Best places to live in Scotland (or Canada)?
June 24, 2016 6:02 AM   Subscribe

The UK voting for Brexit has turned my 'I'd like to live in Scotland someday' to 'if there's even a whiff of independence I'm am definitely moving up there - back up plan = Canada'. So where are recommended places to move to?

I'd prefer somewhere with (relatively) cheap housing, decent public transport links (I don't drive), none-terrible internet (I'm starting an a new business venture that'll be internet based). Bonus would be some culture like galleries and museums and some countryside to enjoy. I've visited Scotland a lot - but mainly central belt and the highlands and I don't really know much about anywhere outside of that.
posted by fearfulsymmetry to Work & Money (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Dundee might be an option for you. Public transport is generally patchy once you head outside the Central Belt, but the East Coast up to Aberdeen is decent. I like Dundee and it has a lot going for it (V&A is opening there soon unless funding is pulled now). Dundee is also cheaper than both Glasgow & Edinburgh.
posted by kariebookish at 6:17 AM on June 24, 2016


If your plan is a new business venture as your source of income - Canada will be a hard road. If you are a "start-up" entrepreneur moving here, you will need endorsement from a venture capital, angel investor, or business incubator. I'm only somewhat familiar with that world, but have heard they get an insane amount of requests. Self-employment criteria are very selective.

Most people who immigrate here do so through family, nominee (i.e., investing huge sums of money in Canada) or as a skilled worker sponsored by a company. If your goal is residency (let alone citizenship), it can take years. You should familiarize yourself with the immigration criteria.
posted by scrittore at 7:14 AM on June 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Toronto is a business centre and has good transit, but housing is very expensive. Ottawa might be a good choice. No subways but a dedicated bus transitway, and housing costs aren't bad. But it has terrible winters :-)
posted by JoannaC at 7:25 AM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Truthfully, your best bet is to get a rec from someone in Scotland. You can check out scrittore's immigration criteria and see if you apply for a Canadian visa (you might!), but be prepared for a lengthy and expensive process. Best of luck!
posted by Kitteh at 7:54 AM on June 24, 2016


No subways but a dedicated bus transitway, and housing costs aren't bad. But it has terrible winters :-)

Also our bus system was delayed 40 minutes this morning because a single delivery truck was parked illegally. There will be major improvements when the first stage of light rail is finished in 2018, however the current system is far from world-class.

Ottawa is also a vast city geographically - housing costs on the whole are not bad in relation to income, however if you isolate areas with "very good" transit service - it's pricey.
posted by scrittore at 8:08 AM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


As far as Canada is concerned I'd think either Montreal or Halifax would be good bets for you, although I'm not sure what the transit situation is like in Halifax.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:53 AM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also our bus system was delayed 40 minutes this morning because a single delivery truck was parked illegally. There will be major improvements when the first stage of light rail is finished in 2018, however the current system is far from world-class.

Wasn't that a trip? Nothing like rolling into work super late because of one truck.

As for Ottawa as a whole, I still love it and would always recommend it. Other great Canadian cities I know personally include Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Halifax and Victoria. Truth is no where in Canada has public transit like Europe, not even Toronto so if that's your standard, you're going to be disappointed. If you're willing to deal with something a little less good, we can do that. The winters are rougher in Ottawa than any of the other cities I listed; Victoria is downright mild for large stretches of the winter compared to the rest of the country.
posted by GilvearSt at 10:22 AM on June 24, 2016


As far as Canada is concerned I'd think either Montreal or Halifax would be good bets for you, although I'm not sure what the transit situation is like in Halifax.

Having lived in both Ottawa and Halifax in the last 5 years - Halifax is awful. The ferry is a marvel in the summertime. Core transit is infrequent and gets jammed up often on Barrington St in the downtown. They are only now getting GPSes on busses so you can figure out where your bus is. It is not a "hub and spoke" design - it has many routes that dip and doodle all over the place. This may change in the next 10 years, but now it is a small city with a smaller city's transit system.
posted by scrittore at 11:07 AM on June 24, 2016


I would encourage you to first find out if your even eligible to establish residence in the countries you are considering. It is much more difficult than many persons assume. Once you find out if you are eligible you can narrow your search. I think it can be assumed that if you want affordable/cheap housing be default it will be a smaller city. Before I settled in Ireland I did discover that Canadian Provinces have some discretion over their criteria. I wish you well but doing your homework will be helpful.
posted by rmhsinc at 1:10 PM on June 24, 2016


If you need decent public transport and internet in Scotland that probably limits you to the central belt, Dundee or Aberdeen. If you're working from home then maybe one of the commuter towns in between Edinburgh and Glasgow would be good as the cost of housing will be cheaper. This is offset for most people by the cost of commuting but if you don't do it....

Linlithgow is nice. There's nice countryside nearby and you can be in the highlands in a few hours on public transport or in Edinburgh/Glasgow in 20 minutes for culture.
posted by neilb449 at 11:51 PM on June 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


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