contemplating moving to Toronto

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Percy Plunger, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. D_Percy Plunger

    D_Percy Plunger Account Disabled

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    I have been thinking about moving to Toronto from South Carolina once I finish college next year. Can anyone give me some input on the "need to know" before I decide.
     
  2. Darkbruno

    Darkbruno New Member

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    I have been living in Toronto for almost twenty years laJohn, and as much as it gets flack for being a bit standoffish, I don't think it is at all. The bad press comes from the fact that it is the largest and one of the richest cities in Canada. I am not sure how much you know about Canada, but the westerners (Albertans, British Columbians) in general tend to dislike us and I have no idea why. True, we are in the only province with two capitals (federal and provincial) and Toronto is the premiere financial centre (outpacing what was Montreal at one time), but the western angst doesn't really jive with me. We are relatively safe, clean, orderly and diverse - but cold! You're now in South Carolina? What a beautiful place. If you decide to come, and more power to you if you do, be prepared for cold winters (sometimes). If you can stand the winters, you can adapt - more than 10 generalized ethnic groups are here and 100 + languages and dialects are spoken - and if they can do it, you can too.

    Here is a link - I hope it gives you some insight:
    City of Toronto: Toronto Facts, Toronto's racial diversity
     
  3. erratic

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    Are you looking to work, or to immigrate? If you're looking to immigrate, start the process as soon as humanly possible. While Toronto accepts the most immigrants of any nation per capita, it's still a long wait.

    Anyway, some bullet-points for you:

    - Toronto is a little unlike most American cities that I know in that the downtown is way more fun and, believe it or not, statistically safer than the suburbs. (Keep in mind, Toronto scored 23 out of the top 25 major Canadian cities for overall crime rate, and even the most dangerous Canadian cities are just on par with average American cities. So, for a North American city of its size, Toronto is extremely safe - no matter what the news guys here would like people to think.) Anyway, back to downtown: People are flooding in to the downtown condos. There are many reasons, but major ones are that downtown is walkable, fun, and has a lot of work opportunities. People who are married to their cars and/or scared of foreign-lookin' people tend not to like downtown.

    - The suburbs, frankly, are boring as shit. I don't like saying it, but it's true. Unless you just love driving to WalMart and back. They're cheaper, yeah, but you get what you pay for.

    - Toronto is extremely cosmopolitan. Recent immigrants and second-generation Canadians make up an enormous percentage of Toronto's population. Toronto also has a reputation for being very liberal. If you're a hard-right republican you will probably hate Toronto.

    - The food is amazing, and Toronto has some surprisingly nice beaches.

    - While the winter is cold, Toronto is one of Canada's warmest cities. The snow tends to stick around from December through February, though there are occasional melts and blizzards. November and March are unpredictable, weather-wise. April, May, September and October are many people's favourite months because they're not freezing cold or super hot. June, July and August are usually hot and humid.

    - Get used to the metric system.

    If you have other questions, or get really serious about moving here and want to know about neighbourhoods to target or avoid, feel free to PM me.
     
  4. henry777

    henry777 Well-Known Member

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    If you like outdoor activities come to Vancouver instead.
    We have almost everything Toronto has minus the cold... in fact it's January and I've seen a couple cherry trees blossom already. Apparently they didn't get the memo.

    You do, however, have to deal with the rain. From late October through Jan-Feb, it gets quite dreary in Vancouver. But that's a small price to pay for living in this beautiful city.

    Darkbruno: we don't dislike you, we just think you're a little nutty to be living in a place where it can get to minus 30 deg Celcius in the winter. ;)
     
  5. BiItalianBro

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    I LOVE me some Toronto!! Erratic is so right on about the city vs the burbs. When i go there on my own dime, I stay with friends in the St James area or hotel it near the Garden District. Unfortunately, when I am there with work, I am stuck in Malton or Brampton since it is close to the airport (YYZ). My impression is that it is like the City of Chicago vs. the Chicagoland burbs...two totally different experiences.

    Do you have dual citizenship? I was under the impression that unless you have an extremely specialized skill, it is very VERY difficult for a US citizen to get a CWP...and even if you do get it, you have to live in somewhere horrible like Fort McMurray or Yellowknife for several years before being allowed to live in Van, Calgary, Toronto or Montreal. Anyone in the know...please do share....i am curious.
     
  6. DiscoBoy

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    I'm just going to add on to some of the points erratic's made:

    I wanted to really emphasize this point. I've lived in Toronto all my life (just along the outskirts of the downtown core) and have never had any serious trouble on the streets (and I've been on these streets at all hours of the day/night). Most of the crime is really concentrated in a few select areas, and those are generally easily avoided. I've had more trouble in suburbs and European cities (not to say that either is particularly crime-infested).

    The downtown core is a major pain to get around unless you're walking. The streets are incredibly crowded, public transit sucks for the most part, and the cost of parking is ridiculous (so much more than it should be for a city this "small").

    I couldn't agree more. You want to shoot yourself in the foot for fun. Of the many youth I've known from the suburbs, there are a disproportionate amount that have drug problems, and I believe that's just a result of sheer boredom.

    There are both pros and cons to Toronto's diversity. Every race is intrinsically racist, and no matter where you come from, what you believe, or what you look like, there will be people that will discriminate against you. Obviously this is true all over the world, but in a city that contains "all of the world" it becomes blatantly clear. Moreover, a large percentage of the population doesn't even speak the English language (my parents included) and that can sometimes make daily life quite difficult (it happens a lot more than anyone wants to admit). Sometimes, I find it loses its novelty.

    While this is true, our newly elected mayor, Rob Ford, is hardly liberal. I'll save you my personal opinion but here's a look at who he is.

    With that said, I do love living here.
     
  7. erratic

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    Haha, minus 30. I know that's a joke, but to be clear to the non-Canadians, minus 30C in Toronto happens, like, twice a century. The average January temperature in Toronto is -1 C during the day, and about -5 or -7 at night. In fact, Vancouver's average annual temperature is 10 C, while Toronto's is 9 C -- which is largely because Vancouver sort of goes from spring to fall and back to spring, while Toronto's weather oscillates wildly from -10(ish) at the coldest to over 30C in July. Seriously. Torontonians treat -15C like it's the end of the universe.

    Actually, the weather in Toronto is one of the biggest news items all year because it's so ridiculously inconsistent. This New Year's it was 10C downtown and then two days later it was back to -5. This is the new normal since that whole "global warming" thing never happened. The last weekend in June last year was about 22 and rainy, and then it went to mid 30s and not a cloud in the sky for about a week.
     
  8. Darkbruno

    Darkbruno New Member

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    HAHAHA, you may just be right about that henry777. When the wind picks up at Yonge & Bloor in February a nice Russian ushanka is in order :)

    Canada, I think in general, is a country of weather extremes. Last summer was pretty uncomfortable. We charted 30+ degrees at it's height (read 86+ Farenheit, lajohn, and add humidex to that). I had to escape to Portugal in September for some dry air... But you are from the Carolinas john, so I am sure you would not find it too bad.
     
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