Getting Car Insurance is
not easy in Toronto. It might be easier in other parts and in fact I
found it to be so. I think I mentioned that my first quote was on
the Internet and despite having an $11,500 car it was going to cost me
over $5000. Essentially if you come to Canada from anywhere else
other than the USA you are deemed to be a new driver.
Even with personal
introductions it wasn't much better than $3,600. My final try was to
a person called Tracy Scott in Sarnia, Ontario on 519 332 0480 who is an
Insurance broker recommended to me by a visitor to the site. She did
manage to get me 6 months insurance for $1583 ($3166 annual). I can cancel
it earlier for a $200 cancellation fee. So with luck I will only pay that
rate for a couple of months.
North Kent Mutual has been
by far the best deal at $1,800 for the year with an additional discount if
I also insure my house with them. They have decided that my driving
experience does count for something and have given me a 3 star rating and
thus extra discount. It seems that brokers outside Toronto can get you
better deals for both residents of Toronto and elsewhere.
You must have car insurance
arranged before you can pick up your car. And just as a matter of interest
I have bought a Buick Regal LS year 2000 model for $11,500 on a 3 year
lease with a $2000 buy outright at the end of the term.
It is now onto house buying
again and I have found three houses in Chatham which I am going to look
This one I have seen and
found it to be perfect for my needs with some spend on alterations but
hopefully not too much. For example I would want to put in a dividing wall
so you don't walk right into the living room and I'd want to get a whole
new bathroom put in on the upper floor as the current one is so tiny you'd
like knock your head on the roof. This would mean taking the small
bedroom next door and making the whole into one good bathroom. There is
actually a smallish bedroom on the main floor with a toilet and wash hand
basin ensuite. It was obviously used for a disabled person but would make
a good wee guest room.
This one is a very solid
house but is pretty well gutted inside so a fair bit of work needed to
bring it up to standard. It is also on a very busy crossroads so am not
too sure about it but size wise it is excellent. It does have old
Victorian features with superb wood floors and decorations on the wood
work. The attic is huge and would actually make a superb office.
This one I have only seen
from outside but the inside description is very good so I will be
arranging to view it later this week.
To keep costs down I will
be viewing all three houses this coming Wednesday with the realtor and
builder in tow. This way I get a reasonable idea on whether the houses are
in good shape with foundations, etc and get an idea of what the
improvements will cost. Should one of these fit the bill then I will
arrange for an offer to go in conditional on a building inspection,
getting insurance, and legal work being satisfactory. There is full
hi-speed cable Internet in Chatham so no problem there. I am also
told there are 7 Tim Horton's in the town :-)
I am now also getting
organised to apply for immigration and so have sent back to the UK to get
copies of my educational qualifications. Also to the police to get a
report on any criminal activity they hold on me (hopefully none!). I
also need to get a report from my old school saying how long I attended
there. I will also need to try and get some kind of report from my old
school in Kuwait to verify how long I was there. This is all to do
with proving I have 13 years worth of education. This is needed to
get my point score up to the required 67 points.
The point about the
application is that you need to prove whatever you are claiming and leave
no ambiguity in your application as if they need to write to you then this
could add months to the process. So if you are going to do it at all then
do it right.
I also get 10 points for
arranged employment but as I am self employed I need clarification on
whether me working for myself counts. That is being investigated right
now. If that doesn't work out then I apply as a self employed person
although this does take longer.
This month I was also made
a Director of the Scottish Studies Society and am helping them get
organised for the big Tartan Day dinner on 5th April 2005. This is a
big time dinner with the Scot of the Year Award being presented. I am
helping to raise awareness of this event and if you are near Toronto
you've got to come as the tickets are only $150 each. It's formal kilt or
black tie. Pipes and Drums, music, entertainment, fabulous dinner and
dancing afterwards. I'll be there so you can get to meet me as well :-)
Anyway... that's my report
to date through 28th February so hopefully March will see me making more