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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

Selks Wed 25-Jan-12 06:57:45

Look into working conditions out there. My friend emigrated (lives in Ontario) and works full time which is longer hours than the UK and only gets two weeks annual leave a year, including bank holidays. None of this 27 days or whatever that e get here. Two weeks to last the entire year.

outofbodyexperience Wed 25-Jan-12 16:33:40

annual leave is poor if you are of low experience or working in an entry level job. dh has about 20-25 years experience and gets 5 weeks a year vacation plus i think 6 'personal days'. but a lot of it is about what you negotiate at the offer stage. certainly annual leave entitlement is generally much lower than the uk, and this is one of the first things that people seeking their first canadian job need to be on the lookout for. there is also (around here at least) much more of a secrecy about pay. so unless you are working in a govt service type job with set pay scales, it's very difficult to work out what you should be paid in context. that said, with the lmo process, the employer has to disclose the wage and all the advertising and why no canadian applicant is suitable and you are, etc when they apply for the lmo, so at least if you get an lmo you know it's a fair wage.

our mortgage payments are about 60% of our monthly income. we live in a 2 bed condo with 3 kids and 2 dogs. there are cheaper areas, but we can't sell due to the economic situation - there are no buyers and a glut of similar properties that aren't shifting... family friends are moving back to the uk next month and are having to go with tenants in their house as it's been on the market for well over a year with no offers despite slashing the price. fortunately they have found tenants...

that said, it's grand at the mo. but nooka is quite right - think of it as doing something different for a few years with the possible option to extend, rather than rubbishing the uk and looking for a lifelong alternative. smile

momnipotent Wed 25-Jan-12 18:44:45

Your DH was exceptionally lucky to get 5 weeks' leave, I don't know of anyone with that much, except my Dad when he retired, but he had to work at the company for 20 years to get it. My own DH has 20-25 years experience and is working a management level job with 2 weeks' leave.

outofbodyexperience Wed 25-Jan-12 19:00:14

yy, without a doubt. they needed him though and so were ok with the agreement. most of the other employees have 3 weeks. it's a bit of a shocker when you're used to uk terms and conditions. it isn't public sector, but it's sort-of aligned.

dh is job hunting at the mo. without a similar agreement and a pay rise, he won't bother to move. it's much easier to negotiate when you have a canadian comparison for employers to match. otherwise it is likely to be low.

nooka Thu 26-Jan-12 04:08:45

I work in a specialist management role and I get four weeks, I used to get six in the UK and I really miss the two I've lost! Seniority is a big deal here, the longer you work somewhere the more leave you get (I have colleagues who have accumulated seven weeks) in fact the deference to seniority is one of the cultural differences I find a little hard. I took a job significantly below my experience level, assuming that I could show my skills and move up quite quickly and it's not really worked out like that. The other thing to note is that Canada is very strong on networking - who you know does really make a difference. It's not really an old boy's network because there isn't much of a class system or very many public/private school but it can be a bit of a barrier to newcomers.

lazydog Thu 26-Jan-12 05:30:53

FWIW, my DH works in a technical role and he gets 4 weeks holiday a year, plus all the statutory holidays (bank holiday equivalents) off, paid... He has done since he started there, 5 years ago. It's not something he's negotiated or that's come with "time served" - all his colleagues get exactly the same, even ones who have been there over twice as long.

WillCrossThatBridge Fri 03-Feb-12 03:00:24

We moved from Ireland to Toronto last year.
My OH is Canadian so when he was offered a job after being made redundant in Ireland, it seemed sensible.
I was then lucky enough to be offered a job. I had to sort out my work permit and, because it was in the science/research area, I didn't need the "Labour Market Opinion" which is basically saying that the employer had to source a worker from overseas as there was no Canadian who was suitably qualified. My employer would not have given this - it means that job has to be suitably advertised etc. and I got this job through word of mouth - and he was not very informed about entitlements to work so, unless the companies your OH is contacting are large multinationals, and even then, I'd check out with them what would happen with regards to getting a work permit
I have been much less homesick than I expected and I think this is mainly down to full-time work and having 2 children who mean you kind of have to get on with things and don't have time to dwell.
BOth my OH and I only get 10 days/2 working weeks + statutory holidays of annual leave which is pretty damn shitty. Not sure what the chances of getting more are....probably will negotiate at my annual review.

Toronto is expensive and I say this having lived in London and pre-recession Dublin. We first thought that property prices were way better than (pre-recession) Dublin when looking on the internet but I don't think there is a huge difference really for similar areas etc.

I love Toronto, though! It's a fab city. Thankfully, we have had a relatively mild first winter which is especially welcome as my 17month old son will not keep his gloves on. Hopefully he'll be better at understanding the link between freezing cold hands and not wearing his gloves by next winter!

Feel free to PM me with questions!

tropicalmum Fri 03-Feb-12 03:24:28

I've been to Toronto a few times and I would say that Toronto is still less hectic than many parts of London but if you want to live in a city but have a more relaxed feel you might want to consider somewhere such as Vancouver (west coast) or even Montreal (east coast French part).

It's true what many other posters have said that you take your problems with you. I have traveled a fair bit and am now living in Thailand. Although you always get a "buzz" when you first arrive at your new "home" it doesn't take long before life becomes normal again - in good ways and bad ways in that many of the problems/concerns you had in the UK are likely to be part of the baggage that comes with you to your new country.

That said, Canada is a lovely place and I always think it is worth taking a risk and broadening your horizons!

eternallyoptimistic Fri 03-Feb-12 03:47:39

Have lived in Ottawa for 5 years now and would highly recommend it, fab snowy winter- kids skate and ski, and lovely hot summers. Happy to answer questions about schools, work etc.

westcoastnortherner Sat 11-Feb-12 06:36:34

We live in Victoria, it is beautiful. We came out on work permits and now have permanent residence, please note that although you may think it's cheap to live in Canada it's not necessarily, the food shop is expensive, as is property, clothes, etc it's all cheap in the states but not here.

lazydog Mon 13-Feb-12 05:06:43

"you may think it's cheap to live in Canada it's not necessarily"

Totally agree! About the only thing I can think of, off the top of my head, is fuel and then that's cancelled out by considerably longer distances between everything (well, maybe not on Van.Island, LOL!)

It used to be that cost of living (to a Brit not yet thinking in terms of a CA$ wage) was much better in Canada because a pound was worth well over 2 dollars. It was 1GBP = 2.15CAD when we moved in 2005 and that was a considerable drop from when we decided to make the move, only months earlier, when it was about 1GBP = $2.30. In comparison, now it's 1GBP:$1.59!!!

canadahome Sun 23-Dec-12 05:49:57

If you haven't yet moved - consider VERY, VERY carefully!!!!! we moved to Canada in July as my husband had a job and it's not all you hear about it - the small towns are very narrow minded - most people have never left which is a worry. It is VERY expensive for everyday living such as food and clothing to the point we are struggling unlike we were in the Uk and we lived in Oxford. The Canadians do not like being told no and the school system is horrific, if you want drugs this is the place to live!!! I also moved here to give my children a better life and I must say the UK is far superior, the education here is appalling, I so miss the wonderful schools in the Uk - yes I know some have problems but not compared to Canadian schools on the East coast. It would upset you if you thought you would get a better life here, you don't. It upsets me every day knowing I pulled my children away from a better life in the UK but I didn't know that at the time - so consider VERY hard before you move or you will regret it.

lazydog Mon 31-Dec-12 19:49:56

canadahome - So sorry to hear your move hasn't lived up to your expectations. Thankfully our experience of life in a small Canadian town (well, small village!) is the total polar opposite of what you describe (other than everything being expensive, but we feel that's a small price to pay for what has been a huge improvement in all other aspects.) Do you not have the option to move back to the UK if you've not been here very long, or maybe to try another location within Canada...? Sounds like whereever you are now is not somewhere you're ever going to be happy.

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