Overview of Facts About Toronto

With a population of almost 3 million people, Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. Its diversity of culture, variety of entertainment, and location on the shores of Lake Ontario, combined with a climate that is warmer than much of Canada, make it likely that the growth trend will continue. Everything about Toronto has made it the fourth most livable city in the world and the fourth largest in North America.

Interesting Facts About Toronto

Toronto’s climate is semi-continental: summers are warm and humid and winters are cold, January being the coldest month, with an average temperature of 24.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or -4.2 degrees Celsius. The coldest recorded temperature was -27 degrees Fahrenheit, or -32.8 degrees Celsius, and occurred on January 10, 1859. The record high was on July 8, 1936 when the thermometer reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit, or 40.6 degrees Celsius. Record one-day rainfall of 3.85 inches occurred on July 27, 1897 and record one-day snowfall of 1.9 inches occurred on December 11, 1944. Usually, September receives the most rainfall and July receives the least.

Toronto hosts the Caribana, the largest one-day parade in North America, which attracts more than 2 million visitors annually. Held each summer, the parade is of Caribbean origins, with music, food, and other forms of entertainment including more than 10,000 costumed participants.

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More than 30 percent of Toronto residents are at least bi-lingual. English and French are the national languages, but additional languages spoken include Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Dutch, Cantonese, Russian, Polish, Greek, Korean, and many others.

Toronto is the second most business-competitive city in the world. Its stock exchange is North America’s third largest, and Toronto is world’s twelfth most economically powerful city.

The Toronto Zoo is home to more than 16,000 animals of more than 500 species. Two giant pandas from China will be at the zoo until the spring of 2018.

The largest underground pedestrian complex is located in Toronto. Known as PATH, this subterranean system connects five subway stations, a rail terminal, 20 parking garages, 50 office buildings, and over 1200 restaurants and stores. The letters in the name indicate direction: the letter P is red and indicates south, A is orange and indicates west, T is blue and indicates north, and H is yellow and indicates east. An underground sidewalk sale is held annually and is billed as the world’s largest.

More than 25,000 jobs are available in feature film production due to Toronto’s popularity as a movie production venue.

Toronto has three universities, 52 outdoor skating rinks, several professional sports teams, and North America’s largest auto-free community.

Things to Know Before Moving to Toronto

Canada has four popular status options for immigration:
●International Experience Canada, or IEC
●Permanent Residency, also called Express Entry
●Labor Market Impact Assessment, or LMIA
●Family Class Sponsorship

Americans are unable to use the IEC option. Those who apply for express entry must be fluent in French and/or English. An application is required and those who rank highest in the point-based pool are given priority, as are those who are fluent in French. A job offer significantly increases the application score and is considered one of the most important factors. The express entry program has undergone revisions recently that simplify and expedite the procedure.

Costs for express entry are around $2,000 for those who are able to complete the process without legal assistance. Legal assistance increases the cost to approximately $12,000. Duration of the process is between six and eight months, assuming that the application is approved. Express entry applications have subcategories, which are:
●Canadian Experience Class
●Federal Skilled Trades Program
●Federal Skilled Worker Program
●Provincial Nominee Program, or PNP

The LMIA is applicable to those who have a job offer. There are employer-paid fees and the employer must prove that he or she was unable to find a Canadian for the position. This type of entry is usually expedited but the immigrant is tied to the employer and barred from entering the job market.

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Relatives can sponsor an immigrant, provided there is a direct relationship. However, other criteria apply, such as the ability to be self-supporting and a contributing member to the local community. Toronto has the highest cost of living in Canada and the cost of housing is at a premium. Prospective immigrants will need to provide proof of financial responsibility through either employment or savings accounts.

Most provinces can use the PNP to obtain workers for its industries. Immigrants must have education, skills, appropriate work experience, and the desire to live in the province.

Although there is no charge for healthcare, the government of Ontario mandates a three-month wait for new immigrants, so alternatives, such as private healthcare insurance, may be required.

Things to Know about Toronto

●Toronto is very culturally diverse, which may not appeal to some. However, cultural diversity is responsible, in large part, for the more than 6,000 restaurants in the city.

●Alcohol isn’t sold in the grocery stores, and it can be expensive in the restaurants and bars. An $11 glass of wine and a $13 cocktail are not uncommon.

●Housing is extremely expensive. The median price for a detached, single family home is just over $1 million.

●Dogs are very welcome in Toronto and the city is home to many dog parks. Some dog parks are specialized for large or for small dogs, and many are for all sizes and breeds.

●Cyclists are abundant and parking tickets are extremely expensive. The public transportation system is good for getting around the city, although it may be less convenient for those who live farther out.

●The crime rate is very low but some areas of the city are better than others. It’s best to be prudent and exercise common sense.

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●Toronto has great beaches, including a nude beach, and there’s an abundance of specialty coffee shops.

Toronto is a great city in which to live, particularly for those who want an active lifestyle. It’s a friendly city. Residents are warm and congenial and expect those qualities of those who relocate to their city.