Hey Guy's I'm new to travellerspoint, but been traveling for a few years been to some interesting places. One of which was Canada. I've decided I liked Canada so much I've got a 2 year working visa and and moving over there on the 3rd of November. I guess I'm looking for advice from people who have done this before and locals as well on all the basic's, where to live? best places to look for work? cell phone providers? all the usual stuff. I have some of my own ideas but I'm looking for peoples feedback.
It's so nice to hear your kind words about Canada. You didn't mention which province(s) you visited while you were here, so I'm not quite sure where your interests are.
I've lived in Nova Scotia (East Coast island) on the Atlantic coast, which is rocky, full of lakes and forests - absolutely breathtaking scenery. From my experiences, the people are friendly to visitors, but not so much to newcomers that are moving there. The locals are not big fans of change.
I've lived in British Columbia (downtown Vancouver). You get the best of both worlds there. Mountains to one side, and the ocean on the other. Plenty of activities there no matter who you are. There are all types in BC and you will surely find an area that fits you well. Unfortunately, a lot of the downtown residents have become a little bit snotty and materialistic (the 20-30 somethings), but for the most part everyone is great. I really don't have anything too negative to say about this city.
A quick sidenote before I continue: I've lived in England as well (known for the amount of rain they get there)...Well, it doesn't even compare to what we get on the East and West coasts of Canada. Nova Scotia outweighs Vancouver and London - hands down!
Currently, I am living in the province of Ontario (downtown Toronto), which is pretty central. Toronto is where all the jobs are, and a lot of the action is. It's a wonderful city with so much to do. Unfortunately most of that is man made - if you're a nature lover, you may want to consider Northern Ontario or head toward one of the coasts. Beware: The summers in Toronto can be insanely hot and humid and the winters are wickedly cold!
I'm not sure what else to say. This is a massive country - it took me 9 days to cross it by car - but I have visited a lot of places and would be more than happy to help answer any other questions or assist you with your research. Feel free to post again or send me a direct message.
Firstly i'll be setting myself up in BC or Alberta, I'm thinking Vancouver, Kelowna, Banff or Calgary at least to start with. I'm keen to spend a bit of time at the great ski resorts you guys have, I enjoy my snowboarding and you guys have snow we can only dream of in Australia (believe it or not it does snow in an isolated area in Australia for a fairly short season) but I want to see what alot of the country has to offer as well certainly make some new friends. I have a friend in Edmonton and some friends in Sudbury from previous travels so as things work out I'll be keen to get to see them as well.
My comments are ignoring the current world economic situation.
I've lived in Québec (born near Montréal & Sherbrooke), Ontario (Toronto suburbs - 2 years), Alberta (Edmonton - 9 years) and I now live in British Columbia (Vancouver suburb - 12 years).
For high paying manual labour, Alberta or Saskatchewan are probably your best bets; the oil industry is still booming and they're short most types of labour; when you look these places up you'll find they're in the boondocks; I've traveled most of Alberta and the major cities in Saskatchewan and I found people were very welcoming. You should be making plenty of money to travel by plane or car from there. 4 defined seasons but each more extreme than Montréal or Toronto; -40c in Edmonton is not uncommon and one must have A/C in the summer; for instance, every parking stall at the airport has a power outlet for your car's engine block heater - it's the only way a car will start on its own in -40c; but there's very little snow and the most clear blue skies I've seen anywhere.
If you want something a little different - European-ish, Montréal and Québec City (400 years old this year) are very cosmopolitan and touristy, so there are lots of hospitality jobs; BUT Speaking French helps a lot in Montréal (especially the East Side and off the Island) and is mandatory in Québec City. Renowned for food and nightlife. 4 very well defined seasons. People come visit either city from Boston and New York City.
Toronto is the largest city in the country in the most populated province; many choices, close to New York state. Winter is less harsh than Québec in general. Great "cottage country" a few hours north of Toronto.
As Bibi said, probably the most scenic and dramatic Canadian places are in British Columbia (BC); Vancouver is very touristy, 2 hours to Whistler - many Australians work there in the hospitality & ski industries. There is also Victoria on Vancouver Island; the whole island is a tourist attraction, but it's less populated than the Vancouver area; it's accessible by plane and ferry - no bridges from the mainland. All southern BC weather is mild and as Bibi said, wet; but there's virtually no snow to shovel in the Vancouver area.
I don't know what the legalities of work permits in Canada might be.
Have a great adventure!
I've been in the IT industry for the past 7 odd years, (Systems Administration and Network Engineering) so I should be able to pick up some sort of skilled labour work. I've had a look online and there seem to be a few opportunities in Vancouver and Calgary
If you are looking for a fun job in Vancouver trying checking out the Grandville Island there are a ton of opportunities in that area or with this season change you can easily pick up a job in Whistler, the cost is high to live up there but the experiences you have there are priceless.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Thanks guys and girls for the help, I'm off to Calgary tomorrow with a few job interviews lined up already so that's good, now just need to make some new friends.