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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/15/2018 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    I have finally landed! So happy to be in Canada I landed at the beginning of May, missing a huge windstorm by mere hours. I flew via Zurich overnight from Johannesburg, and landed in Toronto around midday on a Friday. It was a bit strange boarding a flight at 9 am, flying all day, and then landing at noon … Going through customs and immigration took about 1.5 hours – a fair amount of people in the queues but it moves swiftly. Got my SIN and all the stamps on all the paperwork – everyone really was as nice as you have been told, and I got quite a few “Welcome to Canada!”s as I went along. I got a new simcard right in the terminal where you exit from arrivals, so that was pretty convenient. I opened a bank account at RBC on Saturday – quick and easy. I transferred funds from a FNB Global Account, and there was some confusion about SWIFT codes (RBC and FNB had different codes for the branch – FNB was right …) but it all got sorted. Right off the bat I got a cheque and savings account set up, and 100 cheques – yes, people really do still use cheques here! Everything gets posted to you, so having a local address is crucial. I got a PRESTO card as well, which is similar to London’s Oyster card. You load money on it and can use basically all the public transportation. There are different rates on the various systems though. For example, I am in Durham Region (just outside Toronto) and those buses have a flat rate regardless of how far you go. The GO train into the city is operated by someone else, and that fare is dependent on how far you go. You MUST remember to tap your card on and off to avoid the maximum fare (I forgot once, and ran back like a madwoman to the station to tap out …) There are loads of bus stops everywhere, which is great, although it does take a lot longer to get to where you are going on public transport (I am finding it is on average about double the time that a car would take). I have tried a bunch of transport apps, and really, the Google Maps app is all you need. It gives the bus number, tracks the stops as you go, and has been spot on so far. One thing about the bus stops here is that a lot of them don’t tell you which buses stop at that spot or where they go. You just have to know …. I spent a weekend in Toronto with other friends of friends [It is amazing how many people hear you are going to Canada, say “Oh I know So-and-so lives there – you should call them!”, and then you have another tour guide or place to stay!]. They took me to Niagara Falls (amazing! Definite must do), Red Lobster (sort of like a classier version of Spur but for seafood – was great), and then we just walked the city for a few days. It was wonderful to stroll around at midnight and see so many people, including families, out and about. There are so many green spaces that people actually use, the city is very clean, lots of events going on all the time, and it felt really safe. Loved it! I randomly met another South African outside the local pub, and after a few weeks of chatting, was invited up to a cottage further along the East Coast. When Canadians speak about going to their cottages, it really can mean anything from a McMansion, to a rustic house, to a shack without electricity. I went for the Canada Day long weekend – it was incredible! The cottage was on a lake, with miles and miles of forest around. We swam in the lake every day – the cleanest water you can imagine. All the people staying near us pooled their fireworks and had a huge display on the Sunday night. People are quite patriotic, but in a nice polite Canadian way Job hunting has been a bit challenging – apparently most people take their vacations at this time as schools are out and the weather is fantastic, so I am just being patient and keeping at it. People have been quite forthcoming with advice and leads, and there are many resources that you can make use of. Speaking of the weather, sjoe, it has been HOT! With humidity, it feels like it is high 30s and early 40s most days. So definitely happy to have 4 seasons! (Although the Canadians are quick to tell you to wait until February, and then decide if you still like the weather ….) Nevertheless, it has been fantastic to see the trees turn green and the gardens blossom. Everywhere you go there is greenery and pops of colour everywhere. And so many big trees! Strolling around the neighbourhood and enjoying people’s gardens is really a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Overall, my landing experience has been more than I could have hoped for. Things function as expected, people are generally really very nice and quite helpful, and notwithstanding a few inevitable bumps along the way, I am just thrilled to be here!
  2. 2 points
    Hi! It is a daunting task! We had a huge house with 3 kiddies, piles of stuff and a 20foot container.... I worked on a 6 month rule. If I hadn't used it in 6 months it was out. Also I was told that furniture here was incredible expensive...not so true. The kijiji and letgo sites are full of good secondhand stuff for reasonable prices..have a look before you leave to get a feel. I had my mother staying with us to help with EVERYTHING. Plus she wanted to be around the grandkids. Try keep the kids on their regular routine as much as possible. I packed the toys last. I also took 1 suitcase of toys with in our luggage because we didn't have a house yet and the container took 2 months. You also know what you children are really attached to...so slowly hide the rest away and donate or sell it. I also took my pillow and 1 each for the kids on the plane..but I'm just fussy about pillows. I put a dark cover on each and have slept well no matter where we were cos I had my OWN COMFORTABLE pillow with me. Feather pillows also roll up nice and small. Get a cellphone power bank/ battery pack for when you land. There are plugs everywhere but you don't really have the time. You use your phone on the plane and then it's flat when u arrive. Regarding furniture..good antiques are quite expensive here, they wouldn't let us bring our beds and beds are quite expensive. In the end we bought on sale here and paid CAD1400 for a double, twin and king. I wish I had brought more of the antiques with. Obviously no electronics. I did bring my electric toothbrush and my husband's rechargeable shaver. We just put an adaptor on the plug...they haven't exploded yet but I'm cautious. Also remember that most houses come with the basic appliances like washer, dryer, fridge & stove sometimes microwave and central vacuum. My husband was also very excited to point house that comparitably, Tv's are much cheaper here! Our moving company made us lay our stuff out from "most important" to " if there is space" what didn't fit you sell. They were amazing and got it all in actually, but they are experienced and know if it will all get in the container so trust them. We used Execumove. They were packed and done in 2 days, and it started raining on the last day. Remember to arrange a place to stay when the container is packed. Maybe a few days before to lessen the tension for the children. Because when they start they wrap everything first then put it in..so unless you are planning on sleeping in the house full of boxes. Good luck. Remember it is just stuff. You can always spend time collecting new and amazing stuff here. Remember why you are doing it. And remember it is the people who make the family and the memories. You guys will be great! Mackenna
  3. 1 point
    Oh, this was SO long ago! We have since moved to rural Nova Scotia. Our youngest is 6 and plays outside by herself, rides her bike in our dead end street, our second youngest is 9 and actually has a lemonade stand at the local post office in summer We live right on the shore of Bras D'Or Lakes and they go down to the beach together (without adult supervision), take the dog for a run in the public woods that border our property, etc.
  4. 1 point
    It's advisable to get a letter from your treating physician (assuming a psychologist / psychiatrist) giving the basic diagnosis - or watered down version of that. The letter should contain assurances that you are stable, and able to hold down a full time job, and you'll contribute to your community. Get the Dr that's doing your exam to include it with your submission. If you are on meds, bring a 6 month supply (usually the longest a Dr is allowed to prescribe in advance) - this will be invaluable here while you settle. Bring another letter & copy of your last script to persuade a clinic here to continue to supply your medication. Make sure you have the right meds & support to ensure you don't relapse under the tremendous pressure that is imminent. It takes on average a year ??!! to get an appointment with a shrink here, so best be sure you've got it all together before you arrive.
  5. 1 point
    So our friend @ateotia should be getting processed pretty soon
  6. 1 point
    Just reading this lifts my heart so much.
  7. 1 point
    Yes. I know of one person who is already in Canada, if you join the FB page called "South Africans in Atlantic Canada" you'll be able to connect with him there, there's a few threads with advice on this on that page. Another person I know of is at the WP application stage. However he applied for a position with a company in NB, not knowing they were already on the AIPP as designated employers. It has meant he was able to skip the LMIA requirement.
  8. 1 point
    Hi everyone We landed in Toronto on Thursday and I wanted to share our experience with you before I forget anything. I’m typing this on my phone so it may be structured weirdly - apologies for that. We will be here for a week, after which we’ll head home to tie up all loose ends before heading back. We flew SAA to New York, where we spent a few days before flying AirCanada to Toronto. This didn’t add any extra admin to our trip and we weren’t asked anything about Canada when entering or leaving New York. Planning: Based on everything we read here and on Facebook, we carried the following with us: - Proof of funds (We used my provident fund as our proof of funds when we did our application. Because we are returning back to SA after this trip, I have not yet resigned and none of that money is available to me yet. For proof of funds, we carried copies of the tables and calculations we used for our initial application, and updated tables to reflect June dates). - Unabridged birth certificates for myself, my husband and my son (we were asked for my son’s in SA a few times but otherwise, none of these were asked for) - A detailed goods to follow and goods accompanying list. We did two separate lists in excel and brought three copies of each. The lists included the serial numbers for all electronic devices and approximate values in CAD for everything. Arrival: After landing, there are two lines available for you to join. One is for ‘Canadian and US passport holders and Permanent Residents’ and the other is for ‘All other passport holders’. We were directed to the ‘All other passport holders’ line. As the line is quite long, it took us about 25mins to get to a counter. The guy at the counter was approachable enough and immediately warmed up to us once he saw our COPR papers. He asked why we chose Canada, whether we’d visited before and then spent some time telling us all about the infamous Canadian winter. All in all, this was a quick and painless first stop. We were then directed to the Immigration section. Our flight arrived at 7am - I’m not sure if it was because of the early hour, but the line at immigration was very long. We spent about 40mins waiting in line before getting to a counter. From watching others at the counters while in line it’s clear that your experience is dependent on the immigration officer you get on the day. We were super lucky to be assisted by a really friendly lady. She checked our papers, asked for a Canadian address (we provided a friend’s) and asked how much money we have in cash. That was the extent of her questions. She didn’t ask anything about whether we’re going back to SA this trip, our goods to follow or our proof of funds. That being said, I’ve read many landing stories of people who have been asked these things, so it’s best to be prepared. We were ready to indicate that this was just an activation trip if we were asked, but no one did. We waited about ten minutes for her to process our documents and were then directed to the section for SIN numbers, a short walk away. As she said goodbye, she wished us luck and said ‘Welcome to Canada’ - it was at that point that it began to really sink in for us - after all this time, we were finally here. On the way to the SIN section we had to stop at a desk where we were handed a booklet with helpful info for newcomers. The two people at this desk were also very friendly and welcoming. At the SIN section, we had to fill out two short forms for my husband and I asking for our names, our parent’s names and surnames (both mother and father) and our address in Canada. There was no line here and we were helped almost immediately. The guy helping us was very helpful, gave us lots of advice and welcomed us to our new home. We received our SIN numbers within about ten minutes and then headed off to the baggage claim area to collect our bags. Once we had our bags, we had to head through customs. Here, we were asked for our goods to follow list. We were told that the goods accompanying list isn’t needed. We weren’t asked any questions about our lists - the guy glanced at them, filled in a form and within a few minutes, we were done. Because the immigration section was quite busy, I’d say the whole process took us about two hours. We’re now taking in all Toronto has to offer and loving every minute of it. Everyone we’ve met has been super friendly and we can’t wait to start our lives here. I hope this info helps anyone arriving soon🇨🇦🇨🇦
  9. 1 point
    Having tried Home Affairs in Somerset West, Wynberg and CBD (last year and this year), I highly recommend the CBD - my best time was arriving between 10.30 and 11.30 during the week - walked right in both times, and was out in less than an hour both times. Staff were much nicer and more competent than Wynberg.
  10. 1 point
    What an inspiring story. Congratulations! Very good tips as well. Will definitely be implementing these in my journey!
  11. 1 point
    Hi Stefan I would suggest - including the 2 letters you have and writing a letter of explanation that the company has already closed down and there is no one who can give you the info that you need. Or - find an old colleague (preferably your old supervisor) and ask him to write the letter now with all the specific info required. This letter will not be on a letterhead but you can then write a letter of explanation as to why (company closed down). Hope either of these helps you.
  12. 1 point
    I was that someone with a 359 score and NS nomination. Currently waiting for our passports to be returned. you can message me if you like. Never, ever give up hope. If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen xxx
  13. 1 point
    I entered the pool on Monday and got the ITA yesterday
  14. 1 point
    BTW, my kids all play outside by themselves. We're on 5 acres and they go into the woods, build forts and tree houses, make trails, have treasure hunts. The youngest has to have someone with her when she heads out (she is only 3), everyone else just go by themselves although the 5 year old prefers to have an older sibling with him even when he plays in the sand pit or on the jungle gyms. I insist that he takes the dog with him. We have no fence. The biggest thing is to teach them not to go in the road. Again, we live in the country so that does come into play.
  15. 1 point
    Yesterday, I met a family that won $10 million in the LottoMax. It is interesting how part of the community has struggled to accept them. We met them at friends, who are their neighbours - they are a black family that moved out of the Jane & Finch area as soon as they got the lottery. They bought in a wealthy area within Thornhill. The interesting part is how people were worried about them bringing in the gangster crime. What has in fact happened, is that they have asked the York Region Police to provide extra patrols in their street and immediate neighbourhood to prevent their past from following them. This lottery has provided them with a wonderful opportunity to get their kids out of the cycle of crime. The mom was saying that moving North was almost like changing their entire lifestyle, and for them felt almost like an immigration. Interesting