Markus J. Heinis, Canada

Markus J. Heinis, Canada




Something special about me

Although there are a few seasonal cottages in the neighborhood I live off the beaten track in the boonies all by myself – which early on got me labelled as Chief Lone Wolf. On numerous occasions I have explored the infinite vastness of the Great Canadian Outdoors on the road with my motorcycle or from above with the plane. Both means of travel are very rewarding. For the neighboring communities I operate the local weather station ( and spend time at the local fire hall, help at various charity and fund raising activities and play music with likeminded friends in jam sessions and performances.
Though most notable to me is the relationship to my long-time girlfriend – still living in Switzerland. Miles apart but close at heart.


Who are you?

In 1988 I was approached by a co-worker whether I was interested in helping him work on a cottage he’s building in Canada – board & lodging included. Up to then I have never been to Canada let alone crossed the ocean. Of course I readily agreed. And this was the beginning of my love of the country.
A few years later I had the chance to buy his home from him and I have returned to Canada ever since; once or twice for short vacations in the beginning, for lengthier periods twice or three times later on. This was when I got to know the local community and its members better and the desire to make Canada my permanent home grew – if I just knew how.
Working in IT for the largest bank in Switzerland I had a very satisfying but demanding job and the regular timeouts in Canada were a welcoming change of pace – recharging the batteries in the vast space and solitude of the country.
Many years later in 2009/2010 – after 30 years with the company - I spent a year of unpaid leave of absence in Canada. This was then when the plan to make my dream come true was set in motion – successfully at that. I’ll spare you the details but after a relatively short administrative back and forth I immigrated to Canada on November 11th, 2011 – my own personal Remembrance Day.
Here I am now consulting in my professional capacity (IT) but mostly volunteer in our local community and charity organisations - the latter a very satisfying endeavor.



Is there anything in your daily life which links you with 

Yes, my girlfriend in Switzerland and our daily phone calls


Does your home have a Swiss touch? In what way?

No, not at all


What is your favourite Swiss dish?

This would be a Wurst/Käsesalat. And I did find a decent sausage (Servelat) and Emmentaler cheese to do just that


Do you return to Switzerland regularly?

Yes, once a year if possible to visit my mom and girlfriend


What feature of your country of residence would you 
 like to take back with you to Switzerland?

Space … endless space






Buch ''100 Faces''

You may find additional portraits of Swiss Abroad in the book entitled «100 Faces – Portraits of Swiss living abroad» (online version only), published by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) on the occasion of the anniversary of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad. It shows the multifaceted lives of Swiss people living abroad. One hundred people – both contemporary and from the past – whose stories and reasons for emigrating are as varied as they are unique, all share one thing in common: their attachment to Switzerland.


Buch ''Globale Schweiz''

The book «Globale Schweiz – die Entdeckung der Auslandschweizer» (in German only) by former OSA director Rudolf Wyder contains interesting information about the 100 years of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad worth reading. It examines the foundation of the Organisation in 1916 as well as the government's Swiss Abroad policy and provides insight into the lifes of Swiss Abroad in Europe and overseas. Order the book now.


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