Jenny Mitson's rich English accent is a dead giveaway that she's likely not a native Maritimer. However, her passion for the area and love of the community she now calls home is evident within minutes of speaking with her.
Mitson, and her husband, Paul, immigrated to Nova Scotia in 2006 with their eldest child, Oliver. They laid down roots in Hants County and are now considering becoming Canadian citizens before he turns 16.
“I guess I'm not officially a Canadian but I do kind of feel like I am,” she said when asked what it means to be Canadian. “I'm a permanent resident, which isn't a Canadian citizen so I still have a British passport, but there's such a feeling of community here and I feel like I'm part of one big, enormous family.”
Their other son, Noah, is Canadian by birth.
The Mitsons settled in Avondale, West Hants. She says they've felt welcome since Day 1.
“The minute we landed, it felt like home,” Mitson recalled.
Since arriving on Oct. 8, 2006, Mitson said they've made some solid friendships and a good life.
“I love it here. I love everything about it: the scenery, the people, the slower pace of life,” she said.
When asked why the Mitson's wanted to immigrate to Canada to begin with, she cited cost of living and quality of life as big motivators.
“We had a nice house; small by Canadian standards. It served a purpose for us but we always wanted to live in the country and have that peace and quiet — that calmer pace of life,” said Mitson of their time in the United Kingdom.
Mitson, who works as a pediatric nurse and is the owner of Little Pumpkins Inc. daycare in Kentville, said they initially purchased property in Hants County's countryside with the intent of building something bigger and better down the road. But, after living here for a while, she said they are more than content.
“We bought the house as our starting-in-Canada home with the vision that we might buy a piece of land and build our ideal home. But, we've actually come to realize we are in our ideal place.”