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The Maple Leaf 2015

(61 Posts)
westcoastnortherneragain Mon 23-Mar-15 15:44:47

A thread that is all things canadian, so to all the existing and new canadian based mumsnetters hello!

Also if anyone has any questions about coming to live here please ask.

westcoastnortherneragain Mon 23-Mar-15 15:45:32

I'll start, the weather here in victoria has been lovely and all of my spring flowers are blooming!

lemonpoppyseed Mon 23-Mar-15 15:50:22

Hello from Toronto! We had a brief glimpse of spring this past week, but today it's freezing (-10C) again. Bundled poor DS up in his snow pants and winter jacket for school this morning. I though we were done with all that this year...

westcoastnortherneragain Mon 23-Mar-15 15:56:18

Hello Toronto! Hopefully it warms up for you soon Lemon!

ksb76 Mon 23-Mar-15 22:53:51

Hello from Calgary (although back in the UK for spring break right now - where it's colder in the south west than Canada!!!). Am enjoying all the green grass though.

lemonpoppyseed Tue 24-Mar-15 14:31:17

How did you all end up in Canada? I married a Canadian (although we met in the UK). I've lived here for 12 years now.

westcoastnortherneragain Tue 24-Mar-15 21:52:46

I've lived here for 6 years, we are going to apply for citizenship this year.

My husband was make redundant in the UK and Victoria BC was where the next job we could get.

ksb76 Sat 28-Mar-15 18:24:45

Moved here with husband's job... Calgary... oil!

pocketandsweet Mon 30-Mar-15 22:36:23

Victoria too ( although back in York right now for holidays). It's nice to be back in the land of Sunday lunches and cool fires again for awhile.

toffeeboffin Wed 01-Apr-15 13:15:29

Just popping in to say hi, I'm a Brit living in Quebec...

Doesn't seem to be anyone else living in this province, I moved here when I married DH (he's French Canadian).

Love living here, better standard of living, education system is great, fab scenary, people are less aggressive than in the UK, its just generally more chilled. (sometimes literally too grin)

Raven78 Mon 06-Apr-15 13:48:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

westcoastnortherneragain Mon 06-Apr-15 17:54:59

Raven78

Do you have a way to gain the necessary visa to live and work in Canada?

Guide to Canadian Immigration

If you have a visa that enables you to work and you are a tax payer, it is free (unless you go private) to attend school.

Schools Wiki

I am unsure on salary for Calgary, however i'm sure that a Calgary based mumsnetter will be along to help you.

British expats has an excellent Wiki

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 06-Apr-15 18:24:57

Hi all! Victoria here. After almost ten years here, I finally took my citizenship exam and am waiting for my ceremony. I should be a citizen momentarily!

nooka Mon 06-Apr-15 19:37:46

I'm in Interior BC. We left the UK seven years ago now, and have been in BC for six and a half, just waiting for our time since we got PR to clock up to the required days before putting in for citizenship and hoping that the rule change doesn't come in before then.

It's gorgeous weather here at the moment, I get travel warnings as a part of my job and it seems like every week for months the rest of Canada has been in deep freeze!

We came on temporary work permits, and dh was in an exempt from labour market opinion category so it was all pretty easy. Much harder now, you need either to have PR before you come or have skills that are seriously in demand and a prospective employer happy to jump through hoops and pay out a fairly significant amount to get you. However the Express Entry route might work, it's very new though, I don't know anyone whose arrived recently using it. British Expats is a good place to look for advice.

Alberta has had a bit of a crash with the oil price drop. Might not be the best time to think about a move there.

Raven78 Tue 07-Apr-15 03:03:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ksb76 Tue 07-Apr-15 13:20:41

Raven78, we've been here in Calgary for a year, and while we live outside the city to the south west, we looked at houses to rent in the SW. I wold really recommend renting for a while when you first arrive - with the oil price as it is, the housing market has slowed entirely, and depending on what happens in the next few months, there are real fears of falling prices. Houses here are pretty expensive, so not something to rush into not knowing the market. Rental prices are actually pretty reasonable compared with the cost of buying. Although I have kids 9 and 11, they are at a private school here, so can't comment on childcare prices or schools.

A decent salary is such a personal opinion that I would hesitate to offer a suggestion. However, I will say that cars / petrol are much cheaper than the UK but food way more expensive.

If you have any other questions, more than happy to try and answer them.

lemonyone Tue 07-Apr-15 13:24:49

Salut Toffeeboffin!

Qu'est-ce que vous pensez de cet calisse météo?! (Just moved here - how is my Quebecois linge going for you?)

lemonyone Tue 07-Apr-15 13:26:18

Lingo…
(Maudit spellchecker. Tabernacle!)

Cuteasa Tue 07-Apr-15 17:32:48

Hi. DH and I are thinking about making the move to Canada, probably to the GTA, although we're also looking at Halifax. Can anyone give me any advice on areas? We're used to living in British towns and small cities which have local amenities: shops, public transport, swimming pools, baby groups schools etc within walking distance. I hate driving. How realistic is it not to have a car/only have one car for DH and still get around?

lemonyone Tue 07-Apr-15 19:20:25

Hi Cuteasa,

Halifax is awesome!!! I know quite a bit about it so PM me if you want advice.

houseofnerds Wed 08-Apr-15 01:11:07

We are an hour outside Calgary, but dh works in the city (was in town shopping at MEC today lol).

We are supposed to be filling in our applications for citizenship but haven't quite got round to it yet. And now it's going to cost a fortune. To make matters slightly more complicated, our eldest is g10 and will be applying to universities next year. So we need to get it sorted ASAP or we will fall on rocky ground when it comes to scholarship applications etc. eek.

I'm a bit crap on directions in Calgary tbh, but I will say there is a huge Brit community in Okotoks ('Little Britain') and further out in Cochrane/Airdrie is getting popular with ex-pats too.

Sometimes I can go days without speaking to an actual Canadian... If anyone pitches up in Ottawa, I'd be interested in hearing how you are finding it - we have the smallest possibility of a relocation (we are quite happy with current location, but a job offer worth considering might come up in the next month or so...)

Hey you Victoria gals - I will finally be making it back to the island this year, having not made any meet-ups yet, as dd1 is considering UVic and we want to have a poke around... grin Any words of wisdom? Anyone got insider info about the uni? I have to say I am utterly lost with the whole school application process - give me UCAS any day!!

nooka Wed 08-Apr-15 01:56:51

We've also got a grade 10 child (and one in grade 9 too) so learning about how universities work. Luckily I work for a university so can get some insider knowledge (although I won't be sending my kids to my university, too local for me).

I went to a conference at uVic last year and thought it looked like a cool place to live, Victoria I think would be a good place to be a student, nice size and plenty going on. It has a good reputation too, although you need to look course by course to see whether it's the right place for your son. I agree it's much trickier than UCAS!

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 08-Apr-15 02:15:56

Applying to university is a right PITA. I think Victoria is great for students. Nice weather so they can walk/bike everywhere, decent amount of student-type things going on.

The only thing is the price of accommodation ($800 for a one-bed is considered quite reasonable). Anyone who needs tenancy advice for their chicks who are leaving, I am somewhat of a BC tenancy law expert <polishes badge> Especially if they are considering roommates.

Let us know when you are here nerds!

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Wed 08-Apr-15 02:23:33

Hi everyone! Transplanted Canadian here. Usually live in London but we are here on an Easter visit right now. I love being home.

Congrats MrsTP on your citizenship! My DH did the opposite journey and became a Brit a few years ago.

I'm sitting in my parents' living room in good ole TO right now with my kids who are oh-so-English and my brother who just flew in from Vancouver to see us. So awesome.

crazyforbaby Wed 08-Apr-15 02:25:51

Hi from hot n sunny Vancouver! I am the person who brought a new baby to the restaurant at the last MN get together I attended. New baby is now a big stocky 2 1/2 year old who causes chaos wherever he goes! smile

I am so glad that the same faces still pop up on here, cos it shows we are making it work. I'm still struggling with the 'life' part of the work-life balance. I have to work a lot of hours (FT plus OT) to meet the needs of our super-high Vancouver mortgage.

We are thinking of applying for Citizenship too. We have to save up to pay for our English proficiency tests first!

Anyone got any plans to visit home soon? Since the loonie dipped, everything looks v expensive over there...

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