We have settled into our apartment; it is very nice, clean and modern.  We researched several accommodation options but, in the end, this suited us, it is fully furnished and the rent covers the cable, internet, garbage collection and all utilities.  The only downside is that we didn’t have it confirmed until 3 days prior to arrival.  So the $300 difference for a non-furnished home  plus utilities and furniture purchase to a fully furnished option is well worth it.

RECYCLING – If you think our recycling is hard to work out, look at this, it is still doing my head in.

SHOPPING – My first suggestion is to shop around, particularly if you are in a bigger city there are a lot of shopping options to go with.  For food items you have Ray’s no frills, Save on Foods, Walmart and Costco just to name a few.  I found Ray’s no frills is more like our prices but the range of options are not there, so had to supplement at Save on Foods for speciality items like coconut sugar and Thai Green Curry Paste.

When shopping in Canada, the food items must be written in English and French so it is a little confusing at first, but I think I will pick up some French words whilst here (not those French words!).   They are big on coupons over here so I would suggest signing up for a couple of the reward cards as you can save heaps more and it can add up pretty quick.  The item tag shows the price for the item, plus the discounted price for the rewards card and the price per 100g again this is confusing at first but you catch on pretty quick.

You pay GST of 5% + PST (provincial tax) of 7% but you don’t necessarily get charged both of those taxes on all items, they must show the two different taxes on their receipts it is to “keep the Government honest”.  On soft drink or juice bottles you also pay a deposit fee of 20 cents per bottle and a recycle fee of 5 cents per bottle, then you have to take the bottles to the recycle depot to get your 20 cents back. 


Well next step is to explore the local area and plan the setting up of the car, so stay tuned.