how long I’d been overlooking this gem of a city for farther flung places.

bernse, if you don’t mind me asking, what part of Alberta are you in? (Calgary here)

I’m not so sure that the lower taxes of the US are really that great of a deal as they are made out to be. If you take into account the stuff that we pay less (or not at all for), we still have things pretty sweet here.

ex. Post Secondary Education - my degree will probably cost me $16,000 - $20,000 for a four year degree (Canadian)
Health Care - Except for prescriptions, most things are free or very low cost. Unless Ralph Klein gets his mitts on everything…

Just curious - how much of the US military’s budget would go to the protection of Canada? I can’t imagine that it would be even a drop in the bucket, so to speak.

But back to the OP, yes, I still stand by the idea that Canada is a pretty good deal. Enough with the wankers who claim that Canada sucks and we’re losing every single intelligent Canadian to the low tax haven of the US (Yeah, National Post, I’m talking to you!)

I think in Alberta, our tax burden is actually quite low, as we don’t have PST to contend with.

I know my parents moved to Manitoba, which has 8% and they’re noticing a difference.

Also, fuel prices in Alberta are usually the lowest in Canada. (Save for that bizarre 2 months this summer).

All in all, I think Canada is a pretty good deal.

Al. Also in Calgary.

Gas. My Lord, gas is expensive here (Canmore, AB), according to Boy (from North Eastern US).
I’m paying $.559 per litre, which works to approximately $2.24 Cdn per gallon, or about $1.34 US.

Miss Gretchen, bernse is in Northern Alberta. He’s the one with the barfing cats. :smiley:

I’m thinking tax off of my paycheck. I have no doubt (or very little) that there is substantially less taken off in the US.

Sales Tax

When I got transferred to Vancouver a few years back, it too me a while to get used to that extra 7%. Now that I’m back here, I don’t miss it one bit. Bastards.


Barfing CAT. :slight_smile:

I don’t know wat you’re all talkin aboot, eh?

ducks and runs far, far away

I don’t think you can just compare the dollars like that. First of all, the assumption is that equivalent jobs get paid equivalent salaries in constant dollars. That’s not the case. If people make the same amount of USD in the U.S. as Canadians make CDN, then the U.S. employee is making almost 50% more than the Canadian.

My wife and I went SCUBA diving in Florida, and met a SCUBA instructor. We chatted for some time about the cost of living. She was making something like $24,000 a year, and yet she owned a Condo overlooking the ocean and drove a brand-new Camaro. I was flabbergasted by that. But then she explained that her Condo was only something like $65,000 (this was 1991), and her mortgage interest was tax deductable. That meant that she paid almost no income tax given her fairly low salary. Her Camaro was something like $14,000, and she got it at 2% interest. Then all her other expenses like gas, clothes, etc. were 30-40% less in USD than the equivalent goods in Canadian.

Now, if you are making $24,000 CDN in Canada, there’s no way you can live that well. For one thing, that $14,000 Camaro would have been $21,000 here. And at the time, U.S. interest rates were about 5 points lower than ours, so not only would your mortgage and car payment be a lot more, but you can’t deduct any of it from tax. Couple that with the much higher tax rates in the first place, and it’s a big difference.

At the time, my wife was making about $40,000 CDN, and I was making about $35,000. And we couldn’t live as well as she was. We couldn’t afford new cars, and the rent on the 900 sq ft house we were living in was more than double the cost of her mortgage.

The gap has been closing in recent years, however. Our taxes have come down a bit, while the U.S. taxes went up. and interest rates have flip-flopped, and now interest rates in Canada are actually lower than the U.S. But I still think Canada is more expensive to live in in absolute terms.

There are, however, lots of bargain products in Canada. DVD’s and CD’s come to mind. A new DVD here can usually be had for anywhere between $19 and $27 CDN, which is about what they go for in the U.S. in USD. I’ve never ordered a single thing from Amazon, for instance, because I can almost always buy the stuff in Canada for much, much less.

Income taxes are weird, because they’re different from province to province, and don’t always cover the same things.

For example, taxes in Quebec cover healthcare-- but in BC, you have to shell out about $1/day for coverage, unless your company does this for you as a benefit.

Prescription drugs are generally far cheaper in Canada than in the States. There are even border town pharmacies that cater to US seniors on their “drug runs”.

Gas is actually cheaper in Canada if you factor out the taxes on it. But nobody in North America has the right to bitch about gas prices. Go see Europe if you want expensive gas.

What you have to remember is that you have to look at costs on a region-by-region basis. How much are greenhouse tomatoes in your neck of the woods? I’m picking 'em up for 99cents a pound,-- but the same tomato sells for $3 USD in Redmond, WA.

The last IGA (I think) flyer had them for .89
But you’re right tomatoes can sure vary, even here.

I very nearly cried the first time I went into a grocery store when I moved back to Southern Alberta after living in Yellowknife.

Yellowknife is more expensive than southern Canada, that’s true; however, I went up to Inuvik last February on a ‘feel out the town for a job’ trip. I spent an hour in the Northern Store (Only grocery store in ‘town’) and was shocked. For example - just off of the top of my head - 16 rolls of toilet paper was $18.00. I pay about $6 for 24 in Calgary.

I did not take the job in Inuvik due to other factors as well, but the price of groceries and dry goods ($40 for an ironing board? Please!) was what clinched it for me.

Notice how it’s only Albertans talking about how cheap it is in Canada? When you guys want that second ferrari you just pick some more bills off your money tree! :wink:

Balduran, my money tree dried up about 15 years ago, when I moved out of my parents’ house. :wink:

I have lived all over Alberta and in NWT and south-eastern Ontario. Canmore is by far the most expensive place I have ever lived in Southern Canada. I didn’t notice a great difference between Edmonton and Kingston, Ontario; and Calgary and Edmonton are pretty comparable.