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Good Points, Bad Points

Good Points, Bad Points

Old Aug 21st 2012, 5:37 am
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Default Good Points, Bad Points

So you have already made the move to Canada-What are the best and worst things about living there?
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 7:18 am
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

In lieu of forum posts from folks, a few of the members here have blogs in the siggys.

In the meantime, have a look at this wiki page - a few blog and article links there from folks that have made the move in years gone by.

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Real_Life_Accounts-Canada
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 1:34 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

An incomprehensive list for Eastern Ontario

Pros:

Mortgage is only $650 a month, so some money to spend elsewhere (Running 2 not ancient cars, piano and skiing for kids for example) (May not apply in most other areas)
View is of river (May not apply in most other areas)
Relaxed lifestyle(May not apply in most other areas)
Little to no crime or worrying about it(May not apply in most other areas)
I like where I work and the people here. There is a real sense of community (Stirling Hockeyville for example, may not apply in other areas)
No traffic to deal with(May not apply in most other areas)

Cons
Family is a long way away. Its hard to raise two kids with no opportunity to fob them off on relatives, especially over a ten week summer holiday or whatever it is here.
Running a home is expensive, insurance, heating and electric costs, TV and internet etc etc. Roofs to reshingle and all that.
Winter is a month too long(May not apply in most other areas)
Too many flying biting insects when its not winter(May not apply in most other areas)
Its nice for a while, but 30+° for two months starts to wear, Ive not seen green grass in weeks(May not apply in most other areas)
Flights anywhere are very expensive, so you holiday in your back yard
Lots of nice countryside around, but little legal access to it, no footpaths or rights of way.
After ten plus years with my employer I now get 4 weeks vacation. I started on two!
Drivers in the city (Toronto) are insane.
No big mountains nearby.

Probably think of more as I go on. I like where I ended up (by chance rather then any planing, this is where the job turned out to be)

Bottom line is a job you enjoy that covers the many bills is essential to a decent life here I think.

Last edited by iaink; Aug 21st 2012 at 5:29 pm.
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Pros:
Family is a long way away.
Running a home is relatively inexpensive in a mild climate. Keep it waterproof and well ventilated. Brush up on your DIY skills.
Winter stays up in the mountains where it belongs.
No mozzies.
Summer temperatures in the mid 20Cs with a cooling sea breeze to help you sleep at night.
Collect points with everything for free flights.
Wilderness on your doorstep. Almost all Crown land were you can wander at will.
I work for myself so can have all the vacation I want.
Driving is much less aggressive than the UK.
Lots of big mountains everywhere you look.

Cons
Housing prices similar to London (UK)
Even more expensive if you have a view.
Having to meet the mortgage payments means you don't get as much time to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle as you want. Especially if relaxing involves alcohol.
There is crime in Canada.

YMMV
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Originally Posted by iaink View Post
Cons
Drivers in the city (Toronto) are insane.
Applies in other areas.
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Originally Posted by MrWindUpBird View Post
Applies in other areas.
Especially Vancouver. I find them much more agressive (passively moreso than not) than what i experienced in the UK. That's a huge con for me as i enjoyed driving in the places i lived in the UK, not so much in Vancouver.

Pro:
My life is just as good as it was in the UK
Scenery

Con:
Drivers are ****ing stupid
Costs much more to run my car in Canada
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Pros
Big house on a nice sized plot that I can afford to heat (wood)
Pool in my back garden
My children can play outside in the road and up the road and are outside way more than they were in England
Beaches are amazing and surround us
Long hot summers
Long beautiful Falls
real snow with blue sky and sunshine in the winter
My UK accounting qualification transferred to a Canadian one
Have a great job with travel
Can ski in the winter although slopes are not very big, but big enough for my level of bravery
Distance to the US and the ability to drive to Florida if I want to
Cicadas!

Cons
Distance from family and UK friends
Costs to fly anywhere
Cost of Food
Mobile bills
Cost of nice furniture
No pubs with pub gardens
lack of Pimms
Cost generally - this is not a cheap place by any means
Hubbys job - no direct translation of his UK one here or even a similiar level
The "old boys" club that seems to be around
Nepotism
Mosquitos and other [email protected]#$d flying biting insects
horrible long cold brown spring

Last edited by Howefamily; Aug 21st 2012 at 5:30 pm. Reason: how did I forget the mosquitos!
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Pros:
Land, Bears

Cons:
Annoying Canadians
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Originally Posted by Howefamily View Post
Pros
lack of Pimms
NSLC sells Pimms - bought some just a couple of months back!

Now I've only been here since May 9th and spent 2 months living in Lunenburg with family before I moved into my own apartment in Halifax but so far...

Pros...
Better paid job than in the UK (Computer programmer) took me 2-3 months to find,
19 days vacation plus 11 bank holidays,
Beautiful weather,
Friendly people,
Lots of outdoors activities to do,

Cons...
Family and friends a long way off (although iPxxxx facetime is a lot better than skype) so I don't really feel very far from them.
Expensive food bills,
Expensive mobile phone bills,
Public transport out of Halifax not really very existent - Via rail to Montreal is cutting service and Acadian bus service I think is stopping soon, and as yet I don't have a car!
Expensive flights

That's all I can think of at the moment.

I'm on my own, so don't have anyone else to worry about which I think makes it a lot easier, and I'm finding things to fill my evenings with so I'm not bouncing around my still only half filled flat in the evenings - I've not bought a tv and signed up to cable so I can't go back to my old english lifestyle of vegging in front of the tv all evening! I do however have Netflix and access to BBC iPlayer for the rainy evenings! I admit I am a bit anxious about my first winter here, but keeping the bigger picture in mind - it'll be better than the life I had back in England!
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Originally Posted by julescg View Post
19 days vacation plus 11 bank holidays,
That's a pro?
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Originally Posted by Alan2005 View Post
That's a pro?
If you were on the UK minimum 20 days + 8 bank holidays then it is.

Last edited by MrWindUpBird; Aug 21st 2012 at 8:02 pm. Reason: Bad grammar
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Originally Posted by MrWindUpBird View Post
If you were on the UK minimum 20 days + 8 bank holidays then it is.
Unless you are off sick for more than one day.
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Originally Posted by Alan2005 View Post
Unless you are off sick for more than one day.
Maybe I'm a lucky one, but my sick days don't come off my vacation time and I assumed that was typical for Canada.
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Originally Posted by MrWindUpBird View Post
Maybe I'm a lucky one, but my sick days don't come off my vacation time and I assumed that was typical for Canada.
Mine neither. I've currently got 578.19 hours of accrued sick time, should I need it.
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Good Points, Bad Points

Good points:
It's not Uzbekistan.
Margaret Thatcher was never Prime Minister.

Bad points:
It's not Europe.
Stephen Harper is Prime Minister.

HTH.
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