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Preparing For Expat Life In Toronto

Preparing For Expat Life In Toronto

Have you ever wondered what expat life in Toronto is like? Our General Manager, Emma McConville, shares what her experience preparing for expat life in Toronto was like!

Nearly two years ago I packed my life into a couple of suitcases, had my final pint of Guinness in my local bar and boarded a flight to Canada. That day in June it rained non stop and as Dublin become a tiny dot below me, reality set in and I started to think of what I was about to put myself through. The minute I landed in Toronto my entire life changed. I had to start getting used to the strange looks from Canadians when I said something a little too Irish and my own constant thoughts of at what point did I completely lose my sanity and think this was a good idea. Luckily, nearly two years later I am confident I’m never going to find my sanity again but I have found my home, Toronto.

I left Dublin as prepared as I could possibly be and soon realized I had a lot to do to set up life here in the city. My first job, after a quick pitstop for my first Canadian drink, was to find somewhere to live, which as I now know is not an easy feat here especially when you have no history in Canada. I saw what felt like thousands of apartments in those first few weeks and became unbelievably frustrated, I didn’t have the awesome FM Team to help me. I finally found an apartment that would work and it was time to turn on the ever famous Irish charm in lieu of any of the actual requirements to rent an apartment in the city. I’m pretty certain my first landlord here in the city was absolutely crazy, but I am forever grateful to him for taking the chance on me.Like me, this saint of a man is an immigrant and had been stood in my place twenty years before so he was very aware of the battle I faced to settle into life in the city.

What I should definitely mention about my first apartment here, it was not in a great area, not even an ok area! Being so limited by my choices and the stiff competition for rentals meant I couldn’t factor in the area I would actually like to live in. Thankfully, I have paid my penance in that apartment and have moved to my favourite area of the city (and a much nicer place in case you were wondering). So my advice for anyone new coming to the country and looking for their first home, be prepared to pay a number of months rent in advance, be prepared to trek all over the city looking at places (and you will see ALOT of places) and most of all put your best foot forward and give them some background on you and your plans while here in Toronto, it will help elevate any worries they may have.