Need some sanity checks and advice about take home salary

  1. Deciding between Toronto and Vancouver seems like a bigger decision. The 170k job is obviously better money wise. Also the type of work, manager vs what sounds like individual contributor. If you like city life and not much else, Toronto and more money seems like a good option. But if you're into outdoor things, Vancouver is basically on another planet compared to Toronto. Both are equally unaffordable and unless you double your salary or have a huge down payment already, it will be hard to afford a house.

  2. I honestly am more in favor of British Columbia. Also I think I prefer doing the technical Engineer work vs taking on a Managerial role, as that will come with additional pressure and responsibility for a team of 5 other Engineers.

  3. Do you plan on staying for more than a year as the difference without the sign on bonus after year 1 is more than enough reason to pick the team lead.

  4. From your posts below, it’s clear that you’d rather live in BC, so just look at the one offer instead of comparing it.

  5. I do plan on owning a car as I enjoy the great outdoors and want to travel around / visit places. Maybe even nip across the boarder for a long weekend to New York (from Toronto) or Washington State (from Vancouver).

  6. 170 will go a lot further in Toronto than 123 will in Vancouver. Toronto is still a world class city and there’s nothing saying you can’t use your PTO to explore BC once you’re settled in.

  7. The problem is it isn't 170 vs 123K. OP made a misleading post as the first paragraph didn't mention total comp. The 123K is probably Amazon Vancouver and Amazon (like all big tech companies) base their compensation on total compensation which is a combination of base + RSU + bonus. Total comp to total comp comparison the difference is much smaller. Also OP's total comp for Amazon is basically entry level engineer at Amazon so there is a lot more potential for income growth after 1-2 years

  8. This is actually the entire purpose of the new job and migration - to enjoy middle age with better quality of life and some new experiences.

  9. Looks like your mind is mostly set. Something I want to add is that it's extremely hard to find pet friendly suites in the lower mainland. If anything they'd be in DT or Olympic Village area. It is a lot easier in Ontario as they have certain laws regarding pets. I can't speak to their laws, but just something to think about too. I live in Vancouver (more residential) and our landlord has turned us down for a cat 2/3 times we've asked.

  10. You won’t be able to start contributing to an RRSP right away, just FYI. The amount you can contribute is based on your previous year’s Canadian income, so your first working year in Canada will count towards the following year’s contribution room.

  11. Team lead thing is obviously looking good numbers-wise and in terms of a resume line. Question is what kind of life you want.

  12. The main point to consider is the climate! In Toronto you'll have to endure winters every year ! In Vancouver there's no blizzard, Closed highway...

  13. Location -wise I definitely prefer Vancouver, and want to eventually migrate there with Permanent Residency.

  14. All of these calculators are garbage. Go to and fill out a tax sheet on there. You don’t have to pay until you file your taxes so it’s essentially free but there should be a hell of a lot more difference between 170k vs 120k. There isn’t a 80% tax rate on income between 170k and 120k

  15. So just some general knowledge things. Taxes r different in both provinces so you will want to make sure you use province specific tax rates. Second we have to pay into EI and CPP every year you’ll cap it easily at either job, just make sure it’s accounted for, usually it’s not don’t evenly if your going to exceed those contributions, so expect them to randomly go away mid year.

  16. The systems engineer role looks like Amazon compensation. Therefore, you cannot just compare salary to salary because RSU is a major component of Amazon (or any other big tech) compensation. Your initial paragraph is going to throw a lot of people off who don't understand how tech compensation is based on a holistic approach of base + bonus + RSU. The difference is much smaller than you presented.

  17. This is correct, SysEng II. Already been advised I'm slated for a jump up a pay band within a year.

  18. Is it just me or are things that bad in the UK to want to come to Toronto? Tech salaries have traditionally been low relative to US but recently have gone up due to US labour shortage, and the yanks getting the excess supply from Canada. Due to open immigration, talent saturation is an issue which keeps salaries down. Couple that with CoL, taxes, rent/housing, you have a lot of ppl that are trying to get out. Anyone wanting to come to tech in Toronto from a first world country, I would tell them to think again.

  19. I'm currently in a Team Lead role earning the equivalent of $86,000 CAD. Typically salary ranges for my role are about $95,000-105,000 CAD without any stocks. Compare that with the base $170,000 plus RSU, etc.

  20. Canada has always had high tech compensation relative to the rest of the world. People shit on Canada but that's just comparing to the US. We absolutely get paid more than the UK. I've seen compensation posted from our UK and other European counterparts and we make a a good 20% more (accounting after exchange rate)

  21. Can you negotiate the Vancouver salary since you have a competing offer? They might bump you up a bit if you show them the counter offer. Very common in tech.

  22. Thanks for the details. Squamish does looks gorgeous, though maybe more for the occasional trip. I visited Vancouver Island back in March and loved the place.

  23. It really sounds like you need not consider the finances, rather the type of living you want. Personally, the access to coast and mountains combined with the greenery and overall vibe of PNW is well worth the difference in income.

  24. These finances are just one part of the overall decision I'm trying to make. I just want to make sure they are sound before I use them to make any decisions.

  25. Moving away from UK TO CANADA… rather move to UK if I can afford it. -idea of Europe / UK seems overall better growth with government, paid in pounds; lifestyle and good transportation. Is making money in UK vs canada this much difference.

  26. Take the Toronto job. It’s more money and Toronto has everything!! Fully multi cultural. Never been to Vancouver but not much difference in terms of tax. Take the more money it’s huge difference and for the next job it will set your base expectations for next one with even higher income. Take the Toronto job without thinking much.

  27. COL in Vancouver is significantly more than anywhere else in Canada. I'd take the Ontario job, even with little difference in wages.

  28. Don’t worry about money so much. Are you single? If so Vancouver is a very hard city to make friends and date. People come here often end up lonely and unhappy.

  29. Its crazy that you (and others on here) have the intelligence level to not only do a job that pays in excess of 150k a year ( which is probably in the top 1-3 percent percentile of jobs out there) , but also convinced an employer that they are worthy of being hired at that amount by securing multiple job offers. However, on the flipside, they need to confide in total strangers on where they should go. This and most other posts on this r/ seem like one big ego fest - mostly being facilitated by STEM chads. I just cant wait till programming goes the way of website building where everything will be done on a GUI and knowing how to write out lines of code will be irrelevant.

  30. Something is off with your after tax math. Maybe you're not factoring in provincial tax or other deductions correctly. You should expect to see around a 30% tax rate at 120k, theres no way you will pay less than 20k with a salary north of 120.

  31. Well, after tax and overall income it's more like $106,374.00 and $120,107.00 - so not really such an obvious large difference.

  32. Take the Toronto job and live in Vancouver. If you need to be in Toronto for on-boarding then spend that time in an Airbnb.

  33. I honestly would do this, but there is no flexibility on working hours. It would mean being at work by 5AM

  34. In BC overtime starts after 8hrs of work a day. With a 40hr work week. In Ontario overtime starts after 88hrs average over 2 weeks. With a 60hr work week.

  35. I have faced this decision a few times in my career. Full disclosure I am in BC but from Ontario. I moved here for the lifestyle -and I tried to leave for Toronto for that extra money and cost of living once I played with spreadsheets- was miserable for a year before I moved back. I think there needs to be a balance between how you want to live and the money you need to sustain that. Housing is expensive- but I don’t find other expenses are greater than Toronto once you know where to shop, switch to our hydro (cheaper) and what restaurants are good and reasonable. Entertainment costs are lower here in some respects. If you are okay with out of Vancouver- you have Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, North Vancouver that are equally great, the real question is beyond the money - what do you want?

  36. I am definitely OK with out of Vancouver, in fact Brunaby / Coquitlam / Surrey are places I've been looking at. I prefer suburbs than downtown.

  37. You should look for something in Calgary, the average salary is higher than both cities so I am guessing it would be at least equal for the jobs you are looking at. Calgary has everything out door Vancouver has unless you absolutely have to paddleboard or sail on the ocean. Many outdoor activities are even better imho. The restaurants are fantastic. It has some great music festivals but not as great a year round scene as the other two. And the cost of living is substantially lower and the people way more friendly than the other 2 cities. And it has more sun than the other 2 which again IMHO is super important. Winters are better than Toronto and I find the humidity in Van to be the killer in the winter, not the temperatures in yyc.

  38. I don’t know how you arrived at your take-home pay for system engineer but it is certainly inflated (you likely didn’t account for the fact that you’ll be deducted both provincial and federal income taxes). You can use a calculator such as this one (

  39. Judging by the people who move to BC from Toronto, I’d say save yourself the trouble of having to relocate and just come to Vancouver in the first place.

  40. Gather all the facts and try to make a reasonably sound decision before taking a major mid-life risk such as uprooting my entire life and migrating with a new job in a new country.

  41. Your system engineer one seems wrong. I make more than that annually but my biweekly takehome is like 3600. I do contribute to RRSP but you should probably factor that in too.

  42. I’m seeing a $22k ish after tax difference between the two jobs, so I think your tax calc has some errors. Do you want to post the actual calculation and we could look over?

  43. I'll give you a biased English immigrant perspective. The west coast is amazing, half of my friends are from Ontario and moved out here, so take that as you will. If you're looking for big pay cheques and big city life, Toronto is definitely for you, also cheaper to go back to the UK.

  44. Just be aware of bridge traffic in the surrounding areas of Vancouver. What seems like a short commute could be an extra hour each way if you're waiting in line for the bridges.

  45. You gotta decide on the city to leave in but money wise, take the manager job. You won't be on this job forever, for the next job it's the current base that gives you confidence to negotiate. If you take the engineer job, in 1,2 years you'll end up getting offers like the managerial one. The sign on bonus is only the first year. After a certain level, your take home is gonna increment slowly.

  46. Having been in both places. Vancouver’s traffic is terrible and the road network is decades behind Toronto. There is literally no highway that leads into Vancouver (the main highway just skirts the boundary of the city) so if you want to go into downtown or anywhere interesting in Vancouver from any of the suburbs—you literally have to travel through stop and go local traffic to get places.

  47. $100k CAD/yr in Van is professional minimum wage so you're only making a bit above that marker. Housing/renting costs in both cities are some of the most expensive in the world - although that may be slowly changing. The climate in Vancouver is better but you do get 4+ months of gloomy cold rainy days. Toronto gets proper Canadian winters but it is a bit more tolerable than the prairies. Both cities have their uniqueness in terms of culture and proximity to recreation, that's more of a personal preference.

  48. I think your take-home for the sys-eng role is a bit high. For context, I'm in the same field earning CAD$125K and my bi-weekly take home is just over $3K. I live in Vancouver but my company is based in Winnipeg, not sure what that does to my taxes.

  49. I'm from Northern Ireland, not mainland, so I'm much more comfortable in the scenic setting. The concrete jungle holds no attraction for me.

  50. TORONTO! I would not focus too much on day-1 salary. I lived and worked in both cities, there are just a lot more opportunities in Toronto and you'll do much better over time. Toronto is a huge IT market with lots of options. Vancouver is a beautiful city, but if your objective is to make money, Toronto is a much better long term option. Will also be much easier to go back home once in a while to visit family.

  51. My primary objective is a better lifestyle now I'm in my 40s. The concrete jungle doesn't attract me, and I've spent enough of my 20s and 30s chasing careers.

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