Although it is not the capital of Canada, Toronto is the most important and popular city in the country. Despite being a city of almost 3 million people, Toronto is made up of a multitude of neighborhoods, each with its own style and way of life. Toronto has all the amenities, attractions and activities of a big city, but also the cozy small town atmosphere that each neighborhood offers.
Toronto has great weather in the summer, so it offers plenty of outdoor activities. A great variety of gastronomic and cultural festivals are held here. In winter, most of the activities of this season can be practiced, such as skiing, ice skating or sledding.
The city has many places of interest, the offer of art and culture is vast and you can also enjoy impressive landscapes and natural monuments in its vicinity (Niagara Falls, for example).
- Living in Toronto
Thinking of living, studying and working in Canada? If so, I should tell you why Toronto is the perfect city to start your new journey.
From lakes and mountains where you can do outdoor activities, to modern neighborhoods full of nightlife, Toronto offers a wide variety of options that will make your stay in the city a unique and unforgettable experience that will definitely change your life.
Tonto is a young and dynamic city, and this is evidenced by the large number of international students who choose Toronto as the ideal destination to study and work.
In spring the temperatures reach an average of 14 ° C and, in general, the spring months (March-June) are characterized by being pleasant and inviting the inhabitants to enjoy the outdoors.
In summer temperatures reach 26 ° C . It is the ideal time to carry out all kinds of activities, both outdoor exercises, and meetings with friends to take advantage of the long summer afternoons. You can also enjoy the beaches or concerts and events that take place throughout the summer months.
In autumn , the city takes on an orange hue that gives the city a special atmosphere. Temperatures begin to drop, but its 15 ° C on average does not prevent any kind of activity, for example, hiking.
In winter, the city is painted white with its layer of snow. It is true that it can get very cold (down to -7 ° C) , but this allows you to enjoy the most typical Canadian activities, such as practicing the national sport: hockey or ice skating.
Do not be afraid of the temperatures, being located in the south of Canada, it is not as cold as other cities can be. In addition, public transport, premises and buildings have heating systems, where you can take shelter in the coldest moments.
According to The Economist , Toronto is considered one of the 10 best cities in the world to live in.
- Cost of living
Canada is a country with a very high quality of life, and this is reflected in the prices of its cities. Although Toronto is not a particularly cheap city to live in, it is important to note that, being the business center of the country, it offers many job opportunities and you can get a well-paid job.
The minimum wage is $ 14.60 CAD an hour, and you should bear in mind that, during your studies, you can work part-time. This will allow you to pay your expenses during your stay in Toronto.
Below, you will see a list of approximate prices in Toronto. Remember that the price may vary according to each person, the area where the accommodation is located, the tastes and preferences of each one.
There are several accommodation options. Each one has a different approximate price, depending on the type of accommodation, the area and other characteristics. Here we leave you a brief list of the most chosen options:
- Rent of a furnished apartment: $ 2,450 – $ 2,950 CAD.
- Furnished studio rental: $ 1600 – $ 2,210 CAD.
- Homestay accommodation: $ 750 – $ 1,000 CAD.
- Room in a shared apartment: $ 600 – $ 1,000 CAD.
Toronto’s public transportation works excellently. We recommend buying a monthly public transport pass, which you can use as many times as you prefer and use all the means of the public transport system (metro, bus, train, streetcar).
- Monthly public transport pass: $ 149CAD.
Once installed in Toronto, you must include a series of extra expenses:
- Phone plan: $ 50 and $ 90 CAD. We recommend that you compare both the prices and the benefits offered by the various companies before hiring it.
- Light, water and electricity costs for 2 people in an 85m2 apartment: $ 157 CAD.
- Light, water and electricity costs for 1 person in a 45m2 studio: $ 110 CAD.
- One month internet plan: $ 48 CAD.
As for food expenses, it will also depend on what lifestyle you prefer. To give you an example, if you shop at a supermarket to cook yourself, you can spend between $ 200 and $ 300 CAD per month. This price can increase depending on how often you eat in restaurants and, obviously, in what type of restaurants.
We leave you a short list with the price of the most frequent products:
- Chicken breast breast (1 lb): $ 7.
- Whole milk (1 lt): $ 2.89.
- 12 eggs, large: $ 3.87.
- Tomatoes (2 kg): $ 3.92.
- Apples (1 kg): $ 3.88.
- Potatoes (1 kg): $ 2.62.
- National beer in the supermarket: $ 3.06.
- 2 liters of Coca-Cola: $ 2.36.
- Cereal box: $ 3.
- Roll-on deodorant (50ml): $ 5.47.
- 2-in-1 shampoo (400 ml): $ 5.80.
2.5. Leisure expenses
Living in Toronto doesn’t just mean studying and working. You will also want to make the most of your stay and enjoy the gastronomic and event offerings that the city offers. Therefore, there are a series of expenses that you should take into account so as not to miss anything.
- Menu of the day in an expensive area of the city: $ 40.
- Full menu in fast food chains : $ 11.
- 2 movie tickets: $ 31.
- 2 theater tickets (best available seats): $ 239.
- Dinner for two in the expensive zone, including three courses, wine and dessert: $ 99.
- 1 drink at a club in the expensive area: $ 14.
- Cappuccino in the expensive area: $ 4.75.
- 1 pint beer at a neighborhood bar: $ 8.
- Monthly subscription to a gym in the expensive zone: $ 61.
- Study and work in Toronto
Toronto is considered the financial capital of all Canada, so the demand for labor in this sector is very wide. There is also a high demand in sectors such as service, hospitality and tourism, especially for those students looking for a part-time job.
3.1. Requirements to be able to work
However, in order to work in Toronto, as in other cities in Canada, you will need to meet the essential requirements:
- Be of legal age (18 years or older)
- Have a visa that allows you to work. If your intention is to work while studying, you will need to apply for a student visa, which will allow you to work automatically. Don’t forget that you can only work in Canada as a student at an accredited institution of higher learning. To apply for this type of Visa, you must make the request to the Canadian embassy of your country, deliver the documentation requested by the authorities (valid passport, letter of acceptance from the academic institution, proof of financial solvency, etc.), in addition to submit a medical report or biometrics.
- Some tips: adapt your CV to the Canadian style, open a bank account, get a Canadian phone line.
It is possible that, upon arrival in Canada, you will not directly find a job within your desired sector, for example, if you already have previous experience and studies. In addition, you may have insufficient English to hold a position in a significant company. For this reason, many young people who come to Canada start in the service sector. This is a good opportunity to improve your English level, gain experience and earn enough money to pay for the cats. Also, tips in Toronto are often high, so a waiter could earn a significant sum of money compared to their home country.
The most demanded jobs in Toronto are in the sectors of:
- Hospitality and tourism
- Au Pair
- Dog walkers
- Construction Apprentice
- Jobs on the university campus
- Shop assistants or managers
To make it easier for you to find a job as soon as you arrive in Toronto, we recommend that you prepare in advance. In Canada they are looking, above all, for people who are dynamic, proactive, and eager to do their bit. Prepare your CV to Canadian standards, with photo and without much text, they are only interested if your qualities are adapted to the job they offer. We also recommend that you make a list with the characteristics of the companies where you plan to apply, so that they can see the interest you show in obtaining the job. Stroll around the nearby neighborhood and present yourself with the best attitude.
Another great option is to take a Co-Op course at your University or College. It is that the courses you are going to study combine theoretical learning with internships in companies, which will allow you to more easily enter the labor market, gain professional experience in the field of your studies and expand your CV.
You can also apply to offers through social networks, websites or job boards such as: Indeed, Jobs in Canada or Craigslist.
If you meet these characteristics, you will have no problem finding a job quickly.
- Places of interest
Toronto is a cosmopolitan, dynamic city known as the most important city in Canada. So it is not surprising that it offers everything one may need or seek. From the purest nature, to the center of the city with its tall and modern skyscrapers, Toronto offers such varied contrasts that you will not know how to choose which one you prefer.
It is a city that never sleeps, its wide gastronomic offer, its picturesque neighborhoods and its varied leisure offer invites you to discover everything and live the experience of having spent the best years of your life in one of the best cities in the world.
Some of the places you should visit are:
4.1. Dundas Square
It is one of the biggest tourist attractions and is a square located in the center of the financial district. It is considered the Times Square of Canada. It is the center of many public events and is the busiest area in the entire city. You will find all kinds of shopping centers such as the Eaton Center, Toronto’s most famous shopping center, shops and chain restaurants.
Another attraction that Dundas Square offers is that it is crossed by the famous Yonge Street. This avenue is the longest in the world at 86km in length.
4.2. CN Tower.
If you decide to live in Toronto, the first thing you should visit is the famous CN Tower. It is considered the symbol of Toronto, and it is not surprising since from the top of its platform you can have a panoramic view of the entire city. If you are a lover of adrenaline, then you should try walking outside the tower, on the platform at 1,188 feet high with the EdgeWalk.
4.3. Saint Lawrence Market
Located in one of the most traditional buildings that remain in downtown Toronto, it is a large brick warehouse that functions as a traditional grocery market where all kinds of products are sold.
Apart from being a place to visit, it is an alternative for eating in Downtown . On its lower floor it has a “food court” where you can buy prepared food from the different stalls. There is a wide variety of options, the quality is good and the price is relatively affordable for Toronto.
4.4. Visit to Niagara Falls
One of the most essential visits is to the famous Niagara Falls just 2 hours from Toronto. It is a spectacle of nature worth seeing. It is 670 meters wide and the water falls from a height of 53 meters. From Toronto you can go by car, ferry or public transport such as trains or buses. You can also buy one of the different excursions or organized tours offered by excursion agencies.
4.5. Graffity Alley
If you are a fan of modern art, then you should not miss this picturesque street full of graffiti and modern works of art. Whether you just want to see a new part of town or are looking for a colorful inspiration for your next Instagram post, this is one of Toronto’s most unique attractions.
4.6. Visit the city’s picturesque ethnic neighborhoods
Chinatown, Little Italy, Koratown or Little Portugal are just some of the neighborhoods that make up the big city. In each of them you can enjoy food or drink, shops, supermarkets or typical markets of the various nationalities. They are definitely places that you should visit.
4.7. Toronto Island
Located on Lake Ontario, just 10 minutes by ferry from downtown, it is one of the most beautiful places in Toronto. The island is actually a group of 15 islands interconnected by roads and bridges. You can walk from one end of the island to the other. You can walk, run or take your bike around the island, visit the 200-year-old lighthouse or the pondfor trout or have a coffee or beer at one of the restaurants .
4.8. Ripley’s Aquarium.
Ripley’s Aquarium is one of Toronto’s top attractions. Here you can find more than 16,000 sea creatures and the largest shark exhibit in North America. In addition, the jellyfish aquarium has become one of the postcards of the city.
4.9. ROM Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum, or better known as ROM Museum, is the largest Natural History museum in Canada and is full of secrets that fascinate people of all ages. From towering dinosaur fossils, meteorites, mummies and sculptures from all eras and cultures.
In winter, skate in Nathan Phillips Square , right in front of the “Toronto” letters in front of the new city hall (the one in the photo above).
4.10. High Park
You will not be able to miss the walks through the immense High Park. It is the largest park in Toronto and in it you can find sports, cultural and educational facilities, as well as playgrounds, gardens, lakes, zoos and also picnic areas.
During the months of April and May, the many cherry trees planted in the park bloom, staining the entire park in white and pink, which makes it a real tourist attraction.