Often ranked as one of the best places to live in the world, Toronto is home to a thriving economy, vast green spaces, and a vibrancy that can only be born from a multicultural society. Newcomers will soon realise that the city is fast paced but can expect many opportunities to pause and revel in its world-class cultural and culinary delights.

Our list of pros and cons offers a snapshot of what expats can expect in Toronto.

Accommodation in Toronto

+ PRO: Wide range of neighbourhoods

The Greater Toronto Area has a wide variety of neighbourhoods, all of which are distinctive in style, character and architecture. Newcomers stand a good chance of finding the right fit for their taste and budget.

- CON: Rent is expensive

Toronto has some of the most expensive rental costs in Canada, and there are a few reasons for this. For one, the city has attracted many foreign investors who can afford to pay top dollar for accommodation, which drives up housing costs. The addition of condos in many neighbourhoods has further affected rental prices. As the real-estate market places a higher value on condos, their presence drives up rent in previously affordable neighbourhoods.

Working in Toronto

+ PRO: Strong job market

Toronto is Canada’s financial capital and is a great place to further a business career. Indeed, the city’s financial sector employs more than 200,000 people. Some of the world’s biggest tech, pharmaceutical and international research companies have offices in Toronto, and the startup scene is robust and boasts constant job creation. 

Getting around in Toronto

- CON: Traffic congestion

Toronto struggles with traffic congestion, as do most big cities, making driving a hassle. The city’s public transport is efficient, and the buses and subway system are great alternatives to driving.

Raising kids in Toronto

+ PRO: Broad schooling options

The city’s school and education system are of a high standard. Residents and those who have work permits can enrol their kids in public schools free of charge.

+ PRO: A range of fun activities

Parents can entertain children at various attractions, including farms, amusement parks and kid-friendly museums. There isn’t a shortage of things to do with the little ones.

Healthcare in Toronto

+ PRO: Publicly funded healthcare

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) funds Toronto’s healthcare system, and coverage extends to all residents of the Ontario Province. Residents pay a minimal monthly premium automatically deducted from their salaries to access doctors, specialists and surgery.

- CON: The OHIP only covers residents

Expats who don’t have residence permits will have to rely on private health insurance rather than the tax-funded OHIP.

Cost of living in Toronto

- CON: The city is expensive

Rent isn’t the only expense driving up Toronto’s eye-watering cost of living. Drinks, food and utilities in Toronto are pricier than in other Canadian cities.

Lifestyle in Toronto

+ PRO: Eclectic food scene

Toronto is easily among the best culinary cities in North America. Gastros who relocate here can explore the world through their palates, thanks to Toronto’s multiculturalism. Options include heavenly dim sum in Chinatown, authentic pasta in Little Italy, tasty curry in Little India and Mediterranean-style dishes in Greektown.

+ PRO: Incredible arts and culture scene

The city is also a wonderland for art lovers, who can sate their appetites for beauty, meaning and sophistication with an enviable list of attractions. Theatre, live music, comedy shows and poetry readings will vie with exciting museums and galleries for their attention.

+ PRO: Low crime rate

Though some degree of crime is inevitable in every city, Toronto suffers relatively little of it. In fact, it often ranks among the safest big cities in North America and the world.

- CON: Challenging weather

Toronto’s climate is slightly milder than those of other Canadian cities, though winter temperatures can still get extremely chilly. Summers, on the other hand, can be hot and humid, with temperatures reaching highs of 95°F (35°C).

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global

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