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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 19th 2016, 3:22 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by ScotinCanada View Post
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.
I don't want to put you off, but -15c is on the warm side for winter, generally speaking. We had a very good winter last year, not a huge amount of snow but we did have some bitterly cold days due to the wind chill factor.

"In the past 37 frigid days, the daily high never broke the melting point – peaking at -1.4 C. The lowest of the lows in February dropped to -25.5 C, with a wind chill that neared -40 C. Twenty-three days were labelled extremely cold by Toronto’s Public Health department"

However, if you don't have to wait at bus stops it shouldn't affect you too much! In the City it's likely slightly warmer most of the time due to the heat from buildings and bodies - outside of TO it's usually quite a bit colder.

This summer has been brutal, for me anyway. I live about 50 minutes from Toronto around the bay to the West - we had 9-10 weeks with very little rain (I think it rained 3 times for about 10 minutes) and some stonking hot and humid days with temperatures in the high 30's to low 40's with the humidex factor. Toronto in for 30th day of over 30 C weather - CityNews

Again, unless you are standing / walking around outside in it all day, it shouldn't affect you too badly.. though your electricity bill (and your pocket) will suffer from it!

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Old Sep 19th 2016, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
I don't want to put you off, but -15c is on the warm side for winter, generally speaking. We had a very good winter last year, not a huge amount of snow but we did have some bitterly cold days due to the wind chill factor.

"In the past 37 frigid days, the daily high never broke the melting point – peaking at -1.4 C. The lowest of the lows in February dropped to -25.5 C, with a wind chill that neared -40 C. Twenty-three days were labelled extremely cold by Toronto’s Public Health department"

However, if you don't have to wait at bus stops it shouldn't affect you too much! In the City it's likely slightly warmer most of the time due to the heat from buildings and bodies - outside of TO it's usually quite a bit colder.

This summer has been brutal, for me anyway. I live about 50 minutes from Toronto around the bay to the West - we had 9-10 weeks with very little rain (I think it rained 3 times for about 10 minutes) and some stonking hot and humid days with temperatures in the high 30's to low 40's with the humidex factor. Toronto in for 30th day of over 30 C weather - CityNews

Again, unless you are standing / walking around outside in it all day, it shouldn't affect you too badly.. though your electricity bill (and your pocket) will suffer from it!

However, worth noting that the trains are heated and air conditioned. Parts of the TTC are air conditioned, but not all of it. My husband commutes into Toronto, and he didn't find the summer nor the winter all that bad in terms of comfort while commuting. Granted, he works downtown Toronto, but he did say in the winter, other than walking from his car to the train he didn't have to step foot outdoors at all. INto the train, then straight into the underground PATH, then straight up to his desk, all indoors. If he got to the train station notably earlier than the train then he'd just sit in his car, but more often than not he only gives himself about 20 seconds leeway to get onto the train, haha.

Similar then in the summer - all indoors so he could mostly stay out of the heat on the really stonking hot and humid days (which are worse in Toronto because of the ambient heat off the buildings and the ground).

Farmers Almanac is calling for a very rough winter this year... :S
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 2:30 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Good point on air conditioning, the Yonge/ University line is all air con, the rolling stock on the east/ west line is older and some cars don't have working AC.

Good news is they've just updated the Yonge/ University line, so that old rooling stock is now on the east/ west line, and the real old bangers are being taken out of services.

On the GO front, the lakeshore lines is a porper, two track railway. The other commuter lines are not, single track, four trains (or so) com in in the mornings, and out in the afternoons.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by SchnookoLoly View Post
However, worth noting that the trains are heated and air conditioned. Parts of the TTC are air conditioned, but not all of it. My husband commutes into Toronto, and he didn't find the summer nor the winter all that bad in terms of comfort while commuting. Granted, he works downtown Toronto, but he did say in the winter, other than walking from his car to the train he didn't have to step foot outdoors at all. INto the train, then straight into the underground PATH, then straight up to his desk, all indoors. If he got to the train station notably earlier than the train then he'd just sit in his car, but more often than not he only gives himself about 20 seconds leeway to get onto the train, haha.

Similar then in the summer - all indoors so he could mostly stay out of the heat on the really stonking hot and humid days (which are worse in Toronto because of the ambient heat off the buildings and the ground).

Farmers Almanac is calling for a very rough winter this year... :S
It's a bit sad to suggest that the strength of a place is that one can live there year round without having to go outside. I quite like experiencing weather, it feels more real than conditioned air.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
It's a bit sad to suggest that the strength of a place is that one can live there year round without having to go outside. I quite like experiencing weather, it feels more real than conditioned air.
Heh. I worried if my post would come across like that.

I absolutely don't suggest staying inside year round, that would suck. But my husband appreciates being able to stay mostly indoors for his commute. It means that int he winter when it's minus stupid outside he doesnt' have to leave the house in a snowsuit, and he doesn't bother wearing winter boots and carrying his work shoes because he barely has to walk in the snow (the GO lot is always plowed).

In the summer, when it's 30C outside and he's dressed for work at a bank, which means long trousers and a dress shirt (and occasionally a suit jacket as well), he doesn't much like standing outside in that kind of clothing when it's that hot out. So the air conditioning makes being dressed in office gear more tolerable.

If he could wear shorts and a tshirt to work, he'd gladly walk outside to work. And he does walk outside any day when it's comfortable to be outside in office wear.

Worth considering the context and circumstance of my comment about commuting and air conditioning/heating and being indoors.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 3:36 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
It's a bit sad to suggest that the strength of a place is that one can live there year round without having to go outside. I quite like experiencing weather, it feels more real than conditioned air.
Agreed. You really have to embrace the weather at least sometimes otherwise you'll go crazy and probably won't last long there. When my wife and I lived there (with no kids and then eventually 2 kids) we made an effort to get out and about whatever the season was. We went to the beaches or the local pool if the weather was hot/humid - or got out onto the lake. In winter, we went ice skating, skiing, sledding, tubing etc. The weather was rarely so bad that you couldn't get outside.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 3:38 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
Agreed. You really have to embrace the weather at least sometimes otherwise you'll go crazy and probably won't last long there. When my wife and I lived there (with no kids and then eventually 2 kids) we made an effort to get out and about whatever the season was. We went to the beaches or the local pool if the weather was hot/humid - or got out onto the lake. In winter, we went ice skating, skiing, sledding, tubing etc. The weather was rarely so bad that you couldn't get outside.
Yes, completely agree! I clarified in my post above which I think posted at the same time as yours. My comment was specifically in the context of commuting.

Outside of commuting, we do TONS outdoors. Spent most of this weekend outdoors, actually, including doing a load of gardening and taking Baby Schnooks up to the park and the splash pad - enjoying the last few opportunities when it's warm enough to take her up there before either the weather gets cool or the town shuts it off. (She's just started walking so actually enjoys the splash pad now that she can navigate it without ripping apart her knees crawling on the cement, lol.)

My husband actually said he likes the variance of seasons here as opposed to in England, we get proper heat and proper cold and everything in between. We are looking forward to being able to play with the little one in the snow this winter.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 3:56 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
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?
Nope that's just after tax only. I've started a list of all the other monthly costs we'll have but no point in going into too much detail until a firm job offer is made and we know exact salary.

I do work here but we're only moving if we can survive on one salary. I don't want to rush into work so I can be around for the kids and settling us in. Our childcare costs here are around the equivalent of CAN$2,700 a month so hopefully Canada isn't worse than that. Youngest will be starting school by the time we move though which will help.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by SchnookoLoly View Post

My husband actually said he likes the variance of seasons here as opposed to in England, we get proper heat and proper cold and everything in between. We are looking forward to being able to play with the little one in the snow this winter.
Totally what we want and part of the attraction! My 3 year old has never seen snow.....
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 4:34 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
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).
After living in Toronto for years without a car, my wife and I decided to get a car when the first kid arrived. When the 2nd kid was on the way, we moved out to Brampton (Heart Lake area). Some of our neighbours were surprised that we only had 1 vehicle - every family we met had 2 vehicles (his and hers). People thought no-one was home if there wasn't a vehicle in the driveway (which was amusing when my wife had the car and I was home - I was able to catch the neighborhood kids when they were up to no good on or near my property).
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 4:51 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
Nope that's just after tax only. I've started a list of all the other monthly costs we'll have but no point in going into too much detail until a firm job offer is made and we know exact salary.
If your husband is an academic, especially if at a senior level, salaries at U of T and other Unis in Toronto or Ontario are negotiable. It's best to understand what the gross salary means in terms of nett salary before being interviewed.

I do work here but we're only moving if we can survive on one salary. I don't want to rush into work so I can be around for the kids and settling us in. Our childcare costs here are around the equivalent of CAN$2,700 a month so hopefully Canada isn't worse than that. Youngest will be starting school by the time we move though which will help.
This link Daily fees - Toronto Early Learning & Child Care Services - TELCCS | City of Toronto may help.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 9:07 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
Nope that's just after tax only. I've started a list of all the other monthly costs we'll have but no point in going into too much detail until a firm job offer is made and we know exact salary.

I do work here but we're only moving if we can survive on one salary. I don't want to rush into work so I can be around for the kids and settling us in. Our childcare costs here are around the equivalent of CAN$2,700 a month so hopefully Canada isn't worse than that. Youngest will be starting school by the time we move though which will help.

How old is your youngest? Is that the 2 yr old you mentioned?

School does not start at 3 here.

Pre-school may start at 3, is not usually all day.

There may then be a pre-Kindergarten in the year in which they turn 4

Children start Kindergarten usually in the year in which they turn 5, and Grade 1 in the year in which they turn 6.

Last edited by scilly; Sep 19th 2016 at 9:09 pm.
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Recommended areas in Toronto area (GTA) to check out on scouting trip

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
How old is your youngest? Is that the 2 yr old you mentioned?

School does not start at 3 here.

Pre-school may start at 3, is not usually all day.

There may then be a pre-Kindergarten in the year in which they turn 4

Children start Kindergarten usually in the year in which they turn 5, and Grade 1 in the year in which they turn 6.
Hi, she'll be 4 at Christmas and I'm not expecting to move until some time next year. I'm hoping I wouldn't have to work for the first 6 months - 1 year so will probably wait until she starts Kindergarten before looking for a job. We'll see what happens!
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Old Sep 19th 2016, 11:05 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
Thanks. That's interesting to see the prices. A bit cheaper than here!
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Old Sep 20th 2016, 10:14 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, she'll be 4 at Christmas and I'm not expecting to move until some time next year. I'm hoping I wouldn't have to work for the first 6 months - 1 year so will probably wait until she starts Kindergarten before looking for a job. We'll see what happens!
In Ontario full-day kindergarten begins (Junior Kindergarten, JK) in the September of the calendar year in which the child turns 4 - so if, as you indicate, your currently-3-year-old turns 4 in December 2016 then she would just have started JK this month, will begin Senior Kindergarten (SK) in September of 2017, and Grade 1 the following year (Sept 2018).

I'm a bit late to this thread so haven't much to add beyond what has already been said. A couple of things to highlight:
  • For inner suburbia, the area around High Park or Bloor West Village would give you an easy commute to the U of T campus. But for a very approximate London reference point, you'd need to think in terms of Kilburn or West Hampstead rather than anywhere further out into the Herts countryside than about Edgware or Barnet; it's still relatively speaking in the middle of the city. And the market for detached houses - both to buy and to rent - is tight right now, with elevated prices reflecting that.
  • Going further out of downtown, the usual advice is to keep within easy distance of the Lakeshore GO train lines - these are (still) the only GO commuter services that offer trains all day instead of a combination of trains and buses, and are are much better bet for both peak-hours commuting as well as the only realistic option for off-peak travel. East of Toronto that means Pickering/Ajax/Whitby/Oshawa, while heading West it means Mississauga/Oakville/Burlington.
  • dbd33's description of Port Credit (part of Mississauga), in his usual inimitable style, goes equally for much of the development along the lake. The approximate dividing line is the QEW highway, south of which are typically older subdivisions with larger lots and mature trees, while north of the highway there are newer developments with smaller lots and less space between houses. However, prices for the bits near the lake match the perceptions of superiority that come with the older, larger lots! For those of us mere mortals who can't afford that, there are some decent bits further north in all three municipalities, but also some featureless acreages of identikit tract housing; a good realtor can guide you (paging HGerchikov of this parish, who is one of those...). I'm biased, but I think Oakville's a great place to bring up kids; we have three in the local school system and fully immersed in extracurriculars, and they are all thriving on it!
  • Unsurprisingly, house prices command a premium when they're within easy reach of a GO station. But the GO service itself is generally excellent on the Lakeshore line. I haven't commuted into Toronto for a few years now, but when I did (from Oakville, about a 10 minute bus ride from the train station) it would take me significantly less than an hour door-to-desk to my office in the downtown core, a block from Union station. In your case I'd add an additional 15-20 mins for the TTC ride the other end.
  • Novocastrian knows of what he speaks when it comes to senior academic postings in Toronto. He's now departed these shores for a comfortable, warm and very gloating retirement gallivanting around Europe, but had been around the quad a few times before he buggered off...

Last edited by Oakvillian; Sep 20th 2016 at 10:21 pm. Reason: misread ages of children in OP.
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