A year after arriving in Canada, Lovleen Sharma and Harsh Goyal embrace the Northern Ontario way of life
As 2021 draws to a close, Sault Ste. Lovleen Sharma de Marie and her husband Harsh Goyal, who emigrated from their native India to live in Canada in July 2020, have had another year of new experiences.
Indeed, Sharma started a Facebook group, titled “Indians in Sault Ste. Marie ”, which aims to make others aware of the quality of life that can be found in the community.
“We launched this initiative on social media and it has grown a lot. It’s open to everyone, not just Indians. We were able to help a lot of newcomers. International students from so many countries have contacted us. We help them find jobs and housing. So many people want to move to Sault Ste. Marie, ”said Sharma.
Sharma and Goyal enthusiastically participated in Canadian activities, enjoying the natural beauty of the Sault and the region while snowshoeing, canoeing and visiting the cabin on the Lake Superior shore of friend and local artist Ellen Van Laar.
“We made maple syrup by notching trees. It was new to us. It was fun, ”Sharma said.
Sharma started a new job at OLG in May as an inbound customer service specialist, with her contract there already having been extended until next year.
Previously, she was employed as a Business Development and Communications Associate at Kapptive Studios, a software development / integrated business solutions / social media management company operating in Sault.
“It’s all right at OLG, but I can’t buy lottery tickets,” she laughed.
Sharma is also actively involved as a volunteer with Sault’s STRIVE Young Professionals Group and Sault Ste. Marie Coup de Main.
Husband Harsh was working locally in food delivery around the same time last year, then worked as a security guard with N1 Solutions and is currently in training to become a City of Sault Ste. Marie, emergency transport operator.
“He loves to drive so it’s going well,” said Sharma.
“There are a lot of Indian international students who travel by Sault Transit, so he can communicate with them in our regional language.”
Sharma’s brother, Gaurav Sharma, arrived in Canada in April to study culinary management at Lambton College in Sarnia and visited the couple in Sault Ste. Married.
“He loves the Sault. After his studies, he wants to move here, ”she said.
Another new experience in Sharma and Goyal’s life is owning their dog Hunter, a German Shepherd, from January 2021.
A Youtube video, one of many produced by Sharma and Goyal as an ongoing story of the couple’s Canadian adventures, shows Goyal, during a visit to a friend’s rural property with Sharma and Hunter on Sunday, Dec. 19, crossing waters shallow but freezing to retrieve the panicked dog, who had rushed through the water to a small mound of snow covered dirt, but was then too afraid to cross again.
Goyal saved Hunter, but was soaked in wet, icy clothes.
“Harsh’s feet were so red. He couldn’t feel anything. I was so scared. Luckily our friends had a fire there to warm his feet and they had some dry clothes to wear. After a while, everything was fine, ”said Sharma.
The couple just observed Diwali, a festival of lights celebrated by Hindus and other groups in India. Sharma said she and her husband have celebrated Christmas before as well. They attended a convent school and came together at annual Christmas services in their homeland.
Shackled from attending a local Christmas church service last year due to concerns about the transmission of COVID, Sharma said she and Goyal had hoped to enjoy a Christmas church service this year. The surge in COVID cases in the Sault and Algoma and the fear of the Omicron variant made this event unlikely.
Sharma said the couple plan to enjoy Christmas time with her local friend Andrea Dawn Garcia and Garcia’s two daughters.
As the new year approaches, Sharma said the couple are hoping to buy a house in Sault.
Because the couple’s hometown of New Delhi and the surrounding area has a massive and overcrowded population of 28.5 million (according to a 2018 figure), Sharma said the new home must meet at least one requirement.
“There must be a big garden,” she laughs.
Click here read Soo todaySpotlight on Sharma and Goyal in 2020.