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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/26/2018 in all areas

  1. 13 points
    Hi Everyone:) We landed on 20 May 2018, almost exactly a year after we received our Ontario Provincial Nomination. We have been in Toronto for two weeks now; a week downtown in an Airbnb (condo) to do all the touristy things and now in our Airbnb in HighPark-Swansea. How do we like Canada, and more specifically, Toronto? We love it! It isn't just a city with skyscrapers and a bustling downtown. It has huge green spaces, a public transport system that's excellent (subways, buses and streetcars), it's clean, the people are amazingly friendly, helpful and courteous (they often see us looking at our phones for walking directions and stop to ask us if we need any help), its multicultural and immigrant friendly and most of all it is SAFE! We walk around at 9 pm at night (the sun only sets at around then) and there's no worry that anything will happen to us. More detail: Leading up to our flight: We are a family of 3 (Hubby and I and our toddler girl). We had 3 large suitcases, 1 medium suitcase, 2 duffle bags, 3 hand luggages, two backpacks, handbag and camera bag. And a stroller! Our little girl was on antibiotics for her ear infection two weeks before our flight but complained of an ear ache the day before the flight. We took her to the ER (as it was a Friday night) and they said her ear was very inflamed and advised us not to fly:(. So no sleep on Friday night as we were now facing changing our flight which was the next day to possibly a few days later. The next morning I decided to call an ENT. Luckily I was able to get a hold of one on a Saturday morning. He asked us when we had to land by and I mentioned we had three weeks left to land (lessen here, once you have your CoPR and date of visa expiry; which is usually a year from when you did your medicals, plan your landing atleast three weeks before your visa expires to factor in anything that might occur prior to you leaving). The ENT advised us to rather fly as it would take two weeks to sort out the ear infection and determine if she needed grommets. He gave us some advise on what to do for the take off and landing and so with that, we bit the bullet, prayed and decided to take the risk. The goodbyes were the hardest thing I've done in my life! We decided not to do the airport goodbyes, so that did help, but I was still one of the most miserable people at the airport. It was tough! Landing: Thankfully our lg's ear infection was a complete non issue so we were OK! We flew Airfrance and had a great experience. We landed at 5pm on a Sunday. It was bright and warm. We got off the plane and headed towards the queue for the automated self service passport control. Here, you scan your passport, fill in the declaration form, have the machine take your photo and get a printout slip. A few minutes later we were at Boarder Control with our pre-cleared slip. The officer asked us one or two questions, welcomed us to Canada and then pointed us to Immigration. There we handed in our passports and CoPR, signed it with the officer, filled in address details for the PR cards and was then told to sit down for a few minutes while they processed it. Literally 10 minutes later we were done and pointed towards the Services Canada kiosk. They were closed for SIN numbers as it was a Sunday but they gave us all the information brochures and we were then off to collect our dozen bags (two trolleys with a toddler on top; wasn't actually bad). Customs took in our Goods to Follow list and five minutes later we were outside waiting for a mini van. The entire process took about 40 minutes, very fast! Landing in Toronto, I was nervous and thought "What have we done!!!" Our drive from the airport set my mind at complete ease. It was 6pm, everyone was walking around their clean, safe country. We were home! In Toronto: We decided to stay in Yorkville, downtown for a week and boy were we glad to have had one week in the heart of it all. We fell in love with Toronto! Most people land and stay far away from the city and my advice would be to stay in or close to the city for atleast a few days. The condo we stayed in was close to the Bloor/Yonge subway line and close to RBC's large downtown branch. We didn't need an appointment at this branch and the service was excellent. We activated our RBC account which we opened in SA. They gave us temporary cards which can only be used to withdraw money at an RBC ATM. Luckily we had our SA credit cards with us, so that made it alot easier. We also took the subway to Services Canada to get our SIN numbers. We did all the touristy things like the Hop on Hop off bus tour (a must), Ripleys Aquarium etc. We also got our mobile phone month to month contracts. We went with Freedom mobile as they had a special; $50 a month, unlimited calls and 13GB of data! The network coverage is also great. We are now in High Park- Swansea, which is a beautiful area close to Canada's largest park as well as close to the boardwalk (beach). We are in a basement apartment which is gorgeous so if anyone needs to know more, please feel free to message me. We booked from SA to stay here until end July so that we can get to know the GTA a bit more before deciding where to settle. The job hunt has officially started and we are hoping to secure employment soon, also so that we know where we will be working to help decide where we will be renting long-term. I have had two interviews thus far. One was with the company I used to work for, a few years back, in SA that has offices in Toronto (I contacted them when we had CoPR). Although they didn't have an roles available in line with what I was doing whilst employed by them in the SA offices, they've assigned me a recruitment agent who has taken in my resume and has also pointed me to a large networking event. We also applied for our Health Cover (OHIP). RBC sends your permanent bank cards to your address and you can use that letter for your OHIP application. It will only kick in in August so until then we have emergency medical cover with Blue Cross. We are close to the subway line, buses and street car and spend most of our days outdoors. The weather in Toronto is HOTTT! These last two days though have been a bit cooler with the rain, but the weather has been great. We have also been lucky enough to be invited over to a birthday braai of a friend of a friends (a childhood friend who now stays in London put us in contact). It was so wonderful to be invited to their home. I also have a few friends from Uni here so we have spent some time with them too. Hubby also has some distant family here so all that helps. Reach out to those friends/networks...it really does help. We havent really felt homesick as yet, but its still early days. Next up we have to do our knowledge test and full G license. I believe you just have to walk in to do your knowledge test. Thereafter we hope to purchase or lease a car. Leasing here is a great option and really affordable. We look forward to this next chapter, especially starting the routine of work etc. And I cant wait to shop at IKEA. They have some gorgeous stuff and theyre really cheap! Canadian Tire is also a great place to find everything from plugs to kitchen appliances to toys:)
  2. 13 points
    When I wrote my first blog post in October, I had every intention of continuing to detail every step of our process on this platform. I hoped that it would prove helpful to others and also, that sharing my fears and concerns would help keep me sane. Funny how things don't always go according to plan. If you read my first post, you'll remember that I was at that all-too-familiar stage of doubt. Doubts about why we're doing this, doubts about whether we can. And then - something completely unexpected happened that threw our lives into absolute chaos. So there we were, getting all our documents in order and all the boxes checked before submitting our application. Our WES documents were complete, we'd done better than expected on the IELTS - all was going our way. We'd made a booking for our medicals to be done in Pretoria, with no real concerns for the outcome. Aside from a previous, but treated, heart issue with my husband, my 7-year old son and I were in almost perfect health. How wrong we were. Looking back now, and as crazy as it may sound, we have nothing but our Canadian PR application to thank for saving our son's life. Without it, we would probably not have noticed that something was wrong until it was too late. Within ten minutes of seeing my son, the amazing doctors at Hatmed were able to sense that something was not quite right. To this day I still ask myself, "how could we not have noticed?" What followed was a weeks worth of appointments, MRIs and tests. For the first time in months, our Canadian application wasn't even a thought. Without going into too much of detail, it was eventually discovered that my son had a large, extra-rare type of tumor growing inside his spine. It had probably been growing for years. We had no idea. He presented no previous symptoms - just a healthy, normal little boy. Within the space of two weeks, we had found a specialist, completed his surgery and were on the long road to recovery. It doesn't sound like much as I write it down, but there are no real words to describe the rollercoaster of emotions that we went through during that period. Life, in a sense, stopped. Canada, South Africa - none of it mattered anymore. We were just constantly thankful that we started the process to begin with - without it, we never would have known. Life works in mysterious ways. So where are we now? I'm happy (ecstatic, panicked, stressed out, over the moon) to report that this morning we received our golden e-mail. We submitted our application in December 2017. It's been a long, difficult, life-changing road to get us here and we'll forever be thankful to the long list of people who helped us along the way, who held our hands and wiped our tears when it all got too difficult - who reminded us that it all brought us here. Canada - we're here, we're healthy, we've got so much life to look forward to. We'll be seeing you soon.
  3. 11 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!
  4. 8 points
    So its a bit overdue but I might as well share my landing trip with you (also I want to read this post in maybe 5 years time and see whats changed:)). A brief background - I am moving to Canada purely for the fact that my wife has more chances of getting work in Canada than in South Africa - she's been waiting for her PR in South Africa for 8 years (she's from India) and still hasn't received it! We are based in Johannesburg (Paulshof) and I for one love SA and if my wife was working in SA, I do not think there is any reason for us to leave. In the end, risks must be taken as in the long run 2 salaries are better than 1. We did our research and between Australia and Canada, my wife definitely would have more opportunities in Canada even if she has to do maybe a bridging course or 2, she's willing to do whatever it takes or whatever jobs that come so that also helps! We have 2 young kids (a 5 year old and a 2 year old) so our reasoning was to leave sooner rather than later. I made my initial landing trip alone in early March 2018 in Toronto. It was a very pleasant experience, I did the PR formalities with minimum fuss and was greeted by a very friendly officer. She asked me when I'm coming back with the family, asked why I chose Toronto . She then handed me back my passport and I signed CoPR and she congratulated me for becoming a Canadian PR. So my first Canadian small talk experience was very nice:) SIN was done after that in the airport itself - also no fuss, very quick. Took me 10 mins to get the SIN letter. I think I came in a flight with very few immigrants - which is apparently quite rare these days. I took a cab from the Airport to the AirBnB I booked in Etobicoke, the initial impressions of Toronto was a bit underwhelming:) I didn’t pass through downtown so I wasn’t exposed to the splendour just yet! The area I was in was probably not the best, the buildings all looked a bit outdated and in need of maintenance. Also, it was cold and gloomy so the whole atmosphere was not the best, but nonetheless it is to be expected. There are good areas and bad areas just like any other city in the world. I went downtown the next day, and yup, now that was more like what I was expecting! Toronto downtown is quite spectacular - for me anyways. The obvious thing I also noticed is the staggering amount of immigrants, this is especially visible if you use public transport. I found the subway nice and easy to adapt to- it's a very easy subway system, nothing like the complexity of London for example. People in general are very busy and everyone here has their headsets on and are all in their own world. I found the TTC staff the friendliest as they always go out of their way to give you directions. Toronto folk are generally friendly and yeah living in the 1st world definitely seems to have its perks i.e. no medical aid or school fees, safe environment etc. Make no mistake though, life is expensive here and also its a 'hard' life. Not sure why but I get home exhausted and have very little energy as compared to SA. Most people earn middle income and as such every dollar is precious but on the bright side, your buying power is more in Canada. So it's a bit of give and take I suppose. Anyways, it'll take some time to adjust and make this home I guess. I spent almost 2 weeks in Toronto and in the process learnt a little about how the city works. I then came back to SA and got a transfer opportunity 2 weeks after I came back! So I had to panic and go back to Canada again, this time for good - and all of this was done in the space of 3 weeks. I'll maybe share that story in a follow up post
  5. 8 points
    Let me start by saying, moving to Canada has been the best decision for me, so don't get me wrong. I have been reading and enjoying different views shared on this forum. I've seen burning desires from aspiring immigrant, the joy of many new immigrants for making it over here, the older generation of immigrants who gives fantastic advice based on their experiences. Life is funny. Let me start by sharing a joke I read somewhere, neurotics are those who build castles in the sky, psychotics move into them, and psychoanalysts charge them rent!. Like all good jokes, there is a strange kind of truth in it But here is my point, troubles in life come when we believe the myth that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. We are taken over by envy, believing that other people have the good stuff and then feeling depressed, anxious, and persecuted by the belief that we have so little. We are taken over by greed, wanting more and more and more, feeling that what we have cannot ever be enough. Robert Fulghum, author of that classic book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" put it this way: "The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you are." What will make you successful when you get here is not just because it's Canada, it is your ATTITUDE! All the best in your journey.
  6. 7 points
    My husband and I landed in Windsor, Ontario last year. We have been very lucky and have managed to buy a house and settle in very quickly and easily. In a PM last year I answered some questions and I figured maybe some other people could benefit from this thread. So see below the Q & A: 1. When you arrived, how long was the process at immigration ? This is stressing me out as I will already have 2 very grumpy little kids who have been on a very long flight !! So am hoping to be out of the airport asap. Immigration probably took us an extra 30 minutes to get the landing papers and customs goods to follow paperwork stamped. Its fairly quick and it goes quickly. We decided it was best to book at an airport hotel, that had a shuttle service, for the first night as it was a long flight and we rightly knew we would be too exhausted to want to travel far. 2. Out of curiosity, which airline did you fly with and where you happy ? We flew Emirates as it was the cheapest. Emirates is a great airline but flight at over 26 hours (and that was short for Emirates) was killer if you have kids I would probably recommend you extend your stopover somewhere for a day so you can shower and eat and let them run riot somewhere that is not an airport. Most airlines let you break your flight up no charge too I have done this before on other routes. I probably not fly emirates on this route again purely because the connecting flight from London was not on Emirates but on the partner WestJet and it was basically crossing the Atlantic in the same plane you fly to JHB to Capetown in. There is no in-seat entertainment, food you had to purchase separately and the seats are less comfortable. But if you looking for an economical option the actual flight on emirates is normally great. 3. On your last post you mentioned you didnt have your PR card yet. Have you received it now ? Generally how long does it take to get these? 4. Why do you say it has been a nightmare to get the PR cards? So with PR Cards we didn't have an address on landing so we had to send them an address later on a form we could fax. We took out a mailbox as we didn't have a permanent address. They then mailed us a month later to say our photos were not correct which was weird as we had not submitted photos as it was a fax so I duly posted off our photos (we used the same ones we sent in for our visas as we had extras). It been another month and no word. Eventually I found a number online and called only to find our photos were still wrong so we reposted new ones and finally got our cards at around 6 months after landing. If you travel by road though you can use your landing papers to get in and out of the US but if you need to fly you are stuck till you get your card. 5. I am so excited to hear you got a mortgage so quickly. From what I had read, you need to build up a credit rating for about 2 years prior to being given a mortgage. However, as a newcomer, is your mortgage very restricted, basically did you get the amount you wanted or did you get quite a low mortgage? For the Mortage as I mentioned RBC was the best bank for all credit related things They have a specific programme to help newcomers and they were very nice to us. The other banks wanted us to put 30% down which was madness but with RBC it was only 10%. Bring a copy of your SA credit report with you (Transunion etc.). What may have helped was that my husband transferred with his old company to Canada at first so we had proof he had been employed for 5 years with them which may have tipped the scale in our favour. That and the fact I have a spotless credit history in SA and also kept my job with my old company as a remote consultant. Mortgage rates are pretty standard I think we are around 3.2% interest and we got the amount we applied for. We did buy quite conservatively down scaling from our last house in SA just because we don't know what our monthly expenses here and how much upkeep on a wooden house will be. It turned out to be the right move as everything is a lot more expensive than you think it will be and there are a lot of things we didn't budget for that have cropped up. 6. What did you do about accommodation when you arrived. We booked an airbnb for the first two weeks and then moved to another one for the next month. It was a houseshare type wso sharing got old fast but was very economical working out to about $31 per night for the two of us. As a long term resident we just took over the lounge an kitchen 7. Please tell me how to go about getting our driving records and credit records here in Johannesburg. I have heard these are very important. Driving records maybe see the threads on it on this forum thats what I did. But basically you need to drive to the RTMC in Pretoria and collect the letter fro m a guy called David. Took about 15 minutes once I was at the offices. Unless you have a spotless driving record don't bother to submit your old insurance letters to your new insurance as even one accident or claim regardless of fault in the last 2 years can mess up your record here. 8. Do you have any recommendations for furniture transport to Canada? We used Peter at ITTA (international trade and transport agents) to get our items and Dogs to Canada. They were great and we spent about R26 000 for the crates and R24 000 for 3 the dogs. We didn't bring much furniture and its worth knowing that when you buy rent a house it comes with a fridge, stove, washer and dryer. We were lucky ours also came with a dishwasher and microwave. Basically we had sentimental items, paperwork, my husbands gaming PC (you need to replace the power source on PCS but with all his gaming stuff it was cheaper to bring it) and a few things like my le cruset that I didn't want to part with. We hit the dollarstore for all our utensils and IKEA for almost everything else except our bed which we wanted to be a Seally. IKEA was the most economical range of furniture that was solid wood (pine) as opposed to laminate woods stuff which doesn't last. We have started staining the pine now and its looking great. 9. Finally, the one thing I am most nervous about is getting my drivers licence over there. You guys seemed to have done this with no hassle. Please let me know how you do it, I have read you first have to do basically your learners again and then your drivers ? How long does the entire process take. I am petrified of having to do parrallel parking and alley docking over there on the other side of the road.... Finally driving.... Passing your learners is super easy (they call it a G1 or knowledge test). We got the book to study from at Shoppers Drug Mart for about $16 (they have a Shoppers on almost every corner its like clicks crossed with a small grocery store). You don't book the test you arrive early, take your pictures and hand in your experience letter and the write straight away. In Ontario you write at the Drive Test center its like an outsourced licensing department lines rival SA at this place but its unavoidable. You then book for your G test which can be a months waiting. Both my husband and I passed first time after a few lessons to learn parking. There is no alley docking. Parallel parking, three point turn and emergency stop is done on street in a back road which takes some pressure off). Its not as bad as you think it will be though. You just need a G1 to buy a car and then have someone with a G's license number for insurance (they don"t have any risk giving this and anything you do wont hurt their license). I hope this helps some of you.
  7. 7 points
    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🇨🇦🇨🇦
  8. 6 points
    So my husband and I finally arrived in calgary on Monday after receiving our pr in August 2017. We landed with our 4 dogs - we did everything ourselves. I was looking for information while planning all this and I couldn't always find what I was looking for so I thought I would share our experience. Booking So firstly, you can only fly your dogs via excess baggage through klm on the same flight as you if you fly from cape town. If you fly from somewhere else you will need to use an agent and book them as cargo. That is through klm, . Not sure about other airlines. The cost is $200 per dog. So as soon as you have booked your flight, you need to call reservations and ask them to book your dogs. There is a limit of 3 dogs per passenger and a weight limit of 75kg per dog. They also will not allow you to fly them as excess baggage between November and March because of the weather. You should also buy your crates well in advance to get your dogs used to them. We bought them from realpet.co.za an online company that delivers nation wide. I would also advise that you ask to pay for the dogs in advance and not at the airport. We waited in for about an hour just to pay for them. Documents So canada does not have quarantine and also do not require a blood titer tests. But you must ensure that they have had their rabies vaccination within 1 year but at least 30 days before you leave. Then 10 days before you leave, you need to go to your local vet and take the pet export document with you. You get this form from the western cape government website. Just look up state veterinarian. The vet fills in and stamps the form. You then take the form to the state vets office, we went to the one in milnerton. They also stamp and sign it and print it out on special watermarked paper. We paid R600 for the 4 pages. It is not compulsory that the dogs are microchipped but your airline might require it. Klm didn't as our dogs are not chipped. On the day of flight We fed our dogs about 3 hours before we left for the airport and gave them water etc. We also took them for an extra long walk just before we left to tire them out a bit. We hired a shuttle Van to pick them up and take them to the airport and we met the van at the airport. We also put water with some calming drops in their bowls and froze them overnight so that they could lick on that throughout the flight. It melted pretty quickly though. We also slept with their blankets for a few days before the flight to get our scent on them so that they would feel more comfortable. At the airport So we met the shuttle at the airport, quickly put the wheels on their crates as there weren't any trolleys big enough for the crates. Then we rolled them and our luggage to the check in counter. They weighed our bags and each of the dog crates and gave us our bag tags and the crate tags. We then had to go to the ticket counter to pay for them. This took a while as the lady behind the counter didn't really know what she was doing. Once paid, we went back to the check in counter and got our boarding passes. Then we had to go downstairs to the abnormal baggage area which is like a window with a conveyer belt. You have to first take the dogs out of the crates and they scan the crates and then you put the dog back in and put them in the crates through the window and there they go. They don't even check if the crates comply with standards, they didn't check health certificates or anything like that. We were at the airport 4 hours before departure. We taped a form that you get from the klm website to the crate with all of the dogs details on it. We also taped dog food to the top of their crates just in case there were delays. On the flight Once we boarded, we asked the flight attendant to confirm with the captain that the dogs made it onto the plane. We did this both from cape town snd from Amsterdam. We only had a 1h 40m layover in Amsterdam so this wasn't long enough to walk the dogs. On arrival in canada Once off the plane we went straight to passport control office where they checked our landing papers and passports. They were very friendly. We landed at 1:30 pm so the line was a bit long but went quick. He then sent us to counter e for immigration and there was no one else in the queue. Also pretty friendly. They checked our landing papers and passports stamped and signed them and asked to see the declaration form and the dogs health certificates. By this time we could hear the dogs from the other side of the airport. They were waiting for us by the baggage area. The officer at the immigration didn't ask us to pay for the dogs or to do any inspections either which was surprising. He gave us our papers and told us we can fetch our bags and dogs and exit. We then went to fetch the dogs, put the wheels back on their crates and left the airport. We luckily had someone fetch us from the airport in a dodge grand caravan but we still had to dismantle the crates as they were too big to fit into the car. We had booked an airbnb prior to leaving who were fine with the 4 dogs but had a condition that the dogs need to be crated when we are not in the house. So this broke our hearts a bit. Also, the place is not fully fenced so we have to take the dogs outside on a leash all the time which is a real mission. We have booked until the 12th may, but we are looking for something else asap so hopefully we can move into a rental next week Since Monday we have managed to open our bank accounts, get our SIN numbers, buy cellphones and get a laptop. I have also put down a deposit on a car yesterday. We weren't able to pay for it from our credit card so I will have to wait for my money to clear in my account on Monday and pay by bank draft. We got insurance through statefarm. We had to pay for the year insurance upfront. We couldn't find many other places that would insure us our sa licence, although I have heard that intact also does it. So we have been searching for pet friendly places and we have found a couple. It is definitely more difficult but it is doable. We are going to look at a place this evening. Seems quite promising. We are very happy to be here and also very glad that we brought our fur kids with. The transition would have been harder without them. So for those considering it, yes it is more stressful and yes it can be a hassle but it is definitely worth it. They are our family and we made a commitment to them when we brought them home to love them forever. They have also adjusted quickly and seem happy to be here. So thats all for now. I will update when I can and let you know how our transition is. Feel free to ask questions.
  9. 6 points
    Hi all that knew me. I'm sorry for not checking in sooner. We landed on the 11th December into a snow storm. Winter was amazing. We spent time in Ottawa and Toronto and survived both. Do not get discouraged by the cold. The clothing here is amazing and it's not worth buying before you arrive. We settled in Etobicoke. I would recommend looking for accommodation in this area as we are able to use the TTC but are also not in downtown. We got an airbnb in Mississauga. This was not a great location as it was near the Erin Mills go station. We didn't realize that this go line is a commuter line. Therefore it doesn't operate all day. This meant we spent a lot using Uber to get to the Lakeshore Go line. If you choose to get an airbnb outside of Toronto try find one on the TTC route or near the lakeshore go line. Good luck to everyone still in the process. Stay strong and do not give up. To those in the process of packing up to come over. It will be over before you realise. When you have a moment of thinking you are nuts doing this, you are not. It's worth it, I promise. That first time you walk home at 11pm alone and realise you do not need to check behind you (even though you will and still feel like you should) you will know it was worth it!
  10. 6 points
    Greetings from the mother city.I'm Trina/Tina,originally from Zim but been living in the mother city for the past ten years.My Canadian dream started in 2016 with applying for post graduate studies. In 2017 after months of applying and waiting I got accepted at the University of Simon Fraser,for a post graduate diploma. Thought it would be an easier process.I proceeded to apply for a study visa.Unfortunately the Visa was denied as they cited issues in my home country as being so bad that they reasoned,I would not leave Canada after finishing my studies. I'm back to dreaming though after months of mopping around and counting the money I lost (lol).I'm back again determined to go through the EE process this time around. I'm currently in the pool with 414 points. I hope to increase my points after I have graduated from Unisa later this year or early next year with a Masters degree.Unfortunately with Unisa,I have to wait for their processes.So I'm trying my best to be patient and hope by the time that happens,my profile would not have expired already. This is such an awesome forum,I have learnt so much already.The tips shared are so relevant to all people living in SA. Thanx to everybody that participates and contributes,your experiences makes this process bearable.
  11. 6 points
    I have no doubts that it was the right decision for our family even though it was difficult being without the family for a few months. It allowed me to leave SA sooner rather the later and commence seeking employment in Canada, while my wife was able to finalise activities in SA with the support of family and friends. I wasn't happy with my SA employer at the time so the decision to move on was probably even easier. On landing I had the flexibility to move around as needed. I could stay at Airbnb (flexible accommodation) at reasonable rates in an environment that I was comfortable with compared to if my family was with me. I was able to make use of public transport and not have to invest in a vehicle immediately on landing. Vehicle financing was subsequently also possible after an offer of employment was presented. I was able to move around, network with various individuals at any time of day with no impact on family with me. I can see how my wife is finding it difficult to seek employment at the moment with the other family responsibilities. Fortunately, I was able to obtain employment, source a residence and have the necessities ready to go when the family landed which may have aided the settling in period. As indicated, family and individual situations can be vastly different. I'm the more flexible, outgoing individual in our relationship so this worked for us. I'm the main breadwinner and I needed the flexibility to go out and do what I needed to without the daily family pressures. It worked for us. It's certainly not an easy decision. Be clear about your family objectives and work towards those together. There may be no right or wrong way once those objectives have been achieved. Continued good luck to you and your family...
  12. 6 points
    Just an update for peeps who were following the timeline.... After one week of sitting on the news (being the crazy woman that I was, waiting for them to take it back), I am happy to share that I am now a proud Canadian. Just in time for voting....
  13. 5 points
    I'm so excited that I'm not even sure I'm posting this in the right place. Yesterday we FINALLY received the request for our passports and pictures for our PR cards. We submitted in December 2017 (our second application...), so it's been a loooong year. We had just about given up hope, and were even getting used to the idea of putting down roots here in SA. I guess the point of this post (aside from jumping up and down with glee) is to encourage other people to persevere. It can be tough if you're not a doctor, but if my hubby and I can get the nod, then anyone can. Thanks to the forum members who have answered my many questions over the past few years. I know I'll have many more. Now that our dream looks like it's happening, we're petrified!
  14. 5 points
    So our day had finally come on the 11th of April when Canada became home! We arrived at Toronto airport on the 11th of April with a lot of bags and 3 tired, half asleep children at 23:59! Activating our PR was a quick and pleasant experience. We weren’t asked to show POF and it was all over within 30 minutes...Then we had to wait a long 8 and a half hours to catch the connecting flight to Calgary. The kids were really good and generally well behaved, thankfully! We were greeted at Calgary Airport by very friendly and helpful staff...and...IT WAS SNOWING! It was cold, but not unbearable...(if you know you’ll be arriving in the cold, make sure you have at least one warm jacket...just for when you’re outside...inside all the buildings it is very warm, I wear short sleeves and only put my jacket on when outside) We’re currently staying at a hotel in Airdrie. We will be moving into a townhouse in Cochrane on the 1st of May. So here’s what we’ve managed to get done on the 13th and today: - Successfully applied and received SIN numbers for the whole family; - Activated my RBC Bank account which I’ve opened whilst still in SA - and opened accounts for husband and 3 kids; - Collected our car which we bought whilst in SA - they were very friendly and helpful and borrowed us their registration plates till we could get ours...you have to have insurance before you can register your car in AB - Managed to get car insurance from All State insurance - Registered the car and got plates - Applied for AB Health Insurance On Monday we’ll hopefully enroll the kids at school and my husband will to his drivers learners test. I know it sounds cliche and we haven’t been here long, but it really is a wonderful country, very efficient and everyone is very helpful... That’s it for now...
  15. 5 points
    Eventually he returns... One year has indeed come and passed. Actually celebrating 13 months in Canada today. Work: I've been blessed and grateful with my position and remuneration which has really helped from a financial perspective. The company I work for is fantastic and I have a great relationship with my bosses. Lots of good banter. Expectations are not different to any other organisation and cultures will change depending on the company and industry in which you're working. Weather: Worst winter experienced in this province for years. Well, if this is the worst it gets then so be it. It's tough and really long. We need to learn to embrace it a bit more. We need to get our more and experience some of the winter activities such as skating and skiing a bit more but this all comes at a $ price. It's one of the main reasons why so many locals become experts at DIY as they're constantly fixing something in their house during the winter months. It's gone from an ice storm a few weeks ago to 30-degree temperatures last week so hopefully the consistent warm weather is around the corner. We're hoping to enjoy some small trail walks and picnics in the near future. Kids: Both have settled in fairly well at school. Some challenges but they have additional teachers providing extra guidance to help them reach a level aligned with their peers. Peer pressure and the different accents have created slight challenges but they continue to make friends. Sports can be quite expensive, especially for out-of-school programs, so you have to try the sports pushed through the school system and through the community centres. Something which we're still adapting to to help the pocket. They both enjoy the freedom to play in the street or ride their bikes in their neighbourhood with friends (priceless). Wife: She's been working some part-time jobs but it's probably the only province in the world where there's an over-supply of teachers. The Ontario Union protects the teachers in their system greatly and their Pension is apparently the best in the world, supported by fantastic benefits. It takes ages to climb onto the Supply List and then 5-8 years before being offered a permanent position. This has been and continues to be a frustrating process so if any of you are teachers, consider other provinces before Ontario. Finances: Read an article on this forum a number of months ago which discussed that financial emigration is exchanging financial security for general safety and security (or something to that affect). I've constantly reflected on those words and much of it is true. Financially it can be really tough. Property is ridiculously priced, especially if you're staying closer to some of the hubs. Eating out or take-away is expensive and you can't get away with it as much as you can in SA. All labour-related activities are pricey... minimum wage in Ontario increased to $14/hour (R140)... yikes! Hydro, gas and water all add up very quickly too. Internet is available at really good speeds though... got a 60Mb line for about $40. Politics: Not as bad as what is happening down South but Trudeau has a really good PR team. Ontario elections due in the next few months and that should be interesting. Liberals are good for the incoming foreigners but you want Conservatives once you're already this side of the World. Interesting times ahead. Anyway, that's a high level synopsis so far. Please continue to ask questions if there's something specific that you're interested in and I'll try respond wherever possible.
  16. 4 points
    Hi Tahlita, Welcome to the forums! To answer some of your questions I will give a short, simplified explanation of citizenship and permanent residence. There are some exceptions, other rules etc., this is just a very generalized explanation. There is really only one kind of citizenship, being a citizen of Canada. It is different being born in Canada and being a "naturalized" citizen but that is not something you have control over anyway and for most practical intents and purposes all Canadian citizens have the same privileges and are seen as the same by government. Having "permanent residence" status is almost the same as being a citizen, you can see it as the step before becoming a citizen. For most practical intents and purposes, "permanent residents" have almost all of the same privileges as citizens. Some of the differences are that you cannot vote in elections as a permanent resident (PR), you cannot do some high security clearance jobs and of course you cannot get a Canadian passport until you become a citizen. Otherwise you have the same access to schooling and health care that citizens do, you can rent and find jobs and be seen equal to a citizen in almost all cases. You can apply for Canadian citizenship once you have lived in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 3 out of 5 years. One way to become a permanent resident immediately is to immigrate through the Express Entry program that the Canadian government offers. I would recommend reading up about the different immigration options on the official Canadian Government website here, making sure your are eligible, which ones you qualify for etc. There are a few options, each with their own rules and it is a whole study on its own. There is also a lot of information on forums like these. You can also be in Canada legally on a work visa or student visa but as far as I know with these visas you would still need to apply for permanent residence first before getting citizenship, so it would be first prize if you can immigrate as a permanent resident immediately. Giving a rough estimate of the amount of money you would need to survive is really difficult. Cost of living differs vastly depending on where in Canada you live and your lifestyle and priorities. What is "affordable" to one person might be really expensive to the next depending on how much you earn and spend etc. If you immigrate to Canada through Express Entry without a job offer the Government of Canada requires you to have enough money (according to their calculations) to survive for at least 6 months without a job. For your family of 4 people that amount is currently $23,181 (CAD), so you can be sure that you would need at least that much before being able to immigrate through Express Entry without a job offer. You can perhaps start by looking where in Canada you are more likely to find jobs or where you want to live and then you can ask more specific questions and do more specific research about expenses in that area. Canada is a massive country and the provinces are almost like little countries with some having their own rules about certain things. Health care is mostly free, but in BC for example you have to pay a small fee per month which they are planning to remove as well in the next few years. This health care includes seeing doctors/specialists, emergency care etc. but does not include dental and eye care and prescription medicine for which you would need extra coverage. Some employers include this extra medical insurance as part of your employee benefits. I cannot really comment on how good the health system is as we haven't really had to use it extensively. We've been to walk-in clinics a few times and received excellent service even though we had to wait 3 hours or so each time (this is how walk-in clinics work). My suggestion would be to start by looking which immigration program you qualify for (based on your age, qualifications, industry that you want to work in, financial situation etc.) and read everything you can about the process. Here are some links to get you started: Good luck! 🙂
  17. 4 points
    Hi BloodRaven We were in the same situation that you are in now, in 2016 we had an EE profile with a score of 405. I applied directly to countless companies, was very unsuccessful, in fact I have given up hope. I have a LinkedIn profile, there is a setting to indicate to recruiters that you are open to new opportunities and you can specify the countries you are interested in, I enabled that setting. I got quite a lot of interest from recruiters for jobs in Europe and Australia, in January I got a message from a recruiter based in the UK for a job in Dubai, I replied and said no but if he has any opportunities in Canada I would be interested. He responded and said he surely does, a few weeks later he told me about this company in Montreal and he submitted my cv. To cut a very long story short I went through the interview process and got a job offer in March. We are now busy with the CAQ and LMIA application – my employer is using immigration lawyers in Montreal, so all I had to do was sign documents. I was told the LMIA and work permit is about a 6 month process. So we are now (un)patiently waiting for the outcome. And by the way – I cannot speak a word of French. I am in the HR/IT industry. My advice would be to enable that setting on LinkedIn and finding a good recruiter that can help you. Wishing you all the luck in the world
  18. 4 points
    Hi Everyone Not sure if this the right place to post this. Please move if its not. While prepping for Canada my wife and I came across the prepare for Canada website. Its a government program sponsored by Scotia Bank offering a variety of useful info, Links, eBooks, Webinars, Online fairs and even free training. Its helped a lot with financial advice, tips on renting vs buying once in Canada, how to get the most out of networking on linkin ,some courses on Canadian soft skills. Here is the link, try it maybe there is something worth your while. http://www.prepareforcanada.com/
  19. 4 points
    Is Hidden Valley hard to find?
  20. 4 points
    Hello all , here is some information I gathered ( we went the courier route, so I can confirm that this is all valid for that) In one parcel Send the following All passports ( if more than one ) The passport request letter you received from IRCC The VAC consent forms ( http://www.vfsglobal.ca/canada/southafrica/pdf/consent_form_south_africa.pdf ) If you have multiple applications, you need to fill in a form for each applicant. For minors, a parent/guardian will need to sign The proof of payment (OR PAY BY CARD IF YOU ARE DELIVERING IN PERSON) You are paying for “Secure transmission of passport to the Embassy” see this link for costs : http://www.vfsglobal.ca/Canada/SouthAfrica/Service_and_Service_Charge.html ( this price is per passport ) Payment must be done as a cash deposit at the bank with Passport number as Reference ( if you have multiple passports, use the main applicant’s passport number ) I am not putting the banking details in ( incase they change ) - These can be found here : http://www.vfsglobal.ca/Canada/SouthAfrica/Service_and_Service_Charge.html Or you can deliver in person and pay with a card at the office Your Contact Information, including your email, phone number and return address Send an additional letter with this in your parcel — see the attached letter You can use any courier you choose You can send multiple passports and letters in one parcel ( recommend you place them in envelopes individually inside a main parcel ) Upon receipt, VFS with email your tracking numbers - Once you have the tracking number you will be able to track your application here : https://www.vfsvisaonline.com/Global-Passporttracking/Track/Index COLLECTION When You send the courier to collect, you will need to send a letter with them that gives them permission to collect on your behalf, — see the attached letter I hope this helps somebody contact details .docx letter of permission for courier to collect.docx
  21. 3 points
    Some update from my side... our LMIA was approved yesterday... jipeee 🤗 now for the dreaded work permit application... hoping and praying for a smoother "journey" to hopefully approval.
  22. 3 points
    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.
  23. 3 points
    Hi @Cornel We landed in Toronto beginning March and are staying in "The Beaches", we totally love the suburb. Our aim for the first few months is to 1) Find a job, 2) Finalise all admin 3) Setttle in an area as close as possible to a job. However... so far the job-search has been a bit of a headache. We did Canadianise our Resume's, met with some resume consultants, send out a gazillion 'general" applications and as many as possible "customized' application with not a single interview as a result of the above. My husband tried the "Linked-in" premium option where you can directly "InMail" important people like CEO's, recruitment consultants, So far this lead to more "contact" but no jobs yet. One interview from this method, for a bank that doesn't have any openings, but are interested in his skills. So we are a bit restless about this... The admin is going fine, busy with driving-lessons to do G-level next week, although we will not buy a car until we have job-certainty. Our Airbnb stay is running out end of May and we found a three-month rental in Oakville, fully furnished at a not-too-bad price, so we'll move there in June. Hopefully by September we will have some jobs - praying praying praying. However, the area is beautiful and although we do not do much touristy things (eating in restaurants, going out) we do appreciate the abundance of lovely parks and the amazing boardwalk next to the lake. We experience a lot of goodwill from almost anybody and feel safe and relaxed and confident that it SHALL work out in the end. Missing home - no. Only some proper loud Jozi-thunderstorms!! I do have a blog, mostly Afrikaans although I plan to still do a few english posts and share some more interesting experences on this forums - as soon as I get a chance (inbetween modifiying my Resume the 148th time...) https://lotzofnorthernlights.wordpress.com/
  24. 3 points
    This is our landing story, a lot like other stories but also unique in its own way. It’s a bit late but I suppose if even one person gains some insight, learnings or comfort it would be worth the time to write this. For the record this is PR activation & then returning back to SA to then settle later in 2018. We departed via OR Tambo on the 9th Feb 2018 on Lufthansa airline, our first time on this airline. What I can say is when booking a flight on an airline & they offer an economy & premium economy class, be assured the economy WILL HAVE NO LEG room. We then landed in Frankfurt for a short stop over & then on to Vancouver again. Landing in Vancouver the 10th Feb 2018 we were met by loads of friendly faces just waiting to assist us in any way possible. There we literally dozens of people standing around to direct you to the correct queue or answer a question. The officer at arrivals was full of jokes and allowed us through with our first of many “Welcome to Canada”. Next we were off to find our luggage this took a bit of time as this airport is very busy. Then we went to immigration right next to luggage collections. Here we were met with a “Welcome to Canada”, we were given a Welcome to Canada what you should know booklet & directed to the correct queue. Being number 20th we had to wait a bit as there were only 2 immigration officers & after 20minutes another 3 joined in. A couple of questions & all they wanted were our passports & COPR documents (remember these needs to be signed in the presence of the immigration officer). Off to customs we go, now for customs we prepared a detailed list of goods to follow with pictures of all the jewelry including ZAR value & CAD value with the exchange rate used. The custom officer took one look at all this and asked where the valuation certificates for all the jewelry are? Aaaaaah man “Nou wat nou”. When I mentioned that we did not have any with us we were assured that it’s ok to bring them along when we finally move to Canada. I asked him if there was any maximum time frame to this he said 1 year. So I also asked about items inherited he said as long as they are specified in the will they will be consider part of goods to follow. Now out & about in Vancouver my wife cousin met us at the airport & expertly navigated us via the sky train to the waterfront train station which was 15min walk from our air BnB. We spent the next few days exploring Vancouver restaurants, coffee shops & scenery like Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Chinese gardens, Canada Place & Grouse Mountain. Next on the list was my Instrumentation Inter provincial Red Seal exam (Canadian trade exam) I chose a venue close to where we stayed, it was in Burnaby. There are many venues available and ITC BC allows you to choose your venue & the date that suites you. The next day it was off to RBC to activate our account that we opened from SA. Just a tip be sure to schedule an appointment beforehand. Here they required originals of the documents we provided to open the account & our SIN documents that we did not yet apply for. So get your SIN number from a Services Canada before going to activate your bank account, they need it for tax purposes & you will need it when applying for any job. Remember you will need a Canadian address for your PR card to be sent to as well as all communications from the bank & services Canada. The weather in Vancouver was very sunny & in the positive low single degrees C. We were told by many that this is not the norm for Vancouver. It rains a lot and to consider drinking Vit D if moving to Vancouver especially if coming from sunny SA. Food was great & different we ate out a lot (gets very expensive) but noted the groceries were not so bad depending on where you shopped. We always felt safe with loads of visible policing in the less safe areas. Next up was our flight to Calgary, our experience on Air Canada was a pleasant one. More “Welcome to Canada”, wow the people really are friendly in Canada. Again using only public transport we were off to our Air BnB. The very first night we were woken up by the buildings fire alarm screaming, at first I thought fire drill but decided to evacuate any way. Outside we found everyone looking on as the Calgary fire department went about check everything is ok & everyone was out. Luckily it was a false alarm, still not a lot of fun in the early hours in sub zero degrees C. Calgary was purely an exploration visit. Here we met some expats from all over the world very happy to be in Canada, just to name a few South African, New Zealanders & Europeans. We went to Fort Calgary for Sunday brunch & a bit of history, Gasoline alley museum for a large selection of 18th & 19th century brilliantly restored vehicles. Calgary zoo even had a large selection from Africa; all hiding indoors, even took a tour to the famous Lake Louise & Banff town. Not much of a lake view as everything was frozen. One thing was certain even if it was snowing & -13 degrees C people were not hiding inside there was always something to do or event to attend. The weather in Calgary was mostly sunny with temperatures during the day anywhere around -10 degrees C. People were friendly & helpful. Restaurants were great & Craft beer is a big thing in Alberta. The sales tax is less in Alberta than it is in British Columbia so grocery shopping worked out cheaper. We will have to get use to not seeing a lot of our local brands on the shelf. Public transport works well & is very reliable. Now we are back in SA & finalizing a few things before returning to Canada.
  25. 3 points
    Lizelle, you often recommend NZ and Oz as a very first consideration for people who are asking about Canada. Is there a reason why you do this? Yes, Canada is hard to get into but it is evident from posts on the FB group and in here that people do get in and that many, many, many considered all the options before settling on a preference for Canada.