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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
British family relocating - "it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown"

Hi All,

I have carried out as much research as I could over the internet, so I would welcome any real live thoughts and opinions from any members willing.

I appreciate the answers I receive to any questions below, will be based on individual opinions and personal requirements. So please, I will read and acknowledge any comment you have and will be grateful of any advice. Also we would welcome any general comments on items you wish you knew before arriving in a new place!

I am married with a family of 5 (three boys aged 1, 5, 6); I have recently secured an offer of employment to relocate to Canada. The companies head office is based in Calgary, Quarry Park (I think this would be Zone D? Please correct me if I am reading the zoning wrong!!).
Below is a summary of what would like any opinions on:

1 – The general consensus is that areas in the north are more desirable places to live with a young active family? (Please do not be offended if this is incorrect, I am willing to be educated)

2 – If this is to be true, is it possible/easy to commute to Quarry Park from areas in the North?

3 – We would be hoping to rent a 4-5 bed accommodation (family members are already booking time slots to visit us!!!!), from my searching of rent costs, I have a resulting price range from 2,000 – 10,000 Canadian dollars a month, ideally we would be looking to pay around 2,000-2,500 per month, would this price us out of a desirable location with the required nr of bedrooms?

4 – I have studied the Fraser institute school card reports to help decide on a suitable location for our children to thrive, how reliable is this report?

5 – My children are young, and choosing a school is very high on our agenda, I believe that while public education is basically free in Calgary, you will be required to pay in the region of C$500 a year to cover school uniforms, materials, field trips and the like, Is it worth paying for private schools when the reports I have read say public schools are of good standards.
Do any expats have thoughts of the standard of public schools (compared to what we expect in UK)?

6 - And finally, (apologies if I have sent any members off to sleep with my first ever novel!!) of course, the monthly cost of living in Calgary, we understand that this will depend significantly on the kind of lifestyle we choose to lead. However, for accommodation, food, (public) transportation and utilities, one forum suggested “expect to pay a total of about C$2,200 (for a family of three).” Any comments on this?

thanks in advance to any comments received

John
 

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Sorry, I can't comment on Calgary as we are in Saskatchewan, although also in the "north" of Canada. I'd allow about Canadian $3000 at least per month for the expenses that you mentioned. At your kids ages, you could possibly try out the public school and see how the schooling goes and make a decision about public/private from there.
Good luck and sorry I can't comment more on Calgary in particular
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Jacq1101,

Thanks for the post, all info welcomed......

How have you found the transition from Australia?
 

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4 – I have studied the Fraser institute school card reports to help decide on a suitable location for our children to thrive, how reliable is this report?
It is very reliable. Of course there is some dispute but that usually comes from those connected to schools that scored poorly. Generally, if the Frasier Institute puts a study out it can be trusted.

5 – My children are young, and choosing a school is very high on our agenda, I believe that while public education is basically free in Calgary, you will be required to pay in the region of C$500 a year to cover school uniforms, materials, field trips and the like, Is it worth paying for private schools when the reports I have read say public schools are of good standards.
Do any expats have thoughts of the standard of public schools (compared to what we expect in UK)?
There is no need to spend money on uniforms unless your kids will be at Catholic schools as public schools do not have uniforms.

And no, it is not worth paying for private schools as our state schools, on average, are of a higher standard than what they seem to be in Britain these days (higher achievement, fewer discipline problems, etc.). Although I am Scots I have spent most of my life here - throughout university (B.A.) and graduate school (both Master's and PhD) I cannot remember knowing a single person who went to a private school. Everyone, including my peers in graduate school, came out of our state school system.
 

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jaycee101 said:
Hi Jacq1101,

Thanks for the post, all info welcomed......

How have you found the transition from Australia?
Hi Jaycee,
The transition has been relatively easy ... Have weathered our first winter here! Lots more sunshine in winter than you'd fine in Australia or the UK.
 
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