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Old 11-29-2017, 07:19 PM
 
9 posts, read 10,258 times
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We are a family with a 1 yr old and, most likely, we will be moving to Canada shortly for my studies. So far it is the choice between Toronto area and Halifax. Having done some research it looks like Nova Scotia is more our "cup of tea" (nature, ocean, lobsters, a cozy town feel rather than overwhelming big city life). But! there are two things that seem to be a problem. My husband will have to find work quickly in Halifax to support our family during my studies. He is a cook by profession and his native language is Spanish. Our perception is that the job market leaves much to be desired in Halifax. Besides, I read that it is practically impossible to find a job for an "outsider". What is the actual current situation? Does it sound like we will have a hard time there? Would you recommend Toronto as a more reliable choice instead? And yes, is the weather really that bad in Halifax? Thanks a lot in advance.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:34 AM
 
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Looks like plenty of demand for cooks in Halifax =
https://www.google.ca/search?source=....0.ViU2AjjUas8
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:22 AM
 
2,829 posts, read 3,193,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EliPrimavera View Post
We are a family with a 1 yr old and, most likely, we will be moving to Canada shortly for my studies. So far it is the choice between Toronto area and Halifax. Having done some research it looks like Nova Scotia is more our "cup of tea" (nature, ocean, lobsters, a cozy town feel rather than overwhelming big city life). But! there are two things that seem to be a problem. My husband will have to find work quickly in Halifax to support our family during my studies. He is a cook by profession and his native language is Spanish. Our perception is that the job market leaves much to be desired in Halifax. Besides, I read that it is practically impossible to find a job for an "outsider". What is the actual current situation? Does it sound like we will have a hard time there? Would you recommend Toronto as a more reliable choice instead? And yes, is the weather really that bad in Halifax? Thanks a lot in advance.
Have you looked at Montreal or Ottawa? They are a nice compromise between Halifax and Toronto.

Toronto - big city feel, lots of job opportunities, schools, entertainment, diversity, decent transit. Downside: over-priced housing costs and lifestyle can be stressful for some.

Montreal - a big city, predominantly Francophone while you can still get by with English. More laid back life style than Toronto, much lower cost of living (housing can be 50% less than what you pay in Toronto), lots of great neighborhoods, fantastic transit system, very walkable city, and lots and lots of cultural activities.
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:40 AM
 
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Thank you so much! I was actually looking at Montreal, and it seems very appealing, but neither my husband, nor I speak French and I don't think we will have time and energy to invest in learning it... Referring to your nickname - Boston is one of my favorite cities, and I assume Halifax may have a bit of the Boston ambience...
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:42 AM
 
9 posts, read 10,258 times
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Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Looks like plenty of demand for cooks in Halifax =
https://www.google.ca/search?source=....0.ViU2AjjUas8
Thank you! 90 jobs for the whole town? compared to almost 2000 in Toronto... that's a big difference, even when you account for the city size...
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:16 AM
 
2,829 posts, read 3,193,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EliPrimavera View Post
Thank you so much! I was actually looking at Montreal, and it seems very appealing, but neither my husband, nor I speak French and I don't think we will have time and energy to invest in learning it... Referring to your nickname - Boston is one of my favorite cities, and I assume Halifax may have a bit of the Boston ambience...
There are many neighborhoods in Montreal where you can get by with English (even in the Francophone parts you can use English and most if not all are bilingual in both languages - I lived and worked in MTL from Boston in English only with no problem). Of course, if you want to settle long term, it's better to learn French so you can make more friends and participate in more social activities. Again, Quebec has many robust (and 100% free) public programs to help adult immigrants learn French quickly.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you do plan on staying in Canada long term, learning French will become a huge asset, as 1/3 of the population are francophone or bilingual, and French is the official language in all provincial and federal governments. Unlike Spanish in U.S. French isn't just some "second language" - it is one of the two official languages nationwide and has equal status as English. Even anglophone cities like Toronto are officially bilingual - the Province of Ontario is mandated to offer all government services in both French and English.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:33 AM
 
35,308 posts, read 52,561,810 times
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Originally Posted by EliPrimavera View Post
Thank you! 90 jobs for the whole town? compared to almost 2000 in Toronto... that's a big difference, even when you account for the city size...
You only need one job so whether 90 or 2000 it comes down to where would you rather live. Also learning French is only relevant if you plan on living in Quebec.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:35 PM
 
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I am from Halifax, but I have been living in the West for some time now. Halifax's weakjob market was one of the reasons for my move.

Things might have changed, but my I'll offer my perspective

Networking helps everywhere, but it is especially important in Halifax.
Halifax has a high numberof bars and restaurants for its population, so that helps.

Overall, I don't love the climate in Nova Scotia, but the fall is a wonderful time. Winters tend to have a lot of wet snow and the spring time can be rainy. I actually found the summers to be too hot....but I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to warm weather. A/C is not common in the city.

Cost of living should be lower in Halifax, but many Canadians over-estimate its affordability. Heating and power costs are high, and the HST is a bit of a pain.

On the plus side, the people are (mostly) friendly, and the peninsula is walk-able. It's a real college town.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,947 posts, read 38,330,292 times
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I am a bit concerned about the accuracy of some of the advice on here about moving to Montreal without any French and how it's supposedly "no big deal" and no inconvenience at all.

Montreal is a great city but I think it's doing a disservice to people to gloss over the inconveniences and potential limitations of not knowing French.

Social and traditional media are actually full of stories about people who left Montreal because they found that the language situation was a pain in the a55 - or even had worse real life consequences for them than that.

Just thinking of a couple where the husband has landed a *coveted* English only job in Montreal, well that job had better pay well because if the wife wants to get a part-time job to help make ends meet, almost all of the jobs that would be readily available to her in Calgary or Pittsburgh (bank teller, receptionist, florist, real estate agent, etc.) would be inaccessible to her in Montreal due to her lack of French. And that's just one example of an "inconvenience".

I don't know if the goal here is to boost the anglo community by getting the message out that it's no so bad for unilingual anglos in Montreal after all, but it seems to me that while there are certainly success stories, it's still setting up a heck of a lot of people for failure, hardship and disappointment.

When going to a place like Toronto would basically be a guaranteed successful landing for almost all of them.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,194,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I am a bit concerned about the accuracy of some of the advice on here about moving to Montreal without any French and how it's supposedly "no big deal" and no inconvenience at all.

Montreal is a great city but I think it's doing a disservice to people to gloss over the inconveniences and potential limitations of not knowing French.

Social and traditional media are actually full of stories about people who left Montreal because they found that the language situation was a pain in the a55 - or even had worse real life consequences for them than that.

Just thinking of a couple where the husband has landed a *coveted* English only job in Montreal, well that job had better pay well because if the wife wants to get a part-time job to help make ends meet, almost all of the jobs that would be readily available to her in Calgary or Pittsburgh (bank teller, receptionist, florist, real estate agent, etc.) would be inaccessible to her in Montreal due to her lack of French. And that's just one example of an "inconvenience".

I don't know if the goal here is to boost the anglo community by getting the message out that it's no so bad for unilingual anglos in Montreal after all, but it seems to me that while there are certainly success stories, it's still setting up a heck of a lot of people for failure, hardship and disappointment.

When going to a place like Toronto would basically be a guaranteed successful landing for almost all of them.
I agree with this a 1000000%.

I'm English-only and when I lived in Montreal, I was fine job-wise. But I was working for an American company, where everything was done in English. Sure, they're not the only American company in town, but it's rare. You definitely can't count on it.

All of my friends, English as they were, had to work -- at least part of the time -- in French. That goes for the doctors, the attorneys, the accountants, and every job in between. My situation was considered unique.

And that's just in terms of work. Life, too, is quite French. Can you get by without it when you go shopping or to the doctor? You sure can. But it doesn't make for an easy existence when you don't speak the same language as so many around you.
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