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Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Old Nov 9th 2014, 10:31 am
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Me too, I am intrigued
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Graham is right that you can't know in a couple of days. But what he doesn't say is that other than living somewhere there is no way of knowing for sure whether you'd like it or not...the only way is to give it a try!!!

As for everything costing double, I disagree. If you shop around you get to benefit from the discounts and offers and so on and then you don't do too badly.

Now if you're planning on living the exact same lifestyle as in the UK then yes you may be in for some surprises!!!
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post
You have me hooked Graham...what do you know, anduel what will you share?
OK, our son lives in Halifax and we have been several times to visit then we moved there for 15 months 2012-13, then you begin to learn the down sides.
Canada in many ways is 50 years behind the UK/US-our son also lived US-but he is happy in Halifax.
Immigration is far from easy and expensive but if your skilled they will take you ???
Property much cheaper than UK-we rented for £500 a month all inclusive, run a car is cheaper-fuel-insurance can be expensive.
Food/beer/TV/Internet/cell phone is double and plus UK.
You can call me UK <snip> for a full low down, I won't put you off just wise you up and our son will have contacts that could help you.
Cheers
Graham

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Old Nov 9th 2014, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Thank you so much Graham for your kind response. Yes, certainly my bit of Canada does feel like Britain a long time ago...sometimes that feels like a good thing...people have time for you and watch out for one another and listen and are kind - but it can be incredibly frustrating as they can be closed minded and resistant to change.

It is difficult to make any sort of decision based on a very short trip, you just have to trust your gut instinct I suppose.
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Originally Posted by DandNHill View Post
Graham is right that you can't know in a couple of days. But what he doesn't say is that other than living somewhere there is no way of knowing for sure whether you'd like it or not...the only way is to give it a try!!!

As for everything costing double, I disagree. If you shop around you get to benefit from the discounts and offers and so on and then you don't do too badly.

Now if you're planning on living the exact same lifestyle as in the UK then yes you may be in for some surprises!!!
Hi
We did live in Halifax for 15 months 2012-13 so I do know the city and it's good and bad points.
Surprises oh yes !! I didn't say everything costs double but a lot does and more.
The reason, and most Canadian's we met don't understand, is the monopolies run by the Federal and Provincial Governments that have no place in a free market economy which Canada claims to be.
We loved a lot in Nova Scotia but there are things that need to change.
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post
Thank you so much Graham for your kind response. Yes, certainly my bit of Canada does feel like Britain a long time ago...sometimes that feels like a good thing...people have time for you and watch out for one another and listen and are kind - but it can be incredibly frustrating as they can be closed minded and resistant to change.

It is difficult to make any sort of decision based on a very short trip, you just have to trust your gut instinct I suppose.
I think you summed it up pretty well, great people yes, resistant to change I think not. When I explained we could buy liquor/beer in any store in the UK along with groceries they thought great and at half the price, wow !!

You only pay so much to keep the NSLC and 1500 people in none jobs that Walmart/Costco/Sobeys etc could do at little extra cost.
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

You sound like many that move here, get frustrated with the differences and view it as wrong and backward and then go back.
We have been here 3.5 years and my outlook has changed over time. I have been frustrated and annoyed at times and even felt superior at coming from such an advanced place such as the UK ( I am ashamed to say it, but I felt it) and now I see it differently again.

Its a different place, what some see as progress others see as not agreeable. What is deemed great in the UK may not be accepted here.
I believe that often hand in hand with progress comes other less agreeable side affects.

I like whats so different about here to the UK. I don't think that 15 months is actually that long to live anywhere.
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Thank you so much for all the comments so far, both good and bad. We do need to hear both sides in order to make an informed decision.
While a Thursday to Sunday trip (I write this sitting in halifax airport) is not enough, please don't think we treated it as a holiday, during the last 2 days we have done a comparative shop in Walmart (I kept my last tesco shop receipt from online, and went and priced the same in Walmart - which gathered some strange looks :-) ) we met with a realtor, who kindly spent up til 2.00 on Saturday with us and showed us houses in our price ranges in the area we thought we wanted. He informed us on oil prices, electricity taxes etc to give us an idea - he didn't try and play it down oil is expensive...but..we use oil at home so it wasn't a massive shock (we have no gas mains in our area)
We stayed around the area, taking in schools (elementary through to high school) visited the community centre talked to local people of all ages - very useful talking to a young girl that came out with her mum and dad at 15 and is now 23 so from a youth perspective was great.
Now while 2 days isn't enough, I am not sure how long would be - I agree at some point you have to trust your gut and listen to other viewpoints (good or bad) and it's great I am getting both sides as I say to provide an informed decision.
We have gathered costs (as far as possible) and have a spreadsheet where we can check the cost of living against both countries to see if the lifestyle we want is feasible.

We have a great life in the uk so if we do decide on moving we would want the same life style (not talking of expense but more of community spirit, friends and of course quality time - all of which is far more important than a lifestyle that you may pay to achieve) we don't plan on selling our house to fund this. If it is a move we will take, we are very fortunate that we wouldn't need to sell up but would keep a house in both countries

Things I loved about this weekend -
The people, everyone without exception took time to talk to us, to answer any questions and in some cases came looking for us to talk about their experiences (both Canadians from other parts of Canada and British expats)
The fact it didn't feel too dissimilar to the uk (if this makes sense maybe not to many but to me it had the feel of the uk when driving around - maybe it's where I live and where I visited)
What I need to explore more of
Cost of furniture - it did seem high for some things in Sears but we checked a few other places, and I am assuming buying furniture in Sears would be like buying in John Lewis??? Anyway there were other areas we looked where it seemed reasonable - can anyone help with this?
Cost of food - on first doing the comparison shop, I have seen the things we would usually buy, some more expensive (milk and bread) but other were less (chicken breasts and toiletries) in all I suspect it is swings and roundabouts and may be fairly similar but....we will see.
While there is no doubt there is a faster pace of life in the uk than Canada it is something to build Into the equation when making the decision.

So again thank you, it is so good to see the good points and equally to be aware of the bad

Please keep the comments coming, it is proving to be really useful
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 8:28 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Originally Posted by Neilclairep View Post
Cost of furniture - it did seem high for some things in Sears but we checked a few other places, and I am assuming buying furniture in Sears would be like buying in John Lewis???
Sears always struck me as expensive but I remember seeing some reasonably priced appliances there.

Many comments on BE over the years have suggested furniture is expensive or ropey. It might depend what you buy.

I find Leons, for example, compares favourably with DFS.

A lot of BEers appear to have expensive tastes. I guess if you are "in demand" you're well paid so can afford it. It may be that high end stuff is more expensive than the UK but the sort of stuff I buy isn't.
Cost of food - on first doing the comparison shop
Avoid random shopping. Check out some flyers. There are enormous savings to be had just by listing a few things.
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
Sears always struck me as expensive but I remember seeing some reasonably priced appliances there.

Many comments on BE over the years have suggested furniture is expensive or ropey. It might depend what you buy.

I find Leons, for example, compares favourably with DFS.

A lot of BEers appear to have expensive tastes. I guess if you are "in demand" you're well paid so can afford it. It may be that high end stuff is more expensive than the UK but the sort of stuff I buy isn't.

Avoid random shopping. Check out some flyers. There are enormous savings to be had just by listing a few things.
Thank you for the response I will check out Leon's for sure
For shopping I purposefully didn't look at those items on offer - so I could compare like for like on this as I priced the items in the uk while not on offer also, it was just to give an idea as there were a lot of offers which would bring down the cost but at least I would have a worst case scenario :-) - I did however pick up a few flyers as I am a sucker for a bargain :-)
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Politeness is a part of Canadian social culture. On the surface, everyone is superficially friendly in Canada. This is what makes it a lovely place when you're out in the public - you can count on people being nice to one another - it's what Canadians expect while out in public, to put on an air of friendliness and courtesy, even if you're feeling terrible. Canadians know that a friendly demeanour is the expected way to act in public, and I don't think they think of it as insincere, but as a part of how one behaves in public, nothing more. It's merely the social custom - to be nice!

However, one thing some expats don't factor in is that, although your life will be full of external friendly politeness in your daily public encounters, you're going to have to put in a lot of effort to meet friends who you can relate to, and you may have to surrender to the fact that you simply won't find people who are what you are used to back at home - the people are simply different. They are wonderful and they are different. They are not better or worse - they simply have different values, grew up eating different foods, listened to different music, have a different understanding of the world than the people you grew up with.

This is where you may possibly experience a real culture shock, especially if you're attempting to live the same lifestyle as you did in the UK. The people are simply not the same. Something as simple as a nostalgic memory about a food you ate during childhood, will be foreign to your new neighbours, and vice versa. What makes Nova Scotians "tick" won't necessarily make British expats tick, and so on. As long as you recognize you will be different, the people will be different, and this is not a bad thing, you should be able to settle.

You'll also learn that Canada is a country of microcosms. Halifax provides one set of lifestyle and experiences of Canada, but Halifax is not Canada any more than the Scottish Highlands are "Europe". It's also important to understand that Canada has a vast geography and a small population density, especially outside of its three biggest cities, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, and this highly influences the local economy. What may have been possible in the UK where you have a high population density and a small geography, is often not possible in Canada. These factors influence everything from efficient public transit, to the supply and demand of furniture, to food availability, etc. It's why living rurally in the UK is not the same thing as living rurally in Canada. Okay, I am going on a tangent now, but I guess I am trying to say, Nova Scotia is a rural part of a vast continental country known as Canada. It is a slower paced lifestyle and a world apart from the fast paced modern life in the UK. Come with an open mind and learn to understand why it's different, and you may very well adapt and settle.

Last edited by Lychee; Nov 9th 2014 at 9:33 pm.
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Where are you flying back to at this time ? Stanfield-LHR leaves at 11-45pm Atlantic time.
The costs of flights back to the UK you need to keep in mind, they are not cheap as Air Canada has a monopoly on direct, going via a hub like PHL-US is a real pain, DON'T, with kids NEVER.
In 2 days you will have learned very little Claire. Food price, on dairy goods is 3 times the UK price regardless of what you found and other items.
Simple example, milk 2 bucks a litre, gas-petrol $1.30 a litre. Move money, BE VERY CAREFUL for big sums, don't just use your UK bank.
Getting a Canadian credit card is also not straight forward like UK. Call me <snip> for more advice, the people you have seen want to sell Canada remember, plus have you asked about the Canadian winter ??? They are used to it you are not !!! Summer can be very good but short !!

Last edited by christmasoompa; Nov 9th 2014 at 11:15 pm.
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Originally Posted by Neilclairep View Post
Thank you for the response I will check out Leon's for sure
For shopping I purposefully didn't look at those items on offer - so I could compare like for like on this as I priced the items in the uk while not on offer also, it was just to give an idea as there were a lot of offers which would bring down the cost but at least I would have a worst case scenario :-) - I did however pick up a few flyers as I am a sucker for a bargain :-)
I hear you on your point here in what you were trying to achieve but I just want to say that we grocery shop very differently here to the UK. Back there we used to get Tesco home delivery and for the most part buy the same things each week and roughly spend the same. Here we mostly just buy what's on sale and go to Costco too. So we don't buy a weeks food each week but stock up on what we like when it's on sale and get our fruit and veg. Therefore out freezer and cupboards are fuller than they were in the UK all the time and it's not odd to buy 10 tins of beans because they are on sale one week, or three slabs of cheese.
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Originally Posted by Lychee View Post
Politeness is a part of Canadian social culture. On the surface, everyone is superficially friendly in Canada. This is what makes it a lovely place when you're out in the public - you can count on people being nice to one another - it's what Canadians expect while out in public, to put on an air of friendliness and courtesy, even if you're feeling terrible. Canadians know that a friendly demeanour is the expected way to act in public, and I don't think they think of it as insincere, but as a part of how one behaves in public, nothing more. It's merely the social custom - to be nice!

However, one thing some expats don't factor in is that, although your life will be full of external friendly politeness in your daily public encounters, you're going to have to put in a lot of effort to meet friends who you can relate to, and you may have to surrender to the fact that you simply won't find people who are what you are used to back at home - the people are simply different. They are wonderful and they are different. They are not better or worse - they simply have different values, grew up eating different foods, listened to different music, have a different understanding of the world than the people you grew up with.

This is where you may possibly experience a real culture shock, especially if you're attempting to live the same lifestyle as you did in the UK. The people are simply not the same. Something as simple as a nostalgic memory about a food you ate during childhood, will be foreign to your new neighbours, and vice versa. What makes Nova Scotians "tick" won't necessarily make British expats tick, and so on. As long as you recognize you will be different, the people will be different, and this is not a bad thing, you should be able to settle.

You'll also learn that Canada is a country of microcosms. Halifax provides one set of lifestyle and experiences of Canada, but Halifax is not Canada any more than the Scottish Highlands are "Europe". It's also important to understand that Canada has a vast geography and a small population density, especially outside of its three biggest cities, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, and this highly influences the local economy. What may have been possible in the UK where you have a high population density and a small geography, is often not possible in Canada. These factors influence everything from efficient public transit, to the supply and demand of furniture, to food availability, etc. It's why living rurally in the UK is not the same thing as living rurally in Canada. Okay, I am going on a tangent now, but I guess I am trying to say, Nova Scotia is a rural part of a vast continental country known as Canada. It is a slower paced lifestyle and a world apart from the fast paced modern life in the UK. Come with an open mind and learn to understand why it's different, and you may very well adapt and settle.
You could not of put it better, my wife found problems but I had little,"when in Rome you do as the Romans do"
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Old Nov 9th 2014, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: Potentially moving to Halifax, NS

Originally Posted by graham the eggman View Post
Where are you flying back to at this time ? Stanfield-LHR leaves at 11-45pm Atlantic time.
The costs of flights back to the UK you need to keep in mind, they are not cheap as Air Canada has a monopoly on direct, going via a hub like PHL-US is a real pain, DON'T, with kids NEVER.

Agreed on the cost of flights. It's expensive to fly backwards and forwards, especially in winter time.

In 2 days you will have learned very little Claire. Food price, on dairy goods is 3 times the UK price regardless of what you found and other items.

This confuses me. "regardless of what she found"? So she shouldn't believe what she saw? Hmm...

Simple example, milk 2 bucks a litre, gas-petrol $1.30 a litre.

True milk is expensive, you have to accept that one. As for bread for example, I can't remember a time we paid full price. We had a huge freezer and stocked up when it was on offer! Like so many other food items!

Move money, BE VERY CAREFUL for big sums, don't just use your UK bank.

No comment on this one, I don't really know...

Getting a Canadian credit card is also not straight forward like UK.

Try Scotia Bank, they were great when we first got to NS. Got a CC very quickly. Which you need for certain things such as public parking as the machines don't take debit!

Call me <snip> for more advice, the people you have seen want to sell Canada remember, plus have you asked about the Canadian winter ??? They are used to it you are not !!! Summer can be very good but short !!

In my three years in NS we had two average winters and one bad one that even the Nova Scotians complained about! Summers were long, warm and sunny! I imagine that if the OP is considering a move to Canada she has actually considered that it's going to be colder than the UK in winter...she might not however have realised that there are more blue skies in winter making it far less depressing and that the summers are lovely and warm!
.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Nov 9th 2014 at 11:16 pm. Reason: Tel no removed
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