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Possible move to Vancouver, British Columbia

(69 Posts)
AlwaysTheMummy Sat 16-Aug-08 15:21:31

My hubby has a possibility of a job offer in Vancouver - I've done a little research, well as much as you can via the t'interweb, but just wanted some insider info.

I realise Vancouver is very expensive to rent or buy, but which areas are good for families with young children, we have a ds (5y) and dd (8m).

Anything anyone can add would be much appreciated.

TIA xx

Romy7 Sat 16-Aug-08 17:28:59

no vancouver experience, but we used to research house prices etc, contacted a realtor and then booked a 3 day recce trip - the realtor showed us all the properties available in our affordability band... (it's different to here where you have to speak to each estate agent)

our very good friends went on a recce to vancouver last summer (for 3 weeks) but were forced to admit they couldn't afford any of the reasonable areas and are having a rethink...

good for you to have the possibility of a job offer though! would you be going twp or are you looking to emigrate? (just being nosy lol - we're in the same situation but with a job offer in alberta) currently trying to decide whether to keep our v expensive shack where we wanted to live and dh weekly commute, or whether to sell and buy a palace for the same amount where he has his job offer...

it's never simple!

hope you get some insider info soon!

AlwaysTheMummy Sat 16-Aug-08 20:39:17

Hi Romy, thanks for your reply, if hubby got the job it would be via the provincial nominee program, so we would get fast-tracked PR which is very exciting.

I've been looking at the rental prices and while they are so expensive, it's achievable.

We originally wanted to go to Alberta, I'm so jealous envy, I suppose we could still go there but it has to be Vancouver to start with.

Where did you originally want to stay??

Romy7 Sun 17-Aug-08 09:50:30

our condo is in canmore... job about 4 - 5 hours drive away... ah well. i'm trying to work out if there is any way at all we could afford to keep it (rented as is) and fork out to live somewhere else. i suspect not!
we applied on the sw route but the wait is so long, we are probably going twp so we can fast track pr that way. in fact dh is in canada as we speak in further negotiations lol. so we should know one way or another by next weekend. (well, if this twp will work out - otherwise it's sit tight in the sw queue for another year or so...)
dd2 has some issues which may prove to be a showstopper at medical (if we ever get that far!), so we just need to know one way or another really - plain daft having a house in another country and not one here if there is no way we'll ever get pr!!
i prefer vancouver island to the city - it just reminds me of driving around the english countryside, which i find hilarious so far away! or head to the mountains - whistler not too far? grin
we just need to get the show on the road before any of them hit secondary school - at this rate we may not manage it!
when do you find out if he's got the job? how exciting! i love hearing people's success stories, it makes me feel like there might be a chance, eventually!

AlwaysTheMummy Sun 17-Aug-08 16:57:54

They will contact us early September with more info and to invite us to their seminar which would probably be in London somewhere, that would be in October, they are looking for us to go out Spring/Summer 2009.

We will of course still have to stump up the cash for the PR which I assume would be near the £4/5k mark.

I suppose we will know more in September, but I can't help but get so excited about it, we've been wanting to move out there for years but my hubby has 2 other children and we didn't want to move while they were still young, they know we might be going and are very happy for us, they're even planning on coming over in the summer holidays lol.

The only thing I'm not looking forward to is having to sell our house, with the property market as it is, I'm not holding out much hope, so even if we have to rent it out for a few years so be it.

Where are you living now?? How old are your children?? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm a nosey bint grin

Romy7 Mon 18-Aug-08 09:36:01

we live in hampshire. dd1 (8) ds1 (6) and dd2 (troublesome child - 5 next month and off to school! hoorah!) dd2 has mild cerebral palsy caused by birth hypoxia. (i say mild, but even the possibility of neuro issues requires an automatic specialists report at medical, let alone an MRI showing brain damage and a diagnosis, so ho hum.)

we've also been planning it for ages - we lived in alberta for a few years (ds was born there so has dual citizenship), but unfortunately didn't hurry to get our paperwork in before dd2 was born... which now leaves us in limbo... particularly with regard to the condo, which we can't sell until we know we definitely can't get in - sods law says we'd sell it and bring the money back, pay CGT, and then get accepted and lose more money sending it back out! so we live in rental poverty (not quite poverty, although we don't have a flatscreen tv grin)

dh has his meeting with the CEO of the company tomorrow and i am now officially terrified. i've been mulling it over since he went on fri, and it all seems so perfect. yesterday i did a bit more digging about where the job offer is, and all the things that i was a bit hmm about (largely because it wasn't where we had originally planned), are all well and truly sorted in my head. in fact (gulp) it might even be better as far as the family is concerned, and still close enough to the mountains to get away for the weekend... i'm going to be gutted if he comes back and says 'actually i don't think it's right', or the timescales don't work out for him starting. (or they don't want him after all lol - although they seem reasonably keen at the mo!) he said to me on the phone yesterday 'well, i'm not going to commit to anything' ie until he had come home and talked it over - and in my head i'm squealing 'no, no, promise them anything!!! ring work from cnada and resign!!!' i think i need to get a life! i think i said something like 'well, you must be careful not to miss the opportunity if it's right.' i think that was v restrained, don't you?! grin

we're using a consultant for the pr - not for this bit until he has a job offer letter (dh has been running the UK side of a project alongside a canadian team and there is a perfect job opening on the other side which he has been approached about!) - largely because we are expecting long term issues with dd2 medical, so we have already forked out for our application, despite it taking donkey's years...

it's the property thing that is proving difficult for loads of people going over - i think quite a lot are having to rent at the mo. do you use the british expats forum? there's loads of info on there, and folk who've already moved over, so can offer advice on province specific q's. i bet there'd be a few who would tell you exactly where to look in vancouver.

so, another month or so until the seminar then. quite a nice planning period before next spring/ summer - at what point would you/ they have to make a decision? everything just takes so long!

AlwaysTheMummy Mon 18-Aug-08 11:39:52

You are being very restrained wink, I'd be a bag of nerves.

I really don't want to rent out my house, it'd be so difficult if something went wrong, we'd be so far away, I'd prefer just to sell it and use the equity to pay debts and have some to take with us. But then it would all depend how much we could rent it for, if we could pay the mortgage and have some left over, it might work to our advantage when the housing maket gets back on its feet, will have to look into it more when we know if we are going over there or not, my dad is a property developer so if we were to rent out house and something went wrong we could always let my dad have a key and for him to sort it out iyswim.

We'd have to wait and see what they say at the seminar with regards to timelines etc, if hubby got the job I'd just want to go, no waiting around, plus I was thinking about my son being at school (he's going into year 1 in september), in canada they don't start school til they are 6, he wont be 6 til June, which in effect means he wont miss out at all, he will start with all the new starters and with them being very young, they wont think he's any different, he'll be accepted easily enough.

I really hope your hubby's job offer is exactly what he wants and he rings you with good news, I've got my fingers crossed for you. Has the consultants said that your dd's medical may cause problems - I hope not, even if it means you need private health insurance, they should still let you in the country, if they dont you just direct them to me and I'll sort them out wink

Just to think that if you get to Alberta and we get to Vancouver, it would only be the Rockie Mountains separating us xx

Romy7 Mon 18-Aug-08 12:20:06

oh, we know it will cause problems as we will have to prove she will not be a burden on the state - they cap costs at $5000 per year, so we'd have to prove she costs less than that over her lifetime... it's totally 50/50, could go either way. even the consultant just kind of shrugged and said 'if you don't try, you'll never know...' - the only thing we have in our favour is that it's 'just' a physical thing, rather than having any learning difficulties involved, as it would almost certainly be a no in that case.
we suspect that if we apply for fast track pr in country (ie on twp) that we stand a better chance as they will actually know her capabilities and how much she does (or doesn't) cost, rather than seeing her medical file coming at them and turning her down without further ado. she's pretty scary on paper! grin in the flesh she's like any other nearly 5 yo, but a bit wobblier.
really good timing for you though!! we should have taken the bull by the horns and sorted twp earlier really - then dd2 could have started kindergarten this sept, which would have been perfect. i spoke to the principal of one of the elementary schools and she said they screen every single child in the first few weeks of school, so that they can apply for any additional funding that each child needs by 30 Sept. having just spent the best part of a year getting assessments done for dd2 to start reception, i am slightly in awe of the canadian system at this point! unfortunately i found out too late to gee dh into action before this school year. ah well.
ds is going into yr 2, and dd1 into yr 4! i can't believe it! we really need to get out there and do 2 years on twp and try to get this pr business sorted before she's due to start secondary - i really don't want to be still messing about at that point - it would be lovely to be settled and in our own house, wherever that may end up!

<we could argue as to who'd got the best skiing...> i'd wave from the top of the divide though! it's 14 hours door to door driving to vancouver from where we'd be. big ole place! room enough for us all, i say.

well, i'm off to distract myself for the next day or so until dh rings. i suspect it may last all week as although he's got preliminary meetings tomorrow, he was talking about then getting together with the CEO again later in the week. he's seeing the guy who's doing the job at the mo today, so hopefully he will glean useful info (like how much they pay him, which will be interesting...)

i'll let you know how it goes! sending 'vancouver' vibes your way...

AlwaysTheMummy Mon 18-Aug-08 16:21:47

I'll have to wave with my binoculars then.

We were thinking that if we did get to Vancouver then our next child would be a little canadian - we are definitely having one more baby, I'd love to be pregnant now but then that would mean moving out there with a small baby, whereas if we wait til we're over there then we can get settled before the uproar a baby brings.

Thank you for the Vancouver vibes, I'll reciprocate with Alberta vibes.

Hope everything goes well with your hubby, I'll be eagerly awaiting an update.

Feel free to email me:

Romy7 Mon 18-Aug-08 18:11:16

ds1 is our little canadian lol - he was the 'new year's baby' for medicine hat in 2002. had tinsel on his see through plastic cot and everything. front page of the local rag, and the local tv station turned up at the bedside with cameras before i'd even had a shower (mind you - they'd be waiting about 30 hours so i'll forgive them for wanting to get it over and get off home) - we got lots of goodies from local businesses, it was hilarious. i had no idea it was such a big deal - i'd spent new years day with all the nurses fluttering around going on about having a new year's baby, and i just thought they meant one born on 1 Jan. When it got to midnight i said to dh 'no new year's baby then'... oh ho.

ooo definitely have a canadian one!

will let you know what happens xx

AlwaysTheMummy Mon 18-Aug-08 19:02:49

What a lovely story.

The only downside to having our own little Canadian is my family wont see them straight away, but will cross that bridge when we come to it.

How sad am I, I'm making a list of all the things we will need to do to the house to get it to sale mode.

We've only been on the immigration-bus for a few weeks and I'm already raring to go, I dread to think how you must be feeling.

Can't wait to hear your update xx

Romy7 Tue 19-Aug-08 10:32:22

mine worked that out nicely by coming over for christmas (we went to the rockies and got a huge rental place) and vowing not to leave until i'd popped. it's all in the timing!

i had an e-mail from dh this morning (last of the true romantics) saying that 4 other people have expressed an interest in the job (and he knows all of them - how weird is that? hmm) but that he is the only one who has been sought out by the company, and the only one that is currently involved with the project and has hands-on experience... eeek.
start date would be feb - now i am panicking - may we could cope with - so i have no idea which way it will go now. his meeting is today and i am 'aaaaaaaaggggghhhh' grin

he does have something else in the pipeline which could get us over there in august, but i am now throwing all of my toys out of the cot and stomping my feet 'now!' 'now!' 'i want to go now!'
good job the dcs are at g'ma's this week lol.

apparently, patience is a virtue, and whatever wil be, will be. or something.

Romy7 Tue 19-Aug-08 10:36:02

just re-read that. me and the dcs wouldn't be going until the end of july anyway, even if he starts in feb, so maybe i could afford to chill... a little... grin

AlwaysTheMummy Tue 19-Aug-08 12:27:37

Oh I hope he does get it, then it would all be finalised and you can press on with the PR.

We're just biding our time for the next 3 weeks until we hear more, they did say early September so I'm assuming maybe the first week.

Might have had some good news for me work-wise over there, I work for Asda which is owned by Walmart, Canada has Walmart, one of the managers told me to have a word with another of the managers who happens to be american and he could let me know whether it would be veasible for me to transfer out there, or at least for them to have my name etc, so that if a position comes up they can call me.

I'll have everything crossed for you xx

Romy7 Tue 19-Aug-08 13:54:59

that would be perfect! wal-mart is truly everywhere across canada - how very forward-thinking of you! - in fact i happen to know they have just opened a 'super-wal-mart' (whatever that might be lol) where we're looking at. the store was enormous before, so i can't even envisage what they've done now... even if you can't sort it in advance, how good to be able to have an idea of where to start a job hunt! you could just register with the hr department until something in your line came up - and could walk straight into it with a work permit already - that is a real bonus.

AlwaysTheMummy Tue 19-Aug-08 19:56:29

It would be good to at least have something in the pipeline, even if it means working a little while just to get my foot in the door.

Could work out better as we want to rent somewhere nice in the 'burbs' which would need both of us to work.

What is the childcare like out there?? We've always worked around each other so we don't need to use childcare, but when we're over there it might be a case of needing it on the odd occasion if hubby needs to work a bit further afield.

At least I know there is a decent supermarket over there, I really have no clue what to expect xx

Romy7 Tue 19-Aug-08 21:17:45

we didn't have a problem with childcare - day nurseries similar to here, and childminders... i think it depends where you go how long the waiting lists are though... i vaguely remember someone going to toronto who had been told there was a 2 YEAR waiting list for any childcare...

lots of supermarkets. we used safeway!

Romy7 Wed 20-Aug-08 09:49:22

gah! he had a meeting yesterday, was going out for dinner with them last night (i spoke to him before due to time zones etc) and he's got another meeting scheduled with the vp this afternoon to get down to the nitty gritty. are they ever going to make a decision between them?!

it got complicated by the fact that mil rang me to let me know that dh's grandad is in hospital - he was found lying on his hall floor and had been there at least a couple of days, so is really dehydrated etc. he's 90 sad
doesn't seem to have anything broken, and first indications say no stroke etc - he's had an MRI which was clear, so hopefully once they've topped up his fluids they will be able to find out what happened. all the other blood tests are due back this morning. v sad, his sister died a month or so ago, and he was very cut up about it. it does remind you what the consequences of moving to the other side of the world are though...

mil was v funny - we've all been trying to persuade grandad to wear a panic alarm round his neck for ages (for just such an eventuality) but he refuses - she said 'i really promise i'll try not to be like that when i get old, i'll do as i'm told', so i've promised to staple a panic button to her somewhere at an appropriate point. grandad is ex-army WO and enormous, v tall and broad, and sooooo independent. last year he bought himself a computer and got one of the lads from the shop to come out and set it up, and has taught himself to use the internet. at 90!!! he probably MNs for all I know grin v. sad to see him so weak. i think mil got a hard time from the nurses too, for him being 90 and living on his own (he refuses all social services, and doesn't want a cleaner - he's done it all himself for the last 20 years)
ah well, hopefully he will be a bit brighter today, and then the nurses will understand that poor mil isn't neglecting him - he'll probably insist that they let him make his own tea as he doesn't like that hospital rubbish. fingers crossed, eh? (i'm doing that a lot lately... hmm)

Romy7 Thu 21-Aug-08 10:09:47

chatting appears to be all over and went very well - they understand each other.
will let you know when someone/anyone makes a final decision... i'm boring myself now! wink

AlwaysTheMummy Fri 22-Aug-08 16:12:07

So sorry to hear about dh's grandad, but glad to hear it's nothing serious, I hope he makes a full recovery

I hope they come to a decision soon, it's even making me tense grin

There was an advert in our local paper advertising nurses courses at the local hospital, it's starting in January 2009 and all applicant need 5 gcse's which I have, I'm gonna apply for it to see if I get onto the course then if the Canada job doesn't work out then I can train to be a nurse. That way when I qualify we will both have indemand jobs and hopefully will have no trouble getting to canada.

Just emailes about further info and a brochure for the nursing course - something I've always wanted to do but don't have a university near us, this course is funded by Nottingham University and applicant are trained at 1 of 4 hospitals near me - kind of on the job training iyswim.

I'll let you know how it goes either way. I went away for the day yesterday with my mum and sister, just got back today, I'm knackered.

Fingers crossed for us both xx

Romy7 Fri 22-Aug-08 18:40:24

have you joined britishexpats? seriously, lots of info.
nothing new here.

the nursing sounds really interesting - and canada will snap you up for sure. you need to make sure it has the same international accreditation as any other course though - i almost got onto an on-the-job teaching course, and only at the last minute did they tell us that the qualification was recognised everywhere. except about 3 countries, one of them being canada. best to be safe!!

AlwaysTheMummy Sat 23-Aug-08 08:25:00

I think I've joined britishexpats, there are 2 sites: and

my 2 stepkids have been staying with us for 2 weeks, they are going home today, as much as I've enjoyed having them here, it's been so hectic and they've eaten us out of house and home. We've told them about the possibility of moving to Canada and they are fine with it, I tried to big up them coming to stay with us and how much fun we'll have.

I'm just gonna chill out today, I'm back to work tomorrow, got another week then off for a week. I'm so tired I could sleep for a month xx

Romy7 Sat 23-Aug-08 09:55:27

lol. there are 3 then!!!

must be a lot of us about!

just had a look at and - i'll stay where i am as i know my way round the other board!!!

AlwaysTheMummy Sat 23-Aug-08 18:50:37

will have a look at it.

Hubby's back from taking the kids home, he's been out since 10am lol.

lazyhen Mon 25-Aug-08 19:01:36

Hi you 2 - Feel like I'm butting in on a private conversation but guess you would email emach other if you didn't want anyone else to join in.

We're thinking about emmigrating to Canada... We're now looking to book a recce (sp!) trip next year with DD who will be 1. We've been to BC and passed briefly through Alberta but want to check the East side out, so looking at going to Toronto and Halifax. (I've already been to Quebec, Montreal and Ottowa).

What do we know about childcare then? 2 years sounds like a bl**dy long wait. Maybe an opportunity for work though hmm?

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