Living in Toronto offers the best of every world. As the country’s financial hub and capital of Ontario, it’s a vibrant multicultural metropolis that rivals London and New York. However what I’ll miss most when I relocate to the UK next month are the bordering dramatic landscapes and access to nature. You can be out of the city and out in the wild in 90 minutes flat.
Home of the seasons
Canada offers the best of every season: crisp, sunny spring days, beautiful summers, the colours in fall. Right now there are four feet of crisp powdery snow outside on my porch. The dramatic landscapes and the endless skies are breath-taking. There is so much space here to breathe, enjoy the land and live life to the fullest.
The size of Canada
The scale of the country also means that real estate is much less expensive than in the UK. You get a great deal of house for your money in Toronto. The combination of Canada’s natural beauty and the sense of space and liberty means we enjoy a really high quality of life.
British people living in Toronto will find the transition pretty seamless. Unlike in the neighbouring US, the welfare state is cherished and the healthcare system is very much like the NHS. The city, and Canada as a whole, is very much a mosaic of nationalities. As around a fifth of the population is British it’s a home from home for many migrants from the UK. I love that people here have that same liberal, tolerant and welcoming attitude that British people are famous for. Canadians hold those same values dear too.
For those moving to work, the work culture is also very similar to the UK. Toronto is a major financial centre, on a similar scale to London or New York and it has its share of workaholics too!
Once the working week is over, it’s a national sport to head north on a Friday evening to ‘Cottage country’. The Canadian Shield is vast and the northern lakes of Ontario, are just breath-taking. Ontario has decent skiing about two hours north of Toronto but great skiing is about a 9 hour drive away to reach the hills in northern Quebec. Canadians aren’t put off by this. Once you get accustomed to the way of life in Canada a nine hour drive doesn’t seem so far!
I was born and raised in Toronto and only now in my forties am I considering moving, and only now to take up a wonderful new career opportunity in London. Toronto is a difficult place to leave – so much so that my wife wanted to enjoy one more wonderful Canadian summer and has chosen to join me, in London, in the fall.
Best weekend activity:
Join the local exodus on a Friday evening and head north into ‘cottage country’ for a weekend exploring the great outdoors, in country cottages or camping.
La Bettola di Terroni – a great little Italian spot in the heart of downtown Toronto.
The Distillery District in Toronto. Fantastic theatre at the ‘Soulpepper’ and great shops and restaurants.
If you would like to find out more about living in Toronto click here to view our destination guides.