- I lived between New York and Toronto for years.
- Although the quality of life in Canada is better, I prefer the US.
- Canada has great healthcare, but I prefer to shop and consume pop culture in the US.
After living between New York and Toronto for eight years, I find that the quality of life in Canada is much better.
For starters, Canada has universal healthcare and lower crime rates.
However, as a Canadian, I still prefer to live in the US, especially in New York, than in my own country. Here are just a few reasons.
I think Americans are friendlier than Canadians
The stereotype is that Canadians are beautiful, and I think that’s true. But I find that Canadians are more polite and Americans are more friendly.
Canadians can be quite reserved – we keep to ourselves in public and usually only reach out to others when they need help.
In my experience traveling in the US and meeting Americans abroad, Americans tend to be more conversational than Canadians.
Some Canadians may find this behavior obnoxious, but as someone who spends most of his time alone, I relish the chance to strike up an unexpected conversation with a stranger.
Americans love pop culture and so do I
I think pop culture is more interesting in the US than in Canada.
Canada is a big player in the entertainment industry, but it doesn’t always get the credit. Canadian celebrities like Ryan Gosling and Matthew Perry are often mistaken for Americans.
Plus, Canada is often used as a filming location for movies and shows that are said to be set in the US on screen.
The culture surrounding celebrities in the US also feels different.
We Canadians love to gossip about the stars, but in the US, celebrity culture feels like a religion of its own, debated as zealously as politics.
There are better shows and movies to stream in the US.
Canada has broadcasters like Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Netflix, but the selection isn’t as good as in the US. I also can’t watch popular broadcasters like Hulu, Max and Peacock in Canada.
I was also impressed by the variety of grocery stores in the US
There isn’t a lot of grocery store competition in Canada, which means there isn’t a ton of variety or competitively low prices.
I like Canadian grocers like Loblaws and Farm Boy, but many stores look the same to me. There are countless grocery chains in the US and many brands to explore in each unique store.
In NYC alone, I can grocery shop at my corner bodega, farmer’s market, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, Wegmans, Aldi, or Stop & Shop, and the selection will be very different everywhere.
Even in certain food categories like yogurt, I’ve found that the US has more options when it comes to flavors and brands.
Of course, population plays a role, and NYC has a greater variety of stores than most parts of the US. Still, I like that it has more options than Toronto, Canada’s largest city.
In general, I prefer to shop in the US
Consumer culture is the only thing in the US that feels more powerful than celebrity culture.
I love the innovations from big American retailers like Target and Nordstrom that are no longer in Canada.
And when I – in true Canadian fashion – want to avoid the crowds and shop online, I prefer to do so in the US.
Many global retailers I like offer fast and sometimes even free shipping within the US. When shopping online from Canada, I often wait a few days or weeks for delivery (if what I want can also be shipped to Canada).
Cell phone service in the US is also more affordable
When I told my American friends that my friend in Toronto was paying C$100 for a long distance call from New York, they were shocked. They didn’t realize long distance payments were still available.
I’m not surprised – Canadian cell phone prices are among them world’s highest especially when it comes to data plans.
Part of the problem is that Canada is a sparsely populated country with plenty of space to cover with cell phone towers.
I found lower rates and plans that gave me better access and coverage when traveling internationally in the US.