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Old Sep 4th 2017, 8:49 pm   #1
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Default Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Hi Folks,

My family and I moved to Ontario from the U.K back in January.
We moved because I had secured a job here on a TFWP. It has to be said that I am not enjoying this particular position as it is certainly not very challenging and it is in a very remote and rural part of Ontario.
I plan to change this when my P.R comes through.
It has to be said that my Wife and kids were against the move from early doors and make constant comparison to things back home like shopping and food etc etc.
There is no doubt that it is tough moving to a new country for everyone and I feel for my Wife and kids as they had a much larger family network on her side. There is no one living on my side anymore that I would call close.
The education system here in Canada seems to be a far cry from the standards we were accustomed to in the U.K and like me my kids feel unchallenged and that they are not moving forward. In general discipline in the class seems to be in short supply and there is practically no homework not to mention spelling and tables being forgotten about.
Obviously we are football (soccer) nuts in the U.K and my son has done well coming in here and is now playing for two teams.
I understand and respect that Hockey is the national sport here in fact its more like a religion, even school revolves around hockey games!!
My wife has just got her open work permit and is applying for jobs. I am hoping this will open doors and get her to meet women her own age. Its tough being a stay at home Mum I am sure of that.
I suppose I am asking for advice to help us survive and get over this difficult period.
Is there any difference in Eastern or Western Canada in terms of where the rest of the Brit Ex Pats settle down and bring their culture with them.
I enjoy Canada and have even managed to take up Golf. Something I thought I would never say!! There are many freedoms over here and I feel that Canada has much more to offer. I am sure I am not the 1st person on here to express these issues but I just wanted to reach out for advice.

Thanks

Farmboy.
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Old Sep 4th 2017, 10:49 pm   #2
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

very remote and rural and yet you've found a golf course. A blot on the landscape IMO

So settling in. Well it took me forever about 6 of years I'd say and i don't really have much useful advice except to suggest volunteering as a way to meet people. Food Banks and Coummunity Care are usually looking for help.
Are you in a community? Invite people round. Friends that moved to the back of beyond invited everyone down their concession road round for drinks and chat as well as asking the local shopkeepers. That worked well for them. What about joining a book club?

I sympathise with the quality produce available in local stores in especially in the winter, i tend to just buy frozen. In the summer you need to find farm stands or head to a city.

The best way is don't fight it, go with the flow. Don't compare.
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Old Sep 4th 2017, 11:54 pm   #3
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Thanks bats. Its definitely a work in progress. We will see how things develop over the next few months. There will be many highs and lows I am sure but we are going to buckle up and get on with it.

Here goes!!
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 12:10 am   #4
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

I don't often agree with what BATS has to say but she's right.

Like us, and most on this site, you have moved to a different country where different values prevail. Comparing life here to that you left behind is recipe for an unsettled mind and never ending doubts. You have to accept that life here is different and it will break you before you break it, if you let it.

But.. as a man I can understand your wife's reservations. Exchanging a wide family and friend support circle for four walls can't be much fun and to be fair, if you're the one with a job and friends then perhaps you'd be better able to arrange to meet outside work since you will actually meet people. You've found golf helps you but how does this help your wife other than lengthen the time those walls stare at her. I know from my daughter's experience that breaking into circles is difficult, especially in rural areas where friends have known each other from school and they will often ignore you, as they did us, at the school gate, but I also know that my son-in-law has found it easier.

I know that their first few years here were difficult, but fortunately both were working, I suspect that once your wife has found a job and gets to talk with people other than you then life will get easier, after all it's only September.

As BATS says, go with the flow.

Last edited by dave_j; Sep 5th 2017 at 12:15 am. Reason: Don't know what month it is. Put it down to senility.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 1:51 am   #5
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Where did you move to out of interest? How old are your kids?
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 2:18 am   #6
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Booze helps
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 9:02 am   #7
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

If your are in a remote and rural area, that may well be influencing your experience of Canada. I don't think you can compare the aspirations of rural schools in Canada to those in major cities, for example. There is a cultural difference between West East and Maritimes, so if you are able to move in the future, you may well find a region which suits you better. Going with the flow is good advice, and taking a long term view on where might be your next move.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 9:08 am   #8
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

I would suggest STOP COMPARING, you don't live in the UK any more, comparing prices etc is just a waste of time, get used to looking at things in the shop and comparing one shop against another, not with the UK, once you start doing that things should improve.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 10:46 am   #9
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Yes, I too think it would be interesting to know how old your kids are.

Have you talked, and listened, to what your wife is saying. If you are at work all day and then having Golfing jaunts, I can imagine she'd feel well hacked off

Meeting women of ones own age is a guarantee of diddly squat in Canada, if you are in a particularly rural setting, they are likely to have little or nothing in common other than the fact that they have experienced childbirth!

The first year in Canada, is a big eye opening learning curve, but at least has the element of suprise, albeit not always pleasant ones. The years thereafter call for big adjustments, culturally and socially...it can be hard to find your way and involves an awful lot of soul searching. I am groping my way towards contentment but I wouldn't be doing it without an incredibly supportive partner.

Very best of luck
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 12:46 pm   #10
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oink View Post
Booze helps
Yup, sit on ya front deck, in ya jamas of course, drink cheap beer, big bag of chips, Tradgicaly Hip on the stereo and smoke pot and they will come to you. Easy !!
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 1:36 pm   #11
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Good Morning Folks,

Thank you for all your replies which I have read with interest and understand exactly where you are coming from with respect to my Wife's feelings.
To clarify we are in S W Ontario about 20-30 mins out of London in a small hockey town. We have plenty of services there and the school is close by.
My kids are 11, 9 and 8 (Girl, Boy, Girl).
I have taken up Golf as my job includes a few tournaments in the year (best ball thank
God!!) however even this still means I am terrible. With respect to going on golf JAUNTS quite often I take my son with me after 7pm as it is pretty reasonable for both of us. We both bought 2nd hand equipment and are slowly but surely enjoying the sport. I would have loved it if my Wife had taken the sport up with us as we could all have went out but its not her thing. I dont have what I would call mates over here like I would have had at home and cant expect to have either. People are quite stand offish and only for me getting in touch with them about going for a game of golf I dont think the invite would have come my way.

With respect to the education system we dont want to be moving our kids and unsettling them a lot as the move over here was traumatizing enough however just because our school is around the corner does not mean that we will keep them there for the convenience factor. Making sure they are getting the best education possible is of paramount importance to both my Wife and I and for the life of us we cannot understand why simple reading, writing and arithmetic has been abandoned over stupid problem solving exercises with i pads!!!
We are going to produce a generation of kids who cant even write their own names legibly never mind spell it!!

The focus has for the last 10+ years been on my career as my Wife was a stay at home mum. This is a very underrated life choice. I know I couldnt do it and she certainly deserves all the praise for how our babies have grown into young well mannered and bright children. As the main earner I have focused on trying to earn as much as possible to keep us with what we need. Ontario is expensive and with three kids activities it all soon adds up.
Thankfully we have a jobs and employment office close by and the people in there have been really helpful to my Wife. They have helped her with her Resume and she has started to apply for part time jobs. This I believe will be a major boost to her. We will shortly be focusing on getting her some wheels which will give her so much more freedom. I have a company vehicle which she uses but only when its available. She has joined the local gym and to be honest I think that has kept her sane.

I would say that between the two of us we have produced enough cortisone between us to keep our local dispensary going for the next 10 years. When going through the immigration PR process it is all about ticking boxes and making sure everything is in order. There is no doubt that it is a long drawn out and complex process and so it should be to test the resolve of the candidate just to see how serious they really are. The plan would be to obtain P.R and continually improve and try to make a go of it. There are a lot of people out there with far bigger worries and we are just going to make the best of it.

This forum has been excellent and we greatly appreciate all the help that we have received. It certainly has been interesting thus far!!

Farmboy
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 2:04 pm   #12
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Sounds like you are on the right track Farmboy. Give it time. Big moves take a minimum of 2 years to settle in.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 2:22 pm   #13
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Thanks Shard

Why does it say my post has been moved on the page??
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 2:32 pm   #14
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

Hello not been on here for a while as at the beginning it made me more homesick. Farmboy we have been here 4 years my hubby 4.5 as he came out first to do the red seal. my daughter was 15 and son 13 and we lived in my cousins basement for 7 months and I couldn't work for the first 4. It was HELL and I and my daughter cried a thousand tears , it is NOT EASY however Shard is right it really is only TIME. you have to put yourself out there. Imagine you were back in the UK going to school gates or a night out and seen a stranger the last thing on your mind would be to go over and say hey who are you want to come to mine for a bbq. We sometimes can be unrealistic, we made the move we have to do the donkey work THEN the good people do and will appear and become friends. I volunteered at the school even just negotiating the police check and getting to know the teachers is a great way to network. I met a few good friends on this site because I said hey does anyone live in my town we met at a local pub swapped stories and took it from there. The school system I would agree is not what we are used to , my kids went to strict catholic schools back home where we got a phone call if they weren't wearing their tie or blazer and my daughter found it ridiculously easy going where the lunatics seemed to be running the asylum and she hated how there seemed to be so little discipline so I would not in my opinion of being East of Toronto necessarily move for school but this could differ in each area. 4 years on I love the weather, love the winter and snow too , better than the 365 days of rain in Scotland, tried every shop going still think they suck compared to the UK but you get over it. My mum moved here in the 60's and gave up after 1 year it is way too soon so keep on trucking. Also I would find out what pub if any plays your team from back home great way to meet expats also. Wont go in to comparing Canadian humour to Brits. It will only start a fight on here lol. Good Luck !!
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 2:36 pm   #15
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Default Re: Advice on Adjusting in Canada in year 1

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Good Morning Folks,

To clarify we are in S W Ontario about 20-30 mins out of London in a small hockey town.
Not Dutton, Ontario by chance is it?
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