Most US visitors to our northern neighbor will only be able to tell that they have left their home country by the slight variation in accent, and the generally superior cleanliness of the major city centers. Ranking as the second-largest country in the world in terms of land mass, Canada is one vast expanse of prairies and rugged hills on its southern stretches, that give way to a maze of tundra and bogs in the northern reaches. The pristine natural beauty of the country attracts many short and long term visitors, seeking some of North America’s last remaining unspoiled natural landscapes and ecosystems.
The Canadian economy is another big attraction: forming part of the Group of Eight (G8) bloc of the world’s most affluent nations, as well as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada ranks as one of the top contenders in the Heritage Foundation’s list of economic freedom. Despite a legal code that more strongly resembles the British model (Canada is after all a member of the Commonwealth), the country’s economic policies are very similar to those of the US, making it a very appealing destination for successful US entrepreneurs looking to relocate in a country with similar codes of business conduct.
One stark difference between the US and its northern neighbor—a difference entirely favoring the latter—is the lower crime rate in Canada. Many Americans relocate to Canada in search of a community strongly resembling their own, but with more peace and quiet.
With two official languages, English and French, all advertisements are required to be run in both languages. However, French is really only spoken by the larger community in the francophonic provinces of Quebec and, to a lesser extent, Ontario.
The wild expanses of northern and western Canada attract many huntsmen and nature lovers from all over the world, though it’s tough to relocate to these regions due not only to their remoteness, but also to the prevalence of national nature reserves and indigenous reservations. The Inuit communities (also known by the incorrect moniker of Eskimos) have their last remaining semi-autonomous communities in these areas, and still attract a fair amount of attention—to their liking or not.
Legal requirements for moving to Canada are fairly lax for American citizens, and you can find some specific info about the process. The Canadian Embassy to the US’s site is a great source of information.
What for me is the coolest aspect of Canada is its cosmopolitan air, most detectable in cities like Toronto, which boasts the most diverse population of any city in the world. That, mixed with sleek, elegant, and tidy urban landscapes that look like they popped right out of the future make this country a magnet for bon vivants. For more info on some of the coolest things Canada has to offer, head to CanadaCool.com.