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Tell me about Canada? - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
Tell me about Canada?
As Joe and I are currently saving for the van, we're trying not to think too much about the upcoming US trip, because we'll just get impatient and start champing at the bit. Well, by "we" I mean "me", as impatience is my speciality. The US trip is ALL we'll be thinking about once we have the van and turn our savings power towards the trip.

SO. Right now I'm thinking about Canada, which is a more longterm plan - a couple of years away, I think; we want to do it before we're 30 - and as such runs less risk of making me all twitchy and impatient because it's far less immediate.

Specifically, I'm thinking about cities. Initially I was thinking Nova Scotia might be a good place to settle; I'm not sure why, I just heard a couple of things that made it sound cool... but on doing more research it seems like the job market there isn't great, the weather is foul and it's probably too provincial for Joe's tastes; he prefers cities. (I don't mind cities, but they have to be clean, well-designed and artsy, which is where Sydney fell into my bad books.)

So currently I'm thinking Vancouver. Pretty much the extent of my knowlege, up until I hit Wikipedia this morning, was that some of The X Files was shot there. This is what Wikipedia has to say:

Vancouver is consistently ranked one of the three most livable cities in the world. According to a 2008 report by Mercer Human Resource Consulting for example, Vancouver has the fourth highest quality of living in the world, after Zürich, Vienna and Geneva and ranked first in a survey by magazine The Economist.

In 2007, according to Forbes, Vancouver had the 6th most overpriced real estate market in the world and second in North America after Los Angeles. In 2007, Vancouver was ranked Canada's second most expensive city to live after Toronto and the 89th most expensive globally, and, in 2006, the 56th most expensive city in which to live among 143 major cities in the world. In 2007, Vancouver was ranked as the 10th cleanest city in the world by Forbes. In October 2008, the City of Vancouver was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine.

The photographs on Wikipedia are STUNNING. Also, the skyline looks like it's about five times the size of Sydney, which should please Joe. And it's located on the water, which pleases me.

Do you get snow very much in Vancouver? (the Australian asked hopefully...)

The real estate expensiveness sounds not-so-good; is there anywhere outside of the city where more affordable housing is available?

Is French spoken as a common second language there, or is that really only relevant in Montreal etc?

What is the job market like? What is the job market like for designers?

What can you tell me about the other major Canadian cities? Is there anywhere else you might recommend? I'm also considering Montreal and Toronto.

How accessible is the wilderness from Vancouver? Or is it suburbia for a zillion miles around? Joe likes cities, but I like to Get Away From It All now and then.

How is Canada faring in the current worldwide economic crises?
16 have fought ~ fight the power!
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tania From: tania Date: February 27th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)
O snap, if the income of a designer is not livable in Vancouver, it's gotta be out - Joe has no specific career so I can't bank on his job bringing in enough to fill the shortfall. Aww, what a shame! D:

Hmm, Montreal... well, it WOULD be a shame to learn all this French without moving someplace I could use it afterwards... :D
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tania From: tania Date: February 27th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Useless fact

Haha, sold! My new career shall be rabid stalker.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 27th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Any idea when you're going to be in California? I wanna make sure I'm home XD
tania From: tania Date: February 27th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Haven't nailed down exact dates, but it'll probably be sometime around mid to late Feb next year. :)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 27th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh hell that should be fine, for some odd reason I thought you were thinking summer THIS year which is why I as like "AUGH!"
digitalis From: digitalis Date: February 27th, 2009 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Alex had an interview up in Vancouver last august, if we didn't have our place in Orlando we would have gone there, it is beautiful and there's lots parks and things to do. I know there's several game companies up there, and I think there are still a few 2d animation studios around as well.

And you would be like 2 hours from Seattle, maybe we could hang out sometime. :3
tania From: tania Date: February 27th, 2009 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh man, that would be awesome! <3 This sounds corny but you're one of the top people on my list of LJ people I'd love to meet; from your journal you just seem very levelheaded, approachable and awesome.

I hear Canada is relatively good when it comes to the arts, with a fair amount of studios and game companies and the like. One thing I intend to do over the next couple of years - aside from a bit of travelling - is to brush up my portfolio, incorporate some more painting rather than just cartooning, and use that to try to secure a design job in Canada before I move. Some sort of game design would be fab, but I would need to brush up my skills before then - I'm still so cartoony. Figure it's really worth the effort, because having a guaranteed job offer makes the process ten times easier. Here's hoping...
stonelizard From: stonelizard Date: February 27th, 2009 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know a huge lot about vancouver... but we did go there for a few days as Rich has a potential job there a few years ago. I am not a huge city person either... but I loved what I saw of vancouver! Very beautiful, nice people.. sushi coming out of all orifaces and even though it gets cold it was fairly tolerable at 1 degree when we were there :) But I am Scottish so that might affect that :)

I liked it from the little I saw!
sigmoidal_suseq From: sigmoidal_suseq Date: February 27th, 2009 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Re the economy: I think Canada has done similar on par with Oz - which is pretty well considering.

Except our media has gone a bit crazy with it?

I hate that it's a "crisis" - more of like an 'oops, sorry, my bad' mistake, rebalancing of the market business cycle recession.

Although from all accounts, Oz is still in a growth period - I think? I can never trust news.com.au

Also, do you know when the double first home buyer's thing expires?
rahball From: rahball Date: February 27th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
At the end of this financial year, I think.
tania From: tania Date: March 1st, 2009 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah Suse, so you guys better get your cute buns back here so you can buy a house I can come over and party in. ;)
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: February 27th, 2009 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
wowwwwwwwwww... thinking about relocating then? *warble*
I don't know much about Canada, but some good friends there!
Also enjoy those suburbian cities, where the countryside is near, but so are all the amenities... and you can rent out the property you bought down unda, and live the high life in Canada!

best of wishes with the hunt and research!
aibo From: aibo Date: February 27th, 2009 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)
From a tourist perspective - I had been in Canada in 2000 and 2003, East and Westcoast, the middle is still to be explored. Vancouver sounds like a nice choice, although it is really most like a big, expensive city. No much snow, yet you are relatively close to the Canadian rockies. Speaking of, Banf and Jester are two sweet places to be in the rockies, especial in Winter. If you prefer to stay in the West, have a look at Victoria as well, coastal climate, nice harbor, I am pretty sure you'd like it there better than in Vancouver, it's at least a change to the skyscrapers you have in Brisbane and Vancouver. Lemme think...Toronto? Awesome city! Pay at least a visit. Montreal is....well, definitely French, one of the two places I actually went clubbing in my life. BTW, you will find French speaking people in Quebec only, everywhere else English is the only language. And they speak English to you in Quebec if you are not Canadian, so make sure you keep your Australianish:-)

Oh, and Calgary comes to my mind as a good combination between snowy Winters and big city. But not sure how the job market is there.

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tania From: tania Date: March 1st, 2009 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoa, that's a GOOD one! How long does the sale go for? In a way Joe and I have been crippled in our ticket options because we're planning so FAR ahead; sales that pop up seem to have windows of the next few months, whereas we're after tickets for early next year...
xlade From: xlade Date: February 27th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
For the kind of work you're interested in, Nova Scotia's a little too rural. It's mainly work to do with the sea there (that I know of) vncouver is nice, the most populated city in the province (seriously, my aunt flies there for her medical work from the other side of the mountain range). I think there's a film school in the area, and I think I've heard of a couple studios.

For weather, expect wet, cold/snowy in the winter (coastal towns in the Part of Alaska I'm in tend to dump tremendous amounts of snow. Vancouver, to my knowledge, would get a mix of snow and cold rains). If you do move there and will be driving, look into snow tires. Ice is no joke to drive on.

And that's all I know (ish)
smokepaw From: smokepaw Date: February 28th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, just thinking of things along the reality of moving to Canucikstan and what the process is of doing that. Considering that Angela Butt (Yelth) is familiar with the immigration system into Canada, she has offered me some pointers that would certainly be of some interest to you. Canadian immigration apparently works on a points system; you get points for what you have to offer the country as an immigrant. Such examples of points would be bi-lingual verses only one spoken language, demand and need for jobs in your field of education, any college degrees and what major they are in, age, current nationality and so on.

With that said, it would certainly be in your best interest to compile your 'qualifications' as it were and add them up. And one thing she has also mentioned? It is quite a bit easier for a Canadian to move to Australia and work while they are under the age of 30 than it is the other way around.

Just a heads-up. I'm no expert, just call me the middleman of the scoop! ;)
16 have fought ~ fight the power!