Coincidence or not, we landed in Canada as Permanent Residents two years after we first visited Morden. If you don’t know, part of Morden’s immigration process is to spend a week in the city for what they call Exploratory Visit (EV). To be back for good after such a long time was like a dream that came true!
We got our immigration process approved around May 2019, but we had booked our flights only for September 2019. I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to sort things out in Brazil before we leave. Even though we were really anxious to arrive in Canada, God knew the right moment for us and it couldn’t have been any better!
Believe me, the more time you think you have, the more you are going to need to sell everything that is needed to be sold, to go through documents, bank account, contract cancellations, etc. Remember, it is your whole life that will change and you have to plan ahead carefully, especially when it comes to the financial part of it.
To add more excitement we had to deal with our 4 dogs. They are not just pets for us, we have them as our kids, so the idea of leaving them behind was unimaginable.
They are 3 tiny Pomeranian and 1 Sheltie. In the plane, you can bring 1 per person as a carry-on and use the cargo of the aircraft to bring more. Now, due to the size of our poms, we didn’t want to risk bring 1 in the cargo together with our Sheltie which is medium size. So for her (Layla) safety, we left her with Gabi’s family until next year when they come to visit us.
Don and Aimee came with us in the cabin. We started training Valentina with the kennel one year earlier, so she wouldn’t be even more stressed during the long hours of flight. In total, we had 3 flights and the international leg was with Air Canada.
The flight attendants told us that we couldn’t get the dogs out of the carry-ons during the journey, but I managed to take them to the bathroom once for cleaning and making sure they were okay. Actually, Don slept during all the flights, very good to travel around with him because all he ever cares about is to be around us.
Aimee is a nervous dog, so she got really stressed by the sound of the plane’s turbine during the first of our landings. Oh my, that moment was a really bad one and Gabi managed to hold her in the arms until she calmed down.
Our Port of Entry was Toronto
We were so excited to become PRs a few hours after we landed at Toronto’s airport. As we entered the line and waited for half an hour, a female officer called out the ones from the general line who were there for landing purposes.
We were taken to another room where we also saw Canada Service counter at service hours. On our turn, the border officer made us a few questions such as ” have you committed a crime in your country before?”, which thanks to God, we gave a ” NO” answer to all of them.
She asked an address to which our PR cards would be emailed to us when ready. So I gave the one Shelly told us to use on all of our papers.
And that’s it! We were carrying proof of funds, a list of items following us, etc but none of them were requested. So we finally heard the so waited “Welcome to Canada”!!
At that moment, our journey from 2016 ’till there passed through my mind. All the researches about which path would be best for us, all the readings, youtube channels, info shared on forums, groups, etc. It really was a dream that came true and all I kept repeating mentally was “Thank you God for this amazing opportunity that you are giving to us, I feel so blessed and will do whatever I can do be a better person and to make it all worth it.”
We headed downstairs to get our 3 boxes (yes, we decided to bring our things in boxes other than suitcases because they are more spacious and lighter than any suitcase) and 1 suitcase. Valentina was waiting for us in a special room designated for fragile and alive animals. So our boxes were delivered in this room as well. Only the suitcase was on the normal luggage claim’s belt.
Next, we had to go the Animal border control to register animals arriving in Canada. Now, I must say that we used the help of the airport staff to guide us through this procedure and we were glad we did. Imagine only 2 persons pushing 3 carts with 3 big boxes, 1 suitcase, 1 kennel with a dog in and more 2 in carry-ons? We paid him a tip and we were good to go.
The great thing about Toronto Pearson International Airport is that they have a special area for pets built with fake grass, poop bags and a fake hydrant for the males to relieve right there! So simple and yet, carefully thought. So our dogs loved to try this space.
Flight to our new home, Manitoba!
This flight was the first as official Permanent Residents of Canada and we were all smiles, cheek to cheek. Even though the aircraft was a small model, the trip was smooth and a very silent one, so the dogs behaved great!
Through the window, we saw the flatness Manitoba is famous for and made us wonder what great surprises God would be preparing for our new life in Canada.
We landed at Winnipeg and had the pleasure to meet in real life two Brazilian friends that I met online along our process. They were so kind and helpful giving us a ride until our new home, Morden.
And then we had a life reset.