Toronto City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 12, 2007

Toronto is the biggest city in Canada as well as the seat of the provincial Crown. This city is situated on the northwestern end of Lake Ontario. It is also one of the most populous cities in North America with more than 2.5 million people. Toronto is considered a global city as well as takes the honor of holding the economic power in Canada. It generates huge amounts of income for Canada every year through several aspects such as telecommunications, production, computer and tourism.

Toronto is also a melting pot of races with almost half of the population born outside of the country. Immigrants enter Canada every year due to several reasons like high standard of living, healthy environment to raise families as well as stable political and economic power. Toronto has earned a spot as being one of the most livable cities in the world. Although it is also the most expensive place to live in Canada, the advantages far outweigh the cost which explains why Toronto is most preferred by expatriates and tourists alike.

Residential Places in Toronto


There are virtually hundreds of places to find great homes in Toronto. Depending on purchasers’ tastes, residential communities can be selected according to location, structure, social platform and even the people. Neoclassical and Victorian-style homes exist in Rosedale, the Annex, Moore Park, Forest Hill and Whychwood Park. Historical municipalities have been present in the city for more than a century and still some of these remain and cover the safest and friendliest communities.


There are also communities which have grown according to ethnicity and tradition. There are a couple of Chinatowns, Portugal Village, Little India, Little Italy and Greektown. There are also homes that sprouted after the First World War such as Weston, Crescent Town and York. The outer suburbs include North York, Scarborough, West Hill, Humber Valley Village and The Kingsway. Most of the suburbs and neighborhoods in Toronto offer spectacular view and natural resources within reach such as Downsview Park and Scarborough Bluffs.


Hospitals and Universities of Toronto

The University of Toronto ranks among the best universities in North America. It has sixteen academic faculties with eleven colleges in the primary campus. The U of T has been in existence for almost two hundred years. More campuses were built such as the University of Toronto Scarborough and University of Toronto Mississauga. The third biggest university in Canada is York University with over 38,000 students and almost 4,000 faculty and staff. Ryerson University is the only polytechnic institution offering 36 programs.


As for healthcare, the Toronto Western Hospital has one of the best emergency departments in the nation. It also specializes in neurosurgery and has been around for more than a century. The Toronto General Hospital is situated in the Discovery District. TWH and TGH are both part of the University Health Network. Another noteworthy hospital is the Mount Sinai Hospital offering quality care and expert medical professionals. Health centers and public hospitals are located conveniently near residential districts.


Commercial Places in Toronto

There are several shopping centers and malls in Toronto. The Yorkdale Mall is the second biggest in the country which also used to be the biggest in the world. The mall has a wide array of shops plus a movie theater. The Pacific Mall is known for its hundreds of small shops selling oriental trinkets, wares and clothes straight from China and Taiwan. There are also snack bars and an arcade for entertainment and leisure. Fairview Mall is located on the corner of Don Mills Road which has several signature shops and movie theaters. Some of these malls are situated near residential areas while there are also budding shops in independent commercial centers at the heart of the suburbs.


There are great places to dine in Toronto such as Windsor Arms offering authentic Canadian cuisine. The place also has a great selection of wines in its fine dining setting. Hy’s Steakhouse Cocktail Bar is located on Adelaide West featuring some of the best meats and drinks in the city. This place is best for romantic dinners and unwinding after a long day of work. L’unita is a great bistro to drink and dine. The place has a very captivating and soothing ambiance of brick and mirrors. Another unique spot is Peppino’s on the Beach Ristorante.


Service Establishments of Toronto

There are several reliable service establishments in Toronto. The Toronto Police Station is one of the largest police stations in North America. There are officers and agents ready to assist in any situation 24 hours daily. The Toronto Police Service is also very active in investigating long term cases and detecting possible crime. The Toronto Electric Light Company provides power throughout the city. Ontario Hydro now takes over in utilities.


For expatriates’ telecommunications needs, Datatel-Global Telecommunications Company has been outstanding in delivering fast and effective service for business and other matters. The company provides internet solutions using state-of-the-art devices for optimum connection. Transportation services in Toronto ranks among the best in the world. Toronto has a huge airport with a safe air fleet flying several times daily to multiple destinations around the globe. Trains, shuttles, buses, taxis and other private vehicle services are also available.


Embassies in Toronto

There are international embassies in Toronto regularly open from Monday through Friday. Most embassies are very helpful and informative regarding visa applications, documentation and re-filing of applications such as the Indian, Russian, American and British Embassy. The establishments aim to deliver fast service so that applicants can immediately get their documents ready to travel or possibly migrate.


Canadian Consuls also have good relations with British Consuls which create a more conducive environment for UK expatriates. Replacement passports, information on migration, requirements for transfer and other needs of applicants will instantly be issued to ensure safe and worry-free transactions. There may even be special arrangements that can be settled for emergency situations as well as referral to reliable contacts like lawyers, health professionals and relatives.

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