Looking Back on Our First Six Months in Canada
As the saying goes, time really flies when you’re enjoying. Six months ago, we landed in a cold and unfamiliar country called Canada. We’ve been waiting for this since that day in EDSA. We were excited, nervous and to some extent, afraid. Having a job before arriving here somehow alleviates our doubts and fears.
Our First Few Weeks in Canada
Mainly, our first few weeks in Canada is the getting-to-know stage. We have to finish most of the post landing activities in two weeks since I have to start work after that. We made friends along the way. In my opinion, building your network may it be in work and personal will help you a lot during your adjustment period. Reaching out to relatives, friends, friend of friends and looking for a community are some of the ways to build your network.
We also squeezed in a few trips to some of the nearby tourist spots in Toronto. We went to the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and Toronto Centre Island. The three of us braved the cold and visit nearby towns and malls that are easily reachable by public transportation.
After Six Months
As permanent residents (PR) in Canada, we have accomplished the following in six months:
- Secured our Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Applied for a new comer bank account and credit card
- Got a G1 driver license (I failed my first road test and hopefully I will pass the second one)
- Applied for Child Tax benefit (CTB) previously
Having a car here in Canada is a need especially for people who live outside Toronto. We are very blessed to have found work and our home in the City so having a car is really not needed for now. Going outside of the city is hard and expensive though. We are lucky to have good friends who are always willing to give us a ride.
Owning our own home is really not an option in the next three years as prices of real estate here in Toronto are really high. Monthly rent is a little bit high too, but it depends on location. Our monthly hydro (electricity rates) is almost the same with what we are paying in the Philippines. Water and heating (during the cold months) is covered by our monthly rental fee.
The farthest we have been in Canada is in Niagara which is around 140 km from Toronto. It’s as far as our trip from Manila to Tayabas Quezon in the Philippines, only it took us only 1.5 hours to go there compared to the usual 4 hours in the Philippines. The Niagara Falls is so majestic that you can stare at it for hours without getting bored.
We have seen and experienced three seasons already (spring, summer and fall). In the past few weeks, we have been busy completing our winter gears. Most of these items such as the winter jackets and boots are expensive but there are a lot of discounted items available all year round so Karen (my wife) is always on the lookout for them.
Living in Canada has been a really good experience for us so far. Except for the times when we miss our loved ones in the Philippines, most of the days here are fun because of friends and the good people that surround us. You can only repay other people’s kindness by paying it forward. I can’t wait for the time when I’ll be the one helping new comers here in Canada just like the way our friends helped us.
We are looking forward to seeing real snow, although as per the people here, we’ll enjoy it for the first few days and hate it the rest of our stay here. We’ll decide after we’ve done an obligatory snow angel picture.
I’m also looking forward to weekend trips which are really hard to do when you have a toddler, you only have a student license and you have no car. God willing, I’ll get my G2 by end of November.
In five years, I’m hoping to have my own car, my own home, become a citizen and have my own business here. As per our first host here, “Canada is good country for hardworking people” and I plan to work hard enough so most, if not all of my experiences and stories looking back will be a good one.
Im so proud of being a ninang to you both. You are hard working couple and so brave to take the risk in living in the other part of the world away from your comfort zone. I will pray for your successful life and and with Gods guidance i know nothing is impossible.
Thanks Ninang. 🙂 God bless.
great! can’t wait for my turn and to be with my family!
Welcome to Canada in advance bro. 🙂
Thanks for writing these blogs. Regards to you and your family. i have been given confirmation of permanent residence (copr) and it says “city of destination: Toronto”. It could be because i mentioned in my application the province i wish to settle in as Ontario. My question is if i need to travel to Toronto only to secure my visa stamping etc or i could go to any other airport in Canada. I have a US travellers visa (which i secured from india itself). so another way of journey could be i go from new delhi to new york and travel by road to canada. i qualified in the NOC as a legal administrative assistant. which place in ontario do you think i will find good jobs at? i am not looking at quebec as an option since its very francophone. best,
Thanks. I think you can go to any other airport and even do border crossing through land. I have no much info about this but I think some people did it when I was doing my research.
I am in the IT industry and I actually don’t have any idea about your industry, try doing some research, reach out to people in Linkedin in your industry, check the job market. Nowadays, it’s not so hard to do it. Good luck and I wish you well.
thanks for the suggestions. i am beginning to do some homework.
Thank you so much for your posts, very encouraging. I got my PPR just a week ago, and now I am thinking about settlement, I am surprised to read that you already had a job before you arrived. May I ask how you managed that?
Any advise you can offer on this would be greatly appreciated.
I wrote it here: http://kulasangeles.com/how-i-got-a-full-time-job-in-canada/
Congrats for getting your PPR.
Hi Kulas, Thanks for this excellent writeup.
I am also from IT industry with 7years exp in as software engineer and received canadian PR visa. Just wanted to know on how did you apply and what docs you produced to get the job before landing to canada.
I also want to get a job before coming to canada so any tips or help would be very useful.
Thanks once again ?
Congratulations in getting your PR visa. I wrote a blog about this http://kulasangeles.com/how-i-got-a-full-time-job-in-canada/ check it out.
Good luck and welcome to Canada in advance.
Ive been reading this blog for a while as I prepare to move to Toronto with my family. Registering in JVS and doing pre-arrival prep. Booked a temporary place to stay too. I stumbled upon your page and noticed that the place you got is quite conducive for a family of 3-4. I wanna ask if that’s in the North York area?
And if what’s the name of the condo/bldg. I may look into it potentially once we are there. Ive read the York area is a safer and quiet area in the GTA. Did you get an agent to help you out?
Thanks for reading my blogs. Our first house was somewhere west. Then we moved in to an apartment in bloor street east since my work is near there.
North York is generally peaceful, although my agent always tell me to be wary of housing/condo/apartment units near any university.
Welcome to Canada. 🙂