So far, so good

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visaplace.com            
Subject: So far, so good
  Landed last September and have partially moved (to Ontario). Still have a place in Chicago though, so am living here for a while then there. I think I´m among the few U.S. citizens immigrating there on this board. Some observations:

1) Canadians everywhere always very polite, nice, and helpful.
2) Everything´s really expensive compared to the states.
3) Fewer choices in shops and stores compared to states.
4) Government regulates almost everything (to my liking).
5) Tax on everything (goods/services) is high - 14% in Ontario
6) TV is a lot more intelligent than in the states, especialy CBC.
7) Lots of anti-American satire on TV (mostly at Bush/Republicans).
8) Parliamentary system is fascinating (and more democratic I think).
9) Government health care is very efficient with no waiting for walk-in service at the hospital.
10) Everything´s written in French, so you spend half the time finding the English section.
11) Everyone I met seems to end every second sentence with "eh?".

Best of luck to all coming up from the states, it´s most definitely worth it.

[25-12-2006,00:31]
[**.47.169.54]
Richard
(in reply to: So far, so good)
It is a really good summary, thanks.
Some time it is very hard to make a decition between these two countries, in your case, what exactly do you mean ´it´s most definitely worth it´ ? if you don´t mind to share with us.

[25-12-2006,01:41]
[**.164.205.18]
Wang
(in reply to: So far, so good)
Hi Richard,

This is Brian. I have not been on the forum for quite some time now. Good to know that you are liking the decision you made.

Just wondering, have you found yourself a job yet?
also, did you buy a house ? if yes, since you do not
have any credit history in Canada yes, was this a problem..

Plese let me know and do keep sharing your experience.
Also, I think you moved there with your family, so are your children liking it too

Brian

[25-12-2006,02:29]
[**.218.164.26]
Brian
(in reply to: So far, so good)
Hi,
Richard was right regarding the 5 th point.We have just spent 28 hrs in Canada.
We landed and went straight to Niagara City,taken a hotel(Motel).The room rent was 79 $CD and the tax was 14%. We have paid 101 $ CD odd for a single night.When enquired abt the taxes,the hotel guys told that it was 14% through out CA.Came back to US last night,went to Niagara falls on the US side,enquired about the hotels,we were getting a better hotel with much lesser rates.

Apart from the expensive part,the people in Canada are very friendly and polite.There is no much difference we found out while driving or going around in Canada,apart from the english Metrics which is followed in Canada.
We are planning to move to Canada sometime next yr.
The food joints in Canada and US are almost the same.

Good Luck Every one.


[25-12-2006,03:24]
[**.223.136.99]
Mamtha
(in reply to: So far, so good)
Brain,

No job yet but fortunately have enough to tide over for a while. You touch upon a good point that is often voiced here regarding finding jobs. From what I´ve seen, that is quite true. You must have the right skills and have some luck. I did receive an offer in Totonto (IT job) but decided rather to live in a smaller town 500 miles west and take my chances on employment there. The congestion, traffic, pollution, and rising crime of Toronto did not appeal.

And yes, you´re aboslutely right, credit is a huge problem for Amercians moving to Canada. No matter how excellent and long your credit history in the states, it means nothing in Canada. Canadian credit card companies have no access to your U.S. credit history and treat you like a teenager just out of high school. Fortunately, American Express agreed to transfer my U.S. card to their Canadian subsidiary.

In my case bought a small place by cash, but you´re right, getting a mortgage would have been a huge problem given the credit history problem for non-Canadians. No kids here, just spouse.

Wang,

For me it was "most definitely worth it" because Canada matches my lifestyle and attitude much more than the states. I realize that´s a personal thing, but I think most people coming from other places in the world will feel better in Canada than the U.S. It has a lot more social benefits and seems more of an organized society tahn the free-for-all Darwinian system in the states. But again, this is a personal choice.

Mumtha,

I didn´t realize it was 14% across all of Canada. I had heard Alberta has no PST (provinical sales tax), only GST of 8% (federal).


[25-12-2006,16:42]
[**.47.169.54]
Richard
(in reply to: So far, so good)
Richard,

Well said, yes, it is a personal choice and I have to experience it by myself so that I may know the difference.

Thanks again and Good Luck to you!

[25-12-2006,17:24]
[**.164.205.18]
wang
(in reply to: So far, so good)
Yes, in Alberta, you are only charged the GST which is 6%....and no PST so that probably makes most things inexpensive in Albera than the other Provinces, but I have to say prices are still lower in the States (NJ and SC at least).

But as Richard said...it´s all worth it :)

[25-12-2006,19:02]
[**.145.79.125]
Joe05
(in reply to: So far, so good)
Hi Richard,

Good to hear from you. I agree that job situation is not that bad, but you have to have the right skills and contacts. This is why it took me so long to move there, but now the moment of truth is here and I have to land before March. I can actually go there and return to work in the US,but this is not why I applied to become a canadian resident at first place, so will finally move there by April this year.

I like the social welfare system there. I have set aside abt $10k for settlement, and hope this would be enough.

If you do not mind, around what range did the house cost
you ? I don´t think it will work for me because I will be living around toronto.. so can´t pay the full amt down.

Plese keep posting in.

Brian

[26-12-2006,02:53]
[**.218.164.26]
Brian
(in reply to: So far, so good)
Brian,

That was true for me too. It´s hard to end everthing in the states and start all over again in another country, even though Canada was the destination of choice. You make friends, get familiar with places and neighborhoods, etc., and then have to establish that all over agian. That´s why still have a foot in the door, back in Chicago. Since March is coming up, you should at least land soon and complete the official requirement. You can then take your time a bit in finding a place and moving.

Toronto is a good city for jobs and opportunities, and sounds like a good choice for you. I took a risk by trying a smaller town but with less job opportunities. As far as my house cost, it definitely didn´t cost anywhere near the $378,406 average price for a bungalow in Toronto that I saw in a recent survey of housing costs in Canada. A similar typical house in Vancouver by the way was $707,500 according to the survey (yipes!).

If I were moving to Toronto, would have to get a mortgage. Since you have a job, you should be able to get that based on your income and salary. Another advanatage to Toronto is that there´s a lot more to see and do in terms of city life - arts, entertainmnet, etc. This I´ll probbaly miss coming from Chicago. But my locale is more known for wilderness, natural scenerey, and outdoor activities, which is great too.

In any event, please keep us posted on your progress.





[26-12-2006,13:28]
[**.47.169.54]
Richard
(in reply to: So far, so good)
Hi Richard,

Thanks for you response. Yes, I am planning to land soon,no
point in waiting until the last day. Yes, Toronto I have heard is more or less like NY, and I like NY very much. The cost of living as you would expect is high in Toronto.

Yes, I will keep you posted on my progress.

Brian

[30-12-2006,03:31]
[**.218.164.26]
Brian
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