Even if your move to Canada goes smoothly, as a newcomer to Canada, you may experience unexpected challenges as you settle into your new community. For many, the initial days and weeks after you arrive can be exciting, coupled with fear and anxiety. Newcomers Canada wants to help you feel comfortable in Canada. We have pulled together a list of 5 tips for adapting to life in Canada.
1. Canadian Social Cues:
Canadians are known around the globe for being overly polite. It is a common joke that there is nothing that a Canadian will not apologize for. Being on time in Canada is a form of showing respect for other’s time so it is important to always be punctual.
2. Canadian Tipping:
In Canada much of the service industry earn a low hourly wage and rely heavily on tips. Restaurant and bar staff, as well as, taxi-drivers, hair stylists, and hotel staff, are all reliant on tips – so if you approve of their service, you should compensate them accordingly. In Canada, the typical tip at a restaurant or bar would be anywhere between 10% – 20% of your total bill.
3. Canadian Slang:
Depending what country you have left to move to Canada, the English spoken in Canada may be challenging and some informal terms can be confusing. There are a variety of very Canadian terms you should be aware of. Newcomers have listed a couple of the important examples below.
- “Washroom” is the term for the bathroom or toilet.
- “Toonie” is a $2 coin; Loonie is a $1 coin.
- “Toque” is a winter hat.
- “Runners” are running shoes.
- “Eh” is commonly used at the end of a phrase when you want someone to respond to you.
- “Serviette” a term for a napkin.
4. Canadian Weather:
The weather in Canada will vary depending on what region you are relocating to. Generally speaking, you will need to prepare for 4 very different seasons. The summers in Canada can get very warm from coast to coast, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius and higher across the country. Spring in Canada typically arrives in March or April and stays until about June. During this season you can expect rain and melting of the winter snow, so have your rubber boots and umbrella handy. Canadian Fall is beautiful, and while the temperatures are sure to drop substantially, you can expect beautiful colours.
Finally, the notorious Canadian Winter. You should prepare yourself for cold temperatures and snow in most of the country, with the exception of the west coast where it rains from October until April/May but usually stays above 8-10 degrees Celsius. We recommend preparing for the cold by purchasing a toque, warm winter jacket, gloves, and boots.
5. Expand Cultural Horizons:
Canada values multiculturalism and diversity. In fact, Toronto, Canada’s largest city and the capital city of Ontario, has been named the most diverse city in the world. You may find many people from your culture throughout Canada who can relate to your experience and help make the transition easier. Meeting people from different cultures will broaden your network and create social and career opportunities.