Monthly Archives: June 2016

Brits look to Canada after Brexit

Nigel Farage

If you don’t like this future, try Toronto!

CIC News carries a nice article today on how many Brits are looking towards Canada as the immigration destination of choice after the UK voted to leave the EU last week.

Some highlights of the article …

“As the results began to come in last week, and as it became clear that the ‘Leave’ option was edging out ‘Remain,’ Google reported an enormous spike in the UK for the search ‘move to Canada.'”

“Most new immigrants to Canada arrive under one of its many economic immigration programs. … There are programs for skilled workers at the federal level and in each of the provinces. A major advantage for English-speaking candidates is that English proficiency is deemed to be a highly desirable commodity for these programs, many of which are points-based, requiring candidates to reach a point threshold in order to become eligible.”

“Other options for working in Canada include being hired by a Canadian employer and obtaining a temporary work permit, or coming to Canada as an intra-company transferee. Many people who eventually settle in Canada permanently initially arrived with temporary work status.”

They even link to a handy free online assessment to find out if you are eligible for any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs.

The full article is here, highly recommended.


UK bids cheerio to the European Union


It’s a shit show

It was a long night fuelled by Horlicks and Jaffa Cakes that kept the Brits in Toronto crew going as the UK voted to leave the European Union.

We are stunned and think it is a huge mistake.

The fallout has already started, with stock markets and the value of the pound plummeting, a second Scottish independence vote already being called for and Prime Minister David Cameron to step down by October.

The world is in shock, the shit is hitting the fan and we have no idea what comes next. The plain uncertainty of how the future will unfold over the next few years is troubling and worrisome.

The vote was so close  — 51.9% Leave, 48.1% Remain — that anyone who says, “The people have clearly spoken …” or words to that effect are wrong. A few percentage points is not “clear.”

Who will be the next Prime Minister? The future of jobs and the economy? Scotland … Wales … Northern Ireland splintering off? What immigration policies will be put in place? Travelling around Europe on an EU passport?

So many questions and too much to take in right now.

CBC News Network wants to hear from Brits in Toronto about Brexit

CBC News

The Brexit vote is taking place right now … have your say in the media

CBC News Network wants to hear from Brits in Toronto about their views on Brexit. Details below …

From Cameron Perrier: “I’m a reporter with CBC News Network here in Toronto. We’re doing lots of coverage on the Brexit vote today, and wanted to tap into the expat community in Toronto.

“I was wondering if you — or anyone you know in the British expat community — would be willing to come onto our show to speak with one of our hosts?

“I can be reached at cameron DOT perrier AT cbc DOT ca or phone 416-205-3209.”

Good opportunity to have your say while the vote is still taking place!

Have your say about Brexit on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning

CBC Radio Metro Morning

Got a view (pro or con) about Brexit? Metro Morning wants to hear from you

A referendum is being held on Thursday, June 23 to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union. It’s huge, and the opinions seem very divided either way.

British people love to have their say on the politics of the day, and CBC Radio’s Metro Morning is very keen to speak to some Brits in Toronto on Thursday morning’s show.

Joe Solway is a producer on the show and has asked us to refer possible guests and/or spread the word. We’re very happy to help do that, so please contact Joe ASAP if you are keen to offer an opinion.

E-mail joe DOT solway AT cbc DOT ca or phone him directly on 416-205-5706.

All are welcome at the CABP AGM on June 18, 2016

Old people silhouette

Are you an ex-pat pensioner living in a black hole that sucks in all light? Help may be at hand from the CABP

Brits in Toronto has been following the issues around freezing of the UK State Pension for ex-pats living abroad, especially in Canada.

We also featured a very popular guest article by Nigel Nelson, a member of the Toronto-based non-profit Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners (CABP).

Nigel contacted Brits in Toronto again to let us know about the CABP Annual General Meeting this Saturday, June 18, at the Sir John Colborne Recreation Centre for Seniors, 1565 Old Lakeshore Road West, Oakville, Ontario, L6L 6N1.

The meeting starts at 2:00 p.m., but doors are open for registration at 1:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

Nigel writes, “If you’re not a member of the CABP, don’t worry, you’ll still be made to feel welcome and, if you think that this illness, the ‘frozen pensions syndrome’ needs curing, it would be an excellent time to sign-up and help bring this social injustice to an end.

“There will be plenty of opportunities for you to ask about the impacts of the new Single Tier State Pension that came into force in April 2016, which is a new fever that future pensioners might catch!”

So, if you feel strongly about this issue and want to have some say, go along to the AGM, meet Nigel and find out more information.

Successful Brits in Toronto: Ed and Sherille Layton

Ed and Sherille Layton

Was a struggle, but managed to get this caption under 140 characters or less

You asked for more Successful Brits in Toronto and we heard you. Why not do two at once to save precious bandwidth?

In fact, even better, why not feature a successful husband and wife team!

Ed Layton works at Twitter Canada and has been there for three years when there were only a few staff in the Canadian office. Sherille Layton has been in real estate for about 12 years and is currently at Sotheby’s International.

We caught up with the busy pair to ask them about their experiences of being Brits in Toronto.

(Ed, can you please RT this, cheers mate.)

What made you decide to choose Toronto as a city of choice? Did you plan a permanent move, or wanted to “try it for a while and see how it goes” and it turned out to be longer than planned?

We came to Canada on vacation a couple of times. We have cousins in and around Toronto and we came to visit them. We always had such a great time.

There came a point where we realized that we were going to be together for a while and were in a life phase where we were making some pretty big choices. At the time we found London extremely expensive and incompatible with the way we saw our future going.

Within months of being in Canada we bought our first house. I guess you would say that our intentions when we came to Canada — and specifically Toronto — were to enjoy ourselves, be close to our extended family … and for sure we saw it as a permanent move.

What steps did you take to land your first Toronto job? Did the infamous “Canadian experience” hinder you in any way?

We had an interesting start to our careers here. One of us came from a media background in London. It took about six months — although it was an amazing summer so we didn’t exactly rush — to find work.

The pathway to doing this was through networking and getting people to take coffees and generally hustling … and slowly those people introduced us to other people who needed people like us.

Sherille quickly however decided that she wanted to work for herself and so qualified as a real estate agent — and the rest from there is history.

What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?

There are so many great things about Toronto, but the big picture things, and not in this order are:

The seasons (there are few places in world where you can ski part of the year, bike most of the year round and almost guarantee a great summer and snowy winter).

The people are by and large friendly, open and kind, the culture is inherently liberal, fair and not completely self-interested. Canadians are genuinely concerned about the well-being of their communities and neighbours and support them in the way they vote and behave.

Other great things are chicken wings, Creemore beer, meat and corn.

There are a few sacrifices you make to be here and most of them are rooted in not being near family or being culturally isolated. But these things diminish over time and replaced by other things.

Do you make an effort to connect with other Brits in the city, or just meet them when chance allows it? Any recommended pubs/eateries/other places for homesick Brits to meet each other and network?

We don’t really, although are always happy to find a fellow Brit when chance happens. We would like to know more.

We were lucky to find a great network of Canadian friends. One thing about Canadians is that if you make the effort to be part of what they are interested in, they always welcome and include you (although you will get some stick for your accent).

Occasionally we go to The Oxley to see some Aston Villa games with other Villa fans but don’t reach out as much as we probably should.

Great pubs and eateries for homesick Brits are the aforementioned The Oxley, The Queen and Beaver and Scallywags at St. Clair and Yonge.

Open question/comment: feel free to write anything here/advice/tips on a Brit living in, or moving to, Toronto.

Overall the best advice we can offer anyone moving here, is within reason, do your best to enjoy Canada for the amazing things it offers. There are things to do and see that you can’t get in England.

Keep an open mind, involve yourself, enjoy the winter (learn how to ski or skate) and drink plenty of Ontario’s amazing variety of craft beers. It is always important to keep hydrated !

Transporting a personal vehicle from Britain and the USA to Ontario

Traffic jam

Who wouldn’t relish this daily joy in their own motor?

You say cheerio to your mum, jump on a plane and start a new life in Toronto. A few months later you think, “Hmmm, really wish I could bring my beloved Datsun Cherry over to cruise around Toronto in. I wonder if there’s a way …?”

Over to guest writer Jason Mueller, a Canadian expat currently living in Costa Rica and working for A-1 Auto Transport International. As always, this is not an endorsement of the company or services, but just for information purposes. Do your due diligence before entering into any agreements or contracts.

If you plan to relocate to Canada from a foreign country and become an expat you will most likely want to bring all your personal items with you including your personal vehicle. It is wise to do your research before you make the big move as Canada has specific regulations that apply to different types of vehicles when it comes to importing.

If you are looking to import a vehicle specifically from Britain this will be very rare. This is because Canada does not allow vehicles outside of the USA to be imported because they will not meet the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) and you are not allowed to modify the vehicle to meet the Act.

The main reason is due to the fact that the steering wheel is located on the right-hand side of the vehicle. There are some circumstances where you can import a vehicle from another country other than the USA.

Special Circumstances
– If the vehicle is 15 years old or older according to the date of manufacturing and is a regulated class.
– Buses manufactured before January 1, 1971 are permitted.
– The vehicle was purchased in the USA or Canada and is returning in the same working class and still meets the MVSA ( proof is required).

If you have obtained a temporary residency visa for Canada to work or study then you may be exempt seeing as you are a temporary visitor … but the vehicle will not be permitted to stay permanently. Thus:

– Only you are permitted to use the vehicle.
– If you have any changes to the status of your residency such as getting permanent residency you may be required to export or destroy the vehicle.
– The vehicle will not be able to be sold while in Canada.
– The vehicle cannot remain in Canada longer than the time limits on the student visa, work permit or any other customs authorization.

Most Brits have a deep sentimental value to their cars so the successful Brits will undoubtedly find a way to get their car imported to the country. If you own a private track — or you are only using the car for a production of a television series, for example — you should contact Transport Canada and talk to someone personally.

Documentation Required for Shipping
– Driver’s licence.
– Passport.
– Bill of sale or purchase invoice.
– Vehicle documents such as registration, title, VIN.
– Certificate for pre-shipment inspection.
– Power of attorney (only necessary if there is a destination agent clearing the shipment).

Steps of procedure
– The first step is to do a lot of research and be sure that you are connected with an auto transport company that has a good track record when it comes to shipping vehicles to Canada. Ask your friends and family for a good referral and put a post on Facebook asking your friends to share.
– Look for reviews on Google for the company that you are thinking about booking with; reviews are always the best way to find out if the business is reputable or not.
– Finally, you will need to prepare your vehicle for shipment, make sure to remove all valuables, only have less than a quarter tank of gas remaining, and take off any after-market items or add-ons (such as antennas) that could be damaged during shipment.

Importing a vehicle from the USA
– 5% GST.
– 13% HST in Ontario.
– $195 import fee.
– In order to officially import your vehicle it has to be inspected by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles. Upon inspection you will get a certificate if the requirements are met.
– If the vehicle fails the inspection it is not permitted to stay in Canada, even if the duties and taxes have already been paid.
– If a vehicle has been modified from its original state it may not qualify to be imported in to Canada.