Moving to Toronto

Expats who relocate to Toronto’s city will notice it’s the most developed in comparison to other Canadian cities. Toronto is the worlds most multicultural city, it is no surprise that thousands of UK expats migrate here every year with its incredible skyscrapers, famous Niagara falls and high quality of lifestyle. You are likely to feel at home no matter where you are from. There are different cultural communities and neighbourhoods and more than 140 languages and dialects are spoken in the streets of Toronto. The main preparation when moving to Canada is a visa for entering the country, it is also important to know common ways jobs and houses are found in preparation for your move, these are discussed in more detail below. But what key information should you know before moving to Toronto? Below you can see an overview of what we will discuss on this page:

Moving to Toronto

Relocation costs

It can be a daunting process moving all your belongings across seas to Toronto. Luckily moving to Toronto is made easier with the nearest port being in Toronto, this makes door to door removals a lot simpler. The cost of your move is dependant on variant factors which include:

  • Household size
  • Transportation method
  • Type of insurance
  • Additional services

The cost for a door to door relocation to location will, of course. cost more than shipping container costs. Shipping can take 9-12 days to reach the port and then would have to be transported to your new home. The estimate cost for a door to door move to Toronto is shown below with variant household sizes:

Household sizeTimeCost
1 bed flat9 – 12 days£5,877 – £6,075
3 bed house9 – 12 days£6,888 – £7,192
5 bed house9 – 12 days£8,332 – £8,788

Shipping costs

Shipping containers are priced by size. To ship a 20 ft container from the UK to Toronto it will cost you roughly £2,888 – £3,192. But what can you fit in a 20 ft container? It is estimated you can fit a 1 or 2 bedroom house in a 20 ft container, but you could also fit 300 flat screen TV’s, 500 deck chairs or 14,400 bottles of wine. But what you want to pack in your 20 ft container is up to you! Shipping a 40 ft container will roughly cost £5,487 – £6,065 and is enough to fit a on average a 4 bedroom house.

As previously mentioned some factors will affect the cost when moving to Toronto. Additional services can make your move more convenient but will cost you. These services can include; packaging, assembling and storage. The trade off is between convenience and price and depends what is more important to you.

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Tips for your move to Toronto

In general moving to any country can be stressful, it is important to know about the countries rules and regulations. Sirelo is here to help make your move more enjoyable! Certain unusual items have restrictions when entering Canada, these include; used mattresses, baby walkers, lawn darts, Infant self feeding devices, live birds and eggs. There are also a few variables that vary from what are common in the UK.

Weather

The winters in Toronto can be really rough, temperatures can easily reach -20 degrees Celsius and being from the UK we are really not used to these extremes. It is advised to visit before moving to Toronto in the cold season to see if you are actually able to hack these extreme temperatures. However with the bad also comes good, the summers in Toronto are beautiful and can reach nice warm climates.

Alcohol

We are known for enjoying a beverage or 10 in the UK, but it isn’t as easily accessible to purchase in Canada. Each province has its own rules for what stores can sell alcohol. Of course you can still buy alcohol in bars and restaurants, it very important to tip in Toronto as is seen as a customary requirement. In Toronto there are only three stores that are allowed to sell alcohol to the public which include:

  • The LCBO (the only place to buy liquor and spirits)
  • The Beer Store
  • Wine Rack

Cultural differences

Toronto is very similar in comparison to the UK, for starter their first language is English. Working hard is a large part of their culture, many Tornonronians are very career focused.

Checklist

Before moving to Toronto it is important you are fully prepared for your arrival. We have devised the top key information to help you with your migration.

  • Visa – A visa is a necessity when moving to Canada, without one you simply can’t stay in the country for more than 6 months if you are a UK citizen. For more information, visit out page about visas. It is also important to apply for an eTA when moving to Toronto.
  • Healthcare – The three main types of healthcare plans in Canada are basic, standard and advance. It is advised to purchase health insurance as health costs without can be very expensive. For more information visit our page on healthcare in Canada
  • Diplomas – You will need to transfer you degrees and certificates when moving to Toronto. For some jobs you will need to get an ECA for your foreign diplomas and certificates. For more information to see if you require to get an ECA visit Government of Canada’s website.
  • School – Each province in Canada is in charge of the school setting and educational system. For Toronto Ontario is the province that organises the cities schooling, there are also private school options for students. However the Canadian educational system is highly regarded so little parents choose this option. Visit our page for more information about education in Canada
  • Driving – Public transport is widely used in Toronto and is probably the quickest way to get around the city. Although many still drive but the similar to most cities the traffic can be pretty bad in Toronto. If you are bringing your car along with you it’s important to exchange your driving license for the appropriate one. Each province and territory in Canada issues its own driving licence. You will be able to exchange your UK licence issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Ontario. Switching your licence for an Ontario driver’s licence, needs to be done in person at a DriveTest centre or the ServiceOntario College Park location in downtown Toronto.

Moving to Toronto

Finding your dream home

The demand for housing is high in Toronto; therefore prices are quite expensive. Expats moving to Toronto should try to avoid searching for accommodation in the months of June and September since the market is very competitive in these months.

As always it is recommended to rent an apartment short term or use a service such as airbnb in order to have the time to look around the different neighbourhoods that you may be interested to rent in. Additionally, you will want to check out the schools and the zoning areas as well if you are moving with your children.

Below you will find a list of the areas or neighbourhoods that are the least expensive and the areas that are the most expensive. Please keep in mind that just because it is cheap that you should go for it. Some places may be cheap due to factors such as crime rate and far out of town.

Cheaper neighbourhoodsExpensive neighbourhoods
Regent parkBridle Path-sunnybrook-york Mills
Weston parkKingsway south
Hillcrest villageBay view
OakridgeCasa Loma
RusticRosedale Moore park

Finding a job

Toronto is one of the fastest growing job markets in Canada and offers diverse job opportunities in differing industries and sectors. Toronto is Canada’s banking/financial capital and the home of the Toronto Stock Exchange as well as Canada’s industrial centre. Additionally, Toronto is home to many IT companies and is Canada’s leading business address. However, finding a job in Toronto can be challenging. With such a big population, it is not strange that many people will aim for the same jobs you will be applying for. Toronto is however still one of the best cities in Canada to find a job.

Tips for finding a job in Canada:

  • Networking and establishing contacts online and at business events.
  • In your resume highlight the skills you specialise in.
  • Have an updated resume including your volunteer work and a cover letter.
  • Get a Canadian reference by first working at a job that may not be ideal but which can add to your career and is perhaps easier to find that your dream job.
  • Visit any of the 15 Employment Resource centres, located across the city.
  • Check for job vacancies online on the City of Toronto’s Employment Information.
  • An expat moving to Toronto need to get the social insurance number to be able to work in Toronto. This nine digit number is needed also to receive government benefits.

Toronto Transport

Toronto is known for its excellent public transport services, many Canadians prefer to use these services due to the cramped traffic jams within the city. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) includes more than 149 bus routes, 4 rapid transit lines, 11 streetcar routes, and a subway network,. The TTC is the third most used public transit system on the continent; however the locals will tell you it can be a bit of a struggle! For more information on the TTC  visit their website.

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