My Experience Living in Toronto

Margarita Bogiatziev

Student

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Read Time: 5 minutes

Where did you work?

I worked during my stay in Toronto for rent is too expensive even when you live in a pocket. Mind you not all Student Permits allow you to work, and even if they do they might only allow you to do so in campus! Check with an immigration office when applying.

Where did you study?

I did part of my masters at York University in Toronto for a year. University (at least at masters level) requires you to be present at classes BUT I never got in trouble for skipping a lot of my lectures. The optional ones (in smaller groups) were impossible to skip. The Canadian University education was way easier than what I have experienced in other countries (France, Brasil) with less information and more debate and practical excercises.

Where did you live?

Finding a place to stay in Toronto is not that difficult as long as you know where to look. Kijiji is an option that many recommended to me. However, I found that for me what worked best was Facebook groups because I didn’t want to be committed to a lease (#committmentissues), I wanted something downtown -where all (night)life is-, and I wanted roommates my age. I ended up living in Cabbage Town at a very nice apartment with nice view and only one roommate for a very good deal BUT mind you this area is full of homeless and druggies and we even had a shooting while I lived there.

"The Canadian Dollar is weaker than the Euro and the American Dollar. I opened a bank account at the first bank that I saw -because I'm too lazy to do research on banks. All banks offer free student accounts."

What was the nightlife like?

The Sip is by the Waterfront and gets the most beautiful view of the sunset and the CN Tower. – Insomnia bougie-ish the cocktails are too expensive and not well made but the atmosphere is pretty cool. -The Old Spaghetti Factory at The Esplanada (pasta and pizza is soooo good, the decor is a mixture between childhood dreams and nightmares in a vintage setting). I don’t know much else, I was just going dancing and then going for fast food at 3 or 4 am.

Any day trips?

Just make Canadian friends and let them take you camping, on a “cottage trip” by any lake, or to their tiny city in the middle of nowhere. I loved Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula were I went “cottaging” with friends and visited the Grotto National Park. TIP: Halloween is best in a small city. My roommate was of German decent (yes, be prepared of people asking you about “your (ethnical) background”) and she invited me to her hometown where we celebrated Oktoberfest (I have pics wearing a dirndl and doing ski shots), and went to a corn maze, pumpkin picking, and to a “scare farm”. Was I blessed with the best roommate ever? Yes.

How was the transport?

The infamous TTC works better than maple syrup on pancakes (and that’s a very high standard, trust me!). It is super expensive though. For students it is around 112CAD/month (if you opt for the monthly pass) but, beware, you need to submit documents proving that you are a full-time student and a photo to an office at Sherbourne station in order to get a special student TTC card. You need to show this card every time you load your monthly fee at a Shoppers (it’s the only chain of drugstores to be found everywhere in Canada).

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