Moving to Canada from Australia: A Complete Guide

If you are thinking of moving to Canada from Australia, then look no further! This page contains everything you need to know, including costs, visa requirements and tips, to get you over to the Great White North in no time.

To get you in the mood, why not listen to the Canadian national anthem as you work your way through this article!

The Cost of Moving to Canada from Australia

Money, money, money…it is, for better or for worse, what makes the world go round. Not least, when you are moving to Canada from Australia. While there is no blanket figure for moving to Canada, we have put together this table which indicates them average cost of moving from Sydney to Toronto, for various sized properties.

Property SizeTimeAverage Cost
1-bedroom house8 – 11 weeks$5,100 – $7,100
2-bedroom house6 – 8 weeks$6,900 – $9,300
3-bedroom house6 – 8 weeks$12,000 – $16,200
4-bedroom house6 – 8 weeks$12,900 – $17,300
5-bedroom house6 -8 weeks$18,200 – $24,500

Note. These figures are just estimates. The only sure way of getting accurate removalist costs is to request free quotes from us.

 

Factors Affecting the Cost of Moving to Canada

The first step to saving money on your move to Canada from Australia is to understand what contributes to the calculations. Luckily, we have an entire page dedicated to international removal costs, but, since time is of the essence, we thought a quick rundown here would do no harm!

  • Exact distance. As the second and sixth biggest countries in the world, it is safe to say that neither Canada nor Australia are pocket-size. Therefore, the cost of moving to Canada will be dependent on your exact point of departure and destination.
  • Volume. Are you a hoarder? Or perhaps you opt for the more minimalist lifestyle. Either way, use our handy furniture volume calculator to measure the volume of your possessions as this has a significant impact on removalist costs.
  • Mode of transport. The table above indicates the cost of moving to Canada by sea. If you have a small amount of possessions, going by plane is a faster option, but also a more expensive one.
  • Time of year. Summer is the high season, and therefore more expensive. Although, this gets somewhat confusing when moving hemispheres…
  • Speciality items. If you have fiddly furniture such as a piano or fine art, you may be charged a surplus.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but by understanding these factors (and being a little thrifty 😎) you can ensure that moving to Canada from Australia doesn’t burn a hole through your wallet!

Do Australians need a Visa for Moving to Canada?

The short answer is yes. Unless you are planning on moving to Canada from Australia for under six months, and do not intend on working while you are there, then a visa is required. However, things are not completely black and white (sensing a theme here?). Exactly what type of visa you will need will depend on the intension behind relocating to Canada.

  • Student visa. If you are moving to Canada for the purpose of study.
  • Working holiday visa. For young people who want to live and work in Canada for up to two years.
  • Skilled worker. This is a little more complicated, but in essence, if you are perceived to be able to contribute substantially to the Canadian economy and workforce you may be eligible.

This is merely a brief rundown of options. To get into the real nitty gritty of visa requirements for Australians moving to Canada, visit the government website and fill out the eligibility form.

Moving to Canada

How to Move to Canada: A Checklist

As well as being physically tough, moving to Canada from Australia is a mental marathon. Given that you are crossing oceans, it is vital that nothing is forgotten. Which is why we have put together this moving to Canada checklist. Follow this, and your dreams of maple syrup and poutine are well and truly in sight!

Open a bank account

Although the Australia dollar and the Canadian dollar hold almost the same value, that doesn’t mean bank notes showing off Edith Cowan and Sir John Monash will be accepted! That is why we strongly recommend opening a local bank account when moving to Canada.

With the sixth highest life expectancy in the world, the Canadian health system must be doing something right! However, to take advantage of their world class healthcare system, there are a few things to organise uponmoving to Canada from Australia.

If you aren’t yet an expert on Canadian banks, start by exploring the ‘Big Five’:

Did you know? Canadians call the one dollar coin the loonie. Note this down if you want to blend into the crowd 😉.

Moving to Canada

Sort out your healthcare

With the sixth highest life expectancy in the world, the Canadian health system must be doing something right! However, to take advantage of their world class healthcare system, there are a few things to organise uponmoving to Canada from Australia.

  • If you are on a temporary visa, then bad luck. You will have to take out private health insurance as you are not eligible for the state scheme.
  • However, if you are a permanent resident, then using the state-funded Canadian health scheme is a no-brainer.

Note. It can take up to three months for your health insurance application to be processed, so get this rocking ASAP. In the interim, be sure you have private insurance.

To apply for your health insurance card, you can go online, as well as at the Régie, local pharmacies and the doctor.

Bringing any pets with you?

Got a perfect pooch? Or a fancy feline friend? If you are bringing a pet with you when moving to Canada from Australia, there are a few steps to getting this organised.

  • Make sure your pet can withstand the long flight. Peanuts and pretzels won’t do!
  • They will need an international health certificate
  • A printed history of vet records
  • Have been vaccinated against rabies, with a certificate to prove it

If you get this all sorted, all you need to do now is get them some warm attire. Canadian winters are no joke: in 1947, in the village of Snag in the Yukon, temperatures of -63C were recorded. That’s hardcore for any Australian, not least your beloved pets!

What about your car?

First for the good news: moving from Australia to Canada with a car is indeed possible using a depot-to-depot service. The not-so-good news is that it can be a little bit pricey as it will take up a significant amount of room and therefore increase your container shipping costs. Therefore, selling your car and purchasing a new one on arrival is not a bad idea.

However, if you and your four-wheels can’t bear to part ways, there are a couple of criteria to consider:

  • Either you will have had to have already lived abroad for 12 months, or provide evidence of your new lease/ rental agreement.
  • Ideally, the vehicle should have been manufactured for sale in Canada, or be older than 15 years (a real golden oldie!).

Fun fact! In Nunavut in Northern Canada, licence plates are shaped like polar bears!

Moving to Canada - Toronto

Living and Working in Canada as an Australian

While Canada and Australia are somewhat similar in population size and speak the same language (for the most part), the similarities stop there. Swap the Outback for the Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes, and you are some of the way there. This section is dedicated to helping you picture what life will look like once moving to Canada is complete.

The cost of living in Canada

We hate banging on about money, but in this instance it’s good news! On average, consumer prices are 14.67% lower in Canada than Australia, and rent prices 12.64% lower. Ka-ching!

To give you a better idea of how to budget when moving to Canada, we have created this table which compares cost of living metrics between the Great White North and our Land Down Under.

MetricAustralian AverageCanadian Average
Monthly rent for a 1-bed apartment in the city centre$1,684$1,417
Meal at inexpensive restaurant$20.00$17.82
0.5L of draught beer$8.00$6.29
12 eggs$4.67$3.63
Cappuccino$4.50$4.46
Monthly travel pass$151$101

Fun fact! One-tenth of the world’s forests are situated in Canada. So, if you are already feeling overwhelmed, don’t panic – you will have plenty of natural beauty to bask in once you have moved to Canada.

Of course, how much you actually end up spending will depend on where exactly in Canada you choose to live. The following areas are considered the most expensive, so avoid these hotspots if you are moving to Canada on a budget:

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Hamilton-Burlington, Ontario

Even if Calgary is out of your price range to settle, make sure you visit and experience their famous ‘Chinooks’- a weather phenomenon that can raise temperatures as much as ten degrees in a matter of minutes!

Working in Canada

What do you call a sophisticated American? Canadian! It is a country that oozes class, not least in the professional world. With unemployment rates the lowest they have been in four decades, moving to Canada from Australia could not be more appealing.

While jobs are aplenty, even for expats, you won’t get anywhere without a little hard work. Therefore, if you are still seeking employment upon moving to Canada, start by checking out some of the following portals:

The following infographic provides further information on working in Canada:

moving to canada

What Next?

First of all, give yourself a pack on the back; moving to Canada from Australia isn’t for the faint-hearted, and just by making it through this page your one step closer to your Canuck dreams!

Before you go (and start bulking out your winter wardrobe!) consider exploring the Sirelo website further for any additional moving to Canada queries you might have. In particular, the following pages may be of use:

For now, walk the Green Mile: a Canadian idiom that means move towards the inevitable– Canada is calling!