What's it like living in Ontario?

by Laura
(UK)

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My family and I are hoping to move there in the next year from the UK. We are all Canadian Citizens, so applying for visas/ passports etc is not a problem. I am just interested to hear what you have to say about Ontario.

A. - Are there plenty of jobs available?
B. - How easy is it to get a job?
C. - What is the health care like?
D. - What's the standard of education like?
E. - What is the climate like in Ontario?
F. - What is the crime rate like?
G. - Does Ontario have a variety of amenities - such as sports, recreation, cultural and so on?
H. - Can you mention anything else you like/ dislike about Ontario?

Many thanks.

Laura


ANSWERS
A. The number, and type of jobs available, depends upon where you are planning to live. There are some towns and cities that have been hit hard by the recent recession, and others seem to have come through it pretty well. You could check out some Ontario newspapers, on-line, to see the kind of jobs that are available, and what they pay - that might be a good place to start.

B. How easy it is to get a job, depends upon the job and how qualified you are to get that job. For example, when people first arrive here, they may have to accept a job that they are over-qualified for, but once they are working, they can apply for another, better job. So, although you may not initially get the job of your dreams, there are always jobs for those who are willing to work.

C. Health care in Ontario is pretty good, you can check out the Ontario Health Insurance website (OHIP) - they have some questions and answers that you may find useful.

D. Education here is fairly good, you will find good schools and not-so-good schools everywhere, but education is free until the end of high-school, and there are Private Schools for those who want their children to go to one of those. College and University are not free.

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E. The Climate here is similar to the UK, but with hotter summers, and colder winters. People who come here will need warm winter coats and winter boots! Our homes have good central heating systems for the cold weather, and many people have air-conditioning for the hot summer months. Fall is spectacular in Ontario and Spring is lovely too - although it doesn't come quite early enough for me! Check out our Seasons in Ontario section for more information on the weather here.

F. There is crime in Canada, as there is everywhere, but it seems to me that it is a pretty safe place to live. I can only tell you my experience - I live in the country and can leave my door unlocked, whereas my mother in England panics if her doors aren't locked and bolted all the time - that could be because she is elderly, but her house has been broken in to, and so has my brother's house, my brother-in-law's, my sister-in-law's ... I don't actually know anyone here who has been burgled!

G. There are lots of things going on here - for example, St Thomas has two skating rinks, a hospital, an Airport, around 10 Elementary Schools and 4 High Schools. There are publicly funded Baseball diamonds here, a great summer Soccer program for kids and adults, Figure Skating Clubs - and we are only 15 minutes from the great beaches at Port Stanley. Nearby London also has an Orchestra and live Theatre (see my London page).

There isn't really anything I dislike about life in Ontario. One interesting statistic I found recently that might amuse you is this ..... according to Wikipedia, Ontario has 36 people per square mile, England has 1,023 people per square mile!

You didn't ask about the cost of housing here, but I am adding a link to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which might be useful for checking the prices and to see how they compare to the UK as far as price and what you get for your money.



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