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Our story... Stay

Our story... Stay

Old Aug 25th 2013, 7:52 pm
  #1  
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Default Our story... Stay

7 years ago we had a holiday in Ontario/US and absolutely loved the places we visited. As soon as we returned we did some research and applied to immigrate here for good.
We did not hear anything for a further 5 years and had almost given up, when the letter dropped through he door! We had put our life on hold during this time and never thought that day would come, excited that we could finally begin our life in the place we fell in love with. After informing our families and friends, we packed up and sold our home and within 7 months we had landed.

Now after a year we are thinking of returning to the UK. We not only miss our family and friends, but the basic systems that are in place which seem to be lacking here. For example....

Transport
Roads in the city are the worst we have encountered not to mention the extremely poor standard of drivers.
Number plates you can't read and no system behind issue of plates.
No camera's anywhere, that can be used as proof. Relying on the honesty of the police, which I feel is open for abuse. Not to mention the time and taxes wasted as they spend a whole day in court fighting traffic related charges. With cameras this would be eliminated.
Car Insurance- $10,000 was our first quote, even when they considered our UK driving experience. A tip for newcomers, before you leave ask DVLA for your driving abstract (£5 approx). We presented this when exchanging our UK License, they added on our amount of driving years. We eventually found a quote with TD Insurance for $4600, which was again reduced when we purchased tenant insurance also ($2800 for the year). Still way higher than the UK

Healthcare
If you can even find a family doctor, ours was unprofessional, outdated, no follow ups, very long wait times to get appointment. Drugs cost a fortune, without insurance. We have refused to pay the prices and are fortunate to be able to manage without. Dentists are very Hollywood pushing whitening and cleaning just so they can charge the insurance. Allow an average of $250 each for first time appointment with xrays etc.

TV/Internet/Cell Phones
I will never ever complain about paying for the TV license and the quality BBC programs. TV here is an absolute joke, we rely on the excellent Library service for borrowing dvds.
Our building only has Rogers connected and after trying every portable aerial from Walmart, Future Shop nothing worked. Rogers is overpriced, very buggy, and poor quality box, system. Internet do not even ask- pay for unlimited and connection via dial up would be faster. Can't wait till contract ends, that's if you can get out of it (no option to cancel on phone line!)
Wind network barely works in the GTA, step a foot outside and forget it.

Mayor Rob Ford, OMG. If he was Mayor of London he would have disappeared without a trace never to be seen again. What an embarrassment!

It seems that there are just too many things that are not right here or up to date to entice us to stay.
Our idea of living the Canadian dream was certainly not in the city, but good jobs outside and infrastructure are scare. Even for my line of work as a dietary chef, to implement a organic home grown, home cooked food system for patients, many places are just not ready for this type of quality patient care. Those that are do not recognize by qualifications or skills.
My partner is working as a HGV (A-Z) driver, in one of the best companies in Toronto. Driving hours are double the UK, without a care for health and safety or driver breaks. His colleague is in a coma, as Hi-Viz jackets are not mandatory in the yard and he was run over by an 18 wheel truck. Cops who turned up to record evidence were sloppy- taking pictures on cell phone- were they going to post them on Facebook!
He dreads going to work, and I hate to see him so unhappy. There is a complete lack of planning ahead for anything as far as he can see. Not aloud to take vacation for 2 years, although he gets paid for it. Companies here do not seem to value what that means to an employee, and quality of life.

Would love to here any comments that can help us make our decision to go back. Has anyone else experienced the same issues, or are we just complaining and comparing for no reason Should we give it more time?

Barb
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Old Aug 25th 2013, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Go back. You'll never be contented here, and that's okay too.
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Old Aug 25th 2013, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

You have to get out of the city!!!!

All of your arguments are extremely valid and I agree with all the points you have made. City living does not make it easy.

I have lived in the UK for ten years before returning to the east coast (Nova Scotia). Still no job and living with relatives but looking out at the ocean makes it all seem ok. For now

I may have missed your comments about mobile phones and the ludicrous contracts, but let me chime in with a big - what a load of nonsense!!! Hopefully, the competition will arrive soon and straighten out the market.

Now, on the plus side. Even with all the technical insuperiority (?) , it really is a beautiful country. I have lived in Toronto and Mississauga many years ago, and believe me, while they are nice to visit, I would not live there again.

There must have been a reason you wanted to come to this country in the first place, I'm sure it wasn't to be upset and unhappy living and working at things you don't like. Get out to the east coast for a visit, yes taxes are higher, the pace of life is slower, there isn't as much work and things cost more BUT it is gorgeous!!!
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Old Aug 25th 2013, 9:23 pm
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Deep down we know what we have to do, and although we fell in love with Canada and its beautiful landscapes it doesn't seem enough to compare with the life we had at home.
Kind regards
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Old Aug 25th 2013, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Originally Posted by Babsyclooney

Now after a year we are thinking of returning to the UK. We not only miss our family and friends, but the basic systems that are in place which seem to be lacking here. For example....

It seems that there are just too many things that are not right here or up to date to entice us to stay. Our idea of living the Canadian dream was certainly not in the city, but good jobs outside and infrastructure are scare.

He dreads going to work, and I hate to see him so unhappy. There is a complete lack of planning ahead for anything as far as he can see. Not aloud to take vacation for 2 years, although he gets paid for it. Companies here do not seem to value what that means to an employee, and quality of life.

Would love to here any comments that can help us make our decision to go back. Has anyone else experienced the same issues, or are we just complaining and comparing for no reason Should we give it more time?

Barb
I have condensed your post & offer the following.

I've been here forever, it took me 2 years to settle. We have lived as PR's in three other countries over the past 46 years. Our children 27 & 35 were born here, although they're probably more British in minds (so they think) than we are, they having traveled extensively...

I think a year is too short. I'd look on the positive side - you both have jobs - stay a while longer, it'll grow on you one day at a time.

If you can tough it out a few more years, get Canadian citizenship - then move on.

You can find fault anywhere you live

The decision is yours - you can make the $1000 trip back & absolutely hate it, no jobs, you've experienced a different life which effects people in different ways.

Why not have your parents come over for a visit

Final thought - the UK is tight knit, small cramped, overcrowded & many more things bad & good

Write down the positives & negatives of a move back other than 'we have family & friends there'. Think about the future prospects which is best?

All the best
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Old Aug 25th 2013, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Canada isn't for everybody. If you really feel like you say, why prolong the agony?
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Old Aug 25th 2013, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Originally Posted by Babsyclooney
Even for my line of work as a dietary chef, to implement a organic home grown, home cooked food system for patients, many places are just not ready for this type of quality patient care. Those that are do not recognize by qualifications or skills.
I wonder why that could be?

My partner is working as a HGV (A-Z) driver, in one of the best companies in Toronto.
Is he now?
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Old Aug 25th 2013, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Originally Posted by jimmurphy99
, yes taxes are higher, the pace of life is slower, there isn't as much work and things cost more BUT it is gorgeous!!!
Far to many people emigrate (to just about anywhere) with this as the reason why they are going. Very few understand, 'same old pony and trap, different accent'. Better weather and a nice view are supposed to make up for everything the OP doesn't like.
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Old Aug 25th 2013, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

For babysclooney - try to think back on the time that you visited, and try to remember what were the aspects of Canada that prompted you to make the big move across the ocean - life in Canada will be different than the UK - if it was the same, then why would people move 6000 km away from friends and family just to have the same life that they had in the UK?

As for TV programming, auto insurance, healthcare issues - if you talk to the people you've met in Canada, you'll find they have similar complaints (although the insurance numbers you quoted do seem a bit high - might come down a fair bit after you've built a bit of 'Canadian' history - use an insurance broker rather than going to the insurance providers (like TD) themselves. Insurance rates can vary greatly depending on the area of the city. Living outside the GTA will be less taxing for insurance as well.

As for Rob Ford - yes, he's an embarrassment, and a large number of people feel similarly. If you did a poll of 100 Canadian 10 year olds as to what they want to be when they grow up, nary a one will say 'politician' - Frankly, Canadians expect better of their kids. Canadians function in spite of government, rather than because of them.

Regarding the career issues - I'm not entirely certain what qualifications a dietary chef requires, but would imagine that their lack of recognition is more a function of the individual care facility, rather than a governmental recognition (such as medical practitioners experience). You may have to sell yourself a bit harder in the interview process, and would suggest even offering to prepare meal plans etc. I'm not sure what is required in an interview for a chef, but results often matter more than qualifications. Prove to your employer that you can contribute to the facility, without overly inflating costs. With the 'baby boomer' generation slowly reaching retirement, will be a greater demand for private care facilities.

As for your partner, working in the trucking industry in Canada is challenging. There's a high demand for truck transportation in this country, with a large number of companies vying for the business. Companies need to keep costs down to maximize their potential of getting the business. Therefore, drivers will tend to have to drive to the maximum number as stated by the government. Less hours means more drivers, which means more cost to the company. Because there is a large supply of potential drivers (just check out the number of A-Z driving schools around the GTA), employers realize that there will be a fair bit of turnover with their drivers, and therefore aren't willing to invest in the employee until they're sure that they'll stick around for awhile. This happens in other industries as well, not just trucking. It doesn't happen in ALL industries however. I suspect that in the trucking industry, people that perform well will be asked to work more, as dispatchers will trust that they can handle the job.

If your partner has performed well in his job, then sitting down with their supervisor and see whether they can adjust their schedule around to give a bit more time away from the truck, and see whether they would be open to allowing a couple of weeks off for a bit of a vacation.

I'd suggest that you and your partner take a moment to reflect on the reasons why you fell in love with the country. As you said in your OP, your idea of the Canadian dream wasn't living in the city. What was the dream? You've accomplished the first step in making the trip across the ocean - thousands of people don't even get to that stage. Now that you're here, how to achieve the dream that you and your partner wanted when you made the leap?

Perhaps your dream won't be found in the GTA - the time you've spent in Toronto is just an opportunity to get used to some of the differences between Canada and the UK, build a bit of experience and make some friends. The company for whom your partner works may have offices across the country to which he can be transferred. You may also find that your own career aspirations may be more easily attainable in the smaller and mid-sized cities, rather than Toronto. As in the UK, life outside the major cities will be different than living in the GTA.

If you had run into a Canadian who emigrated to the UK and spent a year in London and that they "hated England" because of it - a natural response may be "London isn't necessarily England". Similarly "Toronto isn't necessarily Canada"

Without not knowing all that you've gone through since you landed in Canada, I'd still recommend not giving up quite yet. You've spent five years waiting to get into the country, to find that your first experience isn't quite what you expected. Is that a reason to pack up and head back to the UK? I would hope not. I would hope that you take that as a cue to keep pursuing what you envisioned for you and your partner's lives when you moved to Canada. You may not find it. But, after trying, if you do return to the UK, you can truly say that you 'gave it a go', but we did have some great experiences along the way.
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Old Aug 25th 2013, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Is it worth trying a different Province?

Our plan is to move in the next few years to Ontario (or even back to the UK) as Alberta does not suit us long term, could be that a different Province would tick all your boxes. Life is for living and for being happy, if your unhappy you have to do something about it. If that means moving back to the UK then that's what that means.

Good luck for the future.
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Old Aug 26th 2013, 12:22 am
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Thank you all for the time and effort you took to reply. You have all given me a lot to think about and I am very grateful for all the comments.
I have wondered if a year is sufficient to make this decision. We were very happy in the UK and didn't want to regret coming once we finally had the chance. You don't really get the feel of a place without leaving everything and living the day to day life, which we have done.
I hate to compare/complain about stuff constantly, which is very unlike me and just wish we could settle. Personally I have not felt confident is pursuing my preferred line of work, or driving since I have arrived which I don't think has helped either of us. I am currently in a customer service position which I got through a volunteering contact back in Jan of this year and haven't look at anything else since. Just relived to have a job, which im sure some of you can relate to Your advice on selling myself and skills could win over future employers maybe now is the time to be looking forward to that.
Good health and happiness to all
Barb xx
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Old Aug 26th 2013, 12:39 am
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Originally Posted by Babsyclooney
7 years ago we had a holiday in Ontario/US and absolutely loved the places we visited. As soon as we returned we did some research and applied to immigrate here for good.
We did not hear anything for a further 5 years and had almost given up, when the letter dropped through he door! We had put our life on hold during this time and never thought that day would come, excited that we could finally begin our life in the place we fell in love with. After informing our families and friends, we packed up and sold our home and within 7 months we had landed.

Now after a year we are thinking of returning to the UK. We not only miss our family and friends, but the basic systems that are in place which seem to be lacking here. For example....

Transport
Roads in the city are the worst we have encountered not to mention the extremely poor standard of drivers.
Number plates you can't read and no system behind issue of plates.
No camera's anywhere, that can be used as proof. Relying on the honesty of the police, which I feel is open for abuse. Not to mention the time and taxes wasted as they spend a whole day in court fighting traffic related charges. With cameras this would be eliminated.
Car Insurance- $10,000 was our first quote, even when they considered our UK driving experience. A tip for newcomers, before you leave ask DVLA for your driving abstract (£5 approx). We presented this when exchanging our UK License, they added on our amount of driving years. We eventually found a quote with TD Insurance for $4600, which was again reduced when we purchased tenant insurance also ($2800 for the year). Still way higher than the UK

Healthcare
If you can even find a family doctor, ours was unprofessional, outdated, no follow ups, very long wait times to get appointment. Drugs cost a fortune, without insurance. We have refused to pay the prices and are fortunate to be able to manage without. Dentists are very Hollywood pushing whitening and cleaning just so they can charge the insurance. Allow an average of $250 each for first time appointment with xrays etc.

TV/Internet/Cell Phones
I will never ever complain about paying for the TV license and the quality BBC programs. TV here is an absolute joke, we rely on the excellent Library service for borrowing dvds.
Our building only has Rogers connected and after trying every portable aerial from Walmart, Future Shop nothing worked. Rogers is overpriced, very buggy, and poor quality box, system. Internet do not even ask- pay for unlimited and connection via dial up would be faster. Can't wait till contract ends, that's if you can get out of it (no option to cancel on phone line!)
Wind network barely works in the GTA, step a foot outside and forget it.

Mayor Rob Ford, OMG. If he was Mayor of London he would have disappeared without a trace never to be seen again. What an embarrassment!

It seems that there are just too many things that are not right here or up to date to entice us to stay.
Our idea of living the Canadian dream was certainly not in the city, but good jobs outside and infrastructure are scare. Even for my line of work as a dietary chef, to implement a organic home grown, home cooked food system for patients, many places are just not ready for this type of quality patient care. Those that are do not recognize by qualifications or skills.
My partner is working as a HGV (A-Z) driver, in one of the best companies in Toronto. Driving hours are double the UK, without a care for health and safety or driver breaks. His colleague is in a coma, as Hi-Viz jackets are not mandatory in the yard and he was run over by an 18 wheel truck. Cops who turned up to record evidence were sloppy- taking pictures on cell phone- were they going to post them on Facebook!
He dreads going to work, and I hate to see him so unhappy. There is a complete lack of planning ahead for anything as far as he can see. Not aloud to take vacation for 2 years, although he gets paid for it. Companies here do not seem to value what that means to an employee, and quality of life.

Would love to here any comments that can help us make our decision to go back. Has anyone else experienced the same issues, or are we just complaining and comparing for no reason Should we give it more time?

Barb
Yes, but commonsense is mandatory! Couldn't he just supply his own and wear it?
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Old Aug 26th 2013, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Originally Posted by Babsyclooney
I have wondered if a year is sufficient to make this decision. We were very happy in the UK and didn't want to regret coming once we finally had the chance. You don't really get the feel of a place without leaving everything and living the day to day life, which we have done.
I hate to compare/complain about stuff constantly, which is very unlike me and just wish we could settle.
Barb xx
suppose a Canadian was to go to the UK and worked with you (you had never left the UK) - then after a year started to complain about this, that & the other - comparing etc 'life was better back in Canada'... what advice would you give them?

Try to put the shoe on the other foot
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Old Aug 26th 2013, 1:52 am
  #14  
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Where in the UK would patients get a diet of organic home grown and cooked food?

It took me around 6 years to get used to living here. The longer you leave it the harder it is to go back.
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Old Aug 26th 2013, 2:12 am
  #15  
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Default Re: Our story... Stay

Originally Posted by Piff Poff
Is it worth trying a different Province?
I could have given a long reply but that was basically what I was going to say, I lived in Ontario briefly and I didn't like it, the traffic was appalling, that was my major gripe. Plus every time I go there some sort of strike gets in the way, Ontario - yours to disrupt with industrial action.

Some of it though just sounds like the normal "you haven't got used to it yet". Got a crap doctor? Find a better one. Got crap internet? Try someone else. Wind is a small cellphone company as well. Don't like the cost of drugs, check out the plans from Ontario Blue Cross, they are still way cheaper than in the US. In Alberta you pay less tax so it still works out cheaper than the UK but I suppose in Ontario the difference is narrower.

There are various reasons why the car insurance costs more, but you are going from a country with one of the lowest accident rates in the world to a country that has appalling weather for months on end, so it shouldn't be too surprising. Bear in mind the gas is cheaper and the car registration fees are far less.
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