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Beginning to consider...

Beginning to consider...

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Old Dec 8th 2018, 10:15 pm
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Default Beginning to consider...

Hello,

My first post here.

I’m a 39 year old Mum of 3 (7, 5 and 5 - yes, twins) who works full time as a pharma marketing director, I have a BSc and an MBA degrees. I’ve recently been asked if I would be interested in a role in the same company in Canada (Markham, Ontario to be precise). Company would be responsible for all relocations costs, and it would be for a 2-3 year period.

My husband is 41 and is a logistics manager working in food retail at the moment. He has a masters in international logistics. His company’s only north American operation is in Seattle so a transfer is highly unlikely.

Im looking for general advice/info, but do have a few specific questions I haven’t found answers to on google or the sticky post here.

1) Assuming my company manage some kind of inter company working visa for me, would my husband be able to obtain a working visa so he could also work?

2) How easy is it for British kids to go into the Canadian school system. I have one in year 3, and two in year 1. Also, is wrap around care at school easy to find? I’ve managed to avoid needing a nanny up to now, and would prefer they were with other kids for childcare before and after school?

3) We currently live in Oxfordshire - half way between Oxford and Wycombe. My office would be in Markham (north east of Toronto) but I already know I don’t want to live there - any suggestions for places we’d find a 5 bed house with a bit of space around for a not ridiculous amount of money? Ideally with public transport into the city and no more than 40 mins commute from Markham.

4) Has anyone relocated with pets? We have a 10 year old Beagle and a 14 year old cat - we do have options if we were to leave them, but knowing what the possibilities are would be great

5) Has anyone else been relocated with benefits including flights back home? How did you negotiate those? My parents are 75 and 76, and although they are fairly healthy, there is an inevitability to their age which is bearing heavy on my mind. Especially the thought of taking the kids away from them.

Thanks in advance

Anna
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Old Dec 9th 2018, 2:36 am
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3) I assume you don't want to live in Markham because you're not Chinese. Would the place otherwise suit? That is, do you like the suburban quality of Markham, do you want something more urban of more rural?
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Old Dec 9th 2018, 3:48 am
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

Hi Anna

Welcome! I came over to Toronto 5 years ago off the back of a job offer for my husband. Kids were 5 and 1 at the time. Lots to think about, I remember being where you are.
To try and help with your questions:

1. Visas: will depend on your personal situation and I'm not qualified to say in your case, but your job will likely get you a Temporary Workers Permit, that will last 2 years (can renew it or go for Permanent Residency) and your husband would be able to work on that basis too. You'd need to make sure your company engage an immigration lawyer and make sure they arrange the paperwork and work permits for both of you and permission for kids.
2. Schools: fairly easy. At least in Toronto, your address determines which school you go to. So be careful when you find somewhere to live that the school seems decent - ask around or look up: "compare ontario school rankings" (tried to post a link but the site wouldn't let me because I don't post enough). You can also choose to send them to French Immersion school and there is a Catholic school option as well (Toronto).
The school year is determined by age in the calendar year - so if 5 years olds born in 2009 they would be in Senior Kindergarten. 7 year old in 2011 grade 2. Both Elementary school. You'll find them a bit "behind" at least to start with - they start them more gently here
3. This one is harder to answer, totally depends what you are looking for and your budget. GTA is not cheap. You could live east of the city and be close to Markham or go further out where you'd get a bigger house...what sort of place you after? I take it you'd be renting?
4/5. Pets I can't help, sorry. Grandparents...well...that keeps me awake sometimes. Its a big decision. So I understand!

Happy to chat more if you want. Good luck!
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Old Dec 9th 2018, 8:34 am
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
3) I assume you don't want to live in Markham because you're not Chinese. Would the place otherwise suit? That is, do you like the suburban quality of Markham, do you want something more urban of more rural?
Thanks for the reply! Markham just seems a bit of a non-place, maybe it’s because my office is kind of remote.

I am used to living somewhere with a decent amount of space, a garden and easy parking. Somewhere to go for walks. But I also want somewhere my kids will be near friends and amenities, and we can walk to buy a pint (or a bag!) of milk.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 9th 2018, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

I live in Brooklin, North Whitby - a lot of people live in this town and commute to Markham - it’s an easy 30 minute-ish run along Highway 7 and the town is as pleasant a one as you will find in Canada - lots of schools, daycare and an established although small town centre.
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Old Dec 16th 2018, 1:28 am
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

Originally Posted by Albi1979 View Post
and we can walk to buy a pint (or a bag!) of milk.
Does any one walk anywhere for milk these days ? :-)

It'll be -25 out there soon

Welcome to the group
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Old Dec 16th 2018, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

Originally Posted by J-A-UK View Post
Does any one walk anywhere for milk these days ? :-)
We do......greengrocer/meatstore 10 minutes up the road and a pharmacy (regular prescriptions to collect) a little further.
It'll be -25 out there soon
Already has been with wind chill.
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Old Dec 16th 2018, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

Originally Posted by J-A-UK View Post
[/left]
Does any one walk anywhere for milk these days ? :-)

It'll be -25 out there soon

Welcome to the group
I do. We have a Sobey’s across the road and a Rabba even nearer...Loblaws and Longos within easy walking distance. That’s one of the things I like about living downtown...I walk to the supermarket, doctors, dentist, chiro, vet, bank etc etc. I can even walk to the mall...when it’s below zero I can walk underground using the PATH.

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Old Dec 16th 2018, 6:56 am
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

Originally Posted by J-A-UK View Post
[/left]
Does any one walk anywhere for milk these days ? :-)

It'll be -25 out there soon

Welcome to the group

I walk to get everything but milk from the grocery store.. a couple of times a week (and to go to the pharmacy every 2 weeks or so) there's also an LCBO, Beer Store, Pub, bank, pizza store, pet store, pet groomers, dollar store, Canadian Tire, 2 grocery stores, a diner and a thai plce.. oh and Lifelabs.. all within a 10 minute walk ..Does that count? If I wanted to walk a little further there's a whole world of other stuff!

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Old Dec 16th 2018, 8:39 pm
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Welcome to the forum the newcomers.
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Old Dec 16th 2018, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
I do. We have a Sobey’s across the road and a Rabba even nearer...Loblaws and Longos within easy walking distance. That’s one of the things I like about living downtown...I walk to the supermarket, doctors, dentist, chiro, vet, bank etc etc. I can even walk to the mall...when it’s below zero I can walk underground using the PATH.
Yah. I walk everywhere!
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 1:29 am
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

You children are very similar in ages to mine when we moved to Canada. 6, 5 and 5 (twins here too). There were a few problems with school. The 6 year old was in Year 2 in the UK, but was put into Grade 1 in Canada. He spend a couple of years pretty bored at school. There are 2 years like Reception here, so the 3rd year of school is the first year of proper school. Kids are put in the grade based on the calendar year of birth. My twins had just started Reception in the UK but they were put ahead into their 2nd year of school. One of them really struggled. We've been here 5 years now and I would say it's worked out. I don't love love the school system here but I suppose it will do. I worry that should we ever return to the UK, they will struggle at school there because the curriculuem is so different. The good thing about school here is you don't have to apply. They will automatically go to the school in your catchement area. Catholic school if you want, or public school.
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 1:51 am
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

Originally Posted by Allie73 View Post
I don't love love the school system here but I suppose it will do. I worry that should we ever return to the UK, they will struggle at school there because the curriculuem is so different.
If that's important, have them take the IB courses.
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Old Yesterday, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Beginning to consider...

Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
Yah. I walk everywhere!
Re walking, this is a general question but is it just Toronto that's walkable? Where I live in London I walk to work because why pay for the tube when a 40 minute walk will do it, and try to walk to evening plans if at all possible and I love it. I barely miss driving. Do you know whether other Canadian cities are also walkable within reason? I know it's cold and lack of public transport etc etc but just after some personal anecdotes.

Sorry to hijack your thread OP!
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Old Yesterday, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by claphamer View Post
Re walking, this is a general question but is it just Toronto that's walkable? Where I live in London I walk to work because why pay for the tube when a 40 minute walk will do it, and try to walk to evening plans if at all possible and I love it. I barely miss driving. Do you know whether other Canadian cities are also walkable within reason? I know it's cold and lack of public transport etc etc but just after some personal anecdotes.

Sorry to hijack your thread OP!
Toronto and Montreal are both well suited to walking. Vancouver is as well. Note that, in any of these, you have to live in the city; in the GTA, beyond the TTC, there are no pavements, no pedestrians, and nothing to inspire anyone to leave their bed. Imagine Basildon and then another Basildon, Basildons to the limit of your imagination.

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