Moving to Toronto? Here’s What You Need to Know

Moving to Toronto? Read these tips before you arrive, photo credit jameswheeler on Pixabay, buildings-g11ce169c2_1280
City of Toronto skyline, photo credit jameswheeler on Pixabay, buildings-g11ce169c2_1280

Are you moving to Toronto soon? Toronto is a vibrant, multi-cultural city that has so much to offer newcomers. Want to see a Toronto Maple Leafs or Toronto Blue Jays game? Head to Scotiabank Arena or the Rogers Centre. Have a craving for Greek, Italian or South Asian food? Head to the Danforth, Little Italy or Gerrard Street East. No matter what part of the city you decide to put down roots, you will have so many options for sports, entertainment and shopping at your doorstep to enjoy your life in this exciting city. Here are some of the things you should know to help with your move to Toronto.

Moving to Toronto? Read these tips before you arrive, photo credit jameswheeler on Pixabay, buildings-g11ce169c2_1280
City of Toronto skyline, photo credit jameswheeler on Pixabay, buildings-g11ce169c2_1280

The Best Toronto Neighbourhoods

Obviously, you want to live in a nice area. It’s no secret that living in Toronto is very expensive. Toronto real estate prices have soared in the past five years. Just to give you an idea of how much real estate has increased, when I moved into my Leslieville neighbourhood in 2014, you could still purchase a semi-detached home for $579,000! These same houses are now selling for around $1.1 million! Popular neighbourhoods in Toronto include Riverdale, Leslieville, Little Italy, Roncesvalles/High Park, Bloor West Village, and Yonge & Eglinton, but you will pay a pretty penny to live there. If you want to get the most for your money and still have access to Toronto attractions in the downtown area, you should consider looking at real estate in the Greater Toronto Area, (GTA). The prices are much lower, and you will still be within an hour of Toronto.

Popular towns and cities in the GTA include Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Mississauga, Oakville, Milton, Burlington and Hamilton. All of these cities and towns have access to the Go Train, which is important if you are commuting to downtown Toronto. Before choosing a location, make a list of priorities that you need. Do you need to be near public transport? Do you want to be within walking distance of good restaurants and coffee shops? Maybe a park? Are grocery stores nearby? How close are the schools to your desired home? This criteria can all help to inform your decision about where to live.

Update Address Records

You need to make sure that your new address is changed on all of your bills, insurance records, credit cards, cell phone bills, driver’s license, health card and any other personal identification cards. Having recently done this, I can attest to the fact that it is incredibly time-consuming, but it is necessary to ensure continuity in your life! In addition to changing your address, you will probably also have to seek out new medical professionals or specialists.

For example, you might have been seeing a cosmetic dentist from Vancouver, but you obviously won’t be able to visit them any longer. Their office might have a partner in Toronto that you could begin to work with, or perhaps you need to get dental implants in Toronto. You could also find recommendations for medical professionals in Facebook groups about your new neighbourhood.

Free Activities in Toronto

The best way to get to know any city – be it Toronto or further afield – is to get out and see some of the attractions. However, if you are moving to Toronto, you might not have as much disposable income to spend on Toronto’s plethora of activities. Therefore, it is always best to explore free events in Toronto.

For example, you can visit the Art Gallery of Ontario for free on certain evenings. The Toronto Public Library also offers a MAP program that provides free passes to the Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Toronto Zoo. There are often free or inexpensive yoga classes or free concerts offered throughout the city. If you have a low income, you may qualify for the City of Toronto’s Welcome Policy that provides subsidies for programs at recreation centres. Taking advantage of free passes or evenings at Toronto attractions will introduce you to the city without breaking the bank.

Toronto is one of the best cities in which to live, not just in Canada, but in the world. If you decide to move here, you will be thrilled with the rich offering of cultural events, restaurants, shopping and attractions to enjoy. Let me know if you have any questions about moving to Toronto in the comment section.