I just wrote my first Canadian cheque.
Would you believe there was a bill waiting for me when we got here? Our lease actually began on August 1, and the day we moved in, a hydro bill was past due. (US readers: hydro = electricity.)
Because we have no credit record in Canada, we have to pay a deposit on the hydro bill, which can be applied to future bills or refunded (with interest) after one year. The Helpful Hydro Lady explained this to me, and also changed the due date on the bill, to give us time to open a bank account.
It's weird not to have credit. I have perfect credit in the US, and thanks to having dug myself out of credit card debt at least three times, lots of it. Now I'm starting all over. Of course I still have our US credit cards, so there's no issue of emergency money.
Our Helpful Bank Officer told us as soon as we get our SINs, we should come in and apply for a credit card, to begin establishing credit in Canada. It's funny, I remember Kyle_From_Ottawa telling me this long ago, and it seemed like some far-off extraneous detail. And here we are.