Welcome to Toronto! So the biggest, the most populous and arguably the most famous city in Canada is your new home. And we bet that you just can’t wait to figure this place out. No pressure, right? But you probably want to know everything there is to know about it as soon as possible. What’s the weather like? What attractions can you absolutely not miss? And what can you expect from the people who live there? These may be some of the questions going through your head as you search for movers Ontario to help with your relocation to this amazing city. Well, not to worry! We’ve put together a handy little Toronto guide for newcomers to help you out.
A good Toronto guide for newcomers starts with the basics
What do you already know about Toronto? A good Toronto guide for newcomers doesn’t make any assumptions! So let’s start with a few general facts about your new home.
Toronto guide for newcomers’ quick facts about the city
With nearly three million residents, the city of Toronto is the most populous city in Canada. It is located on the shore of Lake Ontario in the province of Ontario of which it is the provincial capital. It is one of the major centers of art and culture in Canada and a popular destination with tourists and immigrants alike. As such, it is one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in Canada and the world at large.
Toronto’s climate is unique in all of Canada. Due to its location in the south of the country and in close proximity to the Great Lakes, Toronto has milder weather than most of its neighboring cities. The winters are cold and the summers are warm, though neither as extremely so as you may expect. The summer humidity, however, can be quite unbearable.
Moving from out of state?
If you’re moving to Toronto from another country and plan on staying for longer than just a visit, you will need a visa. In order to obtain one, you will need a valid passport, insurance certificate and proof of funds (at least 2,500 CAD). Once you arrive, you should also visit a Service Canada office to get your social insurance number (also known as SIN) which will allow you to open a bank account, get a personalized phoneline and find a job.
Taking the Toronto guide for newcomers to the next step
Now that you are familiar with the basics, it’s time to talk about everyday life in Toronto!
Housing in Toronto
Housing in Toronto is as diverse as the city’s population. From basements for rent in family houses to small apartments on the outskirts of the city shared between students to expensive penthouses in skyscraping condominiums downtown to more traditional houses scattered around town, there are plenty of options to choose from. Your budget will probably be one of the main factors that affect your decision. You may have to prepare to put some of your stuff in storage units Ontario and downsize because Toronto housing is not for the faint of heart or budget. Although not on the level of New York or London, Toronto is the 12th most expensive housing market in the world.
Toronto cost of living
Speaking of things that are expensive, the cost of living in Toronto is quite high. At $14 per hour, the city has the second highest minimum wage in the country. But that’s still not quite enough! Due to the high cost of living, many people living on minimum wage struggle to make ends meet. On average, the annual cost of living ($32,885) is higher than what you’d make on minimum wage in the same amount of time ($26,320). So get ready for those prices! And remember that they are always displayed without taxes so add another 13% for a more accurate idea of how much something costs.
Getting a job in Toronto
You will need to get a job in order to afford life in Toronto. The good news is that the unemployment rate in the city is quite low. The largest employment sectors are finances, media, technology, and tourism. If one of those is your specialty, you are in luck!
Transportation in Toronto
In a city this big, it’s important to know how to get around. Luckily, the public transport is very well developed. The Monthly Metropass will grant you unlimited access to the city’s many metros, bus and streetcar lines. And if you want to go green and maybe save a few bucks, biking is also a popular choice.
Toronto guide for newcomers: the pro edition
Even if you’re only moving to Toronto from a nearby town, you will feel like a total tourist in your first days and even weeks here. So why not visit some of the top rated tourist attractions? After all, a proper Toronto guide for newcomers should make getting to know the city and having fun in it easy!
Toronto attractions you can’t miss
You kind of quite literally cannot miss the CN Tower – it is the tallest free-standing structure in the western hemisphere. It is also Toronto’s biggest tourist attraction. You can climb to the top for an aerial view of the city and take the EdgeWalk around the outside ledge too. On a rainy day, plan your visits to some of the city’s greatest museums like the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Ontario Science Center or the Hockey Hall of Fame. And if you’re looking for some outdoors fun, the Toronto Zoo, Canada’s Wonderland and Toronto islands are all well worth a visit.
Major events in Toronto
Visiting the attractions is not enough for you to write your own Toronto guide for newcomers. You must also experience at least some of Toronto’s major events first! The Toronto International Film Festival in September is one of the world’s largest film festivals and well worth your time. Toronto Pride in June will have the city donning its rainbow colors. And in late summer you can enjoy a weird, over-the-top carnival at the waterfront during the Canadian National Exhibition. Find your favorite this year!