Bad things about living in Canada

17 Top Bad things about living in Canada

Is relocating to Canada on your 2023 bucket list? The wonders and opportunities that this country has to offer might already be known to you. 

But does the second-largest country in the world live up to the hype? There are several bad things about living in Canada.

The proof is in the poutine, and considering that Canada has one of the highest rates of citizenship in the world, it is clear that the majority of immigrants are happy with their decision to settle here.

Even though moving to Canada has numerous benefits, it’s still important to be realistic and maintain an open mind when making the decision. 

Every immigrant’s goal is to live in the Great White North. Moonshine and roses are not widely available. Let’s look at the bad things about living in Canada.

List of Bad things about living in Canada

Living in Canada has its own good things but here is a list of bad things about living in Canada: 

City life is Expensive 

It’s unfortunate, but everything you buy in Canada is more expensive. You’ll have far less money for a hypothetical rainy day up in the great north after paying for food, clothing, smartphones, and other items required for modern existence.

One of the major drawbacks of living in Canada is the expense of living, which is generally much greater despite variations between regions and provinces.

This is mostly a result of Canada paying high import duties because many of its products are shipped to the USA first before being delivered to their final location.

As a result, consumer prices rise in order for businesses to continue turning a profit on the goods they offer. Oh, and tax is not included in prices, just like in the USA. As a result, you can end up spending much more than what is indicated on the price tag.

Tax is very high 

No one enjoys paying taxes. Yes, I don’t either. But regrettably, they are a necessary evil, particularly in a nation like Canada that has an abundance of social programs.

The fact that Canada has one of the highest tax rates in the world is therefore not surprising. Many Canadians will agree that their universal health care program is completely worthwhile, but this is partly because it needs to be supported in some way.

Additionally, visitors can utilize practically all of Canada’s national parks and recreational areas for free, and they are all properly maintained.

And while this is fantastic news for Canadian kids (and tourists and Canadian parents too! ), that standard is upheld by government employees, which results in greater taxes to pay for all of that labor.

Therefore, even though this won’t be a big deal if you’re only visiting, it is something to think about if you’re relocating to Canada and want to examine all the advantages and disadvantages of living there first.

Weak Currency 

In comparison to the US dollar, the Euro, and the British pound, the Canadian dollar is typically weaker.

As a result, one drawback to living in Canada is that, during the previous ten years, the average exchange rate has been around $1 USD to $0.90 CAD.

And while some imported goods may appear more expensive when compared to American prices, Canadian prices are still competitive with those found elsewhere in the world.

Therefore, if you’re thinking about migrating to Canada, make sure to keep an eye on the currency rate because your money might or might not stretch far enough there.

Canada gets really cold

You guys might disagree, but snow comes to mind when I think of Canada. Mountains, trees, and sweet small log homes all coated in pristine white snow come to mind. I believe that for a reason, too!

That’s because the average temperature in Canada can fluctuate roughly 5 °F throughout the winter, which can last up to 8 months depending on how far north you live. In certain cases, the wind chill factor causes the temperature to drop to as low as -40 °F. That’s really chilly right now!

And if you’ve read my piece on what to wear in New York in the winter, you know that as a local of NYC, I know what cold is all about.

This is one of the main advantages and disadvantages of living in Canada, so if you intend to relocate there anytime soon, make sure you pack accordingly.

Traveling between cities can be difficult

Just wait until you cross the border if you think there is a lot of space between cities in the United States.

Canada is the second-largest nation in the world, after all. And a significant portion of that enormous landmass consists of remote wilderness and rural areas.

This calls for lengthy travel durations, often up to five hours or more between densely populated areas, and not always on broad, straight, easy-to-drive motorways.

Yes, Canada is also home to a large number of enormous mountains and lakes. 

As a result, you might find yourself having to travel far from your intended route in order to avoid a lake, river, or mountain that stands in your way.

And one bridge is damaged? That’s one of the major drawbacks of living in Canada, as it may stop you in your tracks.

Flights are expensive 

Flights into and around Canada can be extremely expensive, as someone who frequently travels there (from New York), I can attest to this firsthand.

Therefore, if you travel frequently for business or pleasure, one drawback of living in Canada is the high cost of air travel.

In actuality, a flight to Canada typically costs far more than one to the US. And the main reason for that is that Canada has a big area and a low population density, which makes maintaining airports costly.

Additionally, the lack of airline competition and hefty taxes and levies increase the cost of tickets.

Then there is the inclement weather and the expensive operating expenses. When you combine this with strict safety rules, you get high overhead, which results in pricey aircraft tickets.

Therefore, despite the fact that flying in Canada is dependable and safe, these factors contribute to the high cost of domestic flights.

Limited availability of familiar goods 

One drawback of residing in Canada is that there aren’t as many of the goods you’re used to around to begin with, so you have to pay more for them in the first place.

See, it might be challenging to deliver supplies like food and household products to settlements in remote areas of the country because communities are dispersed throughout this huge country. 

This implies that a lot of nearby establishments could not have the items you require in stock.

This is a truth that can be challenging to get used to, especially if you’ve recently come to Canada from the US where we pretty much have everything available all the time. 

This is just one of the numerous advantages and disadvantages of living in Canada.

Too many construction 

Due to the severe winters in Canada, the building sector has certain particular difficulties.

Since temperatures are frequently considerably below freezing, it is therefore practically hard to maintain roads and structures throughout the long winter.

Therefore, one of the drawbacks of living in Canada is having to put up with the noise and traffic caused by the massive amounts of construction that occur during the spring, summer and autumn.

Because of the fractures and potholes caused by the freeze-thaw cycle, roads and bridges endure a lot of wear and tear throughout the winter.

Along with that, there has been a greater need for housing due to Canada’s expanding population. To satisfy the needs of the local population, this has led to an increase in development, particularly of condos.

Healthcare comes with a delay

Health care is now free! And the wait will only be… three months? Seriously?! Yes, it is correct. In Canada, lengthy wait times for treatments are not uncommon.

Smaller health problems can be remedied very quickly and easily, yes. There will only be a few doctors to select from, and those specialists might not be close to where you live if you have a serious medical problem that needs a specialist, so you might have to wait a while.

Additionally, because they can only serve so many patients at once, you might discover a waiting list once you arrive. Additionally, even though you may have the option of paying more for private healthcare, waiting times for free coverage may be lengthy.

Houses are expensive 

The cost of housing and the dearth of affordable options are two of the main issues that Canadians today confront. 

Since, guess what? Particularly in major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, owning a home is getting harder (read: more expensive).

Many people continue to live at home with their parents in order to save money before renting and possibly purchasing a home in the future.

Despite this, renting in Canada continues to be considerably less expensive than it is in the US. The benefits and drawbacks of living in Canada, I suppose, can coexist at times.

Learning French might be necessary 

Would you speak French? Non? Uh oh!

Okay, so this might only be relevant to eastern Canada, but learning French might be necessary if you want to work in Ottawa or Quebec.

Yes, these areas have a sizable, primarily French-speaking population that is descended from French colonists who first inhabited the region long ago.

So, some employers may demand candidates for employment to be certified in both French and English. Consequently, you had better start practicing!

Even if you manage to pick up the language, there’s still one more aspect of it that could be challenging: Canadian French can differ from French spoken in France.

Yes, Quebec has a distinctive brand of French. So, even after learning a second language, you could still feel like a stranger!

Your streaming options may be affected by living in Canada

So, even if it may seem trivial, living in Canada has its advantages and disadvantages. We all enjoy watching TV and films online, though, right?

Naturally, I am. For a party of one, I am definitely all about Netflix and chill. However, because Canada is in a different geographical area than the US, certain shows that are streamable in the US might not be in Canada.

Therefore, some things that you have never heard of could suddenly exist. And some of the programs you were confident would be available are now unexpectedly unavailable!

Even if it’s a minor distinction, it can be heartbreaking to log onto Netflix when you’re living abroad and want to watch something familiar that makes you miss home.

Therefore, before going to Canada, be ready and take into account these drawbacks.

The immigration process is stressful

One of the major drawbacks of living in Canada is bureaucracy, which in addition to moving to a foreign country, can be challenging in and of itself. Wow, just typing that term makes me feel bored!

Canada actually maintains a cap on the number of new residents who are permitted to immigrate there each year, despite popular belief to the contrary. This cap is somewhere between 250,000. Total.

And yes, that figure does include any refugees they decide to take in. As a result, it may be challenging to adhere to the stringent restrictions set forth by the government to limit the number of applicants.

However, there is a points system in place that can be helpful for people wishing to immigrate to Canada who have in-demand talents.

So good luck, and before making any significant life adjustments, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of living in Canada.

 Canada does not recognize international credit 

This is a significant deal, then! The majority of people move their credit history between nations. Other countries’ credit histories are not accepted in Canada.

This implies that you must start over while building your credit score after moving to Canada. However, if your credit history abroad isn’t outstanding, this gives it a great motivation to relocate to Canada.

It is also crucial to keep in mind that while your credit history abroad is not significant, your criminal past will be closely scrutinized by the banks and the immigration procedure. 

I find that this particular disadvantage makes moving there less appealing, but this is largely because I’ve worked hard to raise my credit scores. 

This shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you’re young and haven’t yet worked on building your credit history.

Getting a Job is difficult 

It could be quite difficult for foreigners or those who have never lived in Canada before to get employment. This is due to the fact that many hiring managers seek experience particular to Canada.

Sadly, this suggests that your extensive experience from other nations may not be as valuable as you had imagined.

This is favorable for Canadians in some ways. It means that while it makes it much more difficult for those looking to immigrate, it guarantees that they get the top choices.

The good news is that the country is rather huge, so you should have a good chance of finding respectable work if you are prepared to look outside of the cities.

The cost of resources differs from city 

This is favorable for Canadians in some ways. It means that while it makes it much more difficult for those looking to immigrate, it guarantees that they get the top choices.

The good news is that the country is rather huge, so you should have a good chance of finding respectable work if you are prepared to look outside of the cities.

Additionally, there aren’t many jobs in these regions. The ones you can get usually pay more to account for inflation costs.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate into additional savings in your bank. The extra cash is typically used for necessities of daily life.

It is crucial to think carefully about where you reside since it will demonstrate to you exactly how many benefits and drawbacks of living in Canada apply to you.

Marrying to Obtain Citizenship Is Prohibited

Contrary to popular belief, getting married won’t make you a citizen of Canada more quickly.

Yes, although getting married to a Canadian citizen will provide you residency, it won’t give you citizenship right away.

You will therefore still need to go through the standard citizenship application process, which may not be the simple answer that many people seek when relocating to Canada.


Is Canada a Good Place to Move?

Yes, migrating to Canada for a fresh start is worthwhile since it welcomes immigrants, has a good standard of living, and will help them feel at home.

What about living in Canada is challenging?

The winters might be harsh, the expense of living can be high, and if you don’t speak English well, it might be difficult for you to find employment. However, Canada is a good option to think about if you’re seeking a safe area to reside with a lot of work prospects.

Is living in Canada or the UK better?

The UK and Canada share free healthcare, free education, a diversified culture, and a vast terrain. However, there are certain additional advantages to moving to Canada that make it a superior country in which to live, work, and settle today.


This article is not to discourage you from moving to Canada but to keep you updated on the bad things about living in Canada.

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