As the capital of Ontario, Toronto is the place to go for all the action. Walk around this diverse city and you’ll feel like you’re in a completely different world; in fact, it’s estimated that one half of Toronto residents were born outside the country and more than 140 languages are spoken in this city. Home to some of the best restaurants in the world, festivals for all occasions, and stunning waterfront views, Toronto leaves nothing to be desired.
Cost of Living
Here are some facts and figures about the average cost of living to keep in mind before moving to Toronto.
- Rent: the average cost to rent a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,070 and $2,730 for a 2-bedroom. These rates make Toronto the second most expensive city to rent in Canada.
- Transportation: Ontario residents spend an average of 18.8% of their income on monthly transit passes. We’ll go into more detail on transportation options later.
- Food costs: residents in Ontario spend 13.5% of their household budget on food, just slightly under the national average of 14.3%.
- Taxes: tax in Toronto is 13%, but things like public transportation and groceries are not taxed.
- Utilities: the average cost of utilities in Toronto is $142.46.
- Internet: internet services range from $50-$150. Below are some of the largest providers in the Toronto area.
Get your winter clothes ready; Toronto experiences all four seasons. Summer temperatures reach average highs in the 70s, while winter temperatures dip to the 20s, on average. Expect snowfall in Toronto, too; this city gets about 45 inches of fresh powder per year. Beginning in late August, Toronto starts to cool down, giving way to fall foliage beginning in September.
Of course, living in certain parts of the city can alter your cost of living, so here are a few popular Toronto neighbourhoods.
- Kensington Market: A super walkable neighbourhood, Kensington Market is known for its hip, bohemian shops, tasty restaurants, and multicultural community. In fact, it’s not just locals who love this hood; Kensington Market was dedicated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2006.
- Yonge-Eglinton: You’ll never run out of things to do in this neighbourhood, as it offers prolific entertainment and dining options. Massive high rise condos, transit options galore, and plenty of bars and shops make this hood an easy sell and a local favorite.
- Harbourfront: Want views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands every morning? This is your hood. Along with the view, Harbourfront is home to free concerts at the Toronto Music Garden, the 10-acre Harbourfront Centre, and lakeside jogging paths.
Every July, Toronto hosts its Festival of Beer, where festival goers can taste some 400+ brews. While they sip on local and international beers, guests will have plenty of food vendors to choose from and a different musical performance to watch each night. Casa Loma is a 98-room Toronto landmark that was built in the late 1800s, and its European elegance and storied past draw thousands of locals and tourists to its grounds each year. Check out the incredible restaurant scene, starting with Richmond Station where quality ingredients and inventive recipes are at the forefront of the menu. Spend a day in the Distillery District and you’ll want to come back to experience the rest of the museums, art galleries, coffee shops, and performance venues.
The Toronto Transit Commission operates the public transit options throughout the city. The TTC has streetcars, buses, and a subway system that locals take advantage of, especially those who live right off one of the system’s lines. Because of this city’s comprehensive public transit, a car isn’t necessary in Toronto.
How to Get to Toronto
From outside of Toronto catch a flight into Toronto Pearson International Airport. Whether you’re moving from Chicago or Vancouver, a flight is probably your best bet. From the airport, you can take the UP Express into downtown and hop on a train or bus line that will take you where you need to go.
Relocating to Toronto from New York
If you’re coming from NYC, fly into Pearson International and get ready to take on your new city. Flights out of NYC’s airports take about an hour and a half, so you’ll be in Toronto in no time. Don’t forget that Toronto uses Canadian dollars, so you’ll want to visit a currency exchange when you get there.
Relocating to Toronto from the Bay Area
The Bay Area has plenty of flight options for your move to Toronto. Fly out of Oakland, San Jose, or San Francisco and into Pearson; a direct flight will take you about 5 hours, so buckle up and download some good podcasts for the trip.
Tips for Moving to Toronto
- Do: join in on Pride Week. Toronto hosts the second-largest Pride celebration in the world, and this city sure knows how to throw a party.
- Don’t: miss the annual Fringe Festival, the largest theater festival in Ontario. Attendees can see performances at more than 40 venues across the city, and catch free music performances and grab food and drinks at event’s gathering place, The Patio.
- Do: get a smoked meat sandwich from Katz’s Deli. You’ll also want to try a peameal bacon sandwich and poutine while you’re at it.
- Don’t: underestimate the smaller attractions. Chinatown offers a good area for a stroll and the cherry blossoms in High Park are beautiful on a spring day.
There’s plenty to love about Toronto; from its hip, walkable neighbourhoods to the local eats you’ll start to crave, this city certainly doesn’t disappoint. Make sure you find the perfect Toronto apartment and, once you’re settled in, head out and explore your new city.