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Where to live? Thoughts?

Where to live? Thoughts?

Old Jul 31st 2021, 8:35 pm
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Default Where to live? Thoughts?

Hi,

My husband and I have recently discussed moving to Canada in a year or so (we want to give ourselves time to be sure on our decision). However, I have done a lot of research into the process and the only thing I keep getting stumped on is where to go. We have looked at Alberta, Ottawa and Kelowna.

We come from a small seaside town, however seems very busy and over populated. Houses being built left right and centre with the countryside just dissipating. We love the countryside and also love seeing the ocean (can be substituted for lakes). We like a fairly quiet life, but within an area where there are still things going on, good work opportunities and not too expensive to like. We aren't keen on busy burley cities.

Anyway, would anyone recommend anywhere, what would you say about the above locations I've mentioned? Thank you!
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Old Jul 31st 2021, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Alberta is a long way from the sea.
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Old Jul 31st 2021, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

The problems you are trying to avoid in the UK are the same problems you will find in Canada.

Given where you currently live, it sounds like you may like living on the Sunshine Coast, Sooke, the Cowichan Valley, or the Comox Valley of British Columbia. Alll these areas provide access to rural countryside with seaside immediately nearby. However, with most of Canada's major cities unaffordable to the average resident, those idyllic mix of rural/seaside communities in Canada are in a real estate boom with people, such as yourselves, wanting to move there and buy up the houses. Prices have skyrocketed, especially in the past two years. Growth is everywhere in the west right now. Houses are being built everywhere. You're not going to escape it here either. Plus, you'll then have the culture shock to deal with of moving to Canada, with different values, foods, ways of socializing and relating (or not relating) to others, preferred hobbies, pop cultural references, infrastructure, conveniences (or lack thereof), etc. compared to the lifestyle you may be used to in the UK. I do recognize these are first world problems, but are you truly wanting to make a serious lifestyle change?

I also agree that if you are wanting the seaside, Alberta and Ottawa are about as far away from the seaside as Moscow is (and share a similar continental climate). Kelowna is about a 4-hour drive away from the sea, though it has a lovely lake and vineyards and arid Spain-like climate. However, Kelowna is the definition of suburban sprawl these days.

Last edited by Lychee; Jul 31st 2021 at 11:28 pm.
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Culturally, Alberta, Ottawa, and Kelowna are quite different worlds.

If Alberta were in the UK, it would be pro-Boris, pro-Brexit. If Alberta were in the USA, it would Texas, pro-Trump, anti-immigration, white patriarchal, "traditional family values" pick-up truck, country music culture. Originally a ranching and agricultural province, the oil industry has dominated its boom/bust economy heavily for the past decades and many of its residents, used to large wages due to oil, are in denial about the changing values and realities of the world, and will fiercely protect it at the expense of everything else. I believe the current conservative government in Alberta has recently tossed all COVID safety and health care out the window and are restructuring the education system to remove references to Indigenous residential schools, for example. Traditionally, people have moved to Alberta for the wealthy oil economy where a person with little education can obtain a high-paying salary to support a large home, a large truck, and all the toys of modern life. Many of its residents feel entitled to these types of wages and are protective of the oil economy for this reason. It's a great place to buy a cheap(er) house, the landscape and climate are not the draw (with exception to the Rockies), but generally speaking, leadership in that province currently has no respect for the land, for science, for the climate, for women, for immigrants, for different races, cultural backgrounds, critical thinking, etc. I would seriously consider the values and culture there before moving there, unless of course, this appeals to you.

Note: This is of course a fantastically gross generalization and I recognize not everyone in Alberta shares these values, this lifestyle, etc. But my point is, do not look at geography alone when choosing your new home. The cultural differences between different parts in Canada can be quite significant, and can determine how well you fit in and adjust. And Canada is not like the UK where you can simply "pop over" somewhere else nearby if you're tired of your surroundings. Distances are vast. Travel is expensive.

Last edited by Lychee; Aug 1st 2021 at 12:22 am.
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 12:42 am
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

We can recommend the Niagara region. It has a micro climate with many vineyards. On the shores of lake Ontario, it is only 60-90 minutes drive to be Toronto. The summers are warm with average around 26c. The winters are bearable with only a few weeks in January and February sub zero. USA border is on the doorstep with a day drive to the beauty of New England.
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 1:33 am
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Originally Posted by Ljh93 View Post
Hi,

My husband and I have recently discussed moving to Canada in a year or so (we want to give ourselves time to be sure on our decision). However, I have done a lot of research into the process and the only thing I keep getting stumped on is where to go. We have looked at Alberta, Ottawa and Kelowna.

We come from a small seaside town, however seems very busy and over populated. Houses being built left right and centre with the countryside just dissipating. We love the countryside and also love seeing the ocean (can be substituted for lakes). We like a fairly quiet life, but within an area where there are still things going on, good work opportunities and not too expensive to like. We aren't keen on busy burley cities.

Anyway, would anyone recommend anywhere, what would you say about the above locations I've mentioned? Thank you!
Hello and welcome to BE!

Canada is an immense country and every province is different, weatherwise, population and amenities, even down to indidual areas within those Provinces. It's a bit like asking where in Europe should you move to. Have you been to Canada before?

The first thing to determine is if you have a way to come to Canada and become permanent residents - and if you might need a job to do so. It may take longer than a year just for your application to be processed, so better to start looking at the application now. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...te-canada.html

What is it you both do for a living? It may be better to ascertain where there is work and concentrate on that, rather than where you might want to live, long term.. it's no good choosing to move to Kelowna if there aren't any jobs available in your professions (BC's nickname is 'Bring Cash' - it's not a cheap place to live) What do you like to do in your spare time - swim / walk / ride / ski / etc ?

Do have a read of our wiki on ways to immigrate, job hunting and different Provinces
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Regions_of_Canada

https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Categ...erta_Lifestyle
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Alberta_-_Introduction

https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Ottawa,_Ontario

https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Categ...itish_Columbia
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Kelowna

https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Quick...an_Immigration
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Quick...uctions-Canada

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Old Aug 1st 2021, 2:41 am
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post

Canada is an immense country and every province is different, weatherwise, population and amenities, even down to indidual areas within those Provinces. It's a bit like asking where in Europe should you move to. Have you been to Canada before?
Oh, don't be silly, Europe is a continent with diverse populations behaving in manners historically associated with their countries. The languages, food and music differ from country to country. Canada is a land of strip malls, America Lite. To the extent that there's any difference between the tract housing of Kelowna and Mississauga it's due to the origin countries of the recent immigrants; Brampton is not like Vaughan because it has more Indians and fewer Italians. The scenery differs between Provinces but there's no cultural difference across Canada among white Canadians except in Quebec where they order their Big Macs in French.

The OP may reasonably want to choose between locations based on the availability of work, proximity to the ocean or relative awfulness of the weather. Ottawa scores poorly on the latter two points.
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 7:17 am
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Originally Posted by Lychee View Post
The problems you are trying to avoid in the UK are the same problems you will find in Canada.

Given where you currently live, it sounds like you may like living on the Sunshine Coast, Sooke, the Cowichan Valley, or the Comox Valley of British Columbia. Alll these areas provide access to rural countryside with seaside immediately nearby. However, with most of Canada's major cities unaffordable to the average resident, those idyllic mix of rural/seaside communities in Canada are in a real estate boom with people, such as yourselves, wanting to move there and buy up the houses. Prices have skyrocketed, especially in the past two years. Growth is everywhere in the west right now. Houses are being built everywhere. You're not going to escape it here either. Plus, you'll then have the culture shock to deal with of moving to Canada, with different values, foods, ways of socializing and relating (or not relating) to others, preferred hobbies, pop cultural references, infrastructure, conveniences (or lack thereof), etc. compared to the lifestyle you may be used to in the UK. I do recognize these are first world problems, but are you truly wanting to make a serious lifestyle change?

I also agree that if you are wanting the seaside, Alberta and Ottawa are about as far away from the seaside as Moscow is (and share a similar continental climate). Kelowna is about a 4-hour drive away from the sea, though it has a lovely lake and vineyards and arid Spain-like climate. However, Kelowna is the definition of suburban sprawl these days.
Oh I am not naive to think that everywhere is similar, but I imagine given then size difference to Canada and the UK, I wouldn't notice it quite as much? Yeah, I have been reading about how expensive it is to live put there in comparison to here in the UK. I do worry that I will lose what I have here, a house, my job (I am a vet nurse, so don't feel I would struggle finding a job in Canada).
I just feel lately that I've had enough, just fed up. We aren't sure whether we want to up and leave, hence why it would be at least a year before we even think about doing applications. Just to make sure we aren't just fantasising.
THANK YOU for you response, much appreciated
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 9:22 am
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Originally Posted by Ljh93 View Post
Oh I am not naive to think that everywhere is similar, but I imagine given then size difference to Canada and the UK, I wouldn't notice it quite as much?
Canada is much bigger, you're right, but remember that the vast majority live within 100 miles of the US border. I think it depends on where you're coming from and going to, you may find it much more built up than where you are now. We often say on this forum that usually successful expats are the ones that move for the love of their new country, rather than the perceived negatives of the one they've left behind, as often the same issues are everywhere.

As Siouxie has said, if you haven't already looked in to visas then that needs to be your first step. If you qualify for a visa without needing a job offer, then you'll have all of Canada to choose from. However, if you need a job offer from a sponsoring employer to get a visa, then you may have absolutely no choice and only be able to get a job in the middle of Saskatchewan. So no point worrying about where to live if that is the case.

Also do look in to what you'll need to do to be able to work in Canada. So many professions are regulated there, I'd imagine vet nursing is one of them, so you may have some exams to sit or hoops to jump through to be able to work. What does your husband do?
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 9:48 am
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Canada is much bigger, you're right, but remember that the vast majority live within 100 miles of the US border. I think it depends on where you're coming from and going to, you may find it much more built up than where you are now. We often say on this forum that usually successful expats are the ones that move for the love of their new country, rather than the perceived negatives of the one they've left behind, as often the same issues are everywhere.

As Siouxie has said, if you haven't already looked in to visas then that needs to be your first step. If you qualify for a visa without needing a job offer, then you'll have all of Canada to choose from. However, if you need a job offer from a sponsoring employer to get a visa, then you may have absolutely no choice and only be able to get a job in the middle of Saskatchewan. So no point worrying about where to live if that is the case.

Also do look in to what you'll need to do to be able to work in Canada. So many professions are regulated there, I'd imagine vet nursing is one of them, so you may have some exams to sit or hoops to jump through to be able to work. What does your husband do?

To be honest, we haven't visited Canada yet, lord knows when we will be able to do that. But I don't THINK we would move without at least seeing our prospective country to live in.

Yeah I've done all my research into what I would need to do for my career. It would depends what province I lived in. Some would require exams to become registered and others would. Although, I would most likely want to be registered anyway, since I am in the UK. My husband works in the NHS as a health advisor.

I would do the IEC and he would either latch on and apply for a spousal open work permit or the registered organisation route. But as I said in my initial post, I am simply doing my research atm because I need to be sure I'm not fantasising. All these comments haven't helped, not read many positives but I hugely value the realistic and honest replies. Its very important.
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Originally Posted by Ljh93 View Post
To be honest, we haven't visited Canada yet, lord knows when we will be able to do that. But I don't THINK we would move without at least seeing our prospective country to live in.

Yeah I've done all my research into what I would need to do for my career. It would depends what province I lived in. Some would require exams to become registered and others would. Although, I would most likely want to be registered anyway, since I am in the UK. My husband works in the NHS as a health advisor.

I would do the IEC and he would either latch on and apply for a spousal open work permit or the registered organisation route. But as I said in my initial post, I am simply doing my research atm because I need to be sure I'm not fantasising. All these comments haven't helped, not read many positives but I hugely value the realistic and honest replies. Its very important.
FWIW, I personally think Canada is an amazing country and well worth moving to. Personally for my family the UK is better, but that's due to many different factors and you're young, so go for the adventure and experience and just see what you think. If you were going to be spending tens of thousands on moving a family permanently then moving because your current area is getting too built up may not be a good enough reason to move, particularly when you could just move to a less populated area of the UK for a lot less money!

But if you'll be on IEC visas then it'll be a lot easier and cheaper than applying for PR. And hopefully at some point the job offer requirement will go away, so then you will be free to move wherever you like. You can just give it a go for a couple of years and see what you think. When do you turn 31?
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
FWIW, I personally think Canada is an amazing country and well worth moving to. Personally for my family the UK is better, but that's due to many different factors and you're young, so go for the adventure and experience and just see what you think. If you were going to be spending tens of thousands on moving a family permanently then moving because your current area is getting too built up may not be a good enough reason to move, particularly when you could just move to a less populated area of the UK for a lot less money!

But if you'll be on IEC visas then it'll be a lot easier and cheaper than applying for PR. And hopefully at some point the job offer requirement will go away, so then you will be free to move wherever you like. You can just give it a go for a couple of years and see what you think. When do you turn 31?

This was what I was hoping to do, kind of seeing what it's like and deciding at the end of the IEC whether its somewhere we want to stay long term. We have a house here in the UK that we would rent out (i know about the taxes), that way we would sti have our "home" to come back to if we didn't want to go for PR. But at least we gave it ago and explored it, if that makes sense?

So I turn 31 October of 2024. husband is 4 years older lol.
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

You can have fun planning a Canada holiday, rent a car and go all over. When reading your original post I thought of Creston BC and looked at vet tech jobs, then real estate listings. It's a long drive to get to a big city but there are beautiful lakes and rivers. A short but steep haul up Kootenay Pass from Creston is the summit. Sometimes when travelling west I sit in Creston and wait for the weather to improve before driving over to Salmo.
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 2:17 pm
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Originally Posted by caretaker View Post
You can have fun planning a Canada holiday, rent a car and go all over. When reading your original post I thought of Creston BC and looked at vet tech jobs, then real estate listings. It's a long drive to get to a big city but there are beautiful lakes and rivers. A short but steep haul up Kootenay Pass from Creston is the summit. Sometimes when travelling west I sit in Creston and wait for the weather to improve before driving over to Salmo.

I can't wait to book a holiday to Canada, at the least anyway. I hadn't heard of Creston, I'll have a look. Thank you so much! I've heard that vet techs have much more responsibility in Canada which I think is super cool!
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Old Aug 1st 2021, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: Where to live? Thoughts?

Originally Posted by Ljh93 View Post
This was what I was hoping to do, kind of seeing what it's like and deciding at the end of the IEC whether its somewhere we want to stay long term. We have a house here in the UK that we would rent out (i know about the taxes), that way we would sti have our "home" to come back to if we didn't want to go for PR. But at least we gave it ago and explored it, if that makes sense?

So I turn 31 October of 2024. husband is 4 years older lol.
Sounds like a perfect plan, and you've got plenty of time to get an IEC then, plus hopefully by next year or 2023 they'll be open work permits again rather than needing a job offer to get one. Your husband would get an open work permit for the same duration once you've found a skilled job offer over there.

Only thing I would say is don't wait until the end of the IEC to decide if it's somewhere you want to stay long term, an application for PR will take a year or so and you don't want to get to the end of your IEC then find you'd have to leave Canada or stop working if you don't have your visa status sorted.

Good luck.
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