Top Tips - Life in Canada

Top tips for your posting to Canada

If you’re just beginning your Canadian posting - read on for some handy hints and tips to help you make the most of what is on offer and above all, have a fantastic time!

  1. Read the BATUS arrival guide thoroughly – not yet got your copy? See your Welfare Officer
  2. On arrival in BATUS go to the Admin Office for advice on setting up a Canadian bank account, and obtain money if required. 
  3. Remember: General Service Tax (GST) is added at point of sale; the price you see isn’t the price you pay! 
  4. Pop in and join the Prairy Rose Club, run by the spouses within Ralston Village. Grab a brew every Tuesday and Thursday morning - they have lots of useful info to share and it’s a great way to meet new friends. 
  5. Travel light when it comes to bringing furniture with you – all houses are fully furnished and the furniture provided will not be removed. 
  6. Don’t forget mosquito repellent - preferably containing DEET - you will need it, especially in June which is the wettest month. 
  7. Bring a small European TV and DVD player or games console with you to play your DVDs or video games – you’ll need to check the voltage range. 
  8. Buy your winter clothes in Canada; trust us when we say that winter clothing purchased in the UK will not keep you warm during the extremely cold winters in Canada; the temperature averages -20C! 
  9. Check out Ralston Buy and Sell Facebook page which is run by volunteers from the community!/groups/451065234958258/ 
  10. Consider the effect of temperature on your shipped items. Candles shipped in the height of summer or LCD TVs in the winter may be damaged by extreme temperatures during shipping across Canada. 
  11. Safety first! Your children must use bicycle helmets in Canada by law. 
  12. Be aware: In Medicine Hat, as soon as car sellers know that you are from BATUS, the price can be quite high. Buy in Brooks, Lethbridge or Calgary for significant savings. 
  13. Driving is essential get you and your family out and about; there is no public transport within Ralston. Don’t drive? Perhaps consider learning. 
  14. Fancy a break in the USA? Make sure you take out private medical insurance; BATUS will not refund any medical expenses outside of Canada. 
  15. Food Shopping in Canada can be expensive. Medicine Hat has a variety of shops such as Walmart, Sobeys, Canadian Superstore and Safeways. Prices vary between stores. 
  16. Want to work while in Canada? You will need an employment visa. Start this process prior to your arrival in Canada. 
  17. Use the following addresses for mail/parcels:
    Civilian address for BATUS - items sent from Canada / North America

    PO BOX 5000
    Medicine Hat AB
    T1A 8K7

    Civilian address for BATUS - items sent from UK – BFPO (ordered online)

    BF1 3AJ

    BFPO address for BATUS

    BFPO 14 
  18. Housed in Ralston Village? The internet, telephone and TV packages are provided by a company called SHAW - they only visit the village on Wednesdays. To book an appointment in advance of your arrival, call 001 403 4887066.

Want to know more? Check out our ‘Preparing to Move’ guide for a simple overview of life in Canada tailored to you, our Army families. 

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