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OreoCookie Feb 6, 2013 10:43 AM
Living in Toronto?
So I have a job offer (2-year position) at the University of Toronto, and I wanted to know what it's like. I expect a salary of $50k/year. I don't have any extravagant hobbies, but since Toronto is a big city, I wonder how far that salary gets me.
 
ShortcutToMoncton Feb 6, 2013 12:10 PM
Not terribly far, but you can still live pretty well; depends on how and where you want to live and your lifestyle, of course (also, any salary from Significant Other if any). You'll have to detail a little more about your expenses - housing, food, vehicle, etc.
 
Phileas Feb 6, 2013 01:37 PM
50k is just about ok - it'll translate into a monthly income of approx. $3000 after tax. You won't be rich, but you'll be ok.

Expect to pay between $1000 and $1500/month for rent. That often includes hydro (electricity) and heat, but not phone, internet, cable, etc. Internet will set you back about $50/month, a cell phone with one of the cheaper providers (Wind Mobile) about the same. Keep in mind that other than in Europe prices are almost always published without the tax added.

The neighbourhoods surrounding the university are full of old homes converted into apartments, there's a lively market. To start window-shopping take a look at viewit.ca.

Toronto has a ridiculous amount of cheap and good little restaurants - you can eat well for under $10 in many Korean/Chinese/Japanese places.

Start reading Now Magazine, the Toronto Star and Toronto Life for an insight into the city.

I moved to Toronto eight years ago and love it here, it's home. It's a great place to live and work. Hit me up if you need more information on where to live, how to find a place, etc.
 
ShortcutToMoncton Feb 6, 2013 04:00 PM
I would think that Phileas' lower rent estimation is more on the low/very student end, but it all depends on what you're renting. Is it just you or is there a SO/family involved?

As a comparison, I rented out a newer 2-bed, 2-bath condo (850 sq feet) on the subway line a little ways north of U of T for $1850/month for the past couple years (to various U of T students). I think it was a little further up the rental market scale, but it wasn't a house or anything like that - if you had kids, it would feel pretty small IMO.
 
subego Feb 6, 2013 04:43 PM
Jesus. What a rip. :P
 
Shaddim Feb 6, 2013 07:08 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4215992)
Jesus. What a rip. :P
Really. For what he described, you'd pay ~$600 here.
 
besson3c Feb 6, 2013 07:17 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Shaddim (Post 4216007)
Really. For what he described, you'd pay ~$600 here.

Here is 93?
 
OreoCookie Feb 6, 2013 08:30 PM
Thanks for the advice so far! I'll be going alone (unless something unforeseen happens), so there are no boundary conditions. I'm almost 32, so if possible, I want my own place, but I'm frugal and I don't need that much to keep me happy. The abundance of Korean/Chinese/Japanese restaurants is a big plus, and I hope my time in Japan hasn't spoilt me too much ;)

Here are some more details:
- I'm too old for sharing apartments, so if possible, I want my own. I'm single at the moment. Preferably within reach of the city (having to go 30 minutes by public transportation to reach the city center is fine), but I don't want to feel like I live in the country side. And I don't want to worry whether I'd get home after a pub crawl. On the other hand, it should be too far from university either.
- I am known to fancy a drink on occasion. I'm no longer the 23-year-old I once was, but I like to socialize. (Right now I live in the country-side: beautiful, but too far away from civilization.) Just a few cozy bars and pubs will do for me.
- I don't necessarily want a car. But will I need one?
- I'll bring my bicycle, is Toronto a bicycle-friendly city.
 
Phileas Feb 6, 2013 08:46 PM
Shortcut is correct, I am assuming that you're a: single and b: ok with student type accommodation.

If that's not the case, and you've got more of a budget from spousal income, then your options open up. Rule of thumb is to not spend more than 1/3 of your income after tax on housing, on a salary of 50k that restricts your options.

If you wish to live in, or close to, the downtown core (and really, you do) then here's what you can expect for your money:

$800 - $1100/month will get you a basement apartment. Most of these are terrible, many are illegal, often they are firetraps. You might get lucky and find something decent, but that's rare.

$1100 - $1500 will get you a very decent studio or a decent one bedroom apartment.

$1500 - $2000 will get you a very nice one bedroom or a decent two bedroom apartment.

Available housing stock.

Toronto is currently in the middle of a huge condo bubble. Many condos have been purchased by investors and are on the rental market.

However:
Many of the downtown condo buildings are known as party buildings. Forget about getting a decent night's sleep on weekends. Of course, depending on your personality, that might not be a problem.

Condos in Toronto are expensive to purchase, with an approx. median price of $350.000 for a one bedroom unit. As a result, rents for condos are typically higher than rent for apartments in older apartment buildings that were custom built for renters or for apartments in older houses.

On the plus side, if you do find a decent condo building then the units can often be of better quality than in older homes.

As far as "where to live" is concerned, if you look at a map of Toronto and concentrate on an area bordered by Roncesvalles Avenue to the west, Bloor Street to the north, Bathurst Street to the east and the lake to the south you really can't go wrong.

One option people often ignore is older, purpose built rental buildings. While many of these are in the less salubrious parts of town and can be in bad repair, there are many hidden gems available. Because these blocks are older, units tend to be larger. Definitely worth a thought.

I've got several friends who rent out apartments, all of them legal and of good quality. If you decide to live here for a while let me know and I can put you in touch with them.
 
Phileas Feb 6, 2013 09:01 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by OreoCookie (Post 4216014)
Thanks for the advice so far! I'll be going alone (unless something unforeseen happens), so there are no boundary conditions. I'm almost 32, so if possible, I want my own place, but I'm frugal and I don't need that much to keep me happy. The abundance of Korean/Chinese/Japanese restaurants is a big plus, and I hope my time in Japan hasn't spoilt me too much ;)

Here are some more details:
- I'm too old for sharing apartments, so if possible, I want my own. I'm single at the moment. Preferably within reach of the city (having to go 30 minutes by public transportation to reach the city center is fine), but I don't want to feel like I live in the country side. And I don't want to worry whether I'd get home after a pub crawl. On the other hand, it should be too far from university either.
- I am known to fancy a drink on occasion. I'm no longer the 23-year-old I once was, but I like to socialize. (Right now I live in the country-side: beautiful, but too far away from civilization.) Just a few cozy bars and pubs will do for me.
- I don't necessarily want a car. But will I need one?
- I'll bring my bicycle, is Toronto a bicycle-friendly city.
Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods. While there is a downtown core, that's not where the action is at night or on weekends.

Neighbourhoods typically have a main street. Parkdale, where I live,has Queen Street West; Roncesvalles has Roncesvalles Avenue, The Annex has Bloor Street, Little Italy has College Street. These streets tend to bustle with restaurants, shops, pubs and bars. That's where life happens.

Each of these neighbourhoods has a distinct personality, often created by immigration patterns. Bloor Street is very Korean, mixed with students, Parkdale is Toronto's Brooklyn, Little Italy is self explanatory, Roncesvalles is the old Polish part of town, etc, etc.

So rather than finding a place to live, then travel 30 mintes, find a place to live in a neighbourhood that you enjoy living in. In your case, with a desire to be close to the University, that means living in the West End, or west of Yonge Street. Yonge is Toronto's east/west divide where streets change name.

Queen Street west of Yonge is Queen Street West, east of Yonge it is Queen Street East, or Queen East for short. House numbers go up from Yonge, meaning 1000 Queen West and 1000 Queen East are 2000 houses apart.

You won't need to own a car, but you will want access to a car. Thankfully renting cars is cheap and easy, either by the hour via car sharing or by the day or week from a rental company. Ontario is a beautiful province and well worth exploring. If you like to camp, there are few places better than our provincial parks.

Cycling, Toronto has a difficult relationship with cyclists. There are many of us, and the numbers are growing, but the cycle path network is pitiful. Cycling in winter is both dangerous and uncomfortable and many cyclists, myself included, lock their bikes away from November until April. In summer it does get very hot and humid, so having access to a shower at work, and keeping a fresh shirt at the office, is a bonus. Bike sharing also exists in the city core.
 
OreoCookie Feb 6, 2013 09:59 PM
Phileas, thanks for the wealth of information. I did not realize housing in Toronto was that expensive. On the plus side, given my Ā»apartmentĀ« (think dorm room) in Japan, in terms of size, things can only get better. :D

And I appreciate your offer to help me with housing. I will make my decision at the end of this month (I'm waiting for an offer for an assistant professorship in England).
 
Shaddim Feb 6, 2013 10:58 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4216008)
Here is 93?
Over the last 9 years I've told you where I live 3 times. So, I suppose so.
 
subego Feb 6, 2013 11:40 PM
93 is a place?
 
turtle777 Feb 6, 2013 11:58 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4216008)
Here is 93?
Yes, 2093, after the Canadian Housing Bubble has burst :p

-t
 
Shaddim Feb 7, 2013 12:38 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4216036)
93 is a place?
Interesting philosophical question, but terribly off-topic.
 
ShortcutToMoncton Feb 7, 2013 06:50 AM
Look, this is the downtown core of the largest city and financial centre of the country, right next to the largest university in the country. In Canadian terms, it's as close to downtown New York or London or Paris or Tokyo or what-have-you as we've got.

Nothing annoys me more than someone from buttfuvk-nowhere going "oh, it so overpriced there, not like here." Well no shit guys, that's because most people want to live in those other cities rather than where you are.

Although I'm being a dick here, I'm trying to be an honest one - I've lived in the larger Canadian cities, including downtown TO, but I ended up moving to a small city in a remote area; I really like it and I get why living in Manhattan is not for everyone. (At the same time, I have one option for Korean food....sooooo.....) But every time the price of "living in the big city" comes up I don't have to point out that it's sooooooooo overpriced compared to here.....:rolleyes:

Also, Oreo: no way in hell you're going to be living in the countryside! Check out how Phileas's map compares to the size of Toronto - he's outlined a very small area of the larger city, and those are great spots to live; but there are tons of other nice places. But to get to the countryside, you'd have a huge commute ahead of you every day.

Just remember that, since the winter months are colder, you'll very likely want to be within a short walking distance to bus/streetcar/subway stops. If you don't have a car, and you're not within walking distance of school, that will be a huge bonus that you'll be thankful for every winter.
 
subego Feb 7, 2013 08:17 AM
Chicago is butt****-nowhere?
 
Phileas Feb 7, 2013 08:38 AM
Oreo, if the choice is between the UK and Toronto, and if the jobs are comparable, then I'd say there's no option. Having lived in both places, for long periods of time, I'd say Toronto wins hands-down.
 
ShortcutToMoncton Feb 7, 2013 08:45 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4216091)
Chicago is butt****-nowhere?
Living in downtown Chicago is cheap?
 
subego Feb 7, 2013 09:07 AM
Did I say that?
 
OreoCookie Feb 7, 2013 09:08 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Phileas (Post 4216093)
Oreo, if the choice is between the UK and Toronto, and if the jobs are comparable, then I'd say there's no option. Having lived in both places, for long periods of time, I'd say Toronto wins hands-down.
In Toronto, it'd be a postdoc position at the math department/fields institute. The position in England would already be an Assistant Professorship at a very good university (in the countryside). City-wise, it's really a no-brainer, I'm a city guy, but career-wise it's also a no-brainer. I should find out rather soon.
 
ShortcutToMoncton Feb 7, 2013 09:32 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4216096)
Did I say that?
You said it in about the same words as I called Chicago butt-**** nowhere. So there's that.
 
subego Feb 7, 2013 09:59 AM
Fair enough. :)
 
ShortcutToMoncton Feb 7, 2013 10:19 AM
 
Shaddim Feb 7, 2013 03:10 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4216091)
Chicago is butt****-nowhere?
You're just jealous because they have a nicer airport. :rolleyes:
 
Athens Feb 7, 2013 03:28 PM
The only thing you need to get used to is the "Center of the Universe" attitude of Toronto. For those born and raised there Toronto is the center of the entire universe :P



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x5bA05xYAU
 
ShortcutToMoncton Feb 8, 2013 07:47 AM
On that note, you'll also need to get used to people from Vancouver who cannot afford to live in their own city, yet are convinced it's also the best city in Canada and very bitter that other people think otherwise.

:lol:
 
Athens Feb 8, 2013 12:54 PM
ROFL!

We only think that because of the constant surveys and reports and publications that keep coming out from all over the world that says that. And looking at rental prices, it would appear Toronto overall is more expensive then Vancouver :P
 
besson3c Feb 8, 2013 01:01 PM
Do you guys realize how ridiculous this city-on-city pissing contest looks to others?
 
Athens Feb 8, 2013 01:04 PM
At least there is no American bashing involved :P

And I didn't bash Toronto, I just warned him to get used to the Center of the Universe attitude :P Bashing started with the Newfie.
 
subego Feb 9, 2013 07:39 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4216337)
Do you guys realize how ridiculous this city-on-city pissing contest looks to others?
It's sort of like watching farm leagues piss on each other.
 
besson3c Feb 10, 2013 05:49 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4216557)
It's sort of like watching farm leagues piss on each other.

What are cities farm leagues to? I'm not sure I get this reference..
 
Athens Feb 13, 2013 02:30 PM
Neither do I
 
Phileas Feb 13, 2013 09:16 PM
He's saying Chicago is betterer than TO.
 
subego Feb 14, 2013 04:39 AM
Not Chicago specifically, any city in MURICA!

Though they do like to pretend Toronto is Chicago when they want to make a movie on the cheap.
 
OreoCookie Feb 14, 2013 04:45 AM
What is MURICA?
 
subego Feb 14, 2013 05:16 AM
Two ****tons of freedom.
 
The Final Dakar Feb 14, 2013 09:11 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by OreoCookie (Post 4217179)
What is MURICA?
Never having to say you're sorry.
 
ShortcutToMoncton Feb 14, 2013 09:16 AM
It's times like these that I wish the Like button had never been taken away
 
OreoCookie Feb 14, 2013 11:50 AM
Just an update: I have just signed my job offer, and I will be moving to Toronto this summer (probably early August). I'm very excited and I'll keep you guys up to date!
 
The Final Dakar Feb 14, 2013 12:04 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by OreoCookie (Post 4217222)
Just an update: I have just signed my job offer, and I will be moving to Toronto this summer (probably early August). I'm very excited and I'll keep you guys up to date!
Welcome back to the best hemisphere.

Quote, Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton (Post 4217202)
It's times like these that I wish the Like button had never been taken away
It never notified you if your post got liked, so its not like the person would know anyway.
 
Athens Feb 14, 2013 12:31 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by OreoCookie (Post 4217222)
Just an update: I have just signed my job offer, and I will be moving to Toronto this summer (probably early August). I'm very excited and I'll keep you guys up to date!
Resistance is futile you will become one of us.
 
Phileas Feb 14, 2013 04:44 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by OreoCookie (Post 4217222)
Just an update: I have just signed my job offer, and I will be moving to Toronto this summer (probably early August). I'm very excited and I'll keep you guys up to date!
Awesomeness. Toronto is a great city to call home. Let me know if you need any further info.
 
besson3c Feb 14, 2013 04:48 PM
Phileas: would you be cool with me asking you some questions too, when we get a little closer to our move date?

We should have a Toronto MacNN party. Seriously!
 
Phileas Feb 14, 2013 08:15 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4217321)
Phileas: would you be cool with me asking you some questions too
Of course. Ask away.

We used to have macnn meet-ups, back in the day. There were several legendary weekends at Max's house, near Boston. People used to fly in from all over, Texas, San Francisco, Detroit, Toronto. Those were good times.
 
OreoCookie Feb 15, 2013 02:59 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4217321)
We should have a Toronto MacNN party. Seriously!
I'm in!
 
besson3c Feb 15, 2013 03:36 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by OreoCookie (Post 4217379)
I'm in!

Will you guys wait until the fall for me, since it was my idea?

What would a MacNN party be like without besson3c, aside from less broken glass and mustard stains?
 
Phileas Feb 16, 2013 08:36 AM
True Toronto story: I lost my wallet three days ago. The works. Credit cards, debit cards, health card, drivers license, CostCo, library, car insurance, everything. Was packing kids in the car, put wallet on roof, drove off. Wallet slid off roof on busy main road, I noticed three hours later.

Had no idea where that happened when the phone rings. A guy had tracked me down via google, he had found a couple of my cards scattered on the street. He had then searched through the snow to see what else he could find. The wallet was still missing, but now I knew where the loss had occurred. Before I could hop in the car, the doorbell rings. Outside is a construction guy, wallet in hand, everything untouched, no money missing, nothing.

Both he and the other guy refuse to take any reward. I call my bank, I am grateful but not stupid, no attempted transactions on any card. I love this city.
 
subego Feb 16, 2013 09:46 AM
True Chicago story.

Someone lost their wallet. The works. DL. Credit cards. This was early Sunday morning, so obviously someone drunk off their ass the night before.

subego finds it. Looks at the DL. Early 20s, from another state. May or may not be good address. Has an employee ID for Donald Trump's restaurant (which is actually very good BTW). subego calls the restaurant that afternoon. Says "such and such lost her wallet". They are reunited. All rewards (excepting perhaps an offer for some free drinks at Trump's place) were refused.

TL;DR

Chicago is awesome, subego is awesome, and Trump's restaurant has tasty meals.
 
besson3c Feb 16, 2013 10:08 AM
Subego, did you have sex?
 
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