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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Travel plans

I've made some travel plans back to the States to continue the moving process and see family. The only problem is, I haven't received my Permanent Residence Card yet from CIC. Once you've landed as a Permanent Resident, this card is required to re-enter the country if you leave. It's like a passport for permanent residents. The CIC makes it a little clearer:

"The Permanent Resident Card is the official proof of your status as a permanent resident in Canada. This wallet-sized plastic card is required for all permanent residents of Canada seeking to re-enter Canada on a commercial carrier (airplane, boat, train or bus)."

Since in order to maintain status in the country, you need to be able to show you've been in the country for at least two years out of each five year period, this card is one of the devices used to track your comings and goings in and out of the country.

They've been a little slow in processing the cards lately - 48 business days is the current standard. That means sometime in mid-October for me. Just in time to see the States!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Service please!

So I definitely have fallen off the pace here as I've been settling into life in Toronto. I've had a surprising amount of work to do with clients from the States, and we've been down around the Golden Horseshoe to the Niagara region to see family and we're also pretty close to moving to a new home...all in five weeks. So I hope you'll understand that keeping the blog buzzing has fallen off the agenda just a bit.

But before I forgot, I wanted to be sure I mentioned the helpful people at Service Canada and Service Ontario. I know I brought up that I have dealt with them a number of times over the last few weeks and they really have made issues of transition go smoothly.

Service Canada had me established with my Social Insurance number in short order, and I got the formal card in the mail after just a few weeks. Service Ontario helped me transition my driver's license and was sure I got credit for my experience and all of my US endorsements. Then they helped me begin my OHIP - even being sure I was credited for all the days I had already been in Ontario, even though I didn't apply for a few weeks after I landed.

So here's to the Service Canada and Ontario public servants. They really have been helpful in the best of ways. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Settling in

I've now been in Toronto for a little over a month. I feel like I'm settling in. Street names are getting familiar again, landmarks are finding their way into my head. What's old and used to be there is gone, replaced by what is new. It was hard to recognize Bay Street north of College, so many new condos reaching for the sky, with perpetually dirty glass balcony fronts from the new construction that will soon take their views away just like they took the views away of the generation of condos that came before them. Those glass balconies have been a bit of an issue here on Bay Street this month, as a number of them have decided to visit the ground. Falling glass isn't something you want to encounter on your walk to work.

I've been to the Service Canada and Service Ontario offices a number of times for my Social Insurance Card and to exchange my US driver's license for an Ontario one and lastly to apply for my Ontario Heath Insurance Program (OHIP) card. I'll have to go back for that one, as they need proof of residence in Ontario to process it, and all I have is my temporary license. They accepted that form of ID forever and it seems they just removed it from the list of acceptable documents recently - it had been redacted with felt pen in their brochure!

I'm learning again the ballet required to navigate sidewalks with crowds of people. I wonder if everyone feels like they are the only one yielding to someone in their path? My foot is better, so I'm getting out more and enjoying walks with my Love.

Some mornings the light tells you Fall is coming soon.