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The Move

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi All!

My husband and I finally made our move to Canada, we sold our house in Huntington Beach, California and moved to Ontario, Canada..about an hour away from Windsor, Ontario/Detroit, Michigan.

We did drive cross country due to our Furbabies...all 6!!! I was the lucky one with all of them in my car! I refused to fly as I don't trust the airlines with pets! We purchased 3 cat carriers that held two either separately or together, they are called SturdiProducts. We saw them at a Pet Expo and liked them instantly...you can even buy hammocks to go in them! We also got Promace from our Vet, the Promace helped relax them to the point where they could sleep during the day while I was driving.

I took us about 6 days and we ended up staying at mostly Residence Inns where they allow Pets to stay with you. We had also purchased a book from AAA that listed every hotel, motel, etc that accepted pets. It also gave important info on traveling with pets too!

We did find out that we only had to get Rabies shots for the babies and get certificates. My Vet was nice enough to not charge us the $10 per certificate.

Funny thing was that with all the importing of our cars (and the convincing it took to let them bring in my Grammas plant...she passed away a few years back and that plant is very important to me), the Customs people never even looked at the certificates or the babies!

Bootsie & Lucky are now indoor cats and Bootsie has taken to her cat box with no problems! We actually brought Bootsie into the old house in CA about a month before we moved, which worked out well...we kept her in the Cat carrier with her own hammock and cat box and she seemed really content. Now she has her own room that she has claimed (one of the bedrooms downstairs) and comes out at night to investigate the rest of the house. Lucky is currently being "retrained" to use the cat box. She was funny, she would not use it at the old house, but would in the Hotel rooms! So now I have to walk (or carry) her to the litter box after she eats or wakes up. She even yells in the early hours of the day (usually 2-3 am) and I get up and we go to the litter box and she'll pee (although it usually takes me 2 or 3 times of putting her in the box before she gets the message).

Opal, Diamond, Lily & Tiger are loving the new house...especially Lily & Tiger, they run around like maniacs! We went from a one-story 850ish sq ft house to a 3-story (that includes the basement) 2600ish sq ft house and they love having all the extra room to run!

We are just one big happy family here in Canada now!

post #2 of 12
Welcome to Canada!

I am glad the trip went well, and customs/border patrol can be a funny lot, sometimes they will give you a hard time and empty your car searching for whatever it is they think you have and others they will wave you through with a quick look at your documents.

What city are you living in?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
We are in Chatham....it is taking some getting used to, I am used to getting somewhere in less than 20 minutes. Here the closest place to do our shopping (Costco, Micheals, PetSmart, Chapters, etc) is in Windsor; it takes us 45-50 minutes to get there.

The most trouble I had was getting my Gramma's plant in. I actually started crying, my husband thought it was an act, but that plant means alot to me since she passed away. He finally realized I was faking when the tears started to come down.

Immigration was the worst, she wasn't exactly friendly..at least the Customs people were friendly.

My husband is Canadian and is from Peterborough, his mom & brother are still living there and they are our main reason for coming. His brother has the mentality of a 14-15 year old, so we are hoping he will want to live with us when their mom passes away.

I am missing Southern California though...but I love all the rain we have been having here!

LOL! Diamond & Lily are walking around the living room talking! LOL!

What city are you in?

post #4 of 12
Glad to hear that your move went well!! and welcome to Canada!!

Chatham is a great city, one of my bridesmaids works there. I'm sure you'll love it here, people are very friendly.

I don't know how you'll feel about winter though!
post #5 of 12
I am in Burlington.

Immigration gave me a hard time when I moved here (and still do when I renew my visa ), I think that was the thing that shocked me most when I moved here also, I lived in London most of my life so nothing was ever far, it was a massive culture shock for me.

Oh and I go into hibernation for winter... work, shopping and home!
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Miss Mew

You are correct, the people here are very friendly, but then I have found that Canadians in general are a lot friendlier than in the US!

I do like it here in Chatham very much, the quiet is just what I needed, I believe we are 12km from Downtown Chatham...which by the way I love!

I love the style and the way the buildings are! But I can't help but hope that Chatham expands a bit in the "big company" area...Don't like Wal-Mart

I am looking forward to winter, only so that I can not be so darn hot!
At least in winter, it is easier to warm up than cool down in the summer!

In Southern California, we basically have two seasons: Summer & Winter...and winter really isn't winter, mostly rains, but a majority of time it is always sunny. I am sure I'll miss that alot!

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi Icklemiss,

I'm glad you understand the sort of culture shock I am going through...my husband does, but I don't think anyone else here understands. They are so used to how it is here. But at least I am enjoying the quiet..and not hearing my neighbors next door!

My husband had to do the yearly H1-B Visa thing every year for 5 years..until we got married, then we got his Green Card. I was tired of worrying that Customs would not let him back in

I agree about the hibernation in the winter I've already told my husband that the first sign of snow I see, I'm locking myself in the house and not coming out!

post #8 of 12
Same thing here with the visas (and I am still waiting for the ring but immigration say it doesn't actualy help after you live together for 3 years) and immigration is sooo slow with the paperwork.

I moved here and after a week wanted to move to Toronto
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Maybe after you get married (I'm under the assumption you both are going in that direction?), you can apply for a Permanant Residence Card (Same as a Green Card in the US)? They are right about the Visas not helping, the Visa is different than the Perm Residency Card.

My husband & I took a huge chance when we applied for his Green Card, we had been together for 3 years when we got married on 9/15/01 and the next month we applied for his Green Card. After seeing the paperwork we had to fill out, we hired an Immigration Attorney, well worth it to me! Not only did she fill out the paperwork, but she actually knew people in the US Immigration and we got our interview the following January (2002) and his card in May (2002). Course, here the Immigration agent said not to bother getting an attorney, she said it would not help in getting the paperwork processed faster...course I was just hoping to not have to fill out the paperwork

Thanks for the heads up on the slowness of Immigration. We have been putting off doing our paperwork to get me a Perm Residency Card...

Immigration did give me a visa of sorts (I guess it is a Visa) to stay here til 6/22/07, they wont let me work or go to college

I sooooo understand about moving to Toronto! But unfortunately it is soooo crowded there! That was the one place my husband refused to move to..oh that and Vancouver (when we were looking to move to BC).

post #10 of 12
I would probably prefer Vancouver, but he has his own business here so we can't move too far. He has lived in Hamilton/Burlington all his life and wont move anywhere else (I think he is missing the whole 5000mile thing here!).

As far as immigration are concerned, visa or not, if we have lived together for 3 years we are as good as married. I did the work permit papers myself but hired an immigration lawyer for the actual permanent residency stuff, its just too much paperwork and if you miss one piece, your file will go back to the bottom as of the date they receive the info.

The one year visas, if I want to get mine back in time for the expiry of my other one, I need to apply 3 months before it expires, they have been VERY slow, and probably slower now with the new laws they brought in
post #11 of 12
How funny!! My husband and I just moved out of Cali too. We moved to the South though We, too, couldn't take California anymore. The prices and everything was getting to us. I thank GOD that we got out of there when we did.

Congrats and Good Luck on your new home and I really wish you all the best on starting your new lives there. We have been here since March and things are getting better each day.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi CaliGirl!

Where in CA did you leave? We left from Huntington Beach, got out in time for the housing bust too

I really was getting tired of being inches away from my neighbors...having to be beside a bathroom on one side and a kitchen on the other and hearing all the fights, noises (if ya know what I mean) and just their conversations alone!

At least here in Chatham, we have space between our neighbors, not to mention the double glass windows!

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