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 Post subject: Planning on Moving to PEI
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 2:56 pm 
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Location: Burlington, ON
Hello Everyone!
I've been reading many of your posts concerning moving to and from the Island. My wife and I have been to PEI on three separate occasions and fell in love with it on our first visit. We live in southern Ontario and are tired of the rat race, the highways, the pollution, I could go on. We are very excited about the possibility of moving, and think of it every day. However we are also very nervous about the move as well. I think our biggest concern is employment. I have read varying accounts on the forum about some people having to leave because of no employment and on the other hand some people moving to PEI and finding employment.

Myself, I am a self employed blacksmith and would want to start up my own shop in PEI.
Is there a good industrial supply network on the island? And raw material suppliers? I am not sure if I would be looking at doing work for islanders, architectural work like railings and gates, or doing work for export/tourists like art and furniture etc.

Any thoughts and comments would be helpful.

PS sorry about the rambling first post, this is something new to me :)


Last edited by Hammer on January 26th, 2008, 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 3:41 pm 
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Welcome to the board. I myself do not know anything about the blacksmith business, but I am sure somebody on here will help.

What part of the Island are you thinking of relocating to?


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 3:50 pm 
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Location? That is up in the air right now. My wife and I scourer MLS looking at houses. We are thinking probably a rural property near Charlottetown (within 30 mins) but it depends on finding the right house and property. We are pretty open, but we don't want to be too far out from a town. We are planning on coming out to house hunting in the spring.


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 4:01 pm 
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Are you just looking for wrought iron? Are you looking for it formed and ready to use? If so, you may want to check out;

http://www.malpequefineiron.com/

We have a number of metal manufacturers here. Paderno Pots is local. We have lots of machine shops here. Should be no lack of metal suppliers.

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 4:06 pm 
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I would be looking for raw materials like steel, copper, bronze bar & sheet, as well as soft and hardwood. Sound like if there are a lot of machine shops then sourcing tooling would not be a problem. Thanks Ed


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 4:18 pm 
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Hammer wrote:
I would be looking for raw materials like steel, copper, bronze bar & sheet, as well as soft and hardwood. Sound like if there are a lot of machine shops then sourcing tooling would not be a problem. Thanks Ed


Nope. Tooling wouldn't be a prob. I worked for Wiebel Aerospace, in Summerside, and most of our tooling suppliers were from NB and NS.

In honesty, you'll find cold rolled, Galvanized or stainless steel in sheet here. Copper and Bronze would be available in very limited quantities, but good supplies are available just over the bridge, so no problem. Should have no problem getting hard or soft wood too, unless you need something pretty unusual.

Because we have so many metal manufacturers here, the NB and NS suppliers tend to ship here quite regularly.

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 4:34 pm 
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Hope you are prepared for life without glass bottled pop...

:)

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 5:53 pm 
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Hammer, I'm curious ... you sound like so many people with the same story who somehow set their sights on PEI. I know Burlington a bit, and not to slag your town, I can sure understand how anxious I'd be to get out of that insane mega-sprawl in the Golden Horseshoe. I really, really hate the 'burbs, hate the expressways, and hate the ghastly smog (not that I've ever lived in the 'burbs). Don't get me wrong, downtown Toronto's a great town, and so is oft-insulted downtown Hamilton -- but Canadians' addiction to urban sprawl and car culture is something I'll never, ever understand.

Anyway, here's my question: you live in the Ontario that's 2,000 km from end to end, and another 2,000 km from top to bottom, right? We're talkin' about the same Ontario? :wink:

Sorry man, I don't mean to be a smart-ass, but there are soooo many central Canadian refugees who get this romantic notion about PEI and just go barreling down the highway in pursuit of their dream. Might well work out ... but you should take a long, hard look at where you're leaping before you do.

Start with a thread on this site: "Time to Go," about someone else who tried to make a go of it on PEI. And bear in mind that we could be in for some very difficult economic times on the island.

http://www.peiinfo.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=16102

I very much understand the I'm-gittin'-outta-here urge. But you live in a province so huge that there are countless quaint, livable, maritime communities within an hour or so from your house! Seriously, I'd advise you to hop in your car, head up to the eastern shore of Lake Huron, and drive through Port Elgin, Goderich, Kincardine, Owen Sound, Orillia ... Small, affordable, cozy communities where you'll have a hell of an easier time setting up a successful business or finding work.

PEI's great in many ways. But you should be aware that, although your snowbelt winters are colder, PEI's are a hell of a lot longer (and you get wailed with the occasional incredible snow storm). Don't fool yourself, you won't be scampering on the beach or going for a dip in PEI's salt water any time but in July and August.

Unfortunately, PEI's economy is pretty thin, and people whose families were born on the island often find themselves shut out of economic opportunities (see above thread). As a "Come from Away" person, you can easily find yourself shut out -- socially and in terms of employment -- in ways you'll find very difficult to understand. Sad, but that's the reality.

It's tempting to just say, "C'mon down, y'all ... it'll be swell! Land of your dreams."

But so many people make the same leap ... when maybe they should have just spent a day driving that Lake Huron loop (or something similar).

Hope this helps. :wink:


Last edited by Buddee on January 22nd, 2008, 6:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 5:57 pm 
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Jeez budee. Why not tell him there ain't no Santa, too!

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 6:51 pm 
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Have they 'refixed' Brant Street yet? :lol:


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2008, 7:03 pm 
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Ed The Sock wrote:
Jeez budee. Why not tell him there ain't no Santa, too!


Sheesh! That would be just the topper of the whole story now wouldn't it! Wow that post darn near makes me want to pick up my PEI house and move it else where!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2008, 3:20 pm 
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Location: Burlington, ON
To answer the short question first, FerryRoad, yes they have finally 'refixed' Brant St. :lol:

Ed the Sock, thanks for the metals info....

Buddee, I want to thank you for your candid reply. I read that post you were referencing a couple of days ago, and believe me, re-starting or moving a business is not an easy decision, or an easy task. And I realize there are big economic risks if moving to PEI.

By no means have we done an exhaustive search of the 2000x2000 sq km (as you put it) of Ontario, but of the places we have been there is none that call us back. We do get that calling in PEI. I don't know why but we do, we find it an immensely special place.

Perhaps we shall take a weekend and do a Lake Huron loop. But sometimes you just have to follow your gut. Time will tell what our decision will be.


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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2008, 7:53 pm 
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I haven't been for quite a few years, but I remember the 'new' Brant Street was a common complaint among residents.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 24th, 2008, 2:12 pm 
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Hey Hammer!

I moved to PEI from Mississauga about 5 months ago. There are ample resources for employment and self emplyment and comparitively speaking a lot less competition for jobs.

I have heard of http://www.kensingtonmetalproducts.com/ I don't know if they do anything that relates to blacksmithing, however it may be a place to talk to when trying to establish what kind of market there is.

And being from the GTA and working in Burlington myself, I know exactly what it's like to drive in 24/7 QEW rush hour, the noise, the apparent increase in violence and just day to day rat race. PEI is so calm!

A few words of wisdom from my 5 months here:
- You'll never be 'an islander'. I've noticed the invisible barrier between islanders and those that come from away. I find never talking about GTA to be helpful when conversing with people here. The people here are extremely pleasant and helpful though and love to hang out and chat and drink!
- Dinner is lunch. So if the mechanic tells you to bring the car in before dinner, don't bring it in at 4pm :oops:
- The shopping scene is lacking on the island, however you are only 2 hours from Moncton and 4 hours from Halifax. Suddenly a 4 hour drive is no big deal!
- Winter here has been treacherous. CONSTANT wind = -30 windchill and blowing snow across the highway and lots of snow days for work and school
- It is what you make it. You likely won't be making nearly as much money here, but you don't need it either. The quality of living is excellent.
- There are lots people from away here. So you won't be alone in your adventures of trying to adopt to the island way of life.


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2008, 2:19 pm 
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islandlady wrote:
- Dinner is lunch. So if the mechanic tells you to bring the car in before dinner, don't bring it in at 4pm :oops:


You just made me laugh out loud. I always have an issue with this when I go to visit my brother in Ontario or go there on business. :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: January 24th, 2008, 9:19 pm 
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Location: Charlottetown
islandlady wrote:
Hey Hammer!

I moved to PEI from Mississauga about 5 months ago. There are ample resources for employment and self emplyment and comparitively speaking a lot less competition for jobs.

I have heard of http://www.kensingtonmetalproducts.com/ I don't know if they do anything that relates to blacksmithing, however it may be a place to talk to when trying to establish what kind of market there is.

And being from the GTA and working in Burlington myself, I know exactly what it's like to drive in 24/7 QEW rush hour, the noise, the apparent increase in violence and just day to day rat race. PEI is so calm!

A few words of wisdom from my 5 months here:
- You'll never be 'an islander'. I've noticed the invisible barrier between islanders and those that come from away. I find never talking about GTA to be helpful when conversing with people here. The people here are extremely pleasant and helpful though and love to hang out and chat and drink!
- Dinner is lunch. So if the mechanic tells you to bring the car in before dinner, don't bring it in at 4pm :oops:
- The shopping scene is lacking on the island, however you are only 2 hours from Moncton and 4 hours from Halifax. Suddenly a 4 hour drive is no big deal!
- Winter here has been treacherous. CONSTANT wind = -30 windchill and blowing snow across the highway and lots of snow days for work and school
- It is what you make it. You likely won't be making nearly as much money here, but you don't need it either. The quality of living is excellent.
- There are lots people from away here. So you won't be alone in your adventures of trying to adopt to the island way of life.


How do you like things overall? I am planning a move as well and will be there for a visit in March. Do you feel at home?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 25th, 2008, 8:59 am 
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I must agree with island lady, I have been here for 20 years, I am still, from away. My children however are referred to as, being born here. You must also be able to give reference to who your parents are, and what they do for a living; of course if you are from away, and your parents are from away, then it is a challenge for the locals to decide if they accept you or not. Look at the bright side though, only a couple of hours to mainland, and only $40.00 to leave the province...lolll


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 25th, 2008, 10:59 am 
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paulb30 wrote:

How do you like things overall? I am planning a move as well and will be there for a visit in March. Do you feel at home?


Tough questions!

Overall I am very happy with my decision to move to PEI. There are probably 2 main differences between me and lots of other people that immigrate to PEI.
- I'm 24 and single. I didn't move for my kids, my spouse or anyone else. I didn't have to think about anyone else and how it would affect them when I moved. I am also at the age where lots of native islanders decide to leave PEI for work etc.
- I have family here and have visited PEI lots growing up so I came here with a 'resource network' already

I am fortunate that I found a job quickly with an organization and in a position that has gotten me quite active in the community. While I do hang out with Islanders for work and fun, and I've been treated very well and welcomed by everyone I've met, I know I am still seen as an outsider. However since my dad is from here, I just say his name and it gives me instant 'street cred'. I've also somehow managed to meet a few fellow Ontarians and there is a definite sense of commradery with them.

People think I am insane that I live in Summerside and work in Charlottetown (70km apart), but I absolutely love the drive to work in the morning (excluding snow days). I drive along Route 2 which is a beautiful winding country highway, I crank KRock and take in the sights on my drive in. There is little traffic, and when there is, you can pass them when you get to a passing lane and get on your merry little way. The stress at work is minimal. I haven't seen the "Central Canadian" sense of urgency yet. Things get done, just without the stress.

Also, and most importantly, you really need to be open and embrace the way things are done here. Yes, some things are done differently in Toronto and Vancouver, but Islanders do it their own way and they're "doing just fine thank you". If things are done differently where you're from, I have found it is best just not to say anything. Even if you're just saying it as a conversation starter. Of course, once you get to know people and they know you don't have the Central Canadian superiority complex, then you're fine. Islanders are also very well connected and knowledgable. If you ever have a problem or just a question, they will either be able to tell you how to fix it or tell you who to go to. Getting involved with community (join a club, volunteer etc) is truly a great way to meet people here and helps keep you busy during the never ending winter. Watching UPEI teams and minor league hockey are also popular activites. These are things I never would've considered doing in Toronto to be honest, but I'm grateful I get to do them now and enjoy them!

Overall happiness: 8.5/10
Overall feeling of being at home: 7/10


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PostPosted: January 25th, 2008, 11:13 am 
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Sounds pretty much like my own experience, Islandlady ... right down to already having family here and a father's name I could throw out in conversation, lol. Even the commute from Summerside to Charlottetown (which I did for many years). And the community involvement and sporting activities.

Best move that I ever made for my family was coming to PEI.


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 Post subject: Moving to PEI
PostPosted: January 25th, 2008, 2:46 pm 
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This is my first time on this message board.......I was born here but had lived in Hamilton most of my life. My husband and three children and I moved here 4 years ago. Do me a favour and really and I mean really research before you come here. While most people on the Island are wonderful there are some areas that will definitely not welcome you...we moved to one of those....even with being born here I am still from Away. I've heard it so many times now I hate it. Things are very different here...wells for one and if your power goes off (which it does alot) you have no water......something you and I are not use to. We have made exactly No friends in our area.......we are tolerated and I mean just barely. But like I said its just the area. We bought a beautiful 130 year old house.......did have to do alot of work on it and I've never been down that place they call the basement.....scary. The winds are very different here and I drive home in snow that I wouldn't have ever driven in in Hamilton. But the drive is great normally......hardly any traffic no 6 lane highways. But the road rules are very different here so you'll have to be very careful at first driving..........blinkers are optional lol and people walk out in front of you......they don't mean anything by it.....its just sort of a curtousy to let people cross the street so watch out for that. My third day here the garbage rules were so confusing I almost wanted to stop cooking. Which you will do alot of if you move outside of town because there is no take out..........not a bad thing but its something you should know. And in the spring ...trust me on this one.....there is mud and lots of it.........do not drive up the driveway if it is not paved. And as one other poster said..........you will only swim in July and August if your lucky. And the most important thing...........Bugs.......lots and lots of bugs....Watkins is the best replenant so far.....but the kids are safe and it will take you time to adjust to people speaking to you children (if you have any). We both got jobs almost immediately. Satelite TV is kind of cool though. We have 17 acres........sort of like living on 2 or 3 city blocks......kind of cool. But remember everyone will know all your business and you will hear about it so you have to be able to adjust to that..... We do like the Island and our kids like it........but I personally find it very lonely. It would be nice if there was an "Away" club here. We don't really do the bar scene cause it costs about 60.00 to take a cab home.......not worth it. Just be prepared........we weren't and I was born here and came here every summer for my entire life.....and I must admit there are a lot of days that I want to go home......I miss having friends. Oh at last but not least you HAVE TO VOTE at every election.......but never talk politics....it never turns out well. lol. This is just my own experience and hopefully I have not offended anyone......and if I did I'm sorry


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