Life in Canada: Is it a Better Place to Live than the UK?

Are you considering a move and wondering, "Is Canada a good place to live?" The debate between the UK and Canada as ideal living destinations has sparked curiosity among many. Delve into this thought-provoking comparison to uncover whether Canada's charms outshine those of the UK. From quality of life to opportunities, we'll explore the factors that could make Canada your top choice. Join us as we navigate the intriguing question: UK or Canada, which is the better place to live?

Canada vs UK

Canada vs UK

While the decision may be subjective, let's delve into a compelling comparison between Canada and the UK. In this section, we'll juxtapose their lifestyles, cost of living, education systems, and more. Discover key insights to help determine which destination aligns better with your aspirations and preferences.


Regarding lifestyle, the UK and Canada have unique charms, but they differ in some notable aspects. One aspect where Canada undoubtedly shines is the friendliness of its people. Canadians are renowned for their warm and welcoming nature, making newcomers feel right at home..

Conversely, the UK boasts its allure with beautiful landscapes such as the Lake and Peak Districts. However, Canada's vast rolling landscapes take the spotlight, with 48 national parks, a million rivers and lakes, and the world's longest coastline. From the majestic Canadian Rockies to the awe-inspiring Northern Lights, Canada offers nature's wonders on a grand scale.

In terms of work-life balance, renowned for its emphasis on work-life balance, Canada offers a lifestyle that values personal time as much as professional commitments. The country's shorter work weeks, generous paid leave, and flexible work arrangements create a healthier equilibrium between career and personal pursuits. Canadians prioritize leisure activities, outdoor adventures, and spending quality time with family and friends, creating a fulfilling and well-rounded lifestyle.

While the UK has made strides in promoting work-life balance, its fast-paced urban centers often lean towards longer work hours. The traditional '9 to 5' work culture prevails, although efforts are being made to introduce more flexible arrangements. Despite this, the UK offers a rich cultural scene, vibrant city life, and historical attractions that add depth to leisure time, allowing individuals to balance work and relaxation.

Cost of Living in Canada vs UK

Navigating the financial aspects of relocating to a new country is crucial in the decision-making process. In this section, we delve into the cost of living in Canada and the UK, specifically focusing on the comparison between Toronto and London – two prominent urban hubs.

Indices Cost Comparison
Consumer Prices 16.1% lower
Consumer Prices Including Rent 25.5% lower
Rent Prices 40.7% lower
Restaurant Prices 27.1% lower
Groceries Prices 13.3% higher
Local Purchasing Power 0.2% higher

Using data from Numbeo, we provide insights into consumer prices, rent, restaurant prices, groceries, and local purchasing power, shedding light on the economic realities of these vibrant cities. Whether you're considering a life in the heart of Canada or the UK, this analysis aims to offer a clear understanding of the financial landscape you may encounter.

Indication Price in London Price in Toronto

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 34.07
Milk (1 liter) 2.24
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 2.41
Rice (1kg) 3.44
Eggs (regular) (12) 5.62
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 5.11
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 294.72
Basic Utilities (85m2 Apartment) 536.91
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan (Calls and 10GB+ Data) 28.36
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data) 54.85
Preschool (Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child) 2,729.82
International Primary School (Yearly for 1 Child) 35,748.14
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 3,529.33
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 2,523.10
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 6,749.09
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 4,314.49
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 22,666.85
Price per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment Outside of Centre 13,279.67
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 5,480.96
Mortgage Interest Rate (%), Yearly, 20 Years Fixed-Rate 5.28 6.12

Want a more detailed look at the cost of living in Canada vs the UK?


Both countries offer their permanent residents and citizens high-quality healthcare. In the UK, it's known as the National Health Service (NHS).

U.K. Healthcare

Primary care for General Practitioners (GPs) and nurse consultations are free to everyone. Secondary care is free to anyone considered an 'ordinary resident' or anyone from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and has an immigration status of 'indefinite leave to remain' or, in other words, a permanent resident.

Free Medical Care in the U.K.

  • COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, and treatment;
  • Emergency services;
  • Family planning;
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnosis and treatment;
  • Palliative care from a charity or community organization; and
  • Treatment for physical and mental abuse in extreme cases.

For other medical care, immigrants applying for a visa for six months or longer from outside the UK or any length of time from inside the UK (regardless of whether or not you have private medical insurance) have to pay an immigration healthcare surcharge as part of their visa or immigration application. This excludes visitor visas. Once this surcharge payment has been made, and your visa application has been granted, you will be able to start using the NHS.

UK Immigration Health Surcharge Costs
Type of Visa Annual Cost
Student or Youth Mobility Scheme visa £470
Visa or immigration applicants under 18 years old £470
All other visa or immigration application £624
Canadian Healthcare

Similar to the NHS, Medicare is the universal Canadian healthcare system. It's available to all Canadian permanent residents and citizens and covers primary and secondary care, including

Free Medical Care in Canada

  • COVID-19 testing, diagnosis and treatment;
  • Prevention and treatment of common diseases or injuries;
  • Emergency services;
  • Primary maternity care;
  • Primary mental health care;
  • Health promotion;
  • Healthy child development;
  • Palliative care and end-of-life care (usually provided by provincial and territorial governments); and
  • Rehabilitation services.

Unlike the NHS, the Canadian government does not require health surcharge payments. It is, however, recommended to have some form of medical insurance when you first arrive in Canada as you will need to register for public health insurance and will be issued with a card which you will need to present at the hospital or medical clinic, which could take up to three months.

The NHS and Medicare do not cover dental treatment, eye tests or prescription eyeglasses, physiotherapy, ambulance services, or prescription medication.

Each province or territory has its levels of coverage. For example, Ontario has a drug benefit program that covers most prescription medication costs for residents who are 24 years or younger and don't have private medical insurance or seniors who are 65 years or older.

Job Opportunities in Canada vs UK

When comparing job prospects between the UK and Canada, several factors come into play. While the UK boasts a lower unemployment rate at 4.0% compared to Canada's 5.5%, the number of job vacancies tells a compelling story. In the three months leading up to June 2023, the UK recorded approximately 1.03 million job vacancies, according to Statista. In contrast, Canada's job vacancies were around 1 million before experiencing a dip due to a significant influx of newcomers, resulting in the current number hovering around 800,000.

However, the picture isn't complete without considering work visas. This is where Canada gains a notable advantage. Canada has proactively welcomed international talent through various immigration programs, making it easier for skilled individuals to obtain work visas and contribute to the workforce. This openness to immigration has contributed to Canada's diverse and growing economy. In comparison, the UK's immigration policies have changed, and the ease of obtaining work visas may vary, potentially affecting the accessibility of job opportunities for international job seekers.

The work-life culture is also different in these two great countries. Find out more about the differences between Working in Canada vs UK.


The UK and Canada vary vastly in size. Canada is 41 times larger than the UK, so you can avoid getting stuck with one type of weather while in Canada. Although both countries can get chilly in winter, temperatures can drop well below - 40 degrees Celsius in winter in Canada, compared to UK winters, which are slightly milder, averaging at 0 to 7 degrees Celsius (32 -45 Fahrenheit).


The UK can get cold but offers balmy summer days. You'll be more likely to experience snow in the north, but it is synonymous with gloomy winter days filled with rain. Summer months are enjoyable, with temperatures averaging 15 - 25 degrees Celsius (59 - 77 degrees Fahrenheit). However, these temperatures have increased over the years and can get as high as 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). Summers in the UK, however, are short-lived. Spring and Fall have temperatures that average around 5 to 15 degrees Celsius.


Canada, the second-largest country in the world, has various climates. Most of Canada has a continental climate; however, winters can be harsh in the country's interior, particularly in the Prairie provinces. The average daily temperature is around -15 degrees Celsius ( 5 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter, while summer sees 25 - 30 degrees Celsius (77 - 86 degrees Fahrenheit). Some inland provinces can exceed temperatures of 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Immigration Systems

The immigration systems of Canada and the UK have distinct approaches that cater to different preferences and circumstances. Canada has gained international recognition for its welcoming and inclusive immigration policies.

The country offers a variety of pathways for skilled workers, entrepreneurs, students, and families to become permanent residents and citizens. Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), and various Pilot Programs are some streamlined immigration channels prioritizing skills, work experience, and language proficiency. This emphasis on attracting skilled professionals has contributed to Canada's multicultural society and vibrant economy.

Conversely, the UK's immigration system has evolved, adapting to changing political and economic landscapes. While the UK has traditionally been an attractive destination for immigrants, recent policy shifts have emphasized attracting high-skilled individuals and deterring low-skilled labor migration.

Introducing the Points-Based System (PBS) aims to assess applicants based on specific criteria, such as education, work experience, and English language proficiency. This system prioritizes individuals who can contribute to the UK's economy and address skills shortages. However, these changes have sparked debates about the potential impact on sectors relying heavily on low-skilled labor.

Diverse Communities

Diverse communities thrive in both the UK and Canada, enriching the cultural fabric of these nations through a mosaic of backgrounds, traditions, and perspectives. In the UK, as of June 2022, approximately 14.8% of the total population in England and Wales, amounting to around 10,388,000 people, were born outside the country. This diversity contributes to the UK's dynamic urban landscapes and cultural vibrancy, with cities like London serving as global melting pots.

In Canada, the commitment to fostering inclusivity and welcoming newcomers has led to a remarkable immigration rate. With an annual intake of around 500,000 immigrants, Canada boasts one of the highest immigration rates relative to its population. As of 2022, over eight million immigrants with permanent residence status have chosen Canada as their home, representing approximately 20% of the total Canadian population. This multicultural composition is reflected in the mosaic of languages, cuisines, and customs throughout Canadian cities and communities.

While the UK and Canada embrace diverse communities, their approaches and histories have shaped unique multicultural landscapes. The UK's rich history of immigration has resulted in vibrant communities with deep-rooted connections. In contrast, Canada's intentional immigration policies have positioned the nation as a global leader in diversity and integration. As these nations evolve, their diverse communities remain integral to their identity and contribute to their social, economic, and cultural progress.

Education Systems

Both Canada and the UK have exceptional education systems. Both countries have universities listed in the Times Higher Education's World University Ranking for 2021. Although post-secondary education is not free of charge, primary and secondary public or state education is government funded. All dependents or children of permanent residents and citizens have access to free education. While the UK may have big name universities like Oxford and Cambridge, Canada has some of the best universities in the world, with incredible resources and academic vigor. 

These countries differ in the number of educated adults. Canada is known to have the highest level of educated adults in the world (56.71 percent), with the UK coming in at number five (45.74 percent) showing that Canada's education system is first class. 

Pros and Cons of Living in Canada vs UK

Pros and Cons of Living in Canada vs UK

While there are a vast array of pros and cons to life in both the UK and Canada, here’s a summary of some of the most important factors to international immigrants:

Living in Canada

  Pros Cons
Quality of Life High quality of life, beautiful landscapes, outdoor activities Harsh winters, extreme weather conditions
Healthcare Access to universal healthcare Limited access to healthcare in remote areas
Education World-renowned universities, quality education Tuition fees and student debt
Job Opportunities Booming job market, low unemployment rate Competition in job market
Immigration Welcoming immigration policies, diverse communities Limited job opportunities in certain fields
Natural Beauty Vast and diverse landscapes, outdoor recreation opportunities Mosquitoes and pests in some regions

Living in the UK

  Pros Cons
Quality of Life Rich cultural heritage, historic sites, diverse cities High cost of living, especially in cities
Healthcare National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare for residents Waiting times for NHS services
Education Prestigious universities, strong academic tradition High tuition fees for international students
Job Opportunities Thriving financial and business sectors  Higher competition for certain job roles
Immigration Cultural diversity and multicultural cities Concerns about integration and social cohesion
Natural Beauty Historic landmarks and scenic countryside Unpredictable weather and frequent rain

Immigrate to Canada from UK

Immigrating to Canada from the UK opens up a world of new opportunities and experiences. With its diverse landscapes, high quality of life, and welcoming society, Canada has become a sought-after destination for individuals and families looking to start a new chapter in their lives. Navigating the immigration process may seem complex, but understanding the steps involved can make your journey smoother and more successful.

The first step in immigrating to Canada from the UK is determining your eligibility. Canada offers various immigration pathways, each with its own set of requirements. These pathways include Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), family sponsorship, and more. By assessing your skills, education, work experience, and other factors, you can identify the most suitable route for your immigration goals.

Once you've determined your eligibility, preparing and submitting your application is the next crucial step. This involves gathering the necessary documentation, such as language test results, educational credentials, and proof of funds. The Express Entry system, for example, uses a points-based ranking system to assess candidates, with factors like age, language proficiency, work experience, and education influencing your score. Meeting the eligibility criteria and providing accurate and complete documentation can significantly improve your chances of success.

Learn more about moving to Canada from UK.



How Are Canada and the UK Similar?

Both Canada and the UK offer a high quality of life marked by exceptional healthcare and education systems, along with vibrant and diverse communities. With robust healthcare coverage and renowned academic institutions, both countries prioritize residents' well-being and intellectual growth. Their commitment to multiculturalism creates inclusive societies that celebrate diversity and promote understanding among their residents, making Canada and the UK desirable destinations for a well-rounded and enriching life experience.

What is the Air Quality in Canada v UK?

Canada has been ranked number one in the quality of life rankings. A contributing factor on which this rating is based is air quality. Pollutants are a growing concern to many nations, yet Canada is driven to become one of the leading G7 countries regarding innovation and sustainability. According to IQAir, Canada has an excellent air quality, with an average score of 30. The UK is also rated as having good air quality, with an average score of 34. However, air quality in the UK remainscontinues to be a concern, as quality levels regularly exceed legal limits.