Toronto, Canada Report of what it's like to live there - 08/24/08

Personal Experiences from Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada 08/24/08

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Not my first, I have also lived in Jamaica, Romania, Czech Rebublic, and U.S.A.

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2. How long have you lived here?

A few months.

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3. Travel time and best routes to this city from Europe or the US:

You can get direct flight from any major U.S city or European city.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

My father got a job there.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Good housing around the city. Commute time is from 5-120 minutes.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Same as the U.S.A. You can find everything you want here.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

None, you can get everything here.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

All fast food is found here. There are alot of good restaurants here. Great Indian, Thai, Italian, French, Mexican, Latin, every kind of restaurant is here.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Yes, regular Canadian Post.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Great help, but expensive.

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3. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

You can use your credit, debit card everywhere. ATM machines everywhere.

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4. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Lots are avalable.

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5. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

Their are 3 English papers avlable. Same cost as the U.S

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

None (everyone speaks English).

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Some, but most building have elevators and there are a lot of ramps. But there are big crowds that disabeld people may find challenging

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Transportation:

1. Do you drive on the right hand side of the road or the left?

Right, just like the U.S.A.

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2. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

All are very safe and affordable. Also there is a great subway system. The subways here are as good as the ones in N.Y.C.

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3. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

All cars are fine to bring, although traffic is terrible here.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

It is available at around the same price as the U.S

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Use a calling card, or get a long distance plan; most people use Rogers.

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3. What is the best way to make phone calls back home?

Most people use Rogers.

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Pets:

1. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Lots.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Yes lots.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Normal clothes.

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Health & Safety:

1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?

Unhealthy.

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2. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Some, mostly petty crimes.

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3. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

As in all in Canada medical care is great and unlike the U.S.A FREE. It's great.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Hot in summer and spring. Chilly in winter. Cool in fall.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

No international schools. Most families send their kids to local schools. The schools here are very good.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

None at public schools but they do at private schools.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

HUGE, there are alot of Chinese, Indian, American, Japanese, Jamaican and Mexican people here.

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2. Morale among expats:

Great, everyone loves it here.

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Toronto has a fantasic night life, everything stays open till midnight or all night. There is also Niagara Falls nearby, Canadas Wonderland, Marine Land and the U.S.A is an hour away. There is always an event happening here.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Yes, yes and yes! It is good for all.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Yes, there is a gay neighbours hood and a gay parade every year.

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

None.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

O were to begin. There is always something going on here. From shows, play, parades, festivals, beaches, Canada's Wonder Land, and the never ending shopping. Toronto has the largest under groud shopping in the world.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Canadian syrup from Quebec.

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9. Can you save money?

Yes.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

YES I LOVE IT HERE!!!!

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Bring everything.

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3. But don't forget your:

Winter jackets, bathing suits (great beaches on the lake).

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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6. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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7. Do you have any other comments?

Toroto is a great place for all, you will love it here.

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