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What made you decide to make the move to Canada

What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by seseman View Post
oh my goodness $3k per month, $6k per month? no way! those prices are for apartments in what we would call centre of the town right? I think that is what downtown is over there? To cut down costs, especially rent, we were thinking outskirts of Toronto. Are there any areas in Ontario that you can recommend that are good for price and also good for a family? I wouldnt want a rough area. I mean rough in terms of high crime and burglaries and so on. Sounds like my $2k per month rent estimate is way too low and I was already complaining that it was too much.
Unless rents drop like a stone $2K will not get you very far in the GTA. I cannot advise you on areas outside the GTA. Burlington, Hamilton are cheaper, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere here apart from Toronto, but that’s just me.

One of the reasons the rents are so high are the condo fees. Our condo is just under 1K sq ft. Condo fees are almost $1K per mth...then there are property taxes on top. Rental prices include both of these.

I forgot to mention in my previous post. Living downtown means we are usually quite lucky snow wise. A few miles north get seems to get a lot more

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Jan 28th 2021 at 6:12 pm.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:12 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by seseman View Post
We wont be buying until we are sure we want to stay which I think would be at least a year.

I did a pretend shop online at walmart canada and it was a nightmare. There were too many choices (not necessarily a bad thing) and the cost of items were close to being double what it is in the UK. I also tried some of the international grocery stores and the prices are eye watering.

My research also match what you have said about prices being either almost same or more expensive in Canada. The main one seems to be car insurance. Why is it so expensive in Canada?

I was also trying to figure out what we would spend on housing and other necessities. I will appreciate if you could give me a list of things that you need to pay for over there and estimated cost for say a family of 4. 2 adults and 2 children. My current list includes: hydro(electricity?), gas, water, waste management (depends on bin size?), mobile phone plan (seems pretty expensive), car insurance, petrol (gas) and house internet plan (seems expensive for the lowest of speeds). Worst case rent cost for a nice/comfortable 2 bed in the greater ontario area (e.g. hamilton, oakwille, brampton) should be maybe $2000?

Not to forget childcare for at least 1 child but hopefully we can avoid this if my 4 year old can go to school. I read that Toronto has pre-k.

Did I miss anything?

Thank you.
If you search earlier threads there are quite a few on cost of living. You really do need to come and visit, Oakville, Brampton and Hamilton are all quite different places (although before dbd33 jumps in, the new housing developments in all places look similar) certainly in terms of price range. You will really struggle to find a 2 bedroom house for $2000. I rented one out for a client last month, it was the cheapest whole house on the market in Oakville and it was $2450. If you are looking on line, be careful you aren't seeing basements for rent - the photo often shows the whole house and its not at all clear that it is just the basement - or one floor of the house.

When you say you tried online shopping in Walmart and International Grocery stores - were you looking at brands and goods you recognized? Imported British brands in the international section are really expensive. I spend approximately $180 a week on groceries (there are 2 of us and 2 dogs), we are both at home all the times so that is the entire food cost - no takeouts, lunches out etc.

Car insurance is expensive for newcomers because they treat you as a new driver (some insurance companies will take your UK experience into consideration - again search for threads), I know a Canadian that went to live in the UK and he had the same problem and was complaining how expensive UK insurance was. Generally though I think it is pricier here (it does improve a lot over time) because the weather is terrible for several months of the year and as a result there are a lot of accidents.

You were asking about schools in an earlier post. I wouldn't say that schooling here is massively better than in the UK, (although my UK experience is from 2004) it is different though. There is more emphasis on a more rounded education, so no choosing an Art or Science stream. This follows even at University - one of my sons is studying Engineering Physics at University - one of his elective courses was in Renaissance Art, my other son is an Accountant - he took an elective in Mandarin as part of his degree. The other big difference we found is that the Canadian system was better for late developers, they didn't really seem to hit any truly academic work until Grade 9, which was a bit terrifying while we were living through it but by Grade 12 they had a decent level of education so they must have been absorbing something in the earlier years. I also like the more relaxed attitude to sports etc., both my boys played competitive sport and, as a result missed quite a bit of school for tournaments etc. There were no concerns or drama about that whatsoever, sometimes I even forgot to let them know and would call them in the morning of the absence and it was never an issue. There may have been if grades had started to slip, but that was the deal for them being able to play and so they didn't. The downside of all this relaxed school atmosphere is if you have a young child that is very academically minded and has had a couple of years being pushed at a good school in the UK - they may well be bored in the system here for a while. Mine were not bored at all - they just thought it was great.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:13 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by seseman View Post
Got it. Thank you for the tip. Sounds like we need a condo not an apartment. I will do some more searching
You can get an apartment if you want. As long as you don't try to go too cheap, most of them will be perfectly nice and a world away from a grotty flat in London or somewhere else in the UK. I used to live in one because my former partner was on a budget and a condo would have been too far out of her price range but it was lovely. It had an outdoor pool and I used to go swimming after work during the summer.

The only thing with apartments that can put British people off is that they rarely include an in-suite washing machine. Normally your dependent upon coin laundry services that will be in a part of the building but that's because they often include electricity in the price of your rent and obviously washing machines use a lot of power.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:17 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

The other thing worth keeping in mind is that once you have your immigration clearance, there are settlement services who can talk you through all of this stuff. Canada welcomes new immigrants every day, even at the moment, and has very robust systems in place for helping them to integrate. They offer social media channels and webinars where they'll tell you what to budget for and how best to look for work etc. There are a lot of unscrupulous landlords who will try to take the piss out of unsuspecting newcomers, especially in Toronto, so it's best to take advantage of all the free help that's available.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:18 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost View Post
You can get an apartment if you want. As long as you don't try to go too cheap, most of them will be perfectly nice and a world away from a grotty flat in London or somewhere else in the UK. I used to live in one because my former partner was on a budget and a condo would have been too far out of her price range but it was lovely. It had an outdoor pool and I used to go swimming after work during the summer.

The only thing with apartments that can put British people off is that they rarely include an in-suite washing machine. Normally your dependent upon coin laundry services that will be in a part of the building but that's because they often include electricity in the price of your rent and obviously washing machines use a lot of power.

Re: laundry. I would say all condos built in the last 20+ years do have a washer/dryer. I know of older buildings that are all rentals, some have been renovated and include washer/dryer in each unit. But yes that is something to look out for in older buildings. Utilities are not usually included in the price of newer buildings.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:22 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Unless rents drop like a stone $2K will not get you very far in the GTA. I cannot advise you on areas outside the GTA. Burlington, Hamilton are cheaper, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere here apart from Toronto, but that’s just me.

One of the reasons the rents are so high are the condo fees. Our condo is just under 1K sq ft. Condo fees are almost $1K per mth...then there are property taxes on top. Rental prices include both of these.

I forgot to mention in my previous post. Living downtown means we are usually quite lucky snow wise. A few miles north get seems to get a lot more
Wow my estimation is way out then. I will need to tweak my spreadsheet. I like the idea of the snow being handled for me, I am not a big fan at all. Thank you for this tip as well
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Re: laundry. I would say all condos built in the last 20+ years do have a washer/dryer. I know of older buildings that are all rentals, some have been renovated and include washer/dryer in each unit. But yes that is something to look out for in older buildings. Utilities are not usually included in the price of newer buildings.
Thank you Another tip noted.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:25 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost View Post
The other thing worth keeping in mind is that once you have your immigration clearance, there are settlement services who can talk you through all of this stuff. Canada welcomes new immigrants every day, even at the moment, and has very robust systems in place for helping them to integrate. They offer social media channels and webinars where they'll tell you what to budget for and how best to look for work etc. There are a lot of unscrupulous landlords who will try to take the piss out of unsuspecting newcomers, especially in Toronto, so it's best to take advantage of all the free help that's available.
Ok will do. I have been concerned about potentially being duped. I think one of us would have to go there to sort out accomodation before we all follow. I dont think it will be safe to try to arrange renting remotely. Thank you.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:29 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost View Post
You can get an apartment if you want. As long as you don't try to go too cheap, most of them will be perfectly nice and a world away from a grotty flat in London or somewhere else in the UK. I used to live in one because my former partner was on a budget and a condo would have been too far out of her price range but it was lovely. It had an outdoor pool and I used to go swimming after work during the summer.

The only thing with apartments that can put British people off is that they rarely include an in-suite washing machine. Normally your dependent upon coin laundry services that will be in a part of the building but that's because they often include electricity in the price of your rent and obviously washing machines use a lot of power.
Yes the laundry thing is a bit of a deal breaker for me. We run a wash once a week here so it isn't about the cost but the inconvenience of potentially queueing and all the other drama that comes with shared laundry facilities. I experienced it in the UK a few years ago and it wasn't fun. People would just take your clothes out of the machines and just dump anywhere if you were even a minute late to get them. I suspect they expect you to sit washing the machine run for at least an hour.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by HGerchikov View Post
If you search earlier threads there are quite a few on cost of living. You really do need to come and visit, Oakville, Brampton and Hamilton are all quite different places (although before dbd33 jumps in, the new housing developments in all places look similar) certainly in terms of price range. You will really struggle to find a 2 bedroom house for $2000. I rented one out for a client last month, it was the cheapest whole house on the market in Oakville and it was $2450. If you are looking on line, be careful you aren't seeing basements for rent - the photo often shows the whole house and its not at all clear that it is just the basement - or one floor of the house.

When you say you tried online shopping in Walmart and International Grocery stores - were you looking at brands and goods you recognized? Imported British brands in the international section are really expensive. I spend approximately $180 a week on groceries (there are 2 of us and 2 dogs), we are both at home all the times so that is the entire food cost - no takeouts, lunches out etc.

Car insurance is expensive for newcomers because they treat you as a new driver (some insurance companies will take your UK experience into consideration - again search for threads), I know a Canadian that went to live in the UK and he had the same problem and was complaining how expensive UK insurance was. Generally though I think it is pricier here (it does improve a lot over time) because the weather is terrible for several months of the year and as a result there are a lot of accidents.

You were asking about schools in an earlier post. I wouldn't say that schooling here is massively better than in the UK, (although my UK experience is from 2004) it is different though. There is more emphasis on a more rounded education, so no choosing an Art or Science stream. This follows even at University - one of my sons is studying Engineering Physics at University - one of his elective courses was in Renaissance Art, my other son is an Accountant - he took an elective in Mandarin as part of his degree. The other big difference we found is that the Canadian system was better for late developers, they didn't really seem to hit any truly academic work until Grade 9, which was a bit terrifying while we were living through it but by Grade 12 they had a decent level of education so they must have been absorbing something in the earlier years. I also like the more relaxed attitude to sports etc., both my boys played competitive sport and, as a result missed quite a bit of school for tournaments etc. There were no concerns or drama about that whatsoever, sometimes I even forgot to let them know and would call them in the morning of the absence and it was never an issue. There may have been if grades had started to slip, but that was the deal for them being able to play and so they didn't. The downside of all this relaxed school atmosphere is if you have a young child that is very academically minded and has had a couple of years being pushed at a good school in the UK - they may well be bored in the system here for a while. Mine were not bored at all - they just thought it was great.
I will do more digging around on the forum for price estimates. We spend about £114 a month on groceries and toiletries for a family of 4. With the prices that I am seeing online, we will definitely be spending more than that in Canada.

I wasn't really looking for recognised names. The most expensive were the afro Caribbean food which is a big part of our daily diet. The prices are double what we pay here.

Yes, I was asking about schools because my that is a key point for my husband as his reason for thinking we could be better off in Canada. From what everyone here have said and what I can see online, there might not be a huge difference if they go to a good school in the UK.

You must be very proud of your children. They have done very well
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:46 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

As previously mentioned Toronto is very expensive. Where do you live in the UK? My 2 nieces both have 4 bed detached houses on a 30 yr old development in a Cheshire village, about 15/20 mins outside Manchester Centre. My daughter has a small 2 bed duplex about 15/20 mins away from downtown Toronto. It’s approx value is the same as the value of both houses added together.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost View Post
I never did the pyjamas to work thing because I'm far too prissy and fastidious for that. I did get a pair of thermals to wear under my jeans to work which did the same thing though and you can pick those up in Canadian department stores for next to nothing.

If you don't like snow then the Canadian suburbs are likely not for you, or at least not outside of Vancouver and maybe some parts of Atlantic Canada. Even in Toronto, you're either going to be shovelling it off your drive every day during the winter, paying someone to shovel it for you or joining a neighbourhood circuit where you take turns to clear it. If you're not a driver then you may well need to wade through it on your way to the bus stop or station. You do learn to deal with it quite quickly though.

The exception will be downtown. Condo life is a big thing in Toronto and there are larger ones that can accommodate families. It's far more common to see families with kids living in luxury apartments in North America than it is in England where everyone seems to be obsessed with buying a house. If you live downtown then the snow is much less of an issue because the city workers tend to clear it off the pavement and you can make your way to many places without much need to go outside.
We will definitely need a new wardrobe if we were to move. I dont own anything warm as I tend to feel hot so hate layers but looks like I will be needing much more than I wear now if I am to survive the cold.

I like the idea of living in a luxury apartment but I suspect I am too tight to splash out on one.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
As previously mentioned Toronto is very expensive. Where do you live in the UK? My 2 nieces both have 4 bed detached houses on a 30 yr old development in a Cheshire village, about 15/20 mins outside Manchester Centre. My daughter has a small 2 bed duplex about 15/20 mins away from downtown Toronto. It’s approx value is the same as the value of both houses added together.
We live in Manchester so the prices arent too bad. I think this is why I am shocked at how much more things are so expensive over there. We have no family ties to Toronto though and could explore other places. The main reason we were focusing on there is because it is one of the best areas for our job field.

Cheshire is actually not that cheap so that further highlights just how much more expensive houses are in Toronto. I guess it is a bit like central London.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by seseman View Post
I will do more digging around on the forum for price estimates. We spend about £114 a month on groceries and toiletries for a family of 4. With the prices that I am seeing online, we will definitely be spending more than that in Canada.

I wasn't really looking for recognised names. The most expensive were the afro Caribbean food which is a big part of our daily diet. The prices are double what we pay here.

Yes, I was asking about schools because my that is a key point for my husband as his reason for thinking we could be better off in Canada. From what everyone here have said and what I can see online, there might not be a huge difference if they go to a good school in the UK.

You must be very proud of your children. They have done very well
It sounds like you are taking a very logical approach to your decision, it is not an easy one. The whole process of moving is not easy either and you do need to all be on board. We came because the opportunity presented itself with a company transfer for my husband and we thought it would be an adventure. It has definitely been that, and, on the whole a great move for us as a family - although having elderly parents in the UK that I can't visit is not much fun at the moment. I think if you are not sure about the move it has the potential to be really miserable so come and visit and see what you are getting into, it may be completely different to what you are imagining.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 7:48 pm
  #45  
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Default Re: What made you decide to make the move to Canada

Originally Posted by seseman View Post
We live in Manchester so the prices arent too bad. I think this is why I am shocked at how much more things are so expensive over there. We have no family ties to Toronto though and could explore other places. The main reason we were focusing on there is because it is one of the best areas for our job field.

Cheshire is actually not that cheap so that further highlights just how much more expensive houses are in Toronto. I guess it is a bit like central London.
My family and friends in Cheshire are used to jumping on a plane for $20/$30 flights to Spain and the South of France and getting dirt cheap breaks in Europe. That doesn’t happen here, an internal flight costs hundreds.

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