Canadians I need you help

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Hoef, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #1
    Hi, Every year my wife and I are considering the move to Canada.... Also this year, however we like to take it a step further. I was wondering if you, as Canadian, could post a little bit about the working environment.

    - How is the job market in general?
    - What are growth industries?
    - Is French speaking capabilities a requiremet for most jobs?
    - Opportunities for the creative types (not webdesign but arts and animation)?
    - Cost of living compared to US (Houston in this case)?

    Thank you for your reactions in advance. I know these are generic questions but have to start somewhere.
     
  2. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #2
    Move along, nothing to see here...

    - Is French speaking capabilities a requiremet for most jobs? - Non!
    - Opportunities for the creative types (not webdesign but arts and animation)? - we're all hippies up here.
    - Cost of living compared to US (Houston in this case)? - dirty deeds done dirt cheap

    Of course I shouldn't really comment, having moved from the UK only a couple of years ago.

    Just threw caution to the wind and moved, so can't be all bad. Well the Canadian missus pushed a little I guess.

    This was my first port of call: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.html

    ;)
     
  3. kwajo.com macrumors 6502a

    kwajo.com

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Bay of Fundy
    #3

    i can't answer everything you asked, but it really depends on where you are thinking of moving to. where I live in New Brunswick (part of the maritime provinces) the job market is stable and growing, but the unemployment rate is a few percent higher than Alberta in the west for example.
    French really varies too depending on location. where I live and in Quebec, it's essential for any government job and pretty important for virtually anything. out west they couldn't give a damn about french, and if you're thinking of Vancouver, Mandarin is actually probably more important than French is.
    Around here the cost of living is ridiculously low, property is cheap as hell compared to Ontario or BC (I imagine Houston too). it is true the people complain about the medical services sometimes, but they are top notch and free, just be prepared to wait. gasoline is more expensive than in the US, but it's not a huge increase, nothing that's going to shock you.
    as for creative fields, the big cities have plenty of opportunity for these, and if you are prepared to work, there are lots of medium-sized cities that have yet to be inundated by people that think they know what they are doing, and if you do, then you could easily walk in a dominate the market and do well for yourself.
    i don't want to seem anti-confederation, but look at the maritimes seriously over Canada. many immigrants pass us by, but there are plenty of good opportunities, and I swear, if you think Canadians have a reputation of being nice, try visiting Atlantic Canada. cars stop and wave at you to let you cross the street, if you lose your wallet chances are you'll get it back without losing anything, doors held open, people smiling, etc, etc. etc. it's cliche but 90% of the time it's true. Halifax, Nova Scotia is among the best cities in the country, it's got the maritime feel, but it's near 400,000 and growing, so it's got everything a modern city needs, without the crap you don't.
    the other thing, I hate to say, is the weather. you are in Houston. Canada ain't no Houston (unless you want to move to the interior of BC). but hey, you can always move to Alberta, they're an oil rich province just like Texas, bound to be something there to make you feel less homesick :p


    anyway, I went way off topic I think, if you want more, ask! :)
     
  4. neocell macrumors 65816

    neocell

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Location:
    Great White North
    #4
    Can't answer all the questions but as for French, it definitely helps for Montreal and Ottawa, and is pretty much necessary for the all of Quebec (minus Montreal), everywhere else basically as Danksi said, No

    Cost of living, all depends where you're looking, and how do you describe it?
    $2.50 for 2 litres of milk
    90¢ a litre for gas
    ~$1000 to insure a car

    Hard to say. I would guess that a single individual would want to make ~$40k to live okay but by no means extravagantly, a family of four ~$70k to live okay.

    I know there's a large biomedical field in Montreal, but arts and animation, I have no idea

    Growth industries are going to be pretty much the same as in the US, minus all the war related things

    If you want a Houston-like feel but with universal health care try Alberta (Edmonton and Calgary the big cities)

    Hope this helps

    **EDIT**

    Man I shouldn't take 20 minutes to reply, kwajo.com said it beautifully. Yeah, Halifax is a nice city had a good time there
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    - How is the job market in general?
    Highly depends on the location and the skill area. Right now, construction on the West Coast is booming, as are most technical and support jobs in the Oilpatch. Forestry and fishing dependent areas, not good at all. Tourism, OK, but will take a bad hit in 2007 with the new US passport regulations. High tech is OK, Auto and steel are not. Medical professionals are in strong demand. Engineers and biotech also in certain areas.

    - What are growth industries?
    Good question. Not resource related, other than mining. Agriculture, forestry and fishing have been slammed hard. (first 2 because of US protectionist policy, last because of resource depletion). The conventional answer is high tech and service.

    - Is French speaking capabilities a requiremet for most jobs?
    Federal Government jobs often yes, any others outside of French speaking communities, no.

    - Opportunities for the creative types (not webdesign but arts and animation)?
    There is a strong animation industry. Feature film industry has its wild ups and downs. There are more designers than you can shake a stick at here.

    - Cost of living compared to US (Houston in this case)?
    COL is generally lower, but then professional salaries are lower too. It's a bit easier for entry level people because the cost of living and cost of medical are lower but the minimum wages are as high or higher,
    The big variable is housing cost- you'll find that high in high-demand urban areas like Vancouver, Toronto and even here in Victoria prices are high and rental vacancies are very tight. Not San Francisco pricing yet, but still...
    Secondary towns however can have excellent values on housing.
     
  6. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #6
    BC's seeing a crazy housing boom.

    Vancouver's rediculous, Victoria a little less so.

    The Kootenays, in the East of BC (for the benefit of the OP) particularly seems to be attracting City folk and people moving to the area from abroad - usually with lots of cash, making it very differcult for 'locals' to compete. It's happening all over though.
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #7

    - How is the job market in general?

    It depends on where. Unemployment is higher in the East (Maritime provinces) than in the bigger cities.

    - What are growth industries?

    Not sure, sorry. :(

    - Is French speaking capabilities a requiremet for most jobs?

    Not unless you live in Quebec, New Brunswick, Ottawa, and certain other cities in Canada.

    - Opportunities for the creative types (not webdesign but arts and animation)?

    I'm guessing there'd be a market for this in all the big cities, but Montreal is quite an arty city. Vancouver also might have a larger market for this than Toronto, although Toronto has the OCAD, which is supposed to be a big deal. Maybe even as a non-student, you could contact them and ask questions. :confused: Check out this new OCAD building!

    - Cost of living compared to US (Houston in this case)?

    I'm guessing the cost of living is around the same. Housing is very very cheap if you stay away from Vancouver, Toronto, and the other 2-3 big cities. So you could get a pretty decent house for around $120000-$150000 USD in some of the mid-sized cities. However, this makes it difficult to move to a bigger city if you have to sell your home, which isn't worth much, and want/need to move to a city like Vancouver, where the equivalent house may cost you $500000 USD. This makes it hard to move from a small city back into a big city.

    Halifax (Nova Scotia) is beautiful, and it isn't lacking in anything.

    Vancouver is Canada's most expensive city to live in from what I read several years ago, and it probably still is. However, it has been ranked as the best city in the world to live in each year for the past decade or so. ;) Vancouver is too expensive to move into right now. Housing prices fluctuate there. Victoria (BC) is also expensive, but not as bad as Vancouver and it's quite close by. Very beautiful.


    Toronto isn't too shabby, either. It's a bit colder, but I love being from Toronto. It's cheaper than Vancouver as well, and is a massively large city. Several years back, the UN ranked it as the most culturally diverse city in the world (London was 2nd).

    London (Ontario) is also a nice city, and 3 hours away from Toronto. Great place, and possibly a place for the arts as well.


    IN TORONTO:
    - A 500 ml bottle of Coke will cost you $1.50 USD after tax.
    - A "gallon" of petrol will cost the equivalent of around $3 USD
    - A Honda Civic will set you back around $21000k USD after taxes and all the charges and regular options you want.
    - A Big Mac combo will cost you around $5 USD.
    - Schools are free, and people rarely pay for private schools because it's not necessary at all.
    - University tuition fees will range from between $4200 USD per year to around $6000-6500 USD at the biggest 5 Universities (eg: University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, Queens, etc.) You don't need to pay more if you go to a university outside the province (unless you go to one in Quebec and aren't from Quebec), because that would be rather ridiculous. Sorry Americans.

    Not for long. :eek:

    Alberta is probably Canada's richest province (per capita, but possibly overall) and there's some things going on with them at the moment regarding healthcare (ie: they're trying to privatize healthcare :eek: ). Calgary is a nice city, and cost of living is much more reasonable than in Vancouver or Toronto.
     
  8. Hoef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #8
    Thanks for the quick response guys..... Seems like COL is close to what we are used to in Europe. Especially car prices ;) Most people think Houston has a low cost of living but I found otherwise. Haven't asked the question but I guess income taxes are pretty much the same as in Europe too. Also thanks for sending the immigration website. Eventhough I don't have a job lined up, I think we have enough points to pass the test. I might shoot for a (management or finance) consulting job, my wife is into the arts. Toronto might be our best bet (or Vancouver, but that might just be too far away from Europe :D )
     
  9. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    #9
    Vancouver is an amazing city to live in..it is simply spectacular...

    Yes housing is expensive here, so rent em if you got em...

    My only advice, cuz it's all been covered so far..is to apply for resident status BEFORE you move here..otherwise you will be sitting on your butt waiting for the little paper that gives you permission to work here. in my girlfreinds case it took 10 months..and prepare to get zero information from anyone on how long you still have to wait, and what you next step will be..so apply from where you are currently, and then move..

    The French thing..not a problem unless you live in QC..
    The expensive thing...not a problem unless you want to buy a house in Vancouver

    the creative thing...same as the states...if you got the talent, you will get noticed..

    The medical thing....I had ankle surgery that would have been in the 5 figures in the states, and here it was free...you be the judge..

    I say...come on up...the weed is cheaper, the beer is stonger, and the weather is colder..and the women (at least in BC) are impressive to say the least..

    And hardly anyone actually says "eh" or "A" and NO ONE says "hoser"

    Hope you are a hockey fan..
     
  10. kwajo.com macrumors 6502a

    kwajo.com

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Bay of Fundy
    #10
    good advice about the application quigley, I just thought I'd point out that a)everyone always forgets that NB is bilingual and b) unfortunately there are places where people say 'eh' and 'hoser; quite often. it is frightening but true :eek:
     
  11. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #11
    ... there's nowt wrong with people saying eh! It's usually a lot more subtle than the stereotypical EH! that makes it onto the 'movies'.

    I prefer eh! to the Brit INIT any day. :)
     
  12. lem0n macrumors regular

    lem0n

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Milano...
    #12
    You don't NEED to speak French in Ottawa unless you work in the government [of course, if you go to Hull, that's different because it's in Quecbec;)] Ottawa is nice but a bit boring if you're used to the big cities. No subways system but there's the O-Train and OCTranspo [ok, so the O-Train really doesn't go anywhere but Carleton University] lots of tree, water and sunshine... Of course the windchill of -40 Celcius around the end of March is fabulous :eek: [ok, I didn't mean that]
     
  13. Hoef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #13
    Excellent advice .... Would you recommend a lawyer or is it a process you can do yourself? ..... Big Hockey fan!
     
  14. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #14
    Immigration lawyers are generally a waste of money. They can't (or at least shouldn't be able to) get you into the country any quicker. The only thing they will do is make sure your application papers are in order, which is quite straight forward - unless you have a special case.
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #15
    Us Canadians do say "eh," but no more than people from other countries. Honestly. Australians say "eh" all the time. They just say it with a falling tone. Canadians say it with a rising tone, usually when we ask a rhetorical question. Australians say it with a falling tone to sort of make their statement sound like more of an irrefutable fact. ;)

    Londoners also say "eh" although when I pointed that out, most people don't even recall ever saying it and continue to mock me. :D

    And even though I didn't notice it when I was in Canada, people in other countries DO notice that when I say "about," it sounds like I'm saying something in between "about" and "aboot." And when I say "house," I say it in a way that falls between "house" and "hoose." :eek: :(
     
  16. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #16
    Said it above, nowt round with 'eh!'.

    People believe it's 'aboot' - when it's more like 'aboWt' - it's subtle enough to distinguish a Canadian from an American, which can be a useful thing when being sarcastic :D
     
  17. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    #17


    All the lawyer will do is charge you for getting your papers together..you can apply "independantly" or by being "sponsered" there are probably other ways, but those are the main two.

    I sponsered my girlfriend cuz I'm a Canucker, and she is an American. Sponsering supposedly decreases your wait time by a ton,,because they want families to be together as fast as possible yatta yatta...

    Independantly, is a different ballgame, that can take up to two years...so they say..that is just an American (or whatever other nation) saying, "hey I wanna live and work in Canada, and I'm not Canadian, and have zero ties to Canada."

    SO sponsership is recommended. But that's assuming you have someone to sponser you, or whatever..

    That is why I recommend applying from your current location...I know some people that move here, apply, and then work under the table. but that sucks.

    To apply, they will give you a "checklist" of things you need such as:::::

    a fingerprint statement from the FBI in VA saying that you are not a criminal.
    a full doctor examination, and the records to prove that you are not a walking bird flu. :p
    letters from friends or relatives saying your relationship is real (only in the case of sponsership) pictures also.
    some kind of financial statment saying that you have money in the bank and are not going to be a big drain on the economy. (they say that that is not neccessary but I don't believe that for a second.)

    ahhh what else...

    The paper work and applications must be filled out flawlessly..absolutely perfect, or they will just turn it around and send it back to you, putting you to the back of the line...happened to us because they added a line to the application while we were applying with the older version...

    Things like "dependants" IE. kids, parents, you know.. dependants, can change things a little.

    So, a lawyer can have the advantage of giving you a straight answer about stuff, and helping you to prepare your paperwork.

    It's not easy, but it is worth it...remember Canadians are just unarmed Americans with healthcare..:eek: ...come and join the party..:D
     
  18. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    #18
    I can't believe there are actually people in Canuckerville that say "hoser"....I thought was just in that movie..

    and by Canuckerville I mean Canada, and by that movie I mean Strange Brew...


    If you hear someone say "hoser" slap em....
     
  19. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    #19
    Come on. All Americans know that it hardly costs anything to build an igloo to live in.
    :rolleyes:

    (Since we know most Americans think Canada is nothing but a frozen tundra with everyone living in igloos.)
     
  20. Hoef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #20
    Now that you touched the subject of waether .... What is the climate like in Vancouver, Seattle rainy? I am familiar with Toronto but curious about Vancouver
     
  21. adroit macrumors 6502

    adroit

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    #21
    The climate in Vancouver is pretty much the same w/ Seattle... rain rain and rain. However, it does snow a lot on the mountains ;)

    Vancouver is actually a great place for graphics design. Electronics art is probably one of the biggest one in town if you like to be a game developper. The flim industry is also very big here. Vancouver/ Victoria is actually a pretty good place for graphics and software. Most people just didn't know about it.
     
  22. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    #22


    last year in the Month of Febuary, we set a record for the most consecutive days of sunshine for the Month of Feb...

    ya it rains a lot, but compared to the insane amounts of snow in the East (my parents live in Nova Scotia) I'll take the rain any day...
     

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