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-   -   Moving to Toronto (https://britishexpats.com/forum/canada-56/moving-toronto-574821/)

ThemeOne Nov 25th 2008 11:46 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 
I would honestly say if you love central London, participate in cultural activities and like the trendiness and edginess of the London, then you'll find Toronto a disappointment. It's not that Toronto has nothing to do, or that it's totally boring and uncultured (it's none of those things), it just doesn't have the buzz of London.

On the plus side though Toronto is much safer than London, particularly these days, people are generally more polite and children better behaved. Toronto summers are hot - winters are certainly cold, but by no means intolerable.

Mississauga is like a cross between Milton Keynes and some parts of Bournemouth/Poole, mostly suburban, bland and residential in character, with some of the nicer parts towards the lakeshore. Large parts of it are no more than 30-40 years old, though there's a lovely spot called Streetsville, which was obviously an older town which got swallowed up in the sprawl and is quite picturesque.

I agree with what's been said about public transit - it's surprisingly good in both Toronto and Mississauga, but it's annoying that the two systems are separate. GO trains and buses cover the whole of the GTA and beyond, and sort of make up for this if you live near them - though don't expect the same frequency of service you might be used to on London commuter routes.

Canadian TV is mostly very American influenced and I hardly ever watch it when I'm there. CBC Radio is a something along the lines of Radio 4.

I know this is a counsel of perfection, but if you're coming to Toronto, try and accept it for what it is - and it's a very different place from London.

tovan Nov 26th 2008 12:03 am

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 7007969)
Mississauga, at least the wasteland part north of the QEW

dbd33,

Do you have a strong hatred for north Mississauga? It seems like you just love to knock everything north of the QEW. What's wrong with people wanting to move into bigger, newer homes? Have you ever been to Scarborough, Pickering, or even Brampton? Their standard of living doesn't even compare to Mississauga.

dbd33 Nov 26th 2008 1:00 am

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by tovan (Post 7009822)
Do you have a strong hatred for north Mississauga? .

No, I think it's a dump and it depresses me to see it from the highway but "strong hatred" is overstating the case. Coming into Mississauga from the west on the 401 always gives me an earworm of the Talking Heads, "I wouldn't live there if you paid me", the Wal-Mart on the north side perfectly illustrates why that's an exit one hopes never to have to take.


Originally Posted by tovan (Post 7009822)
It seems like you just love to knock everything north of the QEW.

The QEW is just a convenient marker, a generalisation, there is a pleasant place within Mississauga north of there; Streetsville as noted above. There are also some pretty grim developments south of the QEW, the Watercolours by Mattamy brownfield site leaps out as an example of an area that was more attractive when it was post-industrial wasteland.


Originally Posted by tovan (Post 7009822)
What's wrong with people wanting to move into bigger, newer homes?.

Environmentally or in aesthetic terms?


Originally Posted by tovan (Post 7009822)
Have you ever been to Scarborough, Pickering, or even Brampton? Their standard of living doesn't even compare to Mississauga.

I know Scarborough passably well. I'd say the area east of Vic Park along the lake is spectacularly above anything one can find in Mississauga, it's an area comparable to Mississauga's Lorne Park Estates in having older homes on the water but, it's in the city, reachable by streetcar and so more expensive.

Pickering I only drive through, I'd say it's indistinguishable from the barren parts of Mississauga (north of the QEW) there's even a shopping mall which has a clone in Mississauga. I don't think a life lived in Pickering would differ from one lived in Mississauga nor for that matter from one lived in Plano.

Brampton I visit several times a month, it's more interesting than Mississauga (notQEW) because it has actual independently owned shops and restaurants; businesses that were not designed and are not managed from a corporate headquarters in another country. Structurally though I have to agree, much of it, especially The Yellow Brick Road (actually built from yellow blocks, not proper bricks) is as tacky as Mississauga.

Mississauga (notQEW) seems to me to have been styled after the Truman Show. It could be anywhere. I particularly dislike the endless streets of look alike houses with no pubs, no shops, no churches, nothing to serve as a landmark. I hate the way the houses are built out to the limit of the lot so there's no lawn, no proportion to the structure. The lake of any foliage reminds me that, I can recall when it were "all fields around here" and the loss of farmland for the sake of constructing shabbily built houses saddens me. And then there's that City Hall.

I assume you have a McMansion in Mississauga. Apart from being big, what's good about it?

JamesM Nov 26th 2008 10:22 am

Re: Moving to Toronto
 
Db33 is the restaurant Fonzarelli's still in Brampton?

I lived in Bramptom 2 month's (it was like a prison sentence), that is the sort of town that really does make me realise I could never live in Suburban Ontario.

I remember if you wanted to go to Toronto on public transport there were only 3 GO trains in the morning. If you missed them you had to catch a GO coach which was once every hour and there were no coaches between 12 and 3.30, so if you turned up at 12.05 you were screwed.

So where do you live dbd33? You must earn a fair old crust to dismiss all these other places.

clynnog Nov 26th 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by James Martindale (Post 7010957)
Db33 is the restaurant Fonzarelli's still in Brampton?

So where do you live dbd33? You must earn a fair old crust to dismiss all these other places.

I believe the restaurant you are talking about is 'Fanzarelli's'...it was right near the GO Train Station.

I must have committed some crime in a previous life as I had to endure Brampton from 1989-1993...actually it wasn't too bad, I lived a 3 minute walk from Fanzarelli's and had a car. There were some faux pubs nearby, but outside of the 'core' area of Brampton it was pretty banal.

dbd lives in the 'roof of Ontario' somewhere north of Orangeville or Shelburne I believe and he seems to drive a long way to work, no doubt creating a larger carbon footprint than the suburbanites he comments on.

dbd33 Nov 26th 2008 12:55 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by James Martindale (Post 7010957)
So where do you live dbd33?

I moved to the middle of nowhere coming on two years ago after taking up with a woman who wanted room for horses. Before that I was fifteen years or so in the Beach, before that I lived downtown. Before that I lived in Mississauga, in the house where my ex still lives. I've been paying Mississauga taxes for twenty years and still haven't seen the street ploughed.


Originally Posted by James Martindale (Post 7010957)
You must earn a fair old crust to dismiss all these other places.

Good grief no, we're the rural poor, hence the blog title. I think the fact that most of the people I know in Toronto I met through the Grauniad talkboard indicates that we don't move in affluent circles. I think urban vs. suburban is a quality of life vs. more consumer durables choice; most of the people I know in Toronto have, for example, chosen to have one or no cars whereas, in the 'burbs two or more is the rule.

dbd33 Nov 26th 2008 12:57 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by clynnog (Post 7011428)
dbd lives in the 'roof of Ontario' somewhere north of Orangeville or Shelburne I believe and he seems to drive a long way to work, no doubt creating a larger carbon footprint than the suburbanites he comments on.

Back working in Guelph so not too far and, despite heavy snow this morning, I'm minimizing environmental impact by driving the, economical, Beetle on low traction tyres.

JamesM Nov 26th 2008 1:04 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 7011484)
I moved to the middle of nowhere coming on two years ago after taking up with a woman who wanted room for horses. Before that I was fifteen years or so in the Beach, before that I lived downtown. Before that I lived in Mississauga, in the house where my ex still lives. I've been paying Mississauga taxes for twenty years and still haven't seen the street ploughed.



Good grief no, we're the rural poor, hence the blog title. I think the fact that most of the people I know in Toronto I met through the Grauniad talkboard indicates that we don't move in affluent circles. I think urban vs. suburban is a quality of life vs. more consumer durables choice; most of the people I know in Toronto have, for example, chosen to have one or no cars whereas, in the 'burbs two or more is the rule.

Sounds like you live more in the country than the burbs?

If you've payed Mississauga taxes for all those years you've definately earned the right to bag the place!

You must know the GTA better than everyone with that broad living experience. I must admit I only went to the beaches twice but it is an area I would like to explore more.

dbd33 Nov 26th 2008 1:17 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by James Martindale (Post 7011517)
Sounds like you live more in the country than the burbs?

If you've payed Mississauga taxes for all those years you've definately earned the right to bag the place!

You must know the GTA better than everyone with that broad living experience. I must admit I only went to the beaches twice but it is an area I would like to explore more.

We're in the country now, at least it seemed like deep country when we moved there, now that we've adjusted it seems a little too urban.

My knowledge of the GTA is patchy. I arrived in 1981 but hardly went north of Bloor St (expect on the highways) until after 2000 (I say hardly because in the 80s I had a mistress on Roehampton and went to the Rose and Crown quite often. Now we know some people you live at Yonge and Shepherd so we go there; it's just 'burb though so we only go to their house or out downtown. I lived with a Newfie for seven years or so, half of her 13 siblings lived in Scarborough so, during the 90s, I knew parts of that borough well.

I fetched and carried children in Mississauga through the 90s so I know the horror of the Hershey centre and the awfulness of ballet recitals at the Oakville Centre. The children went to school downtown so I can directly compare with the Ted Reeve and Moss Park arenas. The latter are better because older kids can get there on their own; in the 'burbs you're their chauffer until you buy them each a car.

The Beach worked for us. Lots of bars and restaurants and yet houses with backyards; room for kids and dogs and all so long as you retain a British perception of house size and acceptable degree of crumbling.

clynnog Nov 26th 2008 2:21 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 7011491)
Back working in Guelph so not too far and, despite heavy snow this morning, I'm minimizing environmental impact by driving the, economical, Beetle on low traction tyres.

So, its lunchtimes at the 'Woolie' for you these days. I hope to get there at Christmas time to escape the FIL.

I was in the Pembroke/Renfrew area (that could be a 'rural appalachia' place for you if you get tired of your current locale....land is dirt cheap and not much good for much beyond donkeys and the occasional sheep) yesterday and saw a VW Bug fishtailing like crazy on Highway 17...not a pretty sight.

loser40 Nov 26th 2008 3:05 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 
Scarborough is referred to as 'Scarberia' to many Torontonians.

Looking online we were impressed by the low cost of real estate, but driving through and around it last time we holidayed in Canada we soon realised it would be a soul destroying dump to live in.

There are many better cheap'ish places nearer downtown Toronto which have much better amenities, housing, and vibes.

M.

dbd33 Nov 26th 2008 3:17 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by clynnog (Post 7011752)
So, its lunchtimes at the 'Woolie' for you these days. I hope to get there at Christmas time to escape the FIL.

I was in the Pembroke/Renfrew area (that could be a 'rural appalachia' place for you if you get tired of your current locale....land is dirt cheap and not much good for much beyond donkeys and the occasional sheep) yesterday and saw a VW Bug fishtailing like crazy on Highway 17...not a pretty sight.

I had some, er, traction issues on CR5 near nowhere in particular on Monday. That was a really bad day for driving, fortunately I had not enjoyed a long lunch. Always up for lunch at the Woolwich.

dbd33 Nov 26th 2008 3:17 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by loser40 (Post 7011896)
There are many better cheap'ish places nearer downtown Toronto which have much better amenities, housing, and vibes.

Such as?

Mikey B Nov 26th 2008 4:22 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by Maria_747 (Post 7009217)
T

Brianscottie
I heard alot of horror stories about the weather. Blizzard conditions and people dying of hyperthermia stuck in their car due to a snowstorm.
One of my Professor's said ' who wants to live in that sparsely populated country at -25 for 8 months of the year!'


P.S
Can you get good fish and chips out there ? Which shop
Also Cadbury's Wispas bar.


What is your proffessor a proffessor off? Moronism?

Maybe you should tell him to look at a map where he will see Toronto is the same latitude as Rome, In 4 years here Ive only encountered -25 the odd day here and there through winter, coming from the rain lashed midlands to me the -25 here is nowhere near as bad as say a -5 and frosty in the UK because of the damp air there and the dry air here in ON and considering May - Sept in my experience has typically been Mediterranean style sunshine with high 20's low 30's. If you wonna head to the prairies or NL then -25 to -50 you may get in the depths of winter but certainly not for 8 months of the year and bear in mind summers in those areas are just as hot. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some people are - worst thing is as a proffessor he is teaching this stupidity to others!

Fish and Chips are OK here, there are a fair few around, always had good experiences with wherever I have tried, not as good as the UK generally speaking but good enough to get the job done.

Mikey B Nov 26th 2008 4:36 pm

Re: Moving to Toronto
 

Originally Posted by englishrose1 (Post 7009449)
Thank you for your tips and advice. I will research yonge/eglington area. This sound like my kind of area. Thanks for the tip that mississauga may not be for me. Do you have any more info about yonge/eglington area. I will really check this area out when I go at easter.

I cannot think of a worse place to live than Y&E, the traffic is horrendous, getting onto a major highway like the lovely 401 is a major disaster!! yes there is a bit of a nightlife there but if nightlife is what you want then downtown is where its at, If and my life would have to depend on it I had to live in TO only place would be in the core south of the gardiner! Your detached enough so that its not all go go go 24/7 but a $10 cab ride from everywhere, admittedly this is expensive but if you want to treat yourself to a nice steak you dont get one from food basics!! Plus there is the odd occasion the Gardiner is not a disaster so you can actually get out of the city to see the real Canada.

I have to disagree the burbs have no nightlife at all and it gets boring if your single - its not TO nightlife but my 1st year here was single and I lived in Oakville where there are a few pubs to have a beer or 2, burlington the same with a club or 2, Hamilton has hess in the summer, a drive away from the concrete jungle of TO to St Cats has port dalhousie in the summer and the GO train can get you downtown any time your heart desires!!

Every time I have the mis fortune to drive through Y&E I cannot wait to get out - your life will not move outside of 6 square blocks if you live there because getting out is such a disaster! If thats your cup of tea you will enjoy it - me I like to get about a bit and not waste an hr a day in traffic moving 5km's! I live way north of the city and a 95km commute to work takes me 60-70 mins so sitting in traffic at Y&E fills me with dread!


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