Moving to Canada from the US: What You Need to Know

Canada, measuring an impressive 3.8 million square miles, is the second-largest country in the world by area. Bordering the United States of America to the north, Canada is best known for ice hockey, maple syrup, and politesse; however, there is much more to this country than its stereotypes. This largely-untamed land features some rugged landscapes, including deep, crystalline lakes, jagged mountains, and thick forests. Though the country itself is big and beautiful, it has a surprisingly small population—a mere 38 million people—due to the inhabitable nature of its physical land. As such, most of the inhabitants are concentrated in Canada’s main cities: Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, to name a few. If you’re looking to relocate to a country rich in culture and natural beauty, then check out Atlas® International’s Canada moving guide.

Man stands on a rock overlooking a large lake and a big mountain after his individual move to Canada.

East End of Rundle, Canada

Moving from the US to Canada

Why are Americans taking the plunge and moving north? Many find that the slower pace of life and fewer working hours, in addition to universal healthcare, are enough of a motivator to pack up and go. Some merely want a change of pace, while lovers of the outdoors might also enjoy the rich biodiversity and stunning hiking trails. Moraine Lake is one site in particular that is sure to appeal to nature lovers: this icy-blue, glacier-fed lake is situated in a valley surrounded by snowy peaks and pine trees, making it one of the most picturesque spots in the country. If you’re lucky, you can even travel to Canada’s northern territories for a shot at seeing the Northern Lights! Those who prefer city life won’t be left disappointed, either, as the major cities in Canada are each unique and beautiful. Ottawa, the capital, features contemporary architecture located right next to historical buildings, keeping visitors on their toes. Toronto, the major city closest to Niagara Falls, is characterized by crisp skyscrapers that reflect the cold blue of the sky and the waters of Lake Ontario. Montreal, located in the province of Quebec, is a bustling city whose official language is French! You might like to practice your French-speaking skills in this area of Canada, but be aware that the local dialect is far different than the Parisian French you may have learned in schools. No matter your interests, there’s sure to be a place for you in Canada!

Since Canada encompasses several longitudes, it enjoys a diverse range of climates. In most of Canada, the winters are extremely cold and its summers are cool, but parts of Ontario and Quebec experience hot summers and cold winters. No matter the weather, the sights are worth braving the cold for. In western Canada, Banff National Park offers breathtaking views of glassy lakes, ice fields, coniferous forests, and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. On the eastern coast, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador contains many cute fishing villages.

Where to Live in Canada

Thinking of relocating to Canada? Your interests and motivations will come into play when deciding your next home, as Canadian cities vary widely. Here are some popular locations for Americans moving to Canada:

  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Montreal
  • Calgary
  • Ottawa

Toronto is a modern city with a focus on business, making it a great place to move for work—especially if you enjoy big-city life. For those looking for an artsy and culturally diverse area to settle down, Montreal might be the place for you! This city is exceptionally suited to those looking to move for school, as it’s one of the highest-ranked cities for university life. If a small-town lifestyle is more appealing to you, Canada has you covered on that front as well: Mahone Bay is a tiny town in Novia Scotia that was ranked among the top ten most beautiful towns in Canada. If you are moving to any of these cities from the US, you will likely run into the need for overseas shipping and specialized movers who are familiar with customs and import regulations.

Woman in hoodie stands in front of a loaded van in preparation for her move to Canada with Atlas® International.

Atlas® International helps people move to Canada every year.

Resources for Moving to Canada

Thinking of moving from the US to Canada? Check out our detailed customs guide for international relocation tips including household goods importing, restricted and prohibited items, moving pets, importing vehicles, and documentation you will need.


Plan Your Canada Move with Atlas® International

Atlas® International is a full-service global moving company with more than 50 years of professional experience. From individual residential moves to military and corporate relocations, we have helped people start off the next chapter of their life with quality, door-to-door service, and stress-free planning. Experience the Atlas® International difference with a management team vetted by decades of international relocation experience with worldwide accredited moving certifications. Need assistance with common moving questions like import regulations and applying for a visa? Whether you just getting started with planning your move to Canada or have your personal affairs in order, Atlas® International is here to help.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with an Atlas® International moving expert and begin planning your move today. Give us a call at 206-526-1137 or contact us to receive personalized advice on beginning your move to Canada.

Request a free international moving quote!