I originally thought of writing this about Canada entirely, but, since I only visited during a day trip in vet school and Susan only visited Toronto and Montreal during a high school trip, I thought that would be unfair. We’ve mostly just spent time in Saskatoon- we’ve spent 11 weeks here over the course of the past 4 years. So we’re restricting this to Saskatoon, which we just love visiting.
What We Love
Free Healthcare – Can you even believe free healthcare? The Canadians don’t think twice about visiting the doctor, or worry about a health problem bankrupting them. It’s incredible. Conversely, they are weirded out about visiting the States and NOT being covered.
Restaurants – We’re not very fussy about our food, so we’re not the people to ask about the fine dining experience. But we do like the food here quite a lot. There are wonderful places to go all around the downtown area.
Walkable – Holy crap you can get almost anywhere you want on foot or bike! I routinely walk to the hospital when I’m doing a locum, and the river walk stretches for miles. The city is fairly small so it’s easy to get from one end of downtown to the other and even to the university and to the Broadway area on foot.
90’s Music – Restaurant, breweries, the radio, the hospital where I worked- it was all 90’s, all the time. It’s wonderful. It’s like being back in college again.
What We Do Not Love
Can Openers – It may just be the company that rents the apartment suites we stay in, but I have yet to see a normal can opener here. Using a camp-style lever action can opener gets old. It’s a really odd deficiency.
Expensive – EVERYTHING is expensive! Gas (typical for non-US countries), beer (unlike the UK), fresh OR frozen food, property, the list goes on. I know we live in an amazing country of abundance, and going elsewhere highlights the differences, but usually there’s at least _something_ that’s not expensive overseas.
Weather – This is the main reason we have never seriously considered moving to Canada, as much as we love Saskatoon. Last year we visited in September and it snowed twice. The locals say it gets down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn’t seem tolerable or consistent with life. I certainly couldn’t walk to work or downtown in that kind of cold.
Overall, Saskatoon is a terrific city and we love visiting here. Obviously, there are breweries and distilleries which we enjoy revisiting year after year. We would definitely recommend that you try it too.