Hopefully yours

Hello Canada! Our arrival - April 2018

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Hopefully yours

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 :blink: 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...:)

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Nettie
Posted (edited)

Welcome to Canada!

The car buying from abroad has peeked my interest. How did you manage to do that? I'm asking because this is one of the biggest and most common hurdles newcomers face and I believe your input would be very valuable. Were you able to get car insurance with your SA Drivers License?

Edited by Nettie

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Hopefully yours

Yes @Nettie, the insurance is ridiculously expensive with only our SA drivers license, however, we’re a family of 5 + my sister in law is here with us at the moment, so Uber/taxi is also ridiculously expensive!  We’re a bit out of Calgary, so train and bus is not an option for us...

We searched for a vehicle on CarGurus.ca and a friend on this forum was kind enough to test drive the car on our behalf. When we arrived, the guy who sold the car to us borrowed us the garage number plates to get back to the hotel...the next day we got insurance at All State Insurance (they were the only insurance company willing to sign us up with only a SA drivers license, because we did not do our international drivers license in SA, there was no time) and then we went to the registry from there with our pink slip and registered the vehicle and got plates.  It was actually quite easy.  Please note that we had to pay for the insurance a year in advance, no monthly payments because we’re still unemployed.  

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Mheynes456

@Hopefully yours thanks for sharing this. We are landing in Calgary next week Monday. May I ask how you managed to find a rental from SA? I have emailed a few agents and they say that were not willing to allow us to apply for a lease as we are not yet in the country and they need to meet us face to face. Also, if you don't mind sharing,  how much are you paying for insurance and for which car? Would you recommend that we do our international drivers here? I have seen mixed comments on the subject and wondering if it's worth doing it. Also, did you apply for your sin number at the airport or at a service canada branch? Sorry for all the questions, just getting very anxious as our landing date gets closer

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@Mheynes456, we got the same response from the agents...we found a private rental on rentfaster.ca, I emailed the lady and asked a friend on the forum to view the house on our behalf...

We paid with taxes included about $3000 for the year (in advance) for a Dodge Rand Caravan SE 2010 model.  BUT, if you can bring your insurance record with you, you will pay less...we didn’t have insurance for a while, therefore we didn’t bring our history.  We did bring our drivers abstract, and that helped because we didn’t have time to get international drivers.  I’m not sure if an International Drivers would make a difference to the insurance...You don’t need it to drive here however.

We did our SIN at Service Canada because we arrived 23:59 (midnight).  But it’s a painless process, very easy and quick.

There really is no need to panic, it’s not bad at all!

Calgary is a beautiful, friendly place!

if you’re booking a temporary place to stay, make sure it’s in town and not for example in Airdrie :rolleyes: like us, because it’s far from the airport and city and Uber/taxi was expensive ($80!!)

You’re welcome to ask questions, you may send me a message if you like.

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PaulD
On 4/14/2018 at 6:27 PM, Hopefully yours said:

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 :blink: 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...:)

Good job! We all know what a journey it is just to get to the start of an even more epic journey.  Sorry you will only be getting the tail end of this glorious winter,;) especially considering you are out west.

 

Lots to do no doubt, but take many moments to look up at that red maple and enjoy the feeling of being here.  You made it!

 

 

 

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Update:  

We’re almost a month in, can’t believe it! We love Aberta, I think this might be the friendliest place on earth! We’ve made good friends with 3 Canadian families, they are so helpful...even gave us some great furniture! A good friend on the forum also came by for a visit and brought some clothes and books for the kids, and each a stuffed toy...which they love! 

My husband started his first job on Friday and is already climbing the ladder:ilikeit: He settled in very quickly and is now part of ‘the team’:rolleyes:

The kids enjoy their freedom, they are able to walk to the park/soccer field, they can’t wait to get bikes/scooters to roam the neighborhood! They’re doing great in school and have made heaps of friends. It’s as if they’ve been here their whole lives.

So you might ask, was it worth all the stress and money and leaving everything and everyone in SA? The answer is simple, (even though we haven’t experienced winter yet :ph34r:)yeah, totally worth it! 

My take on settling in, is to make it your own...Canada is now my Canada, the people are now my people! Become part of the community and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  We now live a ‘quality life’!

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Reibtseb

The fear of winter is overrated. I went looking for snow last weekend, I miss it. Biking is fun, but snow sports are even better. :P

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Hopefully yours

That’s what I thought, eh @Reibtseb:D

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