A New Challenge!

Posted by Ian On June 5, 2009

I'm pleased to announce that I have started my own little company - mare ad mare, which is latin for 'sea to sea' and part of the Canadian motto (check the cover of your new passports). Our goal will be to build a fresh new brand of clothing for Canadian (and wannabe Canadian) girls. I will be using this blog, much as I have in the past - to continue showing people around the globe (over 50 countries now!) what it's like to be a Canadian girl, tracing the footsteps of our 3 girls as we explore more of this great place we call home.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Now for big girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Fall shirt for Canadian girls

A big pile of leaves for you here! As a Canadian summer turns to fall, the leaves change colours and then fall off the trees. Kids rake them up and play! So go on, Jump into Fall with this Orange T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Pass the Marshmallows!

Summer shirt for Canadian Girls

Summer in Canada is the time for camping, camp fires and of course - Marshmallows! Get ready to go roast some in this summer yellow T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Spring shirt for Canadian Girls

After a long Canadian winter, spring can never arrive too soon! Pull on this Spring Green T and go planting girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

It's not ALWAYS cold in Canada...

Winter shirt for Canadian Girls

How many times have you had to tell someone that it's not always cold here? Well, sometimes it is cold - but to make your point, grab this little winter blue T and let them know that it's not just snow and ice up here all the time! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Girls, grab this little white T, and go get your kiss ;-) Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

I welcomed a new Canadian into town yesterday. We had met him and his family while we were living in Germany, and he has recently accepted a position with a local company - so is brand new to Ottawa, and Canada...

Having just arrived, and not receiving much in the way of help, I was only too happy to assist. We ourselves had gone through this same life-altering move a few times, and so we know what it's like - and it would have made our lives a little easier (and our time more enjoyable!) when settling in those places if we had had someone to guide us through the process and introduce us to our new surroundings a little better.

It is sooooooooo important to get off on the right foot, and not make those first few decisions bad decisions that end up haunting you...

He had been told that our public transportation system was quite good. I don't know if I'd go that far - hello light rail system... but of course, right now there is NO public transit thanks to our 40 day old strike! It's pretty much impossible to get a car rental or lease now... So I offered to take him around to get a few things done.

Checking out the area

I picked him up from his new workplace yesterday afternoon, and gave him a whirlwind tour Morgan's Grant, Bridlewood and Kanata in general. Also got him up to speed on some of the local customs. He mentioned having read 'How to be a Canadian', but I guess didn't cover everything...

So many questions!

Obviously he's interested in some key things - house or apartment, rent or buy, car - lease or buy and those things we can take our time with - you should not rush into those decisions.
But as I showed him around Morgan's Grant, we discussed townhomes, semi-detached, single family homes... coming from Europe where most people don't buy and sell their homes as we do in North America, there's definitely a different approach. Going from a 100 square meter flat (about 1000 sq. feet) to a home in the area that would be at minimum 1500 sq.ft (plus a basement) is a big change.

The sun was setting, but with the streetlights on, I was able to take him by some of the different types of homes, showed him the schools, some of the parks, talked about the local bike trails, skating rinks...etc It really is a nice area to live and raise a family. And in this neighbourhood, you don't have to worry about feeling like a minority - the minority is in the majority here! So close to the tech park, there are people from all over the world living right here. I can go to the park any day of the week and hear ten different languages!


After that little tour, he needed to get setup with a few things - namely a cell phone and laptop, so I took him to our Canadian based electronics superstore - The Future Shop.
I was afraid that he wouldn't be able to get setup with a phone without a bank account or permanent address, but we managed to go through the options with the sales agent, and he ended up with a Koodo phone, which allows him a little flexibility later, but gets him a phone quick. He also managed to get a nice laptop to stay in contact better with his wife and kids back home. He found it strange to see the staff being so helpful, but quickly realized that as they introduced him to new possible items - the totals very quickly rose!

As we needed to wait for the laptop to be setup with everything, I introduced him to our supermarket - Loblaws. I also had to inform him that he wouldn't be able to get beer, wine or liquor and the supermarket - which gave him a bit of a surprise. So then I had to show him one of my favourite stores... the liquor store...

Still needing to kill some time before picking up his computer, we stopped into Chapters - the Canadian equivalent to Barnes and Noble I suppose, where he picked up a few city maps and some books for his kids. I had to recommend some Robert Munsch books to him, being new to Canada - he's lots of Canadiana to get caught up on - and for kids, Robert Munsch is the king of Canadian kids books. His books are great, and if you get the chance - have a look at this vid - he's slightly crazy, but that's the great thing about him - and when he reads his stories, he's so animated very fun to listen to and watch.

And that was pretty much it for the night... he was starting to fade - jet lag setting in!
If there are new canadians out there looking for tips...just ask!

0 Response to "New to Canada"

    About Me

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    It's not about the money you make, the toys you have, the clothes you wear - it's about the life experiences you go through, the challenges you face and the stories you tell... Having just moved back to Canada (after almost 8 years in the U.S and Germany), we have lots to show our girls and our friends around the world about Canada. We're going to be telling our stories, hope you enjoy our adventures. Mare ad Mare means 'sea to sea' and we want to show the world, from Sea to Sea - this is what it's like to be a Canadian Girl!