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Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Old Sep 17th 2016, 9:03 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Just a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread. You must get asked this so much so I appreciate you taking the time.
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Old Sep 17th 2016, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Don Mills is much more inner urban these days, compared to agincourt etc.

Cabbagetown is a millionaires paradise- and rightly so.

UoT isn't best served by the GO train, it's a fair walk from Union or you need a short, crowded hop on the subway. Depending on department (it's a big campus) the east-west subway line may be your best bet- if your job pins you to a particular location, I'd always look for an area with a direct a commute as possible. Sitting on one train (or tram) is better than multiple changes.

This would bring inner scarborough/ upper beaches into play- accessible from Victoria Park/ warden subways. The clifftop neighbourhoods (birchcliff/ cliffside/ cliffcrest) are fantastic, and also fantastic value.

However- don't underestimate the value of family so I'd look for the equivalent west side (long branch anyone???).

Also my preferences are for a walkable neighbourhood, whilst still family quiet. I wouldn't do the cookie cutter house with minivan on the driveway and having to drive to a strip mall to get a pint of milk/ newspaper. So bear that in mind when reading my comments!

Oh, last observation- Toronto in fantastic for parks so you can't go wrong there. The view north/east from my old office (Yonge + bloor) was of a solid tree canopy, not a major world city. Reminds me of what a great place it is!
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Old Sep 17th 2016, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

This is slightly off topic but nevertheless, in my view, very important for people looking to move to Ontario: It gets very cold here in winter and I mean COLD. For some reason its a taboo subject among Canadians. I regularly get teased about the rain in the UK but UK rain won't kill you. It's been a very hot summer with many days well into the 30's and there was a few mornings below -30 last winter! Get your head around that - a 60 + degree temperature swing!

The weather will be a big part of your life, more than anyone will admit to you. It will snow, it snows every winter. It snows on the snow and snows on it again. They throw salt everywhere, not grit, pure white salt. Cars get covered in it. It's not uncommon for the daily highs to be well below zero for long spells, a month or 2. It's cold in March well into April. A rule of thumb here is not to plant anything sensitive to frost 'til Victoria day which is the end of May!

There are many great things about this country and I wish you well. The winters can be rough and if you had more time, I would recommend coming out in Jan or Feb before making any decision. Limiting your commute distance is far more important here than the UK. A 1 hour summer commute can regularly turn into a 2 or more hour commute in winter.
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Old Sep 17th 2016, 5:26 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by Seal Clubber View Post
...Ontario: It gets very cold here in winter and I mean COLD...a few mornings below -30 last winter!...It will snow, it snows every winter. It snows on the snow and snows on it again...It's not uncommon for the daily highs to be well below zero for long spells, a month or 2. It's cold in March well into April...
Good heavens. Good job it's not like that in most of Canada isn't it.
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Old Sep 17th 2016, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by ScotinCanada View Post
Hi everyone,


My husband is negotiating a job offer from the University of Toronto - downtown campus - and we're coming over in October to take a look (we've never been to Canada before).

The most important thing for us to consider in a potential relocation is that our general standard of living will increase so I want to check out some neighbourhoods when we're there to get a feel of the place.

We're presently commuting...


- We don't know exact income yet but I'm expecting $7k - $8k a month after tax
- we have 2 kids (age 3 and 6)
Does your after tax calculation include stuff like CPP, EI, OHS, union dues, fixed commuting costs etc.? Not to mention car insurance (in a suburb, you'll need at least one car).

Since you said "we're commuting": does that mean you're also working? Have you looked at the (extremely high) costs of daycare for the 2 yr old?

Best of luck with the negotiation and hope your Oct. visit goes well. But it only gets really cold for the next 6 months starting then.
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Old Sep 17th 2016, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by Seal Clubber View Post
This is slightly off topic but nevertheless, in my view, very important for people looking to move to Ontario: It gets very cold here in winter and I mean COLD. For some reason its a taboo subject among Canadians. I regularly get teased about the rain in the UK but UK rain won't kill you. It's been a very hot summer with many days well into the 30's and there was a few mornings below -30 last winter! Get your head around that - a 60 + degree temperature swing!

The weather will be a big part of your life, more than anyone will admit to you. It will snow, it snows every winter. It snows on the snow and snows on it again. They throw salt everywhere, not grit, pure white salt. Cars get covered in it. It's not uncommon for the daily highs to be well below zero for long spells, a month or 2. It's cold in March well into April. A rule of thumb here is not to plant anything sensitive to frost 'til Victoria day which is the end of May!

There are many great things about this country and I wish you well. The winters can be rough and if you had more time, I would recommend coming out in Jan or Feb before making any decision. Limiting your commute distance is far more important here than the UK. A 1 hour summer commute can regularly turn into a 2 or more hour commute in winter.
Horses for courses. My daughter lives in Ontario and she loves the winters. She loves all winter sports. On the the other hand, she can't stand the heat and humidity of the summers. Something else to consider.
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Old Sep 17th 2016, 7:20 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Horses for courses. My daughter lives in Ontario and she loves the winters. She loves all winter sports. On the the other hand, she can't stand the heat and humidity of the summers. Something else to consider.
My congratulations for not suggesting Yonge & Eglinton for once.

<but I agree that the summers are just as shitty as the winters>
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Old Sep 18th 2016, 12:43 am
  #23  
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by Seal Clubber View Post
This is slightly off topic but nevertheless, in my view, very important for people looking to move to Ontario: It gets very cold here in winter and I mean COLD.
It does get cold and snow falls. Also, some people speak French and some police officers dress in red and ride horses. The country is big.
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Old Sep 18th 2016, 4:57 am
  #24  
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by ScotinCanada View Post
We live in Hertfordshire. This is my biggest concern about a potential relocation. It's a great job opportunity and Canada sounds like a great place, but I am used to living in a green suburb and I just don't know whether Toronto is the best place to move to.

Really looking forward to coming over next month and checking it all out!
You should take a look a Google streetview, I suspect you will not find that green suburb if comparing to Hertfordshire. You cannot compare Hertfordshire to Toronto, bit like comparing your home town to London.

I have taken a look at some areas around Mississauga, some look great others look bland. I have not lived in Toronto or GTA, only spent a month in the Ottawa area and did not see that rural country feel in any of the areas I went too. There are some great people posting on Instagram and parts of the GTA look awesome, you would not think you were in a city.

There might be pockets that compare, but I have not seen then based on looking at Streetview looking at areas that I am looking to live and where my colleagues live.

In no way am I trying to be negative but my own experience and what I see it is just different, and they have the term cookie cutter estates for some of the suburbs. You are looking to move to provide a different lifestyle for you and your family and of course a new job opportunity.
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Old Sep 18th 2016, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by evets View Post
You should take a look a Google streetview, I suspect you will not find that green suburb if comparing to Hertfordshire. You cannot compare Hertfordshire to Toronto, bit like comparing your home town to London.
I had a house in the Lorne Park area of Mississauga for twenty odd years. Long before that I lived in Tring for a bit. We used to go to a wine bar in Rickmansworth (you'll have heard of it, Simon Cowell's from there). Hertfordshire is was more rural but may have estates now. That part of Mississauga is your classic 1950s American suburb, as seen in American Beauty, it's only when you go north of the QEW that Mississauga is awful.

See, one can compare, even though they're not the same.
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Old Sep 18th 2016, 6:51 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by Novocastrian View Post
My congratulations for not suggesting Yonge & Eglinton for once.
Y&E is becoming much more densely populated (e.g. see the large new condo building going up on the NW corner) and didn't seem to fit the OP's criteria:

we're not looking for a City neighbourhood, more of a leafy suburb

They seem to be looking for leafy suburbia that has excellent rail links to the city since that's what they are used to near London. But, of course, Toronto is not London and does not have the extensive rail network (overground or underground) that London has. I think maybe further north along Yonge is worth a look - maybe Yonge/Lawrence and north of there. Also High Park. But the outer Toronto suburbs are not going to compare to the outer London suburbs in terms of leafiness and rail. You might get one but you'd be hard pressed to get both. I lived on the edge of NW London for a couple of years (near Bushey) and I don't know anywhere like that near Toronto.
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Old Sep 18th 2016, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Y&E is becoming much more densely populated (e.g. see the large new condo building going up on the NW corner) and didn't seem to fit the OP's criteria:

we're not looking for a City neighbourhood, more of a leafy suburb

They seem to be looking for leafy suburbia that has excellent rail links to the city since that's what they are used to near London. But, of course, Toronto is not London and does not have the extensive rail network (overground or underground) that London has. I think maybe further north along Yonge is worth a look - maybe Yonge/Lawrence and north of there. Also High Park. But the outer Toronto suburbs are not going to compare to the outer London suburbs in terms of leafiness and rail. You might get one but you'd be hard pressed to get both. I lived on the edge of NW London for a couple of years (near Bushey) and I don't know anywhere like that near Toronto.
Funny butI was going to mention there.
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Old Sep 18th 2016, 9:44 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Thanks all. Lots of things to think about.

Don't worry I'm not looking to compare GTA to Hertfordshire! I don't want to live somewhere that's the same as here, otherwise why go to a different country? I just want some space to breathe - Toronto may not be the answer but we'll check it out.

The weather is a concern but I love extreme weather. I used to live in Munich which would get down to -15 and that was fine. I appreciate Toronto can get colder than that. Maybe strangely it's the summers that concern me more than the winters!

I hope we'll have the time and money to make a couple of trips out to see different seasons so we can be sure. No pressure on a "moving date" yet so fingers crossed we still have plenty of time to make a decision.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 12:34 am
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by Novocastrian View Post
Does your after tax calculation include stuff like CPP, EI, OHS, union dues, fixed commuting costs etc.? Not to mention car insurance (in a suburb, you'll need at least one car).

Since you said "we're commuting": does that mean you're also working? Have you looked at the (extremely high) costs of daycare for the 2 yr old?

Best of luck with the negotiation and hope your Oct. visit goes well. But it only gets really cold for the next 6 months starting then.




One other thing to consider is the pension plan, which may or may not be compulsory or advisable even if not compulsory ..................

When OH was at the university here, I worked out that between 30-50% of his take home pay actually went to what Novocastrian mentions above, to the university's pension plan, and to insurance policy payments.

so the $10,000 a month pre-tax very quickly dropped to $3,000 or $4,000 ..... still plenty to live on 10 or 15 years ago.

But it is also undeniable that we had more money in our pockets after he retired and was on pension (CPP, OAS, and private pension). Weird but true


Daycare costs will be high, and very difficult to find.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Y&E is becoming much more densely populated (e.g. see the large new condo building going up on the NW corner) and didn't seem to fit the OP's criteria...
Correction - the NE corner.
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