Sign in to follow this  
Guest Joshua

Why Canada?

Recommended Posts

CobusF

Excellent feedback - thanks! Any more comments from other people?

Interesting comment re: chronic medication - does this mean that you must pay all chronic medication yourself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ann

Health care is a provincial matter. The Pharmacare applies to British Columbia.

Under Fair PharmaCare, your family is responsible for the cost of your prescription drugs until you have paid your full deductible. After reaching your deductible, PharmaCare pays the majority of eligible prescription costs and you are responsible only for a co-payment. Your co-payments continue until the annual maximum based on your family's income is reached. After that, PharmaCare pays the full amount of all eligible prescription costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

CobusF,

at the risk of sounding like a metronome, you CANNOT overestimate the value of having the USA right next door if you live in Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marius O

The thing that made me choose Canada over Oz was quite simply this... There is NO QUARANTINE for pets travelling to Canada. I think Oz has recently put its quarantine time up to 7 months!!! ;)

Bugger that mate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seanhay

Talking of Pets Marius,

If there's one thing I could do over again, it would be to leave our dogs behind with family. The only saving grace for us has been that they're very old and probably (hopefully) don't miss the outdoor life anymore. They were outdoor dogs in SA but here its very difficult to maintain that lifestyle. The winters are way too cold - except for a quick walk, and the summers get too hot to leave them out, so they become indoor animals.....with all of the hazards that go with that...

In addition, long-haired dogs will cost anything upward from $70.00 to have a hair cut in Toronto (versus about R100-R150 back in SA) and you don't want to know what Vet bills are like here. ;)

Not sure about Ozz costs?

Edited by Seanhay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pippa

Hi to all the SA-Cans!

Why did you choose Canada and not Australia / NZ? We are almost 80% sure that we will end up in Canada, but would like why you decided on Canada!

I will appreciate you comments! Look forward to hearing from you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
boeg

Hi Pippa

See page two of this topic in this foyer. There you will see a discussion re "Oz v Canada" near the foot of the page.

On page three, there is an 8 page discussion on "Why Canada".

If you type "why Canada" in the forum search engine you will also find lots of matches.

Happy hunting! :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karen

You know the old joke - I saw a sign saying "Drink Canada Dry". So , I came and I did!!

Seriously, though, people come here over Oz or NZ for mny different reasons. Often, the reason boils down to economics - it may just be easier for them to work in their fields here, or just work at all. They may already have family/close friends living here, or they simply may want to be in North America and could not get into the States. Others visit and love Canada and its different seasons etc.

Remember that all countries have their pros and cons, and one is not better than another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Merv

THis is a question I have been meaning to ask for some time as well. Having visited OZ recently I have had to do some serious self questioning about our decision to come to Canada. In hindsight, we didn't do a whole lot of thought into the process, it was pretty much a case of of a job opportunity coming up, and us saying "what the hell, lets do it".

The objective of getting the hell out of SA was achieved, with the attitude that we could always go back if things were really cr..p, but we wouldn't be saying to ourselves in 10 years time, "gee what if we had taken that opportunity?"

Now I find myself questioning this decision and saying to myself that perhaps we should have weighed up other options before taking the plunge and maybe OZ would have been better for us, but every time I start this line of thought I come back to the same answer, which is that life will pretty much lead you where you are supposed to go, despite your best efforts.

We have done OK for ourselves here over the last ten years, have had some major downs and ups, but overall the ups have outweighed the downs.

Who knows, maybe if we hadn't grabbed the opportunity we had at the time, and had analysed things to death we would still be sitting in SA and wondering "what if?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karen

Merv,

We are on the same wavelength here.

Canada was easy to get into when we applied, so we jumped on the bandwagon and trekked. We also had more than our share of hardships in the early years and questioned our reasons for being here many a time.

After visiting Australia, I realised that we should have gone there on a LSD before coming here. I loved the place and believe we could have settled there very happily and more easily than the adaptation here took. I think that it is a really good alternative to SA - great weather, same sports, easier lifestyle and a quality of life I feel lacking in North America. My sister and her family are extremely happy there and so are many other expats I spoke to during my stay. I would say that most ex SA's there are truly pleased with their decision to be in Australia.

However, we have made a decent life here through hard work and sacrifice, and we really have nothing to complain about - we have work, a nice home, great friends and freedom. We call Canada home now and we certainly aren't going anywhere else.

Oh, and it is rather nice to be so close to the US and just pop over for stay!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pokkels

Hi all,

I've been browsing thru this great site and have been enjoying the posts (I even had a few giggles as I read) and wanted to just get a few opinions from you knowledgable bunch...

My wife and I moved over to the UK 4yrs ago and have acquired UK Permanent Residency and we plan to apply for Naturalisation next year. Here comes the problem: After all this time, we have now realised that we don't want to make the UK home and going back to SA is not our first chioce either. We miss our family and friends, but we have come to enjoy our new found freedom and independence away from them. Bless them!

So, we thought about moving elsewhere and Canada is at the top our list. But as we came over to the UK, my wife has been the main bread winner and I had to get off my high horse and play second fiddle, which I am happy with now. Which options will better suite us to move to Canada: Permanent Residency; Work Permit; any other options?

I think my wife will stand a better chance in getting a job, as she has over 10yrs Social Work and Counselling experience and will finish her Masters degree in Mental Health next year. As for me, I am degreed, but has not been able to further my career since coming to the UK (I used to do Management Consulting in SA). I don't mind it, as now I just want to earn a living and enjoy life.

We want a change, maybe sample Canada for a few years and then decide? I fear we only have one more move to do, as settling is important and finances aren't infinite.

Sorry for the long post, any advice or views appreciated.

Thanx

Pokkels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seanhay

Hi Pokkels,

So you're thinking of moving here and we're moving to the UK shortly. We'll also do the sampling thing for the next 2-3 years and then have to settle. The great thing about being in England is that you can travel around Europe for short breaks every now and again!

My wife is also a Social Worker (hasn't practised in about 7 years though) and we used her qualification as the primary applicant for entry into Canada with no problems at all. Your wife will still need to get her Degree authenticated by the Canadian Social Work system (depends on which province you'll be settling in). It's an irritating waste of money and time as far as I'm concerned as they should have a worldwide database of accredited institutions by now...

Canada is a great country and we're going to miss it. Especially all of the friends we've made!

One thing I enjoy about the UK is that it does seem more of a 'home from home'.

Similar taste in sports, even the language! I won't have to be teased about being 'Sharn' now. In the UK Sean is 'Shorn'! Phew.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alan
Hi to all the SA-Cans!

Why did you choose Canada and not Australia / NZ? We are almost 80% sure that we will end up in Canada, but would like why you decided on Canada!

I will appreciate you comments! Look forward to hearing from you!

The quality of life here is truly great except for one thing - the weather. Consider it carefully if Australia is an option for you.

I don't know where you are planning on settling in Canada but be warned, the winters are awful. I don't mind that they are so cold, its just that they go on for so damn long. I live in Calgary and we didnt have a summer at all this year. Its October and already the temperatures have plummetted, the next time we will have any sign of growth on the trees and the end of winter in sight will be June 2006. I am not joking! Yes, there will be some "warm" days in-between but warm is relative, when your high has been -29C for two weeks and it goes to -5C it is a beautiful day here in Canada and is very much appreciated. There are so few days that you can truly justify wearing shorts that you really, really miss it. Yes, you do wear them "when it's not that cold" as well but its not the same as a pair of shorts, a golf shirt and sandals on a perfect summers day when you can feel the warmth on your skin as you step outside. I have been here almost 5 years and I think 3 out of the 5 summers have been non-events, even by Canadian standards. I find myself really longing for some extended warm weather which is not good.

At this stage you might be wondering what I am still doing here. Well, the reason I am trawling this topic is because we are now considering heading to Australia and its fact finding time.

Let me say though, everything else about Canada is fantastic and I have no regrets about my time here and I am sure you will not eitrher if you do come here. Its a beautiful, beautiful country of great opportunity and stability. But the greatest thing about Canada for me is the absolute safety that I feel. I love the fact that we are so free here. My wife and I go for walks or bike rides at any time of the day or night, where ever we see fit. During our mid-winter walks down to the pub at a miserably cold -30C (or colder at times) I do console myself by considering that it may be cold but at least we can actually go for a walk in safety and it doesnt matter what time we come home, it will still be safe.

Hope this helps you in some way. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
boeg

Hi Alan,

Just re your comments on the weather I was just wondering why you want to go as far as Australia as opposed to eg Vancouver/Vancouver Island which I hear are milder, or even the States which has every type of climate :( ?

Just curious :) ,

Boeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pippa

Dear Alan,

Many thanks for your honest comments. Canada is still our number 1 country of choice!

Good luck with all your plans!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alan
Just re your comments on the weather I was just wondering why you want to go as far as Australia as opposed to eg Vancouver/Vancouver Island which I hear are milder, or even the States which has every type of climate :) ?

Boeg

If you have a look at Vancouver average maximum temperatures histroically they are not that great. They are better than Calgary for sure but then add all the rain they have, which is substantial. and you're back to zero.

J = 6

F = 8

M = 10

A = 13

M = 16

J = 19

J = 22

A = 22

S = 18

O = 14

N = 9

D = 6

Stats from The Weather Network

Interior BC has some great climates but unfortunately we need to be in a bigger centre.

Why not the US? Not sure exactly what it is. I have visited quite a few places there and enjoyed it very much but something about living there doesnt really grab me. Maybe it's becuase they dont seem to have the social harmony that Canada or Australia has.

Alan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

Gee Alan,

that must be why we have been struggling with temperatures up to 36C over here in Van last year and more than 30C this year. Last year all the air-cons were sold out at Canadian Tire!

From 18 July to 18 August this year it waspretty much continuous sunshine and rainless.

Last year we had 2 almost 100% rainless months in a row and there was not enough snow to ski ths last season.

So, you may want to be careful about paying too much attention to averages.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karen

October in Toronto, and here we are in summer gear, enjoying the most wonderful warm days, with temps in the mid twenties. Nothing to complain about here right now.

Alan, I am sure you will be very happy in your new life in Australia. It's a wonderful country with much to offer and a very pleasant seaside lifestyle. Most ex- pats there seem to be really happy with their lot, especially if they are gainfully employed. There is much Downunder which is comparable to life in South Africa - the weather and sports being the first that come to mind. Aussies we met all seemed a friendly enough bunch and best of all, we were easily understood!!

Note, however, that as cold as it gets here, so hot it can get in Australia. My family there complain bitterly of the incessant heat they have to endure from around December to March. Extreme heat can be as bad a extreme cold for sheer bodily discomfort, so do not underestimate that. In fact, some folk will go as far as to tell you, that it can be easier to get warm than to stay cool.

I loved my time in Australia, and had I gone there off the bat, I know I would have settled well there and been very happy. I think I could still be, but I am here to stay in Canada, which, over the past dozen years, has become part of who I am, and lousy weather and all, I am happy, settled and here to stay.

P.S. It is still my hope, though, to get to BC someday, but for now, Ontario is not looking too bad at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alan
Gee Alan,

that must be why we have been struggling with temperatures up to 36C over here in Van last year and more than 30C this year. Last year all the air-cons were sold out at Canadian Tire!

From 18 July to 18 August this year it waspretty much continuous sunshine and rainless.

Last year we had 2 almost 100% rainless months in a row and there was not enough snow to ski ths last season.

So, you may want to be careful about paying too much attention to averages.

Well Harry. If you don't like averages lets rather look at the specifics of some actual temperatures for Vancouver in July and August of 2004 and 2005 as recorded by Envirnoment Canada.

2005

HIGHEST RECORDED temp in August = 27.2C

LOWEST RECORDED temp in August = 11.5C

HIGHEST RECORDED temp in July = 28.8C

LOWEST RECORDED temp in July = 11.2C

Days above 25C in August = 9

Days above 25C in July = 4

Total days in Jul/Aug above 25 C = 13
(out of 62)

2004

HIGHEST RECORDED temp in August = 29.8C

LOWEST RECORDED temp in August = 13.2C

HIGHEST RECORDED temp in July = 29.8C

LOWEST RECORDED temp in July = 12.9C

Days above 25C = 10

Days above 25C = 9

Total days in Jul/Aug above 25 C = 19
(out of 62)

So, you may want to be careful of paying too much attention to your own opinion. :)

PS. I saw on the news the other night that the reason for the no snow was that it was all rained away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alan

Thanks Karen. Make no mistake, it is not a decision we will make lightly and the extreme heat is a big consideration. One doesnt want to go from the fat into the fire, or the freezer into the fire in this case.

I think the key thing is that we can always come back to Canada if we dont like it in Australia. What would be perfect is 6 months of the year on either side. Ahhh well, perhaps in another life. :magic:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karen

Once you have settled down in Australia, I very much doubt you will ever have the desire to run back to Canada!

Australia, is, as I have mentioned before, a great country, and I am certain that you will find most of everything to your liking there. I know folk who have gone this route before you, and they have never even visited Canada again, are totally settled and happy there and consider themselves lucky to have been able to migrate again.

Go forward with confidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

Alan,

I appear to have offended you.

My apologioes if that is the case somehow.

My opinion has nothing to do with it.

Our outdoor thermometer has everything to do with it.

They measure those temperatures that you quote at the airport. There it is ALWAYS decidedly colder with a sea-breeze. Why don't you visit me and I'll show you my maximum-minimum thermometer. Go read the Vancouver Diaries and you'll find the temperatures real people were measuring at real suburbs on real thermometers under realistic conditions.

To spare you that, here are a couple of links to days on which I reported the weather over the last two years. This year we had a very nice spring with high temperatures. Then it bombed out until mid July. Then we had superb weather again for a month and our lawns died of heat and drought...not really in line with the picture you have, eh!?

So,your data is correct if your intention is to live on the runway at the airport. Feel free :magic:

2004:

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=22182 : 270 hrs of sunshine in April and 26C

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=23036 : 18 may 25C

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=24940 : above 30C

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=27138 : 32.6C

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=27161 : 33.9C

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=27175 : Langley suburb : 42C

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=27236 : 33.0C

2005:

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=37519 : Cold early April

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=38387 : April blue sky

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=39982 : 31C

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=40035 : 30C

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=40126 : 6 days of intense heat

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=42150 : cloudiness

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=42507 : cloudiness

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=43835 : 30.4C

http://www.sacanada.org/index.php?s=&showt...indpost&p=44629 : Rain after a month

Enjoy!

And...yes, indeed...right now it is raining in Vancouver. We had our first light snow on the mountain peaks here this week. The temperature at 6pm is around 12C here in Deep Cove.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alan

:magic:B):lol::lol::lol:

" So,your data is correct if your intention is to live on the runway at the airport. Feel free "

:lol::lol::lol:

That was really funnny. You made my day when I read that. I really did laugh out loud!

No Harry, I dont intend to set up home on the runway at Vancouver International! :lol::lol::lol:

I can't argue micro-climates with you and I know the temperatures around Calgary can vary substantially too. The temperatures quoted by Environment Canada do not include the wind-chill factor and unless your equipment is housed in a proper weather station and you have features such as UV and solar sensors and a fan-aspirated radiation shield it is not going to necessarily be very accurate, probably more of a good indication than anything else.

I do think the lawns here are more sensitive to dryness than in SA. ie. one week of 25 and sunshine and they look pretty dreary. (Dont know if the lawn in Van is the same as Calgary)

You seem to be quoting the odd day here and there, which is fine and I believe you wholeheartedly. Believe me we do have some outstanding days/weeks here in Calgary too. But I think it is fair that people understand that where ever they go in Canada, the winters are going to be much longer and much colder than they are used to and it does get to you eventually. It doesnt mean that you want to pack up and go back to SA but, if I remember my Afrikaans correctly, I think "moedig" is a good way to describe it. If people are trying to decide between somewhere warmer and Canada, it becomes all the more important that they know. I have no doubt that BC is a better place for SAs to settle because it does have a better climate.

As I said earlier in the thread, I dont mind that it gets so cold, its just that its cold for so damn long. Would I rather have the long cold winters or SAs crime? Its no contest, the long cold winters anyday. Would I like to be able to enjoy more of this freedom outside in nice warm weather? You bet.

Anyway, enough of that. Maybe Ill take you up on that visit next time Im in Van. Harry. :) So long, of course, as you havent moved to the suburb of Vancouver International. :D:D Although it would save a fortune on cab fare!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry

Alan,

Vancouver has its good spells and its bad spells. It has its warmer areas and its colder areas. Deep Cove, where we live, faces east(!) and has more cloud than the rest of Vancouver, because the mountains loom over us. It is also demonstrably cooler than most areas very near the city, for those reasons.

Vancouver also demonstrates the practicalities of living at the sea. The temperatures near water are typically 5C lower than just a few k's inland. As you could see from one of those entries, the temperature exceeded 40C in Langley on one occasion. It is about 30km from the water. It is correspondingly colder in winter.

I'm an escaped PhD physicist with a big interest in weather and geography, so I fully agree with your statement about a properly aspirated weather station and all that good stuff. The issue for the person who wants to decide on living here, is that he or she does not live contained in a properly aspirated white weather station box.

They need to know stuff like, when Weather Canada says we had 6 days above 25C, it was actually more like 6 days above 30C for the real human in one of the cooler parts of Vancouver. They need to know that I was burnt to a cinder at the Abbotsford Air Show. They also need to know that the clouds people complain about in winter here, are the very reason why the nighttime temperatures remain typically around and above freezing and the roads do not really ice. It is the exception when it does, and the subject of considerable discussion. It snows so rarely on the ground, that lots of people stay at home when it happens. Everyone drives with all-weather tyres and do not put on winter/snow-tyres.

We are in the climatic zone that follows "south of Cape Town's Mediterranean". Like Cape Town, we have wetter Winters and drier Summers, but the differences are not quite as extreme as Cape Town, and the wind infinitely less. The temperatures are correspondingly lower because we are further from the equator. The summers in Vancouver City are quite dry ( drier than the Highveld, in fact!!). I personally like the Vancouver summer much better than the screaming hot Pretoria summer, where you have to squint your eyes when you leave the door and you rather just go back inside because it is too bloody hot outside to do anything constructive. It also does not have Durban's mugginess or PE's wind.

What DOES get people down, is the long cloudy period in winter. I don't really mind it, because it keeps the roads good and reduces the temperature wear and tear on our house. It also reduces my gas-bill.

Is the place colder than Oz?...yes! Pretty much any place in civilisation is. However, if your life is surfing and trekking through deserts, Oz is a good place. Certainly our ocean is cold and our beaches less than pathetic. Here people swim in inland lakes that DO have nice sandy beaches.

I grew up in Port Elizabeth and it is closer to Vancouver that than anything else I have ever seen, except that the wind is largely absent ( by SA South Coast standards). We do get wind storms, but they tend to hit Vancouver Island or even West Vancouver. Here where we are, wind is quite a phenomenon to observe and be talked about. When you have cathedral forest on a slope facing away from the sea, you tend to just see the tree-tops move a bit. Of course it is about 8 or so centigrade colder than PE in winter....but I used to have to walk to and from school as a kid in PE, and, believe me, even at 6C, the gale force southwester went through your soul and numbed your face utterly. NO such thing here, and hence freezing temperatures are quite tolerable. So , there is not really any wind chill factor ever mentioned for Vancouver.

I shall repeat my description of where we live from a few years ago.....a mix of Knysna and Hout Bay with no wind and the temperatures about 8C lower. Like with George, summers can get hot. The one thing we do not really get at all, are Bergwinds to heat the winter.....we leave that to Calgary and the Chinook.

Certainly, coming from SA, folks would have to get used to long winters. However, in Pretoria I found the 6 months of utterly monotonous dry, hazy, smoggy, white-sky, eye-burning, nostril cracking, yellow grass, burnt veld winter very depressing. I much prefer the Vancouver version....I get to have beautiful views of snow and picture perfect Christmas events. In Pretoria it was too cold outside for the women to have a braai in the late afternoon in winter anyway.[ unless you are Etienne, who will have a braai on the South Pole]

So , herewith, I perversely celebrate one of those once in a decade or two winter 5-inch snowfalls we had in early 2002:

Winterpage.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DougieFaure

hi Harry - I have anecdotally heard that temperatures are measured at 30 foot off the ground at airports (Njannies!).

Now that would make if frikkin colder in most places. But for an objective opinion I think we should defer to those who are 30 foot tall.

Does this make sense - what else from Environment Canada has ever mad sense!

Just appreciate what we get - weather wise.

Just think of it - if the government took charge

1) they would ship the good weather to where they were more short of votes!

2) they would tax it (more than expected - as per some (obscure?) govt. guidelines)

3) They would screw it up (as per previous record of delivering ANYTHING)

Dougie (Ottawa)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this