Your first months in Canada will doubtless provide some of your most interesting memories for years to come. Prepare for something of a roller-coaster ride, especially emotionally, as you experience the highs and lows of starting life in a new country.
If a fear of the unknown outweighs your sense of anticipation of what lies ahead, don’t worry, you are not alone. Few immigrants are really up to speed with the ground realities of starting life in Canada. While most people come to the country with a broad picture of what to expect, it’s the small details that make their early months more trying than it should be.
In this article, we will look at every detail with regard to starting out in Canada, point out the most common stumbling blocks, and how to overcome them.
Finding a place to live
Wherever you choose to move - big cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver or Calgary, or smaller suburbs - it is important that you make initial accommodation arrangements before you fly to Canada.
While it isn’t impossible to find a hotel room after your arrival, finding something that fits your budget is an entirely different matter.
If you have family or friends willing to put you up for the first couple of weeks or more, consider yourself lucky. If not, tap your contacts in Canada to try and arrange an apartment or room on rent for a month or so. This of course assumes that you do have some acquaintance in the country. Many homeowners in Canada let out basement apartments, and if you can book one of these ahead of your arrival, it will ease the pressure on you to find suitably priced accommodation soon after your land.
What if you don’t know a soul in Canada? All is not lost, though you should be prepared for a rather more expensive start to life in your newly-adopted country. Your best bet is to check out Internet listings of budget hotels or motels in the city you plan to move to. If you are single, you might even want to consider the YMCA or YWCA. Some good sites to get you started:
You can usually make a booking either online or via e-mail, though you can just use the phone if you prefer. Be prepared to spend between C$50 and C$100 a night for modest hotel accommodation. It is difficult, but not impossible, to find rooms available for less than that.
Whatever you pick, don’t reserve the room for more than three nights, you are better off leafing through the Yellow Pages after you arrive to search for rental apartments.
Continue Reading: The big house hunt
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