+1(514) 937-9445 or Toll-free (Canada & US) +1 (888) 947-9445

Calgary - Sharing landing experience

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by PonJoub, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Smooth landing. I'll be landing at Calgary soon. Many thanks. Please can i get the postcode of service canada.

  2. the one I went is this one :
    Harry Hays Building, Suite 150
    220 4th Avenue Southeast
    Calgary, AB T2G 4X3

    Good luck and all the best for you new life in Canada

  3. Hi PonJoub
    Your post was really useful.
    I will be landing in Calgary Feb end. I had a dew questions if you could help me out.

    1. I visited Canada in Oct and have opened a bank account in Toronto, so when i get to Calgary, can i give my Airbnb address to the bank and tell them to generate a statement with that address which can be used for the health insurance card?
    2. Did you get the Alberta ID card? Is it useful?
    3. For how many weeks you suggest staying in Airbnb until i find a rented place and how many days before u suggest i land before my job starts to get the medical,DL stuff sorted out?
    4. Lastly, which are the good areas to live and whats the average rent for a 2BR house?

  4. With regards to the last question, do you really think that a family who lives in Calgary for merely 4 months can answer this??? I would get in touch with realtor if I were you.
  5. Hi,
    pls see my reply below :

    1) Not sure if you can do that with the AirBnb address to get the bank statement with the address in Calgary but it could potentially work (honestly, I think it will really depend on with whom you deal with ... i.e. if the feeling is good etc ...). You should contact your bank to get more info about that. However, at 1st sight, what I would do is the first day after landing to go and get a UPS mail box for 1 year (it would cost approx. 200-250 CAD) that gives you a kind of "official" address then go to a branch of your bank in Calgary to update the address with this UPS mail box (but don't necessarily mention that this is a UPS mail box ...).
    Once they update that you should be able to get your bank statement with a Calgary address in order to go and get your Alberta health care.

    2) I converted my driving license to alberta driving license asap after my landing. Then they give you straight away a temporary driving license paper while waiting for your final driving license to be delivered at your UPS mail box ;) because few days after your landing you may not have your final apartment/house with your final address, or you may not have a place/address where to send all your paperwork etc ...
    Approximately, 1 week after my application to convert my driving license => i received my final driving license card in my UPS mail box (knowing that at that time I had not moved in my house yet ...so the UPS mail box was really necessary ;) )
    Again, this is what I did ... opening a UPS mail box helped me a lot in many ways. you may find other guys who did differently and worked perfectly ...
    And yes, definitely, having a Alberta ID card is useful because otherwise your only ID would be your passport that you will have to bring along everywhere you go ... so potentially risky ...

    3) all will depend on your "standard" and expectations ... in my case, before leaving my home country I booked an airbnb apartment for 1 month because I had my wife and baby boy (9 months at that time) so I had to make sure that they will be OK while searching our new home. especially because moving in a new country is already quite a challenge ... I did not want to move every week from 1 airbnb to another with my family and all the stuff we had. It would have been much more challenging ...
    If you go alone with only 1 or 2 suitcases, you can take & afford a "risk" of staying 1 or 2 weeks in an Airbnb and you may find quite quick your place to live. If you go on rentfaster website you will find many opportunities.
    Basically, I landed mid of august and started my job mid of september ... and it was quite a challenge to make everything settled in 1 month (but this is mainly because we were with our baby boy ... so it took more time than if we were only my wife and I ...).

    4) on that ... I agree with the post of steaky. we are here in Calgary only for 4 months so I would not be the best advisor on that ... but as I drive a lot in Calgary and I am lucky to discuss with many people due to my job, there is definitely an area in Calgary that apparently is not considered as the best ... basically you take google map, and to make it simple => whatever is on the "East" side of the Deerfoot Trail (which is the highway crossing Calgary from North to South) is considered as "less desirable" neighborhood.
    But pls do not misunderstand me ... they are not ghettos ! They are not bad neighborhoods! It is just that apparently people in Calgary would prefer to live on the west side of Deerfoot trail if they can ...
    For a 2BR apartments, all will depend on where you will and want to live ... obviously ,the closer you will live from Downtown => the more expensive it will be ... But for example, if you check Rentfaster website, you will see that you can find nice 2BR at 1500-1700 CAD per month not too far from Downtown or you can find nice 2 BR at 1000 CAD but it is quite far from Downtown ... all will really depend on where you want and need to live. I say "need" because if you live up north but you work in south Calgary ... I am pretty sure that you would prefer to try to live in south instead of having 45-60 min (or more) of commute.

    Hope this could you.
    Good luck
    nlonguk and APPNOV2014NY like this.
  6. Scotia had asked me to show address proof when I had opened account with them and I had shown lease agreement to meet this requirement.
  7. Hi All,
    as an additional update ... to my previous posts ...

    Regarding the PR card :
    As mentioned in my previous posts ... we did not give our address to the immigration officer at the time of landing so the immigration officer provided us a specific form to fill in once we have an address and to fax it to CIC (all instructions are mentioned on this form).
    The day after our landing, I opened an UPS mail box for 1 year (but you can chose to get it for 3, 6 months etc ...) and completed the form with this UPS mail box address then we faxed this form to CIC.
    Approximately 7 weeks after faxing the form, we received an email from CIC stating that the pictures we provided were not conformed to the requirements. (basically, the only pictures we sent were the pictures sent to Visa office during the PR process to finalize the COPR ... and then we never sent other pictures to CIC afterwards ... => so I guess many of us received/will receive this kind of email after landing ...)
    Anyway ... the email received from CIC required us to send new pictures as per the instructions CIC provides in the email and you have 30 days to provide the pictures.
    We did that straight away and we received the PR cards in our UPS mail box approx. 2 months after sending the required pictures.
    So basically, it took us almost 4 months to receive the PR card after faxing the form to CIC after our landing.

    Other topics :
    the details are only for information to get an idea of the living cost. Obviously, this is based on my (short) experience and it will depend on each person "standard" and abilities to find better deals etc ...

    House : rentfaster is very useful site to get an idea of the accommodation pricing. for example, we live in Crescent Height area (not too far from Downtown - from door to door about 15-20 min max by bus and 35 min by walk) and we pay 1700 CAD for a 2 BR house (+ 1 big extra room that can be converted in 3rd BR) approx. 1500 sqf (main floor + living basement) + 1 garage + garden etc ...). This house cost does not include utilities.

    House insurance :
    approx. 25-30 CAD per month

    Utilities (heat+ hot water+ water recycling, etc ...) : approx. 100-150 CAD per month (but it varies depending on the season and usage of each).

    Other Utilities (electricity, garbage) : approx. 70-100 CAD (but it varies depending on the season and usage of each).

    Internet : approx. 80-100 CAD just for internet (optic fiber + unlimited or 1TB data plan). if you want the TV cable you can add approx. 50 CAD more. but now I am paying about 55 CAD (just for internet) till March 18' because there is a promotion and I am pretty sure there will have another promotion after etc ... so I guess I can count around 60 CAD per month for internet. Telus and Shaw are the main operators in Alberta. So far we chose Telus (despite many people told me to go with Shaw) because of the internet configuration of Telus is better. I explain ... when we arrived in Calgary we were in an AirBnb having Shaw as internet provider but everyday between 5 to 9 PM we noticed that internet was super slow. So when we moved in our house and after discussing with a technician from Telus and Shaw, we quickly found out that the internet configuration is completely different. i.e. if you take Telus, the internet cable you have in your house will come directly from the main Telus optic fiber cable. but if you take Shaw, the internet cable in your house comes from a dispatching box that comes from the main cable that Shaw set up in different neighborhoods. So basically, during peak hours (around 5 to 9-10PM) you may face slow internet because all the neighbors that have Shaw as internet provider will take internet from the dispatching box (like you). So the risk of facing slower internet seems to be higher in this set-up. Btw, I am not an IT guy and I am not sure if this explains everything ... but since we are with Telus we have never faced any slow internet (we contractually have 150 mbps flow but we actually have around 170-175 mbps constantly)

    Mobile phone : for a prepaid plan (top up) with approx. 2 GB data plan => approx 60-70 CAD per month depending on the operator. Obviously if you take a contract, you could get better rates. FYI, we took a prepaid plan that we top up every month with Virgin Mobile for my wife. And so far we are OK with that. We did not take a contract because if she finds a job => her job may provide the company phone so no need of a personal mobile number.

    Car : as mentioned in my previous posts, you may not have the choice to choose your car. If you are a good negotiator you may have what you want but if you are like many people (like me i guess) you will end up with a car you have not necessarily chosen (i mean ... if you want black or red car, this type of wheels, etc ...). Let's not make it illusionnary ... if you want/need a new car (which was our case) and do not have a credit history in Canada => unless you pay it cash, it will be super hard to get a car you want with a financing plan. we had a leasing plan (365 CAD per month) on 4 years for a Nissan Rogue but we had to make a down-payment of approx 8000 CAD. We were OK with that (even though we were not expecting to pay so much down-payment). you may find it a good or bad deal ... but again all depends on one's expectations and needs. I am not a mechanical guy so I did not want to have potential mechanical troubles (in a new country with a kind of "harsh" climate) with a used/2nd hand car that would be cheaper but may end up with much higher cost than what we got with a brand new car (that includes warranty etc ...)

    Car insurance : as we do not have driving history in Canada we may be considered as new driver for insurance companies ... so we pay approx. 250 CAD per month for a new Nissan Rogue we got in lease. (just FYI, we also got a quote for a NISSAN Micra and the price was approx. 190-200 CAD per month ...).
    Not sure if we had a good deal with this insurance price but so far this is the cheapest one we got (generally the other quotations we got were around 350-400 CAD per month). 1 friend of mine (who is also a new immigrant) bought a cheap used car at around 3000-4000 CAD and was paying 360 CAD per month for his car insurance so he decided to contact my insurance company.

    Fuel / Gas : price of gas changes quite a lot. Since we arrived in Alberta, it goes from approx. 95 cents to 130 cents per liter depending on many factors (weather, economy, etc ...). for the Nissan Rogue, we pay average 200-250 CAD per month (i drive approx. min 1000-1500 km per month). But i did notice that when it snows => price jumps drastically ... e.g. we just had a snow episode ... before the snow it was approx. 95 cents per liter and then after the snow it was 113 cents per liter... and this is not the first time i notice that...

    Winter tire : if you arrive in Winter time, I would consider this topic in my initial investment budget ... when we got our car, the Nissan guys told us give a try with the provided all-season tires (since we have the 4 wheels drive) => we tried but finally decided to get winter tires ... and it is absolutely not comparable ! Few days ago, we just got 20-25 cm of snow and with the winter tires we can drive easily ! with the all-season tires, with just 5-10cm of snow, we were sliding every time we had to break or take off etc ...
    Cost of brand new set of 4 winter tires vary but the ones we got cost approx. 850 CAD (including the service) but just bear in mind that every approx. 6 months you have to change them => so it costs approx. 100-130 CAD every 6 months to change them with All-season/Winter tires set. So you may consider to buy extra rims as well to (so that you pay only 30-50 CAD every 6 months to change them). Basically, if you plan to keep you car for a long time => i think it is worth buying another set of rim + the winter tires ... the initial investment will be higher but at the end you may save money after 3-4 years ...

    Daycare : the ones we got in our area are around 1000 to 1800 CAD per month for full time (5 days per week). But you may find cheaper in other areas or if you chose family day home. Just bear in mind, that if you move to Canada => your baby/kid may fall sick quite often because of the daycare (many kids in confined spaces = more risk of sickness contagion ... + new climate + new life + other factors etc ...). So you or your wife may end up to spend quite some time at the doctor and your kid not going as often to the daycare because of the daycare sick policy ... So just be careful if you and your wife have a job ...

    Groceries : we spend approx. 300-350 CAD per week (sometimes it can be more or less). This is for my baby boy, my wife and myself. We take a look on the price but we live comfortably with that.

    I have to admit that so far, we are "lucky" because I obtained a good job before landing that eases our immigration but unfortunately many new comers will struggle much more than us and I hope this experience sharing could help other fellow newcomer.
    FYI, my wife ,who has a Master degree in Project Management and some experience in construction and O&G industry, has not found a job yet ... We are lucky enough that she can focus on the job search for a job she wants but we know many other guys that have to take "survival" job(s) (not related to their wishes or competencies) to pay their bills.
    Well ... I believe this would be my last update for sharing our landing experience.
    Wish all the best to all of you.

    NOBI2018, Koguiking, qureishi and 5 others like this.
  8. Very Informative Post.. Thanks..
    PonJoub likes this.
  9. Can we drive on an Indian license initially? Or its compulsory to have a IDP?

  10. Hi, can I ask you about mailbox opening? What identification did they ask from you?

    Because when I inquired with UPS, they told me I should have an one ID with photo, and one document showing my addresss. But my purpose of renting the mailbox is because I don't have a permanent address yet.

    Hope to hear from you, thanks!
    sstarrgazerr likes this.

  11. Would they accept your permanent address from home country?Just an idea..
  12. How easy can one get a survival jobs in calgary
  13. hey sorry for my late reply.
    i was not coming on the forum for a while ...
    This is what they asked me when I was still in France:
    1. 2 pieces of government issued ID (passport as one)
    2. We would require 2 pieces of ID for your wife as well (because she is also mentioned on the UPS box)
    3. Current physical address in France – we would require a change of address when you’re settled in Calgary
    4. For payment, you can send us email money transfer or call to pay with your credit card.
    5. The mailbox is accessible 24 hours once we give you the keys.
    But basically, I opened the UPS mail box the day after i arrive in Calgary. I was much easier ... and for your PR card address that you will be asked at your landing just mention that you don't have one yet and you will open a UPS mail box straight away after landing and the officer will give you a document to fill in once you have your UPS mail box and just need to fax it (that you can do at your UPS store as well ...)

    I hope this helps.
    Good luck.
    Koguiking likes this.
  14. depending on many factors ... but what i notice here is that networking is almost as important as your skills themselves ...

Share This Page