I am considering the possibility of moving to Canada from the UK for about nine months of next year. I don't really want to do much employed work as i have a personal project i would like to get on with. I will hopefully save enough money in London to see me through, however i may want to do some part-time work.
I have several concerns:
How important is it to have a car? As i might want to live away from the city centers and have never learnt to drive.
How different is the north of Canada from the south? I'd quite like to see the northern territories but am not sure how practical it is, especially the avalibility of rented accomadation- there didn't seem like much on the websites i've looked at.
The reason you can't find much info about the north is that the vast majority of Canadians live within an hour of the U.S. border. The territories are reputed to be beautiful, but their winters are long and hard, groceries and supplies are expensive, and there's a whole lot of wilderness up there. If you pick a big city like Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, you'll be fine without a car. But if you want to go exploring, a bus or train will only get you so far - mostly between cities. If you're planning to see the north, I'd guess you either need to find some sort of tour or else go out on your own.
Thanks for the reply tway,
I guess that being in the north is not vital, though i would like to be somewhere where i can take in some nature.
Do you know anything about Calgary? It's proximity to the rockies appeals to me.
Tway is right, the vast majority of Canadians live south near the border, and only major cities have good public transportation. Have you ever thought of staying in Vancouver? We've got high mountains too along the coast. The local mountains have many hiking trails. You can take a train or bus up to Whistler or even further to Pemberton. You can also take a ferry to Vancouver Island or up the Sunshine Coast. The views of the Gulf Islands are just fantastic. Nature is really not that far away here in Vancouver. Taking a Greyhound bus is usually the cheaper way if you wish to visit smaller towns around BC. Good luck!
Petra M, Vancouver BC Canada
I've moved to Canada and work here since last month... But I've seen enough to tell you a few things.
Greyhound buses is a good idea indeed. I came working on a ranch in British Columbia and I got a bus to take me up to Hope (I have no driving license either). As it was said previously, you're fine if you stay in the cities, there are buses (although they are poor quality compared to the French ones !!) but they go to many places (in Vancouver at least). I'm not sure about the buses going to the northern territories but if you check the greyhound buses' website, you'll probably find something. If you really want to travel independantly without a car (I always do that), you simply need a little courage and determination. Check first what you'd like to see and where you'd like to go, so you don't end up somewhere with no idea what to do. Travel light (otherwise it's going to be a disaster), do you have a suitcase ? A rucksack is best for obvious reasons of "practicalness". If the Greyhound buses travel north, you can probably go from town to town and see nature but without going that north, you can see the mountains from Vancouver and in Hope, where my bus took me, it is already very "wild". In fact, I would say Hope is a village but they seem to think it's a town !
I also wanted to travel north but I realised that I was not that sure. It's bloody freezing even in Vancouver ! And rememver the snow (another reason for not taking a suitcase, I took both a suitcase and a rucksack, and I was pulling hard to get my suitcase to go forward when I arrived here).
I too would recommend the west coast, as there is a good balance of city and nature, as well as pretty decent bus systems to get you from the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver and back. I have recently done some research on the same topic and can offer you the following:
VIA Rail Canada
Travel by train! Vacations, tours and tourism info.
(especially good for buses between Vancouver-Whistler, Edmonton-Jasper)
Buses to spectacular Alberta destinations
Thanks for the replies everyone,
I'll give some serious thought to Vancouver.
Yeah, out West is definitely the place to take in scenery. I lived in Calgary when I was younger, and I can honestly say that hitting up places like Banff and Vancouver would be your best options.
As a current resident of Calgary I can tell you that it will be nearly impossible to find decent rental accomodation at a reasonable price.
With the oil boom and desparate labour shortage, there are so many people moving to Calgary that the vacancy rate is something like 0.04%. Landlords, of course, have taken advantage of the situation by raising rent sky-high because someone is always desparate enough for accomodation to pay whatever they ask.
I've been trying to move out of my parent's house for the last year and there is just nothing out there.
I've heard Vancouver is insanely expensive rent-wise as well.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 5, 2007, at 11:42 AM by fuzzypuppy ]
Well anywhere in Canada that you chose it will be pretty hard not to bump into Nature. I live about 30 minutes from Toronto and am only 5 minutes from thousands of KM's of trails, dozens of waterfalls and all sorts of wonderful things.
That being said I would recommend Vancover/Calgary and/or bouncing around in between the two. You could chose a smaller center outside of Calgary if you have a car to avoid the rental crunch there is there. No place in Canada is more beautiful than the rockies. But coastal BC is pretty darn close and you certainly can't go wrong there!