Canada... where to move?

Khayman

First Post
Davek said:
We also are the Slurpy Capital of the World for as long as they have held that contest.

If you don't mind my asking, what part of the city are you from?

Living in Wolseley right now; prior to that, East Kildonan.
 

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Arnwyn

First Post
Joshua Dyal said:
That's $70,000 Canadian? Yeow, that's less than $57k US at the current exchange rate! I'm not sure what your standards of a decent house are, but that's still insanely cheap compared to what I'm used to. My house was recently valued at over four times that amount, and I only have a "decent" house by my standards, as opposed to the house I hope to have in 5 years or so. Now, I know the area in which I live is relatively expensive, but even in Texas where I used to live, I'd be spending at least twice as much as you are saying.
Winnipeg is one of lowest cost-of-living cities in Canada. It is completely incomparable to Detroit or Texas.

[In certain areas of the city (like in Wolseley) $70,000 CDN can indeed get you something "decent" (though only "decent"; in other areas of the city it would get you something atrocious). The average house price in Winnipeg is about $130,000 CDN; and as an example, $150,000 can get you a 1600 sqft. home + fully finished basement rec-room, skylights, small yard, 2-car garage, and very close to a large park and golf course.]
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
Algolei said:
I'm in Winnipeg, and for someone from a warm place on earth, I recommend anywhere but Winnipeg. Sure, it gets hot in the summer, but only for a day or two and then *wham!* you're neck-deep in snow.

Toronto seems like a nice place if you want to be near the main population zones. Lots of tourists like it. But Vancouver is even better because it's way over on the left-hand side of the continent--nearest to California and...uh...Washington (not that you'll be able to cross the border, of course). Plus the tourists seem to like it.

I honestly can't recommend anywhere else. ;)

A song about the Red River Valley in Winnepeg...
Come and pay for my fair if you love me,
And I’ll hasten to bid you adieu..
Say farewell to the Red River Valley,
And the folks who are shivering and blue.

Oh it’s forty below in the winter,
And it’s twenty below in the fall,
And it rises to zero in springtime,
but we ain’t got no summers at all...

In Maine we have a similar comment:
Summer? I wouldn't be gettin' you hopes up for summer, boy. Closest thing to summer we get around here is nine months of winter, and three months of rough sleddin.

The Auld Grump
 

Sledge

First Post
Don't let anyone here give you all this misinformation. If you are asking on ENworld, you need to go to Calgary. Not for "culture" or anything fancy. Just for gaming. Sentry Box is Calgarys primary gaming store. There are a few of the usual small places but this place is what makes Calgary a good place to live. That and no PST.
 

AIM-54

First Post
fusangite said:
4. Celebrim, are you aware that Saskatchewan has been run almost continuously by socialists since 1944 and that Manitoba has just re-elected the socialists to a second term in office in a row (their 5th I believe since 1965)? They're red states but not in the way you think they are. You see, in Canada, being rural doesn't have a whole lot to do with being right-wing.

Left-wing locally, right-wing nationally! It's a rather interesting dichotomy.

But really, Western Canadians are a rather...unique lot.

Yes, I can say that. I grew up there. :p
 

SWBaxter

First Post
AIM-54 said:
Left-wing locally, right-wing nationally! It's a rather interesting dichotomy.

But really, Western Canadians are a rather...unique lot.

Nah, just sensible. While they're conservative by nature, they're honest enough to understand that both farming and the natural resource sectors depend very strongly on government involvement, and vote accordingly. You're not as likely to see western Canadians get frothing mad over government spending while demanding increased subsidies for farmers as folks in certain other parts of the world.

So far as the original question goes, I have lived in southern Ontario (lived in Mississauga and Oakville, worked in Toronto), Ottawa, and now Vancouver. Overall I'd give the nod to Toronto and area, but it does depend on priorities. Vancouver has a better climate and outdoor activities of all types are a lot more accessible, so if those are priorities I'd give the left coast the nod.
 

fusangite

First Post
AIM-54 said:
Left-wing locally, right-wing nationally! It's a rather interesting dichotomy.

But really, Western Canadians are a rather...unique lot.

Yes, I can say that. I grew up there. :p
I'd view them as being more anti-incumbent than right-wing nationally. BC and Saskatchewan just consistently vote at the federal level against whoever is running their province at the time (with a few very rare exceptions).
 

AIM-54

First Post
fusangite said:
I'd view them as being more anti-incumbent than right-wing nationally. BC and Saskatchewan just consistently vote at the federal level against whoever is running their province at the time (with a few very rare exceptions).

That's one interpretation certainly, but I haven't paid too much attention to Canadian politics in quite a few years, so my opinion probably isn't worth a heckuva lot. :p

On the other hand, the orneriness certainly explains where I got it! :lol:
 

Y.O.Morales

First Post
Damn, I forgot this thread (busy life). I'll try to catch up with everything.

@ fusangite
But I would still appreciate knowing what your criteria are for a place to live.
1. Efficient means of transportation (something we lack here in PR; either you have a car or you dont move anywhere).
2. Relatively good climate. Maybe I can get accustomed to low temperatures. As for rain, that's not a problem because here in PR rains a lot.
3. I dont want a totally urban life. I'm sick of traffic jams and advertisement floods: ads, posters, banners, highway signs, neon signs, etc. Almost everywhere you look here in PR there's a Verizon, or Coca Cola, or Toyota ad crap. Seriously, someone who has lived here can tell you that the thing has broke its limits.
4. Good University, both for me (in the field of design and computers) and for my girlfriend (in the field of English literature).
5. And of course, some obviously convenient things: decent living costs, decent crime rate, etc.

(In conclusion, somewhere between an urban and rural life. A place quiet enough with nice people, but not so far from a University, and that has public transportation so I can get around without depending on a car).

@ kmdietri
I would suggest you have a look at the University of Waterloo.
Aye ( :D ). I'll have a look.

@ Khayman
I'd recommend Vancouver --- less pollution than Toronto, more tolerant than Calgary, better weather (despite the annoying winter rain), good transit, great scenery (mountains, forests, ocean), and some unbelievable restaurants.
Sounds like Vancouver is a good place (from your opinions and Internet photos and websites). I'll keep looking at it.

@ Ambrus
On the other hand, Montreal has a wonderful European feel with an embarassing number of fun festivals to partake of.
Just like here (Puerto Rico). We have a gazillion holidays and enough excuses to party in each of them.
 
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AIM-54

First Post
Y.O.Morales said:
1. Efficient means of transportation (something we lack here in PR; either you have a car or you dont move anywhere).
2. Relatively good climate. Maybe I can get accustomed to low temperatures. As for rain, that's not a problem because here in PR rains a lot.
3. I dont want a totally urban life. I'm sick of traffic jams and advertisement floods: ads, posters, banners, highway signs, neon signs, etc. Almost everywhere you look here in PR there's a Verizon, or Coca Cola, or Toyota ad crap. Seriously, someone who has lived here can tell you that the thing has broke its limits.
4. Good University, both for me (in the field of design and computers) and for my girlfriend (in the field of English literature).
5. And of course, some obviously convenient things: decent living costs, decent crime rate, etc.

(In conclusion, somewhere between an urban and rural life. A place quiet enough with nice people, but not so far from a University, and that has public transportation so I can get around without depending on a car).

Honestly, (and I can't believe I'm saying this), the University of Saskatchewan might be worth a look. I don't know how they stack up in computers and design or english lit (they have a pretty good engineering and commerce schools and computer science program). But it's a college town, with good public transit and a very low crime rate. Of course, winters can be brutally cold. :cool: Living costs are very decent, too even near the university.

You might also look at Queens in Kingston, Ontario, nice small town and a very good school. I don't believe you'll run into the same traffic/living cost/advertising issues there as you would in other towns where there are very good Canadian schools (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal).
 

fusangite

First Post
Y.O.Morales said:
1. Efficient means of transportation (something we lack here in PR; either you have a car or you dont move anywhere).
2. Relatively good climate. Maybe I can get accustomed to low temperatures. As for rain, that's not a problem because here in PR rains a lot.
Depending on the province, 50,000 to 100,000 is going to be your threshold for remotely decent public transit (ie. 7 days a week and transit past 6pm on Sundays). There are, I'm sure, a few exceptions but I'm not that aware of them. I only have in-depth knowledge of one province (BC) but I understand this is a pretty okay general rule.

Now, that stated, there is only one city in BC with transit past 12:30am seven days a week: Vancouver. Thanks to recent provincial government funding initiatives, BC now has a total of five cities with both universities and decent transit: Kelowna (100,000), Kamloops (80,000), Prince George (80,000), Victoria (330,000) and Greater Vancouver (2 million). I know that Vancouver, Victoria and Prince George all have sufficiently established universities that they should meet your needs. However, if you're also looking for a decent climate, you're probably limited just to Vancouver (UNiversity of BC, Simon Fraser University), Victoria (University of Victoria) and Kelowna (UBC - Okanagan campus).

Based on your current location and requirements for a decent climate with not too excessive a winter, your locations in BC are basically limited to Vancouver Island (Victoria is at the southern tip), the Lower Mainland (the area at the mouth of the Fraser River where Vancouver and its suburbs are situated) and the Okanagan Valley (Kelowna is at the centre). Anywhere else is going to have 3-5 months a year of snow on the ground and probably 3 months of temperatures below -10 celsius (14 farenheit).
3. I dont want a totally urban life. I'm sick of traffic jams and advertisement floods: ads, posters, banners, highway signs, neon signs, etc. Almost everywhere you look here in PR there's a Verizon, or Coca Cola, or Toyota ad crap. Seriously, someone who has lived here can tell you that the thing has broke its limits.
Well, in British Columbia, no billboards are permitted except in cities and on Indian reserves. Provincial law keeps them off highways except where the highway goes through expropriated Indian land.

That stated, it is pretty easy in any BC community to lead a semi-rural life, except in Vancouver. Like any other metropolitian area with 500,000+ residents, there is just too much suburb between the city and the country to be able to get the best of both worlds.

As for the rest of the country, I think that you're dealing with the same 3-5 months of snow 14 degrees or colder essentially anywhere you go in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, the Territories and Newfoundland. I simply don't know enough about Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick to say too much about the climate there. I understand that there are some favourable microclimates in Southern Alberta but cannot comment more. Hopefully, people who know about Calgary and Lethbridge (both of which have decent universities) can post.

The only parts of Ontario you might find habitable is along the north coast of Lake Ontario west of Oshawa or on the Canada-US border near Detroit. I think the climate probably rules out the rest of the province. (And even a short distance inland from these places yields a significantly colder climate). I don't think Toronto really fits the bill for you when it comes to non-urban life. I don't know the situation in Windsor Ontario but I think you may find it worth a look -- it's slightly warmer than Toronto. Although Kingston sounds otherwise absolutely ideal for you -- pretty, semi-rural, well-regarded university, it is too far east and basically has Montreal's climate.

So, my advice: find out what universities have programs for both you and your girlfriend. That will narrow things down pretty effectively. Then come back and ask us about the cities in which these universities are situated.
 

Turjan

Explorer
I heard that the area around Brock University in St. Catharines and Hamilton/Ontario is quite famous for their vineyards. That's not too far from Niagara Falls or from Toronto, and if they grow vine, the climate can't be too gross ;).
 

Amal Shukup

First Post
Y.O.Morales said:
1. Efficient means of transportation (something we lack here in PR; either you have a car or you dont move anywhere).
2. Relatively good climate. Maybe I can get accustomed to low temperatures. As for rain, that's not a problem because here in PR rains a lot.
3. I dont want a totally urban life. I'm sick of traffic jams and advertisement floods: ads, posters, banners, highway signs, neon signs, etc. Almost everywhere you look here in PR there's a Verizon, or Coca Cola, or Toyota ad crap. Seriously, someone who has lived here can tell you that the thing has broke its limits.
4. Good University, both for me (in the field of design and computers) and for my girlfriend (in the field of English literature).
5. And of course, some obviously convenient things: decent living costs, decent crime rate, etc.

I'm a Toronto boy, and I would love to reccomend it. It DOES have some excellent qualities: The clincher for me is that it is one of the (if not THE) most multicultural cities in the world, teeming with top notch food, energy, and cultural experiences...

Good schools, good transportation (downtown)...

However - we got the traffic thing ugly, and there's one (only one, but still) nasty patch o' neon down on the Gardiner (which you would never see if you don't drive).

Still, my REAL reccomendation is to echo someone's earlier suggestion of Waterloo:

1. Top Notch school (my brother went - computer science, mathematics and fine art. Yes, he's a freak), with a number of other not-bad schools very close by (lots of stuff for students to do, lots of affordable student housing, etc.).

2. Decent bus system (and not hard to live close to school/stuff)

3. Not a ridiculously high cost of living (unlike Toronto or Vancouver). You DO NOT want to know what rent costs in this city and BUYING something downtown is truly ugly (Oh, the Condo signs SAY $150K, but that's for the bachelor in the basement between the laundry room and the furnace, and does NOT include the $300/month Condo Fees et al...)

4. An easy bus away from Toronto when ya just HAVE to have world class Greek/Indian/Thai/Japanese/French/Italian/Spanish/Ethiopian/Russian/Persian/Middle-Eastern/Morrocan/...
(You get the Idea) Cuisine, or see the Film Festival, Catch a real Museum/Art Gallery or see a nice concert...

5. Or go the other way and hang in Mennonite country (the opposite of Urban)

6. The Waterloo Computer Science degree is THE gold standard in this country. Also the top Ranked University in Canada overall, according to Maclean's yearly 'Guide to Canadian Universities' (only #2 last year). Also, a significant number of high tech companies maintain development/production facilities in the area (aided and abbetted by the regional goverment AND the University) simply to grab graduates and coop students when they finish baking...​

Hope you like our country!

A'Mal
 

Khayman

First Post
AIM-54 said:
Honestly, (and I can't believe I'm saying this), the University of Saskatchewan might be worth a look. (...)

That, and Saskatoon is a pretty little city. I've ruined my liver at more than one conference there...
 

Y.O.Morales

First Post
Thanks everyone for these comments.

fusangite said:
I know that Vancouver, Victoria and Prince George all have sufficiently established universities that they should meet your needs. However, if you're also looking for a decent climate, you're probably limited just to Vancouver (UNiversity of BC, Simon Fraser University), Victoria (University of Victoria) and Kelowna (UBC - Okanagan campus).

So, my advice: find out what universities have programs for both you and your girlfriend. That will narrow things down pretty effectively. Then come back and ask us about the cities in which these universities are situated.

For now that's what I'll do; check the universities on those communities and also the Univ. of Waterloo. Then I'll come back and ask more based on my narrowed choices.
 

fusangite

First Post
Y.O.Morales said:
Thanks everyone for these comments.

For now that's what I'll do; check the universities on those communities and also the Univ. of Waterloo. Then I'll come back and ask more based on my narrowed choices.
Waterloo is no warmer than any other universities along Lake Erie or Lake Ontario west of Oshawa so you might as well include those in the parameters of your search along with PEI, NS, NB.

We look forward to the next round of questions.
 

Daalbar

First Post
Hey Y.O.

Thought you might like to know that today the Canadian government announced new initiatives to their immigration program -- part of which was geared toward encouraging foreign students to attend university in Canada...

The relevant pieces of proposed legislation include 1) allowing foreign students attending Canadian universities to work off-campus -- enabling you to get a job while pursuing your studies (other than serving as an RA or TA or some such for the institution itself) and 2) introducing a post-graduation work program that will enable students to stay on after completing their degrees and work for 1 year on a special work visa if you are in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, but for 2 years if your job is in a "secondary" market.

It seems obvious to me that this is an effort to attract much of the international student body that used to consider US schools prior to the restrictions that came in after 9/11. Looks like Canada is aggressively going after this talent pool.

This is proposed legislation though, so keep your ears open -- with all the shenanigans that are currently going on with the Gomery inquiry there is no guarantee that the current government will last long enough to actually implement this plan.


Oh, and though I am a U of Toronto alum, sounds like you really should investigate Waterloo if you want to go into programming/computer sciences. One other bit of info about that school that may sway your thoughts is that in the recent annual international programming and computer science competition, Waterloo placed 4th in the world behind, I believe, schools from Shanghai, Moscow & St. Petersburg (which are big up an coming regions in the computer science world -- the US schools, who had dominated this competition until the late 90's could do no better this year than 17th). Waterloo has consistenly been near the top worldwide in these areas of concentration and as others have already stated, draws recruiters from all the powerhouse corporations like flies.
 
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devilbat

First Post
As another Winnipegger here at EnWorld, I guess it's safe to say that our long, cold winters breed a larger then average, per capita, gamer ratio.

As someone who is very "involved" in the Real Estate industry, I can say that the average sale price has indeed climbed to $130,000 over the last two years, from only 90K five short years ago. Unfortunately, you can no longer get a 1600 sq. ft. home, with garage, small yard and finished basement, in a decent area, for $160,000. That price has climbed in excess of the $200,000 range (generally speaking). Still a great deal in comparison to almost every other Canadian city.

Anything under $75,000 in a decent area is a house that needs MAJOR renevations. Side x sides are selling for more then that. If you look at one of the areas with a poor reputation (West End, North End, Elmwood to a lesser extent), you'll still be able to find a pretty darn good house between 60-80K. In our least desirable areas, a great house can be had for between 10-30K, but getting insurance is expensive, and I wouldn't walk around at night, and I'm no slouch.
 

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