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6 Tips For a Smooth Relocation from the UK to Canada – Part 2

Working @L3WESCAM
Last year, David Andrew, ILS Manager at L3 WESCAM, relocated from Yorkshire, UK to Burlington, Ontario with his wife Janet
and their teenage son. He’s learned a lot in the last eight months. Here is his advice for anyone thinking of following
in his footsteps.

    1. Do your homework.
      “This wasn’t our first time living in Canada,” he says. “We’ve lived in Edmonton, so we knew more or less what
      to expect. But that first move was a shock. We didn’t know anything, from the smallest things like where to buy milk
      to the more important stuff like what areas were good to live in. We were fish out of water.”

His advice? Get as much info as you can, before you decide. WESCAM knows how big a decision it is to pull up roots and move
to another country, so they fly candidates and their partners to Canada get a sense of what living here is like. The trip
includes a tour with All Points, a third-party relocation company. They provide custom tours designed for each client. Basically, you tell
them what you want to see in advance, and they will cover it.

    1. Expect a few bumps along the way.
      It’s important to keep in mind that when government and immigration are involved, issues can arise. Be patient.
      For instance, David was one of our first UK hires in the latest recruitment campaign, so it was a learning process for
      everyone. He and Janet ended up facing a few glitches along the way. Simple communication issues between provincial organizations
      and the immigration program can cause delays.
    1. Give yourself about a year to get used to things.
      Moving to a new place is an adventure, but leaving everything and everyone you know behind is hard. Do what
      you can to immerse yourself in your new life. Attend community events, join local groups, and come out to
      WESCAM socials . “The general rule is that it takes about a year to settle in and feel okay being apart from family
      and friends and everything familiar,” says David. “Give it time.”
    1. Be realistic about the cost of living.
      The Canadian dollar may be worth less than the pound – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any cheaper to
      live here. Food is more expensive if you don’t shop around, and while petrol is cheaper, vehicles can be less fuel efficient.
      And real estate can be particularly pricey depending on where you want to live.

“If you think of Toronto like London, then Burlington is like Newbury,” says David. “The distance is similar and house prices
are almost comparable. But the further away from Toronto and the lakeshore you get, the more affordable prices become. We’re
currently renting in Waterdown, which is about 12 minutes away from work so I’m really appreciating not having to spend a lot of time in
the car each day and we’ll get more for our money when it comes to buying our next home.”

One thing that has taken a lot of people by surprise is Ontario’s recent Non-Resident Speculation Tax, a 15% tax on home purchases made by buyers in the Greater Toronto area who aren’t citizens or permanent residents. The tax was introduced to keep foreign speculators from driving up prices, but it may also have
driven up costs for buyers like David and Janet. The silver lining is that this may be refunded – or may not need to be
paid at all – depending on individual circumstances.

    1. Ask for help, it’s available.
      “WESCAM helped to get us through the process,” says David. “HR was very responsive to both myself and Janet – and it felt
      like they wanted to help us. The motto of the company is that it’s a sense of community and a place to belong, and they’ve
      lived up to that.”

All Points support became available towards the end of their relocation. “I like the fact that they reimburse most expenses
directly. That’s a key benefit for me,” says David.

    1. Take advantage of all the opportunities.
      Relocating isn’t just about getting a new job, it’s about experiencing a new place and lifestyle. So explore. Take in
      shows and local events. Check out the country side and if you like life on the water, Ontario has 250,000 fresh water
      lakes to discover.

“There’s a lot to like about living here,” says David. “There’s plenty of sunshine, especially compared to Yorkshire! It’s
very safe for all the family and yes, in the winter, there is plenty of snow, but put the winter tires on and all will be
good. We really like Burlington and the surrounding area. It’s got everything you need without being too big. Great summer
festivals, easy access to Toronto, terrific hiking trails, and it’s right on the lake.”

Next up: A spouse’s perspective on pulling up roots and moving from the UK to Canada. Read it here.

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