Emigrating to Canada, help!

Apr 16th, 2005, 11:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 8
Emigrating to Canada, help!

Hi everyone,
I have read many of your insightful messages about Canada and i think this kind of forum is a wonderful idea as i have been searching the internet & travel books about the fundementals of living and working in Toronto and its impossible! Anyhow, i have a bunch questions for everyone but i'll take it easy now that i'm a newbie...i'm living in Ireland and just received a year long work visa in Toronto, and i am apprehensive about the different neighbourhoods in which to take up residence in downtown toronto. I am looking for a nice lively area, thats pretty safe and that's not too demanding on the pocket, my max would be CA$1000 per month for a 1 bed apartment for 2 people, is that impossible in a good area? Ireland is so expensive at the moment that CA$1000 p/m (AKA 750Euro) wouldn't get you an apartment in the city centre...
Thanks everyone for your time and patience needed to read my ramblings....
Catcurtin is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 239
Hi Cat,

There's a few things to consider. Where is your new office located? Do you plan on having a car or using public transportation?

I will gladly do what I can to assist you so you can make an educated choice.

sharkdiver49 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 239

Here's a great link with a ton a excellent info!
sharkdiver49 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 03:14 PM
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Posts: 3,501
Hello Catcurtin,

Although there are some posters here who live in Toronto, and you certainly can get good information about the city on this forum, the best forum I've found for relocation issues is British Expats at:


The British Expats forum has a few different sections. The two most useful ones are, I think, the Immigration section and the Lifestyle & Culture section.

Since you already have received your work visa, the Immigration section of the BE forum probably is not of immediate relevance to you. (It may become more relevant in the future, however, if you wish to extend your work visa beyond the initial year or if you want to apply for permanent residency in Canada.)

The section of the BE forum that I would think is of most immediate relevance to you is the Lifestyle & Culture section. There you can find out heaps of information about job prospects at your destination, cost of living, neighbourhoods, commuting distances and times and any number of other issues related to everyday living.

By the way, you don't need to be British to participate in discussions on the BE forum. Although the majority of forum members are British expats, not all of them are.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Toronto has a good subway network that gets people easily to and from many parts of the city.

$1000 a month gets you many apartments; another $200 a month improves things, though.

My daughter spends $850 for the upper floor of an old house she gets to via streetcar and bus in about half an hour from downtown Toronto, right by the lake.

She used to live in a $900 apartment right beside the High Park subway station. So yes, decent, interesting,neighborhoods do have apartments in that price range.

But you'll need furniture.

BAK is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 11:21 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Heya thanks for the info! My situation is this, i've just graduated from college with a BSc in analytical chemistry so i'm looking for pharmaceutical companies to work in, ideally R&D, i don't have a job lined up yet, however i have a list of companies to send my resume to and hopefully get a job relatively quickly when i arrive. i will be working outside the city and will need good transport to get to work, i'm not gonna get a car as i have heard its more trouble than its worth, but i do have an international driving licence so do you think a car would be a good idea? I suppose my main concern is, of course, money! i'm not sure what to expect as a salary as i can't compare it to Ireland because the rate of pay here is alot higher because the cost of living is alot higher (In Ireland i would expect about CA$50,000 a year starting) working as a professional i know its not gonna be too bad. i'll probably get an apartment, hopefully furnished, before i get a job but i don't want to take an apartment that a) i can't afford with the salary from the job and b) take an apartment and could get a better one with my salary
i presume you have to sign one year contracts? so if anyone in my profession has any words of advice or any recommendations for neighbourhoods, i would be so grateful....
PS i've never lived outside Ireland before so i want to do as much research as possible before i go....
Catcurtin is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 07:18 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,465
My advice - find a job before you think of the other living arrangements. There are a lot of biotech/pharma organizations in the Toronto area, but with just a B.Sc. you will be competing with lots of Canadians for the same jobs. You'll have to accept an entry level job, and from my experience in this field (18+ years), you may be disappointed with your salary. So find the jobs first - find out what the "market value" for your qualifications is - and then adjust your living arrangement expectations accordingly!!!
There are a number of pharma and biotech organizations in Canada that have lists of members - potential employers (BioteCanada, BioOntario, Canbiotech, Pharmahorizons etc.) so Google for these and other organizations, most have a "career" link that will help with your job search.
The good news is that most of these companies are NOT located in the expensive downtown areas of cities, and the rent in neighbourhoods nearby should be more "reasonable" and affordable.
Borealis is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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Forgot to add - good luck!! You'll find this an adventuue, but hopefully a very good one!!
Borealis is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 121
A nice lively area of Toronto is Yonge & Eglinton. I know there are a lot of apartments in that area - but to be honest I do not know what they go for. Shops and nighlife are walking distance.

Best of luck in Toronto...I hope you enjoy our city.
iloveitaly is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,626
Furnished apartments aren't common in Toronto, so don't expect to find anything decent at a reasonable price. You could equip an apartment fairly inexpensively via Ikea and similar shops.

You might want to consider trying a few neighbourhoods via a "apartment share" arrangement before committing to a lease. You would also be able to arrange something like that fairly quickly upon arrival. Have a look at the ads in Now Magazine and Eye Magazine (both accessible on-line).

There are a couple of advantages to this. First, you probably won't have come up with a significant deposit (e.g. first and last months' rent plus security deposit). Second, if you don't know where you're working yet, you shouldn't commit to an apartment. In your industry, there is a fair chance that you could end up working in a suburb or an industrial park one side of the city or another. You'll want to figure out the transportation options before committing to a lease.

If you get a job in downtown Toronto or on the subway line (N-S or E-W), then you won't need a car. But, as I mentioned above, you could end up working in the suburbs - in which case you'll probably need a car to commute. (There is a commuter train service, called the Go Train, but you might not be close to it and it might not be convenient.)

To get an idea about salaries and jobs, you might check out workopolis.ca (an internet-based job site). I don't know if they post positions in your field, but it's a starting point.
Kate_W is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
Everyone has given you excellent advice. I would also advise you to get the job first. NOt only will you have a better idea of budget, but then that will help determine the area to live.
Getting a car will also depend on where you are working. If you do expect to be working outside the city, you may have to get one. It may be next to impossible to get to a job outside the city on public transport. Some of the 'out of town' job locations could be on a commuter train route. If you really would rather not buy a car, this may be one thing you could ask a possible employer.
Or if you get a job in one of the outlying areas, it may be wiser ( and more economical) to live on the outskirts as well.
Good luck.
kodi is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 12:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 8
Hi everyone, thanks so much for the useful advise, i think i really needed a bit of guidance about apartments and jobs and so forth...i think i have a clearer view of what to do now, so i'm gonna apply for as many jobs as possible and consider living in a suburb, i suppose when you are moving to a big city you want to be right in the centre where its all happening, but logically for me thats not the best option, anyhow the public transport in Canada is fanastic to what i'm used to here.....unreliable buses and old rickety trains! Thanks again!
Catcurtin is offline  

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