Home Travel 7 Canadian Customs for a New Immigrant to Canada

7 Canadian Customs for a New Immigrant to Canada


Before you start off for your move to Canada, there are some things you will need to know. Read on to learn more about how to integrate into Canadian life. If you have any legal questions, feel free to contact an immigration lawyer for additional information, where they specialize in citizenship and immigration services, for more help.

1. Diversity

A big part of Canada’s ethos is multiculturalism, and is central to the country’s national policy. You aren’t required to let go of your values or culture after you move to Canada, but you do need to adjust in order to enjoy the most success at integrating.

2. Weather

If you can’t choose between cool and warm weather, you can choose both. Depending on where you choose to live, you will most likely experience four seasons. Winters are cold and snowy while summers are hot. Fall and spring are nice transitional seasons. Make sure to come prepared with the appropriate clothing and expectations.

3. Tipping

It is customary to tip your server when you eat out at a restaurant or have drinks at a bar. Servers and bartenders typically earn minimum wage, or less, and rely on those tips from customers to help compensate for the lower wage. Unless the service is poor, the standard for tipping is 15 to 20 percent of the total bill, or a dollar per drink.

4. Cost of Living

Make sure you look into the cost of living in the city where you plan to live. Research is absolutely crucial; Vancouver and Toronto are expensive to live, but they offer higher salaries. Other cities have lower costs of living but typically, wages are lower as well. You can compare the cost of living among different cities and towns here.

5. Looking for Work

It can take a while to find a job in Canada; many months can go by before you find a professional position. This means you need to bring enough money to keep you afloat through the first few months; adapt to the resume format, be proactive, and network to help find a job; and be open to taking a non-career job for the short-term.

6. Smoking

It’s illegal to smoke cigarettes (and e-cigarettes) in public places like offices, stores, restaurants, hospitals, and other places of work. This includes shared and public areas of apartment buildings and work vehicles.

7. Driving

Your driver’s licence may not be valid in Canada, or might need certain paperwork in order to be converted into one you can use in Canada. Each province has its oWn rules and testing.


  1. I got some family who immigrated from Croatia a while back. They’re settling in fine, but for the life of me I can’t convince them to abide the law and stop smoking where they’re not supposed to. It’s so frustrating like you wouldn’t believe.

    • Patience, my friend. It’s not easy for new Canadian immigrants to adapt to the culture and values of an entirely new country. Just try to talk to them casually about what they’re doing and where they’re smoking, but don’t preach about it too much. As they live here longer, they’ll learn to adapt to their surroundings.

    • Have your relatives tried smoking lounges before? They’re a great casual setting for smokers and best of all, they don’t violate the country’s bylaws.

    • I’m not really a smoker myself, so I don’t know too much about them to give recommendations, but I’m sure there’ll be a couple of smoking lounges near your area. A few of my friends go there from time to time, it’s a cool place for smokers to chill and hang out.

  2. I’m not sure if you can help me with this, but getting a job as a new immigrant is almost impossible. I’ve applied to so many jobs and didn’t get a single response. Any suggestions or advice that you can give me? Where should I start looking?

    • Hang in there, buddy. I know it’s not easy for immigrants to get a new job in Canada, no matter how qualified you used to be in your old country. Some of my immigrant friends found different ways to earn extra money rather than relying too much on a traditional career, such as doing freelancing or part-time gigs. Try looking online. Keep an open mind on any making money opportunities, even if it’s not related to your profession. Good luck!


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