Living In Toronto

Writer Francine Prose in a 2014 travel article Toronto’s Ethnic Buffet captured  something of  what Toronto is like:

“As much as, if not more than, any North American city, Toronto celebrates its multicultural heritage. There is an online  multicultural calendar devoted to listing the lectures, religious and national holidays, and street festivals sponsored by the city’s range of communities. . . . Of course . . . Toronto has its share of poverty, prejudice, gang violence and political scandal; . . . But casual travelers and most longtime residents agree that the city’s pleasures outweigh its shortcomings, that its streets are clean and safe and that its people (2.6 million in Toronto; 5.6 million in the metropolitan area) are polite, pleasant and helpful in ways that can sometimes startle those of us who come from somewhere else.

At restaurants in Toronto, I notice ethnically mixed groups of friends . . . I see a much wider variety of visitors to the city’s excellent museums: classes of children lying on the floor and drawing at the  Royal Ontario Museum,  . . . and at the Art Gallery of Ontario, . . . Everywhere, glimpses of residents going about their daily routines — the Sikh policeman directing traffic, the Vietnamese and Filipino reporters broadcasting the TV news, novelists from the Caribbean reading their work at the city’s annual International Festival of Authors — testify to the welcome that Toronto has given the immigrants who have sought refuge here.”

 Toronto is Canada’s most diverse city, according to the Toronto Board of Trade, where almost half the population speaks a language other than English or French (Canada’s two official languages).

 In total Toronto residents speak 140 languages and dialects. The most populous language groups include Cantonese,  Italian, Panjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu,  Portuguese, and Mandarin. The median age of the city is 38.5 years.

Canada, and Toronto in particular, top or come close to topping a number of indexes as the best places in the world to settle. Toronto topped the 2014 Youthful Cities index as the city most attractive to young people aged 15 to 29 and how they can live, work and play in their urban settings.  The Reputation Institute ranked Toronto as the top city to work in the world in 2013, and the Economist Intelligence Unit, which ranks cities’ livability worldwide for international companies, ranked Toronto among the top five most livable cities in the world in terms of stability, infrastructure, education, health care, culture and environment.

It is  a city that hosts nearly 40 per cent of Canadian corporate headquarters, as well as Canada’s largest banks and investment houses.

It is home two of North America’s most important film festivals, the Toronto International Film Festival or tiff and Hot Docs, numerous cultural festivals, as well as music, dance, art, and athletics, even Canada’s first national urban park.

It is a city with universities at its core anchored by the University of Toronto, which also ranks consistently among the best Universities in the world.





Toronto Review of Books

Living Toronto Journal

Toronto Multicultural Calendar

The City of Toronto official website

Toronto – facts compendium

 Toronto – diversity facts

 The Toronto Star

The Globe and Mail

The Toronto Sun

Now Magazine

The Grid



NOW magazine

U of T’s housing service page

Interesting Neighbourhoods by Name

Walking distance to U of T downtown campus:

the Annex
Little Italy
Kensington Market
Chinatown (downtown)

Biking distance:

Cabbagetown (east)
High Park
Dufferin Grove
Church Street / the Gay Village
Ossington Ave
Dundas West
Little Portugal
Liberty Village

Long bike ride:

the Danforth
the Beach or the Beaches
The Junction

Up hill  or a transit ride away:

St. Clair & Yonge
Eglinton Ave.
North York


The Landlord Tenant Act requires two months notice of vacancy,  so the time to start looking  is within about *eight weeks* of your move. Landlords expect first and last month’s rent to secure your rental, to be collected on or before the first day of your rental.  You might date the last month’s rent the day you reach an agreement, and the first month’s rent the day you take possession.

the Landlord and Tenant Board

Be prepared and arrive with a folder containing everything your future landlord would want to know about you:

1. letter showing offer of employment
2.  your very impressive resume
3.  two character references with email addresses and phone numbers,  either of former landlords or employers
4.  a credit check, obtainable free from such sources as Equifax
5.  a blank cheque or other means of making a down payment

The YMCA –  “the Y” provides inclusive, multi-cultural community centres and newly renovated training facilities at two locations in downtown Toronto,  the Central Y, and the Westend Y.  Memberships provide access to all Y locations
Fees:  $65 + / month

 The Athletic Centre

Hart House

Scadding Court Community Centre

Mark Andrew Hair Studio
Close to campus, due south on Huron Street, Mark is a zen-like bear of guy who provides excellent men’s and women’s cuts at small town prices. He is a best-kept secret.