Moving to Canada from Europe, experience anyone?

I am getting more and more fed up with the quality of life in the UK…

I don’t wish to get into a debate regarding this, I am patriotic, damn proud of my country’s achievements and work for the Ministry of Defence in a job I love. But things aint what they used to be. There that’s the disclaimer out of the way!

My job means that I am only at home for four month of the year, the rest I work at sea. So there is no real need for me to based in the UK (Many collegues live around the world) or to get a job in Canada. However I have a young family so merely having a live fast, die young life style - tempting as it is, just won’t do. I need stability damn it.

In Canadian Dollars my salary is around $52000p/a

In the UK this will barely buy a small two bedroom house whith a pocket hankercheif as a garden, house prices having rose by over 140% on average over the last ten years!

have any dopers moved to Canada from UK or Europe? how easy is the process, considering I will not require a Canadian job? Will that even make a difference?
Any help would me much appreciated.

P.s I’ve asked Sgt Colon, he says them over the pond is wierd… :slight_smile:

Looking for shared experiences? Best found in IMHO. Moving this to help you.

samclem GQ moderator

Sorry… after I posted :smack:

You can see if you’re likely to gain admittance by taking this simple test.
It only asks about your skills, not whether you’re going to have to look for work, but I suspect it’s not a concrete answer, only a guide.

House prices: I was recently looking at houses in Ottawa just out of curiosity when visiting friends and roughly speaking prices were a half to two thirds of the price of a comparable sized house in the UK. Of course I’ve no idea if these were good or bad neighborhoods, so take that with a pinch of salt.

Good luck. Damn nice folk those Canadians.

$52,000 would be enough to get you a house, but it’s dependent on where you live. If you lived in Toronto, no, you probably could not buy a decent house. If you lived in rural Nova Scotia you could buy a nice house.

It’s almost the rule in “moving to Canada” threads that the first thing to be pointed out is the sheer, unimaginable scale of Canada. It’s not a “Country” in the sense you understand it; it’s a nation state that occupies a continent and the great majority of it is empty, with little islands of major cities here and there. Consequently you have your choice of living in many different sorts of places, which can vary wildly in terms of economic situation. A $52K salary will net you a nice house in Truro, a small condo in Toronto, and in Calgary you’ll find nothing at all because nothing’s available. In fact, your $52K salary won’t even be the same in those places because tax rates from province to province can be very, very different. Having said all that, $52K in Canada (I assume you mean 52 thousand Canadian dollars) is okay, but not fantastic. It will go further here than it does in the UK, to be sure, but not THAT far.

You can’t just move in, unfortunately, you’ll have to prove your case. If you have an established job, that will help a lot; you also speak English, another big plus. But you need to speak to a legitimate immigration expert because it’s kind of complicated.

You make about the same as I do. After taxes, this boils down to around $3000 per month.

Here’s an idea of living expenses in Toronto.

I live in Toronto and have a small studio apartment three blocks from the sewage-treatment plant. I pay a little less that $700 per month.

Rents or mortgages for houses and large (two-bedroom and more) apartments start at about $1000 and go up as far as you can see. Townhouses just up the street went for more than $600,000 three years ago; I think that works out to about $1600 or $2000 a month.

I do not own a car. If I wanted to, I could; but it would basically take up all the spare income that I now use for savings and computer stuff. Financing for new small cars starts at about $220 per month for a 48-month or even 60-month loan; this does NOT include insurance or operating costs. I believe that the average cost of operating a new car in Canada is around $7000 per year.

Now, these costs represent living in the big city, where stylish accommodation often means the equivalent of a large walk-in closet on the 47th floor. (“It has granite countertops in the kitchen!” “But I can touch both walls with my outstretched arms!”)

Outside Toronto, living expenses are a LOT cheaper. You can rent a two-bedroom house in Bancroft, Ontario, for $500 per month. This is about an hour’s drive from Belleville, or the military base at Trenton.

Where will you want to be based? You may be able to rent accommodations for the times you are home.

I belive there are residency requitrements: as a new “landed immigrant”, you have to be in Canada for three out of every five years or something like that. I could be wrong.

Mrs Nobbs is currently training to become a teacher, so our combined income should, in a couple of years be more flexible. My daughter is too young to move at the moment anway, being a chubby 6 month.

I didn’t realise tax varied from state to state, that is a new concept! tax can get complicated with my job as I wouldn’t be in the UK for 6 months of any year I wouldn’t pay tax there, not sure how the rules work in Canada though… would have been easier to be a doctor!

Oh these residency requirements don’t sound friendly at all. A big city isn’t a requirement at all. Small/Medium town with good schools and such would be more to my liking. I would need to have quite good links to airports to get back to UK for work.Other than that, I can’t speak French (I have Tried)

I guess Montréal is out, then… :slight_smile:

The Government of Canada on A Newcopmer’s Guide to Canada. Of course, that assumes that they have already let you in. Here’s the page describing classes of immigration. It is no longer like my grandfather’s time, when we were all British subjects.

province to province. States are south of where you want to go.

Sorry about the state comment. But many thanks for the posts.

If not Canada, how about elsewhere in Europe? As a UK subject, you can relocate to just about anywhere on the Continent with no bother or fuss about working papers or any of that, right? At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work in theory.

I would like to move to a country with a familiar way of doing things, I know its very small minded (Especially as I have complained about how life in the UK is going). I think I could get by with few problems in most English speaking countries.

Also one of my major problems seems to be in learning language, even down to learning morse code for work. At school I learnt French and German for five years and struggled, and by buggery I did try, but to no avail.

From Mrs Nobbs point of view, I imagine she would be able to find a teaching job in a English speaking country, than say Italy.

How about somewhere warm that speaks English, like Australia or Belize? :slight_smile:

Now see, I’m from the North of England I like my seasons… None of this hot and dry, then hot and a tad humid nonesense!

I guess Santa Monica would be right out.

Though the substantial expat community would make you feel right at home.

You’ll love Canada, it’s a great country. I know many from England who now enjoy a life here. Most find it much less costly than U.K.

If you need any direction questions about general lifestyle answered, I’d be happy to.

Hey there, not sure if this discussion has changed your mind about moving, but thought I’d give you some perspective and costs for the West.

I live in Calgary. Housing is almost non-existent and many are building in the new communities, with build wait times nearing 18 months (I’ve even heard two years!). Depending upon the area that you prefer to live in, a single family, detached, double garage home, three bedrooms and small yard can range from $300,000 (very poor neighborhood) to $850,000 (very nice area). If you don’t mind living in the outlying communities, such as Chestermere, Airdrie or Okotoks, you’re looking at an average of $400,000. Condo’s seem to be the up and coming housing go-to and range from $1 million (low-end downtown) to $250,000 (far from downtown).

It’s a nice, growing city close to the mountains and prairies. You will almost certainly need a vehicle but some manage to use transit and chose to live closer to amenities. I have two vehicles and pay high insurance rates as I’m fairly young.

Oh, and we desperately need teachers here!

I moved here from a very small town in northern BC, population about 3500 or so. Housing there is much more affordable, with the average family home as described above costing around $120,000 or so. Fuel is more expensive, it’s cold in the winter, and you can expect a few feet of snow. You also get Northern Living Allowance to cover these extra costs. You definitely need a vehicle, as transit pretty much isn’t even a word up there.

Anyway, just wanted to give up my bit of knowledge!

I’d second the east coast for bang for buck , if you are having your salary paid by the MODUK . If anything I would get taxation advice before making the big jump across the pond.

Good luck in your move


I wonder if Eva Luna might have some expertise here?