When Sally Green and Marc Delesclefs left their jobs in London and moved their young family to Montreal in 2014, they were looking for change, an adventure and better work-life balance.
More than a year later, they're both smiling. They've found what they were looking for, but it did not come easy.
"It was certainly a battle, maybe for the first seven months, because neither of us had work," Green said.
Green had a career in banking in London but spoke little French when she arrived in Montreal. Delesclefs had worked in public transit and sustainable transport and already spoke French, but it was still tough to find a job in his field.
"Lots of cinq à septs and meetings with people, but there were never any job offers coming on the back of that," Delesclefs said.
But the couple persevered. Green took a French course and practiced at every opportunity. They both networked while caring for their sons Theo, 6, and Hugo, 4, who were also adjusting to life in Quebec.
"(Theo) would come to us and say, 'I want to go back to London. They speak English in London. It's so much easier, my life in London,'" Green said.
What a difference a year makes.
Theo is now comfortable expressing himself in French at school, and his brother Hugo has adapted well to the daycare he attends.
Green's French has improved so much, she landed a banking job and is working in French about 80 per cent of the time.
Delesclefs has also found work in his field, doing business development for a start-up focused on bike design and bike-sharing systems.
The couple says their working hours allow for the work-life balance they wanted, and their family is enjoying all that Montreal winters have to offer, including skiing, skating and hockey.
Theo, who could not skate when he arrived, now plays hockey regularly and, of course, is a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens.
His favourite players? "Carey Price...and Max Pacioretty," Theo said.
Now the family is enjoying entertaining visitors from London and showing them what they love about Montreal and why they're so pleased with their move.
"It was a great new challenge...a new adventure, and for the family, it's the best thing we ever did," Green said.
New Montrealers who left
When Daybreak featured Salman Ahmad, originally from Pakistan, in the New Montrealers series in 2015, he was working for an immigration lawyer doing systems analysis and hoping to find a job in his field, project managment.
He and his wife had a son and were expecting another baby. They were living in Cote-des-Neiges, and Ahmad was thinking about doing his MBA at Concordia University.
Now Ahmad has a second son, and the whole famiily is living in Vaughan, Ontario, north of Toronto.
They left Montreal because he was offered a job he could not resist in project management. Ahmad does not speak French and realized it would be extremely difficult to land an equivalent position in Montreal.
He says starting a new life in Ontario was tough on the family.
"We were always thinking of our days in Montreal...a beautiful amazing time there, but with the passage of time we are settling down here," he said.
Back to Silicon Valley
Brandon Wang, 26, came to Montreal after having worked for some of the biggest technology companies in the world, including Amazon, Nvidia and Microsoft.
Wang met Janet Kar, and together they founded Janbr, an exercise-based start-up.
The plan was to stay in Montreal, but the desire to expand their business led them to Toronto last summer. Then a death in the family sparked a shift in priorities, and now the couple is back in Silicon Valley.
Wang is product manager at a health care company, and Kar is working at a start up. They both hope to move back to Montreal someday.
"Jan and I travelled all of Asia, all over North America. I personally lived in 8 or 9 different cities. Montreal has to be my favourite. There's something pretty magical about it," Wang said.