Country Guides April 15, 2020

9 Essential Things to Know About Living in Toronto

Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

Did you know that the largest city in Canada is also one of the most multicultural cities in the world? Living in Toronto is like living in a melting pot with more than 140 spoken languages and dialects. It could be said that diversity is what makes the provincial capital of Ontario so beautiful and exciting.

Even though it’s not the capital of Canada, it is the most populous city. With almost three million people who live here, the provincial capital of Ontario is Canada’s cultural, financial, and commercial center. Without further ado, here are the nine essential things to know about living in this incredible metropolis.

The Cost of Living Is High, but So Are the Salaries

Toronto is expensive. It’s good to know that from the start so that you don’t get caught in an investment that your budget can’t handle. The costs are high (as in many global metropolises), but with a well-paid job, you’ll easily afford yourself a decent lifestyle. Let’s start with the housing costs before we move on to Toronto’s employment opportunities.

Housing Costs

If you want to purchase a house, the prices are around C$900,000 (around $640,000), and for buying an apartment, you will have to invest around C$1,100 (around $780) per square foot.

On the other hand, if you are planning to live in a rented apartment, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around C$ 2,000 ($1,400), and for a bigger place, such as a three-bedroom apartment, it’s C$3,500 ($2,500).

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Job Opportunities

The good news is that the center of Ontario offers a wide spectrum of well-paid job opportunities. If you see yourself working in financial services, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, or blockchain and clean technology & renewable energy, the provincial capital of Ontario is definitely a place you want to live in, and especially its downtown area.

The average monthly net salary is around C$ 4,000 ($2,800), while an average household makes around C$ 100,000 ($71,000) a year. With a reasonable budget strategy, you can live comfortably and cover all costs, including groceries, utility bills, and public transportation.

glass building
It is expensive to purchase a property, but there are also excellent and well-paid job opportunities.

It’s a City With a Lot of Neighborhoods

The capital of Ontario is also called the City of Neighborhoods. With more than 140 neighborhoods and districts, it is a synonym for diversity. If you would like to get to know it better, you should visit Grange Park, Downtown Chinatown, Entertainment District, and Fashion District, to name a few.

street in Toronto
There are over 140 neighborhoods, ideal for building a life, a career, or enjoying in various cuisines and/or the beauties of nature.

Public Transit Is Generally Reliable

If you ask someone to tell you a word or two about the public transportation here, you will probably hear a couple of complaints. However, even though it can be a mess sometimes, public transportation, run by the Toronto Transit Commission, is reliable, whether you go by bus, a streetcar, or a subway.

public transport in Toronto
Public transportation is reliable, whether you use a subway, a bus, or a streetcar.

Bikes Before Cars

The culture of cycling is very popular in the capital of Ontario. Riding a bike is a good alternative to driving, not to mention that it has a good impact on your health.

Leave Your Car Keys at Home and Cycle Through the Day

With the right equipment, it is possible to ride a bike during all four seasons. A used, second-hand bike can be found from C$50 to C$200 (between $35 and $140). On the other hand, an average new bike can cost up to C$300 ($210). Also, a purchase of proper gear is required, including brakes, front and rear lights, and a helmet.

people crossing the street
The culture of cycling is widely spread.

Know That  Winters Are Long

If you are weighing the option of moving to the capital of Ontario, search for the best tips for adjusting to a new country, and ask yourself if you are ready to live in the Canadian climate. Although winters are not as extreme as in some other parts of Canada, they are still long and can be quite severe.

The winter begins in December and lasts till March. It is windy, and the temperature drops to as low as -20° C (-4° F). That’s why Canadians consider buying a good coat and a pair of quality boots an essential need.

frozen river in Toronto
Not like in other parts of Canada, but still, winters are long and severe.

There Are Green Oases All Over The Place

When people get tired of the traffic and the constant rush hour, they can easily escape to some of the area’s green oases. That’s why this place could also be considered a city of parks.

A City of Beautiful Parks

There are more than 200 km (120 miles) of trails suitable for biking and hiking, and more than 1,600 parks ideal for relaxation. Each park, including High Park, the Toronto Music Garden, the Christie Pits Park, and Sunnyside Park, offers different options for outdoor activities. There is also the Rouge National Urban Park, a favorite place for those who like camping.

flowers shaped as the canadian flag
Living in the center of Ontario means living close to beautiful parks.

A Major Pro of Living in Toronto – It’s Safe

In 2017, the capital of Ontario was ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the 4th out of 50 safest cities in the world. Until today, the situation has not changed, so if you are thinking about starting a life in Canada’s largest city, one thing is sure – you will feel safe.

aerial view of Toronto
The so-called Queen City is one of the safest places in the world.

This Is a Heaven on Earth for Foodies

When people talk about the advantages of living here, one of the first things they mention is food. That’s not a surprise because Toronto has an amazing culinary scene. Like any other multicultural metropolis in the world, the provincial capital of Ontario offers a trip around the world every time you go out to eat. You name it – Chinese, Korean, Italian, Portuguese, Indian. Each one of these cuisines you will find in the most populous Canadian city.

Get to Know Toronto While Enjoying the Food

Real foodies don’t just go to restaurants, they explore food on so many levels, including going to markets and experimenting with cooking at home. The best gourmet food stores in Toronto offer unique items as well as food from all over the world, including exclusive French cheeses, olive oil from Spain, and rare exotic sauces.

If you are on a particular diet, don’t worry – the capital of Ontario has you covered. In almost every neighborhood, you can find vegetarian/vegan restaurants and/or gluten-free meals. If you are allergic to a certain type of food, here you can enjoy allergen-free dishes.

a traditional feast
Dining here is like taking a trip around the world.

It Is Home to Some of the Best Film Festivals in Canada

Moving to another country makes you wonder how to keep in touch with friends. One thing you can do is to ask your friends to come and visit you in your new location. If your new home is in the center of Ontario, it will be fantastic if you invite them to come to a festival.

The province capital of Ontario is the host of more than 80 film festivals, including:

Also, being the center of culture and art, the Canadian most populous city has more than 200 performing art organizations and the same number of historic monuments and public art pieces.

blurry image of a museum
More than 80 film festivals and other creative and cultural events bring Ontario’s art scene to life.

The Queen City Is the Place to Be

As you saw, Toronto is everything – a city of neighborhoods, parks, film festivals, and art. Maybe it is time to start making your inventory list and get international moving services. It is packing time! The famous Queen City is waiting for you.

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