I had this posted already, but forgot to pick "Editorial or Topical", I didn't read the warning, thought it was posted, and closed my window. At least I've learned, and won't do it again, but I digress...
As was previously stated, you need to tell us your particular political ideas, and the reasons why you don't like the US. Canada could be the WORST place for you to move (well, Ok, probably never that), depending on what you like/dislike.
But, since we haven't been provided that information, I'll give my take on the 3 urban places in Canada that a techie would be likely to work. Montreal would be on this list, but the separatist gov't is enough to piss any english-speaking person off, and I know nothing about it, other than it's supposedly quite beautiful.
I'm going to focus on Vancouver, British Columbia, and Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario.
Vancouver's on the west coast, basically on the Pacific Ocean (there's an island in the way, but it's close enough). I've never visited there, but I have known quite a few people from there, and most of them describe it like Shangri-la, but with a bit too much rain. 8-)
It has an up-and-coming tech sector, that was recently the subject of a Radio program. The program was Definitely Not the Opera, on the CBC, on Saturday, the 16th of September, 2000. It spoke about downtown Vancouver being taken over and changed by all the tech companies, fast growth, stuff like that.
If you're into skiing/snowboarding/mountain biking/hiking, there are the Rocky Mountains about an hour public bus ride away, year round.
The weather is the warmest in Canada, I think, with little snow in Vancouver itself, but lots of wet.
It's supposedly a very laid-back lifestyle, with lots of pot and shrooms, if you're into that.
I've visited Ottawa numerous times, both as a kid and an adult. It's a beautiful city, with a lot to offer. Everyone who I've spoken to about Ottawa loves it, and wants to stay or move back. Seriously.
It's on the border of Ontario and Quebec, about 5 hours (driving) from Toronto. North of Lake Ontario (about, oh, an hour, hour and a half north of Kingston, IIRC).
It's considered Silicon Valley North, with a growing tech sector (not JUST Corel! 8-) ), and plenty to offer.
It IS the capital of Canada, so you'd have to put up with the trappings, but you also get some perks.
It's the coldest of the three cities, but that actually works to it's advantage. It's cold enough that the snow and ice freezes, making it MUCH easier to deal with (for a comparison, look at the info about Toronto's winters later on in this diatribe). The roads/paths/sidewalks are always cleared for you, usually it's done before 7am, so it's not bad driving/walking in the winter.
There are bike/walking paths everywhere, skating on the river in the winter (assuming it freezes), and it's an older style city, with nice twisty streets and the like, a lot of character.
Also, it's across the river from Hull, Quebec. Quebec is MUCH more free with their drinking/partying laws and stuff. Beer in the corner store, bars open and serving much later at night, and it's a short hop away, with public transit (buses, no subway or street cars) going between them regularly.
Last, and IMNSHO certainly least, is Toronto.
Toronto is the largest city, population of 3 million+. It's on the north shore of Lake Ontario, north and west from Rochester, New York.
Toronto is big, full of people, and smelly. Even though there's a transit system, and a pretty good one, everyone drives. The vacancy rating for apartments is, and this is NOT a JOKE, 0.2% right now, I think. Yes, that's 2 in 1000. It may be up to 9 in 1000, but not higher than that. Good luck finding a place to live.
Being a big city, it has all the pluses and minuses of a big city. Lots of plays, sports teams, museums (Ottawa has a few kick-ass museums too), art galleries, stuff like that. But they're offset by the high prices (Royal Ontario Museum supposedly raised admission to like $20 per person, a few years ago it was $10). Tickets to sports events are stupidly expensive ($25 for nose-bleed Blue Jays tickets at the Sky Dome. Bring your opera glasses), and the teams generally suck anyway (GO Argos!).
For work, it depends on what you're looking for. Most of the companies that I've heard of are very old-school, tho. You use the OS they say, work in their offices, very little flex-hours, little-to-no working from home (if anyone knows differently, LMK cause I'm looking for work/contract from home. 8-) ), so unless you want to slog through a sea of people and exhaust every day, it's not for you.
The weather's just cold enough to be nasty, but not cold enough to actually FREEZE anything, so what you get all winter is slush. BUT, to make it worse, it's slush that doesn't actually get removed (sidewalk removal is generally the responsibility of the store/house/apartment building, not the city), so you have to portage through it both too and from work. In the summer it gets oppressively (sp?) humid and hot. You can't swim in the water cause of the pollution, and you can't breathe the air half the time (smog warnings, warning the elderly or those with breathing conditions to stay indoors. They actually had to come up with an Air Quality Index for the weathermen to use on a Daily basis during the summer).
Also, it's very stressful. People are always in a hurry, no breaks, 80 hour work weeks, stuff like that.
So this is my take on Urban Canada. As was probably obvious, Ottawa's my first choice, with Toronto dead last by leaps and bounds. This was of course IMNSHO, and based on my experiences, and those who trusted sources (friends/family) have told me.
You mentioned family, too. I just want to finish by saying that I would NEVER raise kids in Toronto. They get way to sckewed (sp?) a view of life growing up here. And it's just so nasty.
YMMV and all that.
Hope I helped someone...
This is my .sig. It isn't very big. (an oldie, but a goodie)