Toronto is Canada’s largest city, with one of the most diverse populations in the world. In fact, just under half of Toronto’s population are immigrants. It’s motto, “Diversity Our Strength” speaks true to its people. Toronto is a great city to live in for everyone.
If you’re moving to Toronto soon, or are thinking of doing so, there are a few things you might want to be aware of. Below are a list of 10 things to know if you’re moving to Toronto, or considering it, which will help ease your transition to this big city (we hope you move here!).
Winters Can Be Cold
Make sure you have a warm jacket and snow boots, because winters in Toronto can be snowy and cold. Temperatures can reach lows of -30℃, and there can be a lot of snow. That being said, recent winters definitely have not been as harsh (probably as a result of climate change) and are nowhere near as harsh as places like Ottawa or Montreal. Regardless, make sure you are prepared for the winters because you never know what will be in store.
There are 4 Seasons
One of the great things about Toronto is that you get to experience 4 full seasons. Spring can be muddy and wet, though flowers are in full bloom, summers get very warm, autumn brings colourful trees, and winters are cold.
Rent Is Expensive
Rent in Toronto is high. In fact, it ranks second as the most expensive cities to live in Canada, right behind Vancouver. The median price for a one-bedroom is $1,770, and a two-bedroom $2,340, according to Padmapper’s newest released Canadian rent report. These prices have actually declined since the beginning of the pandemic, so there is hope that this decline will continue.
Realtors Are Free
If you are moving to Toronto, odds are you’re looking for a place to rent. It can be tough to find the right place for you when you’re not familiar with the rental market in Ontario. The good news is that realtors are completely free in Ontario. Your future landlord will pay them any owing fees.
You can use a realtor to understand your responsibilities and terms and conditions in a rental agreement. They will also help you source out the best places according to your wants and needs, which can be of great help if you aren’t too familiar with the buildings or neighbourhoods in Toronto.
Tipping Is Strongly Encouraged
Restaurants, salons, and taxis expect to be tipped. Restaurant servers, for example, make less than minimum wage, so they greatly depend on tips as a source of income. Tipping may be a bit of an adjustment if you come from a culture where tipping isn’t a standard practice. The rule of thumb is to tip a minimum of 15%, though 18-20% is recommended. Of course, you can always tip higher if you feel the service was exceptional.
There’s A Big Underground Section
Even many people living in Toronto don’t know about Toronto’s underground city, called the PATH. It is a network of underground pedestrian tunnels that connect to office towers in downtown Toronto. It’s 30km in total with more than 70 buildings connected and filled with shopping areas and restaurants. The PATH is great to get around the city in the winter.
It’s Very Multicultural
Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with over half of its population identifying as a visible minority, and over 200 languages spoken.
Toronto has a number of culturally-rich neighbourhoods that you can explore, such as Little Portugal, Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown, and Little India. Communities like these were founded by immigrants, for immigrants and are a great way to connect with people from your home country. There are also a number of cultural festivals including Taste of Danforth, Toronto Caribbean Festival, and Salsa in Toronto.
No matter where you’re from or who you are, Toronto will welcome you with open arms.
Picking Up Where You Left Off Isn’t Easy
Moving to Canada to start a new life often means leaving your qualifications and experience in your home country. Having your credentials recognized in Canada is difficult. For example, access to basic financial services require a Canadian credit report, which can be hard if you have no credit history in Canada.
Thankfully, QuadFi is launching a new, free and innovative service that offers newcomers to Canada a chance to use their international credit score. This will help you access the financial services you deserve, and allow you to pick up where you left off.