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Nestled between three of North America’s Great Lakes, namely Eerie, Huron and Ontario, the bustling city of Toronto attracts droves of tourists who come to hike, swim and boat along their shores.
Besides boasting oodles of natural splendour, Toronto is a multicultural, cosmopolitan city with plenty to offer in terms of its job market, entertainment and overall quality of life, which is why it is such a hotspot for expats.
Living in Toronto as an expat
Toronto is the heart of Canada's working world and home to several large banking institutions as well as plenty of opportunities in business, finance, biotechnology, aerospace, media, communications and IT.
Downtown Toronto is constantly expanding and boasts a variety of accommodation options for expats. The iconic CN Tower, which was once the tallest freestanding structure in the world, can be seen from anywhere in the city. Locals claim that navigating by the tower is a foolproof way to avoid getting lost, and this can be helpful for newly-arrived expats.
Toronto has also earned recognition as one of the best shopping destinations in the world. Many local stores and speciality boutiques find themselves wedged between exclusive European and American outlets.
Toronto has a highly efficient public transport system. Almost every area and suburb has access to buses, trains and a rather unique streetcar system. The backbone of the city’s transport, though, is its extensive subway, which links most of the outlying suburbs to the city centre.
Cost of living in Toronto
Expats who hold resident permits will be able reduce their expenses by taking advantage of Canada's widely-praised tax-funded health scheme. Those in Canada on a more short-term basis will need to invest in private health insurance to cover their medical needs during their stay.
Expat families and children in Toronto
Expat parents moving to Toronto will find the city ideal for raising a family. As mentioned, expat families can rest assured the healthcare specialists in Toronto are highly qualified and the facilities advanced.
With excellent public, international and private schools throughout Toronto, parents will have no shortage of options when it comes to their children’s education.
Family get-togethers, hikes, picnics and leisurely strolls are sure to become regular pastimes for expats, thanks to the many green spaces, lakes and forests in and around Toronto. The city also boasts exciting theme parks, museums and other attractions for families to explore.
Climate in Toronto
The climate in Toronto is categorised as continental and is milder and more enjoyable than in other parts of Canada. Winters in the city tend to be cold with plenty of snowfall, while summers are surprisingly hot and humid. The city experiences year-round rainfall.
Overall, expats who choose Toronto can expect a welcoming and safe city with a rich quality of life.
►Learn more about the Lifestyle in Toronto
"Lawrence Market is great for foodies, children will love a trip to Centreville on Centre Island (and the ferry ride over there!), the Eaton Center should keep shoppers happy, and the CN Tower’s Skywalk is a must for thrill seekers."
Read more about Aisha's experiences of Toronto and surrounds.
"Try the restaurants instead of familiar fast-food chains. McDonalds and Burger King taste the same as they do back home. Rather try the Vietnamese or Mexican restaurant down the road. You’ll have a ton of cuisines to explore in Toronto. There is also a lot to do in greater Canada; great places to plan trips to are: Banff, Niagara Falls, British Columbia and Montreal. California is also not too far from British Columbia."
Learn more about South African expat, Figo's experiences in Toronto.
Are you an expat living in Toronto?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Toronto. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.