Any UK expats living in Toronto?

(16 Posts)
flowerygirl Mon 04-Jan-16 13:49:09

Arrived at the weekend with my husband and two small children. Would love to hear any tips/advice/chat anything!!

costamum Tue 05-Jan-16 02:20:42

Hi there! I've been here since August. I'm studying in Toronto for a year. I'm over here with my 2 DS's. You got here just in time for the cold! Its been pretty mild so far. Everyone has been telling me how lucky we are compared to last year's winter!

LuisCarol Tue 05-Jan-16 02:46:48

I am reliably told El Catrin is a must.

flowerygirl Wed 06-Jan-16 01:47:14

Ooh what's El Catrin?

I can't believe how cold it is costamum! I'll never complain about the English weather again.

We're in temporary accommodation and are going to look at possible areas to live at the weekend. The places suggested long term to us Bedford Park, North Toronto, Lytton Park, Allenby and Riverdale and Playter Estates. Can you recommend any of these?

costamum Wed 06-Jan-16 20:13:04

I know!!! But its eased up a bit now thank goodness! I was initially looking around the Mississauga and Etobicoke areas but have ended up finding a flat in High Park, which is good for me to get to college and a nice area for the kids. Sorry I can't help you more in your search, I don't know those areas though I think some places in North Toronto are nice.

Pidgerooo Fri 08-Jan-16 23:59:28

I'm a UK resident inToronto too. I live in the Beaches - lots of kids here and good schools.

My main recommendation is to get hold of the FUn Guide from libraries and community centred. It has loads of classses for kids and adults at reasonable prices and is an invaluable resourse.

Spring is going to arrive a lot later than you think so make the most of Winter - many ice rinks are open for free if you have yourown skates plus classes are advertised in the Fun Guide (may be too late for signup now)

Best of luck and enjoy the summer!!

ChiChiRaRa Sat 09-Jan-16 06:13:10

Hi there, sorry to high jack your thread - I'm just about to start one of my own but we are looking at relocating to Toronto and I wondered if any of you have used a good immigration lawyer you can pass on details for whom I could contact for guidance? Thank you! Enjoy your move, we love Toronto!

lemonpoppyseed Sat 09-Jan-16 13:57:31

Sorry, coming a bit late to this. We are in the Bloor West Village / High Park area. Welcome to Toronto (or Torrronna, as my five year old says...)!

lemonpoppyseed Sat 09-Jan-16 13:59:38

Flowery girl, I work at Yonge & Eglinton, close to many of the areas you mentioned. It's nice up there, good subway links to downtown and good schools. Alas, it does not come cheap...

VMG Tue 12-Jan-16 16:43:15

Hi flowerygirl, we (husband and 2 young children) arrived on 31st December and also in temporary accommodation for a while. My husband has been here for 3 months already & looked at different areas, I don't think he's mentioned any of the ones you suggested, I will have to ask him. We haven't really done much looking since we have all been here, although we did hire a car at the weekend and looked around Etobicoke and The Beaches. I'm struggling to get my head around it a little - looking for a house, schools, day care. How are you finding it? Did you go out looking at areas at the weekend?

flowerygirl Tue 12-Jan-16 19:59:15

I'm finding it really overwhelming too VMG. Childcare, finding our way around and particularly the weather. Even shopping for food takes me 3 times as long as all the products are different!

We went to look at Riverdale at the weekend and I really liked it. Nice view of the city, a high street near Chester subway with loads of restaurants etc. Possibly going to see The Beaches this weekend but I've heard it's very expensive.

Can I asked where you hired your car from? I must look into doing this

amarmai Tue 12-Jan-16 20:35:13

hi flowerygirl, I've been here for a few decades and love it. I've lived in North Toronto and am glad i moved to Central Toronto as it is much better for kids. Playter Estates is a pricey area near the Danforth which leads south into the Beaches. Also well set up for kids. You'll get a bigger house and garden for your $$ if you go to Etobicoke or Mississauga, Scarborough. All the areas you have mentioned are all expensive . If you go north of the city , you'll get more for $$ but not so well set for schools and facilities. Schools in the older established areas usually have childcare attached and usually have a waiting list. There are many private nurseries e.g. Mothercraft, Beesknees, churches often run daycares also. Riverdale Park has a daycare also but i don't think it's set for working parents. You'll have to be a dog lover if you live in the Beaches-swarms of them and swarms of visitors in the summer.The Royal York area has a lot going for it -just west of High Park, near the Humber River Valley, not far from the Lakefront, well set up for kids and the Royal York Subway stop gives you downtown access.Pm me if you want to check out anything.

flowerygirl Tue 12-Jan-16 21:28:16

Thanks very much amarmai So would you say The Beaches is quite touristy in the summer months?

amarmai Wed 13-Jan-16 01:15:39

very touristy + inundated by Torontonians going to the beach. The dogs, the kids, the cars, omg!

VMG Wed 13-Jan-16 22:09:04

Hi, sorry it's been a busy couple of days & I haven't had 5 minutes to myself. We hired a car from Avis. We probably should have booked one because it was $175, we ended up with whatever was left, which was a big 4 wheel drive jobby. Having said that, I'm shocked by the cost of grocery shopping & so wanted to go to a Walmart to see if it is cheaper & we ended up buying a car load & all the boot space was needed! And we were in there for ages - just buying rice took about 5 minutes, looking at all of the different packets & trying to work out what would be the best one to buy for a reasonable price!

I asked my husband about those areas you suggested & he hasn't been to any of them so I'm going to look into them.

I'm struggling with how to keep the kids entertained while he's at work, what are you getting up to? Have you been anywhere good? I've been looking for a soft play but struggling to find one that I can get to on public transport. Went to the library today but they didn't have a Fun guide. My little one has chicken pox so I'm stuck indoors really anyway, which is really boring for my 5 year old. It will only be for the next few days though. I want to get out & look at some of the areas you suggested.

I really liked The Beaches, we live by the beach in the UK & I really like being by the water. But the journey into town is a bit of a pain in the bum I think, & I don't have a job yet so don't want my journey to work to be too cumbersome. Really like Royal York but couldn't see much for rent on realtor/MLA.

amarmai Thu 14-Jan-16 00:00:51

A lot of apt buildings/condos put out their own signs , so when you have a chance to drive around, you'll find more. Think they like to see who wants to rent . Check the ROM,the Gardiner Ceramic Museum , the Art Gallery of Ontario ,the Science Centre for children's programs and activities. Family memberships give you a better deal ,espec as you have more than 1 child.There are other great areas with beach access e.g. Scarborough and Etobicoke. If you get a place near the subway ,it makes travel downtown so much easier. The bus system is good too. Check the TTC website and their info line people are usually wonderful .Also you can get a free ttc map at any station.The City also has an info line . Children travel for free on the transit system . The Library system runs programs for preschool cc - they all have the Library publication that they put out every month i think -it may be online. Toronto Public Libraries.The Toronto Parks and Recreation website will tell you about programs for school aged kids . I'm a gm so pretty much retired from active duty- unless there is a childcare gap for me to fill. The 4 wheel drive might be just what you want if winter gets nasty ! Hope your little one feels better soon. If you are going by transit ask the TTC info person for frequency of buses and time of journeys, as all the areas i mentioned are outside the central city and the buses will take more time as well as being less frequent outside of rush hours. I wd hate you to waiting at a bus stop with little ones in the freezing cold. Def better to wait till you can go by car. Royal York is on the Bloor west subway line but there can be a lot of walking in the cold. Do you have a stroller? One that can take the 2 cc wd be a big help. But i still do not advise going on foot -too chilly and the weather can change for the worse from am to pm. If you let me know roughly the area you are in, i can give you more detailed info. Don't hesitate to check anything with me - i am mainly glued to mn in the cold weather!

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