Toronto Expat Life—What You Need to Know About the City.

Posted by on Jul 11, 2012 in Canada, Countries | 0 comments


It’s very simple: very cold in winter and very hot in summer! (It is also usually very sunny—that’s the good thing.)

Toronto is a very cosmopolitan, multi-cultural city. You will find a lot of different communities. Toronto is also a very expansive city, and is not as crowed as other cities in North America.


This is very simple as well: There are two main subway lines accessible by streetcars and buses. They use tokens ($3 as of August 2012) that allow you to go anywhere in the TTC zone. You can even go to the airport with a token (which is the cheapest way to get to and from the airport). You can also buy monthly, weekly, or day passes, which are available in subway stations, post offices and pharmacies.

During winter, if you have to wait at a streetcar stop, you should check the Google Maps to get directions Google Maps, as this will tell you when the next streetcar will arrive. (Stops are not indoors and it is very cold.)


There are plenty of restaurants in Toronto. Here are our favorites:

Sunset Grill: Very cheap ($5/$10) and excellent for breakfast or brunch (eggs, pancakes, etc.).

Oriental & Middle Eastern:

  • Paramount: Lebanese cuisine, halal meat, cheap ($7/$10*). It is very crowded, especially during Ramadan around sunset.
  • Tabouli: Same style as Paramount, but more cozy and more expensive. Not all the meet is halal, so check with the waiter/waitress, as they are aware.
  • You can also find halal meat at: Popeye’s and Hero

Asian & Indian:

  • Ginger: Very cheap ($7/$10) and excellent Vietnamese and Thai food.
  • Ajisen Ramen 332 Spadina Ave- Tel:(416)977-8080. This is not a sushi restaurant—they have soups and noodles. Very cheap ($7/$10).
  • Little India: Halal meat. 255 Queen St West. Tel: 416.205.9836 An average budget of $15/$20.

Coffee Shops:

The most popular and the cheapest is Tim Horton (they have extra small sizes for those who like small quantities). You will also find plenty of Starbucks (more expensive), Second Cup and Timothy’s.

* In Canada prices don’t include taxes, so you have to calculate it. Usually you will add 13% HST.

Parks and Nature:

Nature is always around the corner in Toronto. Adjacent streets are very beautiful, and there is always a wide variety of trees and flowers.

Here are our favorite places for nature:

  • High Park, which is accessible by subway.
  • Toronto Island Here is a website where you will find information: You can take a ferry from Queen’s Quay St. It costs $7 (price as of August 2012). It is quite crowded on the weekends.

Other Things We Did in Toronto

Medical Services:

  • Dentists: Soho Dental—Very good dentist if you have medical insurance.
  • Glasses: Apollo Optical—437 Dundas Street West. Very professional and friendly staff. We had our glasses done for less than $200 each (frames+lenses), and they give you a gift on top of that 🙂


Hairdresser: There are plenty of them in Chinatown from $7 (without taxes) and up to $35 for a shampoo and cut. N.B. Hair Salon is located at 461 Dundas St. West.

Cinemas: Movies are half price on Tuesdays. Otherwise the price for a movie ranges from $12 to $20, depending on the theater.

High Park.

High Park

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