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-   -   Why did you choose to move to Canada? (https://britishexpats.com/forum/canada-56/why-did-you-choose-move-canada-838914/)

neneromanova Jul 17th 2014 10:43 am

Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 
OH is dead set he wants to go to Canada (Obviously he won't go without us) and it looks like a really nice place. (He's been, I haven't yet)

I've been reading things on forums about people loving/hating Canada. I've read that:
  • There's a lack of GP's
  • The schools are better in the UK
  • It's expensive to live in Canada (Ontario Region) on a day to day basis compared to UK
  • Canadian People are two faced (Friendly to your face but horrible behind your back)

I'm from the Devon area and yeah it is nice here, but there's nothing to do. The school the kids go to/are going to are good and they are doing well.

I just want to know, what made you want to leave the UK to go to Canada?

Atlantic Xpat Jul 17th 2014 11:27 am

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 
Distilling an entire country down to those four bullet points is quite the accomplishment. If that's your sole impression of Canada then don't move here. Seriously.

To massively generalise - life in Canada is pretty much the same as life in UK. Somethings are better, somethings are worse.

You need to have a reason to move here. For the adventure, the kids, the climate, the mountains, doesn't matter why but a reason. You then need to temper that with real research about how you will do here. What job opportunities are there for you, what will you do if it takes you a while to get jobs, do you need to Canadianise qualifications etc etc. Being an informed consumer and moving with your eyes wide open and prepared for what you might find will make the process less stressful, costly and with a greater chance of success.

Looking back across the Atlantic, Devon sounds idyllic. It might be quiet but it is far more accessible to a greater diversity of cities, countries and experiences than Canada is. If you have a good life there, think very carefully IMHO before giving it up to move.

That being said, I moved because my then girlfriend now wife was from Canada and wanted to move home. Or in other words, I moved for sex.;)

neneromanova Jul 17th 2014 11:34 am

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 
Sorry, those weren't my points. They are things I had seen on other forums and they worried me if they were true or not. I was hoping they weren't true and the posters were just very snobby and nothing was ever good enough for them :D

Yeah, Sex is a good reason to move ;)

The climate would be a big selling point for me. I LOVE warm weather. I also love snow :) Also I think the girls would like it, being able to go hiking in mountains as opposed to hills.

But the big negative is the fact we'll be further away from the European countries I haven't visited yet.

I just wish someone would tell me what to do :D

Atlantic Xpat Jul 17th 2014 11:45 am

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by neneromanova (Post 11339044)
Sorry, those weren't my points. They are things I had seen on other forums and they worried me if they were true or not. I was hoping they weren't true and the posters were just very snobby and nothing was ever good enough for them :D

I don't think concerns about finding a GP or cost of living are being snobby. Canada is a large country & there is variance in all things from province to province, City to city, town to town. We have an excellent GP for example but yes cost of living for certain things is higher than in the UK. For others it's lower.


The climate would be a big selling point for me. I LOVE warm weather. I also love snow :) Also I think the girls would like it, being able to go hiking in mountains as opposed to hills.
Granted, it's 20something years since I lived in Plymouth but I always though Devon had a pretty good climate for the UK. Perhaps without the snow, the novelty of which wears off pretty fast.

As for Mountains, well that's great but most of the country doesn't have mountains, and a large part of it (The Prairies) doesn't really even have hills. So hiking in the mountains is great if you can live in the Rockies. You do have lots and lots of money don't you?;)


But the big negative is the fact we'll be further away from the European countries I haven't visited yet.
And family. If you have kids that's a real concern. For me, I lived here 5 years before I had kids. I'm now very very conscious that my kids don't get to see their family in the UK very much. And that's with kids being born here and not knowing any different.


I just wish someone would tell me what to do :D
Oh that's easy. Don't move. or Move. ;)

Seriously, you need to discuss with your family, research about jobs, areas to live, and all the other minutae of life and weigh up whether you are better off where you are or it's worth moving. (and thats without considering which immigration route you might take). I don't envy anyone this decision. Mine was much simpler - no kids at the time+a relationship where one of us had to compromise about where to live=worth giving it a try.

confused_uk Jul 17th 2014 12:12 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by neneromanova (Post 11339007)
OH is dead set he wants to go to Canada (Obviously he won't go without us) and it looks like a really nice place. (He's been, I haven't yet)

I've been reading things on forums about people loving/hating Canada. I've read that:
  • There's a lack of GP's
  • The schools are better in the UK
  • It's expensive to live in Canada (Ontario Region) on a day to day basis compared to UK
  • Canadian People are two faced (Friendly to your face but horrible behind your back)

I'm from the Devon area and yeah it is nice here, but there's nothing to do. The school the kids go to/are going to are good and they are doing well.

I just want to know, what made you want to leave the UK to go to Canada?

For me (I haven't moved yet, but it's why I want to). It's mainly the people/population, I cannot stand the UK it's too overpopulated & no matter where you go there's always that entitled breed about. I want to be somewhere where I can go out on a weekend & not spend hours in traffic then come home worrying if I'm going to be able to park the car anywhere near my house. I want to go to a restaurant without having to pre book a table. I need space & space in the UK comes at a premium I can't afford.

Howefamily Jul 17th 2014 12:44 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 
For me it was to attain a N American lifestyle - space, larger home, outdoors more.

I wanted to transact in Dollars, to leave behind small and crowded Victorian streets, to have the option of a pool, a hot tub, a deck.

To have 4 distinct seasons, which we certainly have here.

To be in a culture where a drive through coffee is part of your trip. To be able to drive to the US if I want to.

To eat poutine, donair pizza, cinnamon rolls hot for breakfast....

So many reasons.......

dbd33 Jul 17th 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by confused_uk (Post 11339065)
For me (I haven't moved yet, but it's why I want to). It's mainly the people/population, I cannot stand the UK it's too overpopulated & no matter where you go there's always that entitled breed about.

Do not consider Southern Ontario.

iaink Jul 17th 2014 1:32 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by neneromanova (Post 11339007)
OH is dead set he wants to go to Canada (Obviously he won't go without us) and it looks like a really nice place. (He's been, I haven't yet)

I've been reading things on forums about people loving/hating Canada. I've read that:
  • There's a lack of GP's
  • The schools are better in the UK
  • It's expensive to live in Canada (Ontario Region) on a day to day basis compared to UK
  • Canadian People are two faced (Friendly to your face but horrible behind your back)

I'm from the Devon area and yeah it is nice here, but there's nothing to do. The school the kids go to/are going to are good and they are doing well.

I just want to know, what made you want to leave the UK to go to Canada?

I came here because of a job offer out of the blue, and I stay because I dont think I can maintain the kind of life I have here in the UK. I dont need big city excitement all the time and we are happy to mooch about and do stuff together as a family. If we want city excitement Toronto is a couple of hours away, but I can live without the overcrowding and stress of so many people day to day.

There used to be a doctor shortage where I am, but they fixed it with an excellent recruitment campaign and incentives to bring in new doctors, most of whom stay because of the relaxed lifestyle the area affords them

My kids school is fine, the teachers are very good and pretty relaxed, and my kids are excelling. In the UK my brother and my best friend both send their kids to private schools, at no little expense.

Living here does seem to have become more expensive. Insurance in particular is maddening, but on the other hand I have a reasonable house on 3/4 acre in a beautiful spot by a large river, and I pay $640 a month mortgage on it, including the property taxes, so not everything is expensive...

Like anywhere else people are people, some are nice, some are not. The vast majority of Canadians I know are decent people, and some have shown extraordinary acts of friendship and treat us like family (in a good way).

I didnt come here for a better life, it was an oportunity that fell into my lap to try something or somewhere different. I guess I was lucky that I happened to fall into an area that was what I was looking for, even though I wasnt actually looking at the time! That was all 15 years ago or more.

confused_uk Jul 17th 2014 1:37 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 11339126)
Do not consider Southern Ontario.

Haha, don't worry I'm not

neneromanova Jul 17th 2014 1:42 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 11339126)
Do not consider Southern Ontario.

How come?

EDIT: More space is a big appeal to me, as I was originally looking at upgrading to a 4 bed, but a 4 bed in North Devon is stupid money. I like the sound of 4 different seasons and not just continuous rain.

confused_uk Jul 17th 2014 1:44 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by neneromanova (Post 11339137)
How come?

Heavily populated

Aviator Jul 17th 2014 1:49 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 11339126)
Do not consider Southern Ontario.

Lower Mainland BC too.

prairiechicken Jul 17th 2014 2:27 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 
My reasons are probably unique.

My husband works for a company based in Los Angeles. He can work from anywhere with an internet connection, but the time difference between LA and the UK is horrible when you're basically living in a time zone that's 8 hours ahead of your work, and you're trying to juggle with family commitments AND you're a workaholic and work from home. It was really wearing us down. We started to talk about making a move over to North America, and because I'm dual Canadian/British, Canada was a no-brainer. Particularly as we much prefer it to the US anyway.

I was keener than my husband, so we have taken the decision process very slowly and gently really. We did lots of research, found a place which we thought we would like to live, and spent a month out there last year. We rented a basement suite (2 bed apartment) in the town we were thinking of, and tried to do as many things as possible that we might do normally. We looked at houses, bought 'normal' groceries and cooked at home, and our son went to football and karate training, and cubs while were there, so he could start to get a feel for things.

Anyway, we loved it, did more research, and eventually made the decision to go for it. We move in less than 3 weeks.

So for my husband, the reason is really that his hours will be more manageable.

For me, though, there is more to it:
- I get to go 'home' (I haven't lived in Canada for a really long time, and we are living a VERY long way and in a completely different environment from where I was before, but it still feels like going home)
- We are looking forward to having more space, especially with the working-from-home aspect. Where we are moving to, we can afford a bigger house with more space. This wouldn't be true all over Canada, but luckily we can afford good houses where we WANT to live, so that's fine.
- I think our son will do better in the Canadian school system than in the UK.
- More opportunities where we are going for snowboarding, fishing etc right on the doorstep.
- Where we are moving to is one of the most beautiful places on earth (in my opinion). I am looking forward to just looking at it. (Hopefully from a hot tub in my garden)
- We are looking forward to being closer to the US, partly just for husband's work, but also partly to explore more of it when we get a chance.
- And honestly? I just love change and adventure. I like where we live in the UK, but I am massively excited about doing something different now and living in a different environment.

In some ways we will gain, in others we will lose - that's the same with any sort of change really. But ultimately,overall we believe this will be a really great move for us (otherwise we wouldn't be doing it).

MarylandNed Jul 17th 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by neneromanova (Post 11339007)
There's a lack of GP's

Yes, that has been an issue in some areas but it's not unique to Canada. Read about GP shortages in England:

GP numbers tumble in England as recruitment crisis bites | Society | The Observer


Originally Posted by neneromanova (Post 11339007)
The schools are better in the UK

Not according to the OECD study in which Canada consistently tops the UK in reading, math and science among 15 year olds.

OECD education report: subject results in full - Telegraph

UK universities like Oxford and Cambridge are ranked higher but Canada also has some world renowned universities e.g. University of Toronto, McGill (Montreal), UBC (Vancouver), etc. Higher education is definitely more affordable in Canada - especially so after tuition tripled in the UK.

The 2 systems are comparable so I don't think it should be a factor is moving or not. At the end of the day, the top third of students will do well in either system. I judge education systems by how well the middle and bottom thirds do and I really doubt that there's a significant difference between the UK and Canada in that regard.


Originally Posted by neneromanova (Post 11339007)
It's expensive to live in Canada (Ontario Region) on a day to day basis compared to UK

It's hard to compare the cost of living in 2 countries because there is so much regional variation. If you just convert prices using the exchange rate (remember to add in any sales taxes in Canada first since UK prices already include them), it can seem that Canada is more expensive at least for some things. However, that's only one part of the equation. When my wife and I moved to Canada, our salaries took a major jump and so our purchasing power was actually higher in Canada because we had more disposable income there. So much depends on where you move from/to, your field of work, your preferred lifestyle, and your particular financial situation overall.

Cost Of Living Comparison Between Canada And United Kingdom


Originally Posted by neneromanova (Post 11339007)
Canadian People are two faced (Friendly to your face but horrible behind your back)

I have certainly found that Canadians are friendlier overall. I've heard people describe this as being insincere but that's a hell of a generalization and not one I'd subscribe to. As for being horrible behind your back, I have no idea whether that's more common in Canada or the UK. I don't recall ever thinking that there is more backstabbing in one place or the other.


Originally Posted by neneromanova (Post 11339007)
I just want to know, what made you want to leave the UK to go to Canada?

We got fed up with the UK for several reasons including:

- The weather in the UK sucked. We enjoyed the greater number of hours of sunshine in Canada. The cold winters were much more bearable because we would still often have blue skies (at least in Toronto). Even Vancouver, which has a reputation for being rainy and having UK-like weather, gets more hours of sunshine annually than almost anywhere in the UK.

- We got tired of dealing with aggressive people in the UK. Accidentally look at someone the wrong way in a pub and you could be in for a spot of bother.

- We got tired of taking kids to playgrounds and finding graffiti, litter, broken glass, dog crap, used condoms, etc. Often playgrounds were occupied by foul-mouthed, high/drunken chavs who had nothing better to do than vandalize playgrounds and hassle other people.

- We could see that things were generally going downhill. For example, services were coming under increasing pressure due to population density increases in England (particularly in the south east of England).

Now, I'm certainly not saying that any of the above can't also be found in Canada. It's just that we didn't find them to be problems to the same degree as they were in the UK. There are problems wherever you go in the world but sometimes you just need a change of scene to recharge the batteries and get yourself motivated to get out and about and do things. We embraced the cold winters and learned to ice skate & ski, played curling, watched hockey, etc. Other immigrants hated the winters and couldn't settle. Much depends on your own attitude, personality and preferences.

After living in Canada for 7 years, we actually moved back to the UK for family reasons. This was another change and living in the UK was a novelty again - particularly as we moved to London this time having previously lived in Manchester. We thought we might stay but then the same old feelings started coming back. We lasted about 2 years before moving on again - this time to the US.

We still miss a lot about the UK (food, beer/pubs, football, TV, history/culture, etc). Apart from friends and family, the thing we probably miss the most is its proximity to continental Europe. I could see us moving to continental Europe to be closer to friends and family in the UK, but I just can't see us living in the UK again. Although never say "never" because your priorities at one stage of your life are not necessarily the same at another stage.

Howefamily Jul 17th 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Why did you choose to move to Canada?
 

Originally Posted by MarylandNed (Post 11339187)

We got fed up with the UK for several reasons including:

- The weather in the UK sucked. We enjoyed the greater number of hours of sunshine in Canada. The cold winters were much more bearable because we would still often have blue skies (at least in Toronto). Even Vancouver, which has a reputation for being rainy and having UK-like weather, gets more hours of sunshine annually than almost anywhere in the UK.

- We got tired of dealing with aggressive people in the UK. Accidentally look at someone the wrong way in a pub and you could be in for a spot of bother.

- We got tired of taking kids to playgrounds and finding graffiti, litter, broken glass, dog crap, used condoms, etc. Often playgrounds were occupied by foul-mouthed, high/drunken chavs who had nothing better to do than vandalize playgrounds and hassle other people.

- We could see that things were generally going downhill. For example, services were coming under increasing pressure due to population density increases in England (particularly in the south east of England).

.

Agreed, those were my reasons for leaving the UK too


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