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The Immigration Story of Ann Creasey (British Immigrant)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

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My husband Colin and I married 3 days before we left Southampton, England September 21st 1966. Our reason for emigrating was we found it hard to find a place to live on our incomes. Colin was 21, I was 20 and ready for a chance to earn some money for a down payment for a house. We planned to come to Canada for 2 years. Last year (2016) was our 50th year in Canada and our 50th wedding anniversary.

After 2 years we started our family , a son, and 2 years later a daughter.

We spent our 50 years in the north Toronto area and in 2015 moved south of Ottawa to be closer to our children and grandchildren.

We had a friend who had emigrated 6 months before us to Canada otherwise it might have been Australia. We went to Canada House in London, given our medicals on the spot and we were told Colin’s occupation, a Structural Draftsman, was needed and given permission to enter right on the spot. We went out to Grovener Square close by to eat our packed lunch and wondered how we were going to tell our parents what we had done.

Honeymoon on an immigrant ship heading into a Canadian winter was quite a surprise.

We were about to marry, no where to live, the eldest of each family, so we just gave it a try. Our trip took 1 week and as we arrived in Canadian waters we got off the ship in Quebec and signed our emigration papers and re-boarded and continued on to Montreal. From Montreal we arrived into Toronto by train, put up the first night in the Ford Hotel on the immigrant floor.

All we had were clothes and a few wedding gifts of bedding and linens that we came with.

We met our friend and started with home our first night in Toronto after that we had a one bedroom apartment which we stayed in for 3 years.

Colin was sent to a job interview when we arrived in Toronto and I followed, sat and waited. He was hired and his new boss sent us down the street to an apartment superintendent friend to see if there was a vacancy, we booked an apartment, stayed that very night, given a kettle, a card table someone had left and sold us a new Eatons mattress for $50. 6 months later we found the other £50 for the box spring, which was all we could afford as we entered Canada with the allowed £150. Our luggage was still in post and we were 3 weeks before we could pick it up in Toronto.

Our small apartment was far bigger than anywhere we had ever lived. We made friends and found Canadians very willing to include us. Essentially our first winter and Christmas.

Colin was told he could continue his education but not that it would have to be day school. He was told he could go to school at night so in turn he never got his engineering degree. I could only work in a department store so I was u able to support us if he went to school during the day.

Many times we meet British emigrants with similar stories and similar age groups so we found it easy to settle down in Canada.

My brother emigrated 6 or so years later, we did sponsor him but as he was an aircraft engineer he didn’t have a problem coming to Canada. We all became citizens so that we could vote in our new country.

England became a place to visit family and friends for holidays. Much of our older family have passed away, siblings don’t make a lot of contact and don’t visit us here. We really did not look back within a few years of living in Canada and we have been able to do many things here in Canada that would never have been able to do if we had stayed in England.