Moving to Toronto?

  • UK_Jimmy

    Posts: 4

    Jul 19, 2012 10:54 PM GMT
    Hi guys, I'm from the UK and I've been accepted for a Woking holiday visa but I'm not sure about making the step and moving to Toronto anymore. For those that live there what is it like, what is the job situation like etc.
    I'm just a bit worried about going and finding it hard to make new friends, find somewhere to live and get a job and then have to go back to the uk after a year but with a lot less money and having to start all over again. I don't know I'd just be better off staying here and trying to get a good job and place to live here rather than having another year out of trying to get my life on track.
    Thanks for any help, jimmy
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    Jul 20, 2012 1:55 AM GMT
    Toronto is a great city and probably is one of the best/safest cities to live in. It's culturally diverse. You can do/eat anything & everything there. All four seasons can be distinctly experienced. You must see for yourself. I'm obviously biased.
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    Jul 20, 2012 2:03 AM GMT
    The cold part is true, although last winter was great....I biked year round there was so little snow. But summer comes fast and ends late here and the heat is wonderful!
  • Labrat2011

    Posts: 18

    Jul 20, 2012 2:25 AM GMT
    I am not in Toronto, but it is a nice enough city. Yes it is cool in the winter, smoking hot in the summer...agree that Vancouver has more going for it. Now employment, depends what you are planning to do...every province has different strengths. Again, what do you want to get out of it...money? experience? life altering time? I did a working holiday visa many years ago, didn't make much money but had an amazing experience that can't be banked.
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    Jul 20, 2012 2:32 AM GMT
    sweetyork saidToronto is a great city and probably is one of the best/safest cities to live in. It's culturally diverse. You can do/eat anything & everything there. All four seasons can be distinctly experienced. You must see for yourself. I'm obviously biased.


    I don't know about safe with all the shootings that have been happening lately.
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Jul 20, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    First off...ignore JackBlair69...after all, he's from New Jersey...which has a history of being a toxic dump.

    As for Toronto, like all large cities it has its good points and its bad points. I've worked with a few Englishmen over the years, and was told by one of them that living here was frustrating for him because he wanted to work during the week so that he could have fun on the weekend...but everyone here works during the week so that they can buy a house or save for their retirement.

    Moreover, it seems to be a common theme that wth all the Englishmen I knew, the pro sports in Toronto were boring...largely because nothing compared to the fun they had watching the English Premier League matches back in England.

    Now as for the job situation...Toronto isn't the greatest right now...but if you've got an in demand skill (as being accepted for a working holiday visa would suggest you do), chances are you'll do all right. If you're looking for factory work however...you'll likely find the job situation more of a challenge.

    Furthermore, Toronto is a geographically diverse city...so there is a happening social scene in downtown Toronto...and a more suburban feel in the outskirts, like in parts of Scarborough and Etobicoke.

    Toronto bills itself as a city within a park...and there is a LOT of park space...especially in the outskirts. South Etobicoke for instance is close to many different parks...some of which are functional ecosystems...and others of which are better manicured and more appropriate lounging spaces.

    Crime is unfortunately on the rise in Toronto...but typically it is isolated in pockets within the city...where poverty tends to be more endemic, and gangs tend to fluorish. On occasion it spills over...but the odds are much greater that you'd be hit by lightning on your birthday than it is that you'll be the victim of crime in this city.

    Transportation is a weak point in Toronto: public transit is woefully underfunded, and as a result, it tends to get congested during rush hours. Moreover, the transportation network in Toronto is in need of an overhaul, but the city and province don't have the funds to complete it at this point...so commute times between home and work are amongst the worst in North America.

    Toronto's gay community is well established, and there is a significant infrastructure in place to promote connections within the community. One such group was called "Out & Out" if I'm not mistaken, and they organize a lot of community activities.

    Like most cities...if you're an attractive gay man, you'll find it much easier to get to know people in Toronto than you will if you're not so attractive. And of course you're from the UK...so chances are you'll already be a curiosity in Toronto. ;)
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Jul 20, 2012 3:21 AM GMT
    gym_business said
    sweetyork saidToronto is a great city and probably is one of the best/safest cities to live in. It's culturally diverse. You can do/eat anything & everything there. All four seasons can be distinctly experienced. You must see for yourself. I'm obviously biased.


    I don't know about safe with all the shootings that have been happening lately.


    It's happening in neighbourhoods typically where gangs proliferate (though on occasion, like in the case of the Eaton Centre, it spills out) and witnesses don't come forward!
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    Jul 20, 2012 3:22 AM GMT
    TrentGrad said
    gym_business said
    sweetyork saidToronto is a great city and probably is one of the best/safest cities to live in. It's culturally diverse. You can do/eat anything & everything there. All four seasons can be distinctly experienced. You must see for yourself. I'm obviously biased.


    I don't know about safe with all the shootings that have been happening lately.


    It's happening in neighbourhoods typically where gangs proliferate (though on occasion, like in the case of the Eaton Centre, it spills out) and witnesses don't come forward!


    Yes... i agree... though the shooting the other day at Lawrence and the Allan was a bit out of the blue. You never hear about shit over there.
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    Jul 20, 2012 3:31 AM GMT
    Toronto is amazing! Literally anything you want to do, you can do here icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 20, 2012 3:34 AM GMT
    vegemike saidToronto is amazing! Literally anything you want to do, you can do here icon_smile.gif


    True... but the amount of condo development is destroying the history in this city and at the same time adding far too much congestion to the overly populated roads. I miss the Toronto I grew up in about 15 years ago when the city wasn't as densely populated and the traffic was not so terrible.
  • metatextual

    Posts: 774

    Jul 20, 2012 3:35 AM GMT
    TrentGrad said

    Crime is unfortunately on the rise in Toronto...but typically it is isolated in pockets within the city...where poverty tends to be more endemic, and gangs tend to fluorish. On occasion it spills over...but the odds are much greater that you'd be hit by lightning on your birthday than it is that you'll be the victim of crime in this city.


    Or more likely run over by a car...

    With regards to the crime rate increasing - at most, incrementally - the summer season tends to bring out the most visible crimes just because larger groups tend to congregate outside during the warmer months. The OP doesn't have much to worry about since crime rates have been following a major downward trend the last several decades...
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    Jul 20, 2012 3:49 AM GMT
    I love living in Toronto. It is a city of neighbourhoods with a diverse culture. There is always something to do and for the most part people are friendly. Just ignore our mayor.

    If you need assistance finding housing PM me. I'm in the biz.
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    Jul 20, 2012 3:53 AM GMT
    I've been to cities all around the world and I can say Toronto was one of my favorites. Other than the winters (as I don't like cold weather) I would definitely think about living there. The people are friendly and diverse. And the city is clean and safe.

    This is all from my perceptions from visiting for a few weeks. But that's my opinion.
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    Jul 20, 2012 3:58 AM GMT
    Joiinnnnn Ausssssss
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    Jul 20, 2012 4:05 AM GMT
    I felt the same way when I left Toronto to return to Johannesburg. I lay awake at night thinking about all the reasons not to go. Why would I leave my comfortable life? Why would I turn everything upside down? Why would I distance myself from my friends and family? Why would I go through all the administrative and logistical trouble to experience something new? Why would I risk my safety and security? Why would I commit to something that wasn't fully locked down and predictable?

    The answer is this: because you will become someone new. You will allow yourself to grow and change and adapt and learn. You will make new friends and expand your world in immeasurable ways. Your diversity of life- and work-experience will benefit your future employment, relationships, and outlook. Because you are young now, and there is no better time in your life to try new challenges. When you get old and settled down into a predictable beige life, with your beige computer, and your beige wardrobe, and your beige walls, and your beige mortgage and beige responsibilities, it will become harder and harder to do things for the sake of doing them. The opportunity is in front of you, the door is open, all lights are green; all you have to do is proceed forward. I say go for it.

    Anyways, Toronto is a great city. I currently live here, after having lived in Johannesburg. Also New York, Nairobi, and have been many times to London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, Geneva, Sydney, etc.

    Toronto's standard of living is by far one of the more even keeled of all the above, for what you pay for. Since you're coming from the UK, you'll find everything here ridiculously cheap and of excellent quality. All my Brit friends travel here with empty suitcases so they can take advantage of the favorable exchange rate with the GBP.

    Its one of the most culturally diverse places in the world, and has a "big small town feel to it. This means that you'll get great authentic food choices at amazingly cheap prices with great quality produce. The foodie scene is excellent, and Ontario wines are global award winners. It also means that there are a lot of expats in the city - people who come from other places, and I don't think you'll have a problem making friends.

    The downtown city is small enough and safe enough to ride a bike around, walk or take public transportation (streetcar trolleys, buses, and subways). While recent crime has spiked to a remarkable high and received a great deal of media coverage, it is still one of the safest cities in the world according to population.

    Gay life is amazingly prevalent and accepted without much concern. While there is a gay village, gay events and people are also integrated and spread througout the city's various neighbourhoods.

    One of the charming things about Toronto is that residential neighbourhoods are nestled throughout the metropolitan area, so you can be driving on a large 4 lane highstreet, take one turn and be on a tree-lined residential street with Victorian gable houses from the early 20th century.

    Last winter, the temperatures average from -1*C to -8*C (wind chills can make it feel colder and drier than the temperature guage reads). Summer temperatures hover between 25*C to 35*C (but high humidity can make it feel hotter than the thermometer reads).

    Toronto is about a 1.5-2hour drive to Niagara Falls, and a 6hour drive to Montreal (45min flight), and an 8hr drive (1h15min flight) to New York City.

    For rentals, check http://www.kijiji.ca or http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/apa/ or http://www.airbnb.com
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    Jul 20, 2012 4:45 AM GMT
    and also because it looks like this in the morning
    tumblr_ldig0caArf1qa944o

    and like this during the day
    tumblr_ldpev6U2Jo1qcdaoj

    also because it looks like this at night
    toronto_night_skyline.jpg
    toronto_at_night.jpg

    and its home to the 3rd largest gay pride celebration in the world:
    800px-Toronto_Gay_Pride_2008.jpg

    great shopping
    Inside%20the%20Toronto%20Eaton%20Center%

    and great cultural neighbourhoods like Chinatown:
    chintaown-toronto.jpg

    and Kensington Market
    kensington_market_globe-sign_cn-tower_01

    and great local sporting events
    Torontofc.jpg

    Toronto-Islands-activities.jpg

    beautiful parklands that look very beautiful in 4 distinct seasons, such as spring
    5697981210_10817d93fb_z.jpg

    in summer
    high-park-the-most-diverse-park-in-canad
    11-High%20park%20Toronto.jpg
    and in autumn/fall
    JLMCanadaOntarioTorontoHighParkAutumn102

    and winter
    2012113-high-park-1932-f1548_s0393_it239

    and there cool contemporary architecture to wander through like the Royal Ontario Museum:
    tumblr_le8rhlvUov1qbvpt2o1_500.jpg

    and historic buildings that are still in use
    Toronto_AlexWalkKingStreet1875.jpg

    toronto-kensington-market-1.jpg

    great universities
    university-of-toronto.jpg

    and there are natural spaces to explore like the Scarborough Bluffs
    tumblr_leh8mjtPD71qau801o1_1280.jpg

    or Algonquin Park
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTFF9S-hpa-0MtrfSPFlf9

    or Niagara Falls
    Niagara_Falls.jpg

    or Niagara-on-the-Lake
    shaw05intro2.jpg

    lots of stuff to see and do!
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    Jul 20, 2012 5:22 AM GMT
    gym_business said
    vegemike saidToronto is amazing! Literally anything you want to do, you can do here icon_smile.gif


    True... but the amount of condo development is destroying the history in this city and at the same time adding far too much congestion to the overly populated roads. I miss the Toronto I grew up in about 15 years ago when the city wasn't as densely populated and the traffic was not so terrible.


    bitch you dunno what safe is till you travel to a third world country. also compared to united states our crime rates are so low they dont even go on chart
  • E_84

    Posts: 201

    Jul 20, 2012 6:27 AM GMT
    Haaa Toronto....

    There's a love hate relationship we have going on...

    or maybe it's my love to hate...
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    Jul 20, 2012 5:39 PM GMT
    gym_business said
    vegemike saidToronto is amazing! Literally anything you want to do, you can do here icon_smile.gif


    True... but the amount of condo development is destroying the history in this city and at the same time adding far too much congestion to the overly populated roads. I miss the Toronto I grew up in about 15 years ago when the city wasn't as densely populated and the traffic was not so terrible.


    I think its funny you'd say that. I've seen several condos going up while saving the edifice of whatever old building they replaced. Not all, but you can't save absolutely everything.

    But as for the congestion that seems like a really odd observation to me. Having high rise development downtown = less commuters = less traffic = less need for ugly parking lots, and more efficient public transport. It also means higher tax revenue for the city.

    The alternative is a dying core like you see in so many big American cities or at best, stagnation. Personally I think Toronto's booming growth and condo development is a healthy sign.
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    Jul 20, 2012 6:10 PM GMT
    Never been, but I hear they steal canes left and right icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 20, 2012 6:17 PM GMT
    BlackCat90 saidNever been, but I hear they steal canes left and right icon_lol.gif


    There really are. One night a friend and I were having drinks on my balcony and counted 23. I'm sure there were a lot more hidden behind other buildings.
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    Jul 20, 2012 6:17 PM GMT
    Trollileo saidIf you have a cane then you're screwed.


    Only if you leave it unattended icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 20, 2012 6:28 PM GMT
    Trollileo said
    uoft23 said
    Trollileo saidIf you have a cane then you're screwed.
    Only if you leave it unattended icon_lol.gif
    And you need oxygen and have a bunch of groceries.


    tumblr_m6jyvjpIeg1rsskhm.gif