Moving to Canada with your family

Swapping life at home for a new one in beautiful Canada is a move that thousands of expats choose to make every year. This is a land that not only boasts world-class natural landscapes made up of epic open plains, majestic mountains and enchanting lakes but offers vibrant and cosmopolitan cities which regularly rate highly in expat satisfaction and quality of life polls. Team this with a robust economy, excellent schools and a comparatively low cost of living and it’s not too hard to see why moving to Canada with your family would hold such appeal.
The good news is that immediate family members will be able to relocate to Canada with you straight away – this includes any dependent children, grandchildren and your spouse (or common law partner). Parents and grandparents can be sponsored to join you but only after you have gained permanent residence and fulfilled the sponsorship criteria.
Choosing a location
Moneysense Magazine recently released its 2016 list of the best places to raise kids in Canada. Using data from Statistics Canada and Environs Analytics, the rankings take into account various factors that could affect the quality of life of you and your family such as the cost of childcare, affordable housing and well-paying jobs.
This year it was Blainville, a suburb of Montreal in Quebec, which took the coveted top spot whilst Oakville and Burlington in Ontario followed closely behind. Ottawa ranked at ninth on the list but also made it to the number one in the overall best places to live in Canada category, again with Oakville and Burlington coming in second and third place.
Finding a school
Private or international schools are a popular choice for expats in Canada, though if you decide to opt for a state school, the quality is relatively high. Bear in mind that the most in-demand nurseries and schools will have long waiting lists – early preparation is key. We would also advise exploring online expat forums for reviews and advice on schools in the area of your choice.
In Canada, compulsory education begins at six years-old, but there are a variety of preschools, kindergartens and childcare centres which are available before this age. Costs and benefits very much depend on location – check with the provincial or local government for details.
Preparing your children
As with any move, teaching your children about Canada in advance and exploring the local customs, attractions and landscapes together can go a long way towards creating excitement around the move and helping them settle as quickly as possible. If you are moving to an area with a large percentage of French speakers, it might be worth investing in French lessons so that they can feel more at home in their new country.
Handled in the right way and with a little time and patience, moving to Canada with your family could be the start of an adventure you’ll treasure forever.
If you are considering moving to Canada from London, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you. For more details about Cadogan Tate’s specialist international removals services from London, contact us.
Information correct at time of publication.