Hi Steve - Haven't been watching most of the previous thread, but looked in this morning. The two weeks is, I think, a minimum vacation time. The norm in the US is two weeks but many jobs in Canada have more, generally depending on how long you've held a job or how good your bargaining unit is. The Food Bank where I worked for many years gives 3 weeks. My daughter who works in a support role at BC Intstitute of Technology (BCIT) belongs to the same bargaining unit as the teachers and get 5 weeks each year even though she's only worked there since 2000. Most would be somewhere in between, I think.
most government and quasi government organizations give 3 weeks to start and 4 after 5 years
many large corporations do the same
most small companies are more like the US and give the minimum 2 and 3 weeks after 5 years.
Were coming to Canada for our vacation next October.
Arriving in Vancouver then going on to Kelowna. Is it better to fly or drive to Kelowna and can anybody recommend a place to stay when we get there?
While we are there we will be checking out housing and the job situation in both Kelowna and Vancouver. Kelowna is our first choice to live and work., but anywhere in that area will be just fine.
Hi Steve I live in Clearwater, B.C. now, but lived for many years in Kelowna. If your looking for some of the best driving scenery then by all means drive. Kelowna is quite large, so lots of places to stay.Will be the off season so should have no problem with accomodation. Not sure what the job market is like though.
Will give you all the information I can.
Steve, please be prepared to be flexible about location. My husband and I fell in love with Vancouver and the mountains after visiting friends there, but waited three years to get a job offer in Canada. When it came, it was from a company in Toronto. It was the only offer, so we took it anyway. Turned out to be the best move we ever made. This was 25 years ago, and I'm a happy Ontario gardener. So I guess what I mean to say is, B.C. is beautiful, but Canada is great all over!
Found out we can fast track the immigration system by having a job that is desperately needed over there. Time to upgrade my shunting unit license to full HGV (articulated lorry). More expense but it will be worth it to get there quicker.
Steve, you do know that in Canada we drive on the right side of the road, I hope? You'll have lots of fun learning not to panic when you are on the correct side, but someone drives towards you on the wrong side of the road and suddenly you can't remember which side you are supposed to be on. Then just as you get used to driving on the right, you go back to the UK for a visit and the same darned thing happens there. Lets see, what else have you got to look forward to...no roundabouts, but we have four-way stops, and in some places you can turn right on a red light. In Ontario, a flashing green traffic light means you have right of way, but does it mean the same in B.C. I wonder. And we have bi-lingual signs on the highways (Exit/Sortie, etc).
We have been on holiday to Las Vegas and Florida and I have driven in both places (mad drivers in Vegas. Only drove for a day there) In Florida for 2 weeks, the strangest bit was turning right on a red light. Over here I'm sure half the people who pass their driving test have half their brain removed!! When we have our vacation over there I am going to do as much driving as I can to get used to the different rules you have.
Steve, after driving in the UK for a couple of weeks, and in NZ for a month, the basics are the same. the driver is always closest to the centre line, and the passenger is always closest to the ditch. Our speed limit signs are in kph. turning right on a red light is OK unless theres a sign that says not to. We use a lot of the international signs, that are just pictures, ie a stop sign in a circle with a line through it means no stopping, but you k.ow that already. I think once you get here, you'll not find driving a problem. Our roads are probably wider than yours too.
I have always driven where ever we go. Australia, Florida, Las Vegas. Las Vegas was very scary, first time driving on the right and in a left hand drive car. Wasn't a normal car either, was a Plymouth Prowler, bright yellow.
Latest update. Where I work they have sent out a memo about making half the workforce redundant (I think you say laying off) and I might be one of them :o( Good news is I should be starting my HGV (L1 + air brakes) driving lessons soon, and the sooner I pass the tests the sooner we will be over there. Am applying for a job with Kindersley Transport Ltd. Anyone heard if them?
This is the pile of *@~#£%$ (nearest I can get to cussing and not being kicked) that I drive at work for shunting work.
Don't worry, it is used on a private site not on the open road. I used to be the safety officer in my area and I checked every health and safety book on lorrys and it broke every rule, and we are still using it.
I've never lived in Edmonton, but I hear there's just about every extreme you can think of to its weather. I'll leave it to an Albertan to fill you in on details.
Christine, in far more temperate South Ontario
I am a former native of Edmonton - this is a city where the residents are encouraging global warming. We could actually build igloos as a kid and have them last all winter long, anything south of Calgary it would not be worth the trouble due to chinooks. Due to oil prices at the moment Calgary is experiencing housing & daycare shortages. Personally I believe that you can find a job in any city in Alberta, I would not go further north then Calgary (however if you like hockey the ONLY team to support are the Oilers) to darn cold too long. With the chinooks (anything south of Calgary) you will have a few days or weeks of spring like weather in the middle of winter. It is a dry climate that some people have trouble getting used to. Hope that helps.
the weather is great if you love sunshine, long summer days, and clear dry air. sure we have it pretty cold for a few stretches in the winter but we dress for it. there are 4 distinct seasons to enjoy.
aside from weather Alberta offers great schools, wonderful recreational opportunities, great arts scene, friendly people, virtually zero unemploymenht, wide open spaces very close to large urban centres, spectacular scenery, great gardening, ...
i love this province and this city wouldn't live anywhere else
Where we are in Kent (50 miles from London) the cost of living is very high and so are the house prices. With our searches on the internet for houses, university (for our daughter) and work, St Albert in Edmonton seems the ideal place to start our new life.
I have been reading your threads , I too came from England.
I was only 6 when I arrived in 1963 with my parents and two little sisters. My folks wanted a better life and I think we have been very blessed and am proud to say I am Canadian, I too wouldn't live anywhere else. I spent 1 year in California and really missed the snow and change of season.
I love the long summer days when you can be outside gardening from early in the morning till 11 pm at night and still see what you are doing. The cold winter with bright blue skys beat rainy grey days for me!
My Mom Dad and sisters have migrated to Calgary and I am happy to stay here where the gardening is better. The Chinooks wreak havoc on plants.
Edmonton has a fabulous river valley to play in and has excellent theater. We also have a festival of one kind or another all summer.
Anyway there are many other places in Canada that would fit this description you won't be sorry about coming here, I know my folks never thought about going back.
St Albert is a great place and it's growing so fast it's almost at Edmonton already!.
You may find a home in the very north west of Edmonton for less money. Also if you are looking for a trucking job they seem to have a lot in Nisku which is inbetween Edmonton and Leduc. There are some small towns that have great amenities and would be close , Beaumont comes to mind.
For some reason I think you were wanting to be close to the university, is this so?
Have you determined the driving time from St Albert to the University?
I know that Sherwood Park which is east of Edmonton has a bus service directly to the university. I'm not sure what the St Albert city offers. In any case I live minutes from the U of A and houses here have become quite dear. Very small homes (two bedrooms with about 700-900 sq feet) are currently at 300-400 thousand. Most of these have basements. I have been here for over 25 years so got in when things were more reasonable.
Currently the City is expanding their light rail (train) system to go to the South side and that system stops at the U of A and goes up to the north east side . This would give your daughter good access to the University.
I would be happy to answer any question you have and if I don't have the answers direct you to a site that would.
As an outsider I would highly recommend Edmonton. What a city, what an economy, what a place of nice people, and most importantly what a terrible garden zone. Sorry Lynn but I would need a little more gardening season. But I do love Edmonton. Good travels Veshengo. Steve.
Hey kooger. Lindsay is about 160 miles (200 km) northeast of Blyth. We are located about 25 km east of Goderich, and Goderich is right on the shore of Lake Huron. I've included the mapquest map for the trip from Blyth to Lindsay so you can see.
Yes Feb 2007. Only me and my wife are coming, it will be easier to do what we want. We will be there 24th Feb - 3rd March. Basically this is a recon mission, to check out where everything is and have a good look round, eg. University, shops, amenities. I would be nice to see what the houses are like and the areas available, but we won't be looking at any real estate at the moment.
Long time away from here, computer has broken down. Am using my sons at the moment.
Good news...Have passed my HGV2 test. Now I can drive ridged trucks, all I have to do is pass the next one (HGV1) the we can start out great adventure.
We came over and visited Edmonton last week (24th Feb-3rd March) and had a wonderful time. We were there when Mark Messier retired his number at Winston Churchill Square on the 27th Feb and froze in the -20 chill factor.
We are hoping to come back in the summer for two weeks and will rent an apartment this time.
From what we saw we are thinking to relocate to the Sherwood Park area, but we will have a good look round when we return.
Well, if -20 didn't scare you off, you're all set. We came over from Wales and went to Eldorado in northern Saskatchewan. Had to fly in and out... very remote. I was 9 and that same winter I stuck my tongue on the school bus window frame. Yep. It stuck. Yowww! That hurt like heck to peel it off, I think all my taste buds stayed there! LOL Do you have kiddies? Tell them not to do that. Or, better yet, do not even mention it!
Thank you. We had a wonderful time and we survived the -20 chill with easy (Helen says it was bloody cold!!!!) Driving in the snow was fun but it was a different type of snow to ours. We have a damp atmosphere (big word alert) here and the snow forms a hard crust and sets like ice and we have to scrape it off. Your snow is better. Dry air (small word, Big ones give me a headache) and the snow is powder and can be sweeped of the cars with ease.
Will let you know when we come out next, and will look forward to meeting.
Wow, Steve... I just read thru this whole post for the first time today so learned of all your adventures. First, let me say I'm sorry to hear about your job loss. I personally know how scary that can be as I was laid off from Ford Motor Co. last year. It is a nerve-wracking and scary time, isn't it. I have to commend you for your bravery. Relocating to a new country is a HUGE decision. I hope only the best for you. At least you picked a GREAT country to come to. I am in the most southern area in Canada. Its a big country with lots of diversity but anywhere you go, people are always welcoming and friendly. Good Luck and God Bless all of you in your move and the adventures to come.
Hi I have come into this thread late, I left the UK in the seventies, following hubby who went first in the 60's and we came back to the UK in 2000. We lived just outside Vancouver.
I may be telling you something you know but just in case...are you aware you can swap your British Driving License for Canadian one, and vica versa if you come back. If anyone else is reading this who needs to know, there is reciprocal agreement between Canada and the UK and it simply a matter of paperwork.
There is a problem coming this way though if you have older kids who get their license and may want to swap.
The UK ask for proof that you took your test in a manual car, this doesn't happen in Canada as they don't discriminate between the two types of car. When we came back we had to take auotmatic licenses in nthe Uk even though we had driven manuals for 30 years and taken our tests there on same, we of course could not prove it, despite all knds of letters from our Canadian insurance and clean driving licenses the UK would not budge, the choice was auotomatic ot take a UK test..we took the automatic.The really silly part was that we could drive on our Canadaian licenses for a year in the Uk before we decided and we drove manuals on them which was legal.
It is worth knowing as perhaps one can get a declaration at the time of the test from the examiner that the UK would then accept.
You will enjoy BC, I miss it very much.
As I havebeen both ways, of you need any help on what topack and take and what to leave and buy fresh there I may be able to help you.
Hi Veshengo, I think you can drive for a year, certainlly coming this way you can so it is probably reciprocal.You do not need to retake your test in Canada, wll I think when you get very ancient they can requesy you take one, we had a relative that did, they passed her but only for driving in the daytime.You can apply for an International one if in doubt.
Packing boxes are expensive, watch Freecycle here, I often see them as give aways, or put a wanted on there. You can collect them ahead of time and flatten them.
When we came back we had a company pack us but some stuff I insisted on packing myself, they warned me I would not be covered for damages in those boxes. Funny, the only damage we had was in their ones!!
A good tip,this is funny, we brought a very large artificial Christmas Tree, we had paid $500 dollars for it the previous Christmas and that was half price .At first we thought it was too much to carry here but then figured out the cubic capacity an decided that with all the loose space around the branches we could get something else in the very big long box. Oh boy did we ever. We fitted allsorts in there ,long things like my four feet quilting rulers, doll stands, shoes, evetthing you can think of pushed in between the branches, but the funny thing was, the contents of two desks, pens, pencils rulers, staplers ,artist brushes, icing things,cotton bobbins, serger threads knitting wools ,needles. CDs videos,all the kitchen utensils and their hanging racks. all the stuff that we would have discarded got dropped in among the branches, then the box was sealed woth 2 strong rolls of gaffer tape. We saved £s and£s with that box, wh had a laugh sorting it at the other end though. My husband did the same thin with his workshop, We had an old wooden chest, he packed if full of tools till it could take no more then opened the jars he kept all his treasures little bits in..no room for the jars, but all the bits found a space all by them selves, so free carriage on those too.He just screwed the lid down and it travelled like that.If you have tools you know all the bits you have !!
When I went over to Canada I took some electrical stuff and had the moters changed, like my Kenwood Chef, when I came back here, I brought my sewing machines with me and I have run them off a converter for 6 years with no trouble.
Bear in mind, it is cheaper to get things over there than here, one mistake we did make was forgetting that when we came back here.
Think about things that yu can't get there that you might miss, you might want to take a stash of that with you.
Your videos and DVDs might not work there, if you have Pal you would have to buy a machine that would run them and I believe DVDs are different.
Take things like letters from your insurance companises showing your no claims on your car, insurance in BC is ICBC which is the province, there is no independant companies like here, ask companies you have dealt with here for letters of reference for credit, eg telephone, power, TV and credit cards, stores etc, they all come in useful. Some banks here are also there, but not many, HSBC is common in BC. If you go to Vancouver consider an account with Greater Vancouver Credit Union, they are online , they are excellent, we preffered them to the main banks.I will add other things as I think. If you want to phone me send me an e mail and I will give you the number.
wow veshengo, you are getting great advice; in alberta we do have private insurance companies and i am sure that reference letters from your existing insurance company and utilities would help (the fact that you will be driving for a living should also help)
we don't retest for road skills until you are over 80 i believe. We do start to require frequent eye tests however at about 65 i think.
Hi Veshengo, Don't know if you have changed your itinerary from Vancouver and Kelowna, or not, I see a lot of people trying to lure you up to Edmonton, lol, its a great city. Kelowna is very busy, but there isnt very much else like it in Canada, its really unique. Wineries and fruitgrowing everywhere. Average winter temp is about -5 or so. This is Southern B.C. for you. The senery in between is gorgeous. Vancouver is a stunner, lovely, and an English climate, it snows, for 3 days, then it rains. But Vancouver is a bit expensive. However, its very lively, very multicultural and just about EVERYTHING happens there.
One thing you might want to do is check out some Mountain Driving Institutes in B.C., we have a few here in the Kootenays, east of the Okanagan, where Kelowna is. Driving commercially here is lucrative, there is lots of need for good drivers, but I highly recommend some training for these mountain roads. They are not scary or anything, but there are a few things to pick up on here, you wont get in the UK. Good luck!
Its been a while because I've been busy with theatre work.
We are flying to Vancouver tomorrow for a visit to my sister-in-law who emigrated there in 2007.
Will be checking out the job situation as well as the leisure activities.
remember that you may have to change your drivers license to an international one if you dont want to take the course over again in canada it is not possible to change a license from one country to another