7 secrets about living in Canada

by Basma Ihmaidan
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Living in Canada as an international student is not always easy, especially in the first months, as you have to face many challenges such as dealing with expenses, looking for entertaining activities or surviving the cold.

budget to live in canada

What if there was a better way to make your budget work, better integrate into Canadian culture, and survive the winter? There is information that the locals know that will be essential to overcome these and other challenges when living in Canada.

Luckily for you, in this article we present 7 secrets that few foreigners know about Canada, and that will make your life much easier. Do you want to discover them? Keep reading!

1. The cost of living in Canada varies according to the region

One of the problems that many people have is not knowing the cost of living in Canada, or not having very clear the best way to manage their budget. This can be very confusing, and it seems that each site on the Internet shows different prices.

However, as you may have figured out  from the title of this section, the secret is knowing that Canada has a different cost of living depending on the region you are in. Although the average salary in each city responds to the variation in the cost of living.

The most expensive cities in the country are Toronto, Vancouver and Whitehorse, mainly. On the other hand, among the cheapest are Quebec, Moncton and Thunder Bay, in Ontario. 

2. The temperature can reach -50 degrees 

secrets about living in canada

As you read it! The cold can reach 50 degrees below zero. With such weather, it is important to consider some tips. Although most places are heated, you can get quite cold when you go outside on those harder days. There are a few tricks you should know:

  • Warm clothes are usually easy to get. In Canada they are sold in many places at very low prices, for example gloves for 80 cents or hats for $2. Generally these garments are better adapted to the canadian weather than those you wear back home.
  • Wear several layers of clothing. Underneath everything, a garment that allows perspiration and retains heat. The second layer, a sweater. The last layer, something that protects you from the cold, the wind and the rain.
  • For the feet, it is best to look for shoes with non-slip soles to avoid slipping, it is also advisable to retain heat and be waterproof.

3. It has a very low population density

Despite the large size of the country, the population density in Canada is quite low. There are 4 people per square meter. Of course, on the street you can find more people, since the population is concentrated in the cities.

This low population density causes the government to encourage the entry of foreigners to reside and even get the nationality. 

Therefore, it is much easier in Canada to extend your stay or carry out immigration procedures that allow you to extend your study visa or get a work visa. We have other articles where we talk about this in depth.

4. It has great cultural activities

secrets about living in canada

Canada is a country with great multiculturalism. This is because its population is composed of people from different parts of the world, and also because how welcome it is for foreign people. There are various activities where you can meet new people.

Historically, its population is based on a mix between indigenous population and English and French settlers. However, today people can be found from many other places such as Latin America or China.

This translates into a wide range of cultural activities, an opportunity to learn about the traditions of various countries in one place. You will find cinema, theater, music and art everywhere.

5. It is one of the safest countries in the world

In numerous international studies, Canada is one of the safest countries in the world. Risks such as road safety, violent crime and other types of crime are taken into account.

Furthermore, the response rate of the emergency services is very good. Therefore it is a very good country, not only to visit, but to decide to stay and live in it. 

6.It can give you free medical care

secrets about living in canada

The CaEnadian health service also covers you as an international student. However, there are some provinces where it does not cover you from the moment you arrive in the country. In the case of international students in Canada, the policies vary from one province to another, and there may be different possibilities:

  • They never offer health insurance to international students.
  • They offer health insurance only if the student is enrolled in a school program of more than 12 months.
  • They only offer coverage after the student has resided with a study permit for 12 consecutive months in the province or territory.
  • Foreign students are granted access to Medicare immediately or after the standard waiting period of this jurisdiction, if they have a study permit valid for six months or more.

As these policies are changing, it is best to find out about the province in which you are going to be. Many universities can also provide you with this information, and in some cases they even have their own private health insurance for students. 

7. Its level of consumption is high. Take control of your expenses.

Another thing to keep in mind, in order to achieve financial stability in Canada and make your budget work, is not to get carried away by the philosophy of consumption.

Living in Canada can become more difficult if you don’t have proper control of your budget. Canadians are, on average, among the world’s most indebted people, according to macro data in various studies. Keep this in mind.


Surely in your first months living in Canada you will feel that you need help to adapt. As you can see, here we have told you 7 secrets that will make your life easier.

For you as an international student, it will be key to be clear how to manage and face the costs of living, the weather, the culture, health, safety, your budget and other aspects of living in Canada.

Applying each of these tips will make your experience of studying, living and working in Canada much more enjoyable. Enjoy your stay in this country to the fullest!

budget to live in canada
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