Until the last couple of days, I have not managed to keep our blog updated quite as well as I hoped. There’s a good reason for this; our feet haven’t touched the ground and my poor brain has been struggling to catch up with input overload, not to mention the change in time-zone and existing layer of fatigue!
Milestones to date include:
- Arriving in Canada as landed immigrants (June 2009)
- Setting up Bank Accounts
- Getting a Rogers SIM for our mobile
- Finding a Realtor (more than an Estate Agent – as buyers, we need a Realtor working for us and helping us negotiate a house purchase)
- Meeting with a mortgage advisor
- Getting our SINs (Social Insurance Numbers) – also in June (we are still waiting for our cards to arrive, forwarded by relatives to whom we had them sent)
- Organizing a UPS mailbox as our initial address will be temporary (backed up by six months re-direction from the UK)
- Arriving finally to begin life in Toronto (October 2009)
- Meeting our Bank Account Manager and Branch Manager and sorting out the services we need (Canadian Banks still charge clients for various services, so it is important to set up the right kind of account and charging agreement)
- Getting a safety deposit box at the Bank
- Getting Library cards for our local library in the Beach
- Paul’s first day at Tyco’s Markham (North Toronto) office – mostly he will work from home, but he has a hot-desk here. Markham is not realistically possible by public transport from here, so this first trip involved a hire car. The journey is similar to Paul’s commute from Wootton Bassett to Dorcan when he was in the UK.
- Visiting Service Ontario to swap over out UK driving licenses for Ontario ones
- Still at Service Ontario, using our new driving licences to provide the evidence of where we are living so as to register for OHIP (Ontario Health) coverage, which, for immigrants, comes in force three months (not 90 days) after landing.
- Getting a new mobile phone because it was cheaper than buying a second SIM!
- Looking for and buying a car (we pick this up tonight!)
- Arranging auto insurance (horrendously expensive and without the benefit our UK insurance record, which we knew), with tenant insurance thrown in
- Paul’s first Canadian conference a Stack Overflow Dev Day, for which he volunteered as a helper
- Getting our first credit card (from the Bank) – this has surprised us as we had been given to understand that it is initially very difficult. We should have a further card shortly once American Express have checked out our UK history – they are the only credit card provider who will transfer such history from one country to another. Building a credit history as an incomer is important, so this is very helpful.
Hopefully life will now slow down a little and we can begin to explore what Toronto has to offer alongside moving our lives forward!