Do you regret moving to Canada?

Comments from immigrants about their regrets in moving to Canada. My comments at the end.

***

It’s been 4 months that I have moved to Canada as a Permanent Resident – the coveted tag that almost every other Punjabi is after these days. And, believe me – life here is not a bed of roses as everyone pictures from far.

And, there are plenty of reasons for the same:

The cold weather!!! – As soon as you land, you feel the chill in the air (I felt it even when it was the ‘so called SUMMER” for Canadians – the month of May). I had to wear a jacket on the first weekend while going out with my friends.


The laid back lifestyle – Trust me when I say that we people are far more active in our home countries than people in Canada. You see people with a far more laid back lifestyle and attitude in this part of the world.


Job struggle – I pity those people who come to Canada and believe they can earn big bucks; especially those who leave their well-paying white-collar jobs in their country. Job struggle is immense here. Recruiting processes crawl at snail-speed. Forget about reaching to the recruiting phase, most of the employers will reject you because you don’t have the ‘Canadian work exprience’. It’s like a polite way of saying ‘screw your hard work and experience that you did in a multinational in your home country. Canadian work is above and beyond that!’


Too many INDIANS – I am an Indian and I love my home country, but seriously if I had to get the feeling of living in the middle of India why would I move to Canada? There are so many Indians (especially Punjabis in the GTA and BC – the most livable parts of the country) that not even for a single day you will feel you are out of India.

PSS – No hard feelings, it is a personal choice. But, trust me it is not worth it to leave your friends, family, and life!!!

Thank you, everyone, for such an overwhelming response to my answer. I did not expect it at all.

For all those who think that I hold something against Canada or people from my own country (so-called DESIS), well I don’t have anything against it. I simply mean to say that it is personal choice for everyone. I like the country, I like the calmness that it brings, and I love cleanliness. However, there are somethings which did not appeal to me, just like for many of you quite a number of things from back home do not appeal. It’s just my personal opinion and point of view. For all of those saying I should move back, well I will when the right time comes but it is not now. Canada is a beautiful country, but not for everyone, and not everything is laid here on a bed of roses, it has its own struggles that every country has.

PS – the winters have just begun, I am already feeling the chill.

Peace 🙂

Note: When I wrote this answer initially, I received a lot of hate comments that after a few months I will start praising Canada etc. etc., and I will never move back. To all those comments, I’ve moved back to India. And, I’m happy to be part of this Cosmic Chaos we love

***

I will try to answer this from my own personal perspective, and from the trends I have seen in Canada after I moved to Toronto:

Pros:

  1. People are nice, but not all, further explained in cons.
  2. Society is more tolerant of immigrants.
  3. Gun laws are stringent, and gun violence is almost non existent.
  4. Immigration is easy.
  5. You will not feel alone, there are people from all ethnicities.
  6. Racism exists but is not to the levels that it will suffocate you.
  7. Medical costs are low, you still need insurance for dental, vision, and prescription coverage though.
  8. Water is cheap, electricity is cheaper than most places I have lived in.
  9. Air quality is very good, very less pollution.
  10. It is a very beautiful country. I love going on long drives.


Cons:

  1. Job experience from anywhere outside Canada is not considered. You will start fresh and will need to climb the ladder again.
  2. If you don’t have references, forget about landing a decent job.
  3. Everything is expensive in quick comparison to US.
  4. Cars are expensive. Car insurance is super expensive.
  5. Housing is out of reach in Toronto and Vancouver, where 90% (ok more like 70%) jobs are.
  6. Medicare is painful when it comes to emergencies. Imagine waiting nine hours in emergency with a broken bone while doctors tend to a teenager who got bad throat due to excessive smoking but can fake pain better than you can. No, they don’t prioritize in most cases. And if you want to see a specialist, better be prepared to wait for months for an appointment.
  7. Racism exists, not as bad as US, and some people are frustrated with influx of immigrants.
  8. There is a big gap in immigration policies and the mindset of employers.
  9. Weather is extreme enough to kill you in minutes in most of Canada.
  10. You cannot save. Taxes takes almost half of what you earn.
  11. Sales tax is extremely high. It was 15% in Ontario, which has been reduced to 13% now. This is what you pay when you buy anything, or any service.
  12. Public transportation is extremely expensive. Travel is expensive, both domestic and international.
  13. Some people I have encountered were extremely rude, they actually topped the charts of rudeness compared to some other encounters in US, Europe, and South East Asia.
  14. Gas prices are one of the most expensive in the world. A litre in Vancouver costs about $1.60.
  15. Very bad roads, they’ll kill your suspension and tires if you are not careful. This is due to bad weather.
  16. Food is expensive, eating out is expensive.
  17. Liquor is twice as expensive as in US, don’t forget to grab a bottle from duty free.
  18. Most important, salaries are on an average 30% less than what they are in US, that combined with high taxes leads to no or very less wiggle room for savings.

So overall, it was a disappointing move. But that doesn’t mean that Canada is a bad country. It is a good country but comes with it’s own challenges like anywhere else. Depends on what you want.

***

I do.

I do not regret moving away from home and experiencing a new life.

But I do regret choosing Canada over Europe (I did have the choice).

Here are a few things I am sure the responses, especially the ones from those who have ‘just’ moved here and likely wrote the comments in their ‘high’ of traveling do not cover.

1 – The cold is deadly – and no one wants to admit it.

2 – It is cold not only outside, Canadians like to burn extra fuel on airconditioning and to freeze their indoor areas too, both in summer and winter (and yes there are only two seasons in Canada). There is not one day all year around when you can do your errands without having to carry a jacket or, ever thinking of wearing a skirt like I like to do – because the moment you step inside buildings it’s FREEZING (unless you are exercising). Although, I must say people do not dress to the weather, and if you have an issue with the cold, you will be always objectified ‘omg! You’re wearing too much! Are you cold?’

Look, winters are 8 months long here (Edit: when I say winter, I mean so long I need to wear knits, jackets, tooks and boots, if you go out with shorts in 10 degrees good for you, anything below 12 is winter to me and most people from mild climates). For at least 3 months, it’s below -15 (Edit: if anyone doubts this, they can track the weather and average temperature in various provinces, make sure you look at the ‘real feel’ value too. Unless you are in Windsor Ontario or BC, this is what it is, if not worse). You need a car. You need a really good home with proper heating, and still your social life is brought to a minimum during those months. Now, let’s see what happens when you are a broke student who lives in the burbs and cannot even dream of having a car. I live downtown and it’s a 15 min walk to my school (nice eh?) when it’s -40, I do mind having to walk 15 mins.

3 – It is super expensive. Rent goes up ridiculously every year. You could look it up if you wished, but I am half-certain that Canadians pay the highest price for phone and internet services in the developed world. Other expenses are high too, compared to many countries – and it’s not like you get a top-quality life for the expensive things you spend money on. I am talking about a single person who cooks their own meals, does not even drink and, does not spare money on anything other than necessities.

4 – Public transportation SUCKS BALLS. I know most people around the world like to talk about how punctual buses are in Canada because if they do not pick people up in a timely manner people could freeze. That’s an utter lie. And on top of that, the reach of each city’s transportation system is very weak. Unless you live in the downtown area (which makes it easier just to walk or bike rather than having to wait for irregular buses for unknown periods of time) chances are you will have to spend 2+ hours on transportation every day just to get to where you work or you go to school. Most of the cities do not have metro (subway) and again when they do, the beauty of it is only when you are in close distances to the core downtown. Otherwise, the metro will never get you to the inner cities, and you will have to switch to subsidiary buses that… again will get you to wait… and wait… and wait.

Intercity transport is also awful, a monopoly and, expensive. I do not know if there are any countries left around the world with such a disconnected transport system – especially given how far apart everything is in North America.

Never mind internal flight prices. I don’t want to even start writing about Air Canada.

5 – Relationships are overrated, and talking about the ‘physiological need for sex’ is the centerpiece of reasoning for inquiring one. The dating scene is an absolute bogus mess, which comes down to women chasing men, hopes of sharing the rent, or otherwise being pointed at as ‘not getting enough sex’ and ‘not having a man’ (sometimes I wonder if it is the 1800s and the age of getting wedded is 16). People move in in a matter of days of knowing each other and move out in a matter of a couple of months. By the late 20s, anyone you meet has been through divorce(s) or separation(s), likely has kids, usually still ‘hangs out’ with their exes(you are likely to learn about the grisly truth only after you have invested yourself emotionally in an unworthy narcissist too hard). Everyone you meet is bitter and cunning, only looking for another partner to suit their economic imbalances. People put up with cheating partners very often, and internalizing these standards, at least when you are super lonely, comes next. You’ll be surprised.

(I generally would not suggest a single person who is interested in dating to come here. If I ever do recommend Canada it’s to couples. If you have kids you will get to raise them in safe, ugly neighborhoods where they never play on the streets – I don’t know why? It’s safe, it’s super flat and begs for two gates and a soccer ball or hockey puck- and you will have to dump thousands and thousands of dollars on their daycare). I will not get into the cost of primary education. Not here.

6 – Unless you are an engineer or have an MBA or, if you are a real estate or car sales agent (or wish to become) forget about doing anything ambitious. You could have all the qualification in the world and work in Walmart and enjoy your 4 K salary with benefits (many people are happy with that and do put aside their goals and settle with having enough pay to get by as an ultimate). And if you refuse to work for years on years in a job for which you are overqualified, you are pointed at as a sloth who doesn’t want to work. Your success is measured by salary, pension, and mortgage, not if you are happy with your job (it’s actually the norm to hate your work). Ironically no one wants to talk about numbers when it comes to money. There is a presumption everyone’s wellbeing and financial condition is safeguarded by some godly ransom that they digged up from the graves of their ancestors.

7 – Dishonesty. The way [most] people do not tell you what they mean and confuse you with their actions and words is astonishing here. Barely anyone is straightforward, and humor is a lost word in Canadian English. Everyone seems to have a stick up their arse (and you will become like that too). People only open up after getting absurdly drunk – mainly for a few seconds before they lose the ability to collect their conscious.

(Edit: there is a general assumption that people in countries with Arctic climate and low-density populations have bigger bubbles around their selves, are more difficult to connect and are easily out of touch with their emotions. I cannot speak for Scandinavia for example, but, have heard foreigners from dense societies feel the same about them. Take this tho; emotional has negative connotations in Canadian English. So you know who you are).

8 – It’s boring (save for the hardcore advocates of outdoors sports – even though the temperatures are usually below standard for those too, I have heard skiiers from Scandinavia come here and are shocked how locals go out on days they would absolutely refuse to exercise outdoors). Other than the few main cities I’m sure you know which ones are and, their downtown areas only, the rest of the towns and the burbs and the cities are a copy and paste version of one another – ugly 70s style cement buildings, from an era where architects stopped being creative and erecting venues was likely left to road builders! City structure is inaccessible without a car and, is alienating.

Having fun comes down to bar hopping with teens (or grown-ups who like to act like they are still teens; super excited about being able to drink), in un-fashionable clothing, hearing some off-tune country music and watching girls throw up and drop like flies – because alcohol is the holy grail no one wants to be left behind in consuming it as much as possible (and guess what? it is also more expensive than anywhere I have been, U.S. Europe, South America). You cannot enjoy your drink, or socialize all without it if you wished – it always seems to me that there is a race in ‘how much’ you can drink, so to say, you have a place in the society!!!

I am an artist, and I have studied human sciences. This type of environment does not cultivate creativity. The level of artwork, presentation and access to creative means is bare minimum because people care too much about having a routine and a salary – because back to the point, prices are no joke here, norneither are your bills, your credit card or the mortgage etc. And the best way to secure those is being as predictable and average as possible. Art is regulated by the government, which is great in the sense that artists can have access to massive fundings; so long that they follow the government’s agenda which changes at every turn of the parliament.

9 – The food including fresh produce, snacks, prepared meals and pub/restaurant dishes is bland and tasteless (I do not really know what it is, the way the American groceries that are exported to Canada are grown? GMOs? The amount of sugar and salt that is used in food versus all the other spices that should be but are NEVER used?)

Edit: I accidentally came upon a source about proteins that indicated in North America some animal proteins (that are not naturally found in the structure of plants) are used for the growth of fruits and vegetables. I have also heard that many standards in agriculture and farming are way different from elsewhere in the world, whether these contribute to the tastelessness of food is for debate but surely modifications that are done to our food remain largely a mystery.

‘Affordable ethnic’ cuisines are limited to Thai and Chinese food. For the rest you will often have to pay 3 times as much.

10 – Get ready for wrecking accommodation, roaches, bedbugs, and mice. There are many many old residential buildings made of wood. Naturally, susceptible to all kinds of vermin. The hygiene level is also below my standards (and I am not fussy whatsoever). People very often do not seem to clean enough. Not all, of course. But it does not surprise me anymore that 50% of the times when I walk into a new place and I notice the clump of dust in the corners and uncleaned kitchen and bathrooms.

Also, bad landlords, awful landlords and absolutely psychopathic ones who own houses and rent it out for extra income and make the life of the tenant hell, are plenty. Unless you are living in a condo building, which is at least 1.5 times rentals and twice as expensive as shared houses, situations can rise easily.

Nature is great though. Again if you have the luxury of accessing natural sites by car. Freezing your ass camping, or, if you would like to go hiking and skiing – mainly in inhuman temperatures. This is all given the fact that you do find the time off to ever do something extracurricular.

11 -Universal Health Care: it’s there, it’s good, so long that you are not actually sick or require an emergency. I cannot count the number of times I have heard people they were kept in the ER for hours with no primary care, no drugs nor testing because there were no specialized doctors available to look at them (this goes from food poisoning to having a broken bone to anything else). I am not talking about medical mistakes. I am talking about a severe shortage of doctors.

Doctors, I mean specialists, literally flock to this country in the hopes of practicing their medicine away from their home country where they have to compete with several others. It is almost impossible for them to get back on the track with new qualifications they require to work in Canada as it takes a decade to get through the tests and everything… and guess what? Life costs money and they end up being taxi drivers – or whatever, not doctors anymore!!! (The taxi driver doctor is such a stereotype you cannot even keep a blind eye). Now, those doctors CAN, in fact, make a good living driving taxis or working in Walmart or wherever, but what do you think happens to people in need of special care?

Well if they are rich they go to the States, Europe or the Middle East, in emergency situations sometimes the correct diagnosis does not take place on time and they end up being slaves to the pharmaceutical industry for their lifetime.

Plus note that the Universal Health Care does not cover the costs of most of the highly specialized medical treatments – unless you have extra coverage with your work.

So, despite being a relatively healthy person you can enjoy regular checks with your family doctor, anything beyond that if you are not employed at the right place and do not have a ton of money to pay for treatment in the U.S. can be scary.

Hmmm…what’s the cancer rate in Canada again?

12 – Unemployment Benefits; I am not going to say it is awful to have help when you become unemployed (but I guess most governments in the world have something along those lines). It is relatively easy to get the few hundred dollar checks and it can cover some basic costs. But the thing is, those who actually rely on this money either torn apart native people, and you know that their conditions go back generations (again I am not going to elaborate on what has happened to the indigenous peoples of Canada, you do your research) and their unemployment in a colonial system that is not compatible with their lost traditions, is not something that can be fixed with a few hundreds of dollars per month, but needs a historical healing. The other benefactors are lazy entitled [often local white] people who do not look for work, do not accept low wage work, and do choose to beg on the streets (because they can collect some more from kind people who help them) while they reside in social housing or dirty cheap team houses. Often drunken bad-mouthed homeless people who are plenty in the richest cities of the country – you only need to take a 5 minute walk in downtown Ottawa or Toronto, for example, to realize poverty is not something specific to ‘the developing countries’. But interestingly, there are no videos or pictures showing this type of thing to the enthusiastic immigrants as ‘Canada’. No, Canada is not only its homeless people. Neither it is its national hockey team. But there are these issues here, like anywhere else in the world and the spotless imagery many people have of this country is simply laughable.

A middle-class worker who does pay some rent for a decent place and happens to become unemployed cannot really manage monthly expenses with this check the government sends. It is just a little help. It does not hold one’s life together unless one decides to move in a basement with 4+ roommates during the time he or she is unemployed – which can mean months. I do not propose the provincial governments should raise this pay, I am just saying those who move to Canada to get these benefits are very much like those buggers who soak up the money sitting on the streets acting like they need help while the real trouble of unemployment (however small in percentage) is draining students and real workers.

And last but not least International Higher Education: There is a humongous number of people who come to Canada as international students every year (I wrote my Ph.D. thesis about this, so this is only a glimpse of the facts I have come upon while writing. Rest assured, I have presented my research to the department of immigration and citizenship and they approved I had my facts right, so there). All around the world, studying abroad is encouraged and celebrated, especially is one gets into a highly accredited institution in the top universities that are mainly located in anglophone countries. Many of those who come to Canada are essentially pursuing this as a pathway for accessing immigration to Canada. Little they know the number of foreign students is so overwhelmingly high, and the information regarding their success in getting permanent residency is very scattered; the reality is the government of Canada recognizes international education as one of its most important economic assets[1] (immediate expenditure of incoming international students earned about 12 billion dollars for Canada in 2016[2] ) but despite the available programs for immigration of students, the ultimate goal has never been to settle all of them[3] .

Each international student pays up to 3 times the tuition fee[4] the domestic student does (depending on the province) and funding (especially for foreign students) is becoming more scarce every year. Now while you might be experiencing all of the social aspects of life including the above-mentioned, before deciding to study in Canada you might want to check the job market from within – meaning people who have been through your field of study. Do not rely on the advertising university partners provide or the pretty pictures on university websites. Studying here is no joke and one is better to consider everything and more (including finding a good adviser who is not planning on being a dick to you for the entire course of your graduate degree) before committing to a program that requires great attention.

Also please note that an international student can not enjoy any of the government programs such as immigration services, health care, unemployment benefits etc. These only come to immigrants and citizens. Especially after an international student graduates, he or she is literally relying on a single paper called Post Graduate Work Permit. There is barely any budget dedicated to guiding this young and sophisticated bunch through the Canadian system.

EDIT: Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not absolutely hate my life (so please, be kind and save the philanthropic positivist advice, I’d prefer a proper mural or DJ gig lol – you see no matter how great I feel about myself, if I do not enjoy the social scene and do not wish to live the rest of my life HAPPILY in an isolated enclave, there is no way around it). This is not my diary or resume. And I have not included anything close to my day to day negative experience with matters such as underemployment, higher education fees, the art scene etc. These are my reasons that convince me, as per speaking to the general public, why I would have possibly chosen another destination – somewhere warmer with better urban architecture and a dense population – if I went back and decided to go abroad and explore the world at 24 (again, if you are here to represent Canadian patriarchy by hateful comments, you are simply on a wrong post, go read something that fulfills your agenda). Also, this is in the 2010s, Canada screens in almost only highly skilled technical work force and, I am in the arts and humanities. My experience would be incomparable to numerous people who moved here 30 years ago as general labour.

Canadians are very nice. They are welcoming and do not discriminate (often, as I have seen) against race or culture. There are very decent, respectable people I have met here. There are friendships I do cherish. But I do not think that I would have moved here for the sake of meeting these people. Especially for a person without their 1st degree family, life is very machine-like, disconnected here. You might not mind the prices if you are rich, and would likely be able to skip atrocious housing conditions. It doesn’t negate the fact that the industrial nature of everything resonates everywhere no matter what you do. People will not ever, never get actually close to you and at some point you give up trying to break the ice. And you will learn to do the same as them, and limit your relationships to thinking of them as professional networks which you will have to employ for career purposes. You will create your own bubble around yourself and you will either learn to enjoy it, or you will keep regretting your life choices.

P.S. These are my reasons for ‘regretting moving to Canada’. Things I have listed here have affected me personally. It is always easier to see things from a critical perspective once one has lived in different places. Nonetheless, these are my viewpoints as a foreigner; most of the times people who have lived all of their lives in their country of birth think their country is either the worst of the best. Yet, everything is relative.

***

I did and I left.

My background is somewhat different. I was born in the States, but my father is Canadian and my mother is from Europe, so I already had Canadian citizenship. My family moved to Canada when I was eight and I stayed until about a year after finishing university, then moved to the States after getting a job. A few years later, after working and going to grad school, some family issues came up and I had to move back. I wasn’t eager to leave, but I thought I would give it a shot and I was told that there would be plenty of jobs for me in my field, even though I did a ton of research and saw it would be tough. But I was fairly young at the time and I wanted to be closer to my family.

The move did not work out well at all and I soon regretted it. I had great difficulty getting any notice for jobs in my field. I knew I’d probably have to go down a few notches and prepared for it, but the only things I could find were call center and basic admin work. It was humiliating, especially after grad school and working some good jobs at some good organizations in NYC, a place from where my skills should have been transferable or recognized. In the few interviews I was able to get, I was told that I lacked “Canadian experience”, which has apparently become a cliche. At my last interview, the interviewer brought this up and I responded by telling him that I was way more qualified than he was to do his own job. I just didn’t care at that point and didn’t hold back. He agreed and said that I would have a tough time finding good work because lots of Canadian employers are biased against those who went straight to the States after college.

After that, I figured it was time to go and I moved back to NY.

Other reasons why I left:

I couldn’t stand the extreme cold.

My friends, whom I had grown up with, were all married and I was the only single person, so my social life sucked. It was tough to meet new people and I didn’t find the few people I did meet to be all that interesting.

Bad dating scene.

Even if I did end up getting a decent job, my career prospects would have been limited and there would be little chance for growth, so I wanted more diverse opportunities.

Taxes.

The anti-Americanism was a pain in the ass to hear. Canadians have a global reputation of being extremely tolerant and polite…except when it comes to Americans. A lot of it was just nonsensical and it’s a form of prejudice, full stop. It was annoying because I was born in the States and I hated hearing others slag on my place of birth. It’s also incredibly hypocritical to boast about tolerance (even defending intolerant acts by other, non-American cultures!) when practicing the opposite.

Political correctness overdrive. Now, I’m not in favor of insulting others, but the PC environment in Canada is stifling. I remember being told in school that we were to refer to “janitors” as “sanitation engineers”. What the fuck?! I can imagine it being worse now under Trudeau.

Lack of traveling options and I wanted to travel more. Canada is extremely expensive to travel from.

There are other reasons, but these come to mind right now.

Granted, I do think Canada is a good country and I don’t have any regrets about growing up there. For sure, it was a good place to grow up. It just didn’t work out for me as an adult.

***

Yes and I left after a year.

I’m European with engineering degree, top MBA and several years of international work experience.

In Europe, when I wanted to change job I got interviews with multinationals for jobs at what I consider my level (seniority and experience).

In Canada, recruiters told me directly that their clients wanted candidates with “Canadian experience” and that was the end of the calls. On the other hand, I had recruiters contancting me for low level jobs (telesales, help desk, etc.) saying that they saw my CV online and it was a great match.

It was quite depressing that in Europe I worked in consulting and multinationals but in Canada I was considered like a high school dropout.

I hear people saying that I should have toughed it out, take any menial job for some months, study an extra degree, etc. but why would I have to go through that when in many developed countries in the world my credentials are well regarded and I can get a proper job in short time and applying from abroad.

Bottom line, I had to spend a lot of money and time to move to Canada to be considered an unskilled worker, but other countries with the same quality of life will hire me directly from abroad and pay for my relocation expenses.

***

Yes! Think twice before taking this decision. Everyone says Canada has everything. But trust me, it’s not that simple to get that ‘everything’ here. First, it is indeed a long struggle to get a job (in your own field) which might take up to one year or even more and not to mention about the problems one gets without the “Canadian experience”. A lot of money goes into your daily expenditures. And even worse, sometimes people end up in landing survival jobs which pay you very less. And other than that, rents are way too much, even you live in a decent 1 room apartment. And I believe if you are having good jobs back home, don’t leave your jobs in a hurry. Plan for it wisely as India is also progressing at a good pace. Furthermore, you’ll be missing out your family, friends, social gatherings and all that that can never be compared with the money you make. If you’re earning decent there and are able to meet friends, family do not take take this step. Enjoy your life there. You’ll love your decision.

The grass always seems to be greener on the other side.

***

It was the right decision at the time when China was not a good place to be. Now that China has surpassed Canada in many aspects moving here is starting to feel like a big mistake. I’ve been in Canada for 20 plus years but not much as changed unlike other countries. Here are some major issues:

1.) The taxes are very high and become progressively higher as you make more money. So success basically yields diminishing returns and effectively punishes success and rewards failure. This lead to a huge brain drain problem where the most industrious Canadians move to the US where they are treated better.

2.) The universal healthcare is very inefficient. I’ve waited in the ER for 15 hours once. Getting a specialist could take months. Check-ups are not covered. You can’t even opt out of this system as they’ve made private health insurance illegal.

3.) No matter how much stellar work experience you have from other developed countries they won’t be recognized. I think they do this to protect local Canadians so they don’t have to compete with international talent. Very ironic as they set a very high bar for skilled immigration when they don’t even utilize those skills. There are doctors from Russia that end up as taxi drivers because their license and experience is null and void here. To me this is institutional racism.

4.) The culture is very much rooted in all the trappings of left-wing ideology. You are taught from a very young age to look at wealth and upward mobility with suspicion. There’s a general mentality of victimhood and entitlement. If you’re not successful it must be the fault of corporations or rich people. The gov’t is supposed to solve all your problems. I find this to be very demoralizing and depressing. I don’t think this is the message you should send to young people.

5.) There’s a drug problem on the streets. I’ve never seen so many meth heads anywhere else in the world. I’m not sure what caused this. Maybe the laws are too lenient towards drug dealing and usage? In major cities downtown you will find a lot of druggies panhandling for money. Mostly young people.

6.) The media is very biased. Almost everything reported on China and any other non OECD countries is 100% negative and nobody ever questions its validity. The exception is US, they are also viewed as evil. The people here see themselves as the good guys and the rest of the world is problematic or straight up unethical.

I think when we left China we thought we were escaping an oppressive regime to live in a democratic utopia. What we learned is that democracy may not be the best form of gov’t (even though they train you to believe it is) and western media does just as good of a job brainwashing their own people. The narrative Canada sells is not necessarily a reflection of reality. Perhaps freedom is just a concept.

Edit: I just want to add that I think the reason Canada sits on its high horse of ethics and points the fingers at others is because they only have one neighbor and it’s a friendly one. They have plenty of natural resources and low population. They never have to worry about starvation or invasion. It’s easy to be ethical when you don’t have to make the tough decisions to defend your territory and secure resources. It’s not fair for them to judge.

***

Don’t come to Canada with super high expectations or you will be disappointed quickly. If you have a great job with good benefits where you are, pls. stay there. A lot of high skilled immigrants I’ve met as an employment counsellor who helps to find jobs in Canada are demoralized as they can not find equal level jobs they left back home. Know this, your skills are not considered comparable. Period. You will start from the BOTTOM!

Discrimination exist covertly. Your accent, communication skills,your ability to convey knowledge/ experience in the Canadian context might differ from what You are accustomed to. You will have to be on top of your game. It might be about who you Know. Networking is sometimes key. Know your job description well. Interviews are not about knowing your skills. It’s also about that and more. Chance are you don’t don’t have appropriate answers. What they need, want to hear. Chances are you did not know what they want because you did not read, research and learn about the company and industry and job duties, you did not research the Canadian context of the job. It’s cumbersome if not prepared. Another idea per my experience, remove countries you’ve gained experience or worked in from resume to gain attention clear and void of what’s deemed foreign experience, not canadian experience.

I came here in 2007. I speak well. Even with a good amount of good American accent in Canada, unless nervous then it shows. I know my shit! In fact my name could never tell that I am black, African. I get the interviews but once they are my black face, all else changed. So beware folks! Unless your life is threatened in your country. If you have respect in your profession and a good job where you are, stay put. North America, Canada is no joke for those educated people, secure in your knowledge, you will have to start from the begining even with Phds. Medical doctors. Master’s from abroad… think carefully before you come! Consult an employment counsellor and even they can not predict your future. I have been there. Just saying!

***

Yes, Canada is a regretful countrt. There are some realities you should know before moving here;:

1.) Not many white collar jobs in Canada – Canada has lot of jobs to be filled but mainly blue collar ones like cleaners, plumbers, taxi drivers and so. Canadians don’t want to do it. They need immigrants for that.

2.) Free Health Care is a fake propaganda. You have to wait for months for tests and reports and follow ups take another sweet time. Surgeries wait time could be 1–2 years. Dental not covered.

3.) Health care is NOT actually FREE. Canada is a socialist country – high taxes and low income. Those taxes are used for the health care. I used to pay a tax of $13,000 per year in the US while on same income I am paying $22,000 per year in Canada. Imagine, I could buy the best insurance for those extra $9,000 taxes in the US where even comestics will be covered and treatment will be lightening fast.

4.) People are COLD – People will greet you but will never talk to you.

5.) Toronto has many problems – Expensive and crowded. There is a lot of competition for jobs because a lot of skilled workers are willing to do your job on darn cheap rates.

6.) Vancouver is worse – One of the world’s most expensive cities. You will have to live in basements. Not many jobs. North Van is littred with drug dealers and criminals.

7.) Calgary and Monteal – Calgary is empty and cold. Most of the jobs are oil and chemicals. Monteal is french dominated and racist.

You can Google all my points and will come to know that all are real.

If you wish to come to Canada, make sure to come with the right mindset and keep yourself prepared for some realities.

***

As an immigrant, I do not regret it. Because my options are limited. The US is impossible to get into but still with lots of social problems. Australia seems ideal but also impossible to get into in terms of immigration. New Zealand seems amazing but jobs are even more scarce and probably too isolated.

This country feels safe and the fact that the country is solid, rich in natural resources and hydro resource is a good selling point. It’s a good hedge against global warming and the upcoming water shortage. Also, there are no natural disaster.

Although, it does get cold and for far too long. Every winter I wonder why I haven’t moved to Australia. But anyway, I wouldn’t have made it for Australian immigration requirement.

Being a visible minority, it is much better than the US as a whole, although you could argue that pockets of the US are just as good.

I was living in Austin, TX before coming to Montreal and I do miss Austin, though. Now, that’s a special place.

Additional : Austin is way friendlier than Montreal is and stress-free.

Anecdote : The other day, I was in downtown Montreal and I was not being very attentive and I got in the way of a pedestrian on a sidewalk. I ran into her. I wanted to go inside a pharmacy. It was my bad. It was my fault because I should have waited for her to pass, but I was too focused on getting into the pharmacy that I didn’t see her and bumped into her. Before I had a chance to say “Sorry” that lady didn’t stop and decided to just push me away – not too hard but still – and swear in French “ tabarnak hostie calice” with a nasty look on her face. I got angry, too. I swore at her, too. “What the fuck is the matter with you?” as she charged on.

That kinda thing would never happen in Austin. First of all, no one is walking that fast. Second, no one is that confrontational. If anything, they would have just let me pass first or apologized that I ran into them.

This is just one experience, but there are countless times I’ve witnessed Montrealers giving attitude to each other in public. People are generally not as nice as Austinites, even between friends.

Maybe it’s a Quebecois thing. Quebecois are considered to be ruder than English-speaking Canadians. But coming from Austin, it is a shock and not a pleasant one.

***

YES and a lot

Its been 8 months since I moved to Canada. I moved here because my brother studied here before. My expectation is Canada would be fun.

First 3 months

I am just doing well. I usually stay in isolation in both my home country and Canada. I really got bored of the study here because it has low standard of education. I miss my study and my friends and teachers from my country because they were much more interactive and much more friendly. I like western food so it is pretty good.

Next 3 months

I got bored of the food. There is nothing fun to do. Everything is expensive. I feel homesick. I hate my dorm neighbors as they are some nasty dirty people who don’t take baths and pee correctly. After complaining, I was said to be ‘discriminating’ dirty people and clean people. Fuck you Liberals, its for everyone’s good. These people will get discriminated and isolated if nothing is done. And the smelly people did get isolated now. My life is hell because of my room is right in front of the toilet. Some rules doesn’t make any sense in the school either and things that are allowed are questionable.

the recent 2 months

The only thing that keep me alive from losing appetite is Tim Horton’s chili and Indian foods. I might try to get Mexican food later. I can finally go home this March. I feel relieved that I could cause Coronavirus wasn’t a major problem in my country.

Pros:

It is pretty peaceful and laid back place as a student

Everyone is pretty friendly.

I like being isolated

Cons:

As there are majority in the minority, most of them only group up with their own people. And a very different nationality might not make easy friends.

Boring, just awfully boring. I might have experienced Paris syndrome.

The food is getting dull day by day.

The toilets in dorms may be more disgusting than public toilets in my country.

The society tolerates smelly people but individuals don’t. And school authority doesn’t help them.

***

Sometimes yes! I do regret it.

When:

Financial reasons:

I see my paycheck and almost half is gone to tax

I see restaurants & shopping bill and 13% taken by sales tax, (worst indirectly forced to give 10–20% tip) actual food cost 100$ then + 15$ tip cost + $15 sales tax, total cost 130$. Ridiculous!

I see property tax bill

I see high rate of car insurance cutting from account

$120 license plate renewal just to drive car on road every year

I pay $5 dollar per month to keep my bank account

Almost no interest rate given on saving

it’s like giving away almost 60% of your salary just for income tax, sales tax, property tax & tips.

no saving at all after paying all tax, it’s hard to think young generation to buy house in Toronto

Other reasons:

I see government is working on getting back ISIS terrorist into Canada and justify it [Edit: All people in comment, just do a simple google search]

I see tax money are used to give funding for Catholic school and these schools have more facilities than regular public schools [Edit: I was misinformed for Islamic schools in Mississauga, I have remove that)

I see weather going down to extreme low, I was stuck in -33 last year with my Hybrid car’s alternator died and my car stop working. Getting stuck in winter is crazy. Winter here can kill you within minutes if you are not prepared for worst. Just think medium/major accident in -33 Celsius. Person would die of cold before the injury. Now I started doing work from home or leave when temperatures goes below -25.

I see few feet of snow

waiting for 20 hours in emergency in pain for appendix surgery

I see malls & shopping places closed on public holidays

I find few places open at mid night food

I am asked fake questions like, How are you? and asker don’t have any intention to hear the answer or never meant but asked just a habit. [Edit: fake culture developed around being so-called NICE, read this opinion of international student, easy to relate. 

I find people saying sorry or apologizing but not meant it

Above reason makes me think of I should get Canadian Citizenship and move to USA on TN visa.

While, below reasons stops me doing that,

safe country

gun control

almost everyone in Toronto area are immigrants, white/black/brown/asian

most Indian things are easy to find

lots of Indian restaurants

Celebrates all Indian festivals

Education is good compare to USA

healthcare is free, it’s beneficial for non-emergency visits to physicians

health insurance is far cheaper than USA

***

Long post alert.

There were edits made after few comments from my friends in Canada to add more details. This makes this extreme long post from long post.

This is not to discourage people from moving to Canada but to rather help them take right factors in consideration.

Yes, I regret moving to Canada. I moved from India’s most happening city ‘Hyderabad’ from one of the Big4 firms. That being said, neither am I a high flier nor someone who draws high/exorbitant salaries (upwards of 1 lakh per month).

Unlike many, I did not spend a fortune to come here or spend dizzying amounts of my savings. Yes, I did spend significant portion of my savings, it is not just that high when I compare it to my peers who moved here with their families and are still trying to get a job.

Did I not get a job here and is that the reason why I regret?

No– I did get a decent paying job in my area of expertise within 3 months. No qualms here. It is just good networking/ referrals/ family friends who helped me get a job.

Was I not able to accommodate to the culture/ are people not good enough?

People here are extremely friendly.

My friend who I knew from India who got a job here before I came to Canada was more worried about me that I was not getting a job.

My friend’s brother’s best friend’s wife helped me get the job. Let that sink in. I was that lucky to have such a great friend and such lovely people here. I cannot thank them enough. They are like my extended family now.

Why do I regret?

When I was researching if I have to move to Canada, I considered a few points to make the move.

Free healthcare:

I thought free healthcare, eh, how many countries in the world would do that?

My research was wrong.

As cool as it may sound, it is very slow. I had to wait for a week to get an appointment for an ultrasound scan for my wife because she is suffering from stomach ache. God knows what would happen if the cause is diagnosed after some damage already happened.

If I was in India it would have been done in a few hours. The cost even if I would have to bear it will be very small. Doctor visit in a walk-in-clinic+ Ultrasound+other tests+ medicines would have cost me at the most 3000 INR (60 CAD).

Just FYI: The cost of a colonoscopy in Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (the most famous hospital) where even Prime Minister of India had his surgery costed me INR 2000 (40 CAD).

I was covered by my company back home for 5 lakhs per annum. Not just me, my wife, my parents and my future kids. Now 5 lakhs is only $10k. However, in India, any major surgery can be completed within 2 or 3 lakhs in a upscale hospital. My uncle had a heart attack and the total cost of 2 stents to be implanted in his heart was 3 lakhs.

My parents now are not covered by insurance in India. I will have to buy them an insurance plan.

If someone is coming from India and one of his considerations is free healthcare, think again- You are coming from a country to which even citizens from developed nations (mostly USA) go for low cost healthcare services.

Education for kids

Many studies placed Canadian schooling as the 2nd or 3rd best in the world. I thought it would be a great opportunity for my future kids.

I was wrong in my assessment. I misread the report. The studies consider public schooling system in the country for the rating. Yes, the public schooling system in India is pathetic. Do I really want my kids to join a public school in India? No.I would have had them joined in a decent private school. The education if not on par would at least still be on par with Canadian public school.

If you are coming to Canada considering this as a factor and you make good money back in India, think again- Private schools are really good in India too.

Rents:

Who are we kidding? The rents are sky high. I knew that before coming here. However, I did not know that even to get a unit when someone is willing to pay the rent, it is never easy. I applied for 8 condo units and 5 apartment units, all of which rejected my application since there were more than 5 people who were bidding for the units and the house owner had a choice to pick from. The apartments buildings had a waiting list. I am talking about some decently maintained apartment units like the Morguard ones.

Now two of my friends got a place relatively fast forcing me to think again- if I am unlucky or considered moving during wrong time or if he is lucky.

I was trying to get answer to this question when another friend of mine mentioned me that searching for rent is like mini-job search here. You will need to put in as much effort as job search.

My search for job drained my energy. Right now, I am not ready for another round of energy drain.

I ultimately made peace with staying in a basement with my wife.

Canada has a housing crisis and most are not ready to admit it. Think again.

People:

This is very specific to me. However, just jotting it down because there might be someone like me. I am someone who would draw energy seeing people. Imagine the number of people at midnight in Hyderabad and the traffic.

Now, the so called most densely populated Greater Toronto Area (GTA) during the most busy hours, is like Hyderabad during midnight. Such low is the population here. Heck, I have to walk at least 10 minutes to find some person in person and not in car. I feel like I am lonely. I landed in June, during summer, even then in downtown Mississauga, I hardly found people.

While some might enjoy the solitude, I feel like I am lonely sitting somewhere on the edge of the world.

Weather- Sun and Cold:

While I was in India, I used to curse my stars that it is so hot in India. After I came here I hardly see sun during winter (which started sometime in October- for me). May be it is for good. I am now realizing what I missed. I miss the sun.

The weather is a nightmare. I knew it is going to be cold. However, I am not prepared for this level of cold. Knowing is completely different from experiencing it. No, I am not considering staying out for extended periods of time. I am talking of walking from my home till bus stop (which is 2 mins, waiting for bus and then walking from Square one till my office which takes 10–15 mins). During the cold snap, it is hell. The cold is not bad, the wind during the cold is.

A little more detail:

Download a weather app, see the temperature, now scroll down and look at the section where it mentions about ‘feels like’. That is how it actually feels like.

I am talking of wind blowing to your face, it feels like it is cutting your face with a knife. Your body generates more fluids. Nose generates water and eyes too. Now imagine your eye drops freezing when you close your eyes to get rid of eye drops because you do not want to take your hand out of pockets. (Mostly in Jan and Feb- not like that everytime)

It is cold as hell. You cannot even go for a walk outside during winter without properly getting dressed. In India I can just go out even during the coldest day here with a pair of slippers and in shorts and a t-shirt.( This is during fall- not winter)

Am I chickening out at the first sight of winter?

What do you think is the favorite pastime of even Native Canadians (exaggerating a bit)?

What do you think is the favorite topic of conversation for small talk (very essential softskill here)?

Answer: Cursing the winter

Food (Eating out)

I get it. Canada is a multi-cultural paradise for food. There is no cuisine in the world that you will not get here. That is freaking expensive. A normal dosa for 12–15 CAD, dinner for two in a restaurant 30–40 CAD. Now before you jump the gun and say I am converting everything to INR and hence I feel they are expensive. Even when you think about in only dollar terms, it is expensive. Just to give you some context, imagine a time (15–20 years ago) when someone used to earn 5000 rs as salary. Now, when you go back to that time, how much was a dosa or a idly? Imagine the same in CAD now.

If you want to cook, it is normally not expensive even by Canadian standards.

Retirement Benefits:

Retirement is costly here. Canadian govt provides some pension that will be barely enough for you. Even if you earn 50–60k per month in India and invest a decent amount somewhere like Mutual Fund and likes, you can get a far better retirement in India. I am not even considering the family support system that you will get if you are in India.

Well, never considered retiring here. This is for people who want to leave India for good.

Cellphone Plans:

One area where Canadians bury their heads in sand and pretend like no problem exists. Not comparing it with India.

Freaking expensive. Even after you consider the low population density and operating expenses.

Cost $50 for a person(only sim) and low cost provider like Fido/ Freedom.

Friends and Family:

Let us not even discuss, I might cry here in office.

Are there only disadvantages?

There are many positives too.

The international exposure you get at work is international in its true sense. There is at least one national from each continent in my team where I work.

The work you do matters. You will immediately find the difference b/w the work you do on outsourced project and the work you do when you are the business. Exposure increases multiple fold. In India, very few get such exposure, usually restricted to someone from top tier B Schools.

Work-life balance- 8 a.m to 4 p.m

Pollution is very minimal (let’s just say non-existent if you are coming from India). Let me illustrate, go to the outskirts of Pune for trekking (may be into a forest), the AQI here is better than that too.

People are uber friendly. When I lost my way when I went to get my OHIP card, sensing I might be confused, this girl came across from the other side of the road, and asked me if everything was alright and if she could help me. When I told her my location, she opened her Google maps app (I did not yet take a phone by then), and guided me to my location, shared her number and asked me to contact in case of any questions. That’s the sweetest thing someone has ever done to me.

Canada during summer is paradise. Oakville and Burlington’s lakeshore road took my breath away. If that is what happened to me with some random area in GTA, I cannot guess how it is if I visit some real natural locations across Canada. I am sure they will put even well renowned world tourist locations to their place.

Am I moving back because of all of this?

Not right now!

I made a decision to move to Canada and before I move back home, I would want to make enough money to buy a home (1 CAD is still 50 INR) in India.

Someone asked why Hyderabad is great?! Found this article on the internet ..Here it is:

10 Things Every ‘Other State Guys’ Staying In Hyderabad Will Relate To

This is written keeping in mind the people coming from different states (provinces) to Hyd to make a living.

Another article:

Hyderabad ranks 1st in quality of living index: Report

Also, another user commented that I am just whining:

For God’s sake, here is an article from insauga.com, one of the most referred websites of Mississauga for city’s news. This lengthy article talks of how dire the housing situation is in Mississauga and surrounding cities where there are any jobs available.

https://www.insauga.com/desperat…

***

My childhood was in Korea, and I moved often in the past before settling here in Canada. Here’s my take on Canada, for better or for worse.

Living in Canada? Not Great, not Terrible either.

It really depends what you want to do. There are plenty of immigrants wanting to move here (for better or for worse). Canada is undeniably better than many other countries relatively speaking for many immigrants. Since the question is looking at Canada negatively, there are some I’ve experienced personally that supports this.

Canada is “NOT” nice; it is a nation of collective apathy on social scale much like a hotel; it’s nice enough to attract many people and it’s comfortable, but it’s generic and indifferent. Some see this as a con while some see it as a beauty. Hence, it’s much harder (especially for immigrants) to really mingle and blend it with locals in general.

It is far more expensive to live here in general, though it has universal health care to offset the gap between here and the States. Wage may appear better than the states if you just look at the magnitude of the pay for low-mid range salary, but CAD is generally 30% worth less than USD. The living cost in general is higher. So you have lower-paying wage and higher living expense. Not terribly great combo for people who want to be ambitious about financial success. And it happens to be that many immigrants take risk and move away from their home country to be more successful… so this trend will be discouraging to many.

Winter is a bitch in heat. Not only that it’s cold, it’s also dry and making it worse for skin in general. Canada is more isolated my geography in general, so excessive snow has far more detrimental impact than many US regions with similar climate. Bear in mind, this isn’t applicable to BC which is closer to California and climate is much nicer there and its humidity not shielded by Rocky Mountains like Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba oof.

Job is more limited here compared to the States due to Canadian market being smaller and business operation being more expensive in general. I don’t think Canadians taxes are particularly higher than the States in general, but there are definitely less room for tax avoidance here than in the states for better or for worse.

Less choices. If you want to live like a norm, this place allows you to do that easily. If you try to live above the norm (not just financially but in general), you will have harder time doing so… not that it’s illegal but it will be more painstakingly hard to find options or will cost you more (probably combination of both).

If you like average-just above avg lifestyle and enjoy slow-paced and calm mentality, I’d say Canada is a great place relatively speaking. But many immigrants want to be better or aspire for more and this isn’t the most compatible theme imo.

Personally, I don’t mind living in Canada. But if I become a much better asset (skill, employment options, etc), I would seriously consider defecting to the States (I’d come back here for vacation or grab some nice contract jobs here and there), but I’d say for a typical immigrant who aspire for more choices and luxuries in life… States have more to offer on avg.

***

Yes and I came from a developping country where poverty level is much higher than Canada and there are lots of corruption where I came from. The things I feel about Canada is that it is a socialist country in disguise of a capitalist country. The medical systems where Canada is proud of is broken at best. There are simply not enough resources to cope with the influx of immigrants. There are a lot of sham marriage from immigrants who try to bring their own village to Canada and never want to assimilate to the host but convert Canada into their own ethnic enclaves. In Brampton where I live, there are rampant abuse of the generous government programs and welfare designed to protect the poor and destitutes. Many people faked accident to claim disability benefits, many people collect welfare while earning hundred of thousands in cash, hiring international students illegally at half minimum wages. The job market for professional is extremely small and there are thousands of overqualified candidates for every job openning due to the government let in freely hundred of thousands of economic skilled migrants from all over the world to compete with Canadians.

***

It was the dumbest decision in my life.

I moved to Canada 3 years ago as LGBTQ refugee, and i was fooled by the human rights bs.

I left behind a house, good financial status, running business and high social position.

I have spent almost all my savings just to provide myself decent living. After being a manager and owner with 70 employees working for me the only jobs i can get is minimum wage. For what? Just to be an openly gay person and get married and establish a good life but that wasn’t the case. The weather is depressing, money has no value here,constant rise in crime rates, drugs epidemic

Imagine the average home price in Toronto is 700000 dollars.

If i have the chance to go back home i would pack up my luggage right now but i can’t, otherwise i will get prosecuted for seeking protection of other country and my sexuality.

The 3rd world continues are developing and cost of living is relatively low. Anyone who has a decent income my advice is just stay where you are.

***

I sort of regret. yes.. I used to live in the US.. Went back to India and lived with my family… I thought I could try canada for sometime but this place sucks you out and drains you If you dont have a network of friends and family… I did get a good job without much effort in a year or so… But, it took a toll on me as I thought that American experience would be respected.. THERE IS TOO MUCH NEPOTISM AND CRONYISM IN CANADA THAT IT BEATS INDIA! it is expensive here.. Housing in GTA is appaling. I wanted to be free of attachments- like car but without that it is hard to manage except in core downtown.. medical care is an eye wash. without a good job, and the insurance that comes with it, nothing is covered. In the process, I have lost muscle mass – completely out of shape thanks to all the stress..(due to this terrible weather and not being able to adjust; initial settling down stress etc..) I lost tons of hair.. wrinkles 😦 over all not a good decision.

***

If I look back, moving to Canada was a natural choice when I was moving, and I can’t regret it. However at a stave when you want to call someplace home,that’s where you start thinking how good of a home it is for you.

Well, it is dull. If you don’t have small kids to take to different activities, and if you are not into hockey or biking, it would be difficult to find a decent hobby if you are used to more cultured environment. You can learn French if you like languages.

I definitely miss more intellectual people environment in the US, people who have ideas, personalities, who are happy, goal oriented, well-read, honest.

I know people lie here and there. But I’ve never met so many deliberately lying people, lying in order to cover for something and just out of meanness than in Canada.

I had a boss at work, and when we had a reorg he was trying to keep his position and was throwing everyone under the bus. Well, he did not get what he wanted, and eventually his new employees literally revolted against him too. But I never experienced so pure lying.

Similar in other areas. I needed legal advice, and I googled several lawyers, and then retained one, but kept in touch with all. So one of them offered some services too, knowing I already had someone. They are not supposed to do that, it is against their ethics code. But that lawyer, Mr. Curran, seemingly wanted to make a buck. He bashed my retained lawyer, his firm, his work. He was telling me he will do better. He was telling me how impressive he is and how he ran for Parliament when he was young. Then the tried to make me sign papers to terminate the retained attorney, When I refused, he then emailed that attorney with lies that if I came to him to hire him. There are jokes about dishonest lawyers, but that Mr. Curran was real face of dishonesty and deceit. I always thought that educated people have some class. Not in Ottawa, not in the case of that legal professional. It’s like – no ethics at all. That was shocking and disgusting.

I briefly taught at a local university, as I did in the US. US students were honest and proud of their knowledge. In Ottawa I would collect bunch of cheat sheets during exams, and there was an enormous number of doctor’s notes before midterms and finals.

I had a landlord who was a slight racist and was always bashing some ethnicities.

I actually thought that with free health care, not much pollution, protected environment, people should be happy, healthy and positive. But by far I’ve met too many sleazy and deceitful professionals and just individuals.

But Canada is still in North America, and there are a lot of nice vacation spots in Central America and Caribbean you can visit for a good price, that’s a plus. Health care is free, but then you do pay some health tax anyway, at least in Ontario, as I know. The climate is horrible though.

***

Yes, I wish I had never come. I feel like I have wasted 10 years of my life ! I have made many efforts to have a meaningful life but nothing good or worthwhile came out of it. I haven’t met any interesting men, just extremely superficial and not interested in building anything serious on a private level. Outside daily responsibilities, my life is so boring. I have a hard time meeting genuine people. Nothing really deep or meaningful is ever found. The transit system is expensive and obsolete. Food is outrageously expensive. Alcohol is ridiculously expensive too and could not be bought outside LCBO until recently when the rest of the world has that option for as long as I can remember. It’s cold most of the year so it’s difficult or impossible to play sports except skiing and ice-skating . For all those reasons I want to leave but don’t really know where to go? Maybe find a country in Europe…

***

Yes! It has just been 2 Months Here. Trust me, All those Instagram and Facebook stories of your friends chilling out in Canada are just a face to hide the real life struggles.

From Budget Constraints to Winter Depressions to Sadly watching your loved ones chilling in India , There’s lot of Struggles Everyday. Fortunately, I am here just for One Year and trust me even this One Year Seems to be Eternity!

If You Have a choice to stay back In your own country, Don’t Put yourselves into this Difficult situation!

***

Yes, I regret moving to Canada and that’s why I decided to go back to my country.

I moved to Halifax Nova Scotia and life in Canada is not as easy as everyone else says. My advice to everyone who wants to move to Canada is to go there for one month and see how is that country before taking the decision to move there. Finding a job there is not easy, even more if you are an engineer, a lawyer, or any other professional degree; so forget about that because in Canada you will have to take survival jobs, your degree is junk for them.

The process for the residency is terribly long and burocratic, so migrating to other countries is much easier.

Don’t believe in all the lies that people say about Canada (I committed that mistake so I know what I’m talking about), go there and see it for yourself. My advice is to think in the US before Canada.

***

I have a friend. He is an engineer and he moved to canada, Toronto.

When I met him a few years later, he told me of his struggles there.

The chief struggle was securing a job. Canadian companies only hired canadians and only if they really couldn’t did they hire a foreigner. He searched for months. He is an engineer in singapore and a top rated one and he told me he was on the verge of APPLYING AT THE NEIGHBOURHOOD 7-11 ON THE OFF CHANCE THEY HAD A COUNTER JOB before he got a job as an engineer.

So u can imagine how hard his struggle was.

***

Canada has many opportunities for wealth and advancement . But in a large city like Toronto it is almost impossible to get a professional job. But you can try some business which many people succeed at.

Calgary is better for new immigrants as there are less people , housing though also expensive , is less than Toronto.

My experience is that for my children they have had better opportunities but there really is only your immediate family. You will miss the social and family togetherness and support and be really lonely especially as your children grow up, get married and raise their own family.

It is difficult to say whether moving to Canada is best. If your situation in your home country is terrible then you have more reason to go to Canada.

***

YES! I have and still do. I am of Turkish descent and was born and raised in Germany. I have lived in Turkey for about 12 years of my life and moved to Canada as a skilled immigrant in 2010.

The most important question you have to ask yourself is: What do I want in life?

If your answers are: Financial freedom, great career/income, adequate housing, good weather – then CANADA is not your destination.

My experience of Canada is quite limited to Vancouver BC. And to some extent Toronto ON. As you might know, these are the two major immigrant clusters in Canada.

Finding a good job/career with a good income is almost impossible if you don’t have Canadian credentials (it’s even hard with Canadian credentials).

Housing is terrible. You will be stuck in a 1 bedroom apartment that is extremely overpriced and pay at least $1600/month for nothing. You will share a washer and dryer with all the other tenants in your building. Apartments neither have the room nor the facilities to hook up a washer and dryer in your own place. If you want to have ‘the luxury’ of being able to do laundry at home, your rent automatically goes above and beyond $2000 easily (still a 1 bedroom apt though)! I don’t even want to get started on BUYING a house or an apartment. That’s impossible! Please refer to http://vancouver.craigslist.ca and check out the apartments and rentals ads.

SOLUTION: Go to college/university and get a new in demand career!
ANSWER: GOOD LUCK! Now that you’ve immigrated here and are a resident, most in demand programs will put you on a waiting list for up to 3 years.

Let’s say you were lucky and got in – who is going to pay for tuition, fees, expenses, rent etc? Education is not free in Canada, and books are around $100–250 for each course. You must be available during the day because there are no night or evening universities here. Your BARE minimum monthly expenses as a single person here will be around $2600 (not including tuition fees and other school expenses etc). EditBCIT in Vancouver has part-time evening courses but unfortunately course availability is not guaranteed and they cost more or the classical waiting list issue.

HEALTH: Family doctors/general practitioners are readily available and you should be able to get an appointment in 48 hours. BUT if you need to see a specialist then things change. I once had to wait 3 months (not exaggerating!) to see a dermatologist. And when I saw him, he asked me to go and purchase the medicine and come back to have it injected by him again. And the next best appointment available was in 3 weeks. The same goes for cardiology, and it perhaps even worse.

WEATHER: Vancouver summers are amazing! 4–5 months of very comfortable and beautiful weather. But for the rest of the year: it’s raining all the time, it’s damp, it’s overcast, it’s cold. And this is the BEST weather you can get in Canada. Other provinces are -20 C.

FRIENDS/PEOPLE/NETWORKING: People are superficially friendly. Everyone will say hi, smile, ‘excuse me’s en mass. But when you really want to become friends with someone, they withdraw from you. ‘Real’ Canadians don’t like to be bothered – and most Canadians will regard a new friend as a bother. They’d be way happier to sit at home and watch Netflix and have a glass of wine, beer than meeting up with friends for some socializing. Dating is horrible too! I don’t even want to talk about it.

EDIT: Please read this article on alcohol consumption in Canada published by a Canadian newspaper: Canada ranks third in the world for drunkenness (and 20% know they need help): report

RESULT:
So, if you’re really coming from a bad place/country etc. Yes, Canada might be an option. It’s definitely better to be in Canada than in a war torn zone or such.

But if your goals are financial freedom, great career/income, adequate housing, good weather – then CANADA is not your destination.
I suggest the USA, Germany, Switzerland to some extent, Ireland (especially if you’re in IT/Software).

I hope this helps.

PS: This is a VERY long article which I find very significant on Canada & Immigration. Why is Canada taking immigrants when there are no opportunities? Answered by Thomas Edward Friedrich

***

Yes. It’s too cold or it’s too hot. The people are nice but boring. There is no history. I wish I’d stayed home in Europe. But I came because my then-husband wanted to and now I have kids and grandkids here so I stay. I would love to have just stayed home with family all around me like my sister did.

***

I lived in Canada for a short time. I went there (Montreal) for 2 reasons. 1) I was mistakenly led to think that Canada was kind of a ‘lay back America of the 50s – 60s.’ It ain’t. 2) Canadians are easy going, somewhat naive fun loving people that were hardy and wholesome. They ain’t ( maybe some are…just like some Americans are). I expected Canada to be a lot like America and it is to some degree…But there’s still something different about it that I found uncomfortable. Nice place to visit…but I moved back to the USA

***

Yes in many ways.

It is too cold.You can get sick easily and treatments are costly.

It is highly expensive.Most of your income is lost and there are no savings.You might take loans in future.

Taxes are high.You spend a lot of money on taxes.

No social life.Bonding is less and you dont have enough time for it.

Tough to get a well paying job.You have to keep on searching.

Canada is good for immigrants but you will struggle for a long time.This is true for any western country.What is shown in social media is not reality.So think twice before coming here.

***

Canada is simply…

too BIG
too EXPENSIVE
too COLD
too STRESSFUL
too LIFELESS
too BORING
too REMOTE
too DEPRESSING

The only good thing about Canada is that it toughens you up. You can then run for your life and get the hell out!!

***

Yes, I am regretting it now. Moved from US with a decent pay job offer. Things are quite different here, depending on where you are migrating from: high taxes, high cost of living – basically you earn in CAD but pay US equivalent prices ( i.e things are roughly 30% more expensive), long wait for basic medical services, brutal winters, gun violence is becoming common in some cities. It is better to spend your productive part of your life in US and then retire here…

***

I regret moving back to Canada. I should have just stayed in the UK but all my family is in Canada. The weather, the culture, the public transit, the people, the music the food as well as the traveling opportunities are all significantly better in the UK. Now I need to formulate a plan to move back there.

***

Someone was really butthurt back in the day and had a website called NotCanada that has since dissapeared. I was contemplating on emigrating from Finland, so I was looking at sites trying to assess if it was feasible, didn’t have that much money required back then so it never materialised, but I vividly remember reading this site and really thinking how bad it must be a person can put his energy in such rants.

Wayback machine didn’t have the url, but here’s ”Top 8 Reasons NOT to Immigrate to Canada” taken off that site that might give you an idea of the unhappiness…. *** Visit: www.NotCanada.com ***

***

Taken from

http://www.NotCanada.com

8. Discriminatory and Dishonest Immigration System.
Immigration to Canada is based on a point system, obtained with your education, qualifications and job experience. Points are good enough for immigration, but in Canada, they are not good enough to get a job in your field. Amazing, how the credentials that qualify you to come to Canada are the same credentials that don’t qualify you for your profession in Canada. The reason is, Canada only wants immigrants to do the labor jobs – pizza delivery, driving taxis, factory work etc.

7. Out Of Control Cost Of Living.
From rent, to utility bills, to shopping, to phone, internet and cable bills, to gas, to car insurance, to eating out, to basically anything you have to pay for or buy, the cost of living in Canada has become astronomical. Recent immigrants are astonished as to how expensive everything is. It is estimated that compared to most countries around the world, the cost of living in Canada is on average five times greater.

6. Health Care Crisis.
Practicing physicians in Canada are in a shortage, 1 in 4 Canadians cannot get a family doctor. Canadian doctors are leaving to move permanently to the United States. Statistics Canada and the Canadian Medical Association both have identified that for every 1 American doctor that moves to Canada, 19 (nineteen) Canadian doctors move to the United States! Doctors in Canada are overworked and underpaid, and there is a cap on their salaries.

5. Very High Taxes.
Yes, you have the GST, the PST, totaling 15%, on practically everything you purchase and many other taxes taken out of our weekly paycheck. You have to pay a whopping amount to the government, out of your hard earned salary, so that the government can turn around and give it to beer drinking, hockey watching welfare bums. Fair? It does not matter, it’s Canada.

4. Money Hungry Government.
Canadian Embassies around the world lie to foreigners, painting this picture that Canada is Utopia, because they want them to come to Canada. Why? Because foreigners bring money! So after being deceived, these foreigners come. They must bring with them at least $10,000. Canada has an immigration quota of 250,000 per year. So please do the math, 250,000 multiplied by $10,000 each equals a whopping 2.5 Billion dollars that Canada gains from immigrants every year.

3. No Culture.
Unlike almost every other country in the world, Canada has no culture. Actually American culture is what dominates Canada. When was the last time you had some ‘Canadian’ food? There are no Canadian traditions and there is no national identity. What does it even mean to call yourself a ‘Canadian’. . .nothing really. People living in Canada, still identify themselves with the country they ‘originally’ came from.

2. Worst Weather.
Yes, Canada has the worst weather conditions of any country in the world. Freezing cold temperatures, snow, ice, hail, winds, storms etc. From the Prairie provinces to the Maritimes, from the Territories to southern Ontario, the weather is so horrific and disgusting that many Canadians leave Canada simply because of this reason alone.

1. No Jobs.
Yes, coast to coast, there are no jobs. Immigrants are highly qualified (MD’s, PhD’s, Lawyers, Engineers etc.) but they are driving taxi cabs, delivering pizza’s or working in factories. Even people with bachelors degrees from Canadian Universities cannot find jobs after graduation. This is the tragedy associated with immigration to Canada. I feel sorry for those immigrants who are stuck in Canada for the rest of their lives. It is indeed a very sad and hopeless future.

***

Comments

My thoughts:

Experience is the main variable. People who managed to land a job, make an income sufficient to survive on, and haven’t faced severe hardships or crises are generally content. In this particular comment thread more people hadn’t regretted their move.

People who have been discriminated against, faced racism, or whose standard of living has been downgraded are more likely to be unhappy and regretful.

That being said, there are some key facts which come into play:

If you like stable, relatively safe, or are escaping bad governments and don’t mind renting for life and enduring long, bitter winters – you may be satisfied. This type of person is more likely to be an office worker or bureaucrat than a cop or paramedic for instance.

If you value excitement, culture, are ambitious and aspire to home ownership or an easier time getting by – you will hate it here. You may be willing to trade off a higher crime rate or more dense population for greater stimulation and varied life experiences. You will find Canada sterile, expensive and suffocating.

Things people liked best: social safety nets, democracy, pretty peaceful, outdoors.

Things people hated: taxes, cost of living, no culture, bad job market, winter.

To summarize for Canadians who have never lived anywhere else: it’s like preferring Ottawa (Canada) to Vancouver (elsewhere). It all depends on your personality, goals, and how you prioritize.

7 thoughts on “Do you regret moving to Canada?

  1. Peter

    Agree with everything thats written in the article. 6 years in Canada, I’ve lived all over the world and built friendships + had several long term relationships/ exciting dating life everywhere – not here. After 6 years I realized how lonely I was and how superficial and awkward people were in this country. Are they nice? Yes, but we often confuse niceness with friendliness and these are two different things.

    Anither thing is that the vast majority of Canadians  have been thoroughly conditioned to accept… no, to welcome and even expect, the government to act as their parental figure from cradle to grave.

    Getting a Canadian to think of himself/herself as a free and independent human being is more difficult than trying to steal the Crown Jewels.

    My radar fairly quickly picked up on some kind of psychological pathology I couldn’t put my finger on but its rather glaring to those who are sharp enough to pick up on it. They craft their own reality and people are chess pieces in some morbid game they play in their own head. Some sort of pathology definitely permeates their society even though it is a beautiful country.

     Canadians tend to define themselves by contrasting themselves to the USA.

    I can’t think of another country where the citizens define themselves as who they’re not rather than who they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rocky

    Beautiful. We written and well done. I know all ate truth you wrote here. I am a physician struggling many years and thinking to go some where. Still researching and planning but Canada is very artful and tactful and took your last penny by the name of mortgage tax insurance and pension! There is lots of discrepancy and secret policy. 99 percent people here unfortunately never be able to analyze to understand the fact. Thanks you are able to out from one of Western trap countries.

    Like

  3. Well, it has been a long thing to read through. I am a proud immigrant Canadian but I will not hesitate to state the facts. A number of points are 100% true such as ER wait or “Canadian Experience”. To me, it sounds more of a “racist” slur and I do recall I retorted to the interviewer, “Oh! I did not know that the Laws of Physics are different in Canada than rest of the world”! And I damn cared about getting that job as I also ended telling him you will not give me the job but will remember me throughout your life.

    Having said that here are a few things which my dear person missed or needed to be kept in mind by others too who may read this long post.
    1. Canada is under severe debt which just this morning I saw is amounting to above 120 Billion dollars.
    2. Canada has an increasing number of retirees as the baby boomers are in their +60s now.
    3. Canada needs to get its treasury enough money to pay the pension to its European retirees who moved in after WW II from the ravaged Europe.
    4. The retirees have reached the top slots in whatever Canadian companies or Govt Ministries or Municipalities they had worked. But through the remark of “Canadian Experience” they do not want the internationally qualified and experienced immigrants to enter and overrun the inexperienced and of their existing employees having a very parochial vision. Literally, the management is scared of this fact hence such a racist policy”!
    5. Now kindly do some simple calculations. Below is not taking into account the underpaid number of years an immigrant works and the taxes etc immigrant pays to the treasury of Canada.
    a. On average, a family of 5 brings with it a minimum of $50,000.00 in cash the day they land.
    b. There are at least 200,000 families to which Canada gives immigration every year. So just the hard cash which enters into Canada becomes 50000 * 200000. It is $10 billion. It comes in every year!
    c. Now if one also calculates the subsidies which immigrant gives (no not gets) in the form of GST to the Canadian system of governance entails buying/renting a house, buying a car, paying car insurance, buying cold-weather clothes, buying home furniture, mattresses, utensils, WiFi, Phone, travel, paying licensing fees of professional memberships, getting his/her educational degrees evaluated, paying fees multiple times to different institutions to get English language acceptable standard as per, etc.
    d. Finally the income tax the immigrant pays on the “under-paid” job he/she does in comparison to a Canadian who is just a school pass from here.
    I would love to correct myself by my dear Canadians of the numbers cited and facts stated above.

    Liked by 1 person

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