Stay far away from Calgary!

I've spent a considerable amount of time, money, energy, sleepless nights and more on this terrible city and I would like to warn you not to do the same. If you are relocating to Canada, I highly recommend cities like Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto. They are a bit more friendly toward immigrants.

Speaking of which, if you intend to attain permanent immigration to Canada (and hey, who could blame ya?) - you are going to want a post-secondary degree and a job before you land in Canada. If you live in the United States, St. Pierre et Miquelon or Greenland, you won't have to apply for the work permit at your nearest Canadian consulate either. You can apply at the border (just make sure you have your labour market opinion with you - so you won't get rejected).

Hey, isn't there somebody else here with a different opinion of Calagary?

11 mars, Calgary, plein soleil
Je vis avec ma famille a Calgary depuis aout.
Les gens sont tres gentils et tres accueillants.
C'est plus facile pour nous car nous avons des jeunes enfants ce qui facile les contacts.
Je deconseille a un celibataire d'aller a Calgary qui est vraiment une ville ou on travaille et on passe du temps en famille.
Mais avec des enfants c'est tres bien

Je cherche a recruter une jeune fille francophone au pair ou alors une nanny dans le cadre du programme foreign live-in caregiver si vous avez une idee....
L'anglais est comme un virus, j'ai scolarise mes enfants en anglais pour nous integrer et elles commencent a jouer a la maison en anglais. Il faut que je renforce le francais a la maison


I'm originally from Calgary!

Kyle has no idea what he is talking about!  Calgary is a beautiful city.  Plenty of parks, a kick-ass art scene.  The people are friendly, the city is clean.

OK... the transportation system is a bit weak (the C-train), but there are plenty of buses if you don't have wheels.

The only reason I no longer live there is because I'm married into France, otherwise, I'd still be there.

Kyle of Alberta :

I've spent a considerable amount of time, money, energy, sleepless nights and more on this terrible city and I would like to warn you not to do the same. If you are relocating to Canada, I highly recommend cities like Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto. They are a bit more friendly toward immigrants.

Speaking of which, if you intend to attain permanent immigration to Canada (and hey, who could blame ya?) - you are going to want a post-secondary degree and a job before you land in Canada. If you live in the United States, St. Pierre et Miquelon or Greenland, you won't have to apply for the work permit at your nearest Canadian consulate either. You can apply at the border (just make sure you have your labour market opinion with you - so you won't get rejected).

I think this is a valid statement. I had two friend who lived in Calgary for 3 years and was of the exact same opinion.

There's a great difference to come as an EXPAT to any place than to be a local...
I personally don't listen to the views of locals if I want to know what expats should expect, because they have family, friends, a whole network and know to root levels how to live in their own society. How can a viewpoint from someone like that really have value for an expat? Expats will arrive without knowing anyone, having to struggle to make new contacts, perhaps learning the language and having to figure things out from scratch. There's no comparisement.

I've been thinking about this one and while the point is valid, there's a hiccup.

If you never put down roots, you'll always be the expat and you'll never belong.  It doesn't matter if its Calgary or Hong Kong.

The funny thing is, I'm now a foreigner when I go back to Calgary.  I've forgotten all the "codes" of living there.  I'm no longer aware of what's going on in any of the sports that are traditionally "the thing" (hockey and curling and whatever else).  I don't even know where the cool bars are anymore because I'm no longer a local.

Hell, my accent has changed.  It's French-i-fied.  I can no longer say "eh" correctly.  So... to the locals there, I'm a foreigner (because if I don't tell them I'm originally from Calgary, how are they to know?) and I can honestly say that I've never had any bad experiences.

It took me a long time to find my own contacts in the country I live in now.  Longer than three years.  That's for damn sure.  It's a long haul no matter where you find yourself.

If you expect otherwise, you're asking for a miracle.  And those are might rare these days.

Unless you troll ebay of course.

I would have appreciated 'Kyle of Alberta' explain what drove him to this feeling. Different experiences are really interesting, but need to be explained :)
My wife and I live in Calgary since 8 months and we love the life here. You can do money if you want, or work&live if your prefer (last one is our personal feeling). Coming from Paris, we couldn't go back there, without the mountains, without the constant blue-sky, nature and sensation of freedom... And we have short-time great projets: a brand-new house, kids, travels...lots of stuff we couldn't expect in France before so much time.

Oh my, I was seriously considering moving to Calgary but even though I've heard that Its a great and clean city, I've also heard that Calgarians are not the friendliest Canadians... Have somebody else of you lived there?  Why is he saying that its the worst city?

I am a local, so perhaps this is biased?

One day I was walking home from the store and I happened to cross the street with a lady who I talked with all the way home!

She was from Toronto and said she couldn't be happier in Calgary. People are friendly, they wave, say hi, smile. Much different than her experience in mega-city Toronto full of angry drivers and impersonal storekeepers.

Everything is what you make it. I'm sure Toronto can be a wonderful place. It all depends what you're looking for and how you go about building that experience.

Calgary as a location is perfect. It's a one and a half hour drive the to the majestic Candian Rocky Mountains, there are plenty of outdoor activities winter or summer. The winters can be long but are also enjoyable if you make them. Skating is a favorite passtime or even having a hot chocolate with your family in the evening after a snowball fight can make lasting memories.

I think it's evident that "Kyle of Alberta" posted in some sort of anger. He hasn't come back since so I think that shows it was a passing grump he was in.

I know Calgary to be young, business minded and full of oportunity. The downtown core is sophisticated and unique neighbourhoods like Kensington are full of culture and style. Make of it what you will!

Find out more on alberta:

I love Calgary and people can be very friendly. Sometimes they seem rude because they are in a hurry, but that can be overcome very easily. Calgary is famous for the number of volunteers it has - we obviously have big hearts.

We had a condo for rent and a family from Poland moved into it. We helped them set up utilities, get cell phones, register kids for school, get healthcare, and even buy their furniture and bring it home in my husband's work trailer. I think that is pretty friendly.

We have just returned from a fact finding mission which included Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. We have to say that out of the 3 Calgary was by far the friendliest and would love to live there. I cannot understand the hate that you have picked up as we found no undercurrent of dislike for expats. Its a wonderful city full of opportunities (we hope!). Edmonton was the worst as it is not as clean. Weird thing is may have better job offer in Edmonton, so as a side issue can anyone convince us Edmonton is as nice as Calgary?

Calgary is a great place to lay your head, Safe, Fun , Hockey town. We have lived here for 8 years and now leaving. I will miss my great city!!!
Maybe the dude was talking about Edmonton... LOL just jokes

mom2cc :

Calgary is a great place to lay your head, Safe, Fun , Hockey town. We have lived here for 8 years and now leaving. I will miss my great city!!!
Maybe the dude was talking about Edmonton... LOL just jokes

LOL agreed.

I love Calgary. Home sweet home <3

Terrible city to live in.  Calgarians HATE everyone except other Albertans. The roads are horrible and the public transportation is the worst I have ever seen in any city. (no incentive to leave your car at home and take the transit) For a city of a million people I just found a grocery store that is open 24 hours. The response to snow in the winter is a joke.  The entire city shuts down when it snows 5 cm's.  Make sure you own a huge pick up truck if you do intend to drive here.  All the gravel they use, you will have cracks all over your windshield.  The Deerfoot is a joke - on and off ramps that merge at the same time.  Most drivers don't know the difference between a yeild and a merge.  Terrifying driving around here.  If anyone complains to an Albertan about the tiniest thing - they will get this in resoponse from them - "Move back to where you came from - we don't want you here".  The arrogance and ignorance of Calgarians is appalling.  I have never had so many people be rude to me when finding out I am not from Alberta.  They do not hide their hatred for non-Albertans. Quite sad as it could be a great city to live in - but it is not the case.  The city sprawls so big, it takes a long time to get anywhere.  The city built "out" and not "up".  Poor planning all around.  I have lived in Vancouver, Toronto and a few places in the U.S. I would not recommend living in Calgary.

Ok so I'm thinking of moving to Calgary from Asia. How do the locals respond to immigrants? Is it really that bad? I know that toronto, vancouver would be more lively but from my experience, I live in the capital city of my country with a population of 7 million people, full of different races and culture but yet the city is very cold. People don't want to know you unless you an benefit them in some way. They don't smile, talk to strangers, nothing.

I think thAt in big cities you're pretty much faceless.

Hi all :)

I touched on Calgary lightly at this thread:

My recommendation was that it’s in fact a friendly city alongside Edmonton too.

However, since you spoke of it as a 1st hand experience I have to say mine was a second hand one from friends but consider this:

If you say Calgary is unfriendly then go and try Niagara Falls, believe me you'll reconsider your take on Calgary!

My friends moved from Niagara Falls to Calgary and they never have been happier with their decision!

Even though, I still recommended Niagara Falls! Why?

Because there are 2 issues at hand here, one general and one specific and we shouldn’t mix the two, I know in advance that many might not accept this but it's true:

1) General issue - Racism:

Let us be honest here, the "white race" (scientifically speaking, there’s no such thing as race!) is by far the least friendly race out there and I've met a lot and travelled many places.

Canada in general is very much similar to the U.S. in this even though they try to show it differently, there is what I call “passive racism”. So, this shouldn't be an issue, because you should consider issues that you can do something about!

2) Specific issue - living in a community/city:

In any community there’s (usually, not always though) there are the good, the bad, and the ugly.

You have to understand the specifics of each city and how locals view and do things. It’s different from one place to another. 

Keep in mind that North America is really far away from the rest of the world, so naturally inhabitants of it - by virtue of distance – have no interest or patience to learn and know about other cultures it’s like an alien thing to them.

So, really it’ll boil down to you to educate them about your own culture be proactive not passive. Be friendly and talk to people, you’ll be surprised!

In a city, everything else being equal why would you even care that narrow-minded and racist people “accept” you? 

Yes, it’s not right what they do and it hurts and you want them to feel the same … but really you the objective is to live in a city! You can do that by living! Finding friends, North Americans have about 3 friends in average anyways!

Check … e_100.html (a good website)

So, if you have 3 friends, good job and … what else?

You can even marry and create a family!
You’ll always find the right person who is her/his own individual and will not just look for the community wide acceptance!

Just remember this: while you let all these negative thoughts fill your mind day in and day out you become what you think and it'll show.

It'll show someone who is becoming less friendly and timid and you'll miss the chance to see the good people out there or even miss  a chance of find that perfect one gal or guy!

People want confidant and happy people not people with issues and who talk about negative things!

Who has the energy anyways!

Remember, people too have issues and issues among themselves too! What do you bring to the table ?

I can say, in general, that immigrants really the ones who outcast themselves to start with by failing to integrate with the community starting with language and failing to understand and accept the North American culture!.

I have known people who don’t know more than a basic level of English and didn't improve that for years! Language is the most important factor bar none!

Even if many are faulty, understanding something to deal with is different than accepting it!

Adding to that English by nature is a rigid language when people say "Speak English" or don't understand you when trying it's really because they simply fail to understand you.

Think if this, if someone open a movie in a foreign language (to you) it won’t take long until you say flip that channel!

It’s a human nature and a language issue.

It even might turn out that these people who get irritated by hearing a different language or accent are the ones who are the friendlier ones!

Because they care for their surroundings and react to it!

How would they be able to integrate and be accepted? Other things too like dressing manners etc.

When people used to seeing things in a way, they'll resist change, so just go with the flow without compromising your own values.

If all fails, just move as fast as you can and save yourself the agony! 

Canada is really big and your best chance is going to be in the big cities where locals got used to seeing different cultures and understanding them.

So the issue really is being able to integrate within a community and not a specific city!

One fact that’ll let you feel better: All Canadians are immigrants, true Canadians are the Native Americans only!

JChevais :

I'm originally from Calgary!

Kyle has no idea what he is talking about!  Calgary is a beautiful city.  Plenty of parks, a kick-ass art scene.  The people are friendly, the city is clean.

OK... the transportation system is a bit weak (the C-train), but there are plenty of buses if you don't have wheels.

The only reason I no longer live there is because I'm married into France, otherwise, I'd still be there.

Exactly, I do agree these points. Calgary is very beautiful with beautiful homes. I can't understand why Kyle has such comments on ths city? Just bcoz of tiredness and sleepless night.

Any Ways, I like this city.

Isnt it strange that the two people that say Calgary is so bad for expats are from Calgary. Just saying

first only reason I have not moved there myself is because my work is based more northern Alberta si I settled in Red deer.

Second when I get time off me and my family will spend it in Calgary unless we are camping. The city is very easy to navigate. Roads are normally very good in the winter. Shopping there is very good specially with the new mall going up just north of the city. 

Third weather always seems to be that much better with it being that bit more southern.

Fourth its a very clean and nice looking city lots of big events close to the mountains zoo science center meusiems list just goes on.

and people are as friendly as you treat them.

It's also amazing that BOTH of the members who were so negative about Calgary were new members at the time of their postings and have posted absolutely nothing on Expat-blog ever since. @Kyle of Alberta hasn't posted anything else since this posting of March 2007 and @anywherebutcalgary nothing since March 2011 which by the way was his one and only ever posting. I suspect that his user name actually says it all... his intention was to do nothing but post a rant against the city and having done that never returned since.

Having lived most of my life near Toronto and in Vancouver, I can tell you that whenever I went to Calgary (several times) I found it to be quite an enjoyable place to be. The people are friendly, the city is clean and modern and there are lots of things to do there.

I certainly wouldn't recommend Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver for newcomers to Canada. Despite the fact that they are all wonderful places to live in, they have been the top three destinations for newcomers to Canada for decades now and quite frankly they're saturated. This makes finding jobs there almost impossible since you're not only competing with all the other newcomers to the country, but with the unemployed locals too.

The Province of Alberta is the one area of Canada that is presently experiencing great economic growth and has an abundance of jobs available, across the entire spectrum and not just for skilled labor and professions. So from my point of view Calgary and Edmonton are both great places for expats to settle.  Cheers,
  William James Woodward – Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

I agree with you. I have been living 3 years in Toronto and indeed it's a city where finding a job is HARD. Some French friends told me it was the hardest in Canada because you compete with everybody as mentioned.

Also, you can get dozen of interviews in Toronto and never get a job. I don't think that was just something special to my area of activities, I found that other people in sales for example had a hard time finding something as long as you have more than 10 years experience.

Also, Toronto is a nice city but it's extremely expensive. The city ranks very high when it comes to most expensive city in the world (61th).

Calgary ranks 92th though.

I also found a company in Calgary that wanted to hire me and they really tried their best to make me confortable and made me want to go there. I know the weather is extreme but at least, compared to Toronto, if you like the mountains, there is plenty of activities. I found that Toronto was pretty dead during winter unless you love shopping.

I can understand and sympathize with Kyle and some of his opinions of Calgary. I came to Canada from the UK with my husband 23 years ago where we set up a new home in St.Catharines, Ont at first then on to Cambridge a few years later. His job then moved us to Calgary 13 years ago and I agree that, most Calgarians I come across are not as friendly as the majority of people I came across in Ontario. I also preferred the climate and I loved the lakes. Calgary is all about oil and gas and that has made the city a very transient place to live. The drivers, for the most part, are atrocious, but to be honest, the same could be said for Yonge Street in Toronto. Brits have a very different sense of humour and we are more open and put ourselves out there to make friends, strange concept to a lot of Calgarians. Everyone has a right to an opinion especially if they have actually experienced it, Kyle May never have replied to anything after that because he could have moved back to the UK. Just sayin.........

Hello Horsemad,

I think that you hit on a very important point when you mentioned the British sense of humor. That could present significant problems sometimes in forming friendships in Canada (not just Calgary by any means) since Canadians do not understand the very unique sense of humor and what may be hilariously funny to a Brit can sometimes actually offend more conservative Canadians.

There is another significant issue about the language, while we both have English as our common mother tongue spoken British English is vastly different than spoken Canadian English. So much so that there are many terms that Canadians simply will never understand. Consequently rather than try and sift their way through conversations that they can't make heads nor tails of they will simply move on. This is especially true with British immigrants who constantly use colloquial terms that we've never heard of like jumble sale, bonnet, boot, and other terms that make up part of your everyday conversations at home and you continue using out of pure force of habit. Some terms we either find either terribly funny or offensive, like "Knock me up in the morning", for obvious reasons of the connotation attributed to it in Canada.

As much as I hate to admit it, and I'm not knocking Brits, because I'm descended from British grandparents... many who leave the UK and immigrate to other countries really have the worst case of the "over home syndrome" I have ever seen in my life. They simply can't wrap their heads around the fact that they're not still over home, they're in another country and another culture. Expatriots all over the globe and from any nation who leave their homeland and try and turn their host country into a xerox copy of their homeland are always sadly dissapointed, because they simply can't. Just imagine a Canadian or American arriving in London and then start complaining that things weren't done that way at home or at home they had this, that or the other? I think you'd be putting them on the first tramp steamer back across the pond. Canadians are no different in that sense, while we don't have the same "love it or leave it" kind of patriotism to the extent that some other nations have, it does still exist.

So you are saying that because some Brits still use different words to describe certain things when they are in Calgary that this is an excuse to be closed and standoffish and even sometimes rude? What you didn't get was that as an expat that has lived in both the East and West of Canada, I personally found that Easterners were warmer and friendlier, Kyle was giving his opinion about Calgary in particular, not Canada in general. Anyway thanks for your comments, and as a 'misunderstood' Brit, I like to say that everyone is entitled to my opinion ;)

I am saying that may be one of the many reasons, not the only one. I have had numerous British friends and I must admit it's sometimes very difficult to understand exactly what they mean when speaking. One understands the words, but not the meaning that Brits attribute to the phrases. For some people this simply is too mind boggling and they withdraw from the conversations. Speaking the same language is NOT synonymous with mutual understanding. Nobody is saying any of this is an excuse for anything, but if you take offense so easily at what's being said that might be an area to explore, perhaps you're simply being overly sensitive.

Regarding the differences between easterners and westerners in Canada, I too have lived in both eastern and western Canada equally for half of my 52 year in the country. I resided in the Greater Vancouver area and the area near Toronto. I have heard exactly the opposite most of my life, that Ontarians are far too conservative and standoffish and Vancouverites are laid-back and receptive. So I find your assessment a bit contradictory to what I've always been told and experienced personally. I certainly never had any problems with anyone on any of my numerous visits to Calgary.

Canada is the second largest nation on earth by land area and there are very distinct and geographically separated regions. Surely you wouldn't expect all Canadians to be exactly the same personality types given those conditions. There is a much stronger tendency for those west of the Rocky Mountains to be quite Americanized due to the physical separation from the rest of Canada. In the prairie provinces the inhabitants are unique due to the distance they live from one another. In Ontario and Quebec where population density is much greater, the inhabitants there also have their unique characteristics.

Regarding Kyle's posting, of course he's entitled to his opinion as we all are. That does not necessarily mean we must all share that same opinion... there are 50 thousand shades of gray. I respect your opinion, I'm sorry that you found some people rude and that you may attribute that to where they are located. I can tell you there are rude people to be found anywhere you go, in Canada, in the UK, in Europe and here in South America where I now live. Do you really think it fair to paint an entire segment of a population with the same brush because of a few?

As you are quite new here on the blog you aren't yet aware that we do have more than our share of "one post wonders". People join for no other reason to post a rant about something or other and are never seen or heard of again. Given the age of this topic thread and the fact that those who were so negative have simply dropped off the radar, it's highly likely that's what we're dealing with here. More power to them, whatever floats their boats! By and large most people who do go to take up residence in Alberta are quite pleased, they find excellent jobs with relative ease when compared to other parts of Canada, earn good wages and enjoy a cost of living that is lower than in many other parts of the country. Certainly doesn't sound like all that bad a place from where I'm standing.

The ONLY valid complaint that I have ever heard about Calgary, and I must admit that it's true, is that due to the fact that Canada only has three major hubs for international air travel (Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal) this is difficult for expats from the UK and EU living in Calgary to deal with since they're forced to fly to Vancouver, Toronto or some US hub in order to visit home. That really is a pain in the tush and there is really no reason that there couldn't be a flight at least three times a week direct to London, where one could connect with local carriers to EU destinations.

Oh dear, you sound awfully offended based on the ' novel' length reply you wrote. I respect your opinion just like I respected and understood some of Kyle's, you went a little off topic and for some reason felt the need to defend Alberta's honour when I never questioned it. Thank you for the geography lesson, however I am well aware of the vast size of Canada and it's comparatively smaller population to the UK. One out of every five canadian residents are born outside of Canada, that's what makes you so great. I am part of that as a full time executive, business owner and volunteer. Don't get so defensive, relax, I thought Canada was still a democratic nation and this is a forum to express our viewpoints isn't it? I just replied to someone else's post that I could relate to.     :/

Perhaps you should consider some other city in Canada where there will be less hardship for you. The vast majority in Calgary and posting to this topic certainly don't have the same experience. It truly saddens me to think that you're not happy with your choice.

As you can see from my path (flags at the bottom of the page) I've lived in a number of different cities since coming to Brazil, not all of which I've liked terribly. That just goes with the territory - one man's poison is another man's paradise, or something like that. I'm still here in Brazil, haven't given up on the country nor any of the cities, not even the ones I wasn't absolutely in love with either.

In which post did I say I wasn't happy with my choice? Again you've got it completely wrong, even written in plain English without 'British slang' to use as your excuse it's still lost in translation. Seems to me like you're the discontented one!

Well, you're an executive and business owner according to your own posting, so that would tend to indicate to me that you're making a profit in Calgary. Score one for the city! Obviously there must be something you like about Calgary, this is clearly evidenced by the fact that you're there.

I can't for myself quite understand your agreeing with the obvious rants of the OP and @anywherebutcalgary (who, by the way, could quite possibly be one and the same person using two different accounts) if you yourself were happy in Calgary. Would it make sense to you if I were outrightly agreeing with the negative rant of someone about the city where I'm living? Wouldn't that just beg the question, "Well why are you still there?" Nobody but a fool stays somewhere that they aren't completely happy, unless they're being held there for other reasons such as their life partner being assigned to a very well paid job and they've been more or less forced to tag along.

Just out of curiosity, exactly how long have you been in Calgary now? Does the city have any redeeming qualitys that do appeal to you? If you were happy in Eastern Canada, what prompted the move?

Offended by your opinion, not in the least. Just curious in the extreme because of it! What I am offended by (and not so much with you) is someone deriding an entire city because of the actions of a few. I'm sure that if I were to move to Cardiff I wouldn't love everybody I met there, I most certainly wouldn't run down the city because of the few I didn't get along famously with. I'm not absolutely enchanted by everything and everyone here in Macaé - RJ, Brazil's national petroleum capital, but all in all I love the city and it's inhabitants.

William James Woodward, Expat-blog Experts Team

You make a lot of assumptions don't you? As an executive outside of the oil and gas industry, I make a living  more than most but less than some which means the province very much benefits from me. And bravo I did follow my husband here but remain here solely for my children. You on the other hand have decided that Canada does not offer what you desire in life and choose a better one in Brazil? Hmmm? Again you misread all my posts, I said that I understood some of his points, that is quite different to supporting all of his personal negative viewpoints. Anyway quite frankly I'm bored with your incessant need to go around and around missing the point. As offensive as Kyle's post was he should still be able to voice his grievances based on actual experience and not just opinions. By the way here's a statistic for you. On my way home tonight I had to walk through 3 doorways, the first 2 people in front of me let the door slam right in front of me and the third doorway I held open for someone else without a thank you or acknowledgement. That happens to me on a daily basis - that's a FACT not an opinion. Seems kind of ironic to me that you are telling me how great calgary is when you have lived in Brazil for how long?......

Well, just so that you know I came to this country 13 years ago in an effort to make a difference, to build a school for poor children in the Amazon when they couldn't get any support from the government, NGOs, churches or private sponsors. I used an inheritance that had been left to me by my father to do something good to honor his memory. I never intended to stay here for the rest of my life when I arrived in this country, but ended up falling in love with the Brazilian people who are among the most warm and friendly people I've ever encountered. So, despite my initial intentions I wound up staying here anyway.

This country has more serious problems than you could possibly imagine, but even so I didn't come here with the intention of changing it in any way, because that isn't possible. Nor do I spend my time uselessly trying to make it into a Xerox copy of my homeland which is also futile. I accept it as it is, both good and bad.

Now I'm happily re-married, have a beautiful, intelligent 7 year old son who is my pride and joy and couldn't be happier even without all the wonderful things that living in Canada had to offer. Are there rude people here, do they slam doors in your face? You bet there are! I just don't let them bother me one little bit, nor do I allow them to spoil my opinion of all the other ones who aren't that way.

Calgary is, always has been and always will be a great city to live in despite the few rude people that may live there and the few that choose to complain about it rather than accept it for what it is.

William James Woodward, Expat-blog Experts Team

Well William James Woodward, I applaud you for the selfless decisions you have made and the time, money and work you donate for the benefit of a very worthy cause there in Brazil. I wish you all the best, continue to make a difference, as I intend to do the same here in Calgary!

That's wonderful to hear. I wish you all the success in the world.

hi i m south african, can i get a tip on how to buy a house in your country

Yes, save up LOTS of money. Real estate in Canada is extremely expensive! Unless you have Permanent Resident Status and full-time employment you're going to find it almost impossible to get financing even for real estate.

Hi people.partysa,

This is something I can answer as I am currently in the process of buying a home. I will get my key in December. While it may be very expensive in some cities (especially in Alberta, BC and Ontario), its quite affordable in some other areas. Of course this is all subject to how much you earn and what other kind of debts you may have. Banks or monolines (your non traditional lenders) are always eager to lend money to you as long as you can prove that you'll be able to pay back. So it really doesn't matter if you were a Canadian or a PR or even a non-PR & non Canadian. I myself have not obtain my PR yet but have my loan approved. There is no bias either - the only thing you probably need to show is that you'd have a  legal permit to be here in Canada (e.g. work permit at least, and also proof that you are applying for a PR).

I agree with William that you'd have to save a lot of money. Then again, you'd probably be doing that anywhere else when you intend to purchase a home. More so here because of the ruling from CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Cooperation). If you put down a downpayment of less than 20%, you'll need to get a mortgage loan insurance. Don't ask me why? That is the law (see 20% is rather high for down payment. Back home in Malaysia, where I am from, 10% is enough. So you can imagine for the home I purchase at 360K, I have to have 72K available so as to avoid that mortgage loan insurance which is nuts!

Now, just be aware that because I am here in Halifax, for 360K, I was able to purchase a sizeable home semi-D (2880 sq ft) with some land that's within 10 minutes drive to downtown and 2 minutes to all the major shopping areas. You may not find a home with that kind of specs and ideal proximity at that price if you were to head to Toronto, Calgary or more so Vancouver. In Calgary itself, that house would be almost 3 times that price. Don't even get me started with Vancouver.

Lastly, another tip is to get a good home buyer agent, a good mortgage broker, and a good lawyer. Here's a guide to home buying in Canada which you can download for free … yers-guide after filling in your details.

p.s. if you do not have a PR or are not a Canadian, do mention that piece of information to your mortgage broker first before getting started with the mortgage hunting process. It will help them pin-point which lenders would be more at ease with doing business folks with your status.


good day again, sorry not to be specific, I need a cheap house in brazil in sao Paulo, when I m searching in the internet it shows me that I can get a house around $10 000 and 20 000, I do not know if is usa dollar or Brazilian money, can you help me, I need anything that I can get I ill improve it.

hi, help me I need to relocate to brazil at sao Paulo, but I really want to know how can I buy a cheap house in sao Paulo and how much can I get it

You'll have much better results if you navigate to the Brazil Forum to post your questions there. Right now you're posting to the Canada Forum.

Click on the FORUM tab in the green banner at the top of the page and scroll down the next page to "Living in South America", then click on Brazil.

I don't know where you're getting your price information from, but it is totally inaccurate. You won't find even an apartment in São Paulo for less than USD $75,000 and upwards. Rents alone are in the R$1500 - 2000 (BRL) range per month for a low end 1 br. apartment.

sorry, to ask again, what is foreclosed houses, because they are sold with less prices.  In my country, there are villages close to the urban areas, where you can find a cheap houses, what about in brazil, can you find something cheaper?

You should post your question to the Brazil forum, not Canada!!!

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