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Settle into your life in Canada

Nick Noorani, Managing Partner of Destination Canada Inc.’s “Prepare for Canada” program, discusses what you need to do once you arrive in Canada.

Welcome to Canada! Now that you have made the move, the Scotiabank StartRight® Program can make settling into your new life easier. Below, we’ve listed some helpful tools and resources to help you get started.

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Upon arrival in Canada, you’ll need to obtain a SIN card. This card displays a unique nine-digit number that allows citizens to work in Canada and grants access to government programs and benefits. Anyone can apply for a SIN card, even children. It is important to keep this number protected. For more information, visit Canada.ca.

Banking

If you’ve set up an International Account online prior to arrival, you will now need to open a chequing account in Canada for everyday purchases, paying bills, receiving money from your job and building a credit profile. If you would like to conduct your own research on the Canadian banking industry before opening a bank account, visit the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) website. When you are ready, you can book an appointment with a multilingual Scotiabank advisor at the branch nearest you to determine which type of bank account is most suitable for your needs.

Grocery stores

Familiarize yourself with local grocery stores and determine which one best suits your budget and preferences. Some common grocery stores you may come across that anyone can shop at are No Frills, Loblaws, FreshCo and Sobeys. There are also wholesale stores, such as Costco, that require a membership.

Discovering your community

Venture through your neighbourhood to see all that it has to offer, including community centres, parks and places of worship. Try browsing your free local newspaper or looking online to learn about opportunities near you.

Building your community

In addition to securing a place to live, it’s important to get involved with your community. If you’re unsure of how to build your network, organizations like the YMCA or the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC), Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) and the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) are great resources to find programs to get involved no matter what city you’re in.

Education and work assessment

You will need to have your credentials (education and work experience) assessed if you came to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker, or if you’re interested in going to school or working in a specific profession. If you didn’t do this before coming to Canada, start as soon as you arrive, as this is a timely process. For more information, visit Canada.ca.

Applying for jobs

Once your credentials are recognized, you can start registering for school and applying for jobs. There are many job sites, which will list open positions and the skills required to do them. CanPrep is a great resource to help you find any information you’d need regarding employment in Canada. Alternatively, you can visit the provincial or federal online job forum to search for job opportunities, or visit the Government of Canada to discover educational opportunities in Canada.

Finding a home

The Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) is an excellent resource for newcomers who want to rent or buy a home. On their website, you can learn more about the types of housing available, where to look for housing, what you will need to secure housing and what your responsibilities will be as a tenant or homeowner. A Scotiabank mortgage advisor can also walk you through all of the requirements needed to purchase a home. Call your nearest branch to book an appointment, or call 1-866-800-5159.

For more information visit Scotiabank StartRight® Program