Since Canada and the UK have historical links that bind them, it’s no wonder that so many Brits end up in Canada, and vice versa. Following the vote for Britain to leave the European Union, Google searches for ‘moving to Canada’ skyrocketed. Whether you’re looking to leave for a job, family, or a change of pace, Canada can offer Brits a familiar yet brand new country to call home. Just the same, any move across the pond is a huge change, so here are 7 secrets to help you feel at home after moving to Canada from the UK.
Learn the Language
While English (and French) are the official languages of Canada, making for an easier transition, picking up on some of the nuances of Canadian language will help you understand what everyone is talking about in casual conversation, eh. Canadian spelling, unlike American, is very similar to UK English. However there are some notable differences, for example words like analyse and paralyse are spelled analyze and paralyze by most Canadians. Other terms to learn are mostly slang: a loonie is a dollar, a gas station is a petrol station, and a toque is a hat to keep you warm in the winter.
Enjoy Familiar Comforts Of Home
It turns out Canadians enjoy Coronation Street just as much as the Brits, with the CBC broadcasting it five times a week on the edge of prime time since it’s the most popular soap in both Canada and the UK. Feel free to binge watch and find out who in your social circle in Canada is also hooked on Coronation Street.
Learn to Love The National Sport
Ice hockey and lacrosse to Canadians are what cricket and football are to the Brits. A great way to meet new people is to go and check out some games, amateur or pro, and if you’re so inclined explore the possibility of learning the sport and playing yourself. There are numerous house leagues of various levels for adults and children alike. It’s a great way to stay active and meet new people.
Network With Other Brits
Groups like Brits in Toronto have over 4,000 members (with many cities across the country having such groups) and exist to help other Brits feel at home. These groups include meet ups, so you can connect with others who are going through something similar to you, but also provide opportunities for you to find the comforts of home in Canada. Need to know where to get a good curry or roast beef in your new hometown? No problem, members of these groups are happy to offer suggestions and help you acclimatize to your new life in Canada.
Be Wary of ‘Tourist’ Friendships
While it can be wonderful to meet other Brits new to Canada and figuring out if it is the right fit for them, and commiserating about your adventure, don’t rely on one person or family to be your entire social circle. Should they decide to head back home you will find yourself feeling very lonely. Karen Brooks moved to Whistler from the UK in 2010 and told The Guardian of her experience, saying that it’s easy to meet other expats where they live, but many people are only there for a short time, so remain patient when finding the best possible place to live, work, and meet others.
Bond Over Complaining About the Weather
Trade in your raincoat for a winter parka. Aside from the west coast in British Columbia, the rest of Canada sees a lot less rain, but colder temperatures. Invest in warm gear for cold weather so you can get out during the winter months instead of spending all your time inside, alone, watching Netflix. Want to start a conversation? Complaining about the weather is an important Canadian rite of passage.
Bring Family & Friends Over To Visit
Spending a little time in your new home as a tourist and enjoying attractions alongside loved ones is a fantastic way to grow an appreciation for Canada. Canada is huge compared to the UK, so even exploring one province, depending on the province’s size, could take some time. Scheduling visitors during your first years in Canada will give you something to look forward to, and provide new and exciting ways to explore the country.
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