Toronto is a hot spot for those seeking to relocate to a diverse city full of opportunities. But moving to a new city is always stressful, especially when you have no connections or haven’t visited before. I’ve been in your shoes. So, don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. Here are 15 things I wish someone had told me about moving to Toronto.
1. It’s pronounced “Torono.”
One of the very first rules of moving to Toronto that you will learn in the city is to drop the second T in Toronto. It’ll be easy to spot you as a newbie to the city if you pronounce it any other way.
2. It’s colder than you think.
Canada is notorious for being chilly, but winter 2018 really proved how cold Toronto can get, with freezing temperatures as low as -21 °C. Case in point, winter is always coming. So be prepared when moving to Toronto.
3. Invest in your winter coat and snow boots.
Since most of the year is winter, you won’t have that much of an opportunity to wear your summer outfits. So, instead of buying or packing too much summer clothes, save that money and space for a warm winter jacket and a sturdy pair of snow boots. Believe me, you’ll need them when moving to Toronto.
4. Finding a good apartment is a treasure hunt.
With over 2.81 million people living in this city and everyone looking for a place downtown that is affordable and convenient, it’s almost impossible to find a nice apartment to rent. Start apartment hunting early and keep your options open.
5. The TTC is both a blessing and a curse.
A week can’t go by without some incident, delay or closure on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). So when you miraculously manage to get to your destination on time, you have a new appreciation for the TTC.
6. You will get lost a lot, be it on foot, on the TTC or in the dreaded PATH.
It’s really easy to get lost in the city. It’ll take you a while to get used to the public transportation system as well as memorize the major street intersections. In winter, there is even more possibility of you getting lost cause you will likely use the PATH, which is an underground walkway well-known for confusing pedestrians. So until you get your bearings, Google Maps should be your best friend.
7. People are friendly.
For such a buzzing city, people are surprisingly friendly. Most people fall into the Canadian stereotype of politeness. You’ll find it easy to strike up conversations with strangers, especially if you’re waiting in a queue or for a delayed subway.
8. It’s one of the most diverse places in the world.
Nearly half of Toronto’s population is foreign-born. So expect to meet people from all over the world. There are also people with all kinds of interests and lifestyles, so keep an open mind and be respectful of everyone.
9. Temptations to dine out will be very high.
With a very diverse population comes an even more diverse food scene. You will never be at a loss for something to crave. Day after day, new delicious food creations pop up in Toronto restaurants, so be careful when moving to Toronto.
10. It’s not cheap to live here.
As convenient as it is to live in Toronto, you have to pay the price. Besides expensive rent, you have to pay for a monthly Metropass if you use public transit, or gas if you drive, which aren’t cheap either. Not to mention, there’s a 13% tax added to most consumer goods and services.
11. There is a Tim Hortons everywhere you turn.
I don’t think I’ve ever walked for 20 minutes without passing by a Tim Hortons. The authentic Canadian coffee franchise is a favorite in the city and it sure capitalizes on that customer love by being available every few blocks.
12. A good day trip destination is always an hour or two away.
If you love going on day trips, Toronto is the perfect place to live. There are a lot of attractions and nature near the city that you should take the time to visit. The highlights include Niagra Falls, Dundas Peak and Wasaga Beach.
13. There are so many causes and movements to support.
Once you come here, you will find that the city is ripe with so many opportunities to support the communities and causes you love. It’s easier than ever to volunteer and show your support to different groups and organizations with websites like Volunteer Toronto and volunteer-intensive events.
14. It’s an artsy city.
Toronto has a lot of amazing art that you should see/hear. We have tons of art galleries, music festivals and even our own film festival, TIFF. We also have our contemporary art festival, Nuit Blanche, which is held every fall on a specific evening from sunset till sunrise the next day. There is also a lot of up-and-coming talent in all fields of art that you’ll love checking out.
15. You will never be bored here.
Because Toronto is such a vibrant and diverse city, you’ll always find something to do. Besides the concerts, festivals, exhibitions, and restaurant openings, there are a lot of free events all year round so you can have fun on a budget.
What are your trips for moving to Toronto? Let us know in the comments!
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A modern-day Renaissance woman stuck in her daydreams. Loves used bookstores, mango tea and photographs.