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General country information

Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia but with a population only about one-fifth of Russia’s.

Nearly 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the border with the United States and the US and Canada are each other’s largest trading partner, but Canada also has historical links to the UK (it is a member of the British Commonwealth) and to France (French is the official language of the province of Quebec, which is three times the area of France).

canada2Canada is a parliamentary democracy administered from Ottawa. There are 10 provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan. There are also three territories: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Such matters as health cover, property title and rental regulations will vary from province to province. There are also local and federal taxes.

Non-residents are able to buy property in Canada but for those who wish to live in the country there are a number of immigrant programmes including those for skilled workers, business class and family class immigrant.

Most property is held in ‘fee simple’ ownership. Condominiums are a special type of fee simple known as ‘strata title’, similar to UK commonhold and involving maintenance obligations. Most couples purchase property as a ‘joint tenancy’ since upon the death of one the ownership reverts to the surviving joint tenant.

Those buying property have a responsibility to use ‘due diligence’ to discover any patent defects. If no inspection is made, the buyer has no recourse for obvious defects that should have been spotted.

Sellers, however, must not mislead buyers about ‘latent’ defects that could not reasonably be expected to surface in an inspection.

Most houses are bought and sold in the spring and early summer, when prices are likely to be higher but choice greater. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, British Columbia tends to commands the highest house prices, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Manitoba the lowest.

Of Canada’s eleven major cities, nine saw house prices rise during the year to end-May 2013.

In many cities landlords are required to use a standard rental agreement or lease which specifies such things as the number of rooms, utilities and options such as parking or storage space. The agreement will most likely be for at least one year, with tenants paying an initial payment, possibly the first and last month’s rent, and perhaps a damage deposit.


Country stats:

Median age of population: total: 38.2 years, male: 37.2 years, female: 39.2 years (2004 est.)
Language: English 59.3% (official), French 23.2%(official), other 17.5%
Employment rate: 92.3%
Flying time from UK: 6.56 hrs
Currency: 1 Canadian dollar (CAD) = 100 Cents
Time difference from UK: Toronto – UTC/GMT -4 hours,
Rate of inflation: 1.2% (20011 est.)
Average income per person: $29,700
International dialling code: +1 Average house price: $214,856
Climate: Varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north


Useful websites:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Re/Max Canada
Foreign Office travel advice