Canada is an unprestigious shithole

For all you international kiddies, don't go to Canada for undergrad or to work. Or alternatively, for Canadians with dual citizenship, attend a US/UK target and work there instead.


  • Easy(ish) to get a visa, although still harder than in the UK.

  • Low cost of living compared to the US and UK (higher savings rate)

  • Peaceful(ish) country

  • Not as many political extremists


  • Schools are internationally unprestigious (Coming from a (domestic) supertarget alumni). The "big 3 Canadian schools", UToronto, UBC and McGill all have acceptance rates in the 50-60%s (comparable to Penn State and Ohio State) and admission averages in the mid-80s for most programs (that's around AAB for the Brits, a ~3.1 for the Yanks)

  • Schools are underfunded and relatively new (most founded in the last century)

  • Schools do not do a good job of selecting good candidates (no interviews, holistic application, etc). Top targets generally rely on pure grades and maybe a supplemental application with an essay or two. You don't need to be well rounded or high achieving. This turns off employers because the candidate pool quality is lower.

  • Low comp at mid and senior levels

  • Shitty deal flow for almost all groups (hard to exit)

  • Lack of exit opps in PE or VC (big PE players here are all pension funds, meaning you don't get carried interest, which is what makes PE so lucrative)

  • Lack of exit opps in corpdev (speaks for itself)

  • Cold weather (especially Calgary)

  • Dead nightlife (compared to NYC/London)

  • Banking/finance is not seen as prestigious here (similar to London), but there's more competition than London despite its lack of prestige because a lot of internationals and immigrants are desperate for money due to the housing crisis or to send back to their home countries. Prestige might be a non-factor for some, but the competitiveness is unholy. Toronto has something like twice the CFA charterholders per capita (and that's probably not even for high finance seats).

  • The people you will meet in both undergrad and work are generally of a lower social quality, as the wealthy/successful tend to gravitate towards NYC/London. It's like working in Houston, you're mostly rubbing elbows with the semi-targets and underachievers. 

Now I'm not coping or compensating for anything, because while I have Canadian citizenship, I currently work in London. But I have worked in Toronto for a couple of years, and most of my friends in high finance are still in Toronto/Calgary, so my pros and cons are based on personal experience and observations.

Honestly this post is just to make sure you guys know what you're getting into. I see a lot of kids on here or Reddit who are internationals and want to study in Canada (easier to get visas) and seeing kids shell out something north of 150k for a degree, then not landing a good seat isn't ideal. Because in Canada, there's no "decent" finance-y roles outside of high finance that pays well (compared to COL), unlike the US.


"Big 3" without Queens and Ivey? You sure you're a "supertarget" amigo?

Edit: I just read the rest of your post. Some very valid points as Toronto is not a tier 1 finance city by any means, hence not comparable to New York/London/Singapore at all. But man you really come across as either (a) lacking self awareness, or (b) as someone who couldn't cut it in Toronto "high" finance. Like literally this is the kind of shit I hear from people parroting talking points from others.


Are you daft? "Big 3" and "supertargets" are different things. The "supertargets" are absolute dogwater (think Bama/ASU tier) for anything else EXCEPT econ/business, while the "Big 3" are (according to rankings), equivalent to UCL/Imperial/mid-tier ivies

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