City Information

There are very few people who are brave enough to jump into a completely different life in a new city without first doing everything they can to inform themselves on what the new city would hold for their futures. Therefore, if you're finding it a little difficult to let go of being a country mouse and move to the big city, this page may be for you. It's got a rundown on some useful information on the city of Toronto, which you may not find on other information pages for out of towners.

Traffic

Like any big city, Toronto has its traffic problems, particularly during the rush hours of 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm Monday to Friday. During those times, it can take between one and three hours to negotiate your way to work at your downtown company, depending on how far your neighborhood is from the city center. One way to avoid being caught in this crush is to take public transit, which is crowded but efficient and on time, and the routes run through almost every major artery in the Greater Toronto Area.

Languages

As a Canadian city, the trade mark Canadian official languages of English and French are the most widely recognized at the official level. However, in practice you'll find very few French speaking people and a wide variety of people speaking various Asian and European languages, with the most prevalent being Chinese and Italian. Foreign born people make up nearly 50% of the population of the city. Most make an effort to learn English, others prefer to create an enclave of their native language within the city. As a result, the 9-1-1 system is able to serve people in more than 150 languages.

Crime

Compared to other cities of the same size in North America and around the world, Toronto is a very safe place to live. Canada has a moratorium on handguns and a tightly controlled registration system for other guns, so gun violence and murders in particular is only 3.1 per 100,000 people, tying with Vancouver and beating out major U.S. cities like LA and Boston. You don't even need to be too concerned about being mugged on the way back from work, as robberies are low as well.

Weather

If you're moving to Toronto to avoid cold winters or hot summers, you're out of luck, because Toronto has both. Lake effect snow from Lake Ontario and lots of wind chill characterize Toronto winters, where temperatures average between 0 and -10 Celsius. The spring and summer is when air conditioning is most in demand, as people pour out of doors to enjoy the blooming flowers and 20-35 degree temperatures.




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