How to move to a new province in Canada
It’s time to open a new chapter in your life.


  • Moving to a new province in Canada can be the adventure of your lifetime.
  • Just make sure you know what to do and how to prepare for the big move ahead of you.
  • Here are the most important things to consider when moving to a new province in Canada.

So, you’re moving to a new province and feeling totally overwhelmed at the mere thought of it?

No need to worry so much – it’s not like you’re moving to a new planet, not even moving to a new country – it is just another province.

While moving to a different province does indeed mean a different community, different surroundings, sometimes even a different language, and a different lifestyle, it is still completely manageable and not too different from any other house move.

All you need to do to ensure a trouble-free relocation and smooth transition is plan your move well and properly prepare for your new life in your new province. Not sure how to achieve this?

To be able to come up with a successful moving strategy, you need to think everything over first.

Here are the most important things to consider when moving to a new province in Canada:

What Is Life Like In Your New Province?

It may not be an alien planet or a foreign country, but each province has its own peculiarities and specific characteristics – from different climatic conditions to unique cultural and social practices.

To be able to better prepare for the big changes that await you in your new surroundings, you need to know what to expect from your new area:

1. Housing Options

Rents and mortgages can vary greatly from one province to the next.

If you’re moving to a desirable destination that sees a large inflow of people, the housing costs are likely to be very high.

Besides, there may be a shortage of new listings on the market, and rental units may be hard to come by. As a result, you may end up paying a lot of money for a small space or you may have to live far away from your workplace.

Vice versa – if you’re moving to an outbound province, you may be able to afford a large and nice property.

Review your housing options and explore the real estate market in the province you’re moving to. Consider renting a home first, so that you can get familiar with the different neighborhoods in your new city, visit the properties that seem to suit your needs and preferences in person, and decide where you want to settle down.

When choosing a new home for you and your family, you’re advised to:

  • Look at the crime rates and living standards in different parts of the city, the social and demographic characteristics of the neighborhoods, the infrastructure and the available transportation system in the area, the proximity of amenities and entertainment venues, green areas and recreation centers, etc.;
  • Consider the location of your workplace, your children’s school (if applicable), and other important places in the city you’ll be visiting frequently. Make sure commute time and commute expenses will be tolerable (look into transit fares, monthly passes, and gas prices as these fees differ greatly depending on the province and you may end up paying hundreds of dollars more for transportation costs (as compared to your previous province));
  • Choose a property that suits your lifestyle perfectly (in terms of type, size, and layout), and make sure its monthly rent or mortgage does not exceed 25%-30% of your disposable income.

2. Cost of Living

You will certainly want to improve your living standards when moving from one province to another.
What defines “quality of life” for you?

When moving from one province to another, you may have a higher salary than before and still not be able to afford a comfortable life, let alone save anything.

Or you may have a smaller income but find yourself saving money due to lower provincial taxes, cheaper groceries, reasonable gas prices, etc.

Your actual financial situation will be determined by the cost of living in your new province and your new city, in particular.

Therefore, you’re advised to find out how much groceries, clothing, transportation, medical care, and other living expenses are well in advance so that you can plan your post-relocation budget properly and know what salary to ask for when starting a new job in your new area.

3. Employment Opportunities

If you’re moving to another province without a job, you need to research the available employment options and overall business environment in the area with the utmost care.

Analyze the economic trends in your new province and find out if you’ll be able to find a well-paying job or establish a successful business of your own. Your best option, however, is to secure a job (or at least apply for several appropriate positions) before the move.

If you’re moving for a job, make sure it will be worth it (you’ll have a chance to advance in your career and improve your professional skills (or acquire new ones), your financial situation will improve, the work environment will be pleasant, etc.).

Good to know: Many professions are licensed provincially, so you’re strongly advised to find out your profession’s provincial licensing requirements in advance and take care of the necessary paperwork as early as possible to avoid a delay in starting work.

4. Car Insurance and Driver’s License

When moving to a new province, you will be required to exchange your driver’s license and your car’s provincial registration and license plates within a certain time frame.

The rules and deadlines differ in different provinces, so you need to check the province’s government website to find out what exactly is required in your new area.

To make things easier, you’re advised to contact your current insurance company and request a letter of experience a month or so before the move. It’s also a good idea to get a copy of your driver’s abstract.

Your new insurance company will request this information, so having it ready will considerably speed up the process.

5. Healthcare

One of the most essential things you need to know when moving to another province is that health care in Canada is administered by provincial governments. This means that when moving to another part of the country, you’ll have to enroll in that province’s healthcare plan.

There is, however, a waiting period before you qualify for health care in your new area – you need to live in the province for approximately three months before you can get a health card and receive health coverage through the local health insurance plan (in the meantime, you will still be covered by your previous province).

Radical changes in your environment may result in health issues.
Biking in the snow can be considered to be either detrimental or beneficial for your health – it all depends on your point of view.

What is even more important, though, is that health care plans across provinces are not identical – what exactly is covered, the limits of the coverage, and the types of health care available vary from province to province (a medication that was covered in your previous province, for example, may not be covered under your new provincial health insurance plan).

So, before you move to another province, you need to find out the differences in health care and learn what your new area’s health insurance plan covers, so that you can prepare accordingly and avoid unpleasant surprises after the relocation.

6. Climate

Although cold weather and snow are typical for the entire country, Canada’s climate varies greatly from region to region – from “eternal ice” in the far north (where the temperatures are above freezing for only a few months a year) to four distinct seasons in the more populated regions along the US border where mild springs, hot summers, and crisp autumns take up most of the year.

So, if you’re moving to another part of the country, keep in mind that summers can be hot and dry on the prairies (up to 35°C), humid in central Canada, and milder on the coasts.

Winters are generally chilly with heavy snowfall, but you can expect the cold season to be much milder on the west coast.

Make sure you find out what the weather is like in your new province before the move and prepare accordingly – decide on the kind of clothes and equipment you need to take with you and take adequate precautionary measures to ensure the safety of your home and your family (sudden changes in your environment may result in various health issues; certain natural phenomena may pose significant risks to your property; etc.).

7. Cultural Issues

Different provinces have different demographic, ethnic, and cultural characteristics. When moving to a new province, you’re likely to encounter distinct social practices, surprising points of view, and diverse lifestyles.  Even the language and the time zone may be different.

Therefore, the cultural and social peculiarities of your new area should be among the most important things to consider when moving to another province.

Do your homework and learn the rules and regulations in your new province, get familiar with the common behavioral patterns and social norms in the area, and explore the way of life in your new community, so that you can adjust to your new surroundings quickly and easily after the relocation.

Good to know: If moving to another country, not just another province in Canada, this last factor will be more important than all your other relocation considerations.

You’re strongly advised to hire reputable movers in Canada to take care of the more “mundane” aspects of the relocation process and dedicate as much time as possible to getting acquainted with the cultural practices in your new society – otherwise, you may really feel like you’re on a different planet when you start living in your new country.

Last but not least when moving to another province, you need to take into consideration the various opportunities your new area has to offer – recreation and hobby activities, cultural and sports events, entertainment options and new experiences, etc.

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When Is The Best Time To Move House?

Moving to another province in the winter poses a particular set of challenges.
There is no doubt that your kids’ favorite snowman will survive the relocation in one piece when moving in the winter. What about your delicate electronics though?

When you know what to expect from your new province, you’ll be able to determine approximately how much time you’re going to need to organize your move and prepare for your new life, so that you can decide on an appropriate moving date.

Apart from the moving preparations, however, you need to take a number of other important factors into account as well:

  • When do you need to start your new job in your new province (if you’ve already secured one)?
  • When do you need to leave your current home (because your lease agreement ends or because you’ve sold the property and agreed on a specific move-out date, etc.)?
  • Do you have any plans or engagements you need/want to complete before the relocation?
  • Do you have school-aged children? If yes, will it be better for them to move in the middle of the school year or during the summer vacation?
  • When is the best time of the year to move across the country? Can you handle a relocation in cold weather? Can you afford to move in the summer months when the moving costs are the highest?

The answers to these questions will help you define the possible time periods of your move. When you analyze the options, you’ll be able to determine the most convenient moving date for you.

How Much Does It Cost To Move To Another Province?

Without a doubt, it will be the financial aspect of your relocation endeavor that will bother you the most when considering a move to another province.

You’ll be looking for the cheapest way to move across the country, of course, but you will also want to ensure a safe, smooth, and successful relocation.

A DIY move may be somewhat lighter on your budget, but the associated risks are too great to be worth it – especially when moving across provinces.

Additional useful information: Forgotten Costs of Moving on Your Own

Hiring professional province-to-province movers is your safer and easier option, but it is likely to be more expensive than a self-move.

Additional useful information: How Much Does It Cost to Hire Movers?

To get an accurate idea of your relocation cost, use our Moving Cost Calculator to ask several reputable cross-province moving companies for in-house estimates.

The cost of moving to another province will be based on:

  • The actual distance to your new home;
  • The weight of your shipment;
  • The required extra services;
  • The time period of your move.

When setting up your moving budget, however, you need to figure in a number of other related expenses as well:

The cost of moving to another province depends on the distance to your new home and the number of items you have for moving.
Every penny counts. Especially so when it comes to moving across provinces.
  • packing materials;
  • additional moving insurance;
  • travel expenses;
  • housing expenses – first month’s rent and security deposit or mortgage payment, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, utility deposits and/or connection fees, utility bills for the first month, furnishings, etc.;
  • living expenses for the first couple of months in your new province;
  • emergency expenses.

To feel financially comfortable with your interprovincial move, you need to have at least double the amount necessary to cover all the above-listed expenses.

And, of course, you need to find honest and experienced movers who will perform your relocation in a safe and efficient manner and won’t present you with any unpleasant financial surprises at the last moment.

Find below some sample costs of moving across Canada that will help you understand what’s fair in the industry and make an informed decision about your move.

You may even find that some of the suggested ways for cutting interprovincial moving costs will work for you and save some money on your relocation adventure.

What’s the Cost of Moving Across Canada?

How To Move To A New Province

When you have thought over all the different aspects of your relocation, it’s time to get down to work and take care of all the important things to do when moving to another province:

  1. Find an appropriate new home for you and your family in your new province;
  2. Sort out your belongings and decide which of them you’re going to take to your new home. Get rid of the unneeded/unwanted items and make a detailed moving inventory of everything you’re going to relocate;
  3. Schedule your move – find the best movers in Canada and book their professional services as early as possible;
  4. Put the necessary paperwork in order – collect your personal documents, retrieve financial records, medical records, and school records, change your address, transfer utilities, cancel subscriptions, etc.;
  5. Get appropriate packing materials and pack your possessions with the utmost care (unless you have hired professional packers to do the job for you);
  6. Pack an essentials box;
  7. Organize a smooth and stress-free moving day – take adequate precautions to avoid property damage and prevent accidents and injuries during the moving process, reserve a convenient parking place for the moving truck in front of the entrance to your home, lock everything that should not be loaded on the moving truck in a separate room, provide some snacks and drinks for your movers and have some cash to tip them properly if you’re happy with their services, etc.;
  8. Have a safe and pleasant trip to your new home.

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Enjoy your new life in your new province!

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  1. Great blog! So many things to take note of when one is making such a large shift in their lives. One other tip I would add is to separately pack your items that you would need the day(s) of the move. This may include your kid’s favorite toys, your sleepwear, toiletries, snacks and other essentials you’ll need during and shortly after your move. No one wants to end the busy day of moving by sorting through boxes and boxes of things to just find your toothbrush or pillow for the night.

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