I am currently going through the process of getting my Canadian First Class, based on my UK Class 1. It is long and drawn out. Fortunately, I am close to a TC office (Nanaimo) and went in and spoke to the examiner. I then spent 2 hours filling out forms, mostly sea time details from my discharge book, but also the actual application.
All your docs need to be sent to Ottawa, Basic Sea Survival, CPSC, First Aid At Sea, Fire Fighting, Discharge Book (as well as the form), and UK Cert. Make sure they are good copies, and send ALL the pages. I just had an email back from Brian in Nanaimo, asking for 2 more pages of my UK Cert. Apparently the MCA could not confirm my ticket as being real, unless they had the full document.
To date it has taken about 6 weeks. The only course that I will HAVE to take is Engine Simulator..........hoping that everything else is OK. Again I am lucky as can do that in North Van. If you are not located in either Vancouver or Halifax, I think you will have to consider some serious travel to do the Eng Sim.