How can life for digital nomads in Canada be improved?

Hi future friends!

I’m new to this so bare with me, please. My name is Wes Booth and I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada looking to start my nomad journey. I’ve noticed that Canada is not an ideal desitination for digital nomads, why’s that? Too expensive? Inconvenient? Too cold? I would like to hear your thoughts!


Hi Wes,

I live o the west coast of Canada and it’s great for digital nomads! There is fast wi-fi, a great travel network for getting around on different budgets, epic beaches in the summer and snowy mountains in the winter, and in Vancouver there is a massive startup community and group of digital nomads that live here at least part of the year.

Hi Wes,

its mainly because most nomads do it by also leveraging their first world wages. I also returned to Vancouver (I’m not Canadian however) once upon a time because of I noted that on a prior trip, its place to easily get a roomshare for awhile. Toronto however I went through literally hell renting. Its an entire city that’s hostile from working from home from a rental perspective and internet can be very hit and miss.

Plus if anyone thinks Canada’s bad, don’t go to Australia unless you can afford it. The most expensive country on the planet now and past several years running.

I’m a Canadian who does nomadic things mostly in Asia. In my view, the only sensible responses to the Canadian winter are to either hibernate or migrate. Of course, not everyone shares that view; in particular winter sports enthusiasts might really enjoy our winters.

It is worth noting that Canada is a huge country (marginally larger land area than either US or China) with a relatively small population (roughly a tenth of US numbers) and huge variation from place to place. A couple of decades back my (now-ex) wife had a job with a lot of travel and some of the local managers tried to recruit her to move to their cities. Housing costs in Vancouver were about twice Ottawa, Halifax half Ottawa.

I’m in Toronto right now, and I’m looking to leave because the cost of living here is PHENOMENALLY high. A 2 bedroom apartment in the city is close to $1700 CAD, which is over $2000 US right now. I know Montreal is much cheaper accommodation wise, so I am actually considering that as my next destination. Canada is too varied to make general assumptions I think!

Would any of you consider rural Canada or more specifically Nova Scotia where I am from? It would be much more affordable and definitely provide a true local experience.

Hey @flyingscottie feel free to send me a message if you come to Montreal.

The problem I see with rural Canada sometimes is lack of internet access.
I know where i’m born in rural QC internet speed is sloooow as hell.
But it’s something i’m still considering because the cost of living is low and life is relax.

Actually that’s why we started a nomad house in Montreal.
We felt it was hard to be a nomad in Canada/North America and that the options where pretty much non existant.

Tenants ask for credit score, high deposits and sometimes the process is just too slow and painful.
Plus it’s hard to integrate to the community rapidly if you don’t know anyone.

It’s a bet we made and we still are not sure demand wise, but our goal is to offer something complete at an affordable and flexible price. Talent and awesome people are hard to attract so I hope to see more digital nomads in Montreal and in Canada,

I would love to spend some more time in Canada. I briefly visited Toronto and Montreal a few years ago with some friends when I was back in college.

However, for me the reason it’s not on the top of my list is the cost. Much more expensive than Southeast Asia. Also, when I was there before, I didn’t find it to be a whole lot different than the states (but I imagine there are some places in Canada that are different). For me, traveling is also about experiencing a different culture and I didn’t feel that as much when I was there.

Once I can increase my monthly income, I’ll probably reconsider it again but not for the time-being.

A tiny correction: I think you got the exchange rate backwards. At today’s rates, $1,700 CAD is about $1,315 USD. In other words, it is the Canadian dollar that’s cheaper (not USD).

Where did you adventure end up taking you Wes? Did the Nomad List help you find great people and places? I run digital nomad specific accommodations in Ucluelet, BC and the internet is screaming fast. No party scene but a great coastal lifestyle and surfing. Great people from around the world in the summer and it almost never gets below 5 degrees C. See the pics @ findhabitat on instagram.