Apartment Search in Greater Toronto Area

Moving to greater Toronto area requires some planning.

Them city of oF Toronto is big but there are some areas that are crime prone. One such area is Jane and Finch. It is historically an area of crime activity.

Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville are much safer but they are also suburbs that require quite some commute if you are going to work in Toronto.

Some simple ways to look apartments are using websites like viewit.ca . They usually have apartments that are management owned and are affordable.

Of course there are numerous privately owned condos and basement apartments available.

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Important dates and holidays in Canada

February 16 – National Flag Day

In 1965, on this day, the new Canadian maple leaf flag was raised over Parliament Hill for the very first time.

March second Monday – commonwealth day.

It is the day all commonwealth countries celebrate their

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Understanding Canada Series #1 – money matters

Canadian currency is the Canadian dollar.

Canadian coins have interesting names.

The $2 coin is called the “toonie”

The $1 coin is called the “loonie”

The 25 cent coin is called the “quarter”

The 10 cent coin is called as the “dime”

The 5 cent coin is called the “nickel”

The 1 cent coin is called the “penny”


It is very safe to keep your money in most Canadian banks. If the bank is a member of CDIC, then your money is guaranteed up to $100,000.

CDIC is expanded as Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation. Please note that not all deposits and money instruments are insurable.

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Ontario HST Rebate Cheques

This is the criteria in which HST Rebate cheques will be sent from the Ontario.

Eligible families – including single parents and senior couples – with an annual income of $160,000 or less will receive three payments totalling $1,000. Each payment is reduced by 5% of income over $160,000

Eligible Individuals with an annual income of $80,000 or less will get three payments totalling $300. Each payment is reduced by 5 percent of income over $80,000.

Benefits will be delivered to eligible Ontario tax fliers aged 18.

If you need to make a change to your personal info, require more information or have any questions.

Call CRA toll free at 1-877-627-6645 between 8:15 am and 5:00 pm

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How to get a 7 band score in IELTS for your canadian immigration

The best of all the books. If you are planning to write IELTS and you dont have this book, you can as well as cancel your exam date.

An advanced IELTS book. Lot of examples and a recommended one.

A new book and is a good read.

We hear fans raving about this new book.

Our recommended reading on the web.

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Invitation Letter for Canadian Visitor Visa

Canadian visa for single entry
Image via Wikipedia

An Invitation letter is a very important document that needs to accompany the Visitor Visa application for Canada.

We have a standard format that has been used by many of our readers and here it is.

Invitation Letter Format

Joe Schmoe
356 Forest Lane,
Toronto, ON – M5K 2J6
Home Phone: 647-885-9797
Cell Phone: 416-793-8455


Sub: Letter of Invitation/Support for Mr. Jacob Schmoe and Mrs. Rebecca Schmoe, my parents

I am writing to confirm that I wish to invite my father Mr. Jacob Schmoe and my mother Mrs. Rebecca Schmoe to visit me temporarily in Toronto, Canada. They will be visiting from February and will be back to India on May 2011.

I intend to financially support both of my parents during the trip, including their tickets from and back to India.I have also attached a recent bank statement to demonstrate that I have the funds to support both my parents during their stay in Canada. Enclosed to this letter is also a copy of the “Notice of Assessment” for the years 2009 and 2010 showing my annual income.

Both Mr. Jacob Schmoe and Mrs. Rebecca Schmoe will be residing with me during their stay.

My Information:


Date of birth: 8- JAN 1977

Home Address: 356 Forest Lane, Toronto, ON – M5K 2J6

Home Phone: 647-885-9797

Cell Phone: 416-793-8455


Work Phone: 647-355-0648

STATUS: PERMANENT RESIDENT ( Copy of Permanent Resident Card Enclosed )

Parents’ Information:

Father’s Name:  Jacob Schmoe

Mother’s Name:  Rebecca Schmoe

Current Address:  35  South Society Road,  Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India – 114007

Permanent Address: 35 South Society Road, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India – 114007

Purpose of Trip: Visiting Son / Daughter-in-law and Tourism

Intended duration of Stay in Canada: 4 months

Please feel free to contact me at 416-793-8455 or by mail at my address above if you have any questions.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to consider my letter of invitation.


Joe Schmoe
January 5, 2011

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Open Work Permit for spouses and immediate family members

“Open Work Permits” allows a person to work for any Canadian employer. A person with Open Work Permit can be employed by any Company without a Labor Market Opinion.

Canada offers “Open Work Permits” for spouses and common-law partners if the following conditions are met.

  • You have a work permit that is valid for atleast six months or longer
  • Your job meets a minimum skill level (usually work that would require at least a college diploma). Specifically, your job must be listed in Skill Level 0, A or B in the National Occupational Classification

Validity of the Open Work Permit

Your spouse’s permit will be valid for the same period as yours.

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IELTS Validity extended for Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class and Business Class Immigrants

Again, another reason why Canadian immigration does things much smarter than other countries.

Today CIC announced that EFFECTIVE December 23, 2010, If you are submitting a language test (i.e IELTS exam results ) with your application, the results are now valid for 2 years from the time you took the test, instead of 1 year.

This change in validity applies to Federal skilled worker, Canadian Experience Class and Business Class Immigrants.

CIC rocks and this is probably the best gift for applicants

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Eligibility Criteria for Applicant – Spousal/Family Immigration to Canada

First and foremost, you, the applicant and the sponsor ( your spouse ) should be legally married. It is very important that the marriage is legal. There are lot of scenarios where a marriage did happen but it was not legal due to local laws or Canadian laws.

So if the applicant and the sponsor were married in Canada, you need the following to be eligible as an applicant.

  • A marriage certificate issued by the province or territory where the marriage took place.

In most spousal immigration cases, the marriage happens outside Canada. Please note the following conditions if you, the applicant and the sponsor were married outside canada

  • The marriage must be valid under the law of 2 countries
    • the country in which the marriage took place
    • Canadian law
  • There are times when the marriage happens in a consulate/embassy. In that scenario, the marriage should be legal with the law of the country where it took place, not the country of nationality of the embassy or consulate.

See more about Eligibility Criteria of the sponsor

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Police Clearance – United Kingdom

In United Kingdom, you should get the Police Clearance Certificate from ACPO Criminal Records Office. ACPO stands for  Association of Chief Police Officers. The certificate you get has security features and information on criminal records from databases covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can get the application form from the link below in the appropriate language.

ACPO: Police Certificates

There is also a phone number to call if you have any questions:

ACRO Customer Services on Tel: 0845 60 13 999 (International callers: 0044 1962 87 1111) (This is ACRO the records office )

They have two kinds of Services

  • Standard Service – this would get you a police certificate in 10 working days or so
  • Premium Service – if you urgently need a police clearance certificate, this is for you, they send you the certificate in 2 working days.

Remember the days do not include the time spent in mail etc., ACPO also adds caution that you will not be eligible for Premium Service if there is an impending Criminal proceedings against you.

Here is the fees as of today ( Dec 14, 2010) :

Standard: £ 35.00

Premium: £ 70.00

Additional Copies: £ 5.00

Payments must be by UK Bank Cheque, UK Postal Order, or Bankers Draft (see FAQ’s).

Payments should be made payable to HPA.

HPA is for Hampshire Police Authority.

There is a more detailed guidelines and FAQs on the ACPO website:

Here is the link to the Police Clearance Certificate Guidelines.

They also have an email to which you can send your questions: customer.services@acro.pnn.police.uk

As always, if you have any specific questions, ask us, we will try to find answers for you.

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