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What should I know about Canada...

(57 Posts)
Barmcake Thu 16-Jun-11 15:08:19


Following on from the thread about what surprised you about Australia when you first moved there, I was just wondering if any Canadian based MN's could give me tips on what surprised you the most when you first moved there,are there things that weren't as you expected? What surprised/pleased you the most? Do I need to investigate anything that I might not obviously think about? Do you have any tips or things that you wished you had known prior to moving there? I am looking for positive and negative answers!!


Highlander Thu 16-Jun-11 17:47:27

never, ever, ever, ever ,ever swear/curse. Never wink

Barmcake Thu 16-Jun-11 17:50:13

dare I ask why and what happens if you do (will have to tape dh's mouth shut!blush )

ChristianSalvesen62 Thu 16-Jun-11 18:15:09

Ooh, will mark my place on this thread, as I'm very interested to know about Canada as well grin

nooka Fri 17-Jun-11 06:16:46

Really? Plenty of swearing goes on where I work grin

I think that you need to specify where in Canada you are thinking of. We live in BC which is (obviously) fantastic, but I don't think I'd want to live in some other parts of Canada. Especially Manitoba grin

I've a newly arrived friend at work and he says he wished he had known about car insurance (vv expensive here, bring your whole insurance history with you, but that's really just a BC thing).

TuttoRhino Fri 17-Jun-11 06:28:50

Where are you heading? It is so different depending on where you go.

The newspapers are rubbish. People are much more polite.

I've been in the UK for 11 years now so get culture shock when I go back.

Barmcake Fri 17-Jun-11 07:44:25

we are thinking of Toronto, my parents are quite elderly and it's for the ease of getting back to the UK really and so we can visit Europe too, and also pil are (supposed to be!) moving to the Florida area. This is why we think east coast would be better for us!! DH is a chef, it's on the job list so hopefully he will find employment!!

MaryBS Fri 17-Jun-11 07:56:47

I'm interested too...

Barmcake Fri 17-Jun-11 09:49:44

which part of Canada are you thinking of ChristianSalvesen62 & MaryBS?

MaryBS Fri 17-Jun-11 09:56:57

We loved BC when we visited. Have also been to Toronto, which is a beautiful city, but liked the West coast of Canada better.

Highlander Fri 17-Jun-11 16:01:34

if your curse, people will stare at you as if you are the scum of the earth. Canadians are the most polite people I've ever met smile

madwomanintheattic Fri 17-Jun-11 16:16:39

can't help any of you then. tis all cowboys round these parts. the majority of alberta is, um, quite different to either bc or toronto. grin

admylin Fri 17-Jun-11 17:50:20

I'm also interseted in Canada as dh has a couple of job applications going. Just abit worried about the Manitoba comment as one of the applications is there! What's wrong with Manitoba?

youonlygetonelife Fri 17-Jun-11 18:02:26

We lived in Ontario for two years.

The weather is crazy. You will spend a fortune on outdoor clothes/shoes and two sets of tyres for your vehicle. It is lovely though! Hot summers - make friends with people with lakeside cottages. Cold winters - take up skating and skiing.

Don't get sucked into the idea that you need to buy a huge north American home. We did. Property taxes were crazy, redecorating is like painting the Forth Bridge, heating bills are only going to rise, garden expenses are big on those huge plots. Don't go wild. There are some great apartments in Toronto smile

People take 'disaster preparedness' seriously and keep lots of toilet rolls, Kraft Dinner and bottle water in their basements.

Kraft Dinner is vile. If someone offers you 'macaroni cheese', say no.

Real cheese is weirdly expensive and very dull. Buying artisan stuff from Quebec is OK, but you will require a second mortgage.

Clothes are awful. But the women are very well groomed. I looked weird in my designer clothes yet with shaggy eyebrows.

In Ontario, you can only buy alcohol in government licensed stores. You will struggle to buy a bottle of wine after 8pm on a weeknight. Remember this when you have just got off the plane and travelled to your new home and want to celebrate. Do not drive around the neighbourhood looking for an offie or corner shop!

We had a fun time there, but we were glad to come home.

MollyMurphy Fri 17-Jun-11 18:12:58

As a Canadian myself I can assure you that swearing is prolific in every province. Some of the politenss schtick is obnoxiously hyped up (by Canadians wink).

Manitoba is dull, dull, dull. Sorry Manitobans but you know its true.

Having never moved here from somewhere else I can't really comment on visa needs/insurance issues etc.

Each province is quite different and offeres its own charms. The prairie provinces (where I reside) being the most bumpkinish and conservative of the bunch on the whole as one might expect. The West Coast is lovely but Vancouver is a very expensive city to live in. Toronto is also very expensive but as you say - its much easier and cheaper to get to Europe. Toronto is nice because its in the thick of things - its not outrageously far to visit interesting Ottawa, Quebec and for longer trips its more condusive to travelling to the lovely East Coast. That said, The West Coast has a great wealth of beauty - from the coast to the Rockies - its a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.

Come! Please be liberal and multicultural. I encourage you to bring a European sense of asthetic and work-life balance - we need voters people like that.

MollyMurphy Fri 17-Jun-11 18:19:08

youonlygetonelife - Whenever I visit Europe I always feel underdressed. Nobody walking around in a fleece and hiking boots WTF?! I remember how homely I am dressed and run around looking for an outfit lol!

Barmcake Fri 17-Jun-11 18:26:46

madwoman are you Canadian or did you move there?

youonlyget we live in the middle east and you have to have a licence to buy any alcohol and it's in my dh's name so he has to be with me!!! very hard to get used to in the beginning so shouldn't be too much of a problem (I hope!)

Molly we won't rule out the west coast except for reasons I've already stated but once there we may change our minds wink

thanks for all your reply's so far smile

oh dh has just asked if you can you get proper teabags there? he's a bit of a tea-addict grin

WhatGoodIsThis Fri 17-Jun-11 18:33:03

Canada is a big place. You cannot compare rural Nova Scotia with corporate Toronto, cosmopolitan Montreal, west-coast-vibe Vancouver or, uh, the prairies. Where are you thinking of moving?

ggirl Fri 17-Jun-11 18:40:27

If you're a keen shopper and enjoy fashion , you'll miss the UK.

I grew up in Ont. and regularly go back to visit my family.

Economically thinking I would say the only thing cheaper is houses , well not in vancouver but def suburban ontario. Compared to here you get more for your buck.

ggirl Fri 17-Jun-11 18:41:17

People are very very friendly and polite ..which is nice ..and a teensy bit dull.

Oblomov Fri 17-Jun-11 19:04:29

I like Canada. Alot. I find them far too polite though. Sense of humour totally different to the UK. Mind you where is the same, as the UK ? Aus, SA, everywhere is different to the UK sense of humour wise.
I have been there 3 times. to Sudbury, small village outside Toronto,and Toronto itself many times. And near Hamilton.

I do agree, where are you talkingn about. it is so vast.

MrsSnaplegs Fri 17-Jun-11 19:20:41

My DB lives in Toronto and has done for nearly 20 yrs now. I love it there, I find Canadians very polite and genuine. His street in the heavy snow, everyone is out together helping to clear the drives - very neighbourlygrin
You will probably go to Niagara at some point - make the effort to go down the road to Niagara on the lake it's lovely, very picturesque and it has a fab Xmas shop open all year if it's still there
I would live there tomorrow if I could smile

madwomanintheattic Fri 17-Jun-11 21:00:08

british. lived here for a few years a while back, had dc here, went back to uk, now back again. grin have residency. southern alberta, so prairies to saskatchewan and then mountains to bc grin and calgary 'the heart of the new west' home of the stampede etc etc. oh, and oil sands up north which we don't talk about wink but which mean it's a wealthy province. in the process of moving to a little green outdoorsy niche in the mountains. our very small house has thus cost a fortune... but the dcs play ice hockey and ski (stereotypes r us) well, two play, one watches. but as we've just lost the cup to the bruins i'm not supposed to be talking about it...

WhatGoodIsThis Fri 17-Jun-11 22:07:02

The suburbs of Toronto are soul-destroying. Just had to get that off my chest.

ggirl Fri 17-Jun-11 22:17:02

yy don't bloody move to Mississauga...dire

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