Information and advice you will need for moving to Canada
The currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). The Canadian Dollar can fluctuate against the British Pound so it is worth checking the exchange rate. Canadian Dollar banknotes are made of polymer (plastic) and come in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5.
Opening a bank account in Canada is easy. The largest Canadian banks are Royal Bank of Canada (RBC Royal Bank), Toronto Dominion Bank, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). All major banks offer online banking. It is important to consider accessibility when choosing a bank and a social insurance number is required to open an account. You’ll also need your passport, a letter of income and contract verification from your employer, your driving licence and a letter of reference from your UK bank.
High-speed broadband and WiFi access is widely available in Canada. The international dialling code for Canada is 00 1. To dial the UK from Canada, the code is 00 44.
Canada has six time zones. The time difference between the UK and the major Canadian cities is as follows: Toronto (-5 hours), Montreal (-5 hours), Vancouver (-8 hours), Ottawa (-5 hours) and Calgary (-7 hours).
Canada has four distinct seasons. The winters are usually long and cold, and the summers are warm. Temperatures in coastal areas are often milder, in particular in wintertime.
Vehicles are driven on the right in Canada. Driving conditions are generally very good but heavy snowfall in winter is a hazard (snow tyres are required in winter in some places). Also, Canada is a big country so journeys can be long and should be prepared for accordingly. Each province/territory in Canada has its own driving licence. You can exchange a UK driving licence for a local one if you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland or Labrador. To do so, you must have held your driving licence for two years.
The standard of healthcare is high in Canada. You are entitled to join the country’s Medicare system, although in some provinces you may have to wait for up to 90 days. If you are subject to this wait, it is advisable to get private insurance. Once you are entered into the system, you can apply for a health insurance card. To do so, you’ll need your passport, birth certificate and your permanent resident card.
Canada has a good standard of education for all ages.
The emergency number to call in Canada for police, fire and ambulance services is 911.
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