Annasofe13

We are off to Canada

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Annasofe13

The day has finally arrived for us, we will be off to Toronto tomorrow (7th of October 2017) - flying to Dubai with a  24 hour layover and then the final leg on Sunday, landing on Monday (9th of October 2017). We have a bag of mixed feelings, extremely excited, but stressed and sad at the same time. Its been a year since we decided to look at immigrating to Canada and now the day has finally arrived. It has been a rollercoaster ride, never expected that the list of things to do and finalize would be so long, still feels like we missing something. My husband has already been in contact with a few people for interviews in Toronto and I intend to start my job hunting again once we in Canada. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the great contributions to the forum, you guys have been more of a support than you know, and a shout out to the Whatsupp group in Johannesburg, fantastic people!

We are having a nice big family dinner tonight as a final goodbye for now. I have already checked that I can connect with everyone either via Skype or Facetime. Will make sure post once we in Canada again, I know our adventure will be awesome and with God on our side we can do anything. 

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GerdaT

Fabulous Annesofe! All the best. You are in y thoughts and prayers.

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Rddm2017

@Annasofe13 dis baie goeie nuus. 

Geniet dit en veilig reis.

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Luis Dos Santos

Congrats! and Good Luck! We have only just started the process and I'm already stressed out! Would be interesting to get your feedback about your first few weeks in Canada, the things that took you by surprise etc. Quick question...have you guys already sorted out your accommodation in Toronto? Many rental options are only available with a credit check and letter of employment so wondering if you have managed to get around that and how?

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Painter lady

Safe travels @Annasofe13. We will miss you, please stay in touch. All the best to you!

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Ominous_Hashtag

Good luck! Don't be a stranger (on the forums) now.

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IreneBez

All the best @Annasofe13 and safe travels!! Can't wait to hear from you once you are settled in! Enjoy your last few hours in SA. 

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Jules

I remember the last day like it was yesterday. It's a tough day to say goodbye to family,  friends and the country you were raised in. 

All the best on your landing and remember to be patient with yourself. Landing and settling in takes time. Sometimes it involves a step or two backwards as you advance. 

And this weekend coming is Canadian Thanksgiving with Monday the official holiday.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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FaithFUL

Safe travels! Can't wait to hear about your experience in Canada xxx

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chayne

I wish you a soft landing and everything of the best! Looking forward to hearing your landing story. Safe travels.

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SunshineGirl
On 2017/10/06 at 1:34 PM, Jules said:

And this weekend coming is Canadian Thanksgiving with Monday the official holiday.  Happy Thanksgiving!

@Annasofe13, what a symbolic day you have chosen to land in Canada.  Safe trip, soft landing & many blessings as you start this new journey.

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Gary van der Westhuizen

Hi All 

We are safely in Dubai, more detailed update below: 

https://gerhardusvanderwesthuizen.wordpress.com 

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helm

Welcome in Canada.

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helm

If you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask.

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Gary van der Westhuizen

@helm Thank you very much! I will PM you. 

After a nice rest in the Dubai hotel, we were ready to take on the 14 hour flight to Toronto. We boarded, and got on the plane, and someone decided to load their bags but not themselves, so the bags were removed…

We sat in the middle 4 seats, boo, BUT it seems, we were alone, YAY, but then we were asked to switch, boo, to 3 seats with extra space, YAY. We swopped with a family with 3 little ones, so good karma as well. THEN a gentleman, let’s call him Johan, had a sh#t fit, and was moved next to us, BOO!! All in all, not bad though, still extra leg room, and there was no competition for the armrest (muhahaha – evil laugh). Johan set a new record, beating my own, for a person who can sleep on a plane, goeie bliksem, he was completely out of it for 12 of the 14 hours. We landed, being quite tired, but relieved to be home.

Passport control took all of 5 minutes, after which the real wait came, immigration, and then customs. All in all, the whole process took 2 hours, and we had our stuff, and we were getting an Uber to our Airbnb accommodation. Seeing as it was a public holiday, we couldn’t get our SIN numbers, and would have to do them the next day. We got home, did some unpacking, had a shower, and got ready for bed, as we were technically already in tomorrow. The EXTREMELY nice hosts, left some essentials in our fridge, so we had some sandwiches, and off to bed.

Today was admin day. We started off with Service Canada to get SIN’s (Social insurance number). We walked there, about 3 km away. Neatly paved sidewalks, alongside well manicured open gardens, and fellow pedestrians greeting as they pass. They only open at 8.30, very much like home affairs, however, they actually open at 8.30 and start working, unlike home affairs. We got there, we were 3rd/4th in line and were taken away immediately, to be helped. 15 minutes later, we were done. I kid you not. No go slows, no fill in this form and go stand in this line. Sorry, tea time. Sorry wrong queue, start over. Oh, our system is offline, pay this and go to counter 5 billion and 6 thousand, and 300 million. None of that. Good morning, give me your immigration document, sign this piece of paper. Done.

Next was the bank. These lazy buggers only open at 9.30. We got there, information, yes, wait 2 minutes, I will get someone for you. This took longer, about 90 minutes. In this 90 minutes our account details were confirmed (we already had an account) we opened 2 new cheque accounts, 2 credit cards and an interest bearing savings account, activated 2 temporary bank cards, and set up and activated our online banking. All of this was done by one person. In a little office, behind the tellers, which I might add doesn’t have bullet proof glass in front of them. You can shake your tellers hand, if you are that way inclined.

With this done, we set out to get new cell numbers. We initially looked at Bell or Rogers, but were advised to check the smaller guys as well. Luckily there was a Freedom Mobile store close to the bank, so we went in there. My phone works with them, so I took the $40 a month package, they are running a promo with 6GB data a month, and unlimited local calls, and $10 SIM fee. Anna’s phone is a bit older, so they can’t help her, we had to go to Chatr, 2 stores down. Similar package, similar price, but only 1GB data. Something to get used to, is that all of this excludes GST/HST. So you need to add that in your head, to make sure you have enough money on you.

Both of these stores were in a “strip mall” type setup, which from my personal experience doesn’t equate to upstanding moral corporate citizens, but I was wrong. Decent little stores, with one person manning both, nice, clean, modern.

Something worth noting, is how obsessed these guys are with good service, at the bank as well as Freedom, the people assisting us, explicitly asked if the service was good, as they would be rated on it, and it makes a difference to get a good rating.

I tried to add a PIN code to my phone, and in doing that, blocked the sim, and needed the PUK, so I emailed them, expecting an answer in 24-48 hours, lo and behold, not 5 minutes later, I got an email, giving me all the details I need to unlock the phone.

M I N D  B L O W  I N G  S T U F F !!!!!

Last but not least, we went to do some grocery shopping, at the local Food Basics, some essentials, and then back home.

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SunshineGirl

@Gary van der Westhuizen, Congrats!  You made it to your new home!  So much done in 1 day.  It's amazing how things work when people, business & govt are geared for service.  Hoping to still hear updates from you both.  Lots of luck & blessings

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Lizelle

:) Now you can change your location bit under your name.  

It's funny the things you get used to after living here for a while.  I forgot to renew my vehicle registration, and it ran out on a Saturday.  So, on a Sunday I went to a registries that was open, and had to wait *gasp* like 30 minutes :)  On a Sunday.  When I got to the front the actual registration bit took about 1 minute to do.

Though, now I notice if a building does have burglar bars on :) 

 

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Arya

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the update!  I am flying over to Edmonton next Tuesday (17 Oct) and am getting a little nervous, so it's great to get an idea of what it was like for you. :-)

I am flying with Emirates too and was wondering if you could give me your opinion on something?  How strict are Emirates with their carry-on baggage?  I need to take a small carry-on suitcase, a laptop bag, and a messenger bag (my handbag).  I'm concerned that they'll say that it's too much, as I've had bad experiences on international flights previously where I got an uninterested face just saying "computer says no" and had to check my hand luggage into the hold.  My little suitcase contains my photography gear and I REALLY don't want to let it out of my sight...

Also, how strict did they seem to be on your checked-in luggage?  Did they measure the dimensions of the bags or did they only weigh it?

Thanks a lot!

Elize

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Gary van der Westhuizen

@Arya glad the info was helpful!

As far as bags go, we read they are EXTREMELY finicky but, from OR Tambo we were the only people who adhered to the one piece rule. A lot of people had 2 carry ons. From Dubai they were stricter, and some people had to check stuff in. They never weighed that for the 7kg rule.... Our bags were pretty standard suitcases, so once again, they only weighed them, I think as long as they fit on the scale there, and can go on the conveyor you are ok. Once again, in Dubai I think they are stricter, so ideally you want your bags checked right through to Edmonton. 

Good luck with the new chapter! It is an amazing and exciting time! 

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Gary van der Westhuizen

@Lizelle and updated... Thank you! I clean forgot about that! 

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GerdaT

Thank you for sharing! All the best. I hope and pray all works out perfectly. Good luck on the job hunting!

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Andriesvn

It's so nice (lekker!) to read stories like this. I tell myself "It's not always sunshine and whiskey" because I'd rather be prepared for a bumpy trip and be relieved when it is smooth sailing.

Please keep up with the updates!

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HildeC

Two is one, one is none... would also be rather over prepped. Look at everything as possible, but not all probable...:)

 

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