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-   -   Looking to move to Canada, a few questions.... (https://britishexpats.com/forum/canada-56/looking-move-canada-few-questions-898158/)

Trinkers Jun 16th 2017 7:57 pm

Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Hi all,

So here's my story, followed by my questions. I am a Canadian Citizen by birth, and have always wanted to move back to Canada and experience life over there. I have recently split with my wife, and if I don't do it now, I never will. So I'm taking the plunge, and hope to be over there by end of September.

I've done some research, but there's a fair bit that I remain unsure of, so any assistance would be gratefully received.

Jobwise, I work in quite a niche area of IT Sales. Skills are transferable to other IT Sales, but skilled expertise in this area is sought after and hard to come by, and the UK Market is more mature than North America. So I'm pretty confident of being able to secure something in the next few months before I leave, but there is always a risk.

Where? At the moment, Toronto seems the best bet. As I expect that my role will also require me to cover the US as well, I need to be in fairly close proximity to Pearson. I also want to be fairly close to British expat communities. My current thought process is somewhere between Etobicoke and Oakville.

Questions

1) Location wise, is that a good starting point for a middle aged single bloke to move to? I'd only need a one bed apartment to start with for the first year. And would I be able to get a decentish apartment for around the $2000 a month mark in that area?

2) Driving licence exchange - this is potentially an issue for me. I am about to face a charge of dangerous driving in the UK, which will probably result in a 12 month ban. What diligence do Service Canada do around a UK Driving Licence? If I was to bring a duplicate licence with me with current clean showing, can I swap that for a licence in Ontario? Or will they check its validity first? If they do check, am I able to take a test over there from scratch, or does my UK driving ban mean I cant drive for a year?

3) Credit - With no credit history in Canada, how easy is it to obtain credit? My UK Credit is fair, not great, have a historical CCJ which is settled but still on file. Would they check UK file, and is it worth me bringing my file over with Bank statements?

Thanks in advance

geoff52 Jun 16th 2017 8:19 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
If you have enough money in your bank account, the move should not be a problem.

Danny B Jun 16th 2017 9:06 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
I can't speak for Ontario, but here in BC they do a straight swap with your UK licence for a BC one, no questions asked.

http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing...r-country.aspx

I don't know how the court system works in the UK, but if they physically take your licence away, I would apply for a new UK licence now if I were you. Say it's lost or something. That way you have something to give to the people over here.

As for credit, start small and build your way up. Hydro, gas, cable, mobile phones etc they all help build your credit rating until your first loan etc.

Stinkypup Jun 16th 2017 9:26 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Danny B (Post 12274710)
I can't speak for Ontario, but here in BC they do a straight swap with your UK licence for a BC one, no questions asked.

http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing...r-country.aspx

I don't know how the court system works in the UK, but if they physically take your licence away, I would apply for a new UK licence now if I were you. Say it's lost or something. That way you have something to give to the people over here.

As for credit, start small and build your way up. Hydro, gas, cable, mobile phones etc they all help build your credit rating until your first loan etc.

Im not sure that is the best advice that we should be giving, not exactly legal and they do communicate electronically between UK and Canada

CanadianSpruce Jun 16th 2017 10:14 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Stinkypup (Post 12274718)
Im not sure that is the best advice that we should be giving, not exactly legal and they do communicate electronically between UK and Canada

They don't share endorsements due to data protection rules and as far as I know only BC actually electronically validates the licence. Here in Alberta they don't even tell the DVLA you've even exchanged your licence.

Stinkypup Jun 16th 2017 10:20 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by CanadianSpruce (Post 12274739)
They don't share endorsements due to data protection rules and as far as I know only BC actually electronic validates the licence. Here in Alberta they don't even tell the DVLA you've even exchanged your licence.

In BC you switch licences and your UK licence is deactivated until you go back to UK to live when it can be reactivated- that suggested a line of communication - you suggest that that isnt true in Ab, I dont know because I dont live there. So if someone is banned in the UK and had their licenced revoked for a time, you are suggesting that the DVLA wont pass that information on.... again, I will have to take your word on that.

CanadianSpruce Jun 16th 2017 10:25 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Stinkypup (Post 12274742)
In BC you switch licences and your UK licence is deactivated until you go back to UK to live when it can be reactivated- that suggested a line of communication - you suggest that that isnt true in Ab, I dont know because I dont live there. So if someone is banned in the UK and had their licenced revoked for a time, you are suggesting that the DVLA wont pass that information on.... again, I will have to take your word on that.

As I pointed out BC is the one exception. The only thing the other provinces generally do is just send licence back to the DVLA (and some like Alberta don't even do that, they just shred the licence after 6 months). Even then I'm not convinced the DVLA would inform BC that the holder had been banned due to data protection laws.

Most Provinces only have an electronic link with other provinces and a few various US states (and for some provinces it's only a couple of US states). The links they do have can be pretty crap, for example Alberta often has trouble accessing Nova Scotia records and vice versa.

My primary concern would be insurance as my insurance for example says 'Are you or have you ever been banned from driving in any jurisdiction?'

Danny B Jun 17th 2017 2:31 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by CanadianSpruce (Post 12274739)
They don't share endorsements due to data protection rules and as far as I know only BC actually electronically validates the licence. Here in Alberta they don't even tell the DVLA you've even exchanged your licence.

When I got my BC licence in 2007, I was honest and replied yes to the question of "do I have any other driving licences".

They took my UK licence (the small photo card, not the A4 paper thing) and the Lady behind the counter put a tiny sticky label on it and gave it back to me. No checking, no running it through any computers, no nothing.
As soon as I got home I peeled the label off and it's been stored ever since.

When I rent cars in the UK I use my CDN licence.

Oliviald Jun 17th 2017 2:38 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Hi Trinkers!

I am currently living in Toronto with my fiance, we have been here since august and absolutly love it! Its a great city but just be warned it is expensive!

To answer some of your questions....


Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12274668)

1) Location wise, is that a good starting point for a middle aged single bloke to move to? I'd only need a one bed apartment to start with for the first year. And would I be able to get a decentish apartment for around the $2000 a month mark in that area?

2) Driving licence exchange - this is potentially an issue for me. I am about to face a charge of dangerous driving in the UK, which will probably result in a 12 month ban. What diligence do Service Canada do around a UK Driving Licence? If I was to bring a duplicate licence with me with current clean showing, can I swap that for a licence in Ontario? Or will they check its validity first? If they do check, am I able to take a test over there from scratch, or does my UK driving ban mean I cant drive for a year?

3) Credit - With no credit history in Canada, how easy is it to obtain credit? My UK Credit is fair, not great, have a historical CCJ which is settled but still on file. Would they check UK file, and is it worth me bringing my file over with Bank statements?

Thanks in advance

1) We are living in North York, which is know as 'mid town' Toronto. We live in a 1 bed apartment in a really nice area and pay $1785 per month, parking space, heating and water included. Hydro is extra but about $60 a month. You can get cheaper than this but we wanted to be in a nice area being new to the contry.

2) I actually changed my licence at the beginning of this week. All you have to do is go to a 'drive test' centre, que up, do an eye test and you have your licence! It cost $90 and 2 hours of waiting but really easy. They didnt do any checks from what I saw, just took my UK licence from me, signed a few papers and gave me a temp ontario one, just waiting for my card to come through the post.

3) When we got here were didnt have any credit and your UK credit doesnt count. We got a bank account and I was given a credit card with $1000 and my other half was given a $2000 when he got a job. We were also able to get phone contracts (sim only) but had to put a $100 deposit down. You can build your credit easily so I wouldnt worry about it. Dont bother bringing any UK documents as they dont want to see it.


Hope this helps a bit!

Good luck, Olivia

Stinkypup Jun 17th 2017 2:46 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Danny B (Post 12274827)
When I got my BC licence in 2007, I was honest and replied yes to the question of "do I have any other driving licences".

They took my UK licence (the small photo card, not the A4 paper thing) and the Lady behind the counter put a tiny sticky label on it and gave it back to me. No checking, no running it through any computers, no nothing.
As soon as I got home I peeled the label off and it's been stored ever since.

When I rent cars in the UK I use my CDN licence.

Although that was before one could just exchange licences in BC. I take it you had to do the test here like us- the rules changed about a month after we did ours so that you subsequently didn't have to sit the test :frown:

Aviator Jun 17th 2017 3:01 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Before deciding on your course of action, you may want to read this excerpt from the Criminal Code of Canada. Criminal Code

You could also run into a few hurdles, obtaining a duplicate license by lying, using said duplicate license (obtained by lying), to acquire a license in a province of Canada.

In the UK, you won't be issued a duplicate license after being disqualified. Once disqualified, your license to drive is suspended. Any license reported lost or stolen and then found, has to be returned to DVLA.

Questions about previous convictions when obtaining insurance. Lying could invalidate any insurance.

If it were me, I would think very carefully of the consequences before deciding what to do.

If you have a conviction, report all violations when applying for a license and then you will know, be free and clear whatever the outcome. Moving countries is not a clean slate.

Trinkers Jun 17th 2017 7:38 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Thanks so much for all the helpful advice.

I totally understand the moral and ethics question about the driving ban - I haven't made any decision at all, just wanted to understand the art of the possible. If I was to resit a driving test over there and have a clean Canadian licence, that seems the most legal and conscious free approach.

Danny B Jun 17th 2017 3:11 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Stinkypup (Post 12274718)
Im not sure that is the best advice that we should be giving, not exactly legal and they do communicate electronically between UK and Canada

Yes you are right.

I did not realize the seriousness of a UK dangerous driving conviction. Criminal record and possible jail time if convicted :eek:
I would definitely report this to the insurance people when getting a CDN licence / insurance.

Vulcanoid Jun 19th 2017 1:21 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12274668)
2) Driving licence exchange - this is potentially an issue for me. I am about to face a charge of dangerous driving in the UK, which will probably result in a 12 month ban. What diligence do Service Canada do around a UK Driving Licence? If I was to bring a duplicate licence with me with current clean showing, can I swap that for a licence in Ontario? Or will they check its validity first? If they do check, am I able to take a test over there from scratch, or does my UK driving ban mean I cant drive for a year?

Service Canada have nothing to do with that. Service Ontario will deal with future renewals, DriveTest will handle any initial swap. In your case, they can't, because you are required to present, among other things, a "current" "valid licence". If yours is suspended for a driving ban, it will be neither of these (even if you fraudulently present them with a duplicate invalid photocard). So you wouldn't ever have a valid Ontario licence if you went about that plan.

With your alternative suggestion, bear in mind that Ontario (like most of Canada) has 'Graduated licensing', meaning that even if you are allowed to learn to drive there with a UK conviction, it will be some two years at least before you hold a full licence.

Aviator Jun 19th 2017 2:46 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12274885)
If I was to resit a driving test over there and have a clean Canadian licence, that seems the most legal and conscious free approach.

One solution as I see it is to contact licensing, explain your circumstances and ask them what to do. If they have all the information and you can get a license, this should leave you in the clear. Obtaining a license by deception or omission of some, or all of the facts could cause further problems.

If one ends up with a criminal conviction, it may be prudent to look at other implication, such as travel restrictions (admissibility to the US for example) as well as work. Criminal code convictions permeate ones life much more than just a drivers license.

If it were me, I think I would be talking to a lawyer (in Canada) before doing anything else and getting myself in deeper.

MikeUK Jun 19th 2017 3:00 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Or more to the point, Insurance in Canada is expensive, if you make a mistake and get caught out you could be paying in excess of $1000 a month top insure a small car

Trinkers Jun 19th 2017 5:10 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Thanks for the feedback and advice. Ive spoken to Service Canada, and as you all have stated, I cannot transfer a licence that's suspended. I could take a G1 but would then have to wait 12 months until being eligible to take the G2. So one option is to "employ" a driver to drive with me, but ultimately I think that I may just have to do without a car for 12 months. I don't know how much of an issue that will cause if I'm living in Toronto - I'd commute in via transit/public transport, and expect I'll be flying most of the time to various places across US and Canada.

Aviator Jun 19th 2017 5:25 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12276330)
Thanks for the feedback and advice. Ive spoken to Service Canada, and as you all have stated, I cannot transfer a licence that's suspended. I could take a G1 but would then have to wait 12 months until being eligible to take the G2. So one option is to "employ" a driver to drive with me, but ultimately I think that I may just have to do without a car for 12 months. I don't know how much of an issue that will cause if I'm living in Toronto - I'd commute in via transit/public transport, and expect I'll be flying most of the time to various places across US and Canada.

So long as you use a cab for transport and don't need a rental, you may manage.

nooks 57 Jun 19th 2017 5:52 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
bring evidence of car insurance past history with even a letter of reference from your insurer....or you will pay through the nose for insurance.

Stinkypup Jun 19th 2017 9:42 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by nooks 57 (Post 12276360)
bring evidence of car insurance past history with even a letter of reference from your insurer....or you will pay through the nose for insurance.

You will pay through the nose even if you do :thumbdown:

JamesM Jun 19th 2017 11:48 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12274668)

Jobwise, I work in quite a niche area of IT Sales. Skills are transferable to other IT Sales, but skilled expertise in this area is sought after and hard to come by, and the UK Market is more mature than North America. So I'm pretty confident of being able to secure something in the next few months before I leave, but there is always a risk.

I love the confidence.

How much Canadian work experience do you have and who do you know?

Unfortunately you're in for a rude awakening once you start to understand the IT Sales job market in Toronto. No one likes a game changer. When the market catches up it will be their friends they hire before the qualified guy.

Trinkers Jun 20th 2017 2:18 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by JamesM (Post 12276563)
I love the confidence.

How much Canadian work experience do you have and who do you know?

Unfortunately you're in for a rude awakening once you start to understand the IT Sales job market in Toronto. No one likes a game changer. When the market catches up it will be their friends they hire before the qualified guy.

I have no Canadian work experience nor do I have any contacts. What I do have is experience of building a sales and delivery team based around a niche area that currently the three largest software companies in my sector need. Hence why I have had two of the three companies arranging interviews with me.

As for your comment about hiring their mates, there won't be a business for them to bring them in without someone with that experience building it for them. They're currently bringing in inexperienced knowledge from the states to cover their lack of knowledge.

What I do accept from your point is that I am at a disadvantage because I don't have that black book of contacts. Fortunately I do have the close friendship of the VP of Sales for North America for the product/solution I sell who can open doors for me

Aviator Jun 20th 2017 2:27 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12277021)
I have no Canadian work experience nor do I have any contacts. What I do have is experience of building a sales and delivery team based around a niche area that currently the three largest software companies in my sector need. Hence why I have had two of the three companies arranging interviews with me.

As for your comment about hiring their mates, there won't be a business for them to bring them in without someone with that experience building it for them. They're currently bringing in inexperienced knowledge from the states to cover their lack of knowledge.

What I do accept from your point is that I am at a disadvantage because I don't have that black book of contacts. Fortunately I do have the close friendship of the VP of Sales for North America for the product/solution I sell who can open doors for me

Looks like you'll do fine then. I expect they are already wondering how they got this far without you!

Trinkers Jun 20th 2017 2:36 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
I'm merely going on my market knowledge and from the conversations I've had with those companies. If they had the skills there then I wouldn't be as confident. but I would hope that in the next couple of weeks I'll have an offer.

Trinkers Jul 6th 2017 12:03 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
So as an update, I have been through second round of interviews with two companies, and one looks like they will make me an offer in the next 2 weeks, which will be amazing, cos then I can really start to plan, book flights and temporary accommodation etc.

I've taken on board the good advice around the driving thing, and I think I'm going to start from scratch and be a graduated driver initially, and walk/cycle/transit to the office in Liberty Village (if that where I work). The charge has been reduced so its not dangerous driving any more, which has far more serious consequences than what I will be charged with. I think I'll still face a ban though.

I'm looking at High Park/Rasconcelles/Bloor West area as I need to be commutable to both Liberty Village and the airport. Looking at what folks have said about renting in Toronto, I'm going to take a risk and sort that out when I get over there, with my employment letter, a few months rent and references.

Some more questions for you all if I may:

1) Banking - Scotiabank seem to do a decent SmartRight program for newbies, with an unsecured credit card, checking accounts etc, and they can offer a dual account for US/Canada dollars, which will be handy. I'd also quite like the Air Canada credit card for miles as I'll be travelling a fair bit with them and United ( both on Sar Alliance) but I guess that might only be available to those with a decent credit hstory, which I will need to build. I could secure that with $5k, but i'd ideally like to keep hold of cashflow. Any advice on this would be gratefully received.

2) Sports bars - I need to find myself a local bar that shows Premiership football. Ive seen a few bars, such as Football Factory and Scotland Yard, but both are downtown. I'm fortunate that I currently live 50 yards from my local pub, and whilst I don't expect one to be that close ( but may be on my criteria for finding somewhere to live :) ) are there general pubs that would show football/soccer in the High park/Bloor West areas?

3) I'm bringing two suitcases of clothes and that's it - so will need to buy everything from scratch like furniture, clothes, electrical equipment etc. I assume there are seller websites on the likes of facebook etc where I can pick up some basic stuff to see me through the initial few months? Any advice here is appreciated

Thanks all

Novocastrian Jul 6th 2017 12:19 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12288174)
I'm looking at High Park/Rasconcelles/Bloor West area as I need to be commutable to both Liberty Village and the airport. Looking at what folks have said about renting in Toronto, I'm going to take a risk and sort that out when I get over there, with my employment letter, a few months rent and references.



2) Sports bars - I need to find myself a local bar that shows Premiership football. Ive seen a few bars, such as Football Factory and Scotland Yard, but both are downtown. I'm fortunate that I currently live 50 yards from my local pub, and whilst I don't expect one to be that close ( but may be on my criteria for finding somewhere to live :) ) are there general pubs that would show football/soccer in the High park/Bloor West areas?



Thanks all

https://www.google.fr/search?client=...E,lf:1,lf_ui:9

I think theres one on Roncesvalles too these days, but it's not showing on google.

Twitcher1958 Jul 6th 2017 1:05 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12276330)
Thanks for the feedback and advice. Ive spoken to Service Canada, and as you all have stated, I cannot transfer a licence that's suspended. I could take a G1 but would then have to wait 12 months until being eligible to take the G2. So one option is to "employ" a driver to drive with me, but ultimately I think that I may just have to do without a car for 12 months. I don't know how much of an issue that will cause if I'm living in Toronto - I'd commute in via transit/public transport, and expect I'll be flying most of the time to various places across US and Canada.

My kids were able to take their G2 after 8 months because they did driving school - that was a commitment of about $350, 20 hours of classroom training and 10 hours of driving lessons. Might be an option worth weighing up if driving is important to you.

DandNHill Jul 7th 2017 3:12 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958 (Post 12288245)
My kids were able to take their G2 after 8 months because they did driving school - that was a commitment of about $350, 20 hours of classroom training and 10 hours of driving lessons. Might be an option worth weighing up if driving is important to you.

Also makes insurance substantially cheaper 👍

Trinkers Jul 7th 2017 6:27 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958 (Post 12288245)
My kids were able to take their G2 after 8 months because they did driving school - that was a commitment of about $350, 20 hours of classroom training and 10 hours of driving lessons. Might be an option worth weighing up if driving is important to you.

that looks ideal, thanks!


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