City Scope

Toronto, Ottawa, Southern Ontario, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon:  Which city is for you?  Read on for an overview of the city selected. 

Moving Motivation

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It isn’t cheap to live here. Rents in Toronto are some of the highest in Canada; according to the most recent figures from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, a one-bedroom
apartment here averages $927 per month, while a two-bedroom averages $1095. This city is also home to some of the country’s priciest real estate – in April of 2009, the average price of a single-family dwelling in central Toronto was $493,103. Given the relatively high housing costs,  why have so many people – about 2.5 million – chosen to live here? Why should you live here? read on for just some of the myriad reasons.

One of the safest cities in north America, Toronto also ranks highly in terms of livability. The Economist magazine ranked this city fifth in the world for livability, while Mercer Human resource
Consulting’s 2009 report ranks Toronto 15th worldwide for overall quality of life and second within Canada.

Health care is one of the reasons Toronto scores so well. This city boasts the continent’s fourth largest medical community and is home to world-class medical facilities and research institutions.
Lining downtown’s University Avenue, you’ll find the following: Princess Margaret Hospital, The University of Toronto’s teaching hospital and Canada’s leading cancer hospital; the Hospital for Sick Children, the country’sleading pediatric hospital; and Mount Sinai Hospital, described in The Globe and Mail as “one of the top teaching hospitals in north America” and “one of the most respected research institutions in the world.”

Education also factors into Toronto’s quality of life. The city is served by Canada’s biggest school board, the Toronto District School Board, and three universities: The University of Toronto,
known worldwide for its medical faculty and home of the country’s highest-rated
Department of Computer Science;  Ryerson University, respected for its journalism program; and York University, recognized for its education faculty. Residents can also choose between four
community colleges (Seneca, Humber, Centennial and George Brown), as well as the Ontario College of Art & Design, The Royal Conservatory of Music (which includes The Glenn Gould School), and The Canadian Film Centre.

While housing here can be pricey, buyers and renters have the benefit of choice. Toronto’s housing market is characterized by variety and availability – everything from low-rise apartments
to multimillion-dollar estates can be found here. Though other cities can’t say the same due to the current economic crunch, Toronto is experiencing a condominium boom. right now, there are more condos being developed here than in Los Angeles or Manhattan, with locals and foreigners
alike looking to capitalize on this city’s good economic standing. Trump International
Hotel and Tower, Ritz-Carlton, and Shangri-La Hotels and resorts are just some of the many luxury condominium-hotel projects currently under construction in the downtown core.

Speaking of good economic standing, this city is also a great place to do business. The driving force behind Canada’s economy, Toronto is this country’s biggest employment centre.
It’s also the nation’s banking and investment capital and one of the continent’s
largest financial-services clusters, behind only new York and Los Angeles. Banking
and financial services comprise the city’s largest industry, with close to 200,000 people employed in financial services, insurance and real estate. Five of Canada’s six largest banks have their
headquarters near the Toronto Stock Exchange, Canada’s busiest stock exchange
and the world’s seventh largest.

The technological heart of Canada, Toronto’s information- and communication-technology industry annually contributes over $20 billion to the economy. Alliance Technologies, Bell Canada, Celestica, IBM Canada, nortel, Motorola, Rogers, Sprint Canada, and Xerox Canada are all located here. In fact, there are more nationally and internationally top-ranked companies here than in any other Canadian city.

Toronto is also at the centre of this country’s printing and publishing industry:  half of Canada’s major magazines and newspapers are published here. This city is home to the headquarters
for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) English-language services and is served by seven television stations and 27 radio stations. other major industries include tourism, food and
beverage, fashion, film, manufacturing, and aerospace.

But enough about work. What to do afterwards? As a Toronto resident, you’ll have a wealth of entertainment options at your doorstep. The city is a hotbed of performance-art activity, with over 50 ballet and dance companies, six opera companies and two symphony orchestras
located here, including the national Ballet of Canada, the Canadian opera Company and Toronto Symphony orchestra. As well, Toronto is the Englishspeaking world’s third largest theatre
centre (behind only London and new York), so chances are good something you want to see is being staged. Plus, this city is guaranteed to be a stop for almost any band touring north America, whether they’re performing at one of Toronto’s large-scale venues or one of innumerable bars in which you can get up close and personal.

There are a multitude of museums and galleries, large and small, sprinkled across the city, showcasing everything from hockey history (Hockey Hall of Fame) to footwear throughout the ages (The Bata Shoe Museum). Most notable among them are The Art Gallery of ontario (AGo), which is newly redesigned by award-winning architect Frank
Gehry, and the royal ontario Museum, Canada’s biggest.

At the other end of the spectrum, sports fanatics new to the city will wonder how they ever lived anywhere else. Toronto has teams representing just about all the major pro sports, including the Toronto Maple Leafs (hockey), Toronto Argonauts (football), Toronto Blue Jays (baseball), Toronto Raptors (basketball), Toronto Rock (lacrosse) and, most recently, Toronto FC (soccer). Additionally, this city offers more golf courses per capita than any other north American estination.

Last, but certainly not least, there’s Toronto’s aesthetic appeal. This city’s skyline is impressive – and instantly recognizable, defined as it is by the CN Tower. Although no longer the world’s
tallest freestanding structure (it was surpassed in 2007 by the Burj Dubai), at a height of 553.33 metres (1,815 ft., 5 in.) it’s still the tallest in the western hemisphere. Second only to New York City, Toronto boasts more than 2,000 buildings over 90 metres (300 feet) tall.

Even more impressive is the amount of green space there is to be found in the midst of all that concrete and glass. Over 1,500 parks cover 8,000 hectares, while 90 kilometres of paved trails wind their way through the city. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority operates several conservation areas in the Toronto region, including two inside city limits. As well, you’ll find gardens and conservatories in all four corners of the city.

Toronto is a waterfront city, the jewel in Lake Ontario’s crown. Once a wastleand of factories and warehouses, the city's waterfron, which spans about 50 kilometres, has been revitalized and now includes luxury condominiums, marina, open-air performance ventues and a Waterfront Trail that stretches from one end city to the other – ideal for walking, cycling and rollerblading. Just a 10-minute ferry ride away, the idyl

Toronto 211

-Moving To Magazines

Ontario's legal drinking age is 19. Spirits, wine and beer are available at any one of central Torontos 34 Liquor Control Board of Ontario ( stores. The Beer Store ( carries 333 beer brands from over 80 brewers worldwide. At Torontos 15 Wine Rack boutiques ( you"ll find over 20 grape varieties and 17 brands of wine. Other independent, specialty wine shops can also be found in many Toronto neighborhoods. Most restaurants and cafes are licensed to serve alcohol. Bring Your Own Wine (BYOW) service is available at almost 150 restaurants around the city. You"ll pay a corkage fee of about $10 to $30, but some let you take home unfinished bottles.

Torontos major banks are CIBC, Bank of Montreal (BMO), Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust and The Royal Bank. Presidents Choice Financial is a cost-saving alternative running out of Loblaws grocery stores. Operating hours vary, but are usually Monday to Thursday from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. Some banks are also open Saturday mornings. All are closed Sundays and national holidays. Most banks have ATMs so account holders can make withdrawals and deposits outside of bank hours. ATMs allowing only withdrawals are found inside convenience stores and bars. Two pieces of identification are required to open a new account: a Canadian drivers license, birth certificate or passport, a Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate, a Permanent Resident or Citizenship card, or a Social Insurance card. For details, visit the Canadian Bankers Association at

Business Hours
The average workday is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some government offices close at 4 p.m. Smaller stores are usually open Monday through Saturday from about 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Larger stores, including malls, big-box retailers and grocery stores, often stay open until 9 p.m. On Sundays, smaller stores are often closed, but large chains, and many liquor and beer stores, are usually open from noon to 5 p.m. Many convenience stores, drugstores and even grocery stores are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, though some close for holidays.

In addition to many smaller pharmacies, there are several Shoppers Drug Mart (, Rexall ( and Pharmasave ( locations across the city. Many sell grocery items including frozen dinners, milk, eggs and more.

The electrical standard is 110 volts/60 cycles AC. Dual-voltage appliances require an adaptor to convert the plug into one with two fl at, parallel prongs.

Dial 911 for immediate police, fire or ambulance assistance.

Work requirements for those coming from outside Canada can be found on the Government of Canada Services for Non-Canadians website at

Service Canada centres provide a multitude of free services. Visitors can  access the Canada-wide job bank, research workplace and employer information, receive help creating and updating their resume, polish their interview skills and more. This is where you must go to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), which you must have to legally work in Canada. Visit or call 1-800-622-6232. Toronto is home to many organizations that help newcomers understand and navigate the Ontario job market, develop job-search skills and find employment. These often-free services may include referrals, placements and ESL tutoring, and provide computers and Internet access for job hunting:

Career Foundation;

Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services (ACCES)
Providing language training and three week job-search seminars; 416-921-1800

Offering job-search workshops  and other programs:

Toronto YWCA
Offering womens resources, networking and three-week job-finding courses

Centre for Internationally Trained Professionals and Tradespeople (CITPT)
Offering programs to help immigrants match their skills to Canadas labour market
416-789-3420, ext.244 (Toronto location)
416-745-0281 (Etobicoke location)

Skills for Change
Offering employment preparation for engineers, accountants and health-care professionals

Other employment websites for the Toronto area include:

Grocery Stores
Loblaws, known as Zehrs and Fortinos in smaller communities, is a big-boxsupermarket that, in addition to food, offers home-decor items, a pharmacy, bulk foods and often a wine store. Dominion Food Stores, Price Choppers and Sobeys are large chains with many locations. Whole Foods Markets and Noahs are popular organic grocery stores. Torontos Kensington Market and St. Lawrence Market are well known for fresh fish, meat, baked goods, fruits, vegetables and speci