Canada 2012

(195 Posts)
westcoastnortherner Sat 11-Feb-12 16:45:32

So I noticed that there is a thread for America 2012, and I thought it would be nice to have a Canadian one too. So we can chat or if anyone has any questions I'm sure someone will be able to help...

I moved to Victoria, BC three years ago I have two DC'S and I am a SAHM.

Hi there! We're in Montreal, have been here 3.5yrs. I work and have 2 boys. One born here, one in UK. Thank goodness this winter has been mild so far but missing the lack of snow on the other hand. I remember last year we were shovelling it every other day.

duchesse Sat 11-Feb-12 17:01:36

Aaah, missing Canada (we were in Montreal for 15 months 2003-2004). Had the most amazing time despite the coldest winter for a long time (reached -40C for about 3 days). Would love to go back... Have some lovely friends there.

<waves wistfully>

westcoastnortherner Sat 11-Feb-12 17:37:02

Hi! Montreal sounds lovely, it's on my list of places to visit smile

As for the winter here, it snowed for a couple of days last month, and it was total chaos... The Victorians are not used to snow lol

I was here first time round in 2004 too, for 6mths. I still remember my first winter withe huge fluffy snowflakes coming down and Me walking around with a stupid grin on my face. We lived in BC 2 years ago too for 8mths, so beautiful up there. Quebec is totally different, a bit scruffy and no mountains to speak of, humid in summer too. We're enjoying it and I look forward to the boys learning more French, one starts school in sept, but it itchy feet are almost getting the better of me.

Jnice Sun 12-Feb-12 05:42:11

Hi, we moved from uk to Vancouver in 2004 with our then 1 y/o DS. Since then we have had two more DSs. We love it and want to stay.

Am rather jealous that the uk are getting a proper winter though. None of that here.

Nice to chat with other expats in Canada!

crazyforbaby Sun 12-Feb-12 06:11:05

Hi! We brought our children to Vancouver four years ago. We have bought a house and the children have settled in really well. I am really looking forward to a trip home next year. smile

duchesse Sun 12-Feb-12 11:08:26

Where did you live Notness? We were in Somerled Ave in NDG, very near that school that everyone wants to get into (we didn't!). The children went to Willingdon, 2 blocks away from our house. Had an absolutely fab year.

westcoastnortherner Sun 12-Feb-12 16:04:15

We will probably have to move to the mainland this summer for DH's work... I may well be asking advice soon about places to live. We looked at Maple ridge, you seem to get quite a bit for your money in that direction.

outofbodyexperience Sun 12-Feb-12 16:22:00

Morning all!
We've been here for two and a half years this time, but spent three years here before as well. Three dcs and currently unemployable locally apparently... hmm so have lots of volunteering stuff going on and am finishing my MSc I started in the UK by distance...

Albertan Rockies. Tis beautiful but unseasonably warm at the mo. Plenty of snow on the hills though and the skiing is awesome. grin

Dh is currently looking for a new job, so there might be a bit of a shake-up chez out soonish, but we probably won't move tbh. The kids are settled and it's a great place. (we have PR so no TWP ishoos)

Am toying with the idea of getting a houseboat on the Shuswap in the summer... Anyone done it before?

outofbodyexperience Sun 12-Feb-12 16:24:02

We had two weeks of -40 in Jan, duchesse grin. Tis bee yoo tiful now though. grin (not holding breath. Three more months of winter yet...)

Fizzbungle Sun 12-Feb-12 23:14:30

Hi all I'm in Victoria with DH & DS I am a SAHM moved here 14 months ago. Very homesick at first now I love it here!, never imagined I would say that what a difference a year makes smile

westcoastnortherner Mon 13-Feb-12 01:09:19

Hi Fizzbungle I was really homesick the first year too!

Where in Victoria are you? We are in Langford.

Feel free to PM me if you are ever in need of any advice (eg. For good schools, a British butchers, kids activities) or a chat x

We're in Victoria village in westmount duchesse. Which school do they all want into? Our eldest will go to Roslyn this Sept. it seems to be a great school, and as our company doesn't pay private any longer, we hope it is!

jenrendo Mon 13-Feb-12 03:38:22

Hello! We moved to Toronto in Sept 2011 and are loving it so far. It's only for 2 years with DH's job but we're going to make the most of it. He's off to Montreal today for the week on business and I'm jealous that I didn't get to go with him and also a bit lonely sad

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lemonpoppyseed Mon 13-Feb-12 12:32:01


I've been in Toronto for nearly ten years; I moved here with my Canadian husband, and we now have a 1yo DS. I love it here!

Fizzbungle Mon 13-Feb-12 17:49:07

Hey Westcoastnortherner i'm in Vic West/Esquimalt so not to far away I will pm you for some ideas if that ok. smile

westcoastnortherner Mon 13-Feb-12 18:26:31

No problem Fizzbungle! smile

Also i'm not sure if you did this last year or not but be a tourist in your own town is back on

As is dine around Victoria ( this was good value last year)

westcoastnortherner Mon 13-Feb-12 18:27:48

I'm very excited, My Mum flys out on Saturday, with marmite, tea, hugs and baby sitting woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

crazyforbaby Mon 13-Feb-12 22:14:15

Did you say your Mum is bringing over TEA, Westcoast? You jammy thing, I'm so jealous! My Mum is coming over in April with one case full of tea bags, then I can chuck the Red Rose out!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

outofbodyexperience Mon 13-Feb-12 22:48:08

Lol Annie, we had birds last week. grin

I'm sad to confirm that the ils largely ship bisto gravy granules. We manage everything else....

There are expat shops in Calgary but they are extortionate! And I can't be arsed to do the drive anyway. I did learn that one liquor store stocks pimms though...

Marmite <blee>

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

westcoastnortherner Tue 14-Feb-12 02:33:28

We do have expat shops here and shops like thriftys have alot of british stuff, but it can be expensive, its free when mum brings it over ;)

MooncupandPizza Tue 14-Feb-12 03:04:44

Hello! We moved to Toronto last Spring...well, nearly Spring, was Spring when we left Ireland but arrived to Winter here! smile

I have 2 DCs aged 18 mths and 4 now. (well, very nearly 4).

We lived quite centrally during the summer but have now bought and are semi-suburban. Loving Toronto so far and much less homesick than I thought I'd be.

Unfortunately, I am working full-time - lucky to get the job and the work permit but would rather have a day or 2 as a SAHM.

nooka Tue 14-Feb-12 03:27:53

Great idea westcoastnortherner! We've been in interior BC for just over three years now. Very much enjoying the different lifestyle here (we lived in London and then New York before we moved here). Our winter has also been quite mild, apart from a couple of days of deep freeze and we're getting signs of Spring (which I don't entirely trust, as most years there has still been snow on my birthday in March). Still it's nice to be starting to plan my vegetable patch and think about pruning my fruit trees smile

Jnice Tue 14-Feb-12 03:59:22

I used to miss the tea until I found dilmah fair trade which is a pretty good tea - but I could just be used to it now.
What I miss is marmalade. I get my dad to bring Wilkins tawny over - the marmalade here just tastes like orange jam - bleugh!

I miss sausages too. And agreed on bisto and birds custard.

westcoastnortherner Tue 14-Feb-12 04:04:41

I found a Scottish butcher in Victoria, he makes proper sausages and mini chipolatas at Christmas smile

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nooka Tue 14-Feb-12 05:13:21

We have Tetley Orange Pekoe. Tastes all right I think (although we did bring a big box of Yorkshire back from the UK when we visited in the summer). My work has Red Rose and it does seem very tasteless, so I moved to Biglow English Breakfast which I like (too expensive to drink at home though).

I do miss Cumberland sausage! For bangers and mash we have beer bratwursts which I like too. This summer we're going halves on a half of Bison so we'll be making out own sausages with a neighbour. Should be fun!

I have lots of fruit trees in my garden (or should I say yard) so I've been making my own jams and marmalades. My mum used to make marmalade every January with proper Seville oranges (very bitter). I'm not sure if they come over to Canada at all - not to my town in the middle of nowhere anyway! Still I've been quite pleased with my efforts (especially the apple and ginger marmalade which was yummy).

Jnice Tue 14-Feb-12 10:02:07

Hmm, maybe a trip to Victoria is in order to pick up slime sausages grin

Yum to Seville marmalade, needs to be bitter alright.
I find taxi awake tea acceptable which means I can tolerate starbucks for a cuppa.

MooncupandPizza Tue 14-Feb-12 14:51:00

Mmmmmmmmmmm sausages! We are heading back to Dublin for a trip in May and I am going to get some sausages then...however my DH doesn't eat pork so I think it'll be best done with friends when he's off somewhere else so I don't have to endure funny looks and gross noises!! grin

I was worried about my chocolate fixes when I came over but I find the Cadburys here pretty much adequate so that's fine!

How do you find the Canadian sense of humour - like if there's a stand-up comedian on the telly?

Jnice Tue 14-Feb-12 14:53:01

Oops, just read my post! Slime sausages and taxi tea. I love my iPhone.

Some sausages
Tazo tea

outofbodyexperience Tue 14-Feb-12 16:11:07

We drink tetley too. grin

(itty bitty titter about a load of ex-pats sitting around chatting about tea)

dh thinks his company are trying to get rid of him. He had a huge fall-out with his line manager yesterday. <sigh> he's looking for other jobs anyway, but would like to be the one that makes the choice iykwim... And we're a bit skint, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it all works out. Anyone know how EI works? <eek>

crazyforbaby Tue 14-Feb-12 19:04:54

Mooncup, I turn over the channel if a'comedian'comes on the TV.
Oh Outofbody, hope it works outfit your EI. Only experience I hv is when I applied for Maternity Leave...mucho form filling and no-one at work to helpe fill it in...

outofbodyexperience Tue 14-Feb-12 20:02:58

Lol, I had to go to appeal to get my mat pay with ds (he's 10 now, so it was a while ago). It turned out that there had been some sort of error processing my spousal work permit, and so when my mat pay claim went in it came up that i didn't have a valid wp..... I appealed and got all the money in the end when he was about six months old. We went to Jamaica grin. In the end I left work anyway as the child care arrangements were too crazy, but it was a bit nerve wracking. I'm fretting about the mortgage, but as he hasn't actually been sacked yet I may be premature...

westcoastnortherner Tue 14-Feb-12 20:23:08

Maybe try and get some legal advice - re possible constructive dismissal?

Also ask for a payment holiday on your mortgage?

Hope everything turns out ok

westcoastnortherner Tue 14-Feb-12 20:24:36

Mooncup - Walmart sold tins of proper British Cadbury chocolate biscuits at Christmas.... All gone now though sad

Jnice Tue 14-Feb-12 21:04:39

I'm on EI for mat leave, it pays me around $900 every fortnight (there's a word that gets raised eyebrows here!). I'm not sure how it works for layoffs except to say last time is was on mat leave I was laid off 2 weeks after returning to work and couldn't get it. That sucked.

crazyforbaby Tue 14-Feb-12 23:46:58

Outofbody - stick a EI post on the British Expats website...someone there may have gone through the same thing.
Did you see the box of 'British chocolate biscuits' on sale at Superstore over Christmas? They had Quality St too. I bought LOADS of em ... and scoffed the lot!!! Must go and plunder the kids' Valentine goody bags that they hv just brought home from school. blush

outofbodyexperience Tue 14-Feb-12 23:52:49

I will if it becomes a reality. (am reasonably recognizable due to circs on there, so might not want to advertise that dh is about to lose his job lol) I'll search the site anyway, I'm sure there arena gazillion similar posts to wade through! Good idea.

We have a British store about 30mins away, but pricey. There is also a random hardware store around the corner called Hoggs that stocks a few things, tea, irn bru, haggis in a can and the duchy range. We find bits and pieces at supermarkets occasionally too. DH goes home 2 x per year to see his Dd or she comes over so he comes back with loaded suitcases. I always get loads of clothes for the boys then too. I should start foraging in the states really, we're very close to the border. We can't get PIMMs in quebec but pick it up in Ontario when we or friends are over that way.

lazydog Wed 15-Feb-12 04:05:20

outofbodyexperience - are you a name change? Even if you're not who I think you are, I've got my fingers crossed that your DH's job situation turns out ok.

Well, I'm another one in the Rockies, but we're on the BC side; about 10 minutes from Mount Robson. We've been here for just over 6 years in a teeeeeeeeny little village, miles from anywhere, and we're loving it!

Has anyone tried the new Tetley "Bold" tea yet? What's the verdict? grin

rednellie Wed 15-Feb-12 05:03:27

Hi all, I'm in Vancouver with one DD and expecting twin boys. We moved to Van last year and are enjoying it.

I think the choice of tea is pretty good here....grin

nooka Wed 15-Feb-12 05:03:51

I saw that at Coopers, but didn't get it because they had bigger boxes of the ordinary one on sale (well probably $1 off, but there you go). The only other food I miss is good muesli, as I've only found ultrasweet granola. I loved Dorset cereals, which amazingly we found in New York. I guess I shoudl learn to make that too

outofbodyexperience I hope things work out OK for you. These things seem much more cavalier here, but then I used to work for the NHS, so my expectations are perhaps a bit wonky.

outofbodyexperience Wed 15-Feb-12 05:34:09

Lazy, yy, tis madwomanintheattic, I got locked out in a trial name change before Christmas (was a lame Christmas one I didn't ever use) and tech hasn't fixed me yet (mainly because I keep forgetting to remind mnhq and they were all tied up with the fb squall) so I thought this namechange was apt in the interim! grin will get them to sort it sooner or later. I just keep getting a 'this username is already in use' message when I try to change back. <sigh> so not really incognito.

Dh has got a second interview next week, but in Edmonton... for a v good job though, so might make a weekly commute worth considering for a year or so. Not really what we anticipated, but... Still a few irons in the fire. I'm trying to convince him we should all go for a road trip and the kids and I will spend the day at the west Edmonton mall whilst he butters them up. grin the only snag being I can't spend any money if he's teetering on the edge of unemployment...

That said, Tetley bold? Ooh. Might have to come off autopilot in Sobey's and have a look! Most things look better after a decent cup of tea...

crazyforbaby Thu 16-Feb-12 00:22:13

Hi Out, get yourself along to Edmonton Mall with a pack-up and a flask to make it a NSD! Then you can tell us all about that the mall with the rollercoaster and it offers weddings too? I've always wanted to go there - have a good day M'Dear and wish your DH luck too !

outofbodyexperience Thu 16-Feb-12 01:04:01

Roller coaster, swimming pool, ice rink, you name it, it's there. We went once before about ten years ago... grin we stayed in the fantasyland hotel in a really bizarre room with a hot tub and an eight foot tall fiberglass policeman hovering over it, and traffic lights which flashed on and off all night until we worked out how to turn them off... The bed was a pick up truck with a mattress in the back. The kids loved it but it was bloody awful if I'm honest. grin I suspect it will be holiday inn this time!

westcoastnortherner Thu 16-Feb-12 02:31:15

Good luck with your husband's job Out smile

just a quick question for you all, have any of you ordered from the next website while you've been here? I'm tempted to.


nooka Thu 16-Feb-12 02:39:42

The only online ordering we've done is from Amazon, although dh gets lots of old computer games from eBay. Where we live does not have a fantastic range of clothes shops, but then where I work people mostly wear jeans, so it's not really a big deal. I don't like buying clothes online because I'm quite picky about how they fit/feel and sending them back is such a hassle. I did ask my mum and dad for M&S socks for Christmas though!

nooka Thu 16-Feb-12 05:19:34

Oh, just thought of a question I can ask here. I'm just starting to think about the spring and wondered if any of you were gardeners at all, and in which case whether you could recommend a seed catalogue for fruit/vegetables. I need seeds for short season, so I'm thinking more Mountain/Prairies than West Coast.

westcoastnortherner Sat 18-Feb-12 03:05:44

Nooka, i'm just starting to get into gardening! My crocus bulbs have started to flower so far this year, i've also planted tulips but apparently these are like candy for the deer.

Any advice on deer deterrant?

I'm not great as a source of advice sorry sad

westcoastnortherner Sat 18-Feb-12 03:06:06

Well advice for gardening i might add lol

nooka Sat 18-Feb-12 05:35:04

We had a whole load of snow on Thursday, so perhaps Spring isn't that close after all. I envy you having crocuses already! I have lots of tulips, they seem to do very well here. We do have a few deer that visit our neighbourhood (and some bears) but not enough that I've had to learn any deterrence tricks. Sorry!

momnipotent Sat 18-Feb-12 16:20:57

Hi! <waves>

I'm in Southern Ontario where it is currently chucking it down with snow, and, very rarely, there is no wind so it is absolutely gorgeous! Took the dogs to the dog park this morning and they were loving it!

Bulk Barn often has a small selection of British chocolate. I can usually get some kind of fix from there. smile

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

momnipotent Sat 18-Feb-12 16:42:27

I'm in the Georgian Triangle and we have about 10cm on the ground and it is still coming down hard!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

outofbodyexperience Sat 18-Feb-12 21:56:20

We had flurries this morning but it's just beautiful blue and snow capped mountains here now. grin
Can't help with the next thing, or the gardening I'm afraid. The joys of living in a tourist trap mean that we are limited to container gardening on the decks as we can't afford a yard! That's just as well, though, we do have a lot of elk etc, and where we were living before we could count about 60 gophers from the living room window as soon as the snow went... My yard then was like the Somme.... On balance I prefer it here!

What are your plans for family day weekend then? It's a holiday Monday here in Alberta (not sure about everywhere else?) and so we are playing happy families and going to the zoo tomorrow, and then snow tubing on Monday. That is... if the kids manage to tidy their rooms sufficiently today <evil emoticon>

Dh's second interview on Friday has been cancelled. Not sure why. <sigh> so no mall trip for me... Probably just as well! So as he's already booked the day off on Friday I'm going to encourage him strongly to go and register his own consultancy business, as he's had a few people suggest that they could be putting ad hoc work his way if that was the case... It doesn't seem to cost too much to do, so probably worth having as a back-up anyway... (bit scary, but might be a last resort if nothing else comes off). Anyone set up their own business here?

nooka Sun 19-Feb-12 01:25:50

We don't have Family day in BC yet. We get it next year. I expect everyone will go skiiing when it is brought in smile

Glad to hear that there is another evil room tidying mum out there! I'm always having to stand over dd to get here to reduce the pit like nature of her bedroom. I suggested bribery, and she thought it was a great idea, but it's not been successful in practice.

Not sure about consultancy here. I've a couple of friends who are consultants in the UK, and dh woudl like me to do it (once we get PR) but I'm not sure, it seems so precarious.

momnipotent Sun 19-Feb-12 02:54:07

We have family day here in ON, no idea what I will be doing. DH works at a private ski club so he's basically not around any weekends or holidays during the winter.

I am a consultant here, although I actually only work for one company. Iirc, all I had to do was go to a Service Canada office and get a form to fill out to request a GST number, and I can't actually remember doing anything else! That was it - boom, I'm a business. That was 12 years and 4 kids ago so chances are I have forgotten stuff. It wouldn't surprise me if you could download the forms online now. It's been great in that I've been able to stay at home with the kids, but I also wasn't entitled to any mat leave at all and no paid holidays, no EI benefits either. If it all went pear-shaped tomorrow then we'd be up shit creek!

If he was working as a consultant would that involve him working from home or going to someone's place of business? If he works from home then he could claim all kinds of household stuff as business expenses. You need to have a dedicated work area, so my office is 1/20th of the house square footage, and I am able to claim 1/20th of mortgage interest, heating and hydro, all my internet since I work online, etc, etc.

I used to live in Edmonton! Long time ago now, I went to Uni there. I think it would actually be a pretty good place to raise kids.

westcoastnortherner Sun 19-Feb-12 05:40:30

Off to pick up my Mum now! grin

crazyforbaby Mon 20-Feb-12 01:12:52

Aww have a lovely time with her Westie!smile

eternallyoptimistic Mon 20-Feb-12 01:23:02

We are going to ski tomorrow, nice to have Family Day off with the kids. We're just outside of Ottawa and it's been lovely and warm lately.

nooka Mon 20-Feb-12 04:07:27

We took our children skiing today and the conditions were perfect, the best this season. Lovely powder and surprisingly not that many people, so virtually no lines (this is at a small family run resort, there is also an international quality one a bit further away). We didn't see very much of them all day smile

I hope you have great skiing on your day off envy

Jacksmania Mon 20-Feb-12 05:45:20

Hello! I'm in the Lower Mainland of B.C. Langley specifically, about 45 mins east of Vancouver. Am originally from Toronto but moved out west 8 years ago.

nooka Mon 20-Feb-12 06:02:20

Very wise too Jacksmama wink

Jacksmania Mon 20-Feb-12 14:41:44

Clearly my most brilliant decision ever grin

madwomanintheattic Wed 29-Feb-12 06:23:48

Thought I would bump the thread a bit grin

No job news here yet. Just finished tax filing for local not for profit though. Frankly terrified I have muffed it up, there's nothing quite like trying to work out payroll in a different country, and trying to understand the CRA makes we want to weep. Still, done now. Am sure we'll just a letter in the mail telling us we owe them more money, but worth a try, eh? Must get on and do my own tax return now I've got everyone else's t4s done...

Dd2 is getting fitted for AFOs on thurs (orthotics) so I'm still trying to wend my way around the medical system. Apparently we have to claim 75% of the cost through AADL, and the other 25% can be claimed through benefits, so we're trying to max out dh's whilst he's still got a job! I still can't get over how fast the referrals are in comparison with the nhs...

We are pondering whether to pop back to the uk for Easter. Had no plans at all until fil sent a message saying he was arranging a surprise party for mil's 70th. Are we completely crazy to be contemplating spending that much cash? There are 5 of us. How often do you all go back? We haven't been in nearly 3 years...

nooka Wed 29-Feb-12 06:38:34

We went back last summer for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. First visit in three years, and they paid for us. The cost and hassle of travel to Europe is the major disadvantage of living in BC. Still not quite as expensive as for my sister in Australia.

I found tax returns hard enough in the UK, kudos to you for doing that. My dh is co-chair of our local PAC, so we are relatively community minded, but that sounds like quite a commitment.

We got acknowledgement of our PR application today (just four months after we sent it in...) it's nice to know it didn't get lost along the way smile

madwomanintheattic Wed 29-Feb-12 15:46:58

Oo, that's exciting nooka. It's always nice to see the system ticking along. Should be quick ish for you? Are you applying CEC? We were right in the middle of the whole SAP debacle, so ours took nearly 4 years to do an application that now takes 6-12 mos. <sigh> ah well, it all worked out in the end!

Dh is going to make a decision on the trip today. It's probably the only time in the foreseeable that we'd bother... And he's tempted because it means we could do all of his rellies on one swoop at the party and not have to spend the whole time driving to the four corners of the uk...

It's not smart timing though, money -wise.

crazyforbaby Wed 29-Feb-12 17:35:53

You are sooo lucky Nooka! We are in Yr 2 of our PR application; mine is sponsored through work too (Skilled Worker).
Hey Mad, how's it going? Sounds as if you are giving the idea of this holiday some serious thought ...good luck with your decision. If it was me I'd say 'sod it, it's only money so let's go'... but that sort of attitude means that I am permanently broke!!!

madwomanintheattic Wed 29-Feb-12 17:52:53

i'm surprised by how excited the possibility makes me, actually! blush it hadn't even crossed our minds that we'd be taking a trip back before next year, what with it being the Olympics this year etc etc. i think that's why it's so tempting, it came out of the blue and took us by surprise!

i'm very much of the 'sod it, it's only money' (and yes, permanently broke) mindset myself. <sigh> it ties in with spring break, so i don't have to take the kids out of school, and mil would be thrilled beyond belief... (all i need is for a giant windfall so that i could do some uk shopping and i'd be on the plane... grin)

that said, i've spotted a job advert this morning that looks v tempting. i've not had any luck so far, but if i tweak everything i might get as far as an interview... that is, if they don't already have someone lined up. the job market here is very strange. i've had two interviews out of, ooooo, not sure how many applications. (the first job i applied for, they offered me, and... i turned it down. i am totally kicking myself now, of course. haven't worked in nearly a year since we moved to this town, and now of course, that's impacting as well...) this one though, looks like mat cover until september. and it would mean that i could do some work for dh if the consulting thing gets off the ground afterwards as it would brush off my skills... hmm...

nooka Thu 01-Mar-12 01:48:47

Good luck with the job application. I was incredibly lucky in getting a job shortly after we arrived. Having come from the UK pubic sector I find it hard to adjust to the networking culture here so I can understand your frustration.

We should (barring anything going wrong) get PR in 10 months, so it's quite a long haul still, but maybe we'll get it by Christmas which would be nice smile We have BC sponsorship which means that unless our medicals are dodgy or I lose my job we shoudl be fine.

I can understand the temptation re the trip. We added a short European trip to our visit home last summer which in truth we couldn't afford, but the temptation was just too great really.

momnipotent Thu 01-Mar-12 17:12:01

Just popping in! madwoman, I used to be the treasurer at our nursery school (also non-profit) in case you need any help with CRA. Haven't done it in a couple of years though. I'm self employed so I get an accountant to do our personal taxes!

We haven't been back to the UK for 9 years, and that was for a funeral. We keep planning to go, and then something always comes up that is a more pressing use for the money. There are 6 of us now too, which makes the flights horrifically expensive, but also means we have to rent at least one vehicle since nobody we know has a vehicle big enough for all of us, nobody we know has a house big enough for all of us to stay, plus add on the cost of putting the pets into boarding for a couple of weeks or whatever.... We had planned on going this year but then my 'job' (self employed but only do work for one company) took a nosedive and wiped out our savings trying to cover the shortfall. I really want to be able to take my kids as a family, they have never been except my oldest as a baby. I want to be able to show them the house I grew up in, where I went to school, etc. Sigh. Stupid money.

madwomanintheattic Thu 01-Mar-12 23:37:44

We need to win lotto 649. Let's have an mn Canada syndicate grin then we can charter our own plane and fleet of limos to take us back for a holiday periodically. grin

Thanks for offer of CRA help. We've had an interesting patch where we discovered no-one had been making CPP and EI payments... Fortunately before I took over lol, but it was something of a shock that no sooner had I finished my first payroll run than I was discussing non compliance going back a year and a half. <eek> I think I've sorted that side of the house, but I have literally no clue how GST works, and even if we have to pay it, so that's my next biggie. All clues welcome! Happy to give you some more info via pm if you think you might have any idea!!

Nooka, that would be a lovely Christmas present!

Dh has two interviews next week for jobs he has been shortlisted for. I honestly thought they weren't going to come to fruition after the last one, so fingers crossed.

nooka Fri 02-Mar-12 03:03:44

Wishing your dh good luck!

crazyforbaby Fri 02-Mar-12 07:20:18

Lotsa luck to MadMan!!

madwomanintheattic Fri 02-Mar-12 14:30:40

Thanks guys. grin ages yet, though. Thurs for one and we think tues for the other but tbc, deffo next week. Weirdly, he appears to be theonly short listed candidate for one of them... <confused>

nooka Fri 02-Mar-12 15:53:32

Sounds hopeful then [crosses fingers]

Anyone else envying their children a five day weekend? My children are certainly happy! I feel that the idea of both compulsory a union and legislating back to work undemocratic and well, just wrong. Plus it seems incredibly unclear just what the bargaining position of either side really is. Is it pay, or is it conditions?

momnipotent Fri 02-Mar-12 20:05:32

Huh? What's going on?!

nooka Sat 03-Mar-12 05:11:50

Teachers in BC are on strike from Mon-Wednesday.

momnipotent Sat 03-Mar-12 09:22:23

Ah. I haven't had the 'pleasure' of a teacher's strike since my kids have started school, have no idea how it works!

madwoman, I never really dealt with GST! We were a non-profit nursery school so the only thing I ever did was claim the GST that we had paid. I do this for myself also since self-employed, it is just one form to fill out where you tell them how much GST you paid in the course of running the business (so mine is always for stuff like supplies and a fraction of the GST on utility bills) and then you claim it back! No idea what you do if you are charging GST on your goods/services and then have to submit it to the government. Ontario switched over to an HST system last year so I am at a loss this year as to what I am supposed to do about claiming back sales tax. Or maybe I can no longer claim it back. Hmmm, annoying that I don't know that.

westcoastnortherner Tue 06-Mar-12 02:34:16

Well Mum's gone now, she flew Air transat and said their premium economy luggage allowance is now 40kg! I should have made her pack more british stuff smile

I once got my Dad to bring over several bottles of Robinsons in a fishing rod tube one year, mum just rolled her eyes lol.

How's everyone's week? Are you all on spring break yet?

nooka Tue 06-Mar-12 02:46:38

We've another two weeks to go here. Had a lovely warm and sunny weekend and then snow again today! I've really had enough of winter already, I want to get out and prune my fruit trees and see what's survived the winter.

We flew AirTransat back for the UK in the summer. It was a bit cramped and the customer service was fairly iffy. Flew Air Berlin on the way out and really enjoyed it (although they did lose one of our bags for a couple of days). I hope your mum has a good flight smile

westcoastnortherner Tue 13-Mar-12 15:51:23

Thanks Nooka she got back ok, although she said the flight back was not as good as the way out, food was inedible (more so than usual).

We started spring break this week, 2 weeks off from the school run!

Its been snowing this morning!

nooka Sun 18-Mar-12 06:07:10

It snowed here today, I'm beginning to wonder if spring will ever come sad

madwomanintheattic Thu 22-Mar-12 16:10:14

It's snowing crazily here again today, but we seem to be on 'mega-dump/thaw' every couple of days. Ya gotta love spring. grin

Two days until spring break - I am irrationally excited. No rowing with small children about missing the bus, no dance, no brownies, no cubs, no swimming, no climbing, no fuss. grin

On the other hand, dd2 is off sick today after throwing up this morning, and tomorrow is the long awaited and still not got the projects finished yet science fair. <sigh> tonight could be gruelling. Dd1's project has the potential to be brilliant, if she can just pull the presentation together. Ds's is, um, effectively a re-run of last year because he is a lazy toad.

But, but, MadMan has a job offer which he is accepting today. grin 50% pay rise, and a much more relaxed environment. It's right up his alley, and he was effectively head hunted as they have seen him in action, and know his background prior to the disaster job. We were laughing over the agreement though - he gets every other Friday off in the summer months, and his birthday too. it'll mean travel for probably a week every other month, but I think that will be good for him as well.

Sooooo, my only ponder still pending, is whether to go back for mil's birthday. Still haven't decided. Checked the flights again last night and they are still roughly the same. Dh has the week off booked anyway... Decisions, decisions...
Ponder, ponder.

I'm almost oddly jealous of your snow, I'd like to do a little more skiing. DS1 took his first lessons this year and it's been so fun skiing with him.

We are almost summer like here in Montreal! Have 23C, it's crazy. Wore bare legs and a summer dress yesterday, summer top and light cardi today. No more coats and boots! Supposed to get cold again next week.

Big student protest on today in the city, they're protesting against fee rises, I think it's only 1500/year, any excuse for a bit of rioting eh? I hope they're more peaceful than the ones last week.

Congratulations MadMan!

madwomanintheattic Thu 22-Mar-12 16:23:22

Bare legs? shock

My legs are the same colour as the snow, currently... We've had about three inches already and it's still coming down heavily. Last year we had a foot overnight for the royal wedding. grin so, I suspect it's nowhere near over yet... Five more weeks!!!

Enjoy spring x

crazyforbaby Thu 22-Mar-12 23:45:54

Hiya MadMan that is terrific news about the job-delighted for you! Would the new Virgin flights to UK b a cheaper option 4 u?
I only have one more day of Spring Break. The children are JUST starting to bicker with each other, so I know they r looking foreward to seeing their buddies at school!

nooka Fri 23-Mar-12 04:56:40

I'd celebrate your dh's new job (fantastic smile) with the trip as your dh has the time available. It sounds as if all the stars have lined up for it.

madwomanintheattic Fri 23-Mar-12 06:41:40

Oo, hadn't looked at virgin... Not sure they fly from our neck of the woods, but will have a look.

Not all good today - dh got rear -ended in town in his wee commuter car so now we have car insurance to muddle through <sigh> so glad job is sorted though. Phew!

madwomanintheattic Sat 24-Mar-12 17:41:45

booked flights. had to go air canada as it was by far and away cheapest <not entirely sure it can be realistically referred to as cheap in any context, really, but y'know what i mean>.

so we get 9 days back in uk over easter, and mil's 70th birthday party. grin

ridiculously excited. haven't been back in 3 years, but it will be cool to see greenery and uk springtime.

crazyforbaby Sun 25-Mar-12 06:09:44

Oh I am so glad that you decided to go...your family will be delighted! Be sure and walk around M&S, Next and of course Greggs (Bakery) for a Pasty and come back and tell us all about it wink!

westcoastnortherner Sun 25-Mar-12 06:24:01

madwomanintheattic have fun in the UK!

madwomanintheattic Sun 25-Mar-12 20:49:12

<adds greggs to list.>

Had already got m&s, of course. Bloody long way to go for new bras though. wink

nooka Tue 27-Mar-12 08:05:54

Have a great trip and I hope you have lovely weather. Spring is probably the only thing I really miss about the UK. Here we tend to go almost directly from winter to summer (well there is snow, then sad brownness, more snow, more browness, hope of spring, more snow, final thaw and then it starts getting quite hot). I like the getting hot bit, but I do miss the snowdrops and daffodils phase!

crazyforbaby Wed 28-Mar-12 07:59:16

It is almost my Mum's birthday and I am trying to stay up til midnight <yawn> so that I can phone her up. How do you guys manage with phoning on important days with the time difference? I thought I had the hours worked out and then clocks in both countries were Springing forward...I'm easily confused blush. If I phone after 12, then I won't wake her up too early. She will probably still Skype us in the morning, just when I am trying to shove the little ones into the car to get to school on time! When her day at work has finished, I have to be careful to make a 2 min phone call, either just before half past or on the hour, so that I do not interrupt the Holy Trilogy that is Emmerdale, Corrie and Eastenders- ha ha! grin

ClassFree Thu 29-Mar-12 16:13:02

Hello from the East Coast! I am from Ontario, recently moved to Nova Scotia. Still getting used to the area, and haven't met many new people yet. I have a feeling I might be the only mumsnetter east of Quebec...

nooka Fri 30-Mar-12 04:18:06

I ring my parents on Saturday or Sunday afternoons to hit around about 8.30pm UK time. The really tricky person to ring is my sister in Australia as she is in tomorrow!

Welcome ClassFree, tell us about the Maritimes! I'd really like to visit the East Coast some time. We had a fabulous holiday in New England long ago, and it was one of the reasons we moved to North America, although we've not actually managed to get back to Maine (we loved Acadia)

Jacksmania Fri 30-Mar-12 05:54:42

Lost this thread for a while, marking place again.
Am on West Coast. It's 21:53 here. Going to bed but will be back, utterly exhausted after sleepless night with vomiting child last night.
Night all.

crazyforbaby Fri 30-Mar-12 07:14:46

Snap Jacks! Mine hasn't started vomiting (yet), but has a fever which I treat with Calpol brought over by visitors from UK (none of mine will take Tylenol - if it's not pink and strawberry flavoured then they wont take it!) Hopefully we will both get a better night's sleep tonight. All my older children have always caught chickenpox around Eastertime, so I keep checking my youngest for far nowt there, phew!

Jacksmania Fri 30-Mar-12 15:35:36

Good morning!

(Always wanted to ask, what does "snap!" mean?)

toutpuissant Fri 30-Mar-12 16:37:41

Snap was/is a card game, I used to play it with my Granny. You would divide the deck by all the players and you would all turn over a card at once, and if your card matched someone else's you would yell Snap! and whoever said snap first would get all the matching cards, The object of the game was to get as many cards as you could. In everyday use it just means 'I'm the same' (there seems to be a saying here in Ontario along the lines of "Jinx, buy me a coke" which means the same thing but I have no idea where it came from!

ClassFree Fri 30-Mar-12 18:52:34

Hello! The east coast is awesome, but very different. I have lived in BC, Alberta and Ontario before this, and each region has its own vibe. DH was posted in Esquimalt before, so he got to experience a bit of the west, but the kids had never lived outside of northern Ontario.
We live quite near the ocean, so it is a lot more windy, but warmer than I'm used to. I haven't seen any deer or large game out here, but definitely a lot more birds. It is pricier for groceries and gas, but cheaper for rent. The shopping is better, but that is because we are on the edge of Halifax, where as before we were quite isolated. I am slowly, slowly making friends, and feeling quite homesick, but it has only been a few months, and I'm sure it will get better. I actually put out a "friends wanted" thing on Kijiji, and tonight I am meeting up with 4 women to go walking down at the boardwalk. I hope they are nice and friendly grin

'Jinx, buy me a coke' has been around for at least as long as my Mum grin!
And we played 'snap' too, you can get decks for little ones with crocodiles on the back, and numbers on the front.

Starwisher Tue 03-Apr-12 22:06:16

Hi there

The op suggested I post on this thread so I have copied and pasted. Thanks op!
Please help!
dh has lost his job and due to his line of work there is no jobs in the uk but abroad there is plenty more vacancies and a few companies have already shown interest, in Austrialia and new zealand.

We are all very excited at the prospect and overseas work. I lived abroad as a child and loved it.

However, as usual their is a fly in the ointment. My ex who is dd1 father.

For background he lives 5 hours away, sees her once a year for 3 hours (his choice)and pays no Maintence. However I believe as she was born 2006 and he is on the birth certificate I need his permission to go.

I doubt he really cares where she is as evidenced by lack if commitment to her, but to be spiteful he would say no.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and what happened? Thanks in advance

madwomanintheattic Wed 11-Apr-12 16:45:21

I know for Canada you need permission, and I think it has to be legally verified. I suggest you post on britishexpats, as there are loads of people who have had to get legal permission to remove a child from the UK from ex partners. There's a board for each country you are looking to go to.

And <waves> to everyone. Well, I'm back from our wee jaunt to the UK. It was v lovely to see everyone, but can honestly say that the most I feel about not living there any more is ambivalent. grin it was exactly the same in every way. No sweeping wave of homesickness or desire to stay. mil had a lovely birthday party, and I did the rounds of rellies. The kids were a bit weepy and wanted to stay for another week, but none of them expressed any remote interest in staying there forever. grin

Class, I would love to visit NS. I'm hoping for next year (have been saying that for.e.ver). V jealous. The kijiji ad is inspired! Hope it all went well and you've met some lovely potential friends. It does get harder when you move to a new place!

MinkyMoodles Wed 11-Apr-12 18:55:30

Hi all,

Finally we are starting the process to emigrate to Canada! I've not made it all the way through the thread but thought I best say hello!

We are applying via Community Identified for Nova Scotia.

MM smile

madwomanintheattic Wed 11-Apr-12 19:53:15

that's exciting, minky. where are you headed? i know a few people who have used the community stream and it can be a good route if you have a lot of contacts.

we went sw just before they started the sap. it took nearly 4 years. grin

MinkyMoodles Wed 11-Apr-12 20:06:50

Can't wait. We're hoping to end up somewhere near Lunenburg, fingers crossed.

My mum & her long term partner (Canadian) live in Mahone Bay 6 months of the year so it helps.

We could be there this time next year, ekkkk!

Where abouts are you Mad?

madwomanintheattic Wed 11-Apr-12 21:23:20

Albertan Rockies. smile

Beautiful, but in a different way. I miss the sea.

MinkyMoodles Wed 11-Apr-12 22:17:24

Wow, lucky you.

Nearer to where we first wanted to be, Kelowna or Kamloops ish!!

madwomanintheattic Wed 11-Apr-12 22:40:44

No one really wants to live in Kamloops, do they? wink kelowna, I get. Kamloops? <shudder>

We are v lucky. Some days I wander around town going 'wtaf? How did this happen?' grin

MinkyMoodles Wed 11-Apr-12 23:30:01

Ha ha what's wrong with Kamloops?

I'm hoping one day we may end up in BC, sigh!

Are you Canadian or British?

MinkyMoodles Wed 11-Apr-12 23:31:40

Doh, just read the thread back, ditzy moment! confused

Ignore last question!

nooka Fri 13-Apr-12 04:34:57

Oy! I live in Kamloops! It's a great place to be. Way better than Kelowna...

lazydog Fri 13-Apr-12 05:43:41

Another one sticking up for Kamloops here. It wouldn't win any awards for the scenery, but everyone I know who lives there, likes living there, and I know ex-pats who live in lots of different places in Canada and can't think of anywhere else that I can say that about. Everywhere else, I know of at least someone who hates where they are living (cities - not smaller locations, I mean.) I choose Kamloops for any major shopping, rather than my nearest city, which is Prince George now that's a dump!

I think the quality of life in Kamloops is generally pretty good as long as you ignore the occasional pulp-mill smell and the views wink.

madwomanintheattic Fri 13-Apr-12 06:08:31

I knew someone was in Kamloops, but couldn't remember who! grin I haven't been there for ten years, and there are loads of folk on expats who swear by it. I have no idea what it was, but it had the same effect on me as Alice Springs did lol. I got there and couldn't wait to leave...

I do have a friend who went house hunting in Kelowna and had the same experience - spent two weeks there looking to settle and in the end went back to the UK having decided not to emigrate at all. grin horses for courses and all that.

I have to say that Medicine Hat grew on me. I loathed it to start with.

Mebbe on my next road trip you can show me the highlights and change my mind wink

nooka Sat 14-Apr-12 02:14:04

Funny, I wouldn't in any way recommend Kamloops for shopping, and the town is quite ugly but I really like the scenery. The light over the hills is very striking and we have the most amazing sunsets (I think it is the dust). It's not much like the rest of BC though!

We were very surprised that we liked the interior so much when we came over for our recce, we really expected to want to live on the Island, but there is something about the space here that's very appealing. In the summer dh still says at least once every day how beautiful it is here.

I am quite happy to acknowledge that the Mumsnetter who lives by Mount Robinson probably wins the prize for most spectacular location smile

Marking my place. Nooka suggested this thread and I will read it tomorrow. Hello all. I am British in Victoria BC.

lazydog Sun 15-Apr-12 06:21:54

Hello MrsTerryPratchett - Welcome to the thread. Have you been in Canada long?

nooka It's me that lives in the Robson Valley and I agree - pretty spectacular smile I recently put a couple of pics of our place on my profile.

I agree that Kamloops is nothing special for shopping, especially if you're used to shopping in the UK's cities, but when the alternative is Prince George, I'll take the extra half hours' drive to Kamloops any day!! grin

madwomanintheattic Sun 15-Apr-12 15:09:58

i still love your pics, lazy. grin
mine are pretty good, but you win on going that step further! grin

<road trip, road trip>

westcoastnortherner Sun 15-Apr-12 16:31:22

Welcome back Madwomanintheattic and a big hello to MrsTerryPratchett I too am in Victoria!

Mad what did you bring back from the UK?

It's a beautiful day here, we had a BBQ last night... Second of the season! grin

nooka Sun 15-Apr-12 18:01:53

Fabulous picture. Maybe we should all put one up of our immediate neighbourhood? It would be cool to see the differences.

When we came over we lived Revelstoke the best of all the places we visited, but we didn't think we'd be able to get jobs there.

Thanks for the welcomes! I've been in Canada for 6 years (last Wednesday). MN has been a real help to me since I got pregnant and had DD 16 months ago. I found some of the advice here a bit hysterical and wanted sensible NHS advice grin.

Whereabouts in Victoria are you westcoastnortherner? I'm near Hillside Mall.

westcoastnortherner Sun 15-Apr-12 23:39:58

We are in Langford (bear mountain area) been here 3 yrs, if you ever fancy a -Cocktail coffee let me know! (there is another MNetter in Victoria too, I'm hoping to meet up with her soon too) smile

lazydog Tue 17-Apr-12 07:15:59

Mad - "<road trip, road trip>"

Yeah, yeah... When are you going to put your money where your mouth is? grin

Just give me plenty of warning to smarten the place up a bit!

lazydog Tue 17-Apr-12 07:28:09

nooka - "When we came over we lived Revelstoke the best of all the places we visited, but we didn't think we'd be able to get jobs there."

Yes, I can understand that. There are very few jobs where we are, unless you want to work in tourism/hospitality and they're usually only very low paid positions. We've been very lucky in that DH got probably the only salaried IT job going in the Valley and there are always computers for me to fix because even though the population base here is very small, they are all internet addicts and there's no competition...for now at least!

madwomanintheattic Tue 17-Apr-12 14:59:49

Ach, you've got until summer at least. All that winter stuff got right in the way, and now it's dance season. <sigh>

nooka Tue 17-Apr-12 16:21:44

Both dh and I have very corporate type jobs so we feel lucky to have gotten to Kamloops really. Although it looks like consultancy may be next for me, which will involve travel whatever I do.

westcoastnortherner I will take you up on the coffee cocktail definitely. We should get the Victoria MNers all together!

westcoastnortherner Thu 19-Apr-12 04:38:34

Sounds like a plan! grin

westcoastnortherner Mon 23-Apr-12 21:57:40

I'm bloody annoyedangry , I ordered some stuff from John Lewis, and i now have the tax to pay, which i knew about, But the company delivering it phoned me - demanded payment over the phone, and said their is an additional $20 brokerage fee!

Has anyone else encountered this? Sorry I have a case of the grumps today, i need wine

lazydog Mon 23-Apr-12 22:03:30

Yep, very common, and it's usually the most extortionate if the item has been shipped via UPS, although other couriers do sometimes sting you for it. I think DHL Express were the other ones that we've had that from, but they charged a far smaller fee than UPS.

westcoastnortherner Mon 23-Apr-12 23:02:39

Thanks lazydog i've calmed down a little now lol

crazyforbaby Wed 25-Apr-12 00:13:15

Thanks for the info girls- its annoying. I haven't ordered anything from home using that method and after learning about the tax, we definitely won't !
The meetups sound good. Jacksmania and I are trying to arrange a Lower Mainland get together :0)

westcoastnortherner Mon 30-Apr-12 05:15:28

Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering how much your weekly shops cost? Mine seems to vary from $130 per week to $185ish depending on what we need, but excluding Costco trips.

And does anyone else wonder why cheese is so expensive here?

madwomanintheattic Mon 30-Apr-12 05:34:08

Ha! Cheese? I can just about bear the girt big blocks of davidstow or whatever it's called in Costco, but the rest of the time I feed the Dc's that cracker barrel rubbish. I buy the whole Brie from Costco as well, but otherwise we only buy cheese at Christmas, it's so expensive! blush I've lost track of what our weekly shop has been costing though, as have been eeking everything out!

On that note, dh started his new job last Monday, and so (once he gets paid lol) we will be on an even keel chez mad. And he is much happier already. I need to call the bank and postpone the mortgage payment until Friday lol, but I'm pretty certain it won't be an issue.

H & R Block weirdly seem to have come up with the (tax) goods, which I wasn't expecting. I'm due a rebate (which I knew, because I was paying tax for the first four months and then left, and haven't worked since) of a few hundred, but dh's rebate is into the thousands... Had to be paper filed, so it will be 6-8 weeks, but will definitely get us sorted if it comes through!

I ordered some cath kidston (I know I know) personalised mugs for ex pat godchildren for last christmas and got totally stung with with the whole UPS daylight robbery thang. This year I shall get them sent to mil's and get her to bring them out... Although we may have topped out on the cath kidston gift requirements. grin

Ah. Spring is here. I sat on the deck yesterday for twenty minutes and caught the sun around my neckline. It reminded me that this year I might not want to wear a t shirt until July and then think it would be ok to try a vest top... The shorts and flip flops are out in force here already. Ya gotta love a mountain town.

westcoastnortherner Mon 30-Apr-12 05:48:21

Hi Mad

I'm glad Mr Mad is starting his new job and you are all happy smile

Spring has sprung in Victoria, we had a garage sale yesterday, and didnt do too badly out of it, so I spent some of the proceeds on some Oakanagan Black cherry cider smile

Also I will not be making my fit flop mistake this year, I wore them for most of the summer last year, and they have a terrible tan line and my arse is still massive!

madwomanintheattic Mon 30-Apr-12 15:20:43

Garage sale grin

We've only just managed to burrow into the garage far enough to get the bikes out... The joys of stuffing everything from a 5 bed family home and a 2 bed furnished rental property into a 2 bed condo... The idea of trying to even prepare a garage sale is terrifying! Well earned treat though? <and sounds intriguing - how have I lived this long without coming across it?>

My arse is also on the massive side. <sigh>

That'll be cheese and cider for you, I suppose... grin

westcoastnortherner Mon 30-Apr-12 17:05:36

Yes you'd think the price of both would have put me off wink

nooka Thu 03-May-12 06:17:52

We miss good cheese too, and tend to buy generic Old/Fort, which is fairly tasteless but I think we have got used to it. Also been stung by UPS on occasion (ours was compounded when they inflated the price of the parcel too, but hey ho). I've stopped ordering from either the UK or USA because it wiped out the saving (we were fine with Amazon parcels at Christmas though).

In our neck of the woods they do community yard sales, so you can drive down the road and everyone is sitting outside displaying their junk grin. Meanwhile other people are driving along in their pick up trucks looking for bargains.

madwomanintheattic Fri 04-May-12 18:16:41

my tax rebate arrived! <happy dance>

waiting for dh's though. that will be reason to dance... mine is more 'oh, i can go to sobeys now!' might even buy some cheese... wink

westcoastnortherner Sat 05-May-12 03:38:34

Ohh buy some Comox Valley Brie! and Costco also do dubliner irish cheddar

wheresthepopcorn Sat 05-May-12 20:05:03

Hi all. I am moving to Toronto in 5 weeks. Can anyone recommend a shipping company?

nooka Sun 06-May-12 05:55:38

We shipped out with Simpsons, and found them good, but it was a long time ago now.

howcomes Sun 06-May-12 19:26:11

Popcorn, I can recommend GBliners, they were great and it's the third time we've used them. We saved money by doing the packing ourselves.

westcoastnortherner Mon 07-May-12 04:10:56

I think we used britannia? get at least 3 quotes

Ekka Sat 12-May-12 06:19:16

Hi all, I've been lurking for a while and thought it was time to actually post on this thread... We currently live in the UK with 3 young dc, but dh's current job is coming to an end and as he is Canadian he is considering finding a job in Canada. His parents live near Victoria BC so he is focussing on Vancouver/Victoria for jobs, and is currently in Vancouver for a few weeks to try and find something. So far nothing has come up, but we are keeping our fingers crossed. I'm panicking a bit about logistics (dd, our oldest is I her last term of reception here but would start in Kindergarten in September if we relocated this summer) and trying to get our current house ready in case we need to sell it quickly...

So, can anyone tell me how the schools application process works? We looked at the three private schools in Victoria (ouch to the prices!!!) when we were here at Easter but couldn't look at the more likely public schools as we have absolutely no idea yet where we'd be likely to be living if we move.

You all sound as if you are having a good time out there, it does make me think this could be a positive move for us even though I will be leaving all my family over in the UK which will be tough. So now its just a case of keeping our fingers crossed that a job comes up for dh (if you know of anyone that needs an FD or similar - he's very good! grin)

westcoastnortherner Sat 12-May-12 16:19:49

HI Ekka!

If you have any questions feel free to PM me about schools or anything else in Victoria, there are lots of well priced schools I'm assuming you looked around GNS, SMUS and St Maragrets when you were here? They are very expensive, but there are lots of good cheaper ones and very good public ones too.

nooka Thu 17-May-12 05:42:43

State school applications are very simple here, you pretty much just turn up at your local school and they fit you in. There are class size limits so it's possible that might be an issue, but in general its not half as stressful as in the UK. Our experience (in the Interior) has been that all the schools have been pretty good. I would suspect that Vancouver is much more variable depending on the characteristics of the local catchment area.

crazyforbaby Thu 17-May-12 06:14:16

Hi Ekka and welcome!
Our children attend elementary school in Vancouver and they have loved it...there is a big emphasis on daily physical activity here. One of my children was the same age as your daughter when she came over here - most schools now offer a full-day kindergarten. I am sure you have looked up for the local schoolboard website. Some parents like the Fraser Institute ranking of schools' performances. A lot of public schools have areas of specialism, eg music, sport etc depending on your child's talents. The class sizes are generally smaller here too, but the price of renting or buying a house is high! Have you looked on the British Expats website - they ran a good piece on local education in BC on their forum recently. Good luck in your search!!!

MiauMau Sat 14-Jul-12 22:23:02

Hello, I've noticed that this thread has died down since May. We'll be moving to Vancouver with our DS in a few months time, so some hand holding and information is required blush

nooka Wed 18-Jul-12 06:25:33

I don't think that there are quite enough of us to sustain a thread over time MiauMau. Good luck with your move to Vancouver. It's a great city, but very expensive as I'm sure everyone has already told you!

MiauMau Fri 20-Jul-12 22:11:28

Hi nooka. It can't be much worse than London. Just the thought of being able to live much closer to work warms my heart.

nooka Sat 21-Jul-12 08:03:26

I know what you mean. We moved to Kamloops (great little interior town) and now it's a 20 minutes easy drive to work, when stopping too many times at the traffic lights is the biggest traffic problem most days. Much nicer than the hour or so on public transport I had in London!

runningforme Tue 04-Sep-12 01:49:12

Hi, just thought I'd revive the thread and join in. We moved to Toronto a year ago with our 3 dc's. having an amazing, long hot summer - the kind you hope for every year back home in the UK but never get! I miss proper tea, fish and chips with mushy peas ( even though never used to have it very often), proper cheese that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, wotsits, cheese and onion walkers crisps and sausages ( that aren't either franks or Italian). Otherwise, we've settled in well. DS is starting an extended French program this term and DD1 iS trying out for a gymnastics team. Im ready to look for part time work, but the cost of daycare for DD2 may just rule that out.....

boredbuthappy Fri 21-Sep-12 00:00:59

(Reposting from another thread)

I have recently just moved back to Toronto after having lived in thr UK for 8 years and am finding te whole transition quite difficult. This has been a bit of a shock for me because I had been really looking forward to coming back and being close to family again. The problem is that I had an extensive network of parents friends after having my son 18 months ago and am really missing it. I'm finding it difficult to find resourses and avenues by which to meet other parents, and also, surprisingly, nothing even similar to this website in Canada/Toronto. Either it doesn't exist or I am looking in all the wtong places. Would really like to be able to take part in playgroups and the like, but where I am at the moment (North York Centre), there seems to be nothing going on! And there are plenty of parents with small children walking around. The most disheartening thing so far thoug has to ge that I did actually find one group that meet up wit their toddlers, and emailed a member to ask if we could come along one day as we are new to the area and don't know anyone, and I never got a reply. Teir website did stae that they only accept new members on recommedation so maybe that's why, but made me feel a little sad nonetheless.
If there's anyone out there who could point me in the right direction, I'd be very grateful!

howcomes Wed 26-Sep-12 04:48:54

Hi boredbuthappy I'm in Toronto too, in east york. I moved out here just over a year ago and have a ds aged 2.5. Our local library had lots of good info about nearby drop in centres (playgroups) and events.

madwomanintheattic Wed 26-Sep-12 05:18:42

Oh hello, bored!

Will keep it bumped a bit if I remember. Did you have any luck on expats?

You could probably scroll through the thread and use the pm function to message torontonians (or whatever they are called...) as well x

How is everyone, anyway?

I'm job hunting and fed up. And have two weddings in the UK next year...

nooka Wed 26-Sep-12 06:46:00

Hello again fellow Canadians and Canadian wannabees grin I hope everyone is well.

What sort of job are you looking for madwoman? Can't be that easy in your beautiful neck of the woods I'm imagining?

On another thread you said you were thinking about Canadian diamonds and I was intrigued especially because I think we share your reasoning (dh and I thinking about some sort of vow renewal thingy once we get PR).

What sort of gems are mined here? It woudl be really cool to have a Rockies rock smile

madwomanintheattic Wed 26-Sep-12 21:45:15

It's freaking impossible. grin <wail> any job would do me right now, but I can't get even get an entry level front desk job in any of the gazillion hotels, despite having about 20 years of blardy customer facing experience. <and breathe>

I only know of Polar Bear and Maple Leaf Diamonds tbh, I think they are all NorthWest Territories? We haven't looked into it too deeply. It's very much theoretical, as unless I can actually find a job, we are going to struggle to pay the damn mortgage, let alone go jewellery shopping!

You guys aren't far from PR now, though, are you? You must be pretty settled? A friend was telling me about the Darfield Earthship (?) out your way - just out of town. Might be planning a road trip at some point... Next year though.

nooka Thu 27-Sep-12 03:24:42

Sounds intriguing - a house built of rubbish!

We're in the final PR queue, but things seem to be moving at the rate of treacle. Medicals back in May and we haven't heard anything since.

Sorry your finances are tricky. We are hoping that our home in the UK sells and then we'll be more solvent. This emigrating lark is bloody expensive!

madwomanintheattic Sun 04-Nov-12 02:24:49

A wee bumpetty bump to see what's new...

The snow has arrived. grin

madwomanintheattic Sun 04-Nov-12 02:25:56

Nooka, yy, apparently at the moment they are building a wall out of baby food jars instead of a those glass bricks, for light? I'm going to have to have a wee looky.

nooka Sun 04-Nov-12 03:47:38

We had snow last week but it went again (can't say we were that sad about it!)

madwomanintheattic Sun 04-Nov-12 18:18:24

Two out of four ski resorts are open here already (two weeks!) and I slid on the ice in the car this morning coming out of the off leash area. Jeesh, it's that time again! Only a wee slide, just enough to remind me about winter driving...

Have you heard anything about your pr? It's usually at this time of year that they stall until their new quotas hit in January? Then there's a huge batch of envelopes arrive all at once!

madwomanintheattic Sun 04-Nov-12 18:18:50

We can apply for citizenship in January... How scary is that?!

nooka Mon 05-Nov-12 03:11:54

Our big resort opens on the 17th, but we don't often have a lot of snow before December. My PR application is in a black hole along with a whole bunch of other ones that were sent to Ottawa supposedly for speedier processing but were derailed when there were a whole bunch of cuts to the immigration service. It's been a year now and I've no idea when we'll hear anything. Grr

Cool about being here long enough for citizenship - are you going to swear loyalty to the Queen?

SomewhereInCanada Mon 05-Nov-12 04:02:05

nooka Did you do the PR thing yourself or did you have assistance? We kicked our application off last September and it was granted in August. The medical seems like a licence to print money for someone! Activating was a bit of a pain as we couldn't get to the immigration office in Edmonton (they only offer one appointment with no choice on date or time and DH works shifts), so we ended up flying to San Francisco for 24 hours and applying on re-entry.

nooka Mon 05-Nov-12 05:13:27

We're doing it on our own, but already have provincial sponsorship, so it's just a matter of getting the federal stamp. Had our medicals back in May. They were a bit strange, lovely doctor gave us all useful advice and only wrote the minimum on the forms - very box ticking.

I can now apply for citizenship. I'm a bit hmm about having to swear allegiance to the Queen. Never had to do that before. I must fill in the forms, just keep putting it off.

nooka Mon 05-Nov-12 15:55:48

It seems an odd idea to me, can't they just take it on trust, after all we are English! I don't see that my slightly republican leanings should have any impact on whether I'd be a good Canadian citizen. ah well all in good time. I think by the time we get PR we will have enough years under our belt to apply for citizenship too.

I would be absolutely happy to swear to uphold the laws of Canada and all that jazz. My family is Scottish so they certainly couldn't take it on trust for us grin

lazydog Mon 05-Nov-12 20:36:27

Oh crap - knew there was something important I'd forgotten to do. I've been able to apply for citizenship for a couple of years now I think! Guess I'd better get onto it ASAP as I know the wait is quite long.

madwomanintheattic Tue 06-Nov-12 02:49:25

I've had to swear allegiance to the queen more times than i can remember, so i'm probably ok on that score!

it took us four years to get pr. grin we timed it sooooo badly and applied just as they changed to the 'simplified' process (bwahaha). simplified my arse.

anyways, done and dusted now.

how long have you been here for, lazy?

lazydog Tue 06-Nov-12 03:14:13

It'll be seven years in 10 days time. It took me a while to get round to applying for PR (spousal) and then it was 19 months after submitting the application before that was done and dusted. Apparently up to one year of residence in Canada before obtaining your PR can count as "0.5 time" towards the residency requirement for citizenship, so I could have applied quite a bit sooner than this, but at least now it's all straightforward as I've been a PR for 4.5 yrs.

Crap!! Writing that number down highlights to me that my PR card must be almost due for renewal now - oh joy, more paperwork! grin

Jacksmania Tue 06-Nov-12 04:58:39

<pokes head in>
Are real Canadians allowed on this thread? grin

lazydog Tue 06-Nov-12 06:06:42

Jacksmania - Erm, probably not since we're in the "Living Overseas" topic, but what the heck...we're not fussy! wink

madwomanintheattic Tue 06-Nov-12 14:02:08

<watches jacks channel sgm>... grin I don't think there are any laws against it! (and you can be the voice of sanity and explain why Canada doesn't have any good cheese or do proper bacon etc grin)

It's a very on/off thread anyway - the more the merrier.

I gave up my job yesterday. I'd only had it for three weeks. A new low! It really wasn't me, though. I knew it when I took it, but thought I could put up with it because we needed the money. Turns out I couldn't! So, onward and upward, back to the drawing board and all that. Something else will come along.

Mmm, we've got some .5 time to count, too. I have to use the citizenship website counter to add it up though, as it makes my brain hurt!!

SrirachaGirl Tue 06-Nov-12 14:08:05

I'm half-and-half...can I join in? smile. I think most of you are out West (I'm in Ontario) so you may not have it out your way, but Balderson cheese is quite decent and widely available (I think). Cracker Barrel = rubber but my kids love it.

Jacksmania Tue 06-Nov-12 22:50:36

<leaps about shouting I AM CANADIAN> :O

<falls over laughing>

Actually, I am not a real real Canadian. I'm an import, too, originally from Germany, but it's so many years ago now, I was a small child, and I've been Canadian for decades.

But if it gets me in the door of the thread... smile

I had forgotten about that thread... I AM CANADIAN grin

Jacksmania Wed 07-Nov-12 07:21:11

Best laugh I'd had in a while. The OP of that thread was such a rude cow grin

welshincanada Thu 08-Nov-12 18:41:13

Hi everyone im new on this site. Hoping to meet new friends and have a good old chat. I moved to alberta with my husband and 2 children 17 & 14. we stuck it out for 3 years but realised how much we missed home (wales) so decided to return.My husband was a police officer in calgary for the 3 years so he managed to rejoin at one of the english forces. to cut a long story short, it did not work out where we decided to settle as we had problems with the schools and placing our daughter back 2 years to sit her gsce so we returned. I know it sounds crazy but we really didnt have the time to waste so we returned to what we knew. Our kids are settled in school now and enjoying life here.... not been a smooth return to say the least but until my husband is able to rejoin the police we are just treading water for now.. I dont think i will ever settle proberly but for now this is where we need to be for the sake of our kids education.. I gues you could call us ping pongers lol lol. Id love to hear from any of the mums who have been in this awful delema. It really is a curse having lived in 2 countries. bye for now... sue

welshincanada Thu 08-Nov-12 18:43:40

forgot to say hubby was a bobby in wales for 12 years!!

madwomanintheattic Thu 08-Nov-12 18:58:03

Are you still in Calgary, welsh? Half of the calgary police are Brits! grin
Did you move back to the same area and schools etc? So you had friends to re-meet up with?

We have been all over, and that homeless feeling is tricky...

welshincanada Thu 08-Nov-12 20:21:52

we moved back to the south area of calgary but not the exact area. the kids are in different school.. not sure what the heck to do to be honest. the husband has lost interest due to the long wait to rejoin.. policing is all he has done for 16 years and doing a job that he doesnt enjoy is proving very stressful. thats all we can do for now, but he isnt impressed with the long wait... certain things still bug me about this place and wonder sometimes why im here!!

welshincanada Thu 08-Nov-12 20:23:11

where are you too a=maddwoman?

welshincanada Thu 08-Nov-12 20:25:45

Any help with renewing PR cards. Do you still need photos etc? why arent any of these forms straight forward.. even the passports are not. sorry im moaning now

madwomanintheattic Thu 08-Nov-12 23:59:28

Just over an hour west along the 1. Haven't had to do a renewal yet, sorry, can't help you there!

Jacksmania Sat 10-Nov-12 15:53:27

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