Your Welcome Canada Checklist

After you come to Canada, Welcome Canada Checklist is something basic to dos that you need to complete.

– Social Insurance Number (SIN), normally done in Air Port after you landed.
– Open a Bank Account, Bank statements are required for your address verification sometime.
– Get Internet Connection, discuss with friends and families to get best deal.
– Apply Health Card.
– Find a Community Health Centre near by your location, this is needed until your health card arrive.
– Apply your Driver License.
– Apply for Child Benefits.
– Apply For Child Care, you need to apply soon this has normally long waiting period.
– Apply for Electricity Benefits.

– Find a settlement worker, they will help to connect with different social programs like Furniture Banks etc.
– Find Employment Resource Centres like Access Points.
– Connect with Facebook groups of you community, there you get lot of Informations and help.

– Locate public library close to you and register to get Library Card.
– Register your children to school, understand Education System.

– Find English classes for you and your family
– Understand Canada Chain shops few are like

Grocery – Walmart (Super Store), Food Basics, Metro, Fresco, Loblaws, Lawes, Shopper Dragmart
Kids – Babies R Us, Toys Y Us, Carter, Oshkosh
Electronics – Best Buy, Canadian Tier, Amazon Canada, eBay Canada, Staples
Cloths and Shoes including winter- Walmart, Sears, Hudson Bay, Eddie Bear, Columbia

– Meet and Greet people of your profession, attend Job fairs.

For all these you will need valid Photo ID until you have state ID or Driver License

– Passport
– COPR

PS: Some links I shared are based on Ontario, different province will have different links.

Housing System in Canada

Housing System Canada has lot of varieties. Its better you understand before you rent one to live. There are many fact related to each housing types that are available. This write up is mainly focusing on living on a property  not for buying though.

You need be aware of few facts before we talk about different types of properties for renting

Basement Living

Some house basement with separate entrance, many people opt rent this kind because its cheaper than other types of housed. However, if you kids its better to avoid. If you are a bachelor only it is okay to live there.

Renting a Property

While a renting a property you need to understand what type of property you are renting. Also norm of renting laws you can find more about Canada laws of renting house here. To rent a house normally house owner or property company requires your

Canada Govt ID or Passport photo copy
Income status
Credit History
For new comer 6 months of rent in advanced and a guarantor
Need to sign the agreement.

Learn more about Canada Right of Tenants

Condition of the property you about to live?

In North America specially in busy cities condition of property always a big concerns. Bed Bug and Cockroaches are buzz word you have to be very careful. You need to check the status of the property for these. Check the bed bug report of the property or discuss with friends and families.

 

Lets see the types of Houses in Canada

Rental Apartment
Condominiums Apartment
Condominiums Townhouse
Freehold Townhouse
Semi-detached House
Detached House

Rental Apartment

Condo Apartment
Condo Apartment

It is owned by property company and for renting only. Typically large building having 20-30 floors. Many families live in same building. The possibly the best option for New Comers to start living for initial days in Canada. Most apartments have one, two or three bedrooms.

As of 2017 rent seems as follows, however rent depends on location and facilities
1 Bed – 1200~1400 CAD
2 Bed – 1500~1700 CAD
3 Bed – 1700~2000 CAD

Condominiums Apartment

These are also big building with 20-30 floors living many families on the same building. Only difference if Condo apartments are owned by individuals who bought it from Property company.

Town HouseThere are  Condo Fees to maintain indoor and outdoor common areas shared by the condo owners, including parking areas, elevators, carpets, front entrances, and any recreation facilities.

Rent are little higher than Rental apartments because these are well maintained.

Condominiums and Freehold Townhouse

Town House Canada
Town House

A townhouse is a unit in a row of other units that look like houses, attached to each other. It share a wall on either side with the people who live beside. Often, especially in cities, there may also be a smaller unit above each townhouse, so there could also be someone living above you or below you. Townhouses are usually 2 or 3 levels tall.

Condo townhouses has Condo Fees where as Freehold does not have Condo Fees maintained by owner or tenant.

 

Semi-detached House

Semi-detached House Canada
Semi-detached House

One house with two unit in it. Owners responsible for the care and maintenance of their own side, just like a detached house. Owners of semi-detached homes own their side of the property, including the land it is on, and are responsible for its care and maintenance.

If you renting this kind of house you will have maintain as per local govt law.

Detached House

Detach House Canada
Detach House

One house with it own land. Owner own both the house and the land it is on. Owner does the maintenance, pay for it.House owners must also pay the monthly bills for water and heat, as well as their other bills . Detached houses generally provide more space and privacy than other unit types.

More information on houses can be found in www.cmhc.ca

Canada Education System

Canada Education System is sightly different in each province. For new immigrants understanding Canada education system would help to put kids to right schools. Also to plan for right education path for your kids I felt understanding education system is very useful

Normally here mandatory education to kids start from 4 years of age. Interesting things is, kid who will touch age 4 years even in December month of that year will go to school in that same year September.

Canada education system is sub divided to number stages like

Pre School / Pre Elementary (age 3 – 4 years)

Starts with age 3 – 4 years
Not public school covered. For this parent need to pay if they dont have govt subsidy. No fix curriculum.

Elementary School (age 5 – 12 years)

Junior Kindergarten
Senior Kindergarten
Grade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Junior High School / Middle School (age 13 – 14 years)

Grade 7, 8

Senior High School / Secondary School (age 15 – 18 years)

Grade 9, 10, 11, 12

College

College offers different courses from 1 year certificate to 4 years full degree.
Certificates, 1 – 2 years
Associates Degree, 2 years
College Diplomas, 1 – 3 years
Bachelor Degrees, 3 – 4 years

University

Advanced academic certificates
Diplomas
Bachelor Degrees
Master’s Degree and
Ph.D.

 

If you live in Ontario there are two school boards you can explore TDBS for Toronto and Peel Schools for Mississauga

For School ranking you can check here.

 

 

Islamic Schools Toronto

Many people from back home look for major Islamic schools Toronto. Well, Canada is a open country its has got all dimension of religions and faith. Religious point of view there are both Catholic and Islamic Schools available. First of all you also need to learn Education System Canada

But, Islamic Schools are private there is no Public Islamic school I have came across so far. Since Islamic schools are very few its difficult to get seat for your kids in higher ranked Islamic Schools, normally they put on waiting list for registration of 50CAD, they call back when ever seats are available.

How Much Schools would cost?
All Islamic school has there web sites with details some does not have average fee structure as follow

1. One time Admin fees 500 ~ 600 CAD per year
2. Monthly Fee – 200 ~ 300 CAD per month
3. Transportation Fee – 100 ~ 150 CAD per month.

Some of the Schools I know in Toronto and Mississauga are

Islamic Schools in Toronto:

Islamic Foundation School
Baitul Mukarram School
Madinatul Uloom Academy 

Islamic Schools in Mississauga:

Isna School
Olive Groves School
Safa Marwa School 
Iqra School
Al Huda Islamic School 

Before selecting a School you can have a check of ranking of the school here. Here you will get even big list of Islamic School.

 

Drivers License Canada

Drivers License Canada has three grades to be achieved. Based on your grade you have certain restrictions. You need to prepare few things before you land to Canada to manage maximum benefits.

Lets know the grades of Class G (Car, Van etc)

G1
This grade is awarded when you pass written exam. This is mandatory exam you have to pass this to move next level. Steps are

  1. Prepare from online resources for written test.
  2. Visit to Service Ontario office near to you with your passport, back home driver license and any documents also PR card if available.
  3. They will check you vision and register you for written exam.
  4. Exam held for 1 hour for 40 question which has 20 rule and 20 sign question.

G2
This grade is awarded when you pass basic road test, test does not cover highway driving

  1. If you do not have previous driving experience you have or experience is less than 1 year you will have to wait for 1 year after you pass G1.
  2. Get the training and prepare road test
  3. Normally trainer explains all the techniques required to pass G2 and when to register for exam.

G
This grade awarded when you pass professional road test including highway driving. This final level of Canada driving license.

  • After you pass G2 you need to wait for 1 year to give G road test unless you have 3 years back home driving experiences.
  • After you pass G2 you have to complete G with 5 years of you G2 license otherwise you have to renew G2 again with G2 exam.

Before you land to Canada it’s recommended you bring a certified letter from your home country’s Transport Authority which reflects age of your back home driving license.  If your license is 2+ years old Service Canada will allow you to go for directly G test and G2 test will be waived for you. But in this case if you fail you will have to take G2 test again.

Learn more about Exchange License Program

The best content for knowing all rules and regulation of driver’s license is to refer Ontario Driver’s License Handbook.

 

PS: Here I am referring Ontario’s rules and regulations. Different provinces has different rules and systems but nearly same.

Renting Car Toronto

Renting Car Toronto is very popular due to high instance premium. Many people do renting cars instead of buying a car immediately in the major cities in Canada. This is because having a car is costly in busy cities in Canada due to high insurance premium. Average insurance cost for new drivers in Toronto is CA $270 – $300. For those does not have use of car everyday they normally rent it this cost CAD $40-$60 during winter and CAD $50-$100 during summer .

Following are popular car rental companies in Toronto or most of the Cities.

https://www.enterprise.ca
https://www.discountcar.com/
https://www.budget.ca/en/

There are also membership for those you need to register to their web sites as a member and then use their cars

http://www.zipcar.ca/

The standard process is

1. Book you car 1-2 weeks in advanced.
2. Call them when you are sure and confirm them the booking.
3. Pick the car on booking day, they will explain their policy you need to comply.

Thats it! Sometime renting is risky if you don’t take insurance and car get any damages. Most of the credit card here covers car insurance, you may also check your credit card for car insurance. Lean more about Canada.

Learn Canada Life

Immigrating to Canada is not just a decision and come over to Canada, you need to learn Canada life. As per my experiences some one need to understand following areas of Canada and then start proceeding.

1. Social Life
2. Weather in Canada
3. Geography
4. Various Provinces and Cities
5. Education System from KG to University
4. Health System
5. Housing System
6. Job Market
7. Job Culture
9. Economy
10. Industries

Knowing all these would give clear view of Canada and it lead to a good decision to immigrate here.

I will try to cover all these areas in this site day by day to give a clear picture of Canada. Start preparing here to Immigrate.