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My Canadian Experience

Making more progress and learning all the time. So this is what has happened through to 23rd November.

I opened my Scotiabank accounts which was quite an experience as the woman that I'd made an appointment with was tied up and so I waited a fair time at the reception desk by the door of the bank. Eventually the man at the desk decided he would try to deal with things for me.

So I got my accounts but no credit card.  Seems that if your SIN card number starts with a 9 you have no hope of getting a credit card even if you are willing to put down a deposit.  A 9 indicates you are only here temporarily so am not sure that getting a SIN card was useful from this perspective. I was told that I could easily pick up a credit card from folk like Sears or The Bay so I might just try one of these to see if this information is correct.

I purchased a mobile phone also this week so am a bit better off communications wise. The main three mobile operators are Rogers, Bell and Telus. I decided to go with Rogers although all of them seem to offer much the same offerings. The one thing I found very peculiar is that each mobile operator charges you for use of the 911 service and the facility to use it.  Considering this is an emergency number I have to confess I find that difficult to accept that a company can make money from an emergency situation.

I am still house hunting.  Whenever I find a great house I find I can't get Internet access with broadband. This is getting highly irritating I have to confess. I am of course looking for a decent sized house and want to be rural rather than live in a town but seems this means I'm stuffed when it comes to getting decent Internet access.  It is true you can get satellite but uploads speeds are worse than a dial-up line although downloads are no problem.  Of course with me having to publish to the web site this is not good news. So far the only place I have found where I can get rural and cable internet is way up in Northern Ontario at a place like Manitouwadge. Problem is that I will likely need to go to Toronto every other month and perhaps each month so don't really want to be too far away.

Just as a matter of interest here is the information I got on the guaranteed hi-speed satellite service and it did take me a very long time to find this information.

Contact Phone Numbers
760 471 8045 - Speak to David
760 471 8047 - Speak to Matt

Monthly subscription costs (in US$) (download/upload)
I am told that you get at least 80% of the upload speed as this is dedicated bandwith that you are buying and not shared with other users.

$599.00 512k/512k
$519.00 512k/384k
$456.00 512k/256k
$414.00 256k/256k
$393.00 512k/128k*

* Hardware cost 128k US$3995.00
  Hardware cost 256k+ US$4795.00

For the faster speeds you require a larger dish.  Once installed you can simply request more bandwidth if you need it as it's a software upgrade you get.

Installation cost of the hardware is around $600.00

I am told it is possible to add a TV satellite service to the dish.

Web Site:

I have also got my company registered in Canada - Electric Scotland Inc. I am not quite sure how or when I'll start doing business in Canada as it does mean some changes and getting customers to stop their current payments and creating new ones for the Canadian company.  Probably best if I have some time to think about this.  I might add that just like the UK I can still operate an American company but have to pay tax for that in America.  Having done that I would also need to pay tax in Canada but they do put the tax you've paid in America against what you are due here but at least you are not paying twice.

One thing I have noticed is that with my bank in the US, as I am personally known to the Bank Manager, I can phone her and she will do a wire transfer for me.  Here in Canada you can't do that and need to complete a form and sign it.

I have spent considerable time looking for a house and so having now settled that I simply can't get decent satellite access I have focused on finding a house where I can get cable or DSL hi-speed Internet. That has limited my choice of getting a great home at a low cost so a wee bit of compromise needed.  On Friday 26th I am heading for the Sarnia area which is South West Ontario to look at a few houses. Sean of ReMax will be picking me up at the railway station and taking me around. The train trip is around 4 hours to get there but it is near the US border.  The following Monday I will be heading back to Prince Edward County to have another look at that house I looked at earlier. 

In the meantime I plan to go back to my bank to order a check book as I wasn't able to do that until I put funds in the account as they do charge for a check book.  I just hope it isn't a minimum of 500 checks as it is in the US as that will last me a lifetime.

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