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Old 09-12-2013, 03:36 AM
 
11 posts, read 46,364 times
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Hi everyone.
I'm a mother of 2 teenagers (13 and 15) and we recently became permanent residents of Canada. We're planning on leaving our country and moving to either Montreal or Ottawa. Kids are now attending a French School, we are all bilingual, my husband might not be able to join us first year because of work committments.

My friend who lived in both cities highly recommended Ottawa while many others say Montreal is the place to be! I am sooooooo confused!!! My daughter is afraid ottawa would be too "boring" and I have the impression it's a friendlier environment than Montreal in terms of the people, the snow management in winter, the services, etc. I'll let you elaborate on the pros and cons of each... Which do you recommend???
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,727 posts, read 33,923,700 times
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What kind of a place is your family used to living in at the moment?

And you say your family is already bilingual in French and English. This means you are probably from Lebanon, Mauritius or Cameroon? Right?
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
This means you are probably from Lebanon, Mauritius or Cameroon? Right?
Impressive Yes, we live in Beirut!
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by r.a.m View Post
Impressive Yes, we live in Beirut!
Well, it's nowhere near being the same thing but Montreal by far will allow you to have a lifestyle more similar to what you are familiar with in Beirut.

Ottawa is smaller and quieter, but not as bustling and dynamic as Montreal. But it's also better organized.

Montreal is the "fun" city, Ottawa is the "responsible" city.

This is not to say that Ottawa is totally boring and Montreal is Sodom and Gomorrah or Capharnaüm, but there are differences between the two.

If this is important to you, both cities have very large Lebanese communities and so you will have no trouble finding the "stuff" that you like from Lebanon.

I live in Gatineau which is the city in Québec right next to Ottawa and about 25% of my kids' friends are Lebanese. My kids have been to birthday parties where they are basically the only non-Lebanese child there!

Oh yes, and obviously your kids can go to school in French in Montreal (and also Gatineau where I live), but they can also go to school in French in Ottawa even though it is in Ontario which is mainly English-speaking.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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Just out of curiosity, and for my own sake...

According to StatsCan (2001), the largest representation of Lebanese people is in the Greater Montreal Area, followed by Toronto, then Ottawa. However, there are more Lebanese people in Ontario than in Quebec as a whole. I would like to see more recent stats.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,727 posts, read 33,923,700 times
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Originally Posted by a_jordania View Post
Just out of curiosity, and for my own sake...

According to StatsCan (2001), the largest representation of Lebanese people is in the Greater Montreal Area, followed by Toronto, then Ottawa. However, there are more Lebanese people in Ontario than in Quebec as a whole. I would like to see more recent stats.
I think it's because Ontario has major two poles of Lebanese population whereas Quebec only has one.

No stats - sorry.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:47 AM
 
11 posts, read 46,364 times
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Montreal is the "fun" city, Ottawa is the "responsible" city.

...

If this is important to you, both cities have very large Lebanese communities and so you will have no trouble finding the "stuff" that you like from Lebanon.
Thanks again, very helpful insight. I've heard the fun vs. responsible aspect from many sources so I guess there's unanimous agreement on this

The very large Lebanese community is definitely a plus, especially for the first year where feeling completely "depayse" can be hard and also to find stores that sell our stuff as you said. However, I don't like alienating myself or my kids by only mingling with people from back home. There's no point moving if we don't get more exposure than we do here. Meeting people from different places and cultures is what I've done during my last expatriation and I intend to do it again so help me God

As to Ottawa or Montreal, we are still debating this, especially that while I like the "responsible" side of Ottawa, I'm worried it's more expensive than Montreal. I will try to find a job (I'm in education and college accreditation), so taxes are an issue as well and so is the job market.

Any input on the above concerns?
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,727 posts, read 33,923,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r.a.m View Post
Thanks again, very helpful insight. I've heard the fun vs. responsible aspect from many sources so I guess there's unanimous agreement on this

The very large Lebanese community is definitely a plus, especially for the first year where feeling completely "depayse" can be hard and also to find stores that sell our stuff as you said. However, I don't like alienating myself or my kids by only mingling with people from back home. There's no point moving if we don't get more exposure than we do here. Meeting people from different places and cultures is what I've done during my last expatriation and I intend to do it again so help me God

As to Ottawa or Montreal, we are still debating this, especially that while I like the "responsible" side of Ottawa, I'm worried it's more expensive than Montreal. I will try to find a job (I'm in education and college accreditation), so taxes are an issue as well and so is the job market.

Any input on the above concerns?
In either city the Lebanese community is very present but it's not to the point where you can't "get away" from them if you want to integrate with the broader population. People of Lebanese origin are not even close to 10% of the population in either place.

As for cost of living they are relatively similar. Housing is more expensive in Ottawa than in Montreal but Ottawa is Ontario so income taxes are lower. If you look at Gatineau which is next to Ottawa but in Québec housing costs are lower than Ottawa but income taxes are the same as Montreal so they are higher.

As I said - not much of an overall difference in cost of living between Ottawa-Montreal when you add everything up.
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