Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

Insurance, FX and international movers

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

From our tax, investment and FX partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Will we be accepted as English immigrants??

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Canada.

Reply to topicReply to topic
Forum FAQSearchView unanswered posts
Go to page Previous  1, 2 
Aren't web cams wonderfull?

Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:45 pm

Yes I did have a hard time not breaking out laughing at some of the "dumb " questions that I was asked on the double decker bus. Imagine somebody who has just paid for a ticket for a tour asking me if it costs extra to "sit upstairs "? The bus is a cut off model with no roof.

The book idea is moving along, and I have a written a number of rough draft chapters and an introduction. If it goes as I hope, it will be available as a "E-Book" that interested people will be able to buy on-line, thru a web site, and pay for with a credit card, so no printing or shipping costs, and once they have paid for it, they get it as a word document in their e-mail inbox.

"Snow birds".....Many Canadians do go to Florida, but I prefer the dry heat in Arizona, with so many fewer problems than Florida, and nicer scenery, I think. The desert is much more appealing to us than the humidity and crime in Florida. We also have the option to go to The Bahamas, where my Wife Brenda was born. She still has siblings there, and an inheritance of some vacant land on a small island called Abaco.

Snow here.............Remember that we here have been dealing with winter, every year since the first French explorers "over wintered " in 1610. Un-like the UK, where snow is a rarity, here it is a fact of life. The school bus system will be stopped only if the weather is really BAD. Every morning people turn on their TV and check the school bus weather report, to see if the busses are running or not. Happens about 3 or 4 times every winter that the busses are cancelled due to snow or ice conditions.

The school bus routes, both in town and in the farming areas are the FIRST to be plowed and sanded, and they get a "do over" before the school day ends. In the country, most people that have a long driveway from the house to the road, build a small shack, by the road, for their kids to wait in, out of the wind. The bus only waits one minute at each stop, so you either get on smartly, or you miss the bus. In town the school bus stops will have a number of kids all going to the same school, that wait together. If the busses are cancelled, it is by the decision of the school district.

Employers are usually good about you being late due to weather or driving conditions. They are probably going to be late, too. You have to learn to pay attention to the weather reports, as things can and do change quickly here in Canada. As I like to say........" Don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes".

Driving in the winter..........It is quite important to have a "emergency kit" in your car. It should include things like extra gloves and a hat, and some small food items that will last for along time in the car, like hard candy and granola bars. Matches, candles for a heat source, a blanket, and marker flares, and booster cables to be able to jump start your car if the battery dies. A small plastic shovel, to shovel your self out of a drift if you go off the road, and salt or sand in a bag to spread under the drive wheels on ice patches. Five gallons of spare gasoline, in a safety container, and minus 45 C windsheild washer fluid, to spray on the glass to clear it after somebody splashes you with slush on the highway. A 40 foot towing strap, made of heavy duty nylon with hooks on both ends to enable another vehicle to pull you out of the ditch. Spare electrical fuses, and a small tool kit .

Now I know that this sounds really " over the top" but it isn't. If you break down on a country road at 9 pm on a week night, it could be an hour or more before another car comes along that road. The houses are far apart and it may be snowing hard. Your cell phone may not work, and the car is dead, and it is minus 20 with a 15 kph wind that makes it feel like minus 40 C. You now need all that stuff I mentioned to keep from freezing to death. Cold can KILL you. Every year in Canada, people DIE from being "exposed to the cold" and it can happen in a short period of time, even to an experienced person.

Example..........Last year in March, a 40 year old sales man, who was born in Canada , died from exposure. Here is what he did wrong. He was driving to a small town called Bancroft, in central Ontraio. He was driving hsi new Volvo sedan, and he was very comfortable in his shirt sleeves and his trousers, as the car was nice and warm with the heater and the radio going full blast. The temp was minus 15 and it was snowing a bit. He went off the road, into a very deep ravine, over 50 metres from the road way. He was knocked out, and the car 's engine stopped. Because he was not wearing any out door clothes, and the car was not visible from the road, he died of hyporthermia. His injuries were minor, but he died in about 30 minutes, sitting in his car. Not wearing any outdoor clothes in the car, is what killed him. He should have known better.

I strongly suggest that any newcomers to Canada take a CAA winter driving course, even if you have been driving for years. I have a driving record that includes 35 winters in Canada, and about 2 million miles of no accidents.

Jim Bunting. Toronto.


Forum Legend
Forum Legend
Re: Will we be accepted as English immigrants??

Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:06 pm


I've been reading your posts for couple of weeks now and wish to echo Mal's compliments. My family and I wish to emigrate to your fabulous country, and are coming over to Toronto at the end of next month. Can't wait. Your advice and balanced views are of enormous value, and like Mal, we'll be heading up to the Georgian Bay / Collingwood area for a look after seeing your recommendations. We're also going to stay in or around Toronto. Have you any recommendations? I guess we want to experience what it might be like to live in the GTA, but also get a good deal on a hotel in a sensible location.

I saw somewhere else that you were a serviceman! Which service? I used to be in the Royal Navy, and served for a while with a Canadian officer from Nova Scotia. He was a fantastic skier who could hold his drink. I have vague recollections of 'Moose's milk' but don't remember how it is made.

Thanks again Jim, and good luck with your literary enterprise!!

Best wishes



Re: Will we be accepted as English immigrants??

Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:43 pm


I'm glad that I am of some help to the readers that come here seeking information about Canada, and how to get here thru the Immigration process.

My career spanned a 30 year period, and I was originally a Uniformed Military Police officer, on a number of Canadian Forces bases in Canada. I was eventually cross trained as a criminal investigator, and later served in a intelligence gathering capacity overseas . I retired in 1996.

Hotels in Toronto/GTA ?

How many are in your party? There is a wide range of accomodation here, and the closer to the downtown core the hotel is located, the more costly it is. Will you be renting a car while you are here? That makes a big difference to my suggestions, as trying to get around on the public transit system can be trying if you don't understand the routes.

For a starter, I will asuume that you are going to be flying into our main Toronto air port which is Pearson International , code YYZ. It is located in the city of Mississauga, to the west of the Toronto boundary line. Mississauga has a population of about 600,000 and it has many good quality hotels, and motels, near the airport, that are less expensive than the ones in downtown Toronto. I would suggest that you try this web site.

Put in the city of Mississauga, and the dates that you want and get a rate.

Renting a car in Canada.

DON"T use a UK based car agency , you will pay TOO MUCH. Contact one of these, in Canada, using their web sites. Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, Discount, or Rent a Wreck. Cars are rented on the basis of a valid credit card, and the driver has to be over 25 years of age, with a valid UK driver's permit. If you have more than 4 people in your group, consider a 7 passenger mini van, that drives like a car, but will hold all the stuff that you bring and the people too. Automatic, lots of pep and a better view than in a lower slung car. Most have a great sound system, speed control for the highway, and tinted glass, with a anti theft alarm built in.

Al of those car rental firms have service counters at the Toronto airport so if you set it up right, the van will be waiting for you when you arrive by air. After you are thru the Customs and Immigration check point, you get to the car rental counter, sign the contract and they bring you to the lot where the van is waitting, in their pasenger van service. They will check you out on the van's features and give you directions to your hotel/motel.

A motel usually only has 2 floors, and you check in at the front office, get your key card, and park the van at the door of your suite. A hotel will have up to 12 floors with 2 elevators and you park in the secure parking lot, or the underground garage. A motel does not usually have a cafe or resturant, but they are located close to those things. A hotel will have a cafe or full service restaurant, and may be a pool and a kids play room. Obviously you pay more for the luxury stuff, so it is a personal choice how much to spend.

My suggestion would be this.........Look for a motel in Misssissauga, that has reasonable rates of about ( $100/ 50 pounds a night ) for a large room that will sleep 4 people, or if you have more, get 2 rooms. I can comment if you give me the name and the street address, of the hotel/motel, before you reserve. Rent a suitable vehicle for the size of your party, to be picked up at PIA. By being in Mississauga you are near enough for all the toursity stuff in Toronto and are still not paying 120 pounds a night downtown in Toronto.

AS for Collingwood, I can say this........Go to the Collingwood chamber of commerce web site and look at the accomodations listings. Again look for those that are intown and NOT at a ski resort, as they are too costly for that time of year. In March, the winter is ending, and the ski conditions are not the best. BUT, it will still be cold, so bring warm clothes and wool hats and gloves for your hands. Being cold spoils any day.

Other towns in that area are ..........Barrie, Owen Sound, Thornbury, Meaford, and Stayner. Each has it's own web site where you will find lots of information. Barrie has the largest population in the area, , about 100,000, with Meaford being the smallest at about 10,000 . Collingwood is a 4 seasons town with recreation in all 12 months of the year.

If you like military museums there is a good one at Canadian Forces Base Borden, which is located about 20 miles west of the city of Barrie. Barrie is located on the shores of Lake Simcoe, which is a medium sized lake for Ontario, at about 50 miiles long and about 40 miles across. Lots of good fishing, but not in March as the ice is melting and it is still too cold to go out in a boat.

And finally " Moose Milk" is anything alcoholic, mixed with milk. If you like wine, be sure to try some of our Ontario vintages, while you are here. The Niagara region produces world class wines of all kinds

What types of atttractions are you interested in seeing, in the GTA?

Cheers Jim Bunting. Chief Warrant Officer, retired.


Forum Legend
Forum Legend
Re: Will we be accepted as English immigrants??

Post Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 9:17 pm

Hi all - My advise to anyone wishing to emigrate to Canada is visit in the winter. We are from the Uk and we own a cottage in Huntsville and know, only to well, the conditions and what to expect. Be prepared to double the driving time that it would normally take ( in snowy conditions,) make sure you take the snow of your roof at least once during the winter ,get a wood burner , snow blower and good handyman ....and enjoy !
Brutally cold at times in the North...but VERY worth it.


Frequent Poster
Frequent Poster
Re: Will we be accepted as English immigrants??

Post Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:05 pm

How long have you owned your property out there? would you consider living there full time? This is the first time I have used this site and it will take me too long to go through all the old posts if theres an answer there! thanks for your help


Re: Will we be accepted as English immigrants??

Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:57 pm

about a year and a half (owned a property in Ontario) ...I am waiting for the emigration date - so yes in answer to your question re living in Canada. I have been visiting for 20 years though,sometimes 4 x a year so have a very clear idea of what to expect in all seasons.
Are you planning on buying propery in canada?


Frequent Poster
Frequent Poster
Page 2 of 2
Go to page Previous  1, 2

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Cigna Global

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.

Copyright © 2019 Expat Focus. All Rights Reserved. Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use/Privacy Policy. Comments are property of their posters.
Interactive software released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy