Moving to Canada

Coming to Canada

I am often asked why we came to Canada. and How it has been.  Well here is a short Bio!

It began with a visit from my wife’s sister and brother in law, already living in Canada and over in the UK visiting family. My wife and I were looking for a change but not sure as to what. We were doing ok with a little above average existence, we owned our home (well the small part that the bank didn’t own) a couple of cars, we vacationed each year etc, and working way too hard, trying to keep on top. Anyway after chatting with the in-laws, and a lot of thinking we decided that we should give Canada a try. After all they did ok there, and what did we have to loose! It seemed like a good idea at the time!

So we filled out the application, Who knew the process would take a couple of years to get through, with lots of trips to the Canadian embassy in London, Harley St Doctors, thorough medicals, interviews for us and the kids. Yes the Canadian authorities really wanted to make sure we knew what we was about to do. Little did they know we hadn’t got a clue! We did see a video once on British Columbia, Victoria I think! And it looked like a really great place. Well we finally received our acceptance and we had 1 year to land in Canada, or we would have to apply all over again. So we put the house up for sale, began selling off some of our possessions, deciding on what we would take and what to part with. Then within a few months we had a buyer for the house and things really started to move ahead. At this time I don’t believe any of us was thinking that we were about to turn our lives upside down, I am sure we all thought that after a while everything would return to normal and this episode would be over. I gave notice at my job, I had been there for nearly 20 years, and they were very surprised to hear the news! We made arrangement for the shipping of our furniture and belongings, and we purchased some airline tickets. Still it seemed as though we were going on vacation, not emigrating! We decided to take a holiday for a couple of weeks in England before leaving, we rented a left hand drive RV, it was huge, and from the US, it really didn’t belong on some of the roads in England, still it was a lot of fun for all of us, our final destination was on the Isle of White, the RV definitely did not belong there, it took up most of the road, both lanes, we had to park it up and rent a car The Isle of White is a beautiful island located south of the UK and is where my parents lived, our visit would give us a little time with them before we embarked on our adventure! Finally we returned home to Clacton on sea, we had a huge party and said our goodbyes to family and friends, and the next day we started our journey, we had an early flight so we stayed over one more night in London and arrived at the airport early the next morning.

We landed in Toronto Oct 12th 1989 and on a beautiful sunny day. We went through customs and my sister and brother in law were there to meet us. As we departed the airport I could see Canada was not at all what I had expected. On the way to Woodstock, our first location! I was looking out of the window at the landscape going by, and thinking, where are the green hills, we were traveling through Toronto, Mississauga and it looked like a concrete jungle, not what I had expected. It resembled the US or my impression of It from what I had seen on TV, I am sure we all thought what are we doing here? Half way to our destination, we decided to get a take out from Macdonalds our very first drive through experience, and first Canadian meal! Yuk!

We rented a home for a while until we were sure where we wanted to live. At that time we imagined that I would find employment in the area and we would get on with our lives and live happy evere after!. Upon advice from the Canadian embassy in the UK I should be expecting a pay range between $16 - $18 per hour to start, unfortunately there did not seem to be too many opportunities in Woodstock particularly in that range. I did manage to get an interview at the new GM plant. And eventually I did find employment in Hamilton Ontario at a photofinishing plant, repairing equipment. This was Dec 22nd 1989 I had been unemployed for 3 months by then, I had never been out of work before and it was a very stressful time for all of us. It turned out that I did get the position at the Gm plant and decided to leave the photo lab and give it a try,( that could be a whole other story) I returned to the job in Hamilton after a month or so and I stayed for 15 years, working in various positions and through a couple of takeovers, finally being owned by Kodak Canada. When Kodak closed it all down I was back on the unemployment track so I decided to work toward a real estate licence I have been involved with real estate ever since.

My Eldest daughter ended up returning to England, and my Son had a hard time finding himself for a little while, until he met his future wife. Now he is doing great! and loves Canada, My youngest was only 6 months old when we arrived and has done very well here, she doesn’t know anything other than Canada. My loveley wife forgives me now! and neither of us have any regrets.

If I had my life to live over would I do it again? I really don’t know that I would. I do believe that had we visited Canada before moving here we would not have returned. However we love Canada and during our short stay here we have had some great times, and of course some not so great. There are of course some things that we would have done differently, had we had known the outcome,  but that's life, It has its up and downs and we deal with them the best we can, and with what we know at the time.  hopefully though we learn by our mistakes and move on. We were disappointed that our Daughter chose to return to the UK but we admire her Courage to do what was right for her. She is now doing extremely well and enjoying her life in Sunny Clacton On Sea Essex.

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