I’m condensing our trip to Canada into one post as I didn’t have time to catalogue everything whilst we were there. Even though we have applied for immigration to Canada, we have not visited the country, so this was our first time here. We had two weeks there and planned the first week as a holiday and the second as a fact-finding trip.

We flew into Toronto and stayed there for four nights. We enjoyed Toronto and found it to be a very friendly place with lots to see and do. We did all the usual tourist things such as the CN Tower, shopping, museums etc. We stayed in a very nice hotel called Cambridge Suites which was within walking distance of pretty much everything. We didn’t need to use our rental car the whole time we were there.

After Toronto, we drove down to Niagara Falls and stayed at the Embassy Suites Hotel. We have the most amazing view of the falls from our floor to ceiling windows in the junior suite we stayed in. The hotel is away from the main part of town which we can only describe as a tacky version of Las Vegas. We weren’t expecting it to be so awful, but thankfully the falls themselves made up for it. We wanted to go on the Maid of the Mist boat ride, but they are still on the winter schedule, so they don’t open for a few more weeks. Good job we were only here a couple of days.

We then drove across to London, Ontario, staying at the Residence Inn. We used this as a base to explore the area that we might potentially live in. I had already made contact with a local real estate agent, or realtor who agreed to show us around and take us to some properties. This was really good of him, (Kevin) as he knew we were not in a position to buy at this point. Once we were settled in the hotel, we called him and he said he would pick us up from the hotel the following morning.

True to his word, Kevin turned up the following morning and took us to four different properties, all in the region of $200,000. Your money definitely goes a lot further here than in the UK. We thought that would be it, but he suggested we go out the net day too as he had more to show us. We readily agreed and over the next few days we went out several times with him. He was extremely helpful and seemed to enjoy showing us the properties and the area in general. He was a huge help and we were very grateful as he did it all knowing we had no intention of buying.

By the time we had to head home, we had been down to Post Stanley, up to Grand Bend and visited many towns in between and to the east & west. We decided that this was the area we wanted to settle in, although which area specifically, remains to be seen.

Two weeks after our return to the UK, we received our Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) which is the first confirmation from Canadian immigration that they have received our application and that it at least contains the minimum required information. It stated that it could be at least 15 months before we heard from them again…..more waiting!