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Countries Information & Lifestyle
 Canada Canada

Country Information & Lifestyle

 The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild

Canada has ten provinces and three territories each with its own capital and Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is in the Province of Ontario. Canada is the second largest land mass in the world and has six time zones. The official languages are English and French and in some areas a local language is still spoken by the local people.

The infrastructure is excellent, health superb and Canadians have a very high standard of living. With a country so vast it is impossible to give more than a brief outline of this beautiful place, famous for its Mounted Police and stunning cities like Vancouver.

Canada has many climatic variations ranging from permanently frozen icecaps in the north of the 70th parallel to the luxuriant vegetation of British Columbia's west coast. The geography is diverse with fertile plains producing vast amounts of crops, huge mountains ranges, lakes, there are two million in the country, rivers and wilderness forests giving way to Arctic tundra in the far north.

British Columbia is home to many grizzly bears attracted by the mountains rivers where they can be seen fishing for salmon. With 38 national parks, the oldest being Banff on the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains, there is plenty of wildlife to be seen.

Mount Logan is Canada's highest peak at 6060 m and is in Yukon Territory and of course Canada would not be Canada without the majestic Niagara Falls.

Purchasing a Property

The Canadian system is similar to Scotland and there are few restrictions on foreign ownership apart from land belonging to the British Crown. Some of this land may come up for sale but it will not be freehold.

The restrictions tend to be at provincial or territorial level, on Prince Edward Island for instance non-residents need permission to buy more than 5 acres of land and in Saskatchewan the acquisition of property over ten acres is not permitted. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick as well as Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia do not have restrictions on foreign ownership.

Once you have made an offer for a selected property you sign a PRELIMINARY AGREEMENT with the vendor and usually pay deposit, in urban areas the deposit is 25% and rural areas it is 35%, you are then legally obliged to carry out the purchase though at the risk of punitive charges (usually the loss of your deposit).

The PRELIMINARY CONTRACT can either be firm or conditional, the former states that you will buy the property as it stands without further conditions, while the latter stipulates certain conditions, (often including production of a building survey) and if those conditions are not met by the seller the deal is cancelled without liability (i.e. the deposit is refunded if any has been paid).

A NOTARY must carry out the conveyancing requiring an up-front payment of up to CAN$1,500 depending on the value of the property.

Fees & Taxes

Legal fees CAN$800-CAN$1,200

Transfer tax up to 1.5% of the property value

Federal tax on new build property 78%

Purchase tax 2-3%

Agents fees 6%

Provincial sales tax is variable

Capital gains tax is payable on sales of 23%

Visas

No visa is required for short periods. Full time residency will require residency status depending on the applicant meeting the stringent criteria. You may not be permitted to enter Canada if you have a criminal conviction including a conviction for driving while impaired.

You will need a valid passport, proof of ongoing travel and in certain cases will need a Temporary Resident Visas.

Check with the Embassy/Consulate in your home country before leaving for Canada as to the up to date regulations for entry.

Please note that passports will now be required for American citizens flying to Canada from January 23rd 2007.

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