- Parks, Recreation and Culture
- What is going on in the city
Arriving at Pearson Airport
- Private Health Insurance
- OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan)
- Family Doctor and Dental
- Short Term Accommodation
- Long Term Accommodation
Cost of Living
Important Documents and Banks Transferring Money Overseas Schools
Taxes Other Info
Toronto is the largest city in Canada. It is vibrant, multicultural and welcoming. It receives a lot of immigrants every year. So, you will not feel so distant from home and there will not be a lack of activities.
The following link gives you access to the government guide on how to settle life in Ontario.
Arriving at Pearson Airport
The link below directs you to information regarding baggage and ground transportation.
Cats and dogs will need a rabies vaccination and you have to bring them with the vaccination certificate. How the certificate should look like is under the following links, as well as container guidelines.
After arrival, when you have your permit handy, you will be able to apply for the government health card (OHIP). However, your coverage may start three months after your arrival date in Ontario. You should get private health care insurance while you wait.
Private Health Insurance
Option 1 – You can find an insurance company in your country and ask its representatives to quote the coverage for you.
Option 2 – You can get a quote from a company operating in Canada:
OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan)
The application can be done online. You will have to upload documents according to your status in Canada.
In Canada, there are walk-in clinics and hospitals in case of emergency. However, you and/or your family need to find a family doctor to be responsible for your care.
The insurance companies offer dental coverage as well. My suggestion is having a dental check-up done in your country before coming to Canada.
Moreover, there is free dental care for kids in Toronto. Check eligibility.
In Canada, apartments for rent are usually available to move in on the 1st day of the month. My suggestion is to start looking for advertisement based on the date you will arrive. If you arrive past the 15th of the month, book visits to see places upon arrival.
*Suggestion stay somewhere close to the Line 1 – Yonge Line.
Short Term Accommodation
Long Term Accommodation
Popular websites to find places to rent (Always book visits to check the place in person – Attention to scams):
# Kelita Klein ([email protected])
Real Estate Sales Representative
624 King St W, Toronto, Ontario M5V 1M7
# Ana Figueiredo ([email protected])
Homelife/City Hill Realty Inc., Brokerage 2033 Dufferin Street,
Toronto ON M6B 3H3 Direct: (647) 393-6518
Office: (416) 658-1300
Fax: (416) 658-4830
Apartment Rental Agency
Hiring Relocation Service VanSweetHome
Discount offered to VanHackers – Contact
Contact: Moktar Yusuf (CEO) – m[email protected]
613 – 413 – 1696
Address: 150 Louis-Pasteur Rm 122
Cost of Living
The following links give access to simulation of cost of living by city:
Family of 4 living in the suburb
2 bedroom apartment – Condo (amenities inside the building – pool, a games room, access to subway and supermarket/ drugstore from inside the building, so you don’t need to walk on the streets because of the weather) – Rent in average $2,100 – 2,500.
$ 250 – 300 per week (including cleaning products). If you cook your meals at home and do not spend at restaurants. If you eat outside, consider meal price in average $10 – 20 (1 adult)
Tip: Costco offers products in big quantities.
Winter: In door – Weekend activities – Average $80/week. As I mentioned previously, public libraries are a free option.
$150/ month, if you don’t turn the heating system on. I have received feedback that portable heaters help you to save money and will keep you warm. (family’s choice).
arriveincanada.ca is an easy guide. It will show you how to get around the city, and it provides other sorts of information.
Important Documents and Banks
Following the order below will help you to reduce the time when applying for the documents:
- SIN (Social Insurance Number) – The link S IN will help you to find the closest Service Canada Office. Required documents: passport and permit (original) + inform your address.
- The Ontario Photo Card (wallet photo card for those who do not have local driver’s licence. It is easier to open a bank account if you have it). Required documents: passport and permit (original) + inform your address + pay fee.
- The 5 biggest Banks are TD, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), Scotiabank, and CIBC. They do offer packages for newcomers. (You can check the links below). Just keep in mind that you need to build a credit score in Canada if you want to buy a house or apply for a mortgage in the future, for example. The credit card is one way of building the score and the banks’ representatives will be able to explain it in detail.
- Driver’s Licence. “New residents to Ontario with a valid driver’s licence from another province, state or country can use it for 60 days after you move to Ontario.” Find out more about it.
Transferring Money Overseas
The price of the rent will be higher depending on the school of the neighborhood. If it is a good school, the probability is that the rents will be more expensive in the area.
Toronto District School Board (take google reviews based on the neighborhood you choose and go in person to visit them).
Tip: There are bilingual schools (french/english). They offer extra help with English, in case your kids need it.
Schools will request the following documents’ copies:
- Your Work Permit
- Children Proof of Vaccine
- Children Proof of Previous Studies
- In case catholic schools, you will have to present proof of baptism
Tip: Collect copies of the documents and ask for authentication at any notary’s office in your country. You do not need to translate the documents.
Kids can start the school for free when they are 4 years old.
If both parents are working, there is a service called ‘Before School’ available. They accept the kids at 7:30 am and stay with them until classes start at 9 am. It is an extra service. You pay for it. Furthermore, Licensed Child Care.
Extra information and activities are also available at Parent and Family Literacy Centres
(check FAQs on the link). You can not leave the kids there, but they will guide you.
Tip: Public libraries have many activities for kids. You can use it as a weekend leisure activity for them.
Please, refer to the links below:
Renting a home in Canada? Who is involved?
The following link explains general terms, how to find a place, moving in and signing a lease, paying the rent, rent increases and moving out.
My partner has work permit. Can he or she study english?
According to the CIC website, she can study without a study permit if the program of study is 6 months or less –
Extra Info: The University of Toronto offers Continuing Studies and the Public Library offers ESL programs.
Are there places where I can find my country’s food?
Yes, there are. Toronto justifies its multiculturalism.
My partner will look for jobs. Is there any support?
Your partner can find help at the Toronto Public Library (Career Job Search). There are also employment agencies in the city, events or meetups to build networking, and the option of interacting with local people through volunteering.
What are the emergency numbers?
What are the biggest cell phone and internet providers in Canada?
Mobile companies – Rogers, Bell, Telus, Fido, Virgin, Mobilicity/Chatr, Wind, Koodo and PC Mobile. The best, cheapest cell phone plans in Canada in 2018, according to Global News.
Special Internet offer for VanHack candidates
VanHack has teamed up with Bell, the fastest provider of Internet services in Canada, to provide a special custom offer for Internet and TV.
Activate your Bell Internet, TV or Home Phone products:
-Pre-approved offer and no deposit or down payment required to get service
Email [email protected] with the below form to schedule your live appointment.
- Available times
- Contact number
What are the Car Sharing Services in Canada?
In many canadian cities it is possible to find an alternative means of transportation, besides public transportation, bikes and taxis. They are the car sharing services, which require subscription fees and offer automobiles of different brands and sizes.
*Uber is also available in the city.