Do’s & Don’ts: A Guide For People Who Just Moved To Toronto
Moving to a new place is always difficult at first. It is easy to feel lost, but when you get pointed in the right direction, you're on your way to living the good life. No city is perfect, so of course that also goes for Toronto, but there are so many great things that making the move here is probably one of the best decisions you will ever make!
I can shamelessly say that Toronto is the greatest city to call home! It is a very diverse city, culturally and physically and that means you will be able to find something new to do everyday, meet tonnes of people, and almost everyday will be totally different.
So if you have made the move, or are planning to here are so do's and don't to give you some guidance.
Do: Take advantage of the TTC
Spoiler alert! Toronto has a lot of traffic. Okay, so you should honestly already know that because Toronto is notorious for it. The best way to get around the city is to honestly take the TTC or GO. Driving here means having to leave at least an hour or so earlier than you normally would and having to find and pay for expensive parking. I may be stretching this a tad, but Torontonians complain about traffic for a reason, so trust me on this one- the TTC won "Transit of the Year" for a reason!
Don't: Assume the TTC will get you anywhere quicker
Here me out. The TTC is great, but it's also has a lot of issues just like any transit in a big city. From signal issues, to delayed trains because someone decided to run onto the tracks (yes, that happens a lot), or track issues, signal delays, or weather conditions - the TTC can be a mega pain. Give yourself time to go anywhere here, pretty much a rule no matter what mode of transportation.
Do: Get to know the neighbourhoods and boroughs
Contrary to delusional beliefs, Toronto is more than the downtown core. People have this assumption that as you leave downtown, Toronto is over; when they hear Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, they think "oh GTA", negative, those are in fact parts of Toronto. From the Annex, to the Beaches, to Junction and Discovery District, each neighbourhood has so much to offer, and each have a certain uniqueness to them, especially, that are worth getting to know and explore!
Don't: Listen to the shade Toronto gets
There is a fair share of shade thrown at Toronto, so naturally we clap back. For one, many assume Toronto is very unsafe and a terrible place to live, when in fact Toronto is ranked as the, and 4th in the world. Another assumption is that everyone is pretentious and rude. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten the "you're actually really nice for someone who is from Toronto". Sure, there are many may fall under the earlier statement, but Torontorians are actually really nice and welcoming people- with a little side of sassy and sarcastic!
Do: Take advantage of the free things to do in the city
Toronto is an expensive city, and no matter how bad and bougie you are, free shit is good shit. Every weekend there's tonnes of freethat add to the weekly free things. Get cultured with art at the Art Gallery of Ontario or Royal Ontario Museum during the free evenings that they have during the week, hit up the skating rinks in the winter like Nathan Phillips Square and other public rinks, etc.
Don't: By pass the nature spots in the city
Apart from the Harbourfront or Lakeshore sites, the nature escapes in this city are so underrated. In the midst of all the skyscrapers and city lights lie so many hidden gems that any city slicker would fall for. The Allan Gardens is a conservatory, dog park and playground and also happens to be one of the oldest parks in the city, Corthers Woods by the Don Valley parkway has stunning trails, High Park is a zoo, plus the colours of fall really come to life here and just so much more.
Do: Eat and drink at the bucket list places
Foodie paradise is Toronto. Well okay one of the foodies paradises, but since the city is multiculturally diverse, food from around the world is not heart to come by here. From Greektown to Chinatown to Little India, you can find just about anything. Many places are a Toronto staple and you cannot fully call yourself a true Torontorian until you have eaten your way through.
Don't: Shy away from taking in an NHL or NBA game at the Maple Leaf Square/Jurassic Park
If you are not the most sporty person out there and could give two rats about a bunch of men dressing up to chase around a puck or ball on a giant screen, that is totally fair. However, despite the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and the Toronto Raptors (NBA) sending fans in a constant turmoil of emotions, catching a game at this location is something every Torontorian should do at least once. Trust me when I say, it will be an unreal experience- even if you decide to never do it again!
Do: Be a tourist
Toronto is a major tourist city. Millions of people from all over the world come to our amazing city every year, so of course a lot of our hots spots targeted at them. But, that does not mean as a local you cannot indulge, especially whenTake in the CN Tower, Toronto Islands, Air Canada Centre, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo the list goes on. Do the and all!
Don't: Forget to let loose and be yourself
Moving is scary stuff, but it is also a time to be totally yourself and start fresh. Chances are you won't know many people, giving you the opportunity to be really true to who you are and introduce yourself that way. Be easy on yourself, let yourself make mistakes, mingle and take it all in with the confidence you know you have. Toronto can seem scary at first, but it's really welcoming and you're sure to fit right in!