Canada 101 - Culture, Cuisine, and Cost

From the rainforests of Vancouver to the fisheries of the East Coast, Newfoundland, Canada boasts green skylines, pristine rivers, and a friendly people always willing to share a cold beer and a good conversation. For individuals planning on relocating to Canada, becoming familiar with the country is the first step of a successful transition.

Culture

Respect and human decency is the law in Canada, so it should come as no surprise that Canada's international reputation is a friendly one. It is this egalitarian approach to shared prosperity which distinguishes Canadian culture, and to natural-born citizens the word "immigrant" is just another way of saying a Canadian that came from somewhere else first. To all Canadians regardless of province, it is a point of national pride to be both accommodating and welcoming.

For newcomers, this means getting settled won’t be hard - if you ask, your neighbours will help.

Cuisine

Canadians love poutine! Well, actually, as delicious as cheese curds, beef gravy, and French fries might be, Canadian classics differ from province to province and in general, most of the country’s favorite staples come from leaner times, designed to feed a large family or group of individuals for less. From fried bologna in Newfoundland to a pork and lard pie called a tourtière in Quebec, it might not look pretty but if it’s warming, filling, and cheap, it’s probably Canadian.

For Northerners, the cost of processed food tends to be higher due to dangerous shipping conditions and unpredictable weather. For those living in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut or the Yukon, hunting, fishing, and foraging is still common, putting seal, caribou, Atlantic cod and salmon on the menu, along with Inuit staples such as bannock (a type of Inuit bread) or Akutaq, a mix of animal fat, berries, roots, and meat. In this part of Canada, it is also legal for First Nations people to hunt whale, however the size and number of whales that can be harvested is monitored.

Currency & Cost

Like the USA, Canadian currency has a nickel, dime, and quarter, but also a one-dollar coin called the Loonie (for the loon struck onto the face) and a two-dollar coin called the Toonie.

When it comes to property costs, apartments in any province run between $900 and $2800 dollars the closer you are to the city (regardless of province) and heating costs are not usually included, ranging from $100 to $600 dollars per month. But despite popular rumor, you won’t have to pack up the dogsled when moving to Canada- it’s not cold year-round, so these types of costs will be relative.

For medical care without a Canadian Health Card, a visit to most clinics will cost between $60 and $120 dollars for minor medical treatments, plus the cost any prescription medication needed.