Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Live In Toronto!

You might have often heard in the news how Toronto ranks as one of the most livable cities in the world! Things must be really up there right? But did you know that a lot of people don’t like Toronto once they move and a record number of people end up moving out of the city?

Here are some things about Toronto that might make you want to reconsider your decision about living in Toronto! –

Toronto is absurdly Expensive

Average salaries in Toronto have stayed pretty much stagnant over the last decade while the real estate prices have increased astronomically. If you are looking for a 1-bedroom apartment; you will end up paying more than $2000 per month!

Even after paying that much it might turn out to be a crappy apartment. When I was looking for an apartment after moving to Toronto, I had found an apartment which was marketed as new but smelled like smoke. It was just unbearable and I was shocked with housing situation was.

Many people in Toronto are living paycheck to paycheck as most of the salary ends up going towards housing and taxes. Canada has really high income and sales taxes.

The City is Noisy!

Toronto has construction going throughout the year! In a lot of areas, the construction starts up early around 6-7 am! Even if you file a complaint with 311, not much will be done about it as construction companies have a big influence over the government.

This can completely ruin your sleep and also affect your mental health.

Living in downtown Toronto, I personally experienced the construction noise issue while living in my apartment and could hear almost everything on a daily basis. You can use ear plugs and add insulation but they don’t help you get completely rid of the issue.

Homeless Epidemic

You will be surprised by the number of homeless people in Toronto. You will see tents setup by homeless people almost everywhere in the city. The city offers very limited resources to the homeless people.

Research data has shown that there is a relation between homeless and crime. It is no surprise that crime in Toronto has been increasing as more people become homeless.

Lack of affordable housing is one of the reasons why Toronto has a large homeless population.

Poor Public Transport

Even though you might hear in the news about T-dot having the best public transport in North America, it is certainly not true.

Breakdowns on public transport happen on a daily basis, and you can expect to be delayed anywhere between half-hour to a few hours on a regular basis as well. The public transport is not in a great shape, and you will have a much better life just avoiding it completely!

I remember that once I had to go somewhere and decided to take the subway. I was just shocked that almost every light rail that was arriving was full and what should have been 5 minutes became an hour long wait.

Horrible Traffic Situation

Toronto has consistently been ranked as one of the worst cities in the world for traffic.

With a lack of highways in the city, you are forced to use city roads and have to stop every few 100 meters due to signals. The highways can be slow as well most of the days with cars driving at snail pace.

Don’t be surprised if it took you a few hours to get your destination. In Toronto, it’s considered completely normal to be late. Many people leave an hour or two early for that reason.

Increasing Crime Rate

While crime is less compared to other American cities of similar population size, Toronto has much higher crime rate compared to other Canadian cities where you can live much safer.

More recently there has been a surge in auto thefts happening in Toronto which has led to high insurance rates besides paying for parking already in Toronto.

Living in Toronto you would get used to hearing about gangs and gun violence that has been increasing in the city in the recent years.

Cold Weather

While Toronto is relatively warmer compared to most Canadian cities, it can still get quite cold during winters. Temperatures plummet to -20 C which can be unbearably cold.

If you have been used to nice and warm weather all your life, you would need to be well-prepared for the Canadian winters. Get yourself a proper winter jacket, gloves and boots.

It is advised to check weather updates to make sure there are no storm advisories.

Do you still want to move to Toronto? I would love to hear back on what your thoughts are about Toronto if you are either living here already or planning to move here.

7 Reasons Not To Move To Toronto!

Toronto is not for everyone! Despite being ranked as one of the most livable cities not only just in North America but in the world, Toronto has a number of issues which make people who have tried living there hate it, leave it and never come back –

Here are some of the reasons why it’s not worth moving to Toronto –

Toronto is an Expensive City to live In

Don’t be surprised if the rent for housing amounts to more than half of your salary. Rampant money laundering, lack of housing supply and mass immigration have caused housing prices in Toronto to skyrocket.

A lot of people in Toronto are not able to buy a house because they don’t have enough savings to be able to pay for their down payment.

City of Toronto

It comes as no surprise that the younger generation in Toronto are either forced to live with their parents or go for shared accommodation despite having a full-time job.

If you were to lose your job, the unemployment benefits are not even going to be enough to cover your rent! This can end up being a very stressful event for you.

Toronto is Overcrowded

Overcrowded Bus in Toronto

Toronto is the most populated city in Canada and you will often end up in situations where you are stuck in long queues to get into a restaurant, or in cramped conditions in a street car. This can often lead to frustration as the city hasn’t really been able to navigate on how to resolve these issues to a big extent.

Money doesn’t go a long way in Toronto

While salaries might be higher when compared to third world countries, most people who move to Toronto don’t really end up making a lot of money. Additionally with the cost of living being high and a substantial portion going to taxes, there isn’t much to save either. Only if you get a really high paying job or make big cuts to your standard of living, you would be able to save money while living in Toronto.

Poor Infrastructure

A representation for bad roads in Toronto

Toronto lacks the necessary infrastructure to support its population.

  • The city lacks highways and it can take hours for short commutes.
  • There isn’t sufficient parking available or being too expensive.
  • Emergency healthcare wait times can be very long.
  • It can take years to have a family doctor.

Housing Shortage and Chronic Homelessness

Finding housing in Toronto is like looking for a job. You will have to go through a lot of viewings, spend a lot of time, do interviews, and have endless formalities just to be able to secure housing.

Toronto has a very large homeless population

The city has failed to keep up with the large number of migrants that move to the city every year and that has often lead to landlords taking advantage of the situation.

If you belong to a lower income group, you might be eligible to apply for community housing, however it can take more than a decade to get housing.

Toronto has tens of thousands of people who suffer from chronic homelessness as the city has been deemed unaffordable. The homeless situation is expected to worsen as the city fails to take any reasonable action.

Mental Health

There is a shockingly high number of mentally unstable people that you would encounter daily while living in Toronto. Whether you are in public transit, on the street or even in your apartment building, you will notice that a large number of people in Toronto suffer from Mental health issues.

Mental health issues in Toronto

Public Transport is a nightmare

While it might be rated high in reports and called the best in North America, the reality is that Toronto’s public transport is one of the worst that you can experience.

Public Transport in Toronto is not as great as you might think

Not only is it quite costly to use the transit system, the street cars break down often, and are also overcrowded during peak hours. What might be a normal 5-10 minute commute can become an hour in transit.

How To Get Yourself An Apartment In Toronto? The Complete Guide!

When I moved to Toronto (Canada), I never thought it would be quite a challenging task to find myself an apartment. I had already lived out in multiple European and North American cities and wasn’t expecting any kind of issues finding an apartment. But to my surprise, finding an apartment is like looking for a job in this city!

While I knew that housing in Toronto was expensive, I wasn’t completely aware of the housing shortage in the city. What that means for you as a Tenant is that the landlords gets a ton of applications and can get extremely picky (sometimes discriminatory).

Documents Required

It would be handy for you to keep certain documents with you that will make it easier for you to apply for housing and get accepted.

When you apply for housing you will be asked for the following –

  • Proof of Income – This document could be a letter from your employer or your recent pay stubs. In case you are self-employed, you can use your tax returns as a document that proves your income.
  • Bank Statement – If you are a student or have no income then you can either obtain recent bank statements or a letter from your bank that proves you have enough funds to pay the rent.
  • Valid Photo ID – Landlords can ask you to provide a valid photo ID. You can use your Provincial Photo ID, Driver’s License, Permanent Residence and Passport.
  • Credit Report – In case you have been living in Canada, you will be asked to provide a credit report from Equifax or TransUnion.
  • Reference letter – This would be from your previous landlord or apartment. It would be good to keep their contact details handy as well.

Finding An Apartment

You can use to find apartments in Toronto however to apply for an apartment you might need to go through a real estate agent. Usually when you send an email for a viewing, an agent will contact you.

Padmapper makes it easy to find apartments in Toronto

How to use Padmapper

  • Select what region you want to live – For example Toronto, Ontario
  • Filter listings based on budget, lease duration, bedrooms
  • View relevant listing and contact details

Alternatively you can also use Google Maps for finding apartments in the region.

Google Maps listing apartments in Toronto

A real estate agent can also help you in your search as they have access to the apartment listings in the city and can recommend you units based on your budget, and preference.

Long leasing Application Forms

Rental application forms can be quite long

Unlike many American cities where you can look up and even rent apartments online, Toronto still lags behind, and you might be able to find only limited places which will allow you to rent the unit through a website and make payments online.

Instead, you will need to view the unit first and then fill in an application each time you have to apply for a condo. Agents might accept the form through email.

Finding A Good Real Estate Agent

Usually when you contact for rental listings, you will find that many are represented by realtors. You can always ask them to show you more listings around the area.

A good real estate agent would usually do the following

  • Show you a number of listings
  • Will not force you to go for higher cost rentals
  • Will drive you around and show you the properties
  • Will not charge you any fees for helping in your search

If an agent insists you to bid up on your application or have an earlier move-in date than what you want, they might not be working in your best interests, and it is recommended that you look for another agent.

Making Rental Payments

Many places in Toronto require payment to be made through cheque

For payments, you will need to hand out a cheque or certified cheque or bank draft. You can always inquire if the agent/landlord would be willing to accept Electronic Fund Transfer (also called as Interac) instead of cheque.

Avoid paying in cash unless you already have a good relationship with the landlord and make sure to ask for receipts for payments made in such case.

What If You Don’t Have A Job Offer?

Having a job is not a requirement for housing however can make your application look strong. In case you don’t have a job offer, you can rely on your bank statements as proof of funds.

Other Things To Consider

Make sure you view the apartment before you put in your application. Some apartments can be really messy, in need of repairs or smell of smoke all the time.

If the apartments need repairs, do let the landlord know about it in written as they might be required by law to get those repairs done.

Discrimination Is Rampant

Don’t be surprised if your application gets rejected even if you have a job offer and good credit score. While laws against discrimination exist in Toronto (Ontario), they are not properly enforced and you will often end up getting discriminated directly or indirectly by landlords who own properties in Toronto.

If you get rejected, just move on and submit your application for another property.

Complaints for discrimination can be made through Tribunals Ontario.

Beware Of Scams

If you find a deal too good to be true, it might be a scam. Make sure to check the apartment beforehand, Avoid paying for anything in advance and make sure that the person you are dealing with is legit. You can search for them on Google/Facebook and see their reviews.

Cheapest Renters Insurance In Toronto! Here Are The Quotes I Got!

Are you wondering which one is the cheapest renters insurance provider in Toronto (Ontario)? I tried to check it out myself to see how much the quotes varied between different insurance providers for a 1 bedroom apartment located in downtown Toronto.

For my 1 bedroom unit – I got an online quote from TD Insurance, Square One Insurance, RBC Insurance, Co-Operators Insurance, PC Insurance, Allstate, Intact Insurance and Aviva.

Here are all the estimates I got

TD Insurance
TD gave me a quote of $36.83 per month!
Deductible for this quote was $1,500 and personal liability of $1,000,000.

TD Renters Insurance Quote – $1,500 deductible

When the deductible was set to $5,000 – TD gave me a quote of $31.83 per month

TD Tenant Insurance Quote – $5,000 deductible

Square One Insurance
I got a quote of $17.12 per month from Square One Insurance.
Deductible for this quote was $5,000 and premises liability was $1,000,000.
That was the lowest quote offered by Square One Insurance.

Square One Insurance Quote with $25,000 Personal Property Coverage

If I waived Personal Property on Premises Coverage with Square One then my quote was only $4.46 per month! This is not recommended as in case of theft, you won’t have any coverage!

Square One Renters Insurance with Personal Property coverage

When I set the personal property to $10,000, Square One gave me a quote of only $15.07 per month! This is almost half of what TD insurance offers when the deductible with them was $5,000 and personal property of $10,000 covered.

Square One Tenant Insurance with $10,000 Personal Property

RBC Home Insurance
RBC gave me a quote of $31.41 per month!
Deductible for this quote was set to $1,500.
I could not reduce the personal property coverage which was set at $35,000.

When the deductible was set to $5,000 – the monthly rate reduced to $27.99

RBC Home Insurance Quote with $5,000 deductible

Co-Operators Property Insurance
Co-Operators gave me a quote of $24 per month!
Also the maximum deductible you could select for the renters insurance is $1,000.
Personal Property coverage was set to $30,000 which is the lowest I could set to.

Co-Operators Property Insurance quote with $1,000 deductible

PC Insurance
PC Insurance quote was at $35 per month.
Maximum deductible allowed was $1,000 with the provider.
Personal Property was at $50,000 which is the lowest they offer.

Tenant Insurance quote by PC Insurance

Allstate Tenant and Renters Insurance
The quote I got from AllState was for $29 per month.
Policy deductible was $1,000 and premises liability was $2,000,000!
Personal Property was covered at $30,000
I couldn’t change any of the amounts while getting the quotes online!

AllState Tenant Insurance quote with $1,000 deductible

Intact Insurance
Renters insurance quote from Intact was $45 per month.
Deductible couldn’t be changed and was set to $1,000.
Personal Property was set to $30,000.
Premises Liability for the quote was $1,000,000.

Intact Insurance Quote with $1000 deductible

Aviva Insurance
For a deductible of $1,000 I got a quote of $27.09 per month with Aviva!
Personal liability limit was at $1,000,000.
Personal property was covered upto $35,000.

Aviva Renters Insurance quote – $1,000 deductible

When I increased the deductible to $5,000, I got a quote of $24.3 per month!

Aviva Tenant Insurance quote – $5,000 deductible

Which one is the cheapest renters insurance provider in Toronto?
Tenants insurance can vary quite a bit depending on what part of Toronto you are going to be living in, who would be residing in the property, prior claims history as well as the type of the property.

The cheapest might not turn out to be the best.
If you are just looking at the lowest price per month that is possible then Square One Insurance offered the lowest price however the deductible was quite high at $5,000 and no personal property coverage.

If you want a lower deductible then Co-Operators Home Insurance appear to be a better option as the deductible was only $1,000 and personal property was well covered as well.

Get your own quote for renters insurance!
You might get a completely different quote than what I got because the renters insurance is calculated on a number of things! Also while providing quotes, there are a number of additional questions that the insurance provider might ask like what kind of security you have and that can alter your prices a lot.

What Is The Cost Of Living In Toronto?

Living in Toronto can be quite expensive! In this post, I have outlined the expenses associates with residing in the city and also offered suggestions on how you can minimize your living costs.

Toronto is an expensive city to live in! Here I have provided a breakdown of what it will cost you to live in the city! I have also provided some guidance on how you can reduce your living expenses.

Cost of housing in Toronto

A major portion of your monthly expenses will be going towards housing. In downtown Toronto, a single bedroom apartment can cost you between $2000-3000 per month while a 3 bedroom unit would be somewhere between $3000-4000 per month depending on if it’s downtown or in the suburbs.

Guidance on housing
If you are making more than 3-4x times the monthly rent of the unit then you are doing well enough in terms of income! However, not everyone is fortunate enough to be in that salary range!

If you are making less than that, it would be ideal to look for a room within a house or in the suburbs, though that would mean that you will have to commute which can be unbearably long in the Greater Toronto Area.

Low-income people might be eligible for affordable housing program that is offered by the City of Toronto. However, It can take years before you are allotted a rental unit through the program.

Unfurnished units are usually cheaper than furnished units. It is advised to go for unfurnished units if you plan to stay at the same place for long term however if you are only planning to live for a short term in the city then going for a furnished unit might make more sense.

Cost of groceries in Toronto

Groceries can vary as well depending on how much you are going to be eating at home versus outside. Also, the prices of groceries will depend on where you are getting them from.

If you were grocery shopping from one of the stores in Chinatown, your grocery expenses might just end up being $250-300 per month! I have assumed that you would primarily be buying veggies and chicken! However, if your diet primarily consists of meat/seafood then you can add another $150-250 per month in your expenses!

If you are going to be eating outside, a meal at a regular restaurant is going to cost you about 15 bucks! If it’s a finer restaurant then it might go around 40-50 bucks! Drinks usually cost around 10-15 bucks. Also note that this doesn’t include taxes and tips.

Guidance on Groceries
Avoid getting groceries from convenience stores. Usually the price is marked up to 2-3x times the regular price. Reserve your visits to the convenience store when you really need something urgently and are short on time.

Find stores near you and their pricing. Stores that sell organic or specialty foods are going to be more expensive. If it’s possible for you to commute then look for large stores that offer groceries at competitive prices, for example – Walmart, Hmart etc.

Utility Bills (Electricity and Water)

Depending on your accommodation, sometimes you do not have to pay for water and is included within your rental payments. However, almost always you will have to pay for electricity!

For a single bedroom unit your utility bills can vary between $150-250 per month! Bills are going to be higher during winters as you will be utilizing heaters and lower in summers, so budget accordingly.

Phone Bills can vary all the way from 15 bucks to more than 50 bucks. The cheapest plans will usually come with limits around voice minutes, texts and data.

Guidance on Utility Bills
You can always ask the landlord how much is the current utility bill for the unit before you end up renting it. Usually older units tend to have higher bills as they are more inefficient. However, you can try to control your costs a bit by insulating windows or by turning off air-conditioning/heating when you are not using. (You might need to have a minimum temperature set though as a requirement by your landlord)

While a lot of people end up getting a phone on contract, it’s not a requirement and you can always bring your own phone. If looking for international data roaming, I found 3hk to be the cheapest data plan available.

Public Transit Costs

The city of Toronto has a public transport system and is accessible throughout the city. It is going to cost you around 3 bucks for a one way ticket which is valid for about 2 hours from the moment you hop onto the bus/streetcar. Note that this ticket will let you ride within the city limits. If you are planning to travel to any of the suburbs within the Greater Toronto Area, you will have to pay extra.

Guidance on Public Transit
If you are using public transit on a daily basis, it is advisable to have a monthly pass that is going to save you a bit of money. You can even share the pass within your family members, but only one individual can use it at a time.

Cost of Car and Car Insurance

If you are living and working in downtown Toronto, you wouldn’t really need a car! But in case your work requires you to drive on a regular basis then a new car could cost you between $20K-40K! Plus you will have to pay taxes and registration fees on it as well which depends on the car/model that you end up getting.

Something important to note here is that usually you do not get FREE parking when you rent out a unit in Toronto, you will have to pay for it! The closer to the downtown you live, the higher the prices for parking are! Monthly parking costs can be between $150-450 per month.

Insurance can vary depending on if you have prior driving experience or not. While people have reported insurance costing them more than $600 per month! For people with experience it might be around $200-250 per month.

Guidance on Car
Instead of getting a brand-new vehicle you could get a pre-owned vehicle which will cost you a lot less. I would recommend that you go for a car no more than 5 years old! It would cost you between $5K-15K for a used car depending on the model and its current condition.

If you need cashflow, don’t pay for the car in full, instead go for a car loan and pay for the car in monthly installments.

Guidance on Car Insurance
For car insurance, I recommend that you get quotes from multiple car insurance providers directly and see if they can give you a nice deal. If you have international driving experience, do let them know as that can definitely help you.

In case you have an international driving license, you should get the Canadian Driving License as usually the insurance rates are lower when you have one.

Cost of Renter Insurance

Usually renters insurance is going to cost you about $20-30 per month. Rates can be higher if your risk is higher. For example – if you are living in a flood prone area, older units, the risk tends to be higher and so are the insurance rates.

When going with cheap renters insurance, make sure to check what is included in the coverage as the deductibles on those can be very high.

Cost of Healthcare

Ontario has a public healthcare system which means as a resident of Ontario, you do not have to pay any additional expenses for a visit to the hospital. If you go to a clinic, the visit would be free however you would need to pay for prescriptions. To be eligible you would need to have an OHIP card.

Note that Dental is not covered within the Healthcare system in Ontario which means you have to pay for expenses out-of-pocket. Fillings could cost $150-300 depending on the dentist plus x-rays if needed. You will need to contact the dentist to get the exact pricing for dental work.

Guidance on Private Insurance
If your employer/school offers a private healthcare plan, do opt into it especially if it covers dental/vision. If your spouse is working, then you might have the option to be covered through your spouse’s plan.

Entertainment Costs

If you are going to a nightclub it’s going to be $5-15 for entry and about $10-15 per drink. A visit to the Cinema is going to cost you about $15.

Guidance on Entertainment

There are lots of clubs that let you have free entry if you show up early! Some places will let you in for free if you make a party reservation (contact them in advance!) Just go on the location’s Facebook page/website or contact them to know if they have free entry for coming early! You can even find deals on movie tickets as well!

How Much In Total Would It Cost In Toronto?

If I were to add everything up, for a single individual it would cost about $4000-4500 per month. You can add atleast another $500-1000 per month if you have a partner. If you have a child then childcare expenses would be about $1500-2000 per month.

Northern Thai Cuisine In Downtown Toronto At Pai!

If you are craving for some Thai food in Toronto, then you should definitely checkout Pai! Located on Duncan Street in Toronto, the restaurant was founded by the same people that own Sukhothai, which is another popular Thai restaurant.

It is recommended to make reservations for this restaurant as it is usually packed to full. If you show up at the door without a reservation, you might be asked to wait for a long time!

Here’s what I ended up trying at this restaurant –

  • Gaeng Hunglay – Otherwise known as garlic and ginger curry. You have the option to have either Pork Belly or Braised Oxtail. In my case, I decided to go with Braised Oxtail and the meal was served with Jasmine Rice. I did enquire if the spice could be adjusted however was informed that you cannot adjust spice level for this dish.
  • Khao Soi – Is the chef’s choice and are basically egg noodles in coconut curry. For meat, I went with Chicken however you have the choice to have Beef, Chicken, Shrimp, Tofu. They even have Vegetarian/Vegan options available for non-meat eaters. The meal is topped with crispy noodles, coriander, green onions. You get chili sauce on the side to adjust the spice level according to your needs.
Khao Soi and Gaeng Hunglay at Pai Restaurant

Both meals turned out to be excellent! The oxtail was sweet and sour reminded me of black beans that I used to eat as a kid. I added some additional spice into my Khao Soi which made the meal enjoyable for me!

Even though the place was packed, the service times are not bad. Drinks came up quick while the wait for food was reasonable as well.

If you are looking to try Thai Dishes then Pai should be your go-to spot!

Address: 18 Duncan St, Toronto, ON M5H 3G8, Canada

Business website:

Rating – 9/10

Why The Rec Room Is The Best Arcade In Toronto!

Most of the arcade bars that I have been in North America have really old games, and sometimes they don’t offer much variety either! Based out in downtown Toronto, The Rec Room has tried to do things a bit differently.

At Rec Room, You will find all sorts of arcade games such as MotoGP, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), Halo, Hot Wheels. The arcade machines are fitted with high definition screens for an amazing gaming experience!

The Rec Room – Video Arcade Bar In Toronto

The place also features a massive patio, probably one of the biggest I have seen at any place in Toronto! Their indoors is massive as well, and the venue does have pool tables in another large room.

I have been to this place a number of times and it has always been a great experience! My personal favorite has been the Kung Fu Panda Dojo Mojo Arcade Machine which is highly interactive! If you ever end up going to visit this place, you have to play the Dojo Machine!

Address: 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9, Canada

Business website:

Rating: 8.5/10

Overnight Stay At La Quinta Inn & Suites Oshawa

Due to work I ended up doing an overnight stay in Oshawa at a hotel called La Quinta Inn & Suites By Wyndham Oshawa. I had booked the hotel just an hour before I was to arrive at the location and also found the location to be perfect for me since it was in the downtown area. This was the cheapest place I could find at the time for about $90 tax included.

While the hotel looks a bit dated, the room and the bathroom looked clean. The room also was equipped with a closet, tv, fridge and microwave. All the rooms at the hotel are equipped with air conditioning and heating.

If you plan to work inside your hotel room, there is a work table and chair as well though I didn’t like the slap on top of the table as it felt cold while working.

La Quinta Inn Suite

The only thing I didn’t like about the room was that the drapes were very dirty and I mean filthy dirty like they had not been cleaned and replaced for years. Also it was not possible to cover the windows properly and I tried not to touch the drapes.

You might end up hearing people outside your suite or when they are walking in the hallway but I did not find it bothersome as I was just staying for a very short period.

Dirty drapes at La Quinta Inn

The location for the hotel is quite nice though, and being right in the downtown, you can head to a bar straight after arriving there even if you are quite late.

Address: 63 King Street East, Oshawa, ON, L1H 1B4, Canada

Rating: 6/10