where to move in Toronto?

Oct 1st, 2009, 05:29 AM
  #1  
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where to move in Toronto?

Hey guys! I need help finding out about Toronto's neighborhoods. I am a single, 34 year old Hungarian female living in the USA. Just receintly received my immigrant visa to Canada, and Im doing my research as to where to settle. I have never been to Canada, so I need all the info and help I can get. Since I live in New Jersey, I thought I would start out in Toronto or its suburbs, such as Brampton, Burlington, etc. How is public transportation in Canada? If I lived in a suburb, could I commute to work in Toronto? Or if I lived in Toronto, which areas, neighborhoods would you guys recommend to live in and avoid? My biggest concern is safety and public transportation. Can anybody give me some advice how/where to start out?

Thank you in advance!!
Mimi1975 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 07:06 AM
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How much can you afford??? Rent or Buy???? Ethnic neighborhood or City life???
garyt22 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 07:54 AM
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You really need to tell us more about your likes, dislikes, financial limitations, do you already have a job here, etc. Toronto has lots to offer but that means a lot of decisions too.
goddesstogo is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 08:16 AM
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If you will be working in Toronto, then I would not suggest living the suburbs. Transportation is decent BUT it is a long commute - say between Brampton and downtown Toronto.

Public transportation is pretty good within the city of Toronto.

For most parts of Toronto, safety is simply not much of an issue. I honestly can't think of ANY Toronto neighborhood where I would be uncomfortable in broad daylight and very few where I would actually be uncomfortable in the late evening.

But as others have said let us know your preferences and financial limitations.
semiramis is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 08:41 AM
  #5  
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Im sorry guys. Let me be a little more clear. Im NOT a city person at all. Never lived in a city, never had the desire either, but since I dont want to have a car, Toronto seems a good idea. Plus, starting out in a bigger city might be easier as far as finding jobs are, since I dont have a job lined up either. As far as financial limitations goes, of course I would like to get the most out of my money, but then again, I MUST live in a safe neighborhood, and some trees around would be nice as well. And it must be on public transportation route. I dont know....is it too much to ask? How much should I expect to pay?
Mimi1975 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 09:17 AM
  #6  
BAK
 
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Toronto has lots of trees, pretty much everywhere, and it is a very safe city.

But it is big.

Being able to choose where you live, based on where you work, is a great benefit. Public transportation is good, within limits.

The City of Toronto, which is huge, has a transit system. You can tell if it is the city by the telephone area code, 416.

The adjacent suburbs are all 905, and they have their own transit systems. Generally, it is inconvenient to change from one system to another.

The GO Transit system is mostly trains, plus some buses, and it crosses the border from various suburbs into the city.

But if you live Burlington and get a job in northern Scarborough, you'll have an hour and a half commuting, each way.

The safe thing to do is find short term accomodation downtown (Lake Ontario to Bloor St., Bathurst on the west to Parliament St. on the east)

BAK
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Oct 1st, 2009, 11:18 AM
  #7  
LJ
 
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As you mentioned that your have a Hungarian background, you might want to contact one of the service clubs for folks from your homeland/homecity that are bound to be found in Toronto. Once upon a time, west end of Bloor Street was known as Little Hungary and there are still remnants ( a few restaurants and delis) that cater to that community. Not suggesting this as your only option of course, given your age and the fact you have already lived in the US and probably assimilated, but for information and even job contacts.
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Oct 1st, 2009, 11:25 AM
  #8  
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Thanks LJ. I thought about that, as well. I looked one up in Toronto, but havent contacted them yet. They seemed to be more about keeping the heritage then helping newcomers to "blend in". But I am more interested in contacting one of the settlement services for new immigrants that are supposed to be all over Canada/Toronto.
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Oct 1st, 2009, 05:50 PM
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The High Park area is a good place to live, http://bing.search.sympatico.ca/?q=H...&setLang=en-CA -

Lots of choice for renting and good transit links, too.
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Oct 2nd, 2009, 08:57 AM
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I agree about High Park as I was a single woman living in that area at one time...and it felt like a community more than just a city...it is relatively safe....meaning I have moved to the suburbs so I remain cynical about relative safety in Toronto...but that is my issue not yours - my understanding is that Toronto is a very safe city and as in all places and as for all women alone...be sensible and increase chances of living a safe experience.

I was going to suggest living outside the city on the Go Train line in the "suburbs" which aren't very suburban anymore but don't have that BIG CITY Feeling...such as Oakville, Mississauga...but as BAK wisely pointed out if you wind up with a job in North Toronto or Scarborough it may be a bit of a trek. If you are fortunate to work on the Yonge line (Subway)though the Oakville / Mississauga options are good ones with a community feel and usually more opportunities to get connected in your "city" (my opinion).

Burlington is lovely but again in my opinion just that little bit too far out. I have all kinds of friends who are very happy living there but the ones that work in the Toronto and commute say it is that little bit too far often.

No offense to anyone but I would just say NO to Brampton.
Just my thoughts.
Caribheart is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 09:50 AM
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Another area of Toronto that feels small town-ish is the Beach (also known as the Beaches) and also the university area known as the Annex. I've lived downtown or midtown my whole life and have never felt unsafe here. The downtown core is very vibrant and busy and the more people there are on the streets, the safer a city is. Of course, you can always think of anomolies but on the whole, I think the city is safer than the suburbs.

I think if you're coming to Toronto, then come to Toronto. Don't water down the experience by staying out of town or you'll feel like you didn't have the experience at all.

I've been using sabbaticalhomes.com to find an apartment in London, England. I'm not suggesting you use it to actually rent accommodation here (though why not?) but you can visit the Toronto page to see and read about some of the existing houses options.
goddesstogo is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 02:01 PM
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I agree with the good advice you've received here - find a short term rental (possibly furnished) in one of the 416 neighbourhoods, then explore your career opportunities and get to know the city. Once you have a job then decide on the area you want to live in more permanently.

Welcome to Toronto!
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 06:16 PM
  #13  
 
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You could also try Craig's List for apartments. My husband moved to Toronto this summer (I still live in Vancouver) and he found a furnished rental apartment (condo) right downtown. He looked at a few places through various rental agencies but in the end got the best possible situation and place through a private condo owner who was advertising on Craig's List.

Going rate for a nicely furnished, nice, newer condo seems to be around $1500 a month. I'm not sure what type of work you do or will be looking for, so I can't tell if that would be affordable for you or not.

There is lots of newer development near the lake/Skydome so there should be quite a few options there. Another option would be to try for something maybe a little further out of the core, like up the Yonge corridor north of Bloor but still within the city boundaries. There are neighbourhoods with a mix of houses/condos/apartments which might be slightly less "urban" feeling to you. Or you could go west toward High Park as suggested. There's decent public transportation throughout most of the city... try to get close to a subway line.

Toronto is mostly VERY safe... although I think there are some areas I'd avoid (Jane/Finch and even some parts of Cabbagetown for example).
taggie is offline  
Oct 5th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Thank you guys for all your inputs. I really appreciate it!! Thanks very much for the links, as well. Although, they are a little bit out of my price range. I would like to stay around 750-800.
Yes, Im familiar very familiar with craigslist. Unfortunately, I had a bad experience trying to rent an apartment for a wekk in NYC. The place was a wreck, nothing like on the pics, so we didnt stay and lost the deposit. I know its only one experience, but left a bad memory. That is why I feel more comfortable looking at apartment complexes, even though I know the smartest way for me would be to rent a room from someone, but Im very fearful...
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Oct 6th, 2009, 06:20 AM
  #15  
LJ
 
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Can't comment about Craigslist as a source of apt, but, while you won't be totally out of the market with that $750-$800 budget, you should know that is VERY low for a place on the main transit for Toronto. At that budget you will not want to rent sight unseen and you will NOT be central, unless your needs are very simple.

I live right downtown, in the Annex, in the world's smallest one-bedroom and I pay well over that.

Can you possibly find the extra funding for a months' worth of some furnished place to use as a base while you search in person?

The reason I say this is because the real bargains are often not advertised except for a notice on the lawn or in the window. For example, the bright one-bedroom basement apt. (with sep. entrance, on the subway out at Royal York and Bloor, with all utilities included for only $800 that I saw with a young friend this weekend) had no ads except the sign on the lawn...it was snapped up the same day the sign went up.

Without a job that helps you know where to look, it seems premature to rent a place that might turn out to be 2 hours by transit from where you will be working.
LJ is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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How long are you planning to stay in Toronto? Is it a permanent move? If not, would you consider house sitting? Also, have you checked out sabbaticalhomes.com? I'm not selling the place, but I did find it an excellent site for accommodation in London. Most of the owners are just trying to maintain their homes/apartments and cover their costs while they're on sabbatical or some other academic adventure.

I'm about to rent a lovely furnished apartment in a good neighbourhood in London for 350 gbp/month which, I was told by Fodorites who do know London well, would pretty much be impossible.
goddesstogo is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 11:21 AM
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I work with teenagers trying to rent in the Toronto / Mississauga / Brampton area and even further out...to Hamilton - your price range is tough...and I agree with previous poster you are almost better if at all possible to come to the city and stay somewhere...(?) and pound the pavement...I do a lot of searches on the internet and that can be great for Mississauga but tougher for Toronto as they are often signs on lawns...you may want to consider shared accomodations to split the cost with someone already living in the area...you can get a lot more....

Oh and I am still confused about the reference of "the city being safer than the suburbs" even if you are talking about Brampton....the suburbs consistently have lower crime rates....but Toronto is relatively safe city - just DONT go for cheap rental in Toronto otherwise you will likely end up in the "high risk" areas....at least check back with us first...best wishes!
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Oct 6th, 2009, 12:25 PM
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LJ and Caribheart- thank you!! Altough now Im more confused and I'll tell you guys why. Check out http://www.viewit.ca
I did most of my searches there, that is how I came up with the price. Central Toronto: $800 on Bloor-Jarvis, $700 on Greenwood-Danforht, $725 on Wellesley-Sherbourne. If I go North Toronto: $850 on Yonge-Eglinton, $700 on Bathurst-Eglinton. These are just examples. They are mostly apartment complexes, they look GREAT on pics, mosthly hardwood floors, newly renovated, most of utilities included, etc. That is why Im confused now. Are all these places are in the dump? But Im telling you guys, they look georgeous online and they show a lot of pictures. And I thought I was being generous with myself on the budget...
Oh, and come on LJ...based on my readings online, the Anex is one of the most affluent parts of Toronto. I dont need to be that central.
Mimi1975 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 12:28 PM
  #19  
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thanks goddesstogo. I did check out that website, but they are not cheap. I found a couple houses in Toronto, the cheapest rent was 1300 per month, which I understand is very affardable for a 3 bedroom house, if you have other people to share the rent with. I dont know anybody I can team up with to rent a house....unfortunately.
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Oct 6th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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You can actually do searches for shared accomodation - which is people who need a room mate and are looking to share their pre-existing arrangement. This removes the concern of you not knowing anyone...it does create a new element of unease around sharing with a stranger however, it is amazingly common and many people I knew started their rental arrangements in Toronto like this. I searched for a place like this and was surprised at how normal and lovely many of the people I spoke to were....my husband found many senior citizens looking for a way of easing the financial burden of rent in the city or a mortage. Always be safe and careful but there could be a hopeful outcome there if the city is your main interest.

Otherwise - look in the www.misssissauganews.com classifieds for bachelors and you may find something...or look in oakville for bachelors...
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