There comes a time when a
journal should end and this is it and I'd like now to sum up what I have
Firstly I would say
that people all over the world really have the same aspirations. To have
a family, get a home to live in, a car and a decent job where they can
pay for it all and hopefully some extra for the wee luxuries in life. In
this there is no difference between Scotland and Canada.
The homes in Canada are
on the whole built differently to those in Scotland but they last just
as long and are as comfortable. In Canada most houses have a walk in
basement whereas in Scotland they don't. Most homes also have central
air which means you can be warm in winter and cool in summer.
Like Scotland Canada
has a national health service although you do need to pay for
prescriptions whereas in Scotland you don't.
I had to get used to
the food which is mostly similar but with a lot of differences. As
Canada is an immigrant nation the food is perhaps more diverse than you
would find in Scotland and there is a definite coffee culture here.
But that said you can pretty much eat as you would in Scotland. At
the end of the day the brands are different and I have not found a link
sausage that I really like but have found an acceptable alternative. I
can obtain lorn square sausage and black pudding but have to drive some
distance to obtain these. I have however found an alternative black
pudding locally, not the same, but close enough. I have not been able to
find cooked tongue so for my occasional fix I just order it online and
as it's in a can I can import it into Canada.
If anything fruit and
veg are probably more diverse in Canada and plentiful but lamb is not so
easy to find fresh although frozen is normally available. I have no
local curry takeaway but have found one supermarket that stocks a good
curry sauce in a jar, korma, butter chicken, Tikka Masala, Rogan Josh,
Vindaloo and others. You can also purchase Nan Bread and Poppadums. And
so it just tales 30 minutes to make a chicken Tikka Masala at home. I
still prefer the UK Baked Beans as I find the brands in Canada a bit
sweet for my liking.
When I first got here I
made frequent visits to the local Scottish stores but now I've been here
a while I've adapted slightly. It's my impression that Canadians eat out
more and use drive throughs more frequently than in Scotland.
The weather is actually
not that different than it is in Scotland unless you head further north.
Where I located in the South West of Ontario the weather is really very
good. There are just as many good schools and Universities here that
there are in Scotland and so overall anyone used to life in the UK will
feel perfectly at home in Canada.
The house prices in
some respects are cheaper than Scotland although some places are rather
expensive like Toronto and Vancouver but still cheaper than similar
places in Scotland.
I would say that your
money will go further in Canada than in does in Scotland. Corporate tax
rate is the lowest in the G8 so good for business.
Laws are much the same
although contractors in Canada need to be examined very closely as in my
opinion they are worse than in Scotland. They can even take you to court
even if it's their problem that caused the issue in the first place.
Of course Canada with
around 34 million people is a huge country with massive potential. Most
of you will know that Canada has come out of the global financial crisis
in much better shape than in other countries. They regulated their
banking industry much better than others. The vast natural resources of
Canada gives the country a tremendous future and the current
Conservative government is going all out to expand trade with the world.
The future of the country is thus very rosy indeed.
However as the country
is vast it does take a lot of time to get anywhere. Flying from Toronto
in Ontario to Vancouver in BC is a six hour flight. Several days if you
want to drive it.
Outdoor activities are
enormous, hunting, fishing, sailing, canoeing, camping, RV'ing, snow
machine trails and ATV's are common. So if you are an outdoors type you
will be spoilt for choice. Ice hockey and Basketball are very popular.
Football is available as in Scotland but much smaller. Curling is also a
Just like in Scotland
you contribute to a Government old age pension and there are benefits
when you retire like they cap prescription charges at $100 a month for
Pretty well anything
you can do in Scotland you can do in Canada but even more is available.
Most homes will have an outdoor BBQ which is used in both Summer and
Should you be prepared
or able to work outside of the big centers of population then house
prices can be very low indeed. Like I might have mentioned that
with some renovations my home cost me $95,000, around £60,000 at today's
rate (April 2012). It is a detached house on a corner lot with three
bedrooms, dining room, large office, living room, kitchen, 1.5 baths,
but also has a two room full walk in basement, (which could easily be
converted to a one bedroom flat). a full walk in attic (big enough to be
a master bedroom with ensuite), garage and small back garden. It came
with central air. And I have a walk around porch on two sides of the
There are the usual
large supermarket chains, home depot, etc. as you would expect in any
modern society. Lots of great wee villages and towns, tons of shopping
of all kinds and plenty of activities for the Kids.
So how do I sum up my
move to Canada? Frankly I think it was the best move I ever made.
My money goes a lot further here and my quality of life is better than
it was in Scotland. But the country is vast and so it will take a lot of
research to decide where you'd like to settle. Of course if you are
fortunate enough to be offered a job over here then your place of
residence will be decided for you.
There are perhaps other
places I might have settled like PEI, Cape Breton, Elliot Lake, Kimberly
in BC, etc. I visited them all and they were great places to
settle. If you watched Will and Kate's trip to Canada you'd have seen a
very diverse country. I have just as it happens added some videos of the
various Provinces in Canada which you can watch at
http://www.electriccanadian.com/lifestyle/videos/index.htm and I
have started a Canadian web site at
http://www.electriccanadian.com where you can learn more of the
You will also meet some
of the First Nations people with their own unique culture and I might
add that they say there are over 200 languages spoken in Toronto. People
have come here from all over the world and I have spoken to a lot of
people from different ethnic groups and they all had nothing put praise
for their new country. When I went to my citizenship ceremony there were
some 60 odd people getting their citizenship and they were from some 32
different countries in the world.
I would end by saying
that the Scottish influence in Canada is huge and you'll meet Scots just
about anywhere you go in Canada. It really is a land of opportunity from
natural wealth of its mining and oil sectors to space and everything in
between. But if you are going to the north then watch out for black fly
I hope you've enjoyed
my journal and through it learned something about settling in Canada.
I've become a Canadian citizen and so I feel that demonstrates my
commitment to my new home although I will always have a soft spot for
So from arriving in
Canada in October 2004 I leave you in April 2012.