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Which Atlantic Province to choose

Which Atlantic Province to choose

Old Aug 20th 2019, 6:26 pm
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Question Which Atlantic Province to choose

Hello all,

I have recently secured a job from an employer based in both New Brunswick (NB) and Nova Scotia (NS). Employer is happy for me to choose the province so they can issue the job offer and start the immigration process. But I'm a little confused as to which is the best place to move? I did some research within the forum and on google and got a mixed response.

I'm a single and outgoing person, so that gives me some freedom I like the idea that NB (Saint John) is only a few hours drive to US (Maine/Boston...), but I also understand Halifax has a lot more to do. I know it is only one factor, but I failed to see much difference in both places tbh. So, I need your kind suggestions/advise on what's your favorite place and what it is like to live in these provinces in general and in the likes of social life, health care, safety, and cost of living.

If you could share your personal experiences, that would be appreciated

Thanks,
Kris
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Old Aug 20th 2019, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: Atlantic Province to choose

I did both Saint John and Halifax on a road trip last year and both of them were amongst my favourite cities. I would narrowly pick Halifax because it had more going on. Saint John had more of a medium-size-town feel to it for me rather than a small city. When we were there the fog coming in was crazy and because of the cruise ships coming in things would feel really busy and then super quiet all of a sudden. It had a nice boardwalk with some live music going on at night which was nice. And possibly one of my favourite arcade bars I’ve ever been to (everything 80s themed, the machines were free so long as you were drinking, and all the drinks were made to taste like 80s sweets).

Halifax I felt had a lot more going on nightlife wise. There were a few strips of bars and at every one we stopped at a local would strike up a conversation with us. I liked the combination of being close to the water but also having a fully functioning city on the doorstep. We ended up extending our trip to Halifax by an extra day.

I can’t really comment on what its like to live there as I never have but both places were cool in their own ways.
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Old Aug 20th 2019, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: Atlantic Province to choose

I don't think we have many BE members in Saint John. I imagine housing costs would be a fair bit lower there than Halifax. Probably not much difference in health care or cost of living other than the housing costs. I remember milk cost more in NS
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 12:58 am
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Default Re: Atlantic Province to choose

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
I don't think we have many BE members in Saint John. I imagine housing costs would be a fair bit lower there than Halifax. Probably not much difference in health care or cost of living other than the housing costs. I remember milk cost more in NS

Booze is an astronomical price in Newfoundland!! even the local stuff! came as anasty surprise to me when i visted there last year!
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 1:23 am
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Default Re: Atlantic Province to choose

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd View Post
Booze is an astronomical price in Newfoundland!! even the local stuff! came as anasty surprise to me when i visted there last year!
Just as well the OP isn't considering Newfoundland then
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 2:14 pm
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Default Re: Which Atlantic Province to choose

I have lived in both Saint John and Halifax and I would personally choose Halifax and I think if I was single and outgoing that would cement the decision for me even more. I moved to Saint John with my husband before we had kids, as I got a work transfer and we thought ‘why not’? Saint John is okay, but it’s not what we were looking for. We lived in uptown (downtown Saint John) and found that the city feels a little cut off because of the main highway that cuts off the peninsula. To be fair the fact that we didn’t have a car probably didn’t help. The uptown mall was very dated when we were there (2011) and although there was Lancaster mall to the west of Saint John, there wasn’t a great selection of stores and if I wanted a decent selection I used to go to Moncton (yes, that’s how bad I found it). There were also limited places to eat out, although there were some great places (Britt’s pub, Thandi’s etc..). One huge positive was the Saint John market in uptown which was fantastic for selling fruit, veg, seafood and a ton of other stuff. They even had a small British store! I still miss it. I found the people were very friendly, but a lot had lived there their whole life I Saint John, so it was difficult making friends. I think Saint John might be better for people with families. Most people I know lived in Quispamsis or Grand Bay-Westfield and commuted into the city for work and which seemed like a great idea.After nine months in Saint John, I had the opportunity to transfer to Halifax for work and to be honest, I didn’t hesitate. We lived in downtown Dartmouth and it was a short ferry ride over to Halifax. There is a lot more to do in Halifax and I made some good friends there, although it did take time I really miss summer evenings when we would take the ferry over to Dartmouth and then take a walk along the waterfront (or visit one of the many pubs!). The only reason we moved away was because we had children and we decided to move closer to my husband’s family so that we could be close to grandparents. Ideally, I would like to move back one day. This is a really short overview and I have concentrated on the specifics that may apply to you, being single and outgoing, but if you want anymore details, just give me a shout.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Which Atlantic Province to choose

Thank you very much shaunc89, BristolUK, Paul Shepherd & Noncommittal

@shaunc89 It's good to know Halifax has a lot more going especially nightlife.

@BristolUK I did find out how expensive milk can be and it's a bit disappointing because I'm a massive tea lover. Silk can never match the taste of proper milk, I don't think.

@Paul Shepperd I won't even put my foot in Newfoundland now


As BristolUK said, I also thought there might not be many BE members lived/living in Saint John but thanks to Noncommittal for the detailed response

@Noncommittal You are right, Saint john is small compared to Halifax in terms of shopping and things to do. I was only considering it to see if there are any advantages of living close to the US as I'm always fascinated by the US for some reason. Did you see/hear any benefits in this regards?

Another thing I liked about Halifax is it has Atlantic's biggest airport so more frequency of flights to and from (and maybe cheaper too).
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 8:03 pm
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Default Re: Which Atlantic Province to choose

It is close to the US, however, we found that we only visited once due to having a smaller amount of vacation time than the UK (I had three weeks at the time) and also that once you are over the border, you have to still do quite a bit of driving to reach the nearest cities i.e. Boston. You can easily fly to the US from Halifax, so Saint John doesn't really have an advantage.

I also liked the fact there was a good sized airport in Halifax. There were even direct flights to the UK in the summer (not sure if it's still the case).
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Which Atlantic Province to choose

Originally Posted by Noncommittal View Post
It is close to the US, however, we found that we only visited once due to having a smaller amount of vacation time than the UK (I had three weeks at the time) and also that once you are over the border, you have to still do quite a bit of driving to reach the nearest cities i.e. Boston. You can easily fly to the US from Halifax, so Saint John doesn't really have an advantage.

I also liked the fact there was a good sized airport in Halifax. There were even direct flights to the UK in the summer (not sure if it's still the case).
Thank you Noncommittal

I had a call with the future employer's HR team and they confirmed they are only designated for my preferred immigration program (AIPP) in NB so it looks like that's where I will be going

So now I will have to try to buy a car, shop at Moncton stores, enjoy the market with British store
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 12:12 am
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Default Re: Which Atlantic Province to choose

Originally Posted by Noncommittal View Post
I also liked the fact there was a good sized airport in Halifax. There were even direct flights to the UK in the summer (not sure if it's still the case).
Still the case, WestJet fly Halifax to Glasgow & Gatwick May-Oct.
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 11:35 am
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Default Re: Atlantic Province to choose

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd View Post
Booze is an astronomical price in Newfoundland!! even the local stuff! came as anasty surprise to me when i visted there last year!
It's a cross we bear. I've posted before, but I can drink in central London cheaper than I can here.
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Which Atlantic Province to choose

I'm sure you'll be fine in Saint John Dreamer36. I did like it, it just wasn't for me long term. If it helps, we used this apartment rental company when we there: https://www.pomm.ca/ We never had any problems with them. The only thing to take note of is that a lot of rental apartments seem to have electric baseboard for heating which can cost a fortune in winter if you are not careful. It is not the end of the world, but something to bear in mind.

I came across this video as well the other day that both me and my husband had a good laugh as this certainly happened to us. The title is 'Maritime Directions' but I only came across this in Saint John (which is where it's filmed):
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Atlantic Province to choose

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat View Post
It's a cross we bear. I've posted before, but I can drink in central London cheaper than I can here.
Blimey, I thought me and a mate would travel a long way from Bristol to Chippenham for an evening pint.

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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Atlantic Province to choose

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat View Post
It's a cross we bear. I've posted before, but I can drink in central London cheaper than I can here.
Yes, its crazy! your right...central London is cheaper to drink, than to buy 6 pack of say Keith's and drink in your own living room! Even Iceberg (local brew) was 20+ bucks for 6 bottles. I am assuming its some kind of government tax to prevent alcohol dependence? What a kind and caring government!
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: Atlantic Province to choose

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd View Post
Yes, its crazy! your right...central London is cheaper to drink, than to buy 6 pack of say Keith's and drink in your own living room! Even Iceberg (local brew) was 20+ bucks for 6 bottles. I am assuming its some kind of government tax to prevent alcohol dependence? What a kind and caring government!
Alcohol distribution is the exclusive purview of the Newfoundland Liquor Corp, the government owned regulatory and retail body. So, yes, they set booze prices and operate all the liquor stores. Zero competition, an extended supply chain & wanting to maxomise tax revenue having our health interests at heart, mean that this is an expensive place to drink. So far (14 years) it hasn't stopped me...
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