Welcome to Canada: Things You Need to Know

Before we start, congratulations to you! You successfully made it through the whole immigration process. We know you can’t wait to arrive in Canada, but before you make your big move, there are some really interesting things we believe you should know about the country. There may be some differences between your home country and Canada; the essence of this article is to help you appreciate those differences as well as ease your adjustment. So, here are ten things you should know about Canada:

1. Weather

This is easily the most noticeable feature of Canada. There are four seasons in Canada, and these determine the weather: spring, summer, fall, and winter.

 Spring is usually from May to June and this season is characterized by warm, sunny weather, a bloom of flowers, and a gorgeous display of nature. Perfect weather for beautiful pictures. 

Summer is usually from June to August. In this season, the temperature is from 15-35°C. This is the perfect time to have outdoor fun. Utilize this season by going kayaking, canoeing, and generally enjoying the outside weather. You’d be glad you did.

Fall is usually from September to November. This season comes with a golden, fiery colour, as the leaves begin to take warm shades of red, yellow, and orange. Fall in Canada is a pretty breathtaking season you wouldn’t want to miss. 

Winter is usually from December to February, although it may extend to March and April, especially in the eastern part of Canada. Get ready for the snow and the low temperatures. Although this may be the coldest season in Canada, you can still enjoy the season. You can go snowboarding, ice-skating, ice-fishing, see the Northern Lights, and do so many other fun activities.

2. Tipping

Tipping is the norm in Canada. You may come from a society where those who work in the hospitality sector earn their wages with extra benefits, and that’s fine. But, in Canada, tipping the waiters, stewards, or anyone who offers you some service is encouraged and considered perfectly normal. Here’s a tipping guide: 15% of your total bill(or 20%, for those who offer exceptional and attentive services). So, when you get to Canada and you get served at a restaurant, be sure to leave a tip for the steward. 

3. Cost of living

Avoid a rude shock upon your arrival in Canada by making thorough research on the cost of living in the city where you will be residing. For example, if you are planning on residing in big cities like Toronto or Vancouver, expect a higher cost of living than what you should expect if you are planning on residing in cities like Montreal. Learn how much you will need to spend to cover basic monthly expenses, so you can prepare yourself financially. 

4. Employment

To begin, the résumé format in Canada is different from that in other countries. Learn about the Canadian style of writing a résumé, as well as the job climate in Canada. Also, learn how much you can earn practicing your profession at your current professional level. Learned about the salary system and how to land jobs in Canada. Keep in mind, though, that you may not get a job immediately you arrive in Canada, so be sure to have a backup plan. 

5. Taxation

Canada has a decentralized federal system, and one of the features of this is a multiple-level tax levy system. This means that you will be levied at both the federal and provincial levels. However, depending on your status and the terms of your employment, you may be qualified for a tax refund at the end of the fiscal year. 

6. Driving licenses

We know you’re a driving expert and you have the certifications from your home country and years of experience to prove it, but what if we told you that you may not be legally allowed to drive in Canada because you don’t have their approved certification? Either you will need to convert the paperwork to be able to drive or you will have to get a valid certification in Canada. Driving licenses are awarded by the provinces, and not by the federal government, and the rules and testing procedures vary from province to province. 

7. Healthcare

When it comes to healthcare, Canada has one of the best systems, favorable to everyone, including immigrants. The Canadian government offers a health card through the Provincial Ministry of Health to everyone who enrolls in the publicly-funded health program. Temporary residents and visitors would need to register under a private policy throughout their stay in Canada, but permanent residents are covered under the policies provided by the province in which they reside. 

8. Smoking

Smoking is generally prohibited in public places e.g schools, hospitals, places of worship, restaurants, etc. Avoid smoking in shared places and around minors. You are only permitted to smoke in your car(in the absence of minors) and private living space. 

9. Multicultural society

When you get to Canada, don’t be shocked to see a lot of immigrants from different cultures and countries. Due to the immigrant-friendly environment and policies, Canada has become home to millions of immigrants from all over the world. This presents you with a great opportunity to build your social network, learn about other cultures, and even, learn one or two new languages. 

10. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is an official part of the Canadian constitution that explains the provisions of the law as relating to the rights and freedom that individuals should enjoy in Canada. As a newcomer, immigrant, visitor, or citizen, your rights and freedom are protected by the Charter, however, there are some limitations, for example, only Canadian citizens can vote. You need to understand the rights and freedom you have as an individual in Canada. 

Conclusion

Canada is a beautiful country, with a diversity of cultures, myriad breathtaking and scenic places, wonderful ambiance amongst others. Your stay in Canada will be a memorable one. Welcome to Canada. 

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