we want to move to Canada.....advice

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Hi

For 5 years I have toyed with the idea of moving to Canada from the UK.

Why?

3 main reasons:

1) We need to move house now and what we can get for our money in the UK compared to Canada is a massive difference (Not taking about Vancouver BC but Nova Scotia)

2) UK is just so cramped. We drive to the "beach" we sit in traffic for 2 hours there. Fight for a patch of sand. Sit in traffic for 2 hours to get home. Traffic jams and cramped living almsot everywhere. I want more space.

Over 60m in our small land and it's going to get worse. Projecting 70M+ by 2050. What tha'ts going to be like I have no idea.

3) We *THINK* our children will have abetter quality of life over there as to that they will have in the UK.

Weather? I am not a lover of really hot weather and love the seasons. Cold/snow I like to a degree. So the Wx isn't a factor.

Now this isn't one of those "jump out of bed with a great idea plans" We have looked into it for 5 years. Going for a holiday next year. Talked to a few expats etc...weighed it up for 2 years. Shall we? Shan't we? Everything seems to come up on the side of taking the chance and giving it ago.

We are now at the point of actually putting the wheels into motion...We have to do it soon or it's going to be too late.

Anyone in Nova Scotia? Anyone form the UK live or lived in Canada?

What I need to know is the BAD....it can't all be "a bed or roses" and we need to know what the bad is so we can take it all into consideration.

Thanks.
  • Profile picture of the author Vincenzo Oliva
    Consider this letter first:

    "I was born in the UK. at the age of 6 i moved to BC then to Alberta untill now. I am 30.

    Im sick of supporting (with my 38% taxes) corrupt useless self indulgent Ontario and Quebec.


    Alberta, BC and Sask should SERIOUSLY consider seperating...


    Although now Steve is in power the cries for seperation have died down a little here...


    Canada needs soo soo much reform...


    The rediculous 38billion dollar surplus in EI... Why do i pay into a system i would have to PROVE that im eligible for?? Ive been paying into it since i was 16...


    The stupid CPP... what a waste of MY money.. MINE... I am the one working weeks away from my family.


    Alberta has the lowest provincial income tax at 10% but still charges 88 bucks a month for healthcare...


    here is a little known fact.... Alberta healthcare payments DONT go into the healthcare "pot"

    They are to pay for the land taxes that Hospitals DONT have to pay! didnt know that did you.

    Now, I have been forced to become a "non resident" of Canada to save myself the horrendous tax grab and live over seas. While "visiting" canada every second month.


    Canada could be so so so much more.... its a waste. The potential is there but "american style" corruption and the Librals killed any chance of Canada being a good place to live.


    Anyone who thinks "Canada is great!" obviously hasnt lived anywhere else to see what your missing... like the rest of your paycheck.


    Why do we work? For the paycheck at the end of the day. why do i work offshore on a Thai oil rig? For the paycheck. NOT for the "priviledge" of handing over 42,000 a year to a government that e
    agerly treats me like a criminal every time i walk through immigration and customs."

    USA USA USA
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    sounds like from hatecanada.com (which was too kdown)

    Hmmm............as bad as that may seem........i think UK is about 3 X worse my friend. You want to see a country ruined by keeping mass unemployed, asylum seekers etc..come over. In fact i think the British PM liked how Canada handled it's massive debt of the 90's and has copied that policy over to the UK from now on in..:-)

    So if Canada is corrupt over taxed, USA is..UK is for sure and the rest of the world is......guess there's no-where to live...? I'll bet every country in the world has these stories....

    Oh and I do not rely on the state for a job as you know we can work any-where...

    Let's compare:

    UK average house and i am talking 3 beds small gardens: £200,000 $320,000 Can
    1 litre of Fuel: £1.16 (come down from £1.22) $1.86 Can
    1 pint beer £2.90 $4.64
    Tax over £150 k p.a. 50%
    Full-time nursery fees 4 X 9 hours £600 per month or $960

    How do we compare?
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    we have free healthcare BUT pay N.I. at 5%..that $88 is nothing....

    He seems like a whinging scumbag who doesn't want to pay for anything? You'll find every 1st world country is like this. I never said Canada was cheaper to live in except for the house prices.

    Alberta has the lowest provincial income tax at 10% but still charges 88 bucks a month for healthcare...
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
    I think moving to Canada is a great idea, I have some friends up there and loved the health care and school for their kids. Good luck with moving!
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    yeah that's what we are thinking. The alternative is to stay in the UK and be mortgaged to the hilt for the next 25 years for the house we want.

    We are about 90% for going. Just do not want any surprises jumping out at me when I get there....

    Thanks. It'd be great to talk to someone from the UK who moved out there. (wrong forum)
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    It seems like you've thought this through. My advice is to go to an online Nova Scotia forum and ask there. I found this with a Google search.
    Nova Scotia Forum - Topix

    Yes, real estate prices are high in Vancouver (ouch).
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  • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
    I'm going to show my love for the peeps who are promoting america for health care here...

    It's interesting that America charges HIGHER taxes, then Canada, yet we bathe in Free Health Care

    Caleb
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  • Profile picture of the author I.M.Retired
    Canada has some great opportunites, friendly people and LOTS of scenery. Lots of water, miles and miles and miles of sandy beaches. (I'm posting links to beaches because so many non-Canadians think of Canada as being the frozen north. While it can be very frozen in winter, the summers are glorious no matter what province you live in!)

    Do a google search for the term: Lake Huron Beaches - just for starters. Grand Bend, in Southern Ontario, is nick-named 'Canada's South Coast.'

    Google the search term 'Lake Ontario Beaches' or Lake Superior Beaches, or Lake Erie Beaches, or Lake Winnipeg Beaches... the list goes on and on - in fact, google any province and beaches and be prepared to be delighted. But don't tell a soul I told you that.

    Or check out the Bruce Pennisula: http://www.thebrucepeninsula.com/lakehuron.html

    Eastern Beaches of Lake Winnipeg Manitoba Canada: Patricia Beach, Beaconia, Grand Marais, Grand Beach, Lester Beach, Belair, Hillside Beach, Victoria Beach, Albert Beach, Traverse Bay

    Here's a link to New Brunswick Beaches:

    http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/Ho...s/Beaches.aspx

    Peek at some webcams. Here's my favorite:

    http://142.36.244.87:8888/ImageViewe...al=45&Size=STD

    That's a link to the Victoria BC Harbour Cam. It's lovely and sunny there today.

    Or check this one:

    San Pareil, Parksville BC

    Or: http://www.visitparksvillequalicumbe...ms.asp?wpID=56

    That's the Parksville Beach on Vancouver Island.

    I could spend a day listing beautiful, lovely spots in Canada.

    Here's a nice chat board about PEI

    PEI Talk • View topic - Moving To P.E.I. (Specifically - Moving to PEI)

    PEI Talk • Index page

    There's a lovely blog at Whimfield about a young couple who moved to PEI from Vancouver Island.

    I have a friend in Nova Scotia, New Glasgow to be specific, and when I go to visit her we visit lots of wonderful sandy beaches.

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=nova+s...ient=firefox-a

    Quebec has some absolutely lovely spots, as well - every province in Canada has it's own particular beauty.

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=quebec...ient=firefox-a

    Magdalen Island Scenery: http://www.tourismeilesdelamadeleine...00-scenery.cfm

    If beaches aren't your thing, pick a smaller city like Kingston Ontario that is located on the shore of Lake Ontario. It's a lovely city with an excellent University.

    Smaller cities in Canada are usually very down-home friendly. Ottawa is a lovely city, but it is a bit of a government town. Most people absolutely love Ottawa. I prefer the smaller cities and rural regions, myself.

    The winters are cold here - except on the West Coast and in southern Ontario. However, we have lots of lovely winter clothing to snuggle in to. I love winter. We heat with a wood stove and the heat from the stove is simply delicious! In the winter, the snow can get dirty brown in the winter. In the country where I live the fields are coated in a cloak of sparking diamonds all winter long. Winter is actually my favorite time of year - despite the fact that I'm such a beach hound in the summer.

    Best wishes in whatever you decide. Most Canadians will welcome you with open arms!

    Canada isn't perfect. However, we have so much to be thankful for here!

    I would so encourage you AND extend a personal invitation to you to move to Canada. There are many Brit's here and most of them that I have met over the past many decades are very settled and happy.

    Edited to add more links: http://kijiji.ca

    You can choose many areas in Canada to search for houses for sale or rent to give you a quick peek at some homes that may not be listed on real estate agent's sites.

    Here's two more 'For Sale by Owner' sites that are becoming very popular.

    http://propertyguys.com/

    http://propertysold.ca/

    This is the site that realtors across Canada use to post their listings:

    http://mls.ca/splash.aspx

    The site is a bit cumbersome and doesn't really show properties to their best advantage, but it is the 'official' MLS site in Canada
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    I am born and raised in Southern Ontario. Personally, I think I live in the greatest part of the world. I have the best fresh water beaches in the world within an hour and a half drive. I am 2 hours from Muskoka's otherwise known as cottage country. Say what you want about socialized medicine, I have never had to write a cheque going into the hospital or leaving the hospital. I am an hour and a half away from Buffalo and Detroit, as my gateway to the US. I could drive to New York city and be there within a work day. I have international airports within an hours drive. I have arts, entertainment, concerts, and professional sporting events less than an hour away. I get to experience all 4 seasons, hot summers, the bloom of spring, the colours of fall, and the joy of winter. I could go on, but the more I think about, I don't think I would want to live anywhere else...
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgettaSterling
    O.K., so here are some of the "BAD" things I note about Canada:

    1. The tax situation IS very frustrating, although you will be used to it from Britain.

    2. Don't expect to get a government pension - the CPP plan you pay into is a Ponzi scheme, and if you are less than 60 years old, I doubt you will see a penny. So, that is really just more tax.

    3. Winter can be cold in most of Canada. The Maritimes (like Nova Scotia) have a nasty "damp cold" and lots of ice storms. Of course, it is easier to cope with cold than heat - just put on a sweater if you are cold (as opposed to hot days, when modesty really prevents you from taking any more clothes OFF).

    4. Add the cost of Vitamin D3 pills for your entire family to living expenses (cost me about $2/month/person). There is a serious lack of sunlight in large parts of Canada in the winter, and you won't be out in the sun even if it is shining.

    5. Health care isn't fabulous - if you are near a populated center, expect very long waits for specialists (6 months or more in some cases). Regular doctors can be in short supply in some places too. Generally, if you find a doctor to take your family, there are no issues, though. You might be somewhat used to this from the UK anyway.

    6. Expect far fewer stores and services, even in populated areas. I don't know why this is, but an American city with 100,000 population has more stores, more selection etc. than a typical Canadian city of 1,000,0000.

    7. Sin taxes are much worse than the UK - particularly tobacco. If you use anything even slightly unusual there, be prepared to have to import it AND pay really exorbitant duties. Liquor and beer are also very heavily taxed, even compared to the UK (as far as I understand).

    8. Gasoline is also pricey because of Provincial and Federal taxes, but cheaper than the UK. Things like engine oil are FAR cheaper in Canada (but still more than in the US, even when it is made here).

    9. Telecommunications is pricey compared to the US - don't know compared to Britain. Generally it is a lack of decent competition. A lot of internet service is very slow (again, you are talking about moving to the Maritimes, not Toronto).

    10. Public transportation is...disappointing in most mid to smaller Canadian locales. Again, not a problem in Toronto or Montreal, but Halifax? Expect to wait a long time on most of those buses. For most places, you will need to have a car, so factor that into your calculations (along with winter tires, if you are smart). Yes, there is more space, but that means you have to travel further too.

    11. Fresh fruit and veggies are hard to come by, especially in the winter. Everything is picked unripe and shipped the long and slow way. I cannot compare to the UK, but in Germany, I found the fruit and veggies MUCH better overall.
    ===

    Some GOOD things:

    1. Fairly peaceful and relatively low crime overall. There aren't generally street riots and such. A soccer game NEVER turns into a brawl, regardless of the score. Oh, but don't expect too much soccer - hockey is more common, as is Canadian football.

    2. Maritimers are amongst the most friendly and welcoming people you will find in Canada. Newfies (Newfoundlanders) are legendary for their outgoing nature and good humour. Culturally they are fairly easy-going and patient. There aren't a lot of road-rage incidents in Nova Scotia...

    3. The Maritimes are gorgeous. Lots of beautiful spots in Canada, but some very dramatic shorelines all through the Maritimes.

    4. You will DEFINITELY be able to find your own private beach area in Nova Scotia.

    5. Wildlife, nature, green spaces etc. are more than abundant. If you like outdoor activities, you have infinite choices.

    6. The Maritimes in particular are pretty much guaranteed to never be on any terrorist target list.

    7. Canadian humour is more similar to British humour, so you should get most of the jokes. As a nation, we pride ourselves on making fun of ourselves, so nothing is TOO serious.

    There are more, but that should be enough for a start.

    Hope you find what you are looking for in Canada!!!

    G.
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    • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
      Originally Posted by GeorgettaSterling View Post


      10. Public transportation is...disappointing in most mid to smaller Canadian locales. Again, not a problem in Toronto or Montreal, but Halifax?
      LOL...one of the things Torontonians hate the most about Toronto is the public transit system.

      I know that's not exactly what you meant by "disappointing", but still
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacqueline Smith
    My cousin spent 5 years researching everywhere in the world while deciding where to move his family (he was living in the UK at the time). He looked at every possible factor you could think of (he's a genius). Where did they end up???.....Alberta, Canada. It's been two years since they moved and they abslutely love it and have no regrets.

    Canada is beautiful! Nova Scotia is stunning (didn't think they were in great economic shape though).

    Good luck with your decision!
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  • Profile picture of the author Crazee Hippee
    There is always going to be good and bad.
    There are always going to be things you miss from home.
    And things you love about your new home.

    Yes, you might have a regret at some point and there's no guarantee that it will all work out the way you hope it will. But you will never know if you don't go for it.

    You are doing the right thing by going out there on holiday to experience it first, and you are asking the right questions... (Isn't there a UK expat Canada forum on the net? Ask there. You'll get your answers.)

    It's only natural to experience fears... Your mind will ask should I...? Shouldn't I...? What if...?

    But... You have got to try!

    Making the break away from the UK is a good move. Get some space, buy a big house, live, breathe. Escape the rat race. Try something different. You can always go back. Don't think of it as forever, think of it as a chance to experience something different.

    How do I know? Becasue I left the UK 15 years ago, and have never looked back. Sure I sometimes miss the light evenings in summer, sharing a pint with friends in the pub garden... but I know for a fact, I am happier, healthier, freer, and more at home out of the UK that I could ever have been in it. No regrets at all!

    I think it's a great experience for your kids too.... Go for it!
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    Hi

    1. The tax situation IS very frustrating, although you will be used to it from Britain.

    2. Don't expect to get a government pension - the CPP plan you pay into is a Ponzi scheme, and if you are less than 60 years old, I doubt you will see a penny. So, that is really just more tax.

    3. Winter can be cold in most of Canada. The Maritimes (like Nova Scotia) have a nasty "damp cold" and lots of ice storms. Of course, it is easier to cope with cold than heat - just put on a sweater if you are cold (as opposed to hot days, when modesty really prevents you from taking any more clothes OFF).

    4. Add the cost of Vitamin D3 pills for your entire family to living expenses (cost me about $2/month/person). There is a serious lack of sunlight in large parts of Canada in the winter, and you won't be out in the sun even if it is shining.

    5. Health care isn't fabulous - if you are near a populated center, expect very long waits for specialists (6 months or more in some cases). Regular doctors can be in short supply in some places too. Generally, if you find a doctor to take your family, there are no issues, though. You might be somewhat used to this from the UK anyway.

    6. Expect far fewer stores and services, even in populated areas. I don't know why this is, but an American city with 100,000 population has more stores, more selection etc. than a typical Canadian city of 1,000,0000.

    7. Sin taxes are much worse than the UK - particularly tobacco. If you use anything even slightly unusual there, be prepared to have to import it AND pay really exorbitant duties. Liquor and beer are also very heavily taxed, even compared to the UK (as far as I understand).

    8. Gasoline is also pricey because of Provincial and Federal taxes, but cheaper than the UK. Things like engine oil are FAR cheaper in Canada (but still more than in the US, even when it is made here).

    9. Telecommunications is pricey compared to the US - don't know compared to Britain. Generally it is a lack of decent competition. A lot of internet service is very slow (again, you are talking about moving to the Maritimes, not Toronto).

    10. Public transportation is...disappointing in most mid to smaller Canadian locales. Again, not a problem in Toronto or Montreal, but Halifax? Expect to wait a long time on most of those buses. For most places, you will need to have a car, so factor that into your calculations (along with winter tires, if you are smart). Yes, there is more space, but that means you have to travel further too.

    11. Fresh fruit and veggies are hard to come by, especially in the winter. Everything is picked unripe and shipped the long and slow way. I cannot compare to the UK, but in
    Germany, I found the fruit and veggies MUCH better overall.
    ===


    Yeah I knew most of these but thank you very much. All seems liveable. No biggies there. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    If it was me moving a long distance like your planning.

    I would look into house swapping with someone in Nova Scotia.

    You can find a few sites that have plenty of members that do house swapping.

    Or at the very least, go rent a house for a few months before moving all your belongings, etc...
    Yeah we will rent for the first 6 -12 months to be 100% sure.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the time your effort and your replies.Some great advice/tips and info. here. Appreciate it.

    Val.S.....you went above and beyond THANK YOU! But thanks to everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    Yes there is and I have been on that for a couple of years..just wanted to get a diffrent crowds tips/advice.

    (Isn't there a UK expat Canada forum on the net? Ask there. You'll get your answers.)
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    As we make $$'s from the Net and home I have alot more freedom than most. Isn't his one of the huge draws of maknig money like this? "Work anywhere in the world we want.."

    I know we will give it ago. As one said worse case you do not like it and move back. I'd rather go...fail and know for sure than be "an old man with regrets..." So I'll take a "leap of faith." (watching too much Inception :-) )

    I'll let you know how it goes....Proably 12-18 months away. Baby 2 on way in 5 weeks...Gulp.

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    I have lived and worked in the UK for a number of years and almost moved to Canada more than 10 years ago. I stayed there for a few months but I just wasn't able to find any work over there and decided to go back to Hong Kong instead. I wasn't prepared to be sent to a farflung place to be retrained as a doctor with no guarantee of getting a job. Even then, I would earn less than half than I would in Hong Kong. However, a few doctors I knew were prepared to sacrifice a huge chunk of their income in order to stay there and I can understand why. Hong Kong is one of the most greedy places on earth and is also one of the most densely populated. It also suffers from air pollution from China. It is simply very tense living over here. Everyday, people are worried about property, stock, and currency prices and it sometimes look as if everybody else is out to scam you.

    But I feel that you really must stay there for a short while first before making a final decision. Also, you should really go there for right reasons and I am not entirely convinced about your case for property prices. Firstly, property prices vary enormously between different parts of Canada as they do in the UK. There are definitely countries with lower property prices than Canada. Another thing you really have to find out is how to get a mortgage in Canada. There may well be problems for residents who are not yet citizens. If I remember corrrectly, you have to stay there for 4 years before you can become a citizen.

    As to the point about population density. I have not been to Newfoundland but it feels much more crowded in big cities such as Toronto and Vancouver compared to big cities in the UK. In the downtown area, you suddenly get huge high rises shooting up. The malls are quite crowded as well. I have driven from Toronto to New York and Ottawa and it is not as easy as driving on the motorways in the UK.

    Best of luck

    Derek
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    It sounds like you already know what you need to do and have decided for all the right reasons.
    If you're seeking a bit of a safety net, I would advise moving as close to Windsor as possible. That way, you can cross the bridge into Michigan whenever you want, and if Canada isn't "doing it" for you, the United States may be an option.
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    • Profile picture of the author waterotter
      Originally Posted by sparkie2260 View Post

      It sounds like you already know what you need to do and have decided for all the right reasons.
      If you're seeking a bit of a safety net, I would advise moving as close to Windsor as possible. That way, you can cross the bridge into Michigan whenever you want, and if Canada isn't "doing it" for you, the United States may be an option.
      You couldn't pay me to live there. I know a lot of people from Windsor, but they cottage here, then go south for the winter. Some of them enjoy staying here once the snow arrives.
      There are many places to live along the border that are not as "citified" as Windsor.
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  • Profile picture of the author I.M.Retired
    Sloanjim: I just found another link that might be of interest to you. I have no idea how I came across this site. However, it's a lovely site and a great read written by an experienced British expat:

    About Us, why we left England and how we settled in Southern Ontario - About Us
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  • Profile picture of the author jayauthor
    Sloanjim: I live in Canada and over the last 10 years I have lived in at least 4 countries. Based on this experience I can say that Canada is the friendliest place on the earth! Of course there are some challenges like any other country, but overall this is a great place.

    I have many friends who moved here from UK and they don't want to go back to UK now.

    All the best if you move to Canada,
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    • Profile picture of the author belgianguy
      38% taxes, that's sweet! Wish we had that in Belgium. Here it's 54% and they are thinking about raising it to 62%.
      I am currently considering moving to the US.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarahberra
    Canada might be a good option. The U.S. is still a good choice for now, but the U.S. is going more towards socialism. They are constantly raising taxes and eventually it could be the same as Europe. I am watching my country going down the toilet. Most people have no clue what's going on. Capitalism is being destroyed brick by brick. The gov is taking over one industry after another and now they are after the airlines. The small business man is being stepped on. I really don't like this!! I would take Capitalism over socialism or communism any day.
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author waterotter
      That is so not true.
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      • Profile picture of the author waterotter
        Originally Posted by waterotter View Post

        That is so not true.
        Sorry, I was replying to thunderbird's post (which has disappeared) saying Canadians are "cold".
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        • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
          Originally Posted by waterotter View Post

          Sorry, I was replying to thunderbird's post (which has disappeared) saying Canadians are "cold".
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  • Profile picture of the author andybeveridge
    Is it really easy to move to Canada? If you make your living of the Internet like I do, it probably is not easy to be accepted. Is there a figure that you have to have in your bank account?
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  • Profile picture of the author AvD555
    Why Canada,Try somewhere in the Balkans
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    Canada's all right, but not the utopia folks around the world often envision.
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    • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
      Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

      Canada's all right, but not the utopia folks around the world often envision.
      Canada's like democracy: crappy, but better than the alternatives
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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    I've lived all over Canada, and spent 5 beautiful years in the maritimes, in Halifax, NS.

    The one negative I can think of, is that the politics is as nuts, bananas and crackers as anywhere else. For awhile I was working in Ottawa, on the English side of the river, but living in Quebec, French side. It didn't take long to get tired of a French/English issue in the local news every day. Actually that happened about the first day.

    But even the politics is no worse than most places, and is less corrupt than a lot of them.

    I was only in London, England for a month so not much experience there, but I would choose Canada. Not even a close call or something I would spend a lot of time thinking about.

    It is also a lot wealthier than the States. The average family here is worth $22,000 USD more than the average US family. (Last stats I read, about 3 years ago) Most people have the older version of those stats fixed in their heads, but the American Dream has moved north.
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  • Profile picture of the author andybeveridge
    Is it possible to spend a year there? if you have the money to look after yourself?
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  • Profile picture of the author I.M.Retired
    Andy: You sound serious about wanting to come to Canada. Why not check out the official immigration page by the Canadian Government to see what you can and cannot do.

    Main site:

    Welcome Page | Page d'accueil

    Here's the link to the Temporary Resident Visa information:

    Visiting Canada

    Some good info here:

    Visiting Canada: Who is eligible

    Hope your find something suitable! There's lots of good information on that site.
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