Sunday, 30 December 2007

Moving houses using the subway

Sorry for not writing before, but I was moving :D To the apartment I showed you in past posts.

The interesting part is that we moved all of the things we had in the other apartment using only the subway ^^ Ok, you win, we don't have so much stuff yet, but have you done it? Have you moved using the subway? :p

First of all, what we had to put things:
  • 1 giant suitcase, I'm not kidding, this one has to pay oversize in the airports going empty!
  • 3 other suitcases.
  • 2 carry-on.
  • 1 reusable supermarket bag.

What we had to walk:

  • Half a block to the park in our street that goes to Charles street.
  • Walk the park to Charles street and the walkway in a parking lot to Hayden street.
  • The subway is in Hayden street and you need to get to the trains.
  • 5 subway stations in the train.
  • Walk to the building.
The first day we only took the giant suitcase and a carry-on, hey, it was a trial, can we do it?

The second day in the morning we took the giant suitcase again (we had to get it empty in the new apartment and take it back to the old one to fill it again) and the black suitcase.

The second day in the afternoon we took the black suitcase again (we had to do the same as before), the blue one and a carry-on (the same one of the first day).

The third day in the morning we thought, this is too easy, so we added some flurries! Kidding, we didnt't think it was easy, but all the same that day we had flurries :p We took the last suitcase and the 2 carry-on (again, 1 carry-on was traveling too much).

That third day was coming to the new apartment Sears and Rogers, so Igor stayed at home, while I headed back to the old apartment to get the last things and do the check-out.

And here it is, the last one all by myself! Again a carry-on (full of food), the printer we had to buy a few days before (to use the scanner), and the reusable bag with the giant box of soap and the softener ^^

So, when you do it, here are my tips:

  • You need a trial trip, with just a few things first, so you can see what you can do and what you can't.
  • You need a subway like ours, with elevators and big doors for wheelchairs.
  • Do it with a friend, you are going to need it when the elevator is not working and you need to use the stairs (believe me, we had to do it a lot of times).
  • Take a few days to do it, is very very very tiring.
  • Have fun! :D

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Festival of lights

This friday 21st we went to the Festival of Lights in Kensington Market. This festival celebrates the winter solstice, the longest and darkest night of the year and it was SPECTACULAR!

The photos and videos that I could show here wouldn't show even half of what it was, even more because everything looks so dark xD

This is a link to the official web page so you can see more pictures and videos:

As always, you can find more pictures in my album, under the category Festival of Lights.

I'll leave you with a video and a pair of photos from the event :D

More videos we took, here:

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Apartament's pictures

We have the keys for our new apartment!!! :D

Here are some pictures we took yesterday morning, and you can find more in my album ;)

Welcome to our new home
The kitchen
The bathroom
The pool :D
View from the apartment

Monday, 17 December 2007

Assesment, Certifications and Translations

Yeah! Now I have all the information I promessed ;)

The reason for everything: A lot of immigrants come to Canada with an university degree from another country. Some careers are regulated and need to obtain a license and some are not. Mine is not regulated so I don't need to get a license but I can get an assesment so I know the equivalent of my career in Canada.

It's not necessary to do this, but there are places like Career Bridge, that ask for this assesment so you can register with them. Career Bridge has employment offers oriented to immigrants, where all the options are paid internships (aprox. $2.000 a month) from 4 to 6 months, with the possibility of staying there full time.

If you decide that you want to do the assesment, you need your university degree and your marks, then you have 3 options, with the University of Toronto, WES or ICAS.
  • University of Toronto: The general report is $100 and it takes between 10 and 12 weeks. If you need it sooner, you can get it in 48 hours for $300, and they accept photocopies of the documents, but you need to pay in cash or debit.
  • WES: The general report is $115 and it takes 7 working days, you can pay with credit card, but the university needs to send the marks in a sealed envelop.
  • ICAS: The general report is $80 and it takes 10 working days (you can have it in 3 working days for $60 but call beforehand to make sure they can do it those days) and you can pay with credit card. They need you to send the original documents with a set of photocopies and they return de originals with the report, or you can send certified copies and they keep those.
As you can see, the best option is ICAS, and thats the one we took; today we sent all the papers ;)
All the options need that you send the documents in the original language and translated to english (or french if you want the report in french). If you are going to translate them here (it's not necessary), we used COSTI. The certified translation of 6 pages was $375.

For ICAS we decided to send certified copies, since the UCV diploma is a little bit big. If you decide to do that, I recommend in Toronto the services of this public notary since are the ones that charge less and do a good service. If you check the diferent notaries, you are going to find that almost everyone charge $39 the first page and a little less the rest, but the ones we used were $12.95 the first page and $7.95 the rest ($52 for 6 pages), plus taxes.

Something funny... they charge less because they don't have an office, so they normally see you in a coffee place, but something happened today and we had to do everything outside in a very warm -5C, so we ended up with freezing, but it was worth it :D

Sunday, 16 December 2007

PR cards and others

Hi everyone!!! We received our permanent resident cards :D Now we can leave and enter Canada whenever we want xD Is not that we want to leave, but it's good to be able to do it in case we need it.

The best part of all is that I had read in forums, Internet in general and immigration told us at the airport, that the cards would take 4 to 6 week to arrive, but we got them in 2 weeks and 2 days :D The paperwork here has been so fast :) I hope we can get a job as fast as that in January!

I can also tell you that we have met so many people these days :D Everyone has been so nice, and we hope we can develop a long term friendship with them, we are really happy :)

I also have to tell you about translating your documents and the assessment of university degrees here in Canada. I guess I'll do it tuesday or later since I should get more information tomorrow.

I will keep writing here later ;) By the way, did you see the pictures we took at the CN Tower? Those are pictures taken while flurries where falling ;)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Credit cards and Apartment!!!

Hi everyone!! I tried to write before but we didn't have Internet, so I'm going to write fast before it happens again (hopefully it wont).

I wanted to tell you that we got our new debit and credit cards from Royal Bank of Canada, so I recommend it to anyone that wants to start a new line of credit from the very beginning :)

I also wanted to tell you that we got an apartment and were approved!!! It's pretty spectacular and when we get the keys I'll take some pictures to show you :) It's a one bedroom and 1 bathroom apartment, with a kitchen with oven and a refrigerator. The building has direct access to the Yonge-Eglington Centre, so we have direct access to a Dominion supermarket (open 24 hours), a movie theater, a lot of stores and the subway!!! Is one of the best neighbourhoods in Toronto and has a warm pool in the last floor of the building, with huge windows where you can see the CN Tower :D Everything for $1260 a month.

We did it with the company Cap Reit, that has great buildings well taken care of, and they understand immigrants so will only ask for bank statements if you don't have a work letter or co-signer, so it's great!! :D

Well, I'll leave you for now, since I have a lot to do, but I wanted to share the good news :D

Monday, 10 December 2007

Kensington Market

Kensington Market

Today we went to Kensington Market, and is amazing! I'm crazy for going back there several times, specially in the summer.

Kensington Market is a market that has several streets of stores, cafes and places to eat.

The interesting thing is that is a vey artistic place, the clothing stores are most of all vintage clothes and the markets are from all over the world :D

There is japanese, from Jamaica, hungarians, caribbean, hispanic, mexican, portuguese, chinese, italian, from Spain, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. Especialties in cheese, fish, meat, chocolate, leather, vegetarians, and others.

We found here Harina Pan! xD

The clothing stores are like this one! No every store is as fun as that one but a lot of them are :D There is clothing of every style, but most of all vintage.

This is an art example of what you will find in those streets :D Too much fun!!

If you want to see more pictures, just go to my picassa album where I have many more ;)

Citizen of the World

Today my friend Zhu gave me this award :D and I'm pretty proud of it!!

I hope I can live to your expectations, talking about the stories of an immigrant and giving all the help I can give with my little knowledge of this new home and all the corners it has ^^

This award is given to people that don't belong to just a country, but to the world in general, always learning and always wondering about something new :)

I'm giving this award to:

Wichmann Stories: Because they are always learning about new places and new cultures, always taking beautiful pictures to share with us, and always trying something new.

Prairie Road: Because I enjoy reading her stories in a new country with similar and no so similar things to her home country.

Thursday, 6 December 2007


You are in Canada, already have your SIN number, your PR cards are in the mail, your credit cards are on the way and you are spending your savings, what is your next step? Find a job and a new home if you are in a hotel.

We are at that point, we are looking for a job and for a new home. We have enough savings to last the whole year, but that is not the point right? You are getting nervous because you see your savings go down and you don't have an income.

Now you are looking for an apartment, great, you found the apartment you wanted, but now you can't rent it because you don't have a job and the only other way they offer you is with a guarantor, but you are new in Canada and you don't have anyone!!! You are stuck again :(

We are like that right now... So, please, if you know of a job for us or can act as a guarantor, you'll be an angel for us!!! We can work in any computer science field (some my husband and the others me) and can do other stuff like working in a store or something like that.

Any advices are welcome too :)