Living in Toronto

Welcome to Toronto! This page provides a variety of information that will help you get acquainted with your new city.

Looking for more general information about living in Toronto? The Toronto Wikipedia page is a good place to start exploring. The City of Toronto also has a helpful website about Living in Toronto for newcomers to the city.

You can also check out CIE’s Pre-Arrival Guide to help you prepare for your arrival at the University of Toronto.


TTC streetcar on a Toronto street


Winter Break in Toronto Explore Toronto this winter and enjoy a variety of activities and events over the break
Climate & clothing Toronto's climate will require different kinds and weights of clothing to stay comfortable all year round.
Residence & housing Find a place to live in Toronto
Money matters Manage your money
Phone & Internet services Information as a guide
Transportation Travel around the city safely
Safety in Toronto Stay safe in Toronto
Child care & school Applying for childcare, and school eligibility for children
Festivals & events Find out what’s happening in Toronto
Shopping Centres Some shopping sites

Winter Break in Toronto 2017-2018

Participate in activities and events over the winter break!  Find out more about Winter Break in Toronto from December 21 - January 3 (inclusive).  The University re-opens on January 3.


Climate & clothing

Toronto's climate ranges from near-tropical in the summer (up to 35° C), to very cold in the winter (sometimes as low as –20° C). You will need different kinds and weights of clothing to stay comfortable all year round.

If you don’t already own winter clothing you may want to wait and buy it in Canada – an easy way to save on luggage space! Lightweight clothing made of cotton is popular in the summer. In the spring and fall when the weather is cooler, sweaters and a lightweight waterproof coat are useful.

Canadian students prefer to dress casually for classes and, indeed, for most occasions. Pants or jeans are acceptable for both men and women and the emphasis is on comfort and practicality. Clothing that is appropriate to the climate is generally socially acceptable.

Read on for details about how to survive and thrive in the Canadian winter, or check out this link for a general introduction to living in Canada

Residence and housing

If you are preparing to come to U of T, you have probably started to think about where you will live while you study here. You will have many options to choose from. This page provides information about what’s available and how you can find your new home here.

To begin, if you are interested in living in an on-campus residence, you must complete a MyRes application. Space is limited, so you should apply early – even before you are admitted to the University.


Money matters

There are several financial matters that you should consider in preparation for living in Toronto. The information on this page will help you to start thinking about how to manage your money


Phone and Internet services

On the Government of Canada website, The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has a tool with practical information on services and providers to help you choose phone, mobile, Internet and television services in your area.  Click on “Compare Services” for the info.


There are many ways to travel around the city!  This information page will introduce you to several different modes of transportation in Toronto.  


Safety in Toronto

Everyone deserves a safe place to live. Learn what you need to know to make informed choices about the safety and security of your home.  

Start by choosing a safe place to live and check out an information guide on bed bugs (attached).  

Child care and school for children

ATTENTION: Child Care Subsidy Update for International Students

Municipalities offer childcare subsidies to help Canadian citizens, landed immigrants or refugees with the cost of childcare. Please note that in Ontario, temporary residents are not eligible for government social service programs, like child care subsidies, and so should not expect to be eligible for a child care subsidy. 

In the City of Toronto an applicant for a child care subsidy must submit their most recent Canadian income tax return; and if the applicant is not a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant or refugee they must also provide proof that their application for permanent residence is in progress. Please contact the Family Care Office if you have questions.

Posted February 7, 2017. 

If you have young children accompanying you to Canada and you require child care so that you can attend classes, then you will need to apply for a licensed child care spot. 

Apply as early as possible. The child care centres at the University of Toronto and in the community have long waiting lists.

Children 4 years and over by December 31st would be eligible for school in Ontario.

For further information on child care options, availability, school-aged educational options, costs and subsidies, please see the U of T Family Care Office website or contact them by phone or email.

Phone: 416-978-0951

Festivals & events

The City of Toronto provides information on the various festivals, events and celebrations throughout the year, as well as information for parks and recreation sites. Explore what’s happening in the city!