Published Aug 3, 2009
I'm new here and finding it rather confusing to find my way around here and to post in the appropriate forum! I have several questions about nursing in Canada and found a lot of interesting posts but was unable to find where to start a new thread. Please move this to wherever its supposed to be. Thank you!
I am just starting the process of looking into moving to Canada. My background is slightly complicated. I'm Irish but I trained in the UK. I graduated in 1988 and have been working full-time since then so almost 21 years experience. The last ten has been PICU. I have been in the U.S since 1995 and have dual Irish/U.S citizenship. I am now looking at moving to Canada and have some questions. I have no family in Canada so location is undecided at this point. I am thinking Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and possibly Toronto. Does anyone have any information on PICU's in those cities? I work in a very busy 24 bedded PICU in a children's hospital in California at present. We have cardiac, trauma and everything else inbetween. I have worked in several PICU's all over the U.S so am used to moving. I am single so the ability to be able to buy a house on a salary is important. I would appreciate any help or suggestions that you could give. Also apart from Vanvouver I have not been to the other cities. I realise its cold up there but how much snow and blizzards are we really talking about particularly in Edmonton or Calgary? Thank you.
Can't speak to the PICU situations, although I'm sure that all major cities would have one (Vancouver does for sure, as does Toronto but the others I don't know.)
Vancouver housing is very expensive. My friend just bought a 690sq ft condo for $350 000. Obviously if you move out of the city things get cheaper but you'll have a commute to deal with. I suggest you look on MLS.ca for local housing prices it'll give you a good idea.
As for temperature, Vancouver is pretty mild (relatively speaking) compared to the rest of Canada. We generally don't go below the freezing mark for any extended period of time...unless of course you decide to go up the mountains. Calgary and Edmonton...yup, pretty darn cold...plug your car into the outlet cold. In the summers though its gorgeous. Toronto is pretty cold aswell but not as cold as the prairies. The summers are also hot.
I hope this helps a little bit...
You need to look for posts from Janfrn. She's a PICU nurse here in Edmonton. The Stollery is our Children's Hospital. There is also a large Childrens Hospital in Calgary. Smaller towns also have Children's units.
I've lived in Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton. Edmonton is nicer than Calgary. Yes, it is cold. Edmonton kind of reminds me of Denver. Snow can start at the end of October and kind of carries on until April. But it's not continual, you can go weeks without a snowfall. In the last decade, I really only remember two blizzards. We don't have Polar Bears roaming the streets. We usually get two really cold snaps each winter. Around 10 days of -20-30C, colder when you factor in the windchill. Dress in layers and you are fine. All our igloos are heated.
Calgary has Chinooks, warm winds that blow through usually in February which melts a lot of the snow.
Our seasons are different. Winter lasts about six months, Spring two weeks, Summer is about ten weeks, Autumn about three weeks and the rest is kind of working up to being winter. We also have a season known as road construction on the prairies. The municipal and provincial governments attack the streets and highways as soon as the ground thaws and digs and repaves until the start of the snow.
The wet coast is known as that for a reason. The rains can start in October and not let up until April.
Edmonton and Calgary are getting more and more expensive. Nice apartments/condos start in the high $200K. It depends on what equity you have to put into a place how expensive you will find home ownership.
That does help Thank you! I don't mind cold but neverending snow would be a problem. Thanks again!
Hey, I have snow tyres, snow chains, a snow blower, teenaged sons and a sled dog.
I'm ready for winter.
I saw a post somewhere about a PICU in Edmonton so I hope Jan replies! Six months of winter.. Yikes. I live in California so that would be new! Stupid question here but do the roads get cleared of snow quickly? Thanks for your suggestions.
Wow I've never driven in snow and know nothing about chains etc etc. It will be an adventure right!
Nah, you only need chains if you are travelling through the Rockies in the winter months. Even then you rarely have to "chain up", although some of the semi's will. It's more a case of safety. But you will see road signs advising of their use. The highway is usually kept very clean. In the mountain passes, cars will be pulled over in designated areas for avalanche blasting, to prevent the snow hitting the road. That's often where you will see the truckies chaining, the odd time the Mounties will check your tyres if you are in the queue waiting for the road to re-open. This usually happens in the late evening/early morning and we're talking up in the middle of nowhere. (no insult intended to those who live up there)
In the cities the main roads are usually cleared as it falls. Snow tyres are recommended but you always find some fool thinking that all season radials will do it. Residential streets are cleared last but they are sanded for traction. It's actually not that difficult to drive on packed snow/ice. It's only when it's soft and fresh that it's a b*tch to navigate in.
My husband is a safety freak, so all our cars have snow tyres on by the end of October. The anti-freeze they use out here is usually good to -45C. Pretty much every car sold on the Prairies comes with a block heater. Just keep the car washed when it warms up and you don't face too much winter damage.
Honestly, it's not as bad as it sounds. I grew up in wet Vancouver and can honestly say I'd rather deal with the cold winter. When the sky is blue and it's clear and sunny in the winter it is beautiful. The wet cold is worse. You get soaked and you can't get warm until you change your clothes. Here you just add a layer.
Great information. Thank you!
Haha, I'm the other way...I would take rain over -30 any day of the week. I don't mind snow and I don't mind the shoveling but the cold gets me. Of course I'm moving to Halifax soon so the snow and I will become very familiar again.
As for the driving, I agree that its not that bad but during your first winter BE CAREFUL! It can bite you quickly. I suggest going to an empty lot after a fresh fall and practice braking, skidding, sliding and throw in some spins for fun. It'll get you used to the feeling and you can learn what to do...better there than on a busy road.
Can anyone bump this to Jan ??? I am really interested in PICU's in Alberta and also BC. Thank you!
Just pm her:)
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