If you’re moving to Canada, there are plenty of wonderful cities and provinces to settle down in. However, Quebec is in high demand as the third most popular choice for immigrants moving to the Great White North. In addition to its delicious maple syrup, Quebec is known for its low cost of living, bustling economy, and wide range of cultural activities. We’ll dive into all the benefits of living in the province, including vital information to know before making a move.
Important information about Quebec
Quebec’s current population is over 8 million (as of 2022), and it is a prevalent choice for Canadian transplants. More than half of its residents live in Montreal and Quebec City, the province’s capital.
Quebec’s largest city, Montreal, is known as Canada’s “Cultural Capital” as it fully embraces its European and Francophone heritage. The official language of Quebec is French and many residents speak both French and English daily. Quebec even offers free and discounted French courses to any newcomers eager to learn the language.
Quebec is a great place to live for those who can bear the cold since winter temperatures get as low as -40°C. However, summers are still extremely hot as temperatures shoot back up to highs of 35°C.
However, the cold does not deter Canadians from celebrating and having fun. Even during the long winter, Montreal has many cultural activities and festivals year-round. For example, there’s the ever-famous Winter Carnival, the popular Ice Hotel (Hôtel de Glace), and even tobogganing in the city’s center.
Quebec residents have many different opportunities to work in a range of industries. Their economy consists of large manufacturing and service sectors, the mining and forest industry, the aerospace industry, and even an artificial intelligence sector. The province is very future-focused, investing in research, development, and green technology. Also, the tourism and agriculture industry are both very prosperous in Quebec.
The different benefits of living in Quebec
Quebec is an all-around wonderful province to live and settle down in. Between its general affordability and quality of life, living in Quebec has many benefits.
University tuition is considerably less expensive in Quebec than in other Canadian provinces. The province highly subsidizes its post-secondary education, so residents can afford higher education better. Students living in Quebec save more than 25% on university than students living in Ontario.
Quebec is no stranger to Canada’s legendary natural beauty. The province is home to 24 national parks, including the extraordinary Forillon, Aiguebelle, and Mont Mégantic, to name a few. If you love camping, hiking, or spending time in nature, then Quebec is one of the best provinces for you.
There are also more than 1 million lakes and streams surrounding Quebec. The province holds the largest freshwater source in the world, The Great Lakes Basin, which is about 20% of the world’s freshwater supply. Lake Saint-Jean, Pink Lake, and Lake Massawippi are just a few of the many magnificent lakes in the province. These spots are perfect places to enjoy a picnic and watch the sunset on the water.
The Quebec province is also very easy to navigate. Quebec provides separate bike lanes between its many cities so that avid bikers can travel with ease. The Metro Railway is convenient and affordable for traveling between Quebec’s major cities. Additionally, there are 40 airports in Quebec alone, so residents can easily travel in and out of the province.
Quebec is also well known for its wide range of cultural activities. It is home to some of the best museums, theaters, and festivals in Canada, like Québec’s National Gallery, Théâtre Capitole, and the annual music festival, Festival d’été de Québec. There are plenty of activities to fill up your evenings and weekends, so newcomers will never be bored in Quebec.
Important things to know about moving to Quebec
Immigrants need to know a few essential steps before making a move to Quebec. First, newcomers will need to move through Quebec’s separate immigration system, which is different from the country’s federal immigration system. Quebec has its immigration requirements, like knowing a minimum acceptable level of French and obtaining a certificate of selection granted by Quebec’s government.
Also, immigrants will have to learn or know some French while living in the Francophone province. It is possible to get by with conversational fluency, especially in the bigger cities. However, many signs are in French, so this can be difficult for residents who only speak English. If you’re familiar with French culture or have an affinity for France, you’ll fit in nicely.
Is it cheaper to live in Quebec or Ontario?
There are a few reasons why Quebec and its largest city, Montreal, are considered to be all-around cheaper than Toronto, the capital of Ontario. Even though the province has higher taxes, its reliable government programs and affordable property offer a better quality of life.
One advantage of living in Quebec is that real estate is very affordable. Due to lower population growth and the specific cultural restrictions of Quebec, its real estate is less expensive than Ontario’s, especially in rural areas. Quebec property is also famously larger, so transplants will get a lot more property space with their home purchase.
Quebec is also well known for having very affordable electricity in comparison to the other provinces. This is because the province generates electricity from its own hydroelectric dams. This renewable resource means residents may pay less than $100 a month on their electricity bill.
Families also greatly benefit from living in Quebec. The province has subsidized childcare, which is as low as $10daily. If you have children and want to save money on childcare, then Quebec is an ideal place to live.
Even though Quebec is generally affordable, there is still a high-income tax that may derail immigrants from moving to the province. Depending on your tax bracket, the combined Federal and Quebec tax rate could range from ⅓ to ½ of your income. There are also two sales taxes, the standard 9.975% Quebec sales tax and the 5% federal goods and services tax. So, the combined sales tax is 14.975%, which is one of the highest in Canada.
Even though you may pay more in income taxes in Quebec, the real estate prices and the low cost of childcare still make it very affordable compared to Ontario and other provinces.
Should you move to Quebec?
Quebec is a wonderful place to live for anyone who enjoys cultural diversity, natural beauty, and reliable government programs. Since life in Quebec is generally more affordable than in other provinces, that may be a deciding factor for expats and immigrants moving to Canada.
In addition to the warm welcome it offers, the province also provides many services and incentives for new immigrants. If you need to send money to your loved ones in your home country. Wherever home is for you, Western Union has you covered with reliable money transfers across the globe. Whether you prefer to send money by digital transfer or visit a physical location, if you need to move funds from Canada overseas, we’re here to help.