Are you considering living in Toronto and Ontario? Here we explore the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide.

In recent years Canada has seen a huge surge in individuals relocating to Ontario in hopes of a fresh start. Ontario is known for a variety of opportunities and is a hub for diversity. There is so much culture to explore and many new things to experience within the province.

We will be discussing many factors to consider such as the culture, cost of living, and employment opportunities to see if living in Ontario and Toronto is the right move for you. As with every city in the world, there will be plenty of benefits as well as negatives. It is important to have the full picture to make sure that you make the right decision for you and your family.

Our pros and cons list has been put together by talking to previous customers who have made the move to Toronto and Ontario from the UK. PSS International Removals has over 40 years of experience in the international removals industry, helping individuals and families with their household removals to Canada. If you need any assistance with moving, make sure to contact our team to get started.

Let’s now explore the advantages and disadvantages of relocating to Toronto and Ontario from the UK.

1. Pro: Toronto has a unique way of livingPro_ Unique way of living

Toronto is a bustling city, with an energy that cannot be replicated in a small town or suburban area. It can be very busy and crowded, but it is an extremely exciting city with a low crime rate and top-notch entertainment. There is always something new being built in the city, whether that’s a new pub or new parks to add further life to the region.

There is a strong emphasis on social inclusion as well as entrepreneurship. The residents are very nice, and the city is so diverse that you will never feel like an outsider in your new environment, and chance are, you’ll most likely find someone who has lived in your hometown before!

2. Pro: Employment OpportunitiesPro_ Employment opportunities

There are several employment openings in Ontario. If you have work experience in education, healthcare and technology there are loads of opportunities waiting. For instance, Ontario College Teachers reports that there has been a teacher shortage for many years.

In the heart of downtown Toronto, you will find a large financial district with all of the major banks and investment agencies. There are still some great opportunities for accountants, financial analysts and risk managers. Toronto is known to be “Silicon Valley North” and Canada’s tech capital. With new innovations and major companies such as Google and Microsoft there is demand for data scientists, software engineers and developers.

Of course, medical professionals are still in high demand, and currently there is a nursing shortage. If you would like further information on jobs in demand in Canada, make sure to read our previous post for Canada’s most wanted for skilled migration 2024.

3. Pro: The culture Pro_ The culture

Toronto is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world. It is a special place that embraces culture from around the globe. More than half (51%) of people living in Toronto were born outside of Canada, and this diversity is reflected in the cuisine and the events in the city. This is seen as one of the major reasons to move to Toronto as you will naturally be embraced and welcomed.

With a vast immigrant community, you’ll find many beautiful neighbourhoods in Toronto that feels like you are in a completely different country. Some of these include Chinatown, Little Italy, and Greek Town. You’ll find countless superb food markets in these region and it is seen as a safe haven and a second home for many migrants.

4. Con: High Cost of LivingHigh cost of living_1

Living in Toronto is expensive. Currently, Ontario has had a visible increase in the price of goods and services. The price of groceries has skyrocketed as well as gas for transportation. Commuting has become a challenge because of how expensive it is especially if you have to commute into the city for work everyday.

Before making the plunge to relocate to Ontario where the cost of living is high, be sure to make a budget plan. This will help you out extensively and will give you a peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for the living expenses. Some ways to help reduce your living cost can include looking for neighbourhoods that have local grocery markets.

Sometimes these markets have lower prices in comparison to the cost of big chain grocery store prices. In addition, looking for places to reside in the suburbs of Toronto can help reduce some of the increasing costs.

5. Con: Expensive Housing and Rental pricesExpensive housing and rental prices

There has been a steady increase in the housing and rental markets. Most neighbourhoods have experienced a surge in housing prices due to the rising demand. However, there are still some gems with affordable homes and apartments.

Currently the average cost of a single-family home in Ontario is over $969,900, and in Toronto the average price for a single family house is $1,344,600. Depending on the location you may find homes that are priced slightly lower.

Some cities with decent single-family home prices include Hamilton, Kingston, London and Sudbury. Hamilton has had an increase of home buyers over the past couple of years and their current average home price is over $800,000. The city of Kingston Ontario still has some decent prices in comparison to other cities. The average single-family home is over $500,000. London Ontario is located two hours away from Toronto and has an average home price of $700,000.

Overall, housing prices may have increased but if you do your research and hire a realtor you will be able to find some hidden gems. There are still some great options that are located a couple of hours away from Toronto. With the increasing costs of a single-family home, renting might be a better option. Especially, if you want to explore certain neighbourhoods to see if it is the right fit for you.

6. Con: Distance between cities!Con_ Distance between cities_1

When travelling in Ontario looks can be very deceiving. The distance between cities times can take up to several hours due to traffic and distance.

To drive from Toronto to Ottawa will take you up to 4 and half hours, maybe longer if there is traffic. If you are looking to drive to other major cities in Canada including Montreal, it will take you up to 7 hours from London (Ontario) or 6 hours from Hamilton.

However, on the plus side, major cities close to Toronto include Mississauga and Hamilton, which will take you less than an hour. Some of the major highways that help to connect individuals between cities include the King’s highway and The Queen Elizabeth Way also known as the QEW.

7. Pro: Public Transportation & TrafficPro_ Public Transportation & Traffic

Ontario has a very good public transportation system. It is safe, reliable and a sustainable source of transportation. It is also a great option to help avoid traffic and congestion.

Most major cities in Ontario have their own transit system. In Toronto it is the TTC which consists of buses, streetcars, subway and the GO train. This system can take you from one city into the next. Currently in Toronto they are extending their Light Rail transit (LRT) into different parts of the city.

Making transit more accessible to individuals located in all parts of the city. With the increasing population in Toronto the TTC is a great alternative to driving. Rush hour in Toronto is typically between 8am-9am and starts up again around 3:30pm-6pm.

In the city of Mississauga which is about 28kms away from Toronto has their own transit system called Miway. Just like Toronto, Mississauga is highly populated, and you can be driving in traffic for several hours. The Miway transit system has been an amazing option instead of driving.

In the capital city of Ottawa, the transit system is similar to Toronto called the OC Transpo. This transit system has buses, light rail and paratransit. The cool thing about this transit system is that it connects and services parts of Quebec.

Most cities have their own local transit system that overall helps to reduce traffic, congestion and helps to connect individuals to other train systems such as the GO or Via Rail.

8. Pro: Moving and shipping your belongings to Toronto and Ontario is easyShipping to Ontario and Toronto from the UK (3) (1)

The Port of Toronto means containers from overseas don’t have to be transported long distances across land. This allows you to enjoy a shipping service to Toronto and Ontario that is cheaper and quicker.

If you are looking for an expert international shipping company for your move to Ontario, make sure to contact PSS Removals who have years of experience in the industry. They will ensure that you receive all the guidance you need in your move to Canada.

9. Con: High Tax RatesTax rates_1

Unfortunately, the tax rates in Ontario are one of the highest in Canada. However, it is worth noting that Ontario also has the highest average salary in the country, and you do experience a high quality of living. We will take a look at some Federal, Provincial and Municipal taxes to be mindful of.

One of the most important to keep in mind is income tax. Canadian residents have to file their personal taxes every year on taxable income. Depending on how much you earn from your job and tax bracket will determine how much you will pay back that year. An example gives on Federal income tax rates as of 2024 is if you make $55,867 or less your tax rate would be 15 percent.

The second tax to mention is property taxes. If you purchase a home in Ontario, you will need to pay this tax every year if you own the property. The amount you owe is determined by the cost of your property and the municipality that you reside in.

If you are planning to own a home in Ontario there is also a tax that needs to be paid at the point of purchase called a Land Transfer Tax (LTT). The buyer is to pay this upfront after they take ownership of their new property.

10. Pro: SafetyPro_ Safety_1

Ontario is one of the safest places to live in Canada and their safety regulation and strong communities is a big plus to relocating to Ontario.

Like most places in the world there are some challenges that Ontario faces especially in major cities like Toronto. There are some occurrences of petty crimes such as theft however, it is still generally low in comparison to other countries.

During the winter months the roads can become very slippery. Due to the ice and slushy snow, it is difficult to get around. Depending on where you reside in Ontario, driving rurally the visibility of roads can become extremely dangerous due to the snow becoming blinding and, in some cases, major highways may be closed to ensure the safety of drivers.

11. Pro: WeatherPro_ Weather

Ontario’s weather is continental and mixed. Depending on the season the temperatures fluctuate. In the winter season it is very cold, but in the summer it is very nice and hot. In summer months you can experience up to 27°C.

Springtime in Ontario has a lot of rain, and it is the perfect time to start gardening. Some nights are cooler and there maybe days where it is very sunny. Summer climate is very warm and sometimes it can be humid. There usually a lot of events happening in Toronto and surrounding towns especially when the weather is nice.

Fall weather in Ontario has a little bit of everything. As the temperature cools down from the summer, the nights become a bit chillier which is perfect for sweater weather.

12. Pro: Educationschool

Ontario has one of the most amazing education systems. Some of the most well-known and prestigious schools are located in Ontario.

When it comes to post secondary education, Toronto has many great options. If you are an academic who loves research The university of Toronto is a perfect choice. It is considered an ivy league school. York University is known for their amazing business program and school of Law. Toronto Metropolitan University (Formerly Ryerson University) is located in the heart of the city. This university is known for its engineering program and social sciences.

There are many other universities to mention that are located in Ontario including Mc Master, Western University, University of Waterloo, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.

13. Pro: Outdoor Activities and EntertainmentOutdoor activities and entertainment

Ontario is full of places to explore and embrace. Here are some places that you should check out when relocating to Ontario.

Niagara Falls is a well known for their majestic waterfalls that separates the United States of America from Canada. Not only is Niagara Falls scenic but there are many attractions there. Clifton Hills is a fun midway park with games, theatres, rides, museums, mini golf, restaurants and so much more.

Ottawa is the capital city of Ontario and holds a lot of rich historic culture. The city is known for the Rideau Canal which is a world heritage site in Canada. It connects the city of Kingston to Ottawa and the river is still actively used by boaters. In the wintertime the canal is famous for freezing over and becoming an ice rink.

The Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) has made a name for itself and has become a well-known festival amongst moviegoers, new filmmakers, actors from around the world. If you are into movies or wants to see celebrities walk the red carpet, this is the perfect event to attend.

Simcoe County is a beautiful part of Ontario located 40 minutes North of Toronto. Hidden in this part of town is Blue Mountain Resort. If you are into winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding, this is the perfect place for you.

 14. Pro: Night LifePro_ Nightlife

Ontario knows how to have fun, especially at night! The major cities always have an event planned or new restaurant to try.

If you plan to explore Toronto at night, there are several things to do. The entertainment district has the Drake Hotel which is a full package. It not only is a hotel, but it is a venue space, nightclub, café and has amazing dining options. The distillery district is a cute historic village that has amazing dining restaurants, galleries and events. The Christmas market is so beautiful and feels like a scene out of a hallmark movie.

Byward market Ottawa is an historic market located in downtown Ottawa. Like the Distillery District in Toronto, the Byward market has cafes, restaurants, galleries, events and an amazing nightlife scene.

15. Pro: Immigration and Visa PoliciesPros and cons of moving to Toronto and Ontario

As we have previously discussed Toronto, Ontario has the highest percentage of immigrants in Canada. If you have the skills and qualifications, you will have a great chance of migrating to the city. We will take a look at the immigration policies and Visa requirements that will allow you to reside.

The Express Entry is for an immigration system designed for skilled workers from different countries who want to become permanent citizens of Canada. There are many steps that are used in the selection process including work experience, duration and language proficiency. Visitor visa is for individuals who would like to temporarily stay in the country. Either for visiting loved ones, business, or exploring the country for up to six months.

A Study permit is a document that allows a person from a different country to stay in Canada for study at designated learning institutions. Work permit is a specific document that allows the individual to work in Canada, but it needs to adhere to the conditions of the permit. For example, the duration of the work period, location and specific employer.

We, at PSS International Removals, are in touch with several employers and recruiters actively looking to find skilled workers in the UK looking to move to Canada. You can find more information about this in our previous post about jobs and visas in Canada.

Are you looking to move to Ontario and Toronto?

Ultimately, whether Ontario and Ontario is for you is based on your lifestyle and budget. As we have found that are many benefits of moving to Ontario and Toronto in Canada, however there are some negatives that you will need to consider before making the move.

In particular, it is expensive to live in Toronto and Ontario, and you will need a high paying occupation to support yourself and your family if you decide to live here. However, on the plus side, the city provides the highest average salary in Canada, and you will enjoy an exceptional quality of living.

You will have access to a wide variation of entertainment and outdoor activities, and there are many employment opportunities, especially if you work in the tech industry or you are a medical professional. The region has an energy that cannot be replicated in a small town or suburban area and the high percentage of people born outside of Canada means that naturally you will be accepted and welcomed.

If you are looking to ship items to Canada, or require a furniture removal service to Canada including Toronto make sure to visit PSS International Removals. We are expert in the international removals industry, and we will ensure that your belongings arrive in perfect condition. Contact us to get started today.