With a total area of almost 10 million sq km (Ireland by comparison is just 84,431sq km), Canada is the second-largest country in the world – yes, it’s bigger than the United States and China, though not Russia.
The distance from the tip of the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador (the closest point to Ireland) to the western tip of Yukon territory on the border with Alaska is 5,514km. It takes seven hours to fly from Halifax to Vancouver, or seven days to drive. The country spans six different time zones.
Because of the distances involved, it is worth considering carefully where you want to live. The climate varies between provinces and cities (see the climate table below).
Of the provinces most popular with Irish workers, winters are harshest in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, with temperatures sometimes dipping below -30 degrees celsius (-22 Fahrenheit) in parts. Vancouver in British Columbia, by comparison, has its own coastal microclimate, with temperatures rarely falling below zero during the rainy winter season.
The availability, cost and duration of flights to Ireland is also worth considering. Toronto is 5,250km (3,100 miles) from Dublin, and direct flights with Aer Lingus or Air Canada take a little over seven hours. St John’s in Newfoundland is just 3,288km from Dublin, and a direct flight by WestJet takes just five hours.
Vancouver is more than 7,000km from Dublin. In June 2016 Air Canada began the first direct flights from Dublin to Vancouver, which is a 10-hour flight.