HOW TO MOVE TO CANADA: A PRIMER FOR AMERICANS


St. John's: Quidi Vidi is a fishing village within the city limits of St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is on Vancouver Island. Its parliament buildings opened in 1898.

Cheapside Café in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is one of Halifax’s many cafes offering good, well-priced food.

Quebec City's 17th-century Place Royale houses charming shops.

Cosmopolitan Toronto has many delightful restaurants such as Pure Spirits in the city's Distillery District — a Victorian distillery complex that has been imaginatively converted into a venue for one-of-a-kind shops, galleries, theatres, and restaurants.

City Profiles

HOW TO MOVE TO CANADA contains "snapshots" of Canada's 10 provinces, three territories and major cities. Here are some excerpts:

Montreal: Montreal, which is the second largest metropolitan area in Canada (after Toronto), is a city that welcomes immigrants. More than one in four residents was born outside of the country. Nevertheless, it is also decidedly French in its language of choice — Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris...The French influence is also present in the city's sense of style and in its love affair with food.

Toronto: Toronto is the most ethnically diverse city in Canada, with colorful Chinese, Irish, Greek, Italian, Ukrainian and Polish neighborhoods (and many more). For foodies, the Kensington and St. Lawrence markets are an exciting reflection of the city's diversity. One of the repeated lessons of history has been that crosscultural fertilization produces strong new ideas — and Toronto certainly has a multiethnic population second to none. Out of this "mosaic," as Canadians prefer to call it (differentiating themselves from the American "melting pot"), may come great things.

Vancouver: Vancouver is big enough to be sophisticated but small enough to be friendly. It has a raffish charm and an idyllic setting. Kayaks and other recreational boats ply its waterways; joggers and cyclists exercise in thousand-acre Stanley Park. Skiers drive fifteen minutes out of town to snow-capped mountains. The shops in its lively downtown stay open well into the evening. Its numerous restaurants, some of world-class caliber, are stocked with delectable produce and wines from nearby Okanagan Valley. Though rainy, it has one of the most temperate climates in Canada.

Ottawa: Ottawa is the nation's capital and has a tight inner-city area easily negotiated on foot. Canada's Parliament buildings dominate the skyline, their somber Gothic stone and tall spires evoking European capital buildings of the nineteenth century....Ottawa proudly claims to be one of the coldest capitals in the world (along with Moscow and Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia)....[It is] the fourth largest city in Canada and growing rapidly.

Regina: Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of the then governor general of Canada did not think much of Pile O' Bones as a name for a town, much less a territorial capital. In 1883, when the railroad reached this former Indian campsite on the prairie that was about to go on to greater things, the princess intervened. She named the new capital of the Northwest Territories in honor of her mother. When Saskatchewan was created in 1905, Regina graduated from territorial to provincial capital. In 1912 a tornado destroyed the city. Today's downtown area was built in its aftermath. Regina is the major financial and marketing center of Saskatchewan, second only in size to Saskatoon. It is a green oasis, planted with more than three hundred thousand trees, its tall buildings rising like a mirage out of the prairie.


A wedding party in Quebec City.
Quebec City: Some people characterize the Quebec lifestyle as more European than life in other parts of North America...Quebec City has been recognized as one of the best cities in Canada in terms of quality of life issues such as affordable housing, high quality, low-cost child care, maternity leave, and per capita spending on parks, recreation areas, museums, and festivals.

Pier 21 in Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia
Halifax: Halifax is to Canada what Ellis Island in New York harbor is to the United States — the storied entry point to the nation. Between 1928 and 1971, one million people came into Canada through Pier 21 in Halifax. A large number of Canadians are descended from these immigrants.

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's: St. John's, one of the oldest settlements in North America, was claimed for Queen Elizabeth I in 1583 by Sir Humphrey Gilbert when he came upon what is now the city's harbor. Cape Spear, the easternmost point on the North American continent, is just a short drive outside the city. Newfoundland is closer to Ireland than it is to Ontario, and indeed, along the so-called "Irish Loop" south of St. John's, Irish food, music and charm are much in evidence along with a host of Irish names.