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Canada: pros and cons? - Page 2

post #21 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhill View Post
Thanks so much for all the help!! Yall are being very helpful. Does anyone know how the small towns are? And what areas are close to the border? What are the winters like?
Canada is the second largest country in the world, covers 6 time zones, and a heck of a lot of climates. Maybe if you narrow down where you are considering moving, it would help with answering your questions.
post #22 of 80
Great thread! Dh has been telling me for years he would like to move to Canada. We are Muslim and given the recent increase in non-tolerant chatter in the States, I am now allowing this idea to creep into my own head. There's some great info here. Some basic questions that I don't have a clue about.... how does the immigration process work? Dh and I are both American citizens and we have 3 American-born kids. I am an occupational therapist and would be looking for a job in Canada. Would the job somehow sponser me and then I bring everybody else along too? OTs are in high demand in the States so I am thinking the same might true in Canada. Currently, we live about 30 minutes outside of NYC in a beautiful small-town-feeling area. I love the quick access to the city. I need to have a great public school system and safe place to live. I love to go to parks with the kids, ride bikes, spend time outside etc... The area we live in is very pricey but was quite hard hit by the housing melt down so if we sold our house now we wouldn't have a lot left over to buy another house. Also, dh owns a pizzeria and would likely want to open a new one in Canada. Phew! Seems way to overwhelming to truely contimplate. So... any thoughts on the immigration questions and what area might be similar to that I described above? Is there a great need for OTs (I work in geriatric home health now and LOVE it). How do Canadians feel about really awesome NY-style pizza?

thanks... don't mean to hijack your thread but thought some of the above might be relevant overall

jen
post #23 of 80
Thread Starter 
i dont know about the immigration process either. So that is a good question.
We are almost in the same boat as you. ALl 5 of us are Americans (born here). And I will be working as an RN. But my husband will be (possibly working a small part time job) and starting a photography business.
I don't know about the different areas in Canada. Or I would try to be more specific-sorry.
post #24 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigismom View Post
Great thread! Dh has been telling me for years he would like to move to Canada. We are Muslim and given the recent increase in non-tolerant chatter in the States, I am now allowing this idea to creep into my own head. There's some great info here. Some basic questions that I don't have a clue about.... how does the immigration process work? Dh and I are both American citizens and we have 3 American-born kids. I am an occupational therapist and would be looking for a job in Canada. Would the job somehow sponser me and then I bring everybody else along too? OTs are in high demand in the States so I am thinking the same might true in Canada. Currently, we live about 30 minutes outside of NYC in a beautiful small-town-feeling area. I love the quick access to the city. I need to have a great public school system and safe place to live. I love to go to parks with the kids, ride bikes, spend time outside etc... The area we live in is very pricey but was quite hard hit by the housing melt down so if we sold our house now we wouldn't have a lot left over to buy another house. Also, dh owns a pizzeria and would likely want to open a new one in Canada. Phew! Seems way to overwhelming to truely contimplate. So... any thoughts on the immigration questions and what area might be similar to that I described above? Is there a great need for OTs (I work in geriatric home health now and LOVE it). How do Canadians feel about really awesome NY-style pizza?

thanks... don't mean to hijack your thread but thought some of the above might be relevant overall

jen
Here's some info on immigrating to Canada as a skilled worker.
I don't think there is a shortage of OTs enough to warrant special immigration status but I would contact the Canadian Association for OTs to find out and to see if you need to be recertified to practise here.

Lots of places in Southern Ontario would be similar to what you describe - close to large cities and yet having a smaller town feel. Our school system although not spectacular in IMO is good with far less evidence of funding discrepancies and school violence etc than we hear about in the US. I went to highschool in FL (3 different schools) and moved back to Canada on my own because the system there was hideous - and that was 25 years ago.
Good luck with your decision
Karen
post #25 of 80
Only have a sec but want to add my two bits on some questions that have come up.

Having lived in Vancouver, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, personally I'd take a snowy winter over a rainy one! Lower mainland BC is so lovely in a million different ways but not seeing the sun for 75+ days IN A ROW is brutal. Maybe I was there for a bad year but I'm seriously not exaggerating. It just about broke my spirit. I live in Quebec now, close to Ottawa, Ontario and we have classic Canadian winters. Pristine snow and sun, sun, sun. It is just spectacular...as long as you have lots of down and wool in your wardrobe! Winter is nothing to be afraid of - the outerwear is a bit of an investment up front and you may want to take a winter driving course to get a few tips on handling slush, ice, etc, but other than that, it's an adventure!

I live in a small town close to a "big" (900,000 is big to us) city. http://chelsea.ca/home/index_e.php is us. http://www.wakefieldquebec.com/ is also nearby. Both are very crunchy, outdoorsy, friendly, farmy, community-oriented. Single family homes go for as low as $150k, average is probably around $300k. Almost everyone lives "in the woods." There are several hospitals in the area within easy commuting distance. You don't have to speak French AT ALL to live here, though I think you would have to to work in a public hospital/clinic. There are also lots of private jobs for nurses (home care agencies, etc) where just English would be fine. Across the river in Ottawa (Ontario), just English is fine for getting a job and there are several big hospitals also within commuting distance.

Many people are scared of Quebec because of higher income taxes and the supposed language barrier. Speaking only English in most areas (esp Montreal and westward, where most of the population is) is absolutely fine, in fact my area is predominantly English and there are English schools, etc. As for the taxes, it's true that they are higher than the rest of Canada but services in general are a lot better. Health care here rocks (though I've heard others say the opposite so maybe I've just been lucky) and many things including property taxes, auto insurance, child care, contractors, haircuts, you name it, are MUCH less expensive than most of the rest of the country, so I find that it in fact balances out. If you are lower income, then Quebec is probably one of the more cost effective places to live.

As for getting to the border, we're about 2 hours from Ogdensburg NY. We visit NYC often and it takes about 5-6 hours. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, etc, can all be easily accessed by heading south just a bit east of Montreal. Not immediately close but the highways are mostly very good and it's a pleasant drive. A major international airport is only a 15 min drive from downtown Ottawa, so about 30 mins from my house.

Ooops...I really didn't mean for this to turn into a sales pitch! After living all over the country, I have no doubts about my choice to call this part of Quebec home and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I'd also put a big fat vote in for Nova Scotia. A pp mentioned Wolfville - it is truly gorgeous there! The coast just south of Halifax is chock a block with sweet towns too.

Good luck making your decision!
post #26 of 80
We have a rather nice Muslim school here in Halifax, if that would be of interest. They have a pre-school too.

As I understand it, if you are in a profession that is not especially designated, you need to get a job offer in order to get permission to immigrate. I would contact the licensing bodies in each province - they would also have an idea what areas would be under-serviced for OTs. And the Immigration Canada website would be helpful too.
post #27 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhill View Post
i dont know about the immigration process either. So that is a good question.
We are almost in the same boat as you. ALl 5 of us are Americans (born here). And I will be working as an RN. But my husband will be (possibly working a small part time job) and starting a photography business.
I don't know about the different areas in Canada. Or I would try to be more specific-sorry.
Canada is a really big country. it's actually a bigger land mass than the US but far less populated.

A good place to start might be to get a map and then search each province on Wikipedia or somethng similar.
post #28 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessieBird View Post
Only have a sec but want to add my two bits on some questions that have come up.

Having lived in Vancouver, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, personally I'd take a snowy winter over a rainy one! Lower mainland BC is so lovely in a million different ways but not seeing the sun for 75+ days IN A ROW is brutal. Maybe I was there for a bad year but I'm seriously not exaggerating. It just about broke my spirit. I live in Quebec now, close to Ottawa, Ontario and we have classic Canadian winters. Pristine snow and sun, sun, sun. It is just spectacular...as long as you have lots of down and wool in your wardrobe! Winter is nothing to be afraid of - the outerwear is a bit of an investment up front and you may want to take a winter driving course to get a few tips on handling slush, ice, etc, but other than that, it's an adventure!

I live in a small town close to a "big" (900,000 is big to us) city. http://chelsea.ca/home/index_e.php is us. http://www.wakefieldquebec.com/ is also nearby. Both are very crunchy, outdoorsy, friendly, farmy, community-oriented. Single family homes go for as low as $150k, average is probably around $300k. Almost everyone lives "in the woods." There are several hospitals in the area within easy commuting distance. You don't have to speak French AT ALL to live here, though I think you would have to to work in a public hospital/clinic. There are also lots of private jobs for nurses (home care agencies, etc) where just English would be fine. Across the river in Ottawa (Ontario), just English is fine for getting a job and there are several big hospitals also within commuting distance.

Many people are scared of Quebec because of higher income taxes and the supposed language barrier. Speaking only English in most areas (esp Montreal and westward, where most of the population is) is absolutely fine, in fact my area is predominantly English and there are English schools, etc. As for the taxes, it's true that they are higher than the rest of Canada but services in general are a lot better. Health care here rocks (though I've heard others say the opposite so maybe I've just been lucky) and many things including property taxes, auto insurance, child care, contractors, haircuts, you name it, are MUCH less expensive than most of the rest of the country, so I find that it in fact balances out. If you are lower income, then Quebec is probably one of the more cost effective places to live.

As for getting to the border, we're about 2 hours from Ogdensburg NY. We visit NYC often and it takes about 5-6 hours. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, etc, can all be easily accessed by heading south just a bit east of Montreal. Not immediately close but the highways are mostly very good and it's a pleasant drive. A major international airport is only a 15 min drive from downtown Ottawa, so about 30 mins from my house.

Ooops...I really didn't mean for this to turn into a sales pitch! After living all over the country, I have no doubts about my choice to call this part of Quebec home and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I'd also put a big fat vote in for Nova Scotia. A pp mentioned Wolfville - it is truly gorgeous there! The coast just south of Halifax is chock a block with sweet towns too.

Good luck making your decision!
I hate to be a downer...but Quebec can be problematic for Anglophone non-Canadians. I'm thinking of education in particular. I'm assuming you're canadian - an english-speaking canadian can educate his/her children in english public schools in Quebec, as long as they can prove eligibility, but english speakers from outside of canada are expected to educate their kids in the french public school system and don't have the same choice.

It's quite tough to emigrate to Canada. My brother was looking into it and they keep making it harder and harder. You have to sit an international english language test now, for instance. For certain very very in demand skills you don't need a job offer, but for most other skills you need not only a job offer but an LMO (labour market opinion) which is where the government decides whether or not your particular skill really requires a foreigner or whether it can actually be done by a Canadian.

It is getting tougher and tougher. Not impossible, but due to recession etc. it's not as easy as it used to be.

However, that's the federal skilled worker programme, which in a lot of ways is the hardest. There are other ways. Each province has it's own PNP (provincial nominee programme) where they can nominate immigrants that they believe are needed in their province.

Nova Scotia as the Community Identified immigration stream, but you have to prove ties to NS/make an effort to establish yourself there. But it's another way if you don't have the required skills.

A good place to start is here:

www.cic.gc.ca
post #29 of 80
http://www.welcomebc.ca/wbc/immigrat...out/index.page

BC PNP above

Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan all have provincial immigration plans. You (general you) really need to think about what kind of lifestyle you want, as they are all VERY different.
post #30 of 80
It is hard to make generalizations about any place, particularly such a large country with such a diverse culture.

Health care expenses are not an issue here, period. When I see how much it impacts families in the US (I lived there for 3 years) I wouldn't trade our system for yours for all the tea in china. Better maternity care, overall more liberal attitude (legal gay marriage) and tolerance. Of course, you will always find places that are the opposite of this.

I was born and raised in BC and love the mild climate. I don't mind the rain or the gray at all, probably because I'm so used to it. But I can see how it would affect people. OTOH, I simply cannot tolerate the cold (spent a very miserable winter in Boston) nor intense heat so the West Coast is perfect for me. In general, the bigger cities are close to the US border, and things get more conservative as you move northwards from there. I have not lived in any other province, but there are many wonderful small towns in BC that are crunchy and have a great sense of community. Housing prices in the big cities are pretty astronomical, but in the smaller regions they are affordable.

I like many things about the US, but ultimately decided to bring our family back home to Canada because I just didn't like the overall "tone" down there. A little too much "taking ourselves seriously" in the US, while we Canadians err in the opposite direction, lol.

Anyways, I'm sure you would love it here if you can swing it.
post #31 of 80
We just moved to Bridgetown Nova Scotia from Northwestern Ontario. I've also lived in central ontario and Ottawa. We have visited all of the major cities in Canada.

Ottawa is amazing if you want the city life. We lived right downtown and had no issues with crime. It's expensive, beautiful and very walkable.

The rest of Ontario, IMO sucks. Northern Ontario is too cold and lacking in culture and Southern Ontario just gives me a bad vibe.

We are absolutely in love with NS and we've only been here 6 weeks. The people are completely different. Friendly, helpful, tolerant and extremely laid back. If you are looking for a slower pace, the Annapolis Valley in NS is where it's at.

Nursing jobs are plenty here. I'm sure wages are less than the rest of Canada but so is cost of living. You can get some gorgeous old houses here for dirt cheap (100k).

Bridgetown is smack in the middle of the valley and within a quick drive of shopping. Weather is moderate, we're sheltered in the valley so nothing too extreme. Growing season is lovely which is why all the farming is here. Forests, lakes, ocean nearby.

Check out my blog in my profile for info on our new life here.
post #32 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by limette View Post
We just moved to Bridgetown Nova Scotia from Northwestern Ontario. I've also lived in central ontario and Ottawa. We have visited all of the major cities in Canada.

Ottawa is amazing if you want the city life. We lived right downtown and had no issues with crime. It's expensive, beautiful and very walkable.

The rest of Ontario, IMO sucks. Northern Ontario is too cold and lacking in culture and Southern Ontario just gives me a bad vibe.

We are absolutely in love with NS and we've only been here 6 weeks. The people are completely different. Friendly, helpful, tolerant and extremely laid back. If you are looking for a slower pace, the Annapolis Valley in NS is where it's at.

Nursing jobs are plenty here. I'm sure wages are less than the rest of Canada but so is cost of living. You can get some gorgeous old houses here for dirt cheap (100k).

Bridgetown is smack in the middle of the valley and within a quick drive of shopping. Weather is moderate, we're sheltered in the valley so nothing too extreme. Growing season is lovely which is why all the farming is here. Forests, lakes, ocean nearby.

Check out my blog in my profile for info on our new life here.
I have read your whole blog to date. (thanks). I love your new home. It is exactly what I am interested in. (and kudos on the dining table--beautiful--Im jealous )

I think dh would prefer more trees. haha. but i love it. Do you know about how many eggs chickens produce in a week? I have thought about getting a coop when we are ready to buy and move to our preferred location. I just want to make sure it is worth the efforts and money. Thanks.
post #33 of 80
There are lots of trees just not on our property. The house we originally bid on was 5 minutes up the road and completely wooded. Actually I think all the houses dh looked at were forest type properties.

It depends on the chicken. Ours haven't started laying yet. One a day, every other day, it depends.
post #34 of 80
http://www.canada.com/news/Canadians...281/story.html

Gigismom:

However, the poll reveals there are also significant regional differences in the way Muslims are viewed in Canada. While 72% of Quebecers said Muslims didn’t share their values, compared to 19% who said they do, that rate dropped to 35.5% in British Columbia where 40.8% saw shared values with Muslims.

Ontario and Alberta were closer to the national average. In Ontario, 54.5% said Muslims don’t share their values, compared to 34.9% who said they do, while in Alberta 57.9% of Albertans said values weren’t shared, compared to 32.4% who said they were.
post #35 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca View Post
http://www.canada.com/news/Canadians...281/story.html

Gigismom:

However, the poll reveals there are also significant regional differences in the way Muslims are viewed in Canada. While 72% of Quebecers said Muslims didn’t share their values, compared to 19% who said they do, that rate dropped to 35.5% in British Columbia where 40.8% saw shared values with Muslims.

Ontario and Alberta were closer to the national average. In Ontario, 54.5% said Muslims don’t share their values, compared to 34.9% who said they do, while in Alberta 57.9% of Albertans said values weren’t shared, compared to 32.4% who said they were.
Yeah, I have to say if I were Muslim I would not move to Quebec.

Someone mentioned more conservative areas. I have found a lot of small towns are actually very accepting of different people- not all, but many. They might gossip about whatever it is, but they are still ok with it.
post #36 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by limette View Post
We just moved to Bridgetown Nova Scotia from Northwestern Ontario. I've also lived in central ontario and Ottawa. We have visited all of the major cities in Canada.

Ottawa is amazing if you want the city life. We lived right downtown and had no issues with crime. It's expensive, beautiful and very walkable.

The rest of Ontario, IMO sucks. Northern Ontario is too cold and lacking in culture and Southern Ontario just gives me a bad vibe.

We are absolutely in love with NS and we've only been here 6 weeks. The people are completely different. Friendly, helpful, tolerant and extremely laid back. If you are looking for a slower pace, the Annapolis Valley in NS is where it's at.

Nursing jobs are plenty here. I'm sure wages are less than the rest of Canada but so is cost of living. You can get some gorgeous old houses here for dirt cheap (100k).

Bridgetown is smack in the middle of the valley and within a quick drive of shopping. Weather is moderate, we're sheltered in the valley so nothing too extreme. Growing season is lovely which is why all the farming is here. Forests, lakes, ocean nearby.

Check out my blog in my profile for info on our new life here.
Bridgetown is absolutely goreous :. I'm so glad you['re enjoying it there. The climate is pretty moderate, but be warned, the valley can and does get quite a bit of snow. Google "White Juan" and you'll see what I mean . Otherwise, it's my ideal place to live. I really miss the availability of fresh apples, pears, peaches etc. I miss apple picking. I hope your first Annaoplis Valley winter goes well!

Really good friends of mine live in Bridgetown. My friend runs an animal rescue in town . We spent some time there with them this summer. It's gorgeous!

P.S. If you want to love Halifax, you need to go to Lower Water Street and walk along Priavateer's Wharf
post #37 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post
Bridgetown is absolutely goreous :. I'm so glad you['re enjoying it there. The climate is pretty moderate, but be warned, the valley can and does get quite a bit of snow. Google "White Juan" and you'll see what I mean . Otherwise, it's my ideal place to live. I really miss the availability of fresh apples, pears, peaches etc. I miss apple picking. I hope your first Annaoplis Valley winter goes well!

Really good friends of mine live in Bridgetown. My friend runs an animal rescue in town . We spent some time there with them this summer. It's gorgeous!

P.S. If you want to love Halifax, you need to go to Lower Water Street and walk along Priavateer's Wharf
Lol I don't mind snow just can't stand -40 temps all winter long!
post #38 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post
Bridgetown is absolutely goreous :. I'm so glad you['re enjoying it there. The climate is pretty moderate, but be warned, the valley can and does get quite a bit of snow. Google "White Juan" and you'll see what I mean . Otherwise, it's my ideal place to live. I really miss the availability of fresh apples, pears, peaches etc. I miss apple picking. I hope your first Annaoplis Valley winter goes well!

Really good friends of mine live in Bridgetown. My friend runs an animal rescue in town . We spent some time there with them this summer. It's gorgeous!

P.S. If you want to love Halifax, you need to go to Lower Water Street and walk along Priavateer's Wharf
Halifax has a lot of lovely parts, but the waterfront is great. Bridgetown is also a nice town. I also like Bear River.

The towns up the Eastern shore are also nice, though less touristy than the South Shore and Valley. The climate tends more to the cool and foggy, but there are some more affordable but close to Halifax rural areas.

I'm in Dartmouth, which used to be it's own city across the harbour from Halifax, but is now part of HRM. Halagonians call it "The Dark Side" but it is actually quite nice, and kind of feels like a town of its own.
post #39 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca View Post
http://www.canada.com/news/Canadians...281/story.html

Gigismom:

However, the poll reveals there are also significant regional differences in the way Muslims are viewed in Canada. While 72% of Quebecers said Muslims didn’t share their values, compared to 19% who said they do, that rate dropped to 35.5% in British Columbia where 40.8% saw shared values with Muslims.

Ontario and Alberta were closer to the national average. In Ontario, 54.5% said Muslims don’t share their values, compared to 34.9% who said they do, while in Alberta 57.9% of Albertans said values weren’t shared, compared to 32.4% who said they were.
I am Canadian, so I will pop by later and add my say but I did want to comment on this just a bit. It may not be a bad thing or a false statement for people to say Muslims have different values than I do. Muslims, Christians, and any religious person has different values than me because I am an atheist. But I very much respect the value systems of others that are based on their religion (as well as those that are not), and I have an interest in religions so I tend to know what those values actually are.

But if they had asked me that question, I could have answered that our value systems were different, and been accurate and not discriminatory at all. I would also have been accurate had I said our value systems are alike, because in many aspects they are, but the point is that the question doesn't address the reasons why there is a perceived difference. In at least my case, that difference is not necessarily a criticism, but a recognition of difference.
post #40 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post
Wolfville NS is gorgeous . Lived there for 10 years.
I have to agree - This is one of the most beautiful and incredible towns I've had the good fortune to visit. I live in Ottawa, but dated a fine gentleman from Wolfville. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great place to live in Canada, especially if you love that small town feeling.
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