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Becoming a Canuck!

Sharon, Office Manager with Canada Official at Citizenship Ceremony

I recently became a Canadian Citizen and thought I’d share my experience on becoming part of “Team Canada”. I emigrated to Ontario in 2014 with my husband and daughter from a small coastal town (Southport) outside of Liverpool, England. We found life in the UK to be quite stressful and wanted a more relaxed lifestyle and a future for our daughter where we could see she had the capability to be financially independent, enjoy a safe environment and be in the great outdoors more.

So how was our journey to becoming Canadian citizens? A long one! It took us 4 years to get our permanent residency to live and work in Canada. We thought it was never going to happen. We sent off our application in 2000 and eventually landed in the cold/snowy winter of 2014 – discovering that a snow shovel (later upgraded to a snow plow) was a must! We chose Collingwood, Ontario mostly for the beautiful location, with the bay and mountain on our doorstep, but also for the music program at CCI for our daughter who is now studying music at Western University.

I’ve found living in Canada to provide an environment where you feel “free” – free from worrying about your personal safety, knowing your kid can walk to school, walk the trails, swim the bay and ride their bike without worrying. There is so much opportunity for kids, and I think because kids can work from a young age (14), they get a sense of independence quicker and understand the value of money.

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We have watched the small town of Collingwood grow over these last 10 years and have loved having so much on our doorstep. I’ve worked far and wide (Barrie and Orangeville) before working locally at CPYC, and I’ve got to say I don’t miss the one-hour drive, especially in the winter! I’m enjoying living and working locally, and the team at CPYC has been amazing.

After 5 years had passed living here, and knowing that we wanted to call Canada our permanent home, we decided to apply for citizenship. This process is now completed online via Zoom. During COVID, they switched to this method and haven’t gone back to in-person as of yet. So on 8th September 2023, we joined 81 other people, swore our oath and sang O Canada to become Canadian citizens.

Do we feel any different? All I can say is that I feel more relaxed knowing that I can call Canada one of my official homes and feel that we’ve achieved our main goal of a future for our daughter and in the process have met and made many friends – all in all, it’s been an experience, EH!