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Considering emigrating to Canada from britain....Help!!!

(88 Posts)
CanadaCalls Mon 23-Jan-12 01:11:49

Basically, we've had enough of England and where it seems to be going - down the bloody pan, and have started looking into Canada......

Initially, we looked at Australia but then several factors and loads of research, we decided it wasn't for us.

Then we got speaking to a friends wife who is Canadian and she sort of helped us make our minds up, Canada it is!

We would be accepted easily as DP has a very desirable job and in high demand in canada and me and DS would be allowed in on the back of this.

My only concern is, how to cope with being homesick?

I have always been really close with my family, same as DP with his, yet since given birth to my PFB 9 months ago, nothing has made me want to move to pastures new and build a better life for us all.

IMHO, todays generation (by all means I don't mean every person) seem to have no drive for life, motivation, respect or ambition.

I want a better life for my child, I dont want him coming home from nursery and using slang words such as 'dat' instead of 'that' (believe me, its happening, my own nephew is doing it!) I dont want to hear him 'kissing his teeth' at me as they call it, nor do I want to look back in 15 years time when he is hanging about on the streets, getting into trouble and refusing to get a job and think 'why didn't we get out??!!'

Everything makes me think there is no question about it, make the jump, but the other part of me is wondering how i'll cope with being away from my family? I keep telling myself that I have my own family now and they have to come first, but I'm still really struggling with the fact that inevitably I am going to get the phone call from my brother telling me 'Mum's not well' and know that it isnt just a cold this time.

Has anybody else been in the same situation? What made you leave? How did you handle being so far away from family and friends?

All answers would be much appreciated smile

ggirl Tue 24-Jan-12 09:42:42

well I know loads of young people and none of them are as you describe , so I disagree that it is the majority

CanadaCalls Tue 24-Jan-12 09:49:20


The problem is, the people that want to make a change are becoming increasingly very few and far between.

I am British and I'm not passing judgement on anybody's country other than my own.

This is my country and I am every bit entitled to have an opinion on it be it good or bad.

And being homesick? I had my family in mind, not Britain itself.

CanadaCalls Tue 24-Jan-12 10:01:44


Lucky you, must just be me thats surrounded by all the idiots then hmm

QuintessentiallyShallow Tue 24-Jan-12 10:04:05

How you can just pick a random country and a random town out of a random hat and chose to live there without ever having visited the place is beyond me.

Foreign grass is not necessarily greener you know. You do sound very naive.

Toddlers coming from nursery and saying "dat" rather than "that"? You think this is a reason to leave Britain? You have a baby yourself, so will not necessarily be aware of the way children learn to speak. And some children DO have problems blending sounds and making the TH sound when they are little. They are not all going to grow up not speaking properly! You should have listened to my little bilingual son talking about grandmas "led house" when he was 3, does not mean he will grow up to believe houses are made from led, and never manage the "R" sound!

The problem with moving abroad is very often that you think from the perspective of what you know, and what you are used to. As do the people who live in your new destination. Neither knows how different it is in the other place, so cant advice. Taxes for example, can be a minefield for foreign workers. Do seek proper advice and dont rely on "chit chat" and do get advice from the proper authorities, as other expats may not know any better than you.

CanadaCalls Tue 24-Jan-12 10:11:01


So what do you suggest we do? Visit every province, state, city, town and village across the world and THEN decide where we would like to live??? How does anybody decide where they want to go?! Research, not actual visits, not at least until they are seriously considering the place anyway.

With regards to the speech Imentioned, of course I never meant the usual speech of a child while theyare learning different sounds and how to pronounce them. I'm talking the kind of speech that is now used on the streets, that every child / teen seems to be using now.

Naive? Think not. Realist? Think so

I'd love to know where you all buy your blinkers from, maybe thats where I'm going wrong hmm

ggirl Tue 24-Jan-12 10:13:31

Where in Canada have you visited and liked?

marshmallowpies Tue 24-Jan-12 10:28:00

I went to Newfoundland last summer, a place I had dreamed of going for years, and it's only 5 hours away from the UK, so the further east you are, distance is not quite such a barrier as you might imagine. Lots of Irish expats there who hop back and forth from Ireland to Newfie regularly.

St Johns in Newfie is also surprisingly cosmopolitan partly I think because it's got a university, so there is a thriving student population, and partly because of being only 5 hours from Europe - makes it an ideal central location for conferences and events which both European and US travellers can reach easily.

However it IS still pretty much middle of nowhere and I'd dread to think what the winters are like...very foggy and windy in July. Also I imagine it's not an easy place to find work.

I also went to Toronto very briefly and loved it as a city to visit but it IS still a city like London or New York or wherever. The outskirts of Toronto when you travel from the airport are some of the grimmest looking suburbs I've ever been through - that in itself was a culture shock as I'd bought into the image of Canada as 'like the UK only bigger, cleaner, greener'.

CanadaCalls Tue 24-Jan-12 10:33:14

As i've said in an earlier post, we are only at the begining of considering this as an option ggirl so no we haven't visited anywhere. When we are more decided that this is what we want to do, then the visits will start.

momnipotent Tue 24-Jan-12 10:35:55

Wouldn't it be a better use of your time to visit before you do any investigating and research? You might step off the plane and hate it!

Although, to be fair, when my parents dragged us here they did it on the basis of photos our neighbours brought back from a visit and my Dad securing a job. They had never set foot outside of the UK until we flew here the day we moved.

Cinders22 Tue 24-Jan-12 10:46:44

We have some close family friends who have emigrated to Canada last July and they absolutely love it. They went because they liked the country, they wanted the outdoors lifestyle and choices for their children which for them was better than the UK. They have moved to Vancouver and live about 45 minutes out of Vancouver itself which they travel to by train for work. They are currently renting as despite having visited several times, they did not want to commit to an area and get a feel what areas were like to live in which I think is a great idea.

I have to say we are having the same dilemma as you, my DH would go tomorrow but it is me worrying about missing my family. They do not live close to us at the moment so I do not see them that regularly but I do still fear being a plane journey away.

Have you been to any of the emigrate events? My DH has and brought back some very useful literature. For our friends they were recommended to apply and get their visas as this does take a little while so I would suggest you do this and then decide for definite when you have all your paperwork in progress/ready.

QuintessentiallyShallow Tue 24-Jan-12 11:06:01

What is it about Toronto that you cant find elsewhere?

Is it the great outdoors?

Norway and Sweden has great outdoors, Finland too! And closer to Britain if you want to visit family.

Will you be able to get a mortgage and buy a house on a temporary work visa? Will you get a full visa straight away?

Why do all the research if you find that you absolutely dont like the place when you see it?

Have you considered what it takes to uproot your uk connections, pay for an overseas move, and start again from scratch elsewhere? It is an enormous upheaval.

I think your attitude is pretty insulting, you know, talking about all our "blinkers" just because we dont all shout "oh, clever you what a great idea".

CanadaCalls Tue 24-Jan-12 11:21:20

cinders22 Hi smile

We are hoping to go to an emigrate event as we both need more info, need to weigh up pro's and cons before we can set our mind to it.

I have family in Toronto ( they have lived there for over 30 years now) and they are always asking us to 'pop' over for a visit. Thing is, a holiday is a lot different to actually living there. Once all the excitement dies down and normal life goes on, I think thats when the loneliness sets in.

It is a big sacrifice leaving family behind, I just keep telling myself that its for a better life for my DS, I have to put my issues to one side and learn how to cope with them (skype, telephone etc) and put him first. It is still really hard though.


I find your attitude quite patronising. I started this thread to get information and views, from all angles. Not to be told that I'm naive and insulting, who are you to judge me on my decision? As I said over and over, we've only just started thinking about the idea so No, I haven't got a wealth of knowledge about area's etc but that all comes after. I didn't mean apply for visa's, jobs etc, then visit and decide we didnt want to go, I meant decide that we want to go then start putting the wheels in motion. As you said, whats the point in wasting time and money if we decide we don't want to go to Canada, or in fact any country?.

We are in no rush so are willing to take our time and do things properly.

wannaBe Tue 24-Jan-12 11:53:03

the problem though op is that you are only open to the positive views not the negative ones.

It seems abundantly clear from your op and subsequent posts that you thought you'd come on here, slag off Britain and its inhabitants (of which you are one, might I remind you), say that there's a better life out there and a host of people would come on and say "oh yes, Britain is a shit hole and all British teenagers are horrible, do escape now to another country where life is beautiful all the time.."

It's not like that.

The majority of teenagers are not delinquants in Britain.

And Canada's teenagers are no different to British ones. Why would they be?

There is crime everywhere.

Rough areas everywhere.

Houses are expensive everywhere (the days of being able to move to another country because the cost of living is so much cheaper are long gone).

Family and friends are thousands of miles (and for that matter thousands of £s) away and the promises of visits rarely materialize for the simple reason that people either A can't afford it and B have more exciting places to go.

There are pros and cons to living in every country, and wherever you live there will be things you don't like, and wherever you move to you will have to sacrifice things you like about the place you have moved from.

Nothing wrong with wanting to emigrate. But you have to do so with your eyes open to the fact that it's not going to be a picnic in the park and that you may in fact hate it. And that if you think that you won't find sullen teenagers in Canada or social problems you are being very naive.

ggirl Tue 24-Jan-12 11:54:33

wel saying - "I'd love to know where you all buy your blinkers from, maybe thats where I'm going wrong " does rather suggest we are all mad for not thinking UK is going 'down the bloody pan'' as you say

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 24-Jan-12 11:58:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kenobi Tue 24-Jan-12 12:05:27

I don't think quint meant to be insulting CC, but if you state that the reasons you're moving are because children say 'dat' and suck their teeth, and because the majority of British youth are apathetic, well, it does sound quite naive.

ALL western teens perfect the art of apathy then most lose it somewhere around university (it's part and parcel of being a teen, as is hanging out, bored, on the street because you can afford to go and have coffee, and you're too young to go to a pub), and 'dat' and teeth sucking are AMERICAN traits, ones which most certainly have infiltrated Canada.

I don't have blinkers on, I live on the outskirts of one of the biggest council estates in west London and use the playground there, and I can tell you that even on an estate where I have been, ahem, privileged to witness some elegantly orchestrated drug deals grin, even THERE there isn't a homogenised blob of apathetic teeth-sucking youth. I've never been sucked at, and one of the scariest-looking kids I see around helped me, my DD and mountains of luggage into my house without even being asked, at 11pm at night. This was more than a year ago so no, he wasn't casing the joint.

On the flip side you are clearly researching it heavily, which is not naive, and I'm reading your thread because I totally see the appeal of moving abroad (we are planning to leave London very soon because of house prices, transport-related aggression and a general feeling of the city being just too full) it just would be really rubbish if you moved overseas and STILL ended up being irritated by all the things that irritate you about the UK, because they are universal.

Some wise PP said you should move because you want to go somewhere, not because you want to leave somewhere, I've certainly taken a note of that.

Kenobi Tue 24-Jan-12 12:08:21

x post wannabe grin

I also have 10 male cousins, the youngest of whom is 19, I know teenagers. They were all horrible aged 14-16, and probably said 'dat' so they sounded cool. They are all delightful now. And hardworking.

QuintessentiallyShallow Tue 24-Jan-12 12:11:07

Well, my view is that it is pretty daft to plan an international move based on what you say. I understand that this view is not welcome.

We uprooted the family and moved to Norway in 2008. There is more to life than clean air, "country living" and mountains. Uprooting is hard. What we thought were going to be a great move for the kids, turned out to be quite the opposite for a number of reasons, and we returned to the UK this September. I can assure you, I have no blinkers on, and honestly think that British teenagers are not as bad as you think. People are people. The moves have cost so much, financially and emotionally, it is exhausting. We have coped with double taxation, bullied kids, and now have to deal with owning two homes in negative equity and STILL be liable for tax returns in two countries for the next two years.

Just make sure you get ALL the facts.

Mumsnet is a great site, with people from all over. It can be a great resource, and rather than alienating people whose brains you can pick with insults you could try and be a little friendly and welcoming to all opinions, not just read what you want to read because it suits your little rosy dream. It could end up costing you.

TheCatInTheHairnet Tue 24-Jan-12 12:28:32

We picked a random foreign city and moved there on a bit of a whim. That was 5 years ago. Best thing we ever did!

hillbilllyhell Tue 24-Jan-12 12:51:18

Hmmmm, we are moing to Winnipeg next month. I am American, dh is Trinidadian and we have 2 Essex born ds's. We have been in the UK for nearly 7 years, 4 in Essex, 2.5 in village near Edinburgh. I'm not sure if I have done myself a massive service or disservice by not researching much about where we are going only because when I started the research process I started making myself insane. I know basics about it, primarily how damn cold I am going to be but I am different from the op, because this is where dh's career has taken us. We don't really have much of a choice, as every interview he has gone on in the last year he wasn't the selected canidate. The career opportunity in Winnipeg was too good to decline.

I went through massive culture shock when I went from California to Essex 7 years ago, and just as was mentioned up thread, I felt like nothing was really that different except everything was in odd little ways. I will be going to Canada possibly more with British eyes than American as I have been here so long and have had both of my children here.

We have a lovely sublet until May in Winnipeg and then we have to find a place to live. That gives us a few months to get our bearings and figure out where we want to live. I am a bit overwhelmed but trying to embrace the massive change that is right around the corner. One thing I am grateful for is no one will ask me where I am from because I won't sound so different from the Canadians when I talk. smile

slavetocat Tue 24-Jan-12 16:54:17

I have been living in Canada for 15 years now and have taught in both countries. Canada has an excellent education system, with good standards generally. In international studies Canada ( especially Alberta) outranks Britain in many areas. Class sizes are much smaller and students are not behind their English counterparts. my friend returned with two teenagers to the UK and thought her kids would be behind, when in fact the reverse was the case. They are unlikey to be behind the Uk on leaving school. Taking the IB is an option before heading off to university. Students that are high achievers are possibly not as well served at times as we don't differentiate as much. Average and lower achieving kids get a lot of support. The morale of teachers tends to be good and Canadians do not knock the system all the time. The school year is a little longer as we get a long summer holiday, but no half terms and spring break is around 6- 10 days depending on the area.

Winters are colder, but sunnier. Outdoor sports are fantastic. The air is clean and fresh. Houses are well insulated and much warmer than in the UK. The summers are warm, but we get mosquitoes! We get less holidays than in the UK generally.

it is a good place to bring up kids. There are badly behaved kids everywhere, but youdo not see that too often. There is poverty here, but it does not seem quite so bad as in the UK. Canda has a positive, sunnier outlook than the UK.

I keep in touch by regular visits, phonecalls and skype. If you make the effort to stay in touch, then you will.

outofbodyexperience Tue 24-Jan-12 17:46:27

i live in alberta. dh works in calgary. we live in the mountains. it's an hour-ish commute.
(and lol at lottie - i used to live in medicine hat grin it ain't all that, for sure, but is the sunniest city in canada. funny old world)

Auntiestablishment Tue 24-Jan-12 18:43:41

Sorry but what is teeth-sucking, anyway? <doesn't live in London>

nooka Wed 25-Jan-12 04:04:36

Teeth sucking to me is what builders and other general contractors do when they come to your house and tell you that whatever you had planned is far more difficult, time consuming and expensive than you had possibly imagined (dh's uncle and cousin are painters and decorators and do great teeth sucking grin)

dh wanted to move for very similar reasons to the OP, he thought that Canadians were just much nicer than English people and had started to hate the commute into central London. Not long after we moved he told me that he had realised that it wasn't where you were but who you were with that mattered.

I don't regret our move, but I do sometimes reflect that we could have done so many other things with the money we have spent. Not just the direct cost of the move, but the cost of renting out here plus renting our house out back in the UK (we've lost a huge amount on our house because of bad tenants), and all sorts of extra costs, the work permits and applications, the extra taxes and higher interest on our mortgage (plus no eligibility for tax breaks or benefits).

I think that if you approach living abroad as an adventure to live a different way of life for a while (or forever) then the chance that you will enjoy the experience are much higher. It can be very stressful and most people will get homesick at times, so you have to really feel that it's worth it.

crazyforbaby Wed 25-Jan-12 06:33:27

I second the views put foreward by QS...if you are going to make such a big move, then make sure it is for the right reason. We moved to Vancouver almost 4 yrs ago and I still get pangs of homesickness, more for my friends than family. Take the good advice and experiences offered by the MNers and run with it, because it is GOLD op! Van's winters are the warmest in Canada. We sold TWO houses in England to buy ONE average-sized Van home! People are v PC in a very polite laid back way here- I know that I have to keep a check on my sarcastic gob! grin

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