Leaving New York for Toronto

  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Jul 25, 2015 12:07 AM GMT
    Not gay-related, but whatevs.

    I've decided that I want to go to grad school for an M.A. in Economics at U of T or McGill. I am a U.S. permanent resident (who has lived here for the past 18 years) and a Canadian citizen, so I will probably be able to get the domestic tuition rate and will be able to apply for Canadian government funding, etc.

    What should I be aware of before planning a move to Toronto? I'm assuming that the overall quality of life is far better in Toronto, but I haven't been there in nearly 20 years. So how does Toronto in 2015 compare to NYC, when it comes to quality of life indicators such as employment opportunities, rents, neighborhoods, LGBT scene, etc.

    Has anyone moved to Canada from the US? What was your experience? Something about going back just appeals so much to me.
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    Jul 25, 2015 12:50 AM GMT
    No sure if I can be helpful. I did the reverse two years ago, moved to SF for grad school after living 16 yrs in Toronto. I have never lived in NY so can't do much comparison between the two but I can give you some general info about TO.

    Some people would say TO is trying to be the NY of Canada which is somewhat true. You probably won't need to make much adjustment in terms of living. There are tons of activities in the city, bars, restaurants, shows, events. It is one of the most culturally diverse cities so you will meet all kind of people. It is a huge city but the public transportation is not too bad except it's a pain in the ass waiting for bus in the winter so I will suggest you live in downtown Toronto if you can, especially because University of Toronto is right downtown. Bloor West/Annex will probably be your best choice to live, it's right by U of T and has lots awesome bars, restaurants around there. The rent is significantly cheaper than SF. You should be able to get a room for $600ish compared to $1000 and up in SF.

    There is a huge gay population in Toronto so you won't have any problem finding people there. And gay are very open and very well accepted in Toronto.

    But I would seriously consider McGill though. I love Montreal and the guys in Montreal are beautiful, stylish and open. Plus you get to live in a bilingual environment.
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    Jul 25, 2015 1:00 AM GMT
    I loved Toronto and the surrounding cities.

    I lived in London, Ontario for a wile when I went to the University of Western Ontario.

    It's cold. I loved the diversity of the people. The cultures fuse together and that's why tolerance is widely accepted there on many levels. I don't confess it often, but I do miss CANADA.

    http://uwo.ca/faculty_staff/pride/
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3525

    Jul 25, 2015 1:28 AM GMT
    toronto is like living off manhattan.

    Canadians are not as snobby, and there will be more asians, a lot more asians. If there is something on the news, it will generally be a black guy from JANE/FINCH neighbourhood, so probably not the best place to live.

    Live downtown if you can. The church/Wellesly area is gay town, and it is really gay, street signs say so.

    chinatown smells garbage night, but the best food is there.
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    Jul 25, 2015 1:47 AM GMT
    Apparition saidtoronto is like living off manhattan.

    Canadians are not as snobby, and there will be more asians, a lot more asians. If there is something on the news, it will generally be a black guy from JANE/FINCH neighbourhood, so probably not the best place to live.

    Live downtown if you can. The church/Wellesly area is gay town, and it is really gay, street signs say so.

    chinatown smells garbage night, but the best food is there.


    I am asian and the OP just so happens to be African American. Just say...
  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Jul 25, 2015 2:24 AM GMT
    sunshine2015 saidNo sure if I can be helpful. I did the reverse two years ago, moved to SF for grad school after living 16 yrs in Toronto. I have never lived in NY so can't do much comparison between the two but I can give you some general info about TO.

    Some people would say TO is trying to be the NY of Canada which is somewhat true. You probably won't need to make much adjustment in terms of living. There are tons of activities in the city, bars, restaurants, shows, events. It is one of the most culturally diverse cities so you will meet all kind of people. It is a huge city but the public transportation is not too bad except it's a pain in the ass waiting for bus in the winter so I will suggest you live in downtown Toronto if you can, especially because University of Toronto is right downtown. Bloor West/Annex will probably be your best choice to live, it's right by U of T and has lots awesome bars, restaurants around there. The rent is significantly cheaper than SF. You should be able to get a room for $600ish compared to $1000 and up in SF.

    There is a huge gay population in Toronto so you won't have any problem finding people there. And gay are very open and very well accepted in Toronto.

    But I would seriously consider McGill though. I love Montreal and the guys in Montreal are beautiful, stylish and open. Plus you get to live in a bilingual environment.


    Thanks for the advice. Seriously considering McGill but my French is well, non-existent. Love Montreal though.
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    Jul 25, 2015 2:40 AM GMT
    Mulignan said
    sunshine2015 saidNo sure if I can be helpful. I did the reverse two years ago, moved to SF for grad school after living 16 yrs in Toronto. I have never lived in NY so can't do much comparison between the two but I can give you some general info about TO.

    Some people would say TO is trying to be the NY of Canada which is somewhat true. You probably won't need to make much adjustment in terms of living. There are tons of activities in the city, bars, restaurants, shows, events. It is one of the most culturally diverse cities so you will meet all kind of people. It is a huge city but the public transportation is not too bad except it's a pain in the ass waiting for bus in the winter so I will suggest you live in downtown Toronto if you can, especially because University of Toronto is right downtown. Bloor West/Annex will probably be your best choice to live, it's right by U of T and has lots awesome bars, restaurants around there. The rent is significantly cheaper than SF. You should be able to get a room for $600ish compared to $1000 and up in SF.

    There is a huge gay population in Toronto so you won't have any problem finding people there. And gay are very open and very well accepted in Toronto.

    But I would seriously consider McGill though. I love Montreal and the guys in Montreal are beautiful, stylish and open. Plus you get to live in a bilingual environment.


    Thanks for the advice. Seriously considering McGill but my French is well, non-existent. Love Montreal though.


    Any time! In fact, many native Montreal resident don't speak French, you'd be surprised. There is a large English population in Montreal. And I believe McGill is an English school so you should have no problem.

    Oh, I could be wrong on this. But I think the rule in Ontario is you have to live there for 3 month before you are considered as Ontario resident to be considered benefits such as health care even if you are Canadian citizen already. Just something to keep in mind I guess.

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2015 10:07 AM GMT
    check re: tuition rate - it is often dependent on residency in Canada for some years prior to starting the course.
    also be aware that you'll need to get private health insurance for three months before OHIP kicks in...if you go to UofT they offer their own UHIP.
    TO is generally cheaper than NYC...but still pricey.
    Large LGBTQ scene....not much to worry about there.
    Try to get a place to live within walking distance to the subway at least....makes s huge difference.
    If you can be relatively near the lakeshore, lots of great outdoor opps there...running, cycling, volleyball, swimming, etc.
    Good luck with the deciding, planning....enjoy!
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14351

    Jul 25, 2015 1:55 PM GMT
    That is a very good move on your part. Toronto is a much nicer, cleaner, friendlier, safer city than overpriced, overhyped, overcrowded New York City. It will also be somewhat cheaper but it will still be expensive. Toronto is a modern, progressive, prosperous city that is probably the most ethnically and culturally diverse city on Earth. It's Chinese community alone has almost 500,000 people. It is a unified mega city with one urban government in stark contrast to most U.S. cities with their inefficient, costly, fractured metros with the central city surrounded by large numbers of political fiefdoms known as towns, townships, and villages. Toronto also has an awesome waterfront on Lake Ontario with beaches, parks, islands, shopping and cultural attractions. It's skyline is adding more cutting edge design skyscrapers than any other city in the Americas. As for men, Toronto is tops. This massive Great Lakes city is loaded with hot men. If you are a runner or a cyclist, Toronto is an urban paradise with lots of bike paths, bike lanes, and running trails. Consider yourself fortunate and blessed, you are moving to one of the best cities in the world.


    Another wonderful perk, you will be only 80 miles from me since I live across the border from the other end of the QEW in Buffalo.icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2015 6:40 PM GMT
    As an NYC-native who loves his city when I don't "hate it" - this sounds fantastic! Toronto sound amazing. I need to visit my friends there. Good luck to you wherever you move - it sounds like a GREAT choice. icon_biggrin.gif
  • CheeseKraut

    Posts: 145

    Jul 25, 2015 9:03 PM GMT
    If you feel you can leave NYC you probably should.
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    Jul 26, 2015 5:14 PM GMT
    Apparition saidtoronto is like living off manhattan.

    Canadians are not as snobby, and there will be more asians, a lot more asians. If there is something on the news, it will generally be a black guy from JANE/FINCH neighbourhood, so probably not the best place to live.

    Live downtown if you can. The church/Wellesly area is gay town, and it is really gay, street signs say so.

    chinatown smells garbage night, but the best food is there.



    So, the Chinese population of TO in 2011 was 10.4% while NYC was 11.8%. Of course these figures vary depending on the source point. But the suggestion is that there are more Chinese in NYC given that cities larger population.
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    Jul 26, 2015 7:41 PM GMT
    McGill is an English university. So studying will be no problem. Schools here have a 3 tier pricing- Quebec residents, other Canadians, internationals. Quebec residents pay a few hundred dollars a semester, even at a world class university like McGill. Canadians pay a couple thousand. Internationals at McGill pay 24G. Which is still a bargain since it's in a class with the Ivies. (I was told it was ranked #17 in the world. No idea with what criteria or by whom.)
    Men in Montreal are GORGEOUS. Very diverse city. CHEAP rents. Great public transport. Highest per capita restraints in the world. Largest gay enclave by area in North America; friends who visit from Toronto gush "this is so much better than Church and Wellesley!"
    People here are much more open. Two dudes kissing on the subway and no one even looks. It's just not a big deal.
    Montreal is definitely colder in the winter than Toronto. And greyer. So if you are prone to S.A.D. don't come here.

    Quick note on diversity, blacks are underrepresented in the gay community. My hypothesis is because most of the black people here
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    Jul 27, 2015 3:09 AM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidThat is a very good move on your part. Toronto is a much nicer, cleaner, friendlier, safer city than overpriced, overhyped, overcrowded New York City. It will also be somewhat cheaper but it will still be expensive. Toronto is a modern, progressive, prosperous city that is probably the most ethnically and culturally diverse city on Earth. It's Chinese community alone has almost 500,000 people. It is a unified mega city with one urban government in stark contrast to most U.S. cities with their inefficient, costly, fractured metros with the central city surrounded by large numbers of political fiefdoms known as towns, townships, and villages. Toronto also has an awesome waterfront on Lake Ontario with beaches, parks, islands, shopping and cultural attractions. It's skyline is adding more cutting edge design skyscrapers than any other city in the Americas. As for men, Toronto is tops. This massive Great Lakes city is loaded with hot men. If you are a runner or a cyclist, Toronto is an urban paradise with lots of bike paths, bike lanes, and running trails. Consider yourself fortunate and blessed, you are moving to one of the best cities in the world.


    Another wonderful perk, you will be only 80 miles from me since I live across the border from the other end of the QEW in Buffalo.icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif


    Haha, reminds me once I drove from Toronto to Buffalo to meet a guy. The guy at U.S. border control asked me what I was going to Buffalo for. I honestly told him I had a date with a guy. He was pretty surprised to hear that but he gave me a wink and said " have fun!" lol...The date did't go well though...
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jul 28, 2015 5:15 AM GMT
    I am so jelly. You gotta keep us posted.
  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Jul 29, 2015 12:48 AM GMT
    Thanks for all the advice, guys, it really helps. My first step is getting my citizenship certificate, as well as my passport renewed. I also need to start saving every extra penny, kinda rough when you live in the most expensive city in the world and you're a new grad/freelancer. Gonna make this happen though. I should probably plan a day or two and go up to Toronto to visit.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14351

    Jul 29, 2015 2:24 AM GMT
    Mulignan saidThanks for all the advice, guys, it really helps. My first step is getting my citizenship certificate, as well as my passport renewed. I also need to start saving every extra penny, kinda rough when you live in the most expensive city in the world and you're a new grad/freelancer. Gonna make this happen though. I should probably plan a day or two and go up to Toronto to visit.
    Wishing the very best for you in Toronto. You will love this great city and all it has to offer. Get out of New York City as soon as possible before it's ridiculously high cost of living bankrupts you.
  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Jul 29, 2015 4:43 AM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    Mulignan saidThanks for all the advice, guys, it really helps. My first step is getting my citizenship certificate, as well as my passport renewed. I also need to start saving every extra penny, kinda rough when you live in the most expensive city in the world and you're a new grad/freelancer. Gonna make this happen though. I should probably plan a day or two and go up to Toronto to visit.
    Wishing the very best for you in Toronto. You will love this great city and all it has to offer. Get out of New York City as soon as possible before it's ridiculously high cost of living bankrupts you.


    Oh that's already happened 10 times over. But it could be worse. Yeah, it's definitely time to get out of NY, it's not sustainable unless you have a high salary and are established in other ways.
  • venue35

    Posts: 4644

    Jul 29, 2015 9:42 AM GMT
    My friends in NYC that have no economic problems live well because they are prostitutesicon_neutral.gif
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jul 29, 2015 11:40 AM GMT
    Mc Gill is Tops. Get your education you can always come back.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14351

    Jul 29, 2015 1:51 PM GMT
    Toronto has some outstanding, world class universities. Don't sell its higher education sector short. Toronto is one of the leading educational and cultural hubs.
  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Jul 30, 2015 4:07 AM GMT
    My #1 is University of Toronto, roadbikeRob. McGill is my #2.
  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Jul 30, 2015 4:11 AM GMT
    venue35 saidMy friends in NYC that have no economic problems live well because they are prostitutesicon_neutral.gif


    That makes sense, I feel its probably easy if you are decent looking and have a gym bod. I'd imagine it takes a lot of confidence/self esteem to be any good at that kind of work though.

    I notice that a lot of people in New York, especially young white people, don't seem to have full time jobs but live "middle class" lifestyles (if that exists in New York). Meaning they can afford to live in Williamsburg or SoHo or Chelsea, go to bars/restaurants regularly, travel, etc. I'm guessing a lot are bankrolled or subsidized by parents, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these kids are employed in the "illegal work sphere".

    Basically, I'm doing it all wrong ;)
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    Jul 30, 2015 8:28 PM GMT
    Mulignan said
    venue35 saidMy friends in NYC that have no economic problems live well because they are prostitutesicon_neutral.gif


    That makes sense, I feel its probably easy if you are decent looking and have a gym bod. I'd imagine it takes a lot of confidence/self esteem to be any good at that kind of work though.

    I notice that a lot of people in New York, especially young white people, don't seem to have full time jobs but live "middle class" lifestyles (if that exists in New York). Meaning they can afford to live in Williamsburg or SoHo or Chelsea, go to bars/restaurants regularly, travel, etc. I'm guessing a lot are bankrolled or subsidized by parents, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these kids are employed in the "illegal work sphere".

    Basically, I'm doing it all wrong ;)


    It's okay. You can start fresh in Toronto. Prostitution is legal in Canada. ;)