Moving to Canada can be an exciting adventure. It turns out a lot of Americans feel this way. Global News reports that around 1,000 additional Americans (compared to usual numbers) have been crossing the border into the land of Maple Syrup, snow, and beavers the past few years.

Since Canada is a large country with a varied climate (you’ll need different items if you’re living in Vancouver, than if you’ll be in Quebec, or Ontario) it can be difficult to know what to pack, particularly when you’re travelling from somewhere temperate. The good news is we can help you out with a list of some essential items that will keep you comfortable and help you enjoy everything Canada has to offer.

Winter Gear

Aside from living in the Greater Vancouver area where things are a little warmer, you’re going to need some winter gear in the rest of the country. If you have a good pair of gloves, a scarf, and a warm hat (we call them toques here), bring them! Same goes for a warm winter coat and quality boots! If you don’t own a warm winter coat, since they’re bulky and will be large to pack or ship, it’s suggested that you buy your coat after you arrive (provided you’re not arriving in the middle of winter itself). Good retailers, to purchase your coat and boots in Canada, include Marks Work Warehouse, Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC), or virtually any sporting goods or department store.

If you’re prone to feeling really cold, or are moving to an area known for particularly cold weather, you may want to splurge on a feather filled option like Canada Goose brand (note you may be able to get one used at a lesser cost, at a consignment shop or through Craigslist).

If you plan on spending any amount of time outside in the winter, whether it’s skiing in Banff, ice fishing in Northern Ontario, or checking out Winterlude in Quebec, you’ll want to bring at least one pair of long johns or thermal underwear. Outdoors loving folks and city dwellers will want to pack wool socks to help keep their feet warm and dry.

If you enjoy skiing or snowboarding and have equipment you love, it’s probably worth shipping. If not, you can always rent it or purchase it in Canada.

For In Between Days

Rain gear, particularly during spring and fall, or winter on the west coast is worth packing. If you have a pair of rain boots, they can double for some spring hiking provided they have some good traction on the bottom. You’ll also want a rainproof coat/ windbreaker, and a small umbrella. These will be particularly important if you’ll be spending time on either coast, where it’s a little rainier and windier.

Bring polar fleece to provide a fantastic layering piece for multiple seasons. It can keep you warm in front of a fire on a cool summer night, act as your coat in the fall and spring, and work as an additional layer on really cold winter days!

Don’t Forget Summer

Summer in Canada is truly wonderful. To enjoy some of the outdoor beauty the country has to offer you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared. Bring a swimsuit and towel to enjoy the many beaches, and if you love camping and have high quality camping supplies (like sleeping bags, tents, etc.) you’ll want to pack those as well. A solid outdoor hat, some bug spray, and sunscreen are other Canadian summer essentials that you can pack or purchase when you arrive.

For Your Time On The Road

If you have hiking, travel, or anything that is a little harder on your gear on your agenda you may want to bring a backpack with you to Canada. Backpacks can work for canoeing in Algonquin, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, or city travel. Since tap water is safe to drink in Canada don’t waste money (or harm the environment) by using plastic bottles. Instead pack your own reusable water bottle, that you can fill and sip from wherever you go.

Don’t Forget Your Documents

Whether you’re driving across the border or arriving by plane you aren’t going to want to forget important documentation. It’s suggested you keep the following on your person, and easily accessible as you cross the border and first settle in: passport, work documentation, Electronic Travel Authorization, proof of bank account balance, proof of travel and health insurances, address of where you’ll first be staying), driver’s license (an international license will be particularly important if you want to rent a car, buy a car, or bring your own car into the country with you), resume, references, copies of prescriptions, and proof of vaccinations.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert
We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.