Author Topic: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)  (Read 4935 times)

FIPurpose

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #50 on: August 11, 2018, 01:48:06 PM »

It took until I was 30 to realize that “actuellement” doesn’t mean “actually” but instead means “currently”

FML

Same in Portuguese actually. (Lol)

Atualmente vs na realidade

Aminul

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #51 on: August 13, 2018, 07:33:52 AM »
Off the board suggestion:  Windsor, ON.  Okay, it's probably not as nice as London but you're a tunnel bus ride away from all of the big city amenities in Detroit.  The housing is cheaper in Windsor and the waterfront is gorgeous!

Thanks for the suggestion, @Aminul. Windsor is actually on our short list. Being from the upper Midwest, it's very close to our hometown, so that's a plus. Unfortunately we know no one that lives there and everyone we've talked to says bad things about Windsor. That usually makes me more inclined to check it out. :D

I lived there for three years while going to school, and I know a handful of folks that currently live in/around Windsor.  I really enjoyed my time there.  The riverfront is beautiful and there are trails that stretch from the very east end down to the bridge.  Having the bridge and tunnel there really do connect you to Detroit in a unique way.  It is incredibly easy to go over for a hockey/baseball game.  If you are concerned about Canadian winters, Windsor has it the easiest of any larger city in this area.  When London gets hammered with lake effect snow from Huron, Windsor stays wet and slushy.

For better or worse, city council has poured a ton of money into making Windsor into a "world class destination", specifically around sporting events (hockey and swimming).  I'm sure there are other similar investments that have worked to improve the city for folks coming in. 


Dee

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #52 on: August 15, 2018, 07:46:49 PM »
Chiming in for Ottawa! Though, admittedly, I too am drawn to the Great Lakes. Ottawa's got the Ottawa (or Outaouais) River which is super but...it's no Great Lake. Day trips to Kingston are not out of the question, though the distance does warrant spending the weekend for most folks. Same for Montreal. Closest border into the US is near town of Prescott into Ogdensburg, NY, a little over an hour away by car.

Probably no need for French at all, but you will hear it around you and will have opportunities to learn it if that's of interest.

There are a couple of repertoire theatres (the Bytowne and the Mayfair), lots of bookstores and libraries, lots of easy (flat) bicycling paths (but opportunities for hills in the nearby Gatineau Park).

I'm not sure about Kingston... last time I was there, I visited the (now closed down) Kingston Penn and that has probably (negatively) influenced my view of the place.

I've never been to Windsor. London does have the nice points mentioned above (plus lots of trees!).  If I was moving to Southern Ontario, though, I'd be looking at Niagara-on-the-Lake/St-Catherines/Niagara Falls region. Again, close to the US border (for you, not a consideration for me) but, really, some of the mildest winter in Canada with an early spring and the amazing splendour of the falls themselves (which are even greater than the Great Lakes, as far as I'm concerned).

One option that hasn't been mentioned that may be of interest to Great-Lakes loving people with an interest in a connection to the midwest is Thunder Bay.  I've never been but I've heard lots of good things, mostly about the natural beauty in the surroundings.

Shinplaster

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #53 on: August 15, 2018, 09:58:25 PM »
Born and raised in Thunder Bay.  If you like isolation, cold weather for months on end and expensive everything, this is the place.  4 hours to Duluth, Minn., I think 9 hours to Winnipeg, and a very long drive to Toronto.  Said trip in the winter could involve your entire engine freezing up while you are driving - yes, it gets that cold sometimes.  Flying everywhere costs a lot - the airlines don't discount much 'cause they don't have to.   Summertime is very pretty - the lake, the parks, Kakabeka Falls, the Finn restaurants, camping, hiking, all that good stuff.  Winter time is another story - not Hoth (Winnipeg gets the honour of that nickname), but pretty close. It's not as cold as it used to be 30 years ago, but still pretty frigid.   It was a great place to grow up, but I couldn't wait to get out.  I wouldn't recommend anyone move there without experiencing a winter first.   Although I will say they know how to plow streets there, unlike London.  Here they seem to have the attitude that Mother Nature gave us the snow, and she will take it away again eventually.

Funny - I lived in Kingston for almost 8 years, and rarely even drove by the Kingston Pen.  Don't let the Pen colour your opinion of Kingston Dee.  It really was (and hopefully still is) a lovely city.

nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #54 on: August 16, 2018, 05:40:28 AM »
Thanks and keep the info coming! It's very helpful to have multiple perspectives. I'd like to hear more about living frugally in these places… Do people live without cars? Are there good, free things to do in all seasons?

I'm getting discouraged about the immigration process, though. It seems we are short on points for the federal express entry system, so we're going to have to rely on a provincial nomination, which probably means we are limited to Ontario or PEI. Not sure what the odds of getting a nomination are, but i'm guessing not good. :(

freddyottawa

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #55 on: August 16, 2018, 06:23:07 AM »
I live in the east-end of Ottawa (Orleans) and work west of downtown (Westboro).

I own a car but almost never use it. The bus service is really good and I use my bike for a lot of my commuting (27km) as the cycling infrastructure is great.

You have to try quite hard in this city to live far away from grocery stores, shopping malls and recreation centres.

If you are looking to work locally and are in the tech field then you are likely going to want to live closer to the west-end of the city as that where many of those type of jobs tend to be.


RetiredAt63

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #56 on: August 16, 2018, 08:39:12 AM »
Old Thyme, Aunt Jemima, Mrs Butterworth, it's all awesome.  I prefer artificially flavoured corn syrup dyed brown on my pancakes to real maple syrup . . . which I believe is technically a form of high treason in this country.


:P

This is grounds for extradition.  Go back to where you came from, you . . . .

Seriously, all those brands you mention?  I'd rather put something else on my pancakes than those imitations.  Homemade jam, anyone?

Yes, I grew up in La Belle Province.  Maple syrup, smoked meat, bagels, good French cuisine, a civilized attitude towards alcohol consumption.  Good food is taken seriously in Quebec*.   Almost makes up for winter and politics.

*A few years ago a bunch of us went to the Twist Festival in Saint-André-Avellin, which is a small town (population 3,700). We went for lunch at a little bistro across from the Subway.  Potted tomatoes and herbs at the front door.  Lovely lunch, <$15.   We remarked that a town that size in Ontario would never have a restaurant like that.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #57 on: August 16, 2018, 08:53:19 AM »

Because there's a shared linguistic and cultural history, there are a number of words that seem like they should match up but don't (faux amis).  Location is a good example: in english it means 'where you are" while in french it refers to a rental (like a car rental). It leads to some pretty comical situations.


Yep.
Fuck me.

It took until I was 30 to realize that “actuellement” doesn’t mean “actually” but instead means “currently”

FML

"Rampant".  In French it is "creeping".  I think it was Pauline Marois who managed to send totally different messages - she called English in Quebec "rampant" - she meant creeping (sort of like poison ivy or kudzu, you know?) and Anglophones were all going - Rampant?  No way!" because of the different meaning.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #58 on: August 16, 2018, 09:04:01 AM »
I'm getting discouraged about the immigration process, though. It seems we are short on points for the federal express entry system, so we're going to have to rely on a provincial nomination, which probably means we are limited to Ontario or PEI. Not sure what the odds of getting a nomination are, but i'm guessing not good. :(
How short? Keep adjusting your answers until you qualify, then figure out how to get there. It's just a formula and therefore highly manipulable.

How does getting one more year of work experience help? What about going from knowing no French to knowing a little French?

nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #59 on: August 16, 2018, 09:18:12 AM »
How short? Keep adjusting your answers until you qualify, then figure out how to get there. It's just a formula and therefore highly manipulable.
How does getting one more year of work experience help? What about going from knowing no French to knowing a little French?

Well, the things i'm losing major points on aren't really under my control. Unless someone has a time machine.

I'm about 40-45 points shy of the typical cutoff for Express Entry. French isn't going to make up that difference.

Fireinthebelly

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #60 on: August 19, 2018, 08:47:34 AM »
Earning US $ and spending in Canadian $ is a big plus.  (currently a 30% bonus although things do cost slightly more in canada, but not 30% more)   Free healthcare (excluding prescription drugs) is a huge plus for FIRE.   Housing costs in canada are very high right now, we are in a multi-decade boom in real estate, so that may be a negative, but it's local market specific.     If you have children there is a very generous Canada Child Benefit that provides tax free payments to families up to 6000$ per year per child.  (it is prorated based on family income.)   Cost of food and consumer goods, is slightly higher in canada, so a slight negative.     University tuition (if you have kids you are saving for) is much lower.   Eating out, alcohol and gas, are all much higher in canada, but as a mustachian you probably don't consume too much of those ;)


nereo

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #61 on: August 19, 2018, 09:13:11 AM »

"Rampant".  In French it is "creeping".  I think it was Pauline Marois who managed to send totally different messages - she called English in Quebec "rampant" - she meant creeping (sort of like poison ivy or kudzu, you know?) and Anglophones were all going - Rampant?  No way!" because of the different meaning.

Either way she intended it, I'm pretty certain Pauline Marois did not use the word "rampant" as a positive description of english speakers in Quebec.
We're a scourge on the culture, and should be bred out, pushed out, marginalized and curtailed! Nevermind one cannot cleave the impacts (positive and negative) of four generations under english law, nor the latest 150 years as a province in a dominantly english country.  Quebec is, always has been and forever will be french, everything else is invasive!

Also, what do to about all these pesky first nation communities throughout the province?  We really must locate them before they drain our social services and pollute our culture.
:-P

RetiredAt63

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #62 on: August 19, 2018, 05:01:58 PM »

"Rampant".  In French it is "creeping".  I think it was Pauline Marois who managed to send totally different messages - she called English in Quebec "rampant" - she meant creeping (sort of like poison ivy or kudzu, you know?) and Anglophones were all going - Rampant?  No way!" because of the different meaning.

Either way she intended it, I'm pretty certain Pauline Marois did not use the word "rampant" as a positive description of english speakers in Quebec.
We're a scourge on the culture, and should be bred out, pushed out, marginalized and curtailed! Nevermind one cannot cleave the impacts (positive and negative) of four generations under english law, nor the latest 150 years as a province in a dominantly english country.  Quebec is, always has been and forever will be french, everything else is invasive!

Also, what do to about all these pesky first nation communities throughout the province?  We really must locate them before they drain our social services and pollute our culture.
:-P

You certainly got immersed in Quebec culture while you were there!

Much as I loved living in Quebec (and grew up there) I am just fine living in Ontario, never going back.  I didn't move to Ontario for political reasons, but I won't go back because of the politics.

nereo

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #63 on: August 19, 2018, 05:58:53 PM »

"Rampant".  In French it is "creeping".  I think it was Pauline Marois who managed to send totally different messages - she called English in Quebec "rampant" - she meant creeping (sort of like poison ivy or kudzu, you know?) and Anglophones were all going - Rampant?  No way!" because of the different meaning.

Either way she intended it, I'm pretty certain Pauline Marois did not use the word "rampant" as a positive description of english speakers in Quebec.
We're a scourge on the culture, and should be bred out, pushed out, marginalized and curtailed! Nevermind one cannot cleave the impacts (positive and negative) of four generations under english law, nor the latest 150 years as a province in a dominantly english country.  Quebec is, always has been and forever will be french, everything else is invasive!

Also, what do to about all these pesky first nation communities throughout the province?  We really must locate them before they drain our social services and pollute our culture.
:-P

You certainly got immersed in Quebec culture while you were there!

Much as I loved living in Quebec (and grew up there) I am just fine living in Ontario, never going back.  I didn't move to Ontario for political reasons, but I won't go back because of the politics.

Two quick anecdotes since you got me started:
1) my SO and I both worked in fishing communities adjacent to native communities.  In both cases the Quebecois-fishermen basically seized control of their areas during the silent revolution, and have ensured that it will continue to be owned and controlled by a relatively small group of french-speaking famiilies in purpetuity.  At the same time, they openly complain about the 'lazy and entitled' natives who are 'trying to steal our resource' just because they are born under a certain culture.  Yet this doesn't strike them as odd.

2) Every few years the Québec redoes their elementary-school textbooks.  Last year there was quite a kurfluffle among the english speaking community because the new history textbook proposed was 200+ pages and had just three paragraphs mentioning anyone who was a native english speaker.  It was as if none had contributed anything to Quebec in 400+ years of living there.

nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #64 on: August 20, 2018, 05:37:02 AM »
Earning US $ and spending in Canadian $ is a big plus.  (currently a 30% bonus although things do cost slightly more in canada, but not 30% more)   Free healthcare (excluding prescription drugs) is a huge plus for FIRE.   Housing costs in canada are very high right now, we are in a multi-decade boom in real estate, so that may be a negative, but it's local market specific.     If you have children there is a very generous Canada Child Benefit that provides tax free payments to families up to 6000$ per year per child.  (it is prorated based on family income.)   Cost of food and consumer goods, is slightly higher in canada, so a slight negative.     University tuition (if you have kids you are saving for) is much lower.   Eating out, alcohol and gas, are all much higher in canada, but as a mustachian you probably don't consume too much of those ;)

Thanks, @Fireinthebelly! This is the kind of information i am very interested in. We don't have kids and will not have kids, so those generous benefits aren't available to us. However, we also don't eat out, consume alcohol, or have a car, so those added expenses aren't going to affect us either. We plan to rent at least to start, so we'll see how the housing market develops over the coming years.

As far as the exchange rate, it seems like mostly a wash given price and tax differences. Do you agree or would i come out ahead by earning USD and spending CAD? It's really hard for me to tell having never spent more than a few days in Canada at a time.

nereo

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #65 on: August 20, 2018, 06:11:58 AM »
Earning US $ and spending in Canadian $ is a big plus.  (currently a 30% bonus although things do cost slightly more in canada, but not 30% more)   Free healthcare (excluding prescription drugs) is a huge plus for FIRE.   Housing costs in canada are very high right now, we are in a multi-decade boom in real estate, so that may be a negative, but it's local market specific.     If you have children there is a very generous Canada Child Benefit that provides tax free payments to families up to 6000$ per year per child.  (it is prorated based on family income.)   Cost of food and consumer goods, is slightly higher in canada, so a slight negative.     University tuition (if you have kids you are saving for) is much lower.   Eating out, alcohol and gas, are all much higher in canada, but as a mustachian you probably don't consume too much of those ;)

Thanks, @Fireinthebelly! This is the kind of information i am very interested in. We don't have kids and will not have kids, so those generous benefits aren't available to us. However, we also don't eat out, consume alcohol, or have a car, so those added expenses aren't going to affect us either. We plan to rent at least to start, so we'll see how the housing market develops over the coming years.

As far as the exchange rate, it seems like mostly a wash given price and tax differences. Do you agree or would i come out ahead by earning USD and spending CAD? It's really hard for me to tell having never spent more than a few days in Canada at a time.

Regarding health care, I'd urge you to research the rules for each province you may live in (Ontario & Quebec seem to be the most likely here).  You will not automatically get access to the Provinical health care system merely by being physically present in Canada. We had to cover our own private insurance for three years before we had access to Quebec's health care (RAMQ), and there was a lot of hoops to jump through. We were also disappointed by the level of care offered through the governmental system compared to what we were used to under employer-sponsored health care systems.  If you can qualify for Provincial health care there's no doubt that it can save you a lot of money compared to paying for your own private insurance in the US.

We personally found the additional tax burden in Canada (particularly sales tax, or VAT) to eat away at any of the 'advantage' we had by having US dollars and the increased cost of most everyday items, so in the end it was pretty much a wash for us.  YMMV.

nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #66 on: August 20, 2018, 06:36:02 AM »
Regarding health care, I'd urge you to research the rules for each province you may live in (Ontario & Quebec seem to be the most likely here).  You will not automatically get access to the Provinical health care system merely by being physically present in Canada.

My understanding is that once we receive our permanent residency, we should be eligible to apply for public health insurance. According to canada.ca, the application may be delayed up to three months depending on the province. Since we're in this for the long term, we will patiently continue to use our American health insurance, which i also realize may have limitations outside of Canada. I guess that's another reason to live in Windsor: Close access to US health care facilities until we can make the full transition to Canadian permanent residency.

nereo

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #67 on: August 20, 2018, 06:52:34 AM »
Regarding health care, I'd urge you to research the rules for each province you may live in (Ontario & Quebec seem to be the most likely here).  You will not automatically get access to the Provinical health care system merely by being physically present in Canada.

My understanding is that once we receive our permanent residency, we should be eligible to apply for public health insurance. According to canada.ca, the application may be delayed up to three months depending on the province. Since we're in this for the long term, we will patiently continue to use our American health insurance, which i also realize may have limitations outside of Canada. I guess that's another reason to live in Windsor: Close access to US health care facilities until we can make the full transition to Canadian permanent residency.

There's another option, and that's to simply carry private health care insurance within Canada (it exists!) That's what we did - actually we were required to have private insurance as part of our permits. Generally speaking you are correct that you will have access to public health insurance once you gain permanent residency, but even then there are conditions. For example, Quebec limits the number of days per year you can spend outside of the province and maintain your RAMQ card (182).  If you decide to spend 6 months traveling you might find you are SOL with health care unless you plan ahead.

I'm sorry if I seem like I'm harping on this, but it was a major hurdle for us moving to Canada, and it is something that even Canadians don't seem to understand very well (as citizens they often had not had to go through any hoops, nor have many experienced other systems).  The biggest misconception most people from the US have is that there is one Canadian Federal single-payer (or "free") health care system.  This is completely false.  By law, each province administers their own health care system, and the rules, availability and quality of the services offered differs from Province to Province.  Even many Canadians carry supplemental health insurance which pays for things like faster service at private clinics, physical therapy, Rx and prosthetics (often limited to the basic model).
Additionally, while there are agreements in place between the provinces, should you need medical care while in another Province you can wind up in a world of partial reimbursements and medical verification.  All Canadians are advised to carry travelers insurance when outside the country, as your provincial health care reimburses for certain procedures and at certain rates, and its very easy (particularly in the US) to have a hospital bill which exceeds what your province will reimburse, or simply will not cover.

Just things to think about when making your decisions.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #68 on: August 20, 2018, 08:12:46 AM »
You really want travel insurance if you are travelling in Canada to another province. You will get emergency care and such, but lots of stuff is not covered. For example, you are from BC and get into a car wreck in Ontario and end up in ICU. You won't get a medical flight home covered under your BC health insurance and Ontario will want to get you out of the hospital as fast as possible because you are taking up an expensive bed. Your family is out in BC and probably can't stay in Ontario to support you as they have to work. You can't travel by commercial flight for a few months due to your injuries. This puts everyone into a jam.

With travel insurance you get a medical flight home and you can go home a lot sooner with family support and some in home care provided by your BC health insurance.

My GF works in health care here in BC and they run into inter-provincial insurance issues all the time because you are right Canadians [in general] have a poor understanding of their health care coverage and assume it's a lot more generous than it is.

To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.

nereo

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #69 on: August 20, 2018, 08:32:26 AM »
...
To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.

Agreed.  I don't want it to sound from my earlier comments that I'm overwhelmingly negative on health care north of the boarder.  There's a lot fo really like about it, and it can make financial planning for early retirees much easier compared to the US.  But there are differences, and pitfalls (like internatioanl and inter-provincial coverage) and fine print (particularly for non-citizens). Due diligence to avoid a potential very bad situation, that's what I'm stressing.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #70 on: August 20, 2018, 11:39:31 AM »
We were lucky moving from Quebec to Ontario, it took 3 months for OHIP to kick in but RAMQ covered us for those 3 months.  Not every province has the same rules.  Ontario also has the residency requirements for OHIP, so keeping track of travel is important.

Alberta was fine taking OHIP when I needed a walk-in clinic.  But that was a long time ago, and policies can change.

Supplemental insurance is not hard to find - when I retired I kept my union insurance (they had a separate group policy for retirees) but I could have  arranged for it through my alumni association, or even through Costco!

nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #71 on: August 20, 2018, 11:40:50 AM »
To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.

Thank you all for your advice and information. I have done research on Canadian health insurance and health care and i know there are significant limitations. I should clarify that we are not moving to Canada for the health insurance. We have myriad other reasons. Understanding the "full cost" of health care is an important part of the FI equation, though.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #72 on: August 20, 2018, 12:30:19 PM »
To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.

Thank you all for your advice and information. I have done research on Canadian health insurance and health care and i know there are significant limitations. I should clarify that we are not moving to Canada for the health insurance. We have myriad other reasons. Understanding the "full cost" of health care is an important part of the FI equation, though.

We get that. But health care seen from the inside is not the same as looking at it casually from the outside.

On a more important issue, "smoked meat" outside of Quebec is totally not worth eating (except maybe if you are close to the border, i.e. Hawkesbury's Dunn's, or Ottawa).   Smoked meat is not corned beef or pastrami or any of those other salted/smoked  meats.  This is serious food knowledge.

nereo

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #73 on: August 20, 2018, 12:38:19 PM »
To the OP make no assumptions and do as much research as you can once you pick a province you are moving to. Canadian health care is not bad at all, but it's not the everything is free socialist fantasy I hear a lot from people in the US.

Thank you all for your advice and information. I have done research on Canadian health insurance and health care and i know there are significant limitations. I should clarify that we are not moving to Canada for the health insurance. We have myriad other reasons. Understanding the "full cost" of health care is an important part of the FI equation, though.

We get that. But health care seen from the inside is not the same as looking at it casually from the outside.

On a more important issue, "smoked meat" outside of Quebec is totally not worth eating (except maybe if you are close to the border, i.e. Hawkesbury's Dunn's, or Ottawa).   Smoked meat is not corned beef or pastrami or any of those other salted/smoked  meats.  This is serious food knowledge.

Curious from someone who never ventured further west than Ottawa - what's the acceptable radius of poutine around Quebec?  Does it extend all the way to Windsor?
I ask because that's among the cities mentioned to the OP...




TrMama

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #74 on: August 20, 2018, 12:46:25 PM »
The biggest misconception most people from the US have is that there is one Canadian Federal single-payer (or "free") health care system.  This is completely false.  By law, each province administers their own health care system, and the rules, availability and quality of the services offered differs from Province to Province.  Even many Canadians carry supplemental health insurance which pays for things like faster service at private clinics, physical therapy, Rx and prosthetics (often limited to the basic model).
Additionally, while there are agreements in place between the provinces, should you need medical care while in another Province you can wind up in a world of partial reimbursements and medical verification.  All Canadians are advised to carry travelers insurance when outside the country, as your provincial health care reimburses for certain procedures and at certain rates, and its very easy (particularly in the US) to have a hospital bill which exceeds what your province will reimburse, or simply will not cover.

Just things to think about when making your decisions.

The bolded section is critical. As a Canadian, I didn't understand the ramifications of this until we moved from BC to Quebec. I used to complain about the waits for BC health care when we lived here. Then we moved to QC and I learned how much worse it can get. Not only do you wait forever (5 weeks to get an appointment with our GP), but you're treated with a level of contempt and disdain usually reserved for inmates and then sometimes get substandard care to boot.

Further, even though the provinces are supposed to honour each other's health insurance, in practice it doesn't always work that way. I had a fellow BC born friend when we lived in QC who used to schedule her daughter's annual checkups and vaccinations for when she was visiting her family back in BC. She paid out of pocket for these services which she could've gotten for free in QC because BC doctors simply won't accept a RAMQ card for payment. I thought she was nuts until the day we were back home and my own kid got sick. I happily handed over $75 for the appointment and another $70 for the medicine. We were treated like sentient human beings and got great care. After only 2 years of dealing with the QC system, it felt like the heavens had opened and the angels were singing.

When I called my extended health insurer to see if they'd cover the $145 bill I'd incurred, they coded it as an 'out of country' medical expense.

QC is a lovely place and I loved living there on the days we were healthy. However, you simply cannot get sick there.

nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #75 on: August 20, 2018, 01:54:39 PM »
At the risk of this becoming a Canadian health insurance rant thread, what do people pay for supplementary insurance in Canada?

FLBiker

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #76 on: August 20, 2018, 02:03:19 PM »
Posting to follow.

We're also in the process of applying for skilled worker permanent resident visas.  And we're looking mostly in Ontario and Halifax.  We're planning to keep working for a while in Canada, hopefully part-time.  I really appreciate the recommendations about different places to live.  DW and I are both university teachers, although we're both open to other types of work as well.

elaine amj

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #77 on: August 20, 2018, 02:05:03 PM »
At the risk of this becoming a Canadian health insurance rant thread, what do people pay for supplementary insurance in Canada?
My husband is covered by his work and we pay $400/mo for myself and two kids to be covered under his plan. It's a generous plan though - $400/2yrs for glasses / contacts, $1600/yr for paramedics services.

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elaine amj

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #78 on: August 20, 2018, 02:17:25 PM »
Off the board suggestion:  Windsor, ON.  Okay, it's probably not as nice as London but you're a tunnel bus ride away from all of the big city amenities in Detroit.  The housing is cheaper in Windsor and the waterfront is gorgeous!

Thanks for the suggestion, @Aminul. Windsor is actually on our short list. Being from the upper Midwest, it's very close to our hometown, so that's a plus. Unfortunately we know no one that lives there and everyone we've talked to says bad things about Windsor. That usually makes me more inclined to check it out. :D

I lived there for three years while going to school, and I know a handful of folks that currently live in/around Windsor.  I really enjoyed my time there.  The riverfront is beautiful and there are trails that stretch from the very east end down to the bridge.  Having the bridge and tunnel there really do connect you to Detroit in a unique way.  It is incredibly easy to go over for a hockey/baseball game.  If you are concerned about Canadian winters, Windsor has it the easiest of any larger city in this area.  When London gets hammered with lake effect snow from Huron, Windsor stays wet and slushy.

For better or worse, city council has poured a ton of money into making Windsor into a "world class destination", specifically around sporting events (hockey and swimming).  I'm sure there are other similar investments that have worked to improve the city for folks coming in.
I live in Windsor and while I drool over many other more beautiful parts of Canada, we genuinely like living here and would likely stay even with nothing thing us down.

I like it because:
- small, relaxed, quiet city. Slower pace of life, very casual
- no traffic jams. I grumble at rush hour when I have to wait an extra 5 mins
- easy access to big city amenities with Detroit just 5 mins away ( yay for Detroit airport)and Toronto only 4 hours away.
- living at the border often means the best of both worlds.
- while biking infrastructure is still a work in progress, it's not bad and gradually improving.  Also, the surrounding County is close by with miles and miles of quiet, winding, FLAT country roads.
- wonderful waterfront. We're on a peninsular surrounded by water and have gorgeous waterfront parks.
- milder weather. Way less snow than many other parts of Canada. I appreciate that a lot.
- cheaper housing and lower COL.
- lots of festivals and free things to do.

My biggest con is having no wilderness nearby. Mostly developed farmland around here although there are some conservation areas, 1 Provincial Park, and 1 national park (all have fees though). I usually hit up a few local city parks to hike and just deal with it. We drive 3-8 hours away for car camping. Still, the weather alone makes it worth it to me to stay here.


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nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #79 on: August 20, 2018, 02:25:10 PM »
I live in Windsor and while I drool over many other more beautiful parts of Canada, we genuinely like living here and would likely stay even with nothing thing us down.

Windsor definitely rapidly climbing our list. I'm planning an extended visit for later next month to scope it out. Bonus: Detroit is one of the few US cities i haven't been to, so i'll tick that one off, too!

elaine amj

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #80 on: August 20, 2018, 02:28:17 PM »



Windsor definitely rapidly climbing our list. I'm planning an extended visit for later next month to scope it out. Bonus: Detroit is one of the few US cities i haven't been to, so i'll tick that one off, too!

You should combine it with coming to Camp Mustache Toronto to meet some awesome Canadian Mustachians :) Plus, we'll be at a pretty lakefront summer camp near Toronto with swimming, canoeing, and even a high ropes course!


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TrMama

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #81 on: August 20, 2018, 03:07:01 PM »
At the risk of this becoming a Canadian health insurance rant thread, what do people pay for supplementary insurance in Canada?

Our supplementary, employer-provided policies (yes, we have 2) cover prescriptions, dental (no provincial program covers dental), vision, travel medical (all medical coverage outside Canada),  some coverage for durable medical equipment (casts, lifts, prosthetics, orthotics, ramps, wheelchairs, wigs, etc) plus some coverage for massage, physio, psychologists, speech therapists, audiologists, etc.

Prescriptions and the big durable medical equipment coverage are IMO the most important things to cover. These are very rarely optional and even though prescriptions are cheaper here than in the US, they're still not cheap. Some provinces have income-based prescription plans (BC and QC, for example). However, usually if you're working, your income will disqualify you for those.

DH and I opted to buy extended health coverage from both of our employers. So we pay double premiums, but it means that things like prescriptions end up being 100% covered, and all the semi-optional stuff is covered to a large degree. Double coverage makes the most sense for families with children, since the premiums aren't much more than for single people, but obviously kids can rack up a lot of expenses. I've done the math and we come out way ahead using this strategy. The math supporting double policies makes less sense for a couple w/o kids. However, I'd never opt to go without an extended health policy. Lots of people do, but never by choice.

Lovelywings

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #82 on: August 21, 2018, 10:48:21 AM »
I thought I'd chime in here OP though my situation differs lot from yours. But since you asked for diverse perspectives...

I'm an African who lived, studied and worked in the US for 14 years, all on visas. By comparison, Canada is way more welcoming of immigrants, especially brown ones. I couldn't get a green card in the states despite trying for many years. I got one in Canada within 9 months despite never having lived there.

I moved to Toronto and I freaking love it here. I need diversity, culture, and public transportation and quirk. Toronto is better than any US city I have visited or lived in. It  just suits my personality I think. I'm not yet qualified for OHIP so I can't speak much to healthcare. But I will say that I'm finding more holistic care options here, and that out of pocket prices are cheaper.

For housing, everyone says Toronto/Canadian cities are expensive. But it really depends on your basr comparison. I was surprised to find Toronto is cheaper to rent than DC, where I lived, at least for shared housing. For a 1 br by myself, prices are comparable. I'm currently paying $1125 for my room in a 2 bed 2 bath smack downtown and close to everything. There's a gym and pool in the building. In DC I would be paying US$1300. Bear in mind I'm currently studying so my USD savings are supporting my CAD living expenses.

Food options - groceries are slightly more expensive EXCEPT in Chinatown/Kensington market. I was shocked the other day to buy 2 pounds of tomatoes and peppers and a cabbage for $10. That's the bonus of living in a megacity.

I'm finding sorting out my money is a pain in the ass. Im probably going to liquidate my ROTH 401K because I have no legal status in the US and don't want the hassle of faking an address. Chase allowed me to keep my Sapphire card with a Toronto residence. I'm moving my savings to Wealth Simple, which I'm super excited about. Banking options are pretty pathetic in Canada so  glad some boutique online services exist.

What else? Because America didn't deem me worthy of a green card 😁 I don't have to worry about dual taxation! In terms of jobs, I decided to change careers to try and break into tech which is positively booming in Toronto.

All that is to say, a move like this is completely dependent on the individual, their priorities, and the value of whatever they are giving up. I gave up being trapped in stressful jobs because of my visa, in a city I came to hate, in a culture I grew weary of....to start over as a legal permanent resident in a kinder, more proudly diverse and slower environment. Not being able to buy Cetaphil at a reasonable price is the least of my worries at the moment .
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 10:50:49 AM by Lovelywings »

nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #83 on: September 03, 2018, 07:11:38 PM »
First visit to Canada this weekend since we decided to start the immigration process. Visited Montreal for the first time and it was…a lot to process. Many, many, many pros and cons, but my highlights are:

Pros:
* Very impressed by the bicycling infrastructure. I knew about Bixi already, but the amount of bicycling lanes, etc is impressive, especially for a (very) cold weather city.
* Loved all the parks dotted all around the city. In Philly, there are a lot of neighborhoods that don't have much green space at all, so this was a treat. Parc du Fontaine was especially awesome on a holiday weekend. So much activity, yet it didn't seem too crowded.
* Both the Atwater market and the Little Italy market were very impressive. Again, compared to Philly, it puts both our Italian Market and Reading Terminal to shame.
* The metro was amazing, efficient, and fast to get to a lot of places.
* Everywhere we went felt very safe. Lots of activity pretty much all day and night.

Cons:
* Not as walkable as Philly. I kind of have unreasonable expectations, but because there are so many traffic signals and no one crosses against the lights, it takes a long time to walk anywhere.
* Metro doesn't go everywhere.
* Neighborhoods aren't very distinct; somewhat monotonous. Philly neighborhoods have this problem too. Hard to really get a sense of this in just two days, but I almost always felt like I was in the same place throughout the city.
* Aside from the old stuff (and the Olympic Stadium), not a lot of striking architecture. Philly has this problem, too. I expected more from Montreal given how much interesting new stuff there is to look at in Toronto.
* People seem a little frosty for Canadians. I know they have the reputation, but I figured they'd still have some Canadian niceness. Our host told us that people don't generally socialize with their neighbors in Montreal, which is something that is great about our current neighborhood in Philly: We know everyone on the block and everyone helps each other out (with pets when away, package delivery, etc). All the service folks we interacted with were great, though, and we had no problems interacting in both minimal French and in English.

One thing traveling and considering living somewhere else does is make you reflect on your current situation. I definitely see a lot of the pros and cons of where we currently live more vividly now. However, we're still dedicated to immigrating to Canada. Next up: Windsor later this month!

elaine amj

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #84 on: September 04, 2018, 08:41:40 PM »
Loved your thoughts on Montreal and looking forward to hearing your impressions of Windsor when you visit. They are two VERY different cities.

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nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #85 on: September 04, 2018, 09:23:57 PM »
Loved your thoughts on Montreal and looking forward to hearing your impressions of Windsor when you visit. They are two VERY different cities.

Will definitely do. I'll be staying for a whole week, so I should have plenty of time to collect good experiences.

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #86 on: September 05, 2018, 05:14:10 AM »
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Not as walkable as Philly. I kind of have unreasonable expectations, but because there are so many traffic signals and no[b] one crosses against the lights, [/b]it takes a long time to walk anywhere. lol - yes!  Very bizarre behavior for me, but even early in the morning with no cars coming in either direction people stand and wait for the walk signal, whereas in most US cities people just go when they feel its safe (and sometimes they are jerks and block traffic)

Keep posting your impressions, i'm enjoying reading them.

Malkynn

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #87 on: September 05, 2018, 06:07:56 AM »
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Not as walkable as Philly. I kind of have unreasonable expectations, but because there are so many traffic signals and no[b] one crosses against the lights, [/b]it takes a long time to walk anywhere. lol - yes!  Very bizarre behavior for me, but even early in the morning with no cars coming in either direction people stand and wait for the walk signal, whereas in most US cities people just go when they feel its safe (and sometimes they are jerks and block traffic)

Keep posting your impressions, i'm enjoying reading them.

I found the opposite problem in Montreal.
It was a daily challenge not to hit university students running across Penfield/ Des Pins with their ear-buds in, oblivious to oncoming cars. I felt like if I drove in Montreal long enough, eventually I would end up hitting a student.

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #88 on: September 05, 2018, 08:09:42 AM »
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Not as walkable as Philly. I kind of have unreasonable expectations, but because there are so many traffic signals and no[b] one crosses against the lights, [/b]it takes a long time to walk anywhere. lol - yes!  Very bizarre behavior for me, but even early in the morning with no cars coming in either direction people stand and wait for the walk signal, whereas in most US cities people just go when they feel its safe (and sometimes they are jerks and block traffic)

Keep posting your impressions, i'm enjoying reading them.

I found the opposite problem in Montreal.
It was a daily challenge not to hit university students running across Penfield/ Des Pins with their ear-buds in, oblivious to oncoming cars. I felt like if I drove in Montreal long enough, eventually I would end up hitting a student.

I was driving in Montreal last summer. It was really difficult for me actually. I didn't realize the large number of "no left turns from this hour to that hour", signs at basically every intersection. I got honked at a few times for turning left, though what they yelled at me is anyone's best guess.

Dee

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #89 on: September 05, 2018, 08:46:53 PM »
yeah, it seems to me Montreal has more jaywalking than most places I've been (Note: pretty much all places I've been have been within Canada) so that makes me wonder if you will be struck by even less jaywalking every where else you visit in Canada.

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #90 on: September 06, 2018, 11:29:00 AM »
We jaywalk a lot in Toronto too.  Most smaller towns and cities it's kinda rare though.

nereo

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #91 on: September 06, 2018, 02:26:18 PM »
My experience is with Quebec City much more so than Montreal. 
However, for comparison I'd like to say that before moving to Canada I never really knew 'Jaywalking' was a crime.  I mean, you have to actually wait for the little walk symbol, really?

Interesting history of Jaywalking, and how groups like the AAA successfully gave cars priority within city limits:
https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2012/04/invention-jaywalking/1837/

FLBiker

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #92 on: September 06, 2018, 02:52:39 PM »
Thanks for sharing these impressions.  We're heading to Toronto in November, with an eye towards permanent residency.  Windsor is on our list as well (as is Halifax).  We shall see!

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #93 on: September 06, 2018, 07:27:45 PM »
You know, on further thought, one place I really noticed car traffic coming a complete stop for pedestrians at crossings was in New Hampshire. It seems like in my neck of the woods (Ottawa, mostly), drivers will slow down to let people cross at designated spots in front of grocery stores but in NH, it seemed like drivers were jamming on the brakes as soon as anyone got near a cross walk. It seemed exaggerated.

(Not exactly the same as prominence of jaywalking but it seemed somewhat on topic, so I thought I'd mention it.)


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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #94 on: September 07, 2018, 05:37:02 AM »
You know, on further thought, one place I really noticed car traffic coming a complete stop for pedestrians at crossings was in New Hampshire. It seems like in my neck of the woods (Ottawa, mostly), drivers will slow down to let people cross at designated spots in front of grocery stores but in NH, it seemed like drivers were jamming on the brakes as soon as anyone got near a cross walk. It seemed exaggerated.

(Not exactly the same as prominence of jaywalking but it seemed somewhat on topic, so I thought I'd mention it.)
State law here in Maine, and during the summer (tourist) months they patrol crosswalks very heavily.  Most everyone stops if you even approach a crosswalk as a pedestrian.  During the winter months its not nearly so extreme.  Guess this is what happens when half your economy is dependent on summer tourists.

nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #95 on: September 08, 2018, 06:55:18 AM »
You know, on further thought, one place I really noticed car traffic coming a complete stop for pedestrians at crossings was in New Hampshire.

First place I ever experienced cars stopping for pedestrians who intend to cross at crosswalks was in Berkeley, California when I moved there in 1999. Since then, I've observed this behavior in several US cities, particularly in college towns.

What I was originally talking about, though, was pedestrians intentionally crossing against traffic signals (at crosswalks), which is a particular kind of jaywalking very prevalent in Philadelphia. It makes walking places at least 2x faster and isn't particularly unsafe because of Philly's super-narrow Center City streets. Most other North American cities don't have the same narrowness of their city streets (in fact many are extremely wide by design e.g. Salt Lake City). As someone who walks nearly everywhere, this may be the top thing I will miss the most by leaving Philly. It's certainly not the sports fans! :D

elaine amj

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #96 on: September 08, 2018, 09:38:58 AM »
A few years ago I was staying at a hotel across the street from a conference I was attending in Toronto and there was a lady from Montreal there too. Each morning, I would automatically jaywalk across the street while her natural inclination was to walk to the end of the block, use the crosswalk there, then backtrack to the conference centre. So from my single experience,  I concluded that Montreal-ers don't jaywalk much :)

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genesismachine

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #97 on: September 10, 2018, 03:44:05 PM »
Can you share how you're going to accomplish moving to Canada please?  I've done some research as well because I'm interested in moving to Canada, but without a company sponsoring you or a family member or investing millions and creating jobs for Canadians, what are the ways you're thinking about using to move there? I'm genuinely interested.

I'm applying under the Skilled Worker immigration program. You need to score 67+ points in six different categories including education, age, work experience, language proficiency, etc. Once you've entered your profile, provinces can also select you as a preferred candidate, which gives you bonus points. You also get points for having a prospective employer, but you are not required to have a job lined up to immigrate.

There are many other programs available as well, including for investors, self-employed, and Canadian relations. We could also apply under the self-employed program, but i've heard that the wait for that could be multiple years.

@SunnyDays: The reason we're seeking a larger city is because we are comfortable in them. I've lived in Philadelphia, Oakland, and other places, so i understand the pros and cons of big city life. For what it's worth, we are also considering some smaller cities like Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor. If people have other suggestions, i'd like to hear them.

We're avoiding the maritimes because they are so far from everything. I think we'd be more inclined to go a smaller town in BC than further east.

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but I'm also looking into Canada right now as an FIRE location. I see that I can easily get in as a skilled worker for permanent residency, but is there any requirement that I actually get a job? What if I just live off investments for 3 years and apply for citizenship? Is this possible? I've been researching to death online and I can't see anything that says this isn't possible.

I would mainly be getting rental income from the US to live off of, so it would be long term ongoing income, not just a temporary spending down of reserves to get citizenship.

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #98 on: September 10, 2018, 04:36:14 PM »
Can you share how you're going to accomplish moving to Canada please?  I've done some research as well because I'm interested in moving to Canada, but without a company sponsoring you or a family member or investing millions and creating jobs for Canadians, what are the ways you're thinking about using to move there? I'm genuinely interested.

I'm applying under the Skilled Worker immigration program. You need to score 67+ points in six different categories including education, age, work experience, language proficiency, etc. Once you've entered your profile, provinces can also select you as a preferred candidate, which gives you bonus points. You also get points for having a prospective employer, but you are not required to have a job lined up to immigrate.

There are many other programs available as well, including for investors, self-employed, and Canadian relations. We could also apply under the self-employed program, but i've heard that the wait for that could be multiple years.

@SunnyDays: The reason we're seeking a larger city is because we are comfortable in them. I've lived in Philadelphia, Oakland, and other places, so i understand the pros and cons of big city life. For what it's worth, we are also considering some smaller cities like Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor. If people have other suggestions, i'd like to hear them.

We're avoiding the maritimes because they are so far from everything. I think we'd be more inclined to go a smaller town in BC than further east.

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but I'm also looking into Canada right now as an FIRE location. I see that I can easily get in as a skilled worker for permanent residency, but is there any requirement that I actually get a job? What if I just live off investments for 3 years and apply for citizenship? Is this possible? I've been researching to death online and I can't see anything that says this isn't possible.

I would mainly be getting rental income from the US to live off of, so it would be long term ongoing income, not just a temporary spending down of reserves to get citizenship.
My understanding is that you don't need to get a job if you qualify through a program that's not contingent on a job offer. You can just be "self-employed".

Applying for citizenship occurs later, completely optional, and is largely not relevant to how you qualified in the first place for permanent residence. Same thing in the US and virtually every other country worth living in.

nkt0

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Re: Moving to Canada (aka I need more maple syrup in my life)
« Reply #99 on: September 11, 2018, 05:34:53 AM »
Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but I'm also looking into Canada right now as an FIRE location. I see that I can easily get in as a skilled worker for permanent residency, but is there any requirement that I actually get a job? What if I just live off investments for 3 years and apply for citizenship? Is this possible? I've been researching to death online and I can't see anything that says this isn't possible.

Yes, you can apply with the Skilled Worker program without a job. If you get in, you will get an indefinite permanent residence. Citizenship takes six years of residency, where you have to fulfill the requirement of being present in Canada for at least four of the six years. Citizenship grants you the right to vote and some other minor benefits. PR grants you most other things (access to benefits programs, ability to work, etc).