Checklist | So you’ve moved to Hawkesbury

March 21, 2023

You’re now living in Ontario! But are you finding it hard to keep on top of all the things you have to do? We’ve got your back! Here’s a little checklist to help you out. It covers the essentials for anyone moving to Ontario. Whether you’re coming from another part of Canada or another country, we hope this checklist will help you settle in and not forget anything.

Moving to Ontario

Change of address: When you move to another place, it’s always a good idea to make a list of the services and subscriptions you use in order to update your accounts. You don’t want to miss a package or an important letter!

Health Insurance card: The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers many of the health care services you might need. When you arrive in Ontario, you’ll need to apply for OHIP. You can visit a ServiceOntario location or visit the Government of Ontario health care website.

We recommend you start looking for a family doctor as soon as possible, as the process can be lengthy. If you have health issues that require specific care, there is a public register of healthcare professionals for every area of health care that you may need. Use the search filters when available to find services in French.

Driver’s licence: Hawkesbury doesn’t have public transit, so it’s good to have your own transportation. If you have two or more years of driving experience, you should know that Canada has a reciprocal driver’s licence agreement with various countries. This agreement allows you to obtain a G licence. You’ll still be required to pass a vision test and provide acceptable proof of your driver’s licence status and driving experience. If you don’t have any driving experience, you can find all the information you need about courses and tests on the new drivers government website. Until you have your own means of transportation, you can always use taxis. Two companies operate within the city: MS Taxi and Hawkesbury Taxi.

Children? If you have children under the age of 4, you’ll probably be looking for a daycare or a babysitter. You can start by contacting the local elementary schools that have daycare services. You can also check with the Centre de Leadership Soleil des petits and even post on a Facebook group such as HAWKESBURY CLASSIFIEDS Sales Advertisement or Spotted Hawkesbury, St-eugène, Grenville, L’orignal, Vankleek Hill.

If your children are 4 or older, you can contact the town’s elementary schools (ages 4-12) or high schools (ages 12-18) directly to enrol them.

Visit our Education section >

Newcomers and immigrants

If you’re planning to move to Hawkesbury, here’s some good news: there are initiatives under way in our community just for you! To make things easier for you and to bring down your stress level, here’s a short to-do list.

Social Insurance Number: You can apply for your very first Social Insurance Number (SIN) before you even move to Canada. You’ll need two official documents from your country of origin to confirm your identity.

  1. Your birth certificate issued by a government authority in your country of origin. If the document is not in English or French, see the translation requirements.
  2. A statement or letter from the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security or Québec Pension Plan confirming your eligibility for a government pension or benefits.

You’ll need your passport as well (Canadian or foreign) and proof of Canadian address. The request can be made online, by mail or in person at any Service Canada Centre.

Bank account: You’ll want to open a bank account when you arrive. First do some research to find the one that’s right for you. There’s no wrong choice, but there may be one that better suits your needs and your values. In our area, a bank account will make it easier for you to enter the workforce, as most employers make direct payroll deposits. Bank accounts can also be convenient for automatically paying your rent or making large purchases on credit.

More information about banking and finance >

Here are some steps to consider:

Step 1 – Find an accountant While you can do your taxes yourself, it might be best to call on a certified professional for the first year. They’ll be able to offer services geared to your needs and advise you on getting the best possible return or how to pay as little tax as possible. Enter accountant near me on Google with your geolocation enabled and you’ll find plenty. All that’s left to do then is contact them.

Step 2 – Get informed Even if you’re working with a professional, it’s always a good idea to do your own research. Go to the Get ready to do your taxes page to find out about all the possible tax credits, benefits and what documents you’ll need to gather.

Step 3 – Review your tax return Once you’re done, go over your entire tax return carefully to understand what was taken or given on your taxes. This exercise will help you to better manage your finances from year to year and optimize your credits and returns.

Are you feeling confident and don’t want to go through an accountant? Here are the various ways to do your taxes.

Language learning: Canada has two official languages: English and French. In Hawkesbury and the surrounding area, knowing how to communicate effectively in both languages will be of great help in landing a job. Online courses, discussion groups and government programs are available to help you improve your English or French skills. In addition, three organizations offer adult education courses and training in Hawkesbury. You can find them on our Education page in the adult courses section.

Official documents: Immigration is a complex process, with many deadlines to meet and forms to fill out. Always be as far ahead of the game as possible when it comes to filling out and submitting documentation. If you feel lost, we’re here to help. Élise Edimo, our liaison officer for the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative in Hawkesbury, will be able to answer your questions about immigrating to Eastern Ontario or direct you to the right person.
 +1 613 407-5181

In closing, we encourage you to browse through our other blog posts. Many of them could assist you in your endeavours or simply help you get acquainted with the area. The Guide du marché du travail, created in collaboration with the Prescott and Russell Employment Services Centre, could also come in handy.

We hope this article was useful. Follow our social media to make sure you don’t miss out on anything to do with Hawkesbury, a Welcoming Francophone Community.

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