Moving to Canada with your family

Hello everybody,

When settling abroad with your spouse and children, the expatriation process requires an extensive preparation.

What are the considerations to take into account when moving to Canada with your family? What challenges have you faced? How did your children adapt to their new environment?

What is your recipe for a successful family expatriation in Canada?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience,


I Lived in Seattle before immigrated to Canada and settling in Vancouver in 2006 with my Canadian partner. There is a love-love relationship between the two cities: Vancouverites love Seattle and Seattleites love Vancouver. Also, both share commonality of being Pacific Northwesterners, a long unexplored yet interesting attitude best described as 'Live...and let live.' Enjoy life and let others enjoy theirs as well.

One challenge I discovered is if one is assertive or opinionated (if I could make a broad generality) it is viewed as un-Canadian. If the Canadian realizes or discovers you are American, they might not say anything but the look in their eyes becomes, 'Oh, THAT explains it.'

Visitors to Canada like to come away with the feeling that Canadians are polite. When in fact Canadians typically chose not to be disagreeable and typically won't let you know they disagree with what you say or do. Unless they're set-in-their-ways (read: older) or you question their so-called right to be loud and drunk on public transit on a Friday or Saturday (read: younger people).

There are a number of undercurrents in Canadian society, from covert racism, 'putting on a happy face', and 'we're better than them' (read: America/Americans) attitudes. Just ask any newcomer to Canada. But we are the ones being disagreeable if we point these out to a Canadian. A common look washes their faces with their unsaid look: Oh, he/she is a foreigner. Or better yet an American. THAT explains it.


We are a family who moved 17 years ago from The netherlands to come to Canada.
And here we are looking to move to Portugal!

Here are couple of reasons why we are actually looking to leave:

1. Climate
Winter: Not HUMAN SAFE it seems that each year it's getting worse -25 is the norm and it can go up to -45 degrees celsius ( we live in Ottawa ) and the winters are soon long
Summer: Dry, extremely HUMID short summers rains many times.
2.Bugs: Like you've never seen I mean we had all of them
-black flies
-horse flies
-deer flies
So we barely go outside because if we do we get bitten all over
so there is the climate we are practically the whole year inside!
3. Nothing to do for kids or adults in terms of entertainment
4. Everything is soo expensive!!!!!!
5. We foreigners feel very excluded

When moving, there 2 types of move:
- personal move, where you did not get any assistance whatsoever
- company move, where there's a relocation package

The later is pretty rare and if it does happen, you'd have to see what is the overall package worth.

Setting all this aside, what makes for a good move is:

1) Timing / Season - always try to avoid moving when its winter.
2) If possible do a pre-scouting visit to evaluate the state of things on the ground
3) Get a rental agent who will help you locate your potential rental property based on your requirements. Ensure that the fees are not borne by you but by the owner of the rental property. This eliminates the need for you to hunt for the rental property and reduces the work needed to do in advance, especially if you are moving with a family and have lots to think about.
4) During the gap period when you and your family arrive, ensure you have some form of insurance to cover you and your family before you get your local provincial health card.
5) Make sure you also bring along details like your auto insurance history etc to lower the cost of your auto insurance purchase when you eventually decide to buy a car here
6) If you do have to come during winter time or early spring or late fall when its cold, do have a set of warm clothings. But stop short from buying a whole warddrobe full as it makes no sense to lug around cart loads of winter clothes halfway around the world unless you don't mind paying excess baggage fees for it. You can buy the remainder winter clothings when you are settled down here.

That's all I got for now. I'll be sure to post additional things when it comes to mind.

i like your coment

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