Hooray! Our PR (Permanent Resident) Cards arrived today.
This means we can now leave Canada and get back in without problems or further paperwork. It’s the nearest we will get to having Canadian passports for at least the next three years.
We will be able to apply for citizenship when we have spent a full three years out of four in Canada (this does not include any time we spend out of the country vacationing, on business or visiting the UK). We don’t have to apply for citizenship at this point; you can just have your PR card renewed every five years. But, of course, there are rights that citizenship confers that do not form part of resident status.
We had already established before we arrived that we want to live in or close to the Beach, a popular area in East Toronto.
There’s just something about the neighbourhood; the constant glimpses of the lake as you walk down Queen Street; the shore itself, wide sands curled by rocky breakwaters into a chain of lagoons – a vast expanse of water merges with the horizon to the south, whilst to the west the CN Tower gives graceful focus to the downtown skyline; the beautiful leafy streets lined mostly with heritage homes, from the relatively humble to huge mansions; the lazy bustle of Queen Street, with its streetcars to Downtown, its eclectic selection of shops and eateries; the strong sense of community and identity.
They say that people who come to the Beach to live rarely want to leave.
The house is around 100 years old, a classic old-style Beech home about 100 meters from Lake Ontario in a tree lined street, currently aglow with every shade of fall.
We have a good-sized living room with an open fireplace, an area we are using as our office with ample room for both of us to work (there’s even a piano!) and a large and well equipped kitchen with breakfast bar.
Our bedroom has a window onto the porch, giving views down the street to the water – the morning sun shatters on lake-ripples and glints through the trees; on a windy evening like tonight waves pound the rocky breakwaters (strange how I know that the Great Lakes experience great storms yet somehow do not associate these kind of waves with a lake!). We also have second, smaller library/bedroom that serves us well as a dressing room and, of course, a bathroom, with a claw-foot tub and shower.
Despite limited clothing and possessions, this is, for now, very much home!
(The movie slide show below gives you a guided tour – our first effort with new software)
Needless to say, our bodies are still on UK time, so 5am (10am) was about the latest we could manage to sleep, though we did ‘laze’ till 6! A quick shower, coffee, croissants and fresh raspberries zinging with flavour, then off down the road to the beach to catch the dawn at 7.34 am – magic!
“Your pilot on this Air Transat flight today is Captain Picard. . . “
We had a great flight in comfortable leather seats, flying club class (only an £80 premium each for more than twice the luggage allowance, as well as all the perks!). Champagne, great food and snacks (the maple sugar fudge hit the spot) and my first taste of Canadian Ice Wine, with really comfortable leather seats and the friendliest service.
As when we visited in June, we flew into bright sunshine – the weather at present is glorious if coldish, with a warm spell anticipated in which to enjoy the fall colours. Paul, our realtor, met us at the airport and brought us to our temporary home (see later entries).
So we are now safely on Canadian soil!