I have a one year work visa for Canada and have no idea where to begin! I depart just after Christmas and so far have my friend picking me up at the airport. I will be spending New Years with him in either Ottawa or Mt Tremblant but once the New Year celebrations are over he is returning to college and my journey begins! I hope to see as much of Canada as possible. If anybody has any ideas on where to start, ie wheres nicest in winter? I'm hoping to spend some time in Newfoundland, should I wait until Summer to see it at its best? Also I don't have very much French but would really like to spend a few months working in quebec or montreal.....
Any tips or advice on working/travelling in Canada will be greatly appreciated. Cheers Guys :o)
Mont Tremblant is a beautiful spot during the winter - although it'll set you back a fortune. Ottawa is beautiful too, but Tremblant is a resort town and has one of the biggest ski hills in the region. New Year's there must be gorgeous.
Your best bet for the winter, from what I've heard, is out west. Vancouver doesn't get much snow, whereas the Maritimes are usually inundated with the stuff. If you start out west, you can work your way east as the weather gets better.
Don't worry too much abour not speaking French in Montreal. Almost everyone here is bilingual, and you'll pick up what you need as you go along. Outside of Montreal, though, people tend to speak less and less English - althoguh I know of a housefull of Irish students who managed to survive a schoolyear way out in the Quebec countryside.
If you have your visa, there's a lot of work to be had in Montreal - if only restaurant and bar work.
Hope that helps!
I LOVE Montreal, but if you're planning to be in Quebec during the winter, bring a jacket!
I see you are in good hands already!
Don't forget about Vancouver!
Hey, thanks for all the replies, will take the advice and head for the West coast in the new year and I reckon Vancouver will be the first stop, I've heard many great things.....
In regard to getting to Vancouver, I've heard of bluejet in the US for cheap flights, what would be the equivalent in Canada?
Cheap flights in Canada can be had from WestJet. They are the best carrier around as far as I can tell. Way better service than AirCanada (which is a joke).
Starting out west sounds like a good plan, and once you get to Alberta there are the most jobs out of anywhere in Canada.
Good luck with your adventure!
yes, westjet http://www.westjet.com/ are ok, and air canada has kind of "low fare" offers too (tango for example). if you need further advice on this, let me know, i worked in a travel agency in vancouver for half a year.
montréal is gorgeous but it's true. even in april it can be freezing and snow might reach your knees... but it's beautiful in summer. don't miss québec city (walk around the citadel and look at chateau frontenac from all angles) and on your way out to newfoundland you have to cross the confederation brigde to prince edward island - i've never seen colors so intense - the green of the grass against the red of the soil and the blue of the sky - marvellous!! moreover, cavendish is one of the most beautiful beaches in this area - though not so spectacular because not so strange as the bay of fundy in new brunswick (close to the boarder of nova scotia). it's famous for it's "flower pot"... however you call it in english. but they are like islands at high tide and at low tide they look like muddy "trees" with grass on top. and don't forget to stop in halifax and travel around in nova scotia. if you are interested in sailing, you might be lucky to find the bluenose II in the harbour of halifax. it is a famous regatta sailing boat...
and don't miss cabot trail - i haven't had the time for it but i heard form several people that it must be worth at least a quick glance!
anyway, have fun traveling!
Mont tremblant is beautiful in the winter and expensive, with a lot of american tourists. Quebec city is beautiful in the winter too, but really really cold and the snow might go over your head sometimes. although a night at the bar will warm you right up!!! Its great in may when there aren't as many tourists around as in the summer. You may want to spend a few days in january somewhere in quebec, altough cold its a lot of fun in the winter if you like snow.
I would also suggest taking the plane and starting in vancouver and going east. BC and Alberta are great for winter sports. Toronto and montreal have a lot of great festivals, shopping and restaurants/cafes with patios in the warmer months. you don't want to be in newfie land in january, but its beautiful in the summer and early fall.as are the rest of the atlantic provinces.
You will have a harder time finding a job in montreal if you don't speak french. although most people speak english or at least understand it, employers usually want you to know some french. You'll probably only get a dishwashing or busboy job, but there are lots and lots of thoses. try to apply in early may when all the university students are going home for the summer and restaurants are getting ready for the busy summer season. they usally won't advertise for these jobs, so just walk around and go to all the restaurants and you will find something. I knew two japanese students who didn't speak a word of french and only a little english and still lived there for a year. try to learn some basic french, you could try taking a short french course sometime before you arrive in quebec.
Thanks to all of you for the replies! Tickets are booked and I fly into Montreal on Dec 28th. I'm so excited. I think I'll head to Banff first and try to get work in a hostel and then hit Vancouver. Nothing definite yet, just some thoughts! I'll be back for more advice no doubt!