Moving to Toronto: Things you should know before you immigrate to Toronto

Being one of the most popular expat destinations in Canada, Toronto brings a lot to the table for new residents. With centuries of continuous growth, a population of which a little under half was born in another country and being the main Canadian city on the East coast, Toronto is a remarkable city with a great history. Ever since its founding in the year 1834 big scores of people came to Toronto in search of a better life. And a better life they found. No matter which research you read, Toronto is always in the top 10 of most livable cities. And with convenient public transport, vibrant cultural life and ample opportunity for outside activities, Toronto has it all. So, having almost 3 million inhabitants, and 6 million when you take the greater Toronto area into account, comes as no surprise with so much to offer. Do you also want to enjoy life in one of the most pleasant cities on the planet? Join us when we guide you through the process of relocating to Toronto.

International removals to Toronto with Eurosender

When you are moving to Toronto from the USA, the change might not be as big as when you come from another continent such as Europe or Africa. But no matter where you are from, in Toronto you will feel at home in no-time. Due to the international and multicultural nature of the city, newcomers adapt easily as they blend in with the community. Toronto got its nickname “the City of Neighborhoods” for a good reason as the city is divided into more than 240 of them. With many of them showing the roots of the local residents, such Little Italy or Chinatown, the neighborhoods show the diversity which Toronto is all about. So, when you want to live in a multicultural, dynamic and comfortable city, Toronto is the place to go.

Before you pack your suitcases and start getting your belongings to Toronto, you should know the basics of this sprawling city.

TimezoneUTC -5
CurrencyCanadian Dollar (CND)
PopulationVancouver has a population of approximately 2.7 million inhabitants.
How do you call someone from Toronto?Torontonian
Official languageEnglish
International dialing code+1 (country code) 416, 647, 437 (area codes)
Emergency number911
DrivingOn the right side
TippingA 15-20% tip is expected, with more being given in case of good service.
Unusual factToronto is the world’s number 4 when it comes to most livable city

When you are relocating from the USA to Toronto you benefit from the comfortable insurance options we offer.Looking for international removals Toronto? Eurosender is here to help. Besides the lowest rates for shipping your goods to Toronto, which you can easily order online, you have access to the following extras with our service.

Living in Toronto

For many living in Toronto is a dream come true but of course, there are some things that you might have to get used to.

  • Toronto boasts the best international cuisine in Canada. Whether it is Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Indian or any other cuisine, you can be sure that you find the most delicious variant in Toronto.
  • Being the 4th tech talent market in North America, Toronto is home to a quickly expanding tech and start-up scene.
  • With over 140 languages spoken and residents from more than 240 different countries, Toronto is a city with great cultural diversity and is welcoming to all new arrivals.

Visa Regulations for Toronto

Just like in any other Canadian city you need to get a visa, of which there are 2 groups:

  • Temporary Residence Permits (TRP) With a TRP you can stay up to 6 months in Canada, with the option for both single-entry and multiple entries. Among others, these visas include student-visa, temporary foreign worker visa, working holiday vacation and the tourist visa
  • Permanent Residence Permits (PRP) With a PRP (Also known as “immigrant visa”) you can become a permanent resident of Canada. There are many different visas in this group such as the Immigrant Investor Program, the Family Sponsor Program, the Entrepreneur Program, and others. Skilled workers have the biggest chance to get a work permit.

Healthcare in Toronto

All residents of the province of Ontario have the right to free medical services according to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. With the Ontario Health Card, you have access to medical examinations, dental operations, a yearly visit to the oculist and much more. The Ontario Health Card is also available for expats as long as you meet the following requirements.

  • Employed by a company in Ontario with a work permit for at least 6 months.
  • Be present the first 153 days out of 183 days after you register yourself as a resident.

Keep in mind that there is a waiting list of about 3 months before you can register for the Ontario Health Card, so in the meantime, you will have to provide your own insurance.

School and education

Just like the rest of Canada, Toronto offers a superb school system. When you have a residence permit or a work permit, you can easily let your children attend public school. Besides the official languages English and French, there are also many other languages being taught, such as Vietnamese, Italian and German.
Although the overall quality of education in Toronto is excellent, there are differences in the performance between schools. So, when you want the best for your child, always check the ratings of the school you want to send your offspring to.

The job market in Toronto

Toronto has a thriving job market and is the perfect place for an expat to find employment. While the city keeps growing, the number of companies bringing their business to town is also increasing. However, with so many opportunities, competition in the job market is huge and people from all over Canada and the world are coming to Toronto to make a career. When you already work for an international company, try to figure out what the options are to be relocated to Toronto within your company, as many multinationals have offices in the city. Some other areas with good opportunities are:

  • The financial sector
  • The entertainment industry (many Hollywood movies are actually made in Toronto)
  • Manufacturing (approximately half of the goods produced in Canada come from Toronto)

Property information

While the quality of real estate in Toronto is just fine, the problem is that it is so expensive. With so many newcomers flocking to the city each year, there is a permanent shortage of living space with sky-high prices as a result. Most living space can be divided into these groups.

  • Apartments
  • Condominiums
  • Townhouses
  • Detached houses
  • Semi-detached houses

No matter which option you go for, when just arriving in Toronto, they all may seem expensive. Here are some tips to get you started when you want to save on accommodation.

  • Get in touch with other expats. They might be able to help you find a good deal and this way you will be able to cut out the real estate agents and their fees.
  • Flat-sharing is not only a budget-friendly option, but you also have the chance to make new life-long friends.
  • Living space in the Greater Toronto Area is considerably cheaper than the center of Toronto.

Cost of moving to Toronto

Whether you are coming all the way from Europe or Asia, or from a city close by such as Detroit or Pittsburg, you are probably wondering: How much is shipping from the USA to Toronto? The cost of moving house to Toronto depends on the service you need for your shipping. Take a look at the options you have when considering the average moving costs to Toronto.

  • Standard Shipping is the cheapest and fastest option when your items don’t exceed the maximum dimensions below (which includes packaging)
    • Maximum weight of 40kg (30kg in some cases).
    • A maximum length of 175 cm.
    • Length (in cm) + 2x width (in cm) + 2x height (in cm) < 300 cm.
  • Freight Service is more suitable when you want to ship your entire household. By using pallets, you can easily pack big and bulky items and it will definitely help you find the cheapest way to move furniture to Toronto.
  • Dedicated Van Delivery is the perfect option when you have many items and little time.
  • When you have unusual items, or when you are not sure which service would best suit shipment, then contact our logistics experts for an individual offer.

Cost of living in Toronto

Many think the cost of living in Toronto is high, which is true for a big part. However, when you look at it on a global scale, Toronto compares favourably well to for example Western Europe. Some of the things that may cost more than you would expect are:

  • The climate: While Canada is known for its harsh winters, Toronto also has hot summers. This means that in winter you need to keep your apartment warm with heating and in summer you need AC to keep it cool. All this together make the utility bills go up.
  • Health insurance and education are free for large parts, which is often paid for in other countries.
  • Accommodation is relatively expensive compared to cities of the same size and status.

Driving in Toronto

The only thing you need when you want to drive in Toronto is an International Driving Permit (IDP), or when you already have a permanent residence permit, a Canadian driving license. Just like any other city in the world, driving in Toronto has its own peculiarities.

  • When you are staying in the centre of Toronto and have no plans to go to other parts of town, then you might not need a car. Public transport is in perfect condition and many venues are on walking distance.
  • Most parking is paid, and you have to show the ticket in your car.
  • The major highways are in perfect condition and have great planning. Road signs are available in abundance and follow international standards.


Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.