Welcome to Toronto, Canada
I went to Toronto in August 2014 for a language course. Although the flight was very long and tiring I don’t regret my experience and am thinking of going to Canada again.
Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in Canada. I was astonished at how different nationalities live in such harmony. People were friendly and helpful when they saw me all confused and not being able to find my way around the city. Toronto is relatively big with a lot of beautiful suburban areas.
I must admit citizens of Toronto are from now on in my view the best at queueing. You’d never even think of jumping up the queue since everyone is so well-behaved and rule-abiding.
Weather in Toronto
Canadian weather reminds me of Siberian weather – cold, snowy winter slowly changing to a piping hot summer. As I spent quite a lot of summer days in Toronto, I got a chance to sweat on buses and street cars as I rushed to school every morning.
I mainly wore shorts and a t-shirt. The summer was quite still which made it even hotter. Yet sitting near Lake Ontario was very refreshing. Nature in Toronto is stunning. There are a lot of parks with friendly and hungry squirrels. Going to the other shore of Lake Ontario is something that I highly recommend. You can take a short boat trip or have a stroll. Toronto seems very green and lively in summer with an occasional fresh breeze on a sunny day.
Education in Toronto
One of the most prestigious and expensive universities in Canada is The University of Toronto. Every year Toronto attracts many foreign students since there are a lot of opportunities to get a job after graduating. Having done your Master’s you could easily land a sponsorship from a Canadian company. Although getting a visa to Canada can be a bit of a challenge. The customs officers are as strict as those in America and Australia.
The fees for major universities are quite high which can be a bit off-putting for natives meaning that a lot of people go to work straight after school. There are also Ryerson and York universities which are nice to go to. The fees range from 6,000CAD – 12,000CAD for natives and go up to a whopping 40,000 CAD for international students. Of course the price of your education depends entirely on the university you are applying to and the major that you are applying for.
If you are looking to study at a language school, I suggest living with a Canadian family. It helps to learn more about the culture and immerse into the language. You are more likely to live in the suburbs of Toronto with a lot of pretty little houses and smiley people.
As you know French and English are Canada’s two official languages. Although the next most spoken languages are believed to be Chinese and Spanish. Toronto itself is very American – big skyscrapers, modern architecture and busy people. On the other hand, Montreal is very French with a lot of European architecture.
Being very multicultural Toronto is divided into communities. There are Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese parts of Toronto where you meet only representatives from the following communities. This fact makes the city very unique.
All citizens of Toronto live in harmony and respect each other’s rights. I felt very welcome in the city. There’s definitely no problem in blending in and adjusting to the new place. Being from another country you don’t feel out of place in Toronto – you feel like home. People always try to help even when not approached and you get a lot of smiles on daily basis. The crime rate in Toronto is alleged to be relatively low in comparison with other major cities. It makes the city safe and tourist friendly.
Where you should live in Toronto
For those who don’t like a busy lifestyle and noisy traffic, the best option would be moving to the suburbs. It’s very easy to get to the city centre from any suburban area since there are various transport networks. You just buy a monthly pass and use it for buses, the subway and street cars (trams).
Also living in the suburbs means you can get a spacious detached house with a private garden and a parking space. North York, Markham and Richmond Hil attract young families and older couples and are some of the best suburban areas.
If you like to party and want to explore the nightlife of Toronto then you want to stay somewhere central. There are a lot of nightclubs, shopping centres and restaurants to suit any taste and budget.