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Canadian Life

Living in Canada

Canada is an awe-inspiring nation with a breath-taking countryside and state of the art cities. If you are looking for a place where you can enjoy modern conveniences while basking in natural beauty, then Canada is the place for you. It has one of the strongest economies and is considered one of the most prosperous and peaceful places in the world. You can find everything you need to know about living in Canada, right here. We will provide you with introductory information.

Sights


Being the second largest country in the world, Canada has no shortage of beautiful landscapes and unique sites for tourists and travellers to explore. Here is a list of some of the 5 most popular places to travel to in Canada:

Food


Canadian cuisine varies depending on the regions you go to. Some of the earliest cuisines have roots from English, Scottish and French Cuisine and with the waves of immigration in the 19th and 20th century. You will also find cuisine with Central, Southern, Eastern Europe, South Asia, East Asia, and Caribbean roots.

Here is a list of some dishes unique to Canada:

Shopping


Being the developed nation that it is, Canada is filled with fantastic malls dedicated to giving their consumers the ultimate shopping experience. Some of these malls are:

Transportation


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Canada is dedicated to having an efficient, high capacity and multi modal transport system that spans the vast distances between its natural resources, its agricultural and urban areas. This system includes over 1,400,000 kilometers of roads, 10 major international airports, 300 smaller airports, over 72,000 kilometers of functioning railway track, and more than 300 commercial ports and harbors.

  • Taxis

    All cities and towns in Canada have taxi services.

    There are three ways to call a taxi:

    • Find the telephone number of the taxi service of the area (via the internet or phonebook or by contacting the transportation department of the city government) and contacting/calling the taxi operator.
    • Going to a taxi stand.
    • Hailing a taxi.

    All taxis are metered and the price is non-negotiable.

  • Streetcar System

    Currently, Toronto is the only city that runs a streetcar or tram system in Canada. A streetcar is a rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and roads. Toronto has 11 streetcar routes, most of which operate in mixed traffic.

  • Light-rail system
    Three urban centres in Canada have a light rail system, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa. A light-rail is a form of urban public transport which uses either a single or multiple units coupled to form a train that runs on electric rails and is used to commute through various parts of a city.
  • Subway system
    Canada has 2 subway systems, one in Toronto and one in Montreal. The Toronto system currently has the most number of stations (75).
  • Railways
    In 2007, Canada had over 72,000 km of freight and passenger railway, of which 31 km is electrified. Trains in Canada are safe and comfortable, as well as affordable.
  • Ferry
    In the coastal areas of Canada, such as British Columbia and the Atlantic region, ferry boats are a common way to travel. Many ferries carry both passengers and vehicles across the water.
  • Air

    Due to the country’s size, people often travel to major cities by airplanes. All the major cities have airports with regularly scheduled flights.
    Major Canadian airlines operating are:

    • Air Canada
    • WestJet
    • Jazz Air
    • Air Transat Canada

    The busiest airports in Canada are:

    • Toronto Pearson International Airport, Toronto - Ontario
    • Vancouver International Airport, Richmond – British Columbia
    • Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Dorval – Quebec
    • Calgary International Airport, Calgary, Alberta
    • Edmonton International Airport, Leduc, Alberta
    • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, Ottowa - Ontario
    • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Winnipeg - Manitoba
    • Halifax Stanfield International Airport,Enfield – Nova Scotia
    • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Toronto Islands - Ontario
    • Victoria International Airport, North Saanich – British Columbia
    • Kelowna International Airport, Kelowna – British Columbia
    • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, Sainte-Foy, Quebec

Cars and Driving

Careful driving is a must in Canada during the winter as snow and ice make the roads slippery during this time. In those cold months, it is important to fit your car with winter tyres. Also, be aware of the fact that people drive on the right side of the road in Canada. For internationals, it is possible to drive in Canada with an International Driving Permit for three months. The permit must be issued in the country where the license was issued. In Canada, you are able to apply for your first driving license when you are 16.

G: a written exam to ensure familiarity with the traffic laws and rules.
G2: given after an applicant successfully completes a driving exam with an examiner. This license must be renewed every five years.
G: which is valid for a longer period of time.

Cost of Living


The cost of living will vary in different states around the region, however the following will display an average of the cost around the country:

Health Care


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Canada follows a universal health care system. If you are a citizen or have permanent residency, you can apply for public health insurance. With it, you won’t have to pay for most health care services. When you use the public health care services, you will need to show your insurance card. Of course, this type of healthcare is funded by the country’s tax system.

The average person pays about C$4,222 per year to maintain the no-cost system, while a family of four pays about C$11,735. Each province and territory in Canada provides its own health insurance plan.

Health Insurance Providers

Canada provides its own health insurance plan which covers different things in different territories. These government health plans give you access to most of the basic medical services. However, you may also need private insurance to pay for other things that government plans don’t cover. The most common types of plans are extended health plans. These cover costs for things like:

  • prescription medications
  • dental care
  • physiotherapy
  • ambulance services
  • prescription eyeglasses

If you work, you may get extra coverage from the company or organization that you work for.

Health Insurance Providers

Canada is highly regarded for its healthcare services and there are a large number of hospitals in each territory and province. Some of the more prominent hospitals are:

  • Ottawa General Hospital, Ottawa
  • Mission Memorial Hospital, Mission
  • Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto
  • Niagara Health System, St Catherine
  • Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, Abbotsford
  • Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver
  • Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
  • Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary

Bureaucratic Structure


Canada bases its style of government on the British system of governance, with the national government run as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy. Canada also resembles the United States in that the country is divided into 13 provinces and territories, all of which have their own separate governments with unique powers.

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