We’ll cover in our guide how to move to Toronto, the capital of Ontario.
Why Toronto is considered a great place to live
Toronto has fantastic food and restaurant options. St. Lawrence Market has been voted the best food market worldwide by National Geographic Magazine, and Vogue magazine claims Toronto is a must-see.
Here are just a few of its famous restaurants
- The Fishman Lobster Clubhouse in Scarborough is renowned for its world-renowned lobster dishes;
- The Raval Bar in Little Italy has a marvelous carved wooden interior and serves delicious Spanish food;
- Piano at Harbord Village offers excellent pizza, and the city’s finest food can be found at Mona’s Roti, located in simple Scarborough.
The last bell in pubs and bars usually rings at 02:00. If you like to have breakfast outside of your home, then Toronto can be heaven for you. Lady Marmalade, Emma’s Country Kitchen, and Aunties & Uncles are just a few great brunch spots to try.
- The BBC has named Toronto the most cosmopolitan city in the world because it is home to over two hundred nationalities and has 8.4% immigrants.
- If you like hipster cafes and a modern lifestyle, then Toronto has the most interesting neighborhoods in the world. There seems to be art and quirky spots around every corner, especially Queen Street West, Kensington Market, and North Riverdale.
Norwegian writer Gunnar Garfors has traveled all over the world and said that Toronto is the second-best city in the world he has visited. The Economist Research Department named Toronto the fourth most livable city in the world. This ranking is based on factors such as culture, health care, economic stability, education, environment, and infrastructure. However, even Toronto is not a perfect city. You should be aware of its shortcomings before moving to Canada for permanent residence.
Things to know before moving to Toronto
Toronto is the largest city in Canada. The city has a population of 3 million, and some call it “the city that never sleeps”. When moving to Toronto, be prepared for busy streets and sidewalks, noise, and pungent odors.
Perhaps this is why Toronto, in contrast to Montreal, has a shortage of housing, especially affordable. You need to be prepared to spend a significant portion of your salary on renting it.
More than 140 languages are spoken in Toronto, and you don’t need to speak French here. English is the language most commonly used here. About 55% of people noted English as their first language at the 2011 census, and 43% of people said their first language was not English or French.
Public transportation in Toronto is reliable (again compared to Montreal). There are metro, trams, buses, ferries, taxis, bicycles here. It is worth noting that people complain about traffic jams and the slow speed of public transport in Toronto.
Toronto is a very safe city. It was ranked fourth of 60 major cities in a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit in October 2017.
Toronto has a lot of art and culture. For example, more than 80 film festivals are carried here every year. The city is also home to over 200 arts and crafts organizations, and 66% more artists come to the Ontario capital than any other Canadian city.
Despite the dense buildings and skyscrapers, you may be surprised to learn that the city has a remarkable 1,600 parks, as well as hundreds of kilometers of trails for cycling, running, walking, and more.
Toronto has over 140 neighborhoods, so choose your home wisely. Real estate near metro stations tends to be more expensive, but unless you intend to travel by private car, the metro is probably the easiest and fastest way to get around the city.
Foreigner’s life in Toronto
In 2019, Toronto was voted one of the 20 Greatest Cities Live in and the Second Best City in North America for Quality of Life. It has also been voted the best city for finding love in Canada, but in part, because it has a lot of single people.
In Toronto, you can look forward to the finest dining, shopping, nightlife, art, and culture. Hard to miss at the Toronto Eaton Center with over 230 shops. This mall connects to the PATH underground pedestrian tunnel, which connects nearly 30 km of pedestrian crossings that save residents in cold and cloudy weather.
Here, you can experience the country’s roots by seeing Indigenous art at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
Tips and practical information for moving to Canada
When you land in Toronto, you will probably need to buy necessities such as food and toiletries. Several well-known supermarkets in the city will probably sell whatever you need.
Supermarkets in Toronto
- Loblaws is the largest grocery store chain in Canada, with C $ 46.7 billion ($ 35.6 billion) in annual revenue in 2018. You can find several stores in downtown Toronto and several of the chain’s stores scattered throughout the city.
- Supermarket Real Canadian sells mainly groceries, electronics, household goods, and clothing. The first store opened in Midland, Ontario in 2003. This is a family-friendly store with a selection for just about everyone, including vegans and vegetarians.