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14 things I wish I had known before coming to Toronto

Salt on your shoes

In winter, Canada makes the roads so dirty that you have to wash your shoes regularly. The salt attacks your clothes quite violently. The same goes if you have bikes, or even a car... a real pain in the ass.

Tips are already included in some bars/restos

Well, this is already partly true for Toronto. When you're at a table with a group of 6 or more people, some establishments automatically put the tips (usually 18%) on your bill. And if you're not careful, you'll end up paying tips on tips. I know some people who ended up with a total of 35% tips. A bitter taste in the end.

The price of alcohol

Alcohol is regulated by the state and we can see that prices are indeed higher than in France! No more small bottle of red or white wine for 5 euros, here it is minimum between 12 and 15 dollars for a rather average quality of wine. The same goes for beers where the minimum you will pay is 3 dollars for a 50cl can.

Where to meet people

Yes, you can always go on the internet, but it's hard to find your way! I advise you to look at the groups that organize events on Facebook. A friend of mine and I organize several events a month for newcomers and people who want to meet people in Toronto. Click here to join the ChaToin group.

Where to find events

To find all the events in Toronto, the best way is to follow the different social networks (Instagram and Facebook) of bars you like in Toronto. They often post events. I also advise you to follow several pages like: BlogTO, Narcity Toronto.... Usually, as soon as an event comes up, they will update you with an article ;)

Many events in winter

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is a groundhog in winter. You can see from the previous tip all the events that take place in Toronto and other parts of Canada! Get ready to do a festival in the middle of snow and freezing temperatures in Montreal for example!

Taxes included or not included

I thought that in Canada, taxes were never included in the price. In fact it all depends, most of the time it is not included, except if it is about basic necessities like fruits, vegetables, water.... But this does not apply to industrial products (pizza, breaded fish...). But also when you take gasoline, or alcohol, it is directly to the government that you buy that, so most of the time, the price you pay is the one displayed!

The health care system is not that free

I've always heard Canada is a mix of the US and France on this subject. It's true, if some care is free (if you are a resident) like doctors or hospitals, others are not. So as soon as you go to take medicine or treatment outside of hospitals, you will have to pay! To understand more about the OHIP card system, I wrote about it here ;)

Internet and phone packages cost a fortune...

Ok, I didn't expect to pay for a lot of money but still! When you see that the average package price is between 50/60 dollars and this is the same for the internet, it becomes an aberrance ! I have some tips on this if you want to start smoothly in the country of maple syrup (mostly if your french).

There is no lunch culture.

So I don't expect to find a cafeteria in every company. But when I see that I worked in 2 very large companies and that none of them have a cafeteria that allows you to order your meal.... We end up with break rooms, with only a microwave to heat up our meals. Otherwise, you have to go to the stores in the vicinity which offer take-away meals but at a rather high cost (about 15 dollars). It is also in these moments that you will meet colleagues who are having lunch with their head in front of their computer, eating while working.


Finding a place to live is harder than it looks! Between the credit score, and the need for an agent sometimes it's a real headache! Feel free to take a look at my article which will guide you step by step in your steps!

Finding a job easily

It is possible to find a job easily in Toronto. For example, you can try to work in call centers, French speakers are quite sought after: with the keyword "French call center banking". You can also work in the kitchen as a dishwasher, or as a clerk. It's not very well paid, but if you're looking for your first job and you don't speak English very well it can be a good start, for the latter hunt for offers directly on the front of restaurants and bars. If you are looking for other types of jobs, I suggest you read this article!

Update your CV

It's true that resumes are different in different countries and if you don't think about checking your CV, you may find yourself refused the job of your dreams for not having respected the form. Exit the photos, the beautiful presentations a little much in your CV. If you want to learn more, you can do an internet search or refer to the French centers. Here is the link for the one in Toronto.

Shopping for groceries is a mess

Shopping is an art! You can't find the same things in 2 stores of the same brand. You'll quickly get into the habit of going to several stores to get everything you want on your shopping list. To find your way around. I suggest you read my article on the equivalents of French stores in Toronto!

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