Differences between houses in Canada and UK

Here is article written by a friend and colleague of mine,  that I would like to share, which has some useful hints, tips and differences between houses in Canada  .

She is an interior designer, home-stager and ‘eco-desgin’ consultant’ , living and working in Calgary and areas:

Moving into your Canadian house

Are you planning to move from the UK to Canada?

To start with, consider leaving most of your furniture behind, as they are expensive to ship and might look out of place in your new home.

As your estate agent (REALTOR) may  tell you, houses and condos (flats) in Canada generally tend to be more spacious than in the UK.  One reason being, especially in within Calgary , most  homes have a large, useable basement.

You will find that there are quite a few differences between houses in Canada and UK as well as in the vocabulary.

Most Canadian homes are heated via a forced air system (produced by large furnaces in the basement) and through vents (floor & ceiling) instead of radiators and they often have real log fires/fireplaces. Because wood is still used a lot in the interior design either as wooden flooring, decorative vaulted ceilings, staircases, cabinet doors and furniture, most furnaces have humidifiers attached. Vital in arid climates like Alberta!

Paint colours overall tend to be more muted and much darker (even on the outside), furniture tends to be big and chunky and for window covers, Canadians seem to prefer blinds to curtains.

In Canada a garden becomes a yard, the lounge a living room and the ground floor is called the 1st floor or main floor. You will take the garbage out, clear the sidewalk of snow, watch soccer or hockey on the TV (up to 80”) in a developed basement and have your cup of tea in the family room.

50 or 100 gallon water tanks supply all your hot water for the two or three bathrooms, the outside of the houses are covered in either plastic siding or stucco, lot’s of Canadians like to use an outdoor hot tub and BBQ’s on the deck are an all year round event!

And get ready to take your shoes off! When looking at properties, visiting new friends and neighbours and even at the entrance to schools (when the weather is bad), it is customary to leave your shoes at the door.

Courtesy of :



  1. Sherrie Jones says:

    Great article.

  2. Bret says:

    It seems u really know a good deal about this issue and that shows through this excellent blog, titled “Some differences between houses in Canada and UK”.
    I am grateful ,Tania

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