Canadians are moving to Mexico chasing a better life, not a pipe dream


Many Canadians are considering moving to Mexico to pursue a better life, not a fantasy. This may sound ridiculous to some, but it is a growing trend among Canadians.

Canada is becoming too expensive for many people. Homeownership is out of reach for all but the richest or most privileged. Even a simple cucumber can cost a fortune.

Sheryl Novak told Daily Hive that it is not only about the money; it is also about the lifestyle.

We have reported on several stories of Canadians who have moved to Mexico to enjoy lower housing costs and a higher standard of living. Some also go there for the warm climate, which was a big attraction for Novak, who came from Winnipeg, Manitoba – or as some joke, winter-peg, manisnowba.

“I hated it.”

Novak said she always dreamed of living by the water. She did not know how to make it happen; she just wanted it. She and her husband used to vacation in Mexico.

They were looking for a place to retire.

“We found only one place that met all our criteria. And that was Puerto Vallarta.”

We asked Novak about some of the challenges of relocating to Mexico, including starting a business, which she calls Solutions Mexico.

“The main obstacle to moving to Mexico and living here full-time is really in your own mind.”

Of course, there are also real challenges.

The language, for one.

“How would I survive if I don’t speak Spanish?” Novak asked rhetorically.

To answer that rhetorical question, it is not as hard as you might think. For one thing, English is widely spoken in most of the touristy areas in Mexico, and you are usually well-served, Novak said.

She also mentioned health care, something that many Canadians value, as seen in the reaction to this story about a Torontonian who wanted to move to the USA.

Novak suggested that health care in Mexico was more efficient than in Canada.

“The Canadian model is sequential. The Mexican model is simultaneous.”

She said that you get all your results when you see a health care provider, unlike in Canada, where you often have to wait for days, weeks or months to get your results.

Health care in Canada has not been great in recent years.

Cost of living in Canada vs. Mexico

“You could never afford an oceanfront condo anywhere in North America. The average person couldn’t. But in Mexico, you still can. For how long? Who knows,” Novak said.

Novak said that her property value has tripled since two years before COVID-19.

Farhomes, a real estate platform focused on Mexico, has many homes for sale at prices that are unheard of in major Canadian cities.

For example, this condo in Cancun, with amazing amenities and a swimming pool, is only US$290,512.

What about the overall cost of living?

We talked to Novak about groceries, something that worries many Canadians because of high prices.

“It’s a global issue. Everyone is seeing price increases, and Mexico was not spared from that,” Novak said.

The main reason is the labor cost.

“Here in Mexico, the labor costs and salaries are much lower than in the United States and Canada, and that’s why we see more manufacturing companies coming here.”

How about starting a business in Mexico?

“It’s not easy.”

Novak said it’s hard enough to start a business in your own country, but it’s even harder when you have to deal with a different legal system, procedures, and language.

When Novak moved to Mexico, her Spanish was “very basic.”

Novak and her husband didn’t have a car, and their home was still under construction. The traffic rules were also different.

So, she went around and talked to people and found out what they needed, and she discovered there was a demand for quality furniture.

“We don’t stress out…”

Novak said people in Mexico don’t behave the same way as in the Western world.

“We don’t stress out about things.”

She gave an example of traffic lights.

“In Canada, when you get to a traffic light, red means stop. In Mexico, we joke and say red is just a suggestion.”

She told us a story about when her brother-in-law came to visit, and they were stopped at a red light, and Novak had her blinker on.

“A car came in front of me, pulled next to me, and then cut me off. I didn’t even think anything was wrong with that.

Her brother-in-law was not as relaxed about the whole situation.

“It doesn’t really matter. Who cares.”

Many Canadians are moving to Mexico

Novak is just one of many Canadians who are moving to Mexico. They may not start businesses, but many are looking for a cheaper lifestyle.

People from many countries are traveling to Mexico in large numbers. But Canadians seem to be the biggest group of travelers, as “the second largest tourist group in Mexico last year.”

“Domestic flight activity increased by 11.5% year over year, which is an amazing 65% increase compared to 2019, while international flights increased by 10% compared to 2022, and 13.1% compared to pre-pandemic. Canadian tourism, especially, soared to over 4 million visitors per year to Mexico.”

FarHomes says, “Flights between the US and Mexico increased by 4.4% [year-over-year]. But one big highlight was a 59.5% increase in Canadian passengers flying to Mexico in 2023 compared to 2022.”

According to Zisla, a Mexican real estate platform, the average home price is very cheap compared to Canadian prices, depending on where you are from in Canada.

A two-bedroom house in Mexico City can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000, while a similar property in Tulum can cost more than $1 million. In Cancun, a two-bedroom home can cost from $200,000 to $1,100,000, depending on the location and amenities. In the quiet, beachside town of Chelem, prices for a two-bedroom house can range from $50,000 to $300,000.”

Not everyone is happy about the arrival of Canadians, and we talked to Novak about gentrification.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” she said.

“On one hand, you have more money coming in when you have tourists with their dollars. But on the other hand, it also drives up the prices. There are also Mexicans who have owned property here. And they are selling their property now to these developers and making millions of dollars from the property that they have had in their family for years.”

Source: Daily Hive