Canada Visa - Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, located in Southern Ontario on the north western shore of Lake Ontario. Toronto is currently the fifth most populous city in North America. It is well known as a multicultural and diverse city where over 80 different ethnic communities reside. Seen as the business centre of Canada, Toronto is also the home of four professional sports teams and the third largest English-speaking theatre district in the world, behind New York and London. As the largest city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario, Toronto is a city full of colour and a perfect destination for families and singles alike. From literary festivals to adventure holidays, there's something in Toronto for everyone. So don't miss out, experience the many delights this amazing city has to offer.

Climate

Since Lake Ontario serves to moderate Toronto's weather, the climate is in fact one of the mildest in Canada. The warm, humid summer extends from late May until late September. During winter time, the cold snaps sometimes bring down the temperature to sub-zero especially in January. So be sure to bring warm boots and coats so that you can explore the city in comfort.

Culture

As one of the world's most ethnically diverse cities, Toronto is home to more than 80 ethnic communities from Africa, Asia and Europe. Approximately half the population of the city were born outside of Canada. Toronto has been called "the World within a City" because of its dynamic multiculturalism. This unique cultural identity can be found in local neighbourhoods such as Chinatown, Greektown and Little India where ethnic stores and restaurants are fascinating places to explore different cultures all on your doorstep.

Since most residential housing is located near the downtown area, Toronto remains alive in the evenings and on weekends. But still, the city is relatively a safe place to walk at night.

Language

Due to Toronto's important role as the destination for immigrants to Canada, 128 languages and dialects can be heard on the streets of Toronto. No need to worry. The majority of Toronto people speak English as their first language. Some other languages spoken are French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Tamil, Tagalog, Korean, etc.

Time

On the same line as New York and Boston, Toronto is in the Eastern Time Zone. The Eastern Daylight Time Zone which is Greenwich Mean Time minus 4 hours. When Daylight Savings Time ends in winter, Toronto is on Greenwich Mean Time minus 5 hours.

Transportation

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is an easy, safe, fast and economic way to get around. TTC provides services within the city including all of downtown and ferries connecting with the Toronto Islands. While GO Transit handles its entire commuter bus services in and out of downtown Toronto. These public transport systems make working in Toronto stress free!

Toronto Airport

Flights to Toronto will land at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) which is 26kms from downtown Toronto. Toronto Airport Express shuttle buses leave for downtown regularly and stop at 6 downtown locations. TTC also have a number of public transit routes which service the airport. Taxis and car rental are also readily available when you arrive. Contact flights@go4less.ie for cheap flights to Toronto!

Jobs in Toronto

Toronto is a bustling city with a competitive jobs market. With unemployment at 7.3% and average weekly earnings of $900, Toronto is a popular destination for young professionals. Check out the Go4less Jobs board for Toronto jobs!

Accommodation in Toronto

Toronto has a huge array of hotels and hostels to see you through your first days in the city. Recommended hostels in Toronto include Planet Traveler and the HI Hostel in Downtown Toronto.

Downtown Toronto offers mainly up-scale apartments, but these can come with a hefty price tag. Many newcomers choose to live in nearby neighbourhoods, such as Cabbagetown and High Park. Rent prices here range from $1800 per month for a three-bed apartment and $1000 per month for a one-bed apartment. Value for money is often better in the Toronto suburbs of York, East York, North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough, which make up the Greater Toronto Area.

Toronto Visitor Services

Drop by the Toronto Information Desk whenever you are looking for any travelling advice and information with brochures, maps and travel guides provided. The Toronto Desk is located in the Ontario Travel Information Centre at 20 Dundas Street West. Or you can ring them at 416-392-9300 for counselling. There are also INFOTOGO mobile information centres in town with events, festivals, venues and attraction information, helping you decide what to do and see.

Another great way to get to grips with Toronto is go to the official website of Tourism Toronto: See Toronto Now or download their free mobile app: See Toronto. This handy app provides plenty of travelling tips and lists of dining, shopping, attractions to enhance your experience in Toronto.

Irish Community in Toronto

For two centuries the Irish have been coming in their droves to Toronto and the numbers of Irish immigrants arriving in Toronto continues to grow at unbelievable levels even to this day. Toronto is the home to a number of GAA Clubs such as the Toronto Gaels and St. Vincent's GAA Club. They are always happy to see new players join and it’s a fantastic may to meet new people when you arrive. The Toronto Camogie Club has been up and running since 2011 with over 60 registered members, of both Irish and Canadian descent.

Things to do in Toronto

CN Tower

Built in 1976, the CN Tower is one of the world's tallest towers with a height of 553.33m. Ever tried walking on a building located 356m above the ground, hands-free and getting a view of the downtown buildings at the same time? This is the exciting and thrilling experience that the Edge Walk on CN Tower wants to give you. This world's highest full-circle, hands-free walk achieved the Guinness World Record for the "Highest External Walk on a Building" after its opening in 2011. However, for safety the amusement is closed during winter season and period of high winds.

Royal Ontario Museum

If you are interested in culture and natural history, the Royal Ontario Museum which is located north of Queen's Park in the University of Toronto district is the perfect way to spend a few hours. The museum is home to six million objects and forty galleries, including dinosaurs, minerals, meteorites, fossils, product design and fine arts, as well as European and Canadian history exhibits.

Toronto Zoo

No family day out in Toronto would be complete without a visit to Toronto Zoo near the Rouge River. It is a fun filled, unforgettable day out and a place to learn about wild animals and even get close to the endangered species. The zoo features a Discovery Zone which includes Kids Zoo, Splash Island and Waterside Theatre, home of exciting family entertainment.

Ontario Science Centre

The popular Ontario Science Centre is a fun and educational place for all ages. Be surprised and entertained by the geology, astronomical science, music technology, human anatomy and some artefacts of science awaiting you. The centre provides many interesting hands-on activities and commentaries. You can even become part of the science process by participating in cutting-edge research!

Canada's Wonderland

Located in Vaughan, Ontario, the country's largest theme park opens daily from May to September, and weekends only until the end of October. Enjoy 68 different rides, 15 thrilling roller coasters and a 20-acre water park, Splash Works.

St.Lawrence Market

Want to find mouth-watering food and unique crafts in Toronto? Come and explore the St. Lawrence Market in the heart of the historic Old Town, Toronto on Front Street. Considered by Food and Wine Magazine to be one of the world's 25 best food markets, St Lawrence Market with a history of more than 200 years is definitely a place to wander and pick up some unique gifts.

Toronto Islands

A trip to Toronto Islands can take you away from the stress of daily life. With a beautiful view of Lake Ontario on one side and the city skyline on the other, the Toronto Islands provide fun-filled activities for everyone. You can organize a game of tennis, volleyball or softball with your friends. Boat and bike rentals are also readily available. Visit the animals at Far Enough Farm, a sure hit with children. The Islands area also features Centreville Amusement Park, Franklin Children's Garden and Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. It is a popular recreational destination for all.

Nightlife in Toronto

From supper clubs to upscale lounges, Toronto has a great range of night spots. Whether you are after a hard-core night out or something more laid back, you'll find it in Toronto.

There is a great number of notable night clubs in Toronto. Expecting young friendly college crowd, The Guvernment, which is North America's largest and longest-running entertainment complex, is highly recommended. It is a multi-room club holding up to 3000 people with work-renowned DJs. The other TOP 3 clubs include The Brunswick House (located in the historic Annex district), Bar 244 (serving $3 and $4 drinks every night) and Gravity Sound Bar (with live music played every Wednesday).

For those young professionals looking for the trendy stylish club venues, you should consider heading to the Queen West/King West/Wellington area. You will see most Toronto's mature crowd hitting the dance floor in the clubs such as Aria Entertainment Complex, Media Bar, The Everleigh, Footwork, Uniun, F Stop, Brassaii and Cobra, showcasing an incredibly diverse range of music. Many intimate lounges and supper clubs can also be found in this area including Spice Route, Crush Winebar, Pravda Vodka Bar, Joey's Bar and Grill, Woo Lounge and Ultra Super Club.

All around the city you'll find low-key traditional bars with unusual names like "Firkin on King", "Murphy's Law" or "Elephant & Castle".

It never hurts to get off-beaten path in order to find you own Toronto nightlife experience. If you are a fan of live comedy, why not grab a brew with your friends and laugh out loud at the comedy clubs in downtown Toronto such as Yuk Yuk's Superclub, The Rivoli, The Second City, Vapor Central and Absolute Comedy.

The minimum age to enter night clubs in Toronto is 19 years old, which is also the legal drinking age.

Annual Events and Festivals

In Toronto, there are plenty of annual events and festivals featuring arts, music, film, history, sports and even live performances that you should discover. The renowned Toronto International Film Festival is where you can come face-to-face with the A-list celebrities walking on the red carpet and be among the first to see the next award-winning movies. You can also soak in the glory of magnificent fireworks, art and musical displays at the multi-day Luminato Festival. Or you can join the Toronto Beerfest in the historic Fort York during the Toronto's Festival of Beer held every summer. Toronto Jazz Festival is a must for Jazz fans with many musicans playing live on stage. Some other events include Pride Toronto Festival + World Pride, Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, World MasterCard Fashion Week and Toronto Sportsmen's Show and more.