Hoping to get a few perspectives on cities in Canada where the hospitality scene is thriving. I'm from Vancouver originally, but considering Toronto or Montreal as well.
Vancouver is great, but as I'm sure you know, a little expensive to live there! I've seen quite a few job opportunities coming up in Toronto and I know there's fantastic restaurants and hotels there. Have you considered Calgary?
Oooh, Alberta! Banff is basically Aspen with a different accent, and lots of MSs have worked in Aspen, so I vote Banff.
Originally from California I've been working in Canada (Lake Louise near Banff, Calgary, Vancouver, Newfoundland and now Victoria) for the last ten or so years and each place has it's positives and negatives.
Vancouver is an amazing place to live with a vibrant food scene but it is expensive and the high paying jobs are few and far between. The city can be a bit cliquey and is definitely skewed to a younger crowd - the hold that BC liquor has on the market makes it difficult when it comes to obtaining product and building a serious list. Great if you're into natural wines and local stuff.
Banff National Park is a great place to work, the tourists continually come and the area is recession proof. You'll make a ton of money and if you enjoy skiing, hiking and outdoor stuff there's no place better. Cost of living is still affordable and it's a quick two hour drive to Calgary. Probably the most open province in relation to product - tons of great stuff being imported at good prices. They love their big trophy wines here and you'll have access to tasting some great stuff you normally wouldn't be opening on a day to day basis.
Toronto is a expensive as well, it's on par with living costs in Vancouver. The difference is you have a larger population and access to more product and a more diverse crowd of restaurants. There's also a huge support system in place regarding education and access to an MS. Also you're just a quick plane ride to New York which brings a lot more opportunities for education and tasting. There's money in Toronto so you're more likely to find a position that will pay what you need to survive in the city.
Montreal has a lot of the same positive aspects that Toronto has and cost of living is a bit better. But your French better be on point if you're taking a sommelier position (even in Montreal).
At the end of the day I've found it more difficult here in Canada then the US and am looking to relocate back in the next few months. Just my two cents, if you have any other questions feel free to message me.
Check out Est in Toronto. Wolf in the Fog in Tofino. Where do you want to be?