Will disillusioned U.S. voters really move to Canada?

Nov 14, 2016

The election of Donald Trump has some Americans looking north, perhaps to make a new home in a country removed from Trump's style of Republicanism. Many said jokingly if Trump were elected, they would move to Canada. For some, it's no longer a joke. But moving north might not be so easy.


"You'll never be my president, because I'm moving to Canada!," shouted one protester, strongly opposed to a Trump presidency.

The declaration was born in anger and frustration, but also reflects what many Americans have been soberly contemplating.

Canada's immigration site crashed on election night.
Credit http://www.cic.gc.ca

On election night in the United States, an unusual occurrence took place with the computer systems of the Canada Immigration and Citizenship department. They crashed, more than once, and remained offline for hours. Canadian officials confirm that it was because of a spike in the amount of web traffic, most of it coming from the U.S.

Another website has received a lot of attention, one in the U.S. It's called Maple Match, a dating app designed to match Americans with Canadians. The site's front page reads "Worried about life under a Trump presidency? The unfathomable horror is coming soon, but we've got your back."

"Since we launched the app, we've been upgrading our servers almost every day to handle the level of downloads and traffic on the site and the app. Naturally, there are more Americans, by about a factor of nine," CEO Joe Goldman said.

The east coast region of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia has been advertising to Americans for several months and that has sparked significant online interest as well as a spike in tourist visits by Americans.

The dating site Maple Match is designed to match Canadians with Americans who may be looking for love north of the border.

"We're seeing as much as 700 percent increases in visits to our sites in states like Illinois, 300 percent increases from California, from Florida [and] from New York," said Mary Tulle, with Cape Breton tourism.

But while the interest is acute, immigration lawyers like Lee Cohen warn that getting into Canada isn't as easy as packing up and heading north.

"Immigrating to Canada is a complex, paper-intensive, time-consuming process with a little bit of expense attached to it," Cohen said.

Canada normally accepts only 6,000 American immigrants a year. Officials are expecting many times that number in the wake of the election.

As for coming to Toronto, most Americans will be deterred when they find out the cost of housing in one of Canada's hottest real estate markets.