Let’s start with Housing You are not going to find any of these in the Greater Toronto Area Toronto housing choices are pretty much limited to this Or this There are exceptions of course, but for the most part Toronto is “apartment” or “fair sized house”.You can find both all over the GTA, but Toronto is still short of multi-unit residential buildings, either rental apartments or condominium apartments.Where you live depends on how close you want to be to services and how much time you want to spend in a car or on transit.
There are no really “bad” areas of the Greater Toronto Area and even the “slums” are pretty nice.Take a look at this.This is the Jane-Finch “corridor”, which is widely agreed to be the worst neighbourhood in the Greater Toronto Area.
However, most of the buildings are less than 60 years old, there’s shopping nearby, it’s right next to one of Toronto’s major universities and they just extended the subway to within a mile of this very spot.So, the biggest factors are cost and car use.There’s no “cheap” part of Toronto but prices in Toronto are no-where near that of someplace like London.
However, transit ranges from “fast and frequent” in Toronto itself to “infrequent and limited” in the metropolitan area.It’s also terribly Balkanized and short trips across municipal borders can be very expensive.So the best advice I can give you is try to find a neighbourhood you like.
Your neighbours won’t care a bit about your nationality.Making friends Torontonians are notoriously reserved and don’t see work, restaurants or bars as a place to find friends.The last two are places you go with your existing friends.
Toronto has no “pub culture” where you sit somewhere with a pint and engage in conversation with complete strangers.If you show up at the same bar a few weeks in a row alone, you might be accepted, but don’t count on it.The way to make friends in Toronto is to hang out with people with similar interests, and that’s really easy.
In non-pandemic times, Toronto has some sort of public trade show or festival every week.If you go to one of these you will be assured to find people with similar interests.Film buffs have it the easiest.
In addition to the Toronto International Film Festival in September, Toronto runs several smaller festivals and there are several theatres that specialize in second-run films like the Hot Docs and the TIFF Lightbox.Foodies also have it easy because although “Caravan” is dead, there is some sort of ethnic festival at least once a month where food is featured.“Taste of the Danforth”, held in Toronto’s Greektown, is the biggest but is hardly the only one, and the name says it all.
There’s also Pride (one of the largest in the world, and lots to attract people of every sexual persuasion), The Caribbean Festival (which doesn’t just draw Caribbean Canadians) and The Canadian National Exhibition, which lasts the last two weeks before Labour Day and is by far the city’s biggest attraction.For Brits who enjoy soccer, the Duke of Gloucester Pub downtown on Yonge Street is where England fans congregate during World Cup, even though it serves Thai food and not pub fare.Truth be told, all the cooks at pubs in Toronto are Thai.
Toronto’s own popular soccer club is Toronto FC of MLS, which plays a schedule from late spring to late fall.
The Annex in midtown (Spadina and Bloor) is a great neighborhood if you can afford it.In the heart of the city, you can easily hop on the subway and get to any other part of town easily.The Tranzac folk club (on Brunswick) and the Future restaurant are two of many cool, inexpensive places to hang out.
They are around the corner from one another.The University of Toronto is nearby as is the YMHA.There are church basement coffee-houses and a plethora of ethnic restaurants.
The ElMocambo (the Stones played a surprise gig there) and Grossman’s if you like to drink to louder music.The best corned beef sandwich west of Montreal can be found at Pancer’s Deli on Bathurst (you will need transportation), and the Bagel on Wilson Ave is de rigeur for brunch if you have the time to get there.The Annex was home to world-reknown urbanologist Jane Jacobs until her passing.
They recently demolished Honest Ed’s, a Toronto landmark since the ‘Fifties.Pity, that.You can walk to Kensington Market, Spadina Avenue and Queen Street -all with their own attractions.
From the lakefront, you can take a ferry to the islands.High Park had a zoo when I was a kid.Don’t know if it still does.
The police all have college degrees and are not prone to the violencs of their American counterparts.One need not fear to walk the streets after dark.Because of the social safety net, there are fewer financially-desperate folks to mug you.
Be prepared for the cold.With the right clothes, you will be fine.You will never go broke should you get sick, just like England (but not the US, where a serious illness can easily bankrupt a family.)
There are beautiful women from all over the world.I love my home in Western Massachusetts -accident of history- but there is much I miss about Toronto.You will appreciate the CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting System, for its honest reporting and general intelligence.
You will find your familiar metric system in use.Torontonians are a polite and couteous people.They have been educated in the proper use of the apostrophe.
Good luck, mate!PS You will also appreciate the local availalbility of British Cadbury and Rowntree chocolate products.
Sadly, Toronto can be rather cold to newcomers.It is a highly diversified city with pockets of every kind of nationality huddled together.In fact, some never even bother to learn english as they only need to speak their native tongue in their little community.
Housing is not cheap here.I pay $2300 Cdn (1313.48 GBP) per month for a two-bedroom apartment.My mortgage used to be far less than that for a detached home!
Many people choose to live outside of Toronto proper as housing and rental costs become more affordable, well at least in some areas.I cannot give you advice on where to meet friends.Most people don’t even know the name of their neighbour in the next apartment.
Best places to live depend on your salary, making friends is hard although it isn’t impossible — if you are from London or a large city, it won’t feel too different, but if you are from a more welcoming community or city where you are used to talking to strangers, don’t expect Toronto to feel welcoming.Again, Toronto is diverse and great for LGBTQ, people of all genders and races etc.