Help! I lost my Canadian friends and I want to find them again!
August 11, 2007 6:42 AM   Subscribe

How do I find long-lost friends in Canada? I've lost touch, I want to find them after a decade, but complicating things is the fact that I'm in Australia.

Ten years ago I was an exchange student in Windsor Ontario. Life and time and a couple of moves - from my home town to uni, and then from Sydney to Perth - saw me lose touch with the friends I made back then.

So I'd really love to find one of host families at the time, a family that was really awesome to me when I was a dazed 18 year old abroad for the first time.

I've tried going through Google and the phone book, and I've rung all the people in Ontario with the same name as my host dad and had no luck, though my method was a bit sloppy and I got lots of ring-outs and weird voicemail messages. Still, international phone calls are expensive and I've found people have a hard time understanding my accent on the phone anyway! So I don't know if that's the best approach to take.

Also, I'm sure the family still lives in Ontario as about two months ago my host mum rang my actual Mum in Australia. Sadly, it was 2am and my mother didn't take down Joyce's number, but she did ascertain that the family was still living in the same area but "out of town".

So... what can I do? My memories of the biographical details of the family are pretty sketchy and I'm not turning up much on the intertubes. They could well have an unlisted number too.

I have two old addresses for the family but I am positive they moved as I tried to get in touch at the last address with no success. And it seems that despite all our well-founded fears about anonymity in the web age that some people just don't have much of an online presence! Their son was my age and I've tried to locate him as well with no success. It doesn't help he has a disgustingly common name...

So, how do I go about locating my old friends from the other side of the world (and without spending much cash in the process?). I'm also keen because I think I'll be in Canada next year for work and it would be nice to see my host family again after 10 years and show them how much improved I am from my 18-year-old self.

Any Canadian sleuths have tips for me on people finding?

NB - my host parents would be in their 60s by now.
posted by jasperella to Human Relations (5 answers total)
social networking sites (e.g. facebook, linkedin) are good ways to track people down - but less likely if the people you're looking for are in their 60s. Maybe their kids are on it?

I assume you've tried canada411?

10 years isn't that long. Get a phone card (or buy some minutes on skype or whatever) and keep calling. Do you remember where they worked?
posted by kamelhoecker at 6:56 AM on August 11, 2007

posted by chunking express at 7:17 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Have you tried contacting the agency that runs the exchange program?
posted by winston at 7:40 AM on August 11, 2007

Also, international phone calls aren't expensive if you do them through Skype, specifically Skypeout. $15 of credits should be good for dozens of calls. I've used it for a year or two now instead of phone company long distance.
posted by Listener at 12:37 AM on August 12, 2007

3rding Facebook, I got in touch with tons of people I'd lost touch with there. Set up a profile and start looking there!
posted by Jupiter Jones at 10:04 AM on August 13, 2007

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