I lived in Canada
all my life in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver until emigrating to the States. This is a story of a young Canadian moving south.
While growing up I also lived in London, Windsor, smaller cities than the metros above. The constant move was attributed to the shifting local economies my parents faced at the time in Canada.
Now I live in the States, first Boston, now Portland Oregon.
To contrast the two, Canada is great if you have money coming in from a good job, or someone is supporting your lazy a$$ (jk). Most of that money is going to taxes, probably around 40% if you make a good 5-6 figures. That's a lot of money to give away!!! I am all for socialism, but c'mon
IF you are gay, you most likely will thrive in all the three major cities, and you do okay in smaller ones too. Discrimination was unknown to me my entire life, but second hand I've experienced minor incidents, however they resolved smoothly.
There are places where racism is still an ongoing problem (and my guess, discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, etc too), and there are rednecks living in rural areas like the rest of the world. Less exposure often more ignorance, usually the rule.
But now as an American resident, I have to say that I love San Diego and Portland. I love the weather, the opportunities in terms of education and grant money and jobs.
I was going for my paramedics in Toronto while studying Biochemistry @ University of Toronto, and I found it extremely competitive and I learned nothing out of all that. Too many students, overcrowded conditions, etc and too many stringent regulations in order to obtain something that should be based on "fair merit".
I have a family friend who took up Medicine @ McGill in Montreal (after her PhD @ Harvard) and she nearly lost her mind how difficult the material was (ie. Biochemistry), for no purpose at all, except the professors have lost their minds. To this day she regrets getting her MD in Canada.
I do research in Portland and I'm soon going to move to UCSD, and the grants are coming in, the research is great. All this is my perspective, as I'm a student/ part time worker. My parents are making about 5x more money (net income, respectively) than in Canada as professionals. (They both have their masters in engineering). They also live in California. Each state is a different story indeed.
Health care wise, while growing up I had services that American kids would only get if their parents had comprehensive coverage. After the age of 18, I relied on University provided medical insurance, which was pretty lame, both in Canada and in the US (in terms benefits and coverage).
I rely on third party insurance and I pay out of pocket on my own as I did in Canada, as I also prefer Naturopaths, so really the socialist health system did not attract me especially.
Anyway I could go on about advantages and disadvantages. If you plan on immigrating to Canada as an American gimme a shout and I can give you some pointers maybe helpful to ya.
I don't think that one is better than the other, it's very partial to each one's own.
And that's been my 2 cents, extended to 2 pages haha,