7 things to remember when moving to Canada


moving, relocation
Image courtesy of sodahead.com

You could be forgiven for thinking moving to Canada doesn’t entail the same consideration journeying to a third world country might. After all, it has a stable economy, an established infrastructure and an accepting attitude, right? But it’s always the small, innocuous things that lurk below our radar that can make life miserable with their irksomeness if overlooked.

There are a few things to be aware of that will help your Canadian experience go smoothly. They may seem obvious to some, but that’s easy to say with the benefit of hindsight:

  1. There’s a voltage difference…

Read this article in its entirety on my column at Expat Focus if you don’t want to get caught out by the other six!

Whitby Shores, Whitby, Ontario

By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. Why on earth would you want to go to Canada? I’m an ex pat Brit who just spent 30 years there — many of them trying to get out. I’m now in the southern USA. I hope your in Alberta at least, if you can stand the weather.

    1. I don’t believe there is any one place in the world that could tick all the boxes for me – countries have their good and bad qualities, depending on your viewpoint. Canada has a lot of plus points and if you don’t spend all your time comparing your new location to your old one, you can usually appreciate them once the culture shock wears off. As for the weather, because Canada is so vast, it really depends on where you are. Here, close to Toronto, we have four distinct seasons, hot summers and cold winters. Apart from the lack of decent food and the crazy drivers, I can’t think of anything that drives me to despair. I like the fact that you can walk at night without being mugged, that people have the time and openness to stop and chat, that you can leave your car unlocked or things on your porch and they won’t get stolen. But I know Canada might not be everyone’s cup of Tims…

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