AOIFE Walsh, from Leopardstown, is a solicitor who moved to Toronto in May 2011
My first impression was made by the immigration officer who, as I approached the counter with my documents, smiled broadly. I asked him: "Are you not fed up seeing all of us Irish coming over here?" "No" he says, "I love seeing you guys arriving; makes the world a more interesting place."
Finding a job here is all about talking to people, combined with a bit of luck. The internet won't provide a job, but a chat at a bar counter will.
You could be talking to a Canadian for only five minutes and they'll hand you a business card. They're responsive when you follow up. Finding a job initially can be slow and demoralising, but once you're in the door, there's no limit.
I asked my Canadian housemate how we are perceived and he said, "friendly and out-going, that's for damn sure".
Interaction with Canadians is enhanced greatly by the Irish accent. They go weak for it. So far, everybody I've met has been welcoming. You'd be quicker getting drunk during prohibition era in America than in Toronto. The government-controlled off-licences are sparse on the ground and opening hours are strict. So drinking and fighting is not an issue here.The best thing about Toronto in the summer is the free outdoor swimming pools. In general, people are warm, polite and interested in the world.
What do I miss about home? My nephews and nieces. RiRa's mid-week. And King crisps!