Moving to Canada

Last updated: September 4, 2019

If you’re moving to Canada and looking for more information about your relocation, then this page can help you. Here you will find all the information you may need about moving, from the cost of moving internationally, visas to Canada as well as the lifestyle there.

Living in Canada

If you’re undecided whether moving to Canada is the right thing for you, then this section will give you a better idea on what working and living in Canada is actually like.

Working in Canada

The unemployment rate at the moment is the lowest it’s been in four decades, which has resulted in high amounts of expats being able to find employment when moving to Canada. If you are able to speak both French and English, you will find it considerably easier to get a job, especially in areas like Quebec. Nevertheless, employers will expect a high level of education more than anything.

It can be hard to find jobs somewhere that it so far away from the UK. So, here is a list of some of the best job search websites:

  1. Monster
  2. Glassdoor
  3. Eluta
  4. Simply Hired
  5. Workopolis
  6. Career Builder

You can find more information on our working in Canada page.

Living Costs in Canada vs UK

Compared to the UK and Europe in general, living in Canada’s largest cities is actually not that expensive. However, Toronto and Vancouver have the highest costs of living. Victoria is the third city with the highest cost of living.

If you’re considering living in more rural areas, the price of living will be much lower than the cities. Here are some figures to give you a rough idea of the costs per city:

City scoresCosts per city
CityQuality of lifePurchasing powerSafetyHealth careCost of livingPollution
CityCappuccino price1L milk priceOne dozen eggs priceThree room apartment rent
Montreal£ 1,43£ 0,87£ 1,36£ 592,53
Toronto£ 2,06£ 1,33£ 1,86£ 1.319,00

Housing in Canada

Similarly to the UK, the price of houses fluctuate depending on where you move. The capital cities, for example, will be a lot costlier than a small rural village in the middle of nowhere. So, to give you a rough idea, the table below shows how much the rent of a two-bedroom apartment in different cities will cost.

CityAverage rent

If you’re interested finding a real estate agent, reading this page on the 200 largest real estate brokers in Canada will be sure to help you.

Healthcare in Canada

When moving to Canada from the UK, healthcare in Canada is an important thing that you need to consider. Canada offers their citizens and permanent residents universal public health insurance, which covers low-cost access to doctors and health practitioners. Therefore, if you have a temporary residency, you are unfortunately not eligible for same benefits.

Medicare is like Canada’s version of the NHS, which can give you access to a range of basic health services.  In order to receive Medicare, you can apply for a medical card online, at the Régie as well as local pharmacies and doctors’ offices.

Moving to Canada - Toronto

Education in Canada

If you’re moving to Canada with your family, you might want to know how the education in Canada works. Every province is responsible for creating its own curriculum and educational system. There are private schools on offer, however, most families choose public schools.

As French is the mother tongue of around 7.2 million Canadians, this has resulted in both English and French schools being established. In most parts of Canada, students are able to earn their high school diploma at the end of grade 12, but only if they have accumulated enough credits.

The province of Quebec has a different school curriculum than the others. Students graduate high school at the age of 16, and instead then move onto two or three years of CEGEP.

Cost of Moving to Canada

Household sizeTimeCost
1 bed flat4-9 weeks£2,400 – £3,400
3 bed house4-9 weeks£5,200 – £7,000
5 bed house4-9 weeks£7,900 – £10,600

The table above shows how much different sized households will cost for a move from London to Toronto on average and the timing when shipping to Canada by sea.

The two major factors that will affect the cost of moving to Canada is the distance and the volume. Depending on where you will be living in Canada, the cost of shipping your furniture varies. However, there are four major ports in Canada, in the east and the west coast, so getting your items shipped isn’t too difficult. You can use our removal volume calculator to save time when requesting quotes.

If you would like additional information about moving costs or the price of shipping a 20ft or 40ft container, visit our Container Shipping Costs page for more information. Take a look at our top 10 international moving companies page for companies that can help you with moving to Canada.

Moving to Canada Requirements

When moving to Canada, there are many things that you have to consider. For example, getting a work visa is a must if you’re moving to Canada for your job. You may also be interested in how you can transport your car or pets to Canada. If you are, then read on to find out what you have to do!


If you’re visiting Canada for a short period of time, you won’t need a visa. However, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before you go, which is valid for up to five years for those travelling to Canada by air. You can apply for one on the Government of Canada website.

However, if you are moving to Canada permanently, you will need a visa. There are a number of permanent immigration visa’s that you can apply for, depending on the reason of your stay. These include:

  • Federal skilled workers
  • Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Family Sponsorship
  • Business Class

After you have received a permanent residency, you can live, work and go to school anywhere in Canada. You can also sponsor family members who may have not yet received their visa. After 3 years, you can apply for a Canadian Citizen.

There is always a lot to consider when moving abroad! Take a look at our moving abroad page to find out the 34 essential things you need to prepare.

Moving to Canada from UK

Moving to Canada with your pets

If you’re interested in bringing your pet with you, then you’ll need to prepare this months in advance. Here is a list of requirements that are necessary in order to bring them to Canada:

  • Original International Health Certificate issued by an Accredited Vet
  • Original Rabies Vaccination Record
  • Printed History of Pets Vet Records
  • A print of Customs Clearance Form
  • Copy of Owner’s Original Passport
  • Visa or Work Permit copy

Pets can also be taken on the aircraft, depending on the size of the pet of course. But check with your aircraft carrier as they will have their own rules and requirements for taking pets on board.

For more information about transporting pets, you can take a look at the Government of Canada website or read our moving pets abroad blog for advice.

Moving your car to Canada

Most cars that are sold in countries other than the United States cannot be imported into Canada. However, there are some special circumstances that allow you to bring certain vehicles into Canada. They are as followed:

  • It is 15 years old or older
  • The vehicle is a bus manufactured before January 1, 1971
  • The car is non-regulated
  • The vehicle meets all Canadian standards
  • The car is a returning Canadian specification vehicle.

What Next?

We hope that you have found this page informative and have learned a thing or two about how to move to Canada. If you are interested in looking further, these pages may be of interest to you:

Looking for more information on moving to Canada? Moving2Canada offers a wealth of free, impartial information and regular email updates for people planning a move to Canada and recent arrivals wishing to stay long-term.