Which Province in Canada Should You Move To? – The Pros and Cons

by | Wednesday 10th July 2024

Canada, with its vast landscapes and diverse cultures, offers a wide array of provinces, each with its own unique charm and opportunities. Whether you’re drawn to the bustling city life of Toronto, the stunning natural beauty of British Columbia or the cultural heritage of Quebec, choosing the right province to move to can be daunting. But, with a little bit of research, you’re sure to find the perfect province to call home.

Understanding Canada’s Provincial System

Before you move to Canada, it’s important to understand Canada’s provincial system. Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories, each with its own government, laws and responsibilities. This system is somewhat similar to how the United States is divided into states, but there are some key differences in structure and powers.


The ten provinces are Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Newfoundland, and Labrador. Each province has a lot of autonomy from the federal government, particularly in areas like education, health care, and transportation. Provinces have their own systems of government and provincial laws and regulations. Provinces handle various areas of public policy and services.

  • Education – Provinces have the authority to create and manage their own education systems, including elementary, secondary and collegiate.
  • Healthcare – Each province administers its own healthcare system, funded by provincial and federal funds, under the guidelines of the Canada Health Act.
  • Transportation – Provinces manage roads and other transportation infrastructure within their boundaries.

Provinces also have the power to create and regulate municipalities, which handle local matters like police, fire services, and local roads.


The three territories in Canada are Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Unlike provinces, territories have less autonomy and more of their powers are delegated by the federal government, especially when it comes to the administration and funding of services in the territories, infrastructure development and healthcare. This is largely because territories tend to have smaller populations and less developed infrastructures.


As the country’s most populous province, Ontario offers a dynamic mix of urban and natural environments, along with a wealth of opportunities in various sectors.

Lake Superior, Ontario, Canada

The Pros of Moving to Ontario

Diverse Job Market

Ontario is home to Canada’s largest city, Toronto. It is a major financial hub with a diverse economy and offers many opportunities in finance, technology, healthcare, education, and manufacturing.

World Class Education

Ontario boasts some of the best educational institutions in Canada, including the University of Toronto, McMaster University and Western University. The province offers excellent public and private schooling options as well.


Ontario is incredibly diverse, and Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. This diversity enriches the cultural landscape, offering a wide array of events, cuisines, and communities.

Natural Attractions

Ontario is home to stunning natural attractions such as Niagara Falls, Algonquin Provincial Park, and the Thousand Islands. Its varied landscape allows for activities like hiking, boating, skiing and fishing. Even within urban areas, Ontario provides ample green spaces and parks.

Cons of Moving to Ontario

High Cost of Living

Cities like Toronto and Ottawa have high living costs, especially in terms of housing. Renting or buying property can be expensive, and the cost of living overall is higher than in many other parts of Canada.


Ontario experiences harsh winters with significant snowfall and cold temperatures, particularly in the northern parts of the province. This can be a challenge for those not accustomed to cold climates. Summers can be hot and humid, especially in the south. While this is a pro for many, it can be uncomfortable if you prefer milder temperatures.

Competitive Job Market

While job opportunities are plentiful, competition can be intense, particularly in sought-after industries and roles. Without local experience or networks, you may find it challenging to secure employment quickly.

British Columbia and The West Coast

British Columbia, located on Canada’s west coast, is known for its breathtaking landscapes, mild climate and vibrant cities. This province offers a unique lifestyle that blends urban sophistication with stunning natural beauty.

Emerald Lake in British Columbia, Canada

Pros of Moving to British Columbia

Natural Beauty

BC is famous for its stunning scenery, including the Rocky Mountains, Pacific coastline, lush forests and beautiful lakes. This natural beauty offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding and kayaking.

Mild Climate

Coastal regions like Vancouver and Victoria enjoy a relatively mild climate compared to the rest of Canada, with moderate temperatures year round and less severe winters.

High Quality Education

BC is home to top rated universities, such as the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, as well as excellent public and private schools.

Economic Opportunities

The economy of BC is diverse, with key industries including technology, film and television production, tourism and natural resources. Vancouver is a tech hub with numerous opportunities in IT and digital media.

Cons of Moving to British Columbia

High Housing Costs

Cities like Vancouver and Victoria have some of the highest real estate prices in Canada. The cost of renting or buying a home can be prohibitively expensive, which may be a drawback.


Coastal regions experience a significant amount of rainfall, especially in the fall and winter months. This may be a downside for those who prefer sunnier climates. While the coast has mild weather, the interior regions of BC can experience more extreme temperatures, including hot summers and cold winters.

Traffic Congestion

Vancouver, in particular, suffers from heavy traffic congestion, which can lead to long commute times. Public transportation can be crowded and unreliable.


Quebec, Canada’s largest province by area, is known for its rich cultural heritage, French speaking population and stunning natural landscapes.

Quebec City

Pros of Moving to Quebec

French Influence

Quebec is the only province in Canada where French is the official language, offering a unique cultural experience. Cities like Montreal and Quebec City are known for their European feel, with charming architecture, vibrant arts scenes and rich histories.

Affordable Cost of Living

Housing in Quebec is relatively affordable compared to other major Canadian cities. Cities like Montreal offer diverse housing options at more reasonable prices than Toronto or Vancouver.

Quebec has lower living expenses, including groceries, transportation, and healthcare, making it an attractive option for those looking to maintain a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Scenic Landscapes

Quebec is home to stunning natural landscapes, from the Laurentian Mountains and the Gaspe Peninsula, to the beautiful Eastern Townships and the vast forests of northern Quebec. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities like hiking, skiing, kayaking and wildlife watching.

Four Seasons

The province experiences all four seasons distinctly, offering a variety of seasonal activities and stunning changes in scenery, from autumn foliage to snowy winters.

Cons of Moving to Quebec

Language Barrier

While the French language adds to Quebec’s charm, it can be a barrier for non-French speakers. Learning French is often necessary for daily life and professional opportunities, particularly outside major cities.

Harsh Winters

Quebec is known for its long winters, with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. This can be a significant adjustment if you are moving from a milder climate in the UK, and may require investment in winter gear and home heating.

Provincial Taxes

Quebec has some of the highest taxes in Canada, which can impact take home pay and your overall finances.

The Prairie Provinces

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are known as Canada’s prairie provinces. This designation refers to the vast, flat landscapes that dominate these regions, which are characterised by fertile soil and extensive agricultural activity. Living in a prairie province means experiencing a unique blend of rural and urban lifestyles.

Rural Alberta Prairie Provinces


Manitoba, located in the heart of Canada, offers a unique blend of urban convenience and natural beauty. One of the main advantages of moving to Manitoba is its affordable cost of living. Housing costs, especially in Winnipeg, are some of the lowest in Canada. The overall cost of living – including groceries, transportation and bills – is relatively low. For those who love the outdoors, Manitoba’s natural landscapes offer endless opportunities for activities such as fishing, hiking and camping.

However, you should be prepared for Manitoba’s harsh winters. The province experiences long, cold winters with extreme temperatures and heavy snowfall, which can be challenging if you are not accustomed to them. Plus, while Winnipeg has a public transit system, it is less extensive than those in larger cities, and you will likely find it necessary to own a car.


Saskatchewan shares many similarities with Manitoba, particularly in terms of affordability and community spirit. The cost of living in Saskatchewan is low, with affordable housing options in cities like Saskatoon and Regina. The province’s economy is robust, driven by agriculture, mining, oil and gas, and technology, offering diverse job opportunities and a supportive environment for entrepreneurs. Saskatchewan is also known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. The province’s diverse landscapes include prairies, forests and lakes, providing you with ample opportunities for fishing, hiking, boating and skiing.

Despite these selling points, Saskatchewan’s long and cold winters can be a downside for some. The province experiences significant snowfall and icy conditions, and you will need to invest in proper winter gear and be prepared for snow removal.


Alberta stands out among the prairie provinces for its economic opportunities and natural beauty. The province has a strong economy driven by industries such as oil and gas, agriculture, technology and healthcare. Cities like Calgary and Edmonton offer numerous job opportunities and relatively low unemployment rates. Additionally, Alberta often boasts higher average incomes compared to other provinces, providing a higher standard of living for its residents.

One of Alberta’s greatest attractions is its stunning natural landscapes. Home to the Rocky Mountains, Alberta offers world class destinations like Banff and Jasper National Parks. You can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing and snowboarding.

But, Alberta’s economy is heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry, which can lead to economic volatility and fluctuations in job markets. The province also experiences cold winters with heavy snowfall, particularly in northern regions and the mountains. Wildfires are another concern, especially in forested areas during dry seasons.

The Atlantic Region

The Atlantic Region of Canada, comprising Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, is known for its stunning coastal landscapes, cultural heritage, and strong sense of community. This region offers a slower pace of life compared to Canada’s larger city centres, making it ideal for those seeking a more relaxed and peaceful lifestyle.

St John's Newfoundland Atlantic Provinces

Newfoundland and Labrador

One of the main advantages of living in Newfoundland and Labrador is the stunning landscape. The province boasts dramatic coastlines, picturesque fishing villages, and vast wilderness areas perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and wildlife watching. The cost of living in Newfoundland and Labrador is relatively affordable, especially in comparison to larger Canadian cities. Housing costs are reasonable, and the province offers a slower, more relaxed pace of life. The capital city, St. John’s, provides urban amenities, cultural events and a vibrant arts scene while maintaining a small-town feel.

But, the weather can be harsh, with long, cold winters and frequent fog and rain. The province’s economy is largely dependent on natural resources like oil, gas, and fishing, which can lead to economic volatility. Additionally, Newfoundland and Labrador are relatively remote, which can make travel and access to certain services more difficult.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island, known for its stunning landscapes, charming small towns, and agriculture, is an attractive option for those seeking a peaceful lifestyle. One of the main benefits of living in Prince Edward Island is the beautiful environment. The island is famous for its red sand beaches, rolling green hills and scenic farmland.

Prince Edward Island offers a high quality of life with a strong sense of community. The island’s small size fosters close knit communities where people know their neighbours and support each other. The cost of living is relatively low, and housing is affordable. Charlottetown, the provincial capital, provides cultural amenities, shopping, dining and entertainment options. Prince Edward Island is also known for its excellent seafood and local produce, making it a haven for food enthusiasts.

On the other hand, the job market in Prince Edward Island is limited, with fewer opportunities compared to larger provinces. The economy relies heavily on seasonal industries like tourism and agriculture, which can lead to economic fluctuations.

Nova Scotia

One of the main advantages of living in Nova Scotia is its diverse landscapes. The province features beautiful beaches, scenic highlands and picturesque valleys, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, sailing, and whale watching. The capital city, Halifax, is a bustling urban centre with a lively arts scene, excellent restaurants and cultural events.

The cost of living in Nova Scotia is relatively affordable, especially outside of Halifax. The province offers a high quality of life, with good healthcare and education systems. Nova Scotians are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, making it easy for you to feel at home after your big move.

However, the weather can be unpredictable, with cold winters and the possibility of severe storms. The job market is smaller compared to larger provinces, with limited opportunities in some sectors. The economy relies heavily on industries like fishing, tourism and forestry, which can be affected by external factors.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is known for its picturesque landscapes, bilingual culture and affordable living, offering a unique blend of rural and urban experiences. The province features stunning coastlines, dense forests, and scenic rivers, providing numerous opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing and kayaking. The cost of living in New Brunswick is relatively low, with affordable housing and lower overall expenses. New Brunswick is also unique in its bilingual nature, with both English and French widely spoken.

The job market in New Brunswick is smaller, with fewer opportunities in some sectors compared to larger provinces. The economy relies heavily on natural resources like forestry, fishing, and agriculture, which can be subject to fluctuations. Winters can be cold and snowy, although they are generally milder compared to other parts of Canada.

The North

The northern provinces and territories of Canada, including Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon, offer some of the most stunning and remote landscapes in the country. These regions are characterised by vast wilderness areas, rich cultural heritage, and unique lifestyles shaped by their remote locations and harsh climates.

Sunset in the Northwest Territories


Nunavut, the largest and newest territory in Canada, offers a unique and unparalleled experience for those seeking adventure and a deep connection to nature. One of the main advantages of living in Nunavut is the stunning natural beauty. The territory is home to vast, untouched landscapes, including dramatic fjords, rugged coastlines, and expansive tundra. For outdoor enthusiasts, Nunavut provides incredible opportunities for activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking and wildlife watching, with the chance to see polar bears, narwhals, and caribou in their natural habitats.

The remote location means that the cost of living is high, with goods and services often being more expensive due to the cost of transportation. Plus, the availability of services and amenities is limited, with fewer options for healthcare, education, and entertainment compared to more populated parts of Canada.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories offer a blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and economic opportunities. One of the key advantages of living in the NWT is the stunning environment, boasting vast wilderness areas, pristine lakes and the famous Aurora Borealis. The territory is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with lots of opportunities for fishing, hiking, canoeing and viewing wildlife.

Economically, the Northwest Territories benefits from its rich natural resources, including diamonds, gold and other minerals, which contribute to a relatively strong economy. This translates to good job opportunities, particularly in mining and related industries.

On the downside, the cost of living in the Northwest Territories is high, particularly in remote areas where goods and services must be transported over long distances. The harsh climate, with long, cold winters and short, mild summers, can be challenging. Access to healthcare and education, while available, can be limited in more remote communities.

Yukon Territory

The Yukon Territory, known for its gold rush history and stunning wilderness, is a desirable destination if you are looking for adventure and a close connection to nature. One of the main advantages of living in the Yukon is the scenery, including vast forests, majestic mountains, and pristine rivers. The Yukon has a vibrant arts and cultural scene, with numerous festivals and events celebrating its history and heritage.

The cost of living in the Yukon can be high, particularly for groceries and other essentials due to transportation costs. The climate is harsh, with long, cold winters and short summers. Access to healthcare and education, while available in larger communities, can be limited in more remote areas. The isolation and remoteness of the territory may not appeal to everyone, particularly if you are used to living in a city.

Preparing for Your Move to Canada

best province to live Canada

Though choosing the right province for you is a big part of preparing for your move to Canada, there are other things that go into planning. For example, you also need to choose the right international removal company and sell your house. Organising a move to Canada can be daunting, but United International Removals is on hand to help.

By choosing us as your removals service, you can simplify the logistical challenges of moving abroad. We are a reliable removals team, ready to handle getting your belongings from A to B safely and securely. Contact us today to find out more.


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