WHEN Stephen Moon steps outside his new home it is 15 degrees colder than the average winter back in his beloved Hartlepool.
The 44-year-old has swapped England for the Canadian countryside – and for a community which is 20 degrees colder in the winter and 10 degrees hotter in the summer.
Stephen and his family moved to Saskatoon, in Canada, in May and they’re loving the town which is almost a throwback to the days of “a more respectable era” where everyone has impeccable manners, said the dad-of-three.
Stephen, who had his own business in Hartlepool called Moons Landscaping, took the brave decision to move to a new country when the recession hit and “business started to slow down considerably.”
He spoke to a close friend Sara Wheelright who had already moved to Canada a couple of years earlier.
And after a brief trip in 2009 to test the waters, the Moons decided Canada was for them.
It meant a complete lifestyle change for Stephen, his wife Alison, 35, and sons, Hayden 13, Kieran five, and Aston, four.
“In Saskatoon, we were greeted by all and sundry with nothing but impeccable manners and kindness, and felt like we had travelled back in time to a more respectable era and knew this was where we wanted to raise our children,” said Stephen.
It took four years to sort out the emigration but Stephen now works for a “fantastic” company which handles everything from domestic and residential small works to complete new house builds.
Stephen is already living the Canadian dream.
“We have bought ourselves a typical American style truck while being here, the Dodge Ram 1500, it’s the 5.7Ltr V8 Hemi version, of course, seeing as gas, sorry petrol prices are so cheap, around $1.15 CAD.
“We also bought a small speedboat, to enjoy during the summer months, considering there are approximately 100,000 lakes in Canada to choose from.”
Stephen described the Canadian weather as “almost guaranteed” with 25 to 30 degree temperatures in the summer and minus 15 in the winter “that would freeze you to the bone, but at least you know what is coming and can plan for it.”
His wife has started a home day care service and currently looks after two 12-month-old children.
“We have also had to go through the process of obtaining permanent residency, which we are now thankfully almost at the end of.
“We have had to rent until such time as we can arrange a mortgage, this will hopefully be in the first half of next year, at which point we intend to buy an Acreage (farm) as they are just as cheap as most city houses, but obviously with a lot more land.”
Stephen used to live in Landsdown Road and then Percy Street, in Hartlepool, with his parents.
He grew up around the Ward Jackson Park area and last lived in South Drive before moving to Canada.
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