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Looking Back on Our First Six Months in Canada

Toronto Night Sky

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.

Ripley's and CN Tower Area

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.

After 6 Months - Niagara Falls

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.

Looking Forward

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.

 

 

 

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9 Comments

  • Reply didin dequilla |

    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.

  • Reply svaid |

    Dear Kulas,

    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,

    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Hi Svaid,

      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.

      Regards,
      Kulas

  • Reply PK |

    Hello,

    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.

    PK

Let me know about your thoughts.