In 1955, José Lima began his venture to Canada, travelling by boat to Halifax. Travelling with three other men from Arcos de Valdevez, one of which was José Cerqueira, he paid 11,000 escudos for both the trip and immigration papers. Upon arrival, José and the other men were sent to work in different towns, José being assigned to a farm in Kemptvill. José worked at this farm for a year, after which he decided to move on. Getting a ride into town with the farmer, he took a train to Prescott. The trip from Keptville to Prescott took a full day and night.
In Prescott, José shared a room with José Cerqueira for a few days, until he was able to get a job at a local restaurant. At this restaurant, he worked with two Açorianos. After a short time of working at the restaurant, they were approached by a contractor who offered them work in Cornwall.
The tree of them bought a car together and made the trip to Cornwall, working there for several years.
After some time, José moved to Oshawa. By this time, there were more Portuguese immigrants in the area, including Antonio Galvão.
In 1960, José brought his wife to Canada. They stayed with José Cerqueira and his wife Margaret for as short while and eventually moved to Kitchener. Their children were both born there—Carlos in 1962 and Julieta in 1964.
In August 1970, the decision was made to move the family back to Portugal. After living there for 10 years, Carlos returned to Canada in 1980 to join his dad. José continued to work in Canada until 1985 when he retired and moved back permanently.